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Jailbreak the Internet Browser on your Sharp Aquos

August 21, 2011

Just got a new Sharp Aquos LC-52LE830U and I am really happy with it!

The only problem is that Sharp decided to lock you out of a full Internet browser experience, and only give you access to a very limited set of Widgets. Not to sure why but definitely not a very consumer friendly policy. I just hate this new trend where manufacturers arbitrarily limit the functionality of the products we spend top dollar on.

Geting out of the Sharp Aquos Net jail is easy enough and will not damage your TV in anyway. In reality you do not have to change anything on the TV it self but as usual do this at your own risk and responsibility.

The basic idea is to use the bookmark feature to add a Bookmark to Google or any other page of your liking, so it is always accesible. From there you can then access any site you like.

Unfortunately the TV browser does not support Flash so no Youtube…

You will need:

  • DNS Server (this can be done on your Internet router, Mac/Linux or Windows computer)
  • Web Server

Install webserver on your laptop. I used MAMP on MAC OSX

    1. Create the sharpaquos folder on the web server root (/Applications/MAMP/htdocs/sharpaquos in my case)
    2. Create the widget_split.php file in the sharpaquos folder with the following content
<html>
<script language="JavaScript">
 if (window != top) top.location.href = location.href;
</script>
<a href="http://www.google.com">Google</a>
</html>


Highjack one of the Aquos Net widgets by redirecting the DNS name resolution to your webserver

    1. We need to redirect special.accesshollywood.com to the webserver in my case 192.168.32.60
    2. I added a the accesshollywood.com DNS Zone to my Fortigate, and configured it as follows:
    3. Add the special.accesshollywood.com host and point it to the webserver
    4. Press the Aquos Net button on your TV remote, and access the Access Holywood widget, mine was on page 4.
    5. You should see the “Google” link inside the widget instead of the regular Access Hollywood widget content.
    6. Navigate to the Widget and Google should open on the full page, and not restricted to the inside of the widget.
    7. You can now bookmark the Google page by pressing the “D” button on the TV remote
After you successfully bookmark google you can remove the DNS redirect configuration from your Internet router.
Now you can acesss Aquos Net like always and use your “Get out of jail” Google bookmark to break free any time you like!
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27 Comments
  1. simon martineau permalink

    Why you create the subdirectory sharpaquos ?

  2. simon martineau permalink

    Is it possible to just create index.php at the root of the web server ?
    With this content

    2

    3 if (window != top) top.location.href = location.href;

    4

    5 Google

    6

    • My TV tried to access the widget_split.php file directly when loading the Access Hollywood widget, not the index.php. So in my case it did not work. If it worked for you let me know.

  3. thesisviolation permalink

    Thanks bigdriver, this was a great tip. I skipped the step about setting up a webserver. Instead, I installed the free DNS server maradns on my laptop and redirected the weather bug widget to the google IP address. I then clicked on the “customize” button on the Aquos net widget and it opened up a full page from Google reporting a broken link. From there, I clicked back to google search and then to igoogle, which set the top.location.href. Finally, I added this page as a bookmark.

    • Victor permalink

      I installed the “Maradns” but have not been able how to do the other steps, can you please give more instructions?

    • Umair permalink

      @thesisviolation: Please let me know hwat URL you have use for weather bug to point to google .com’s IP? I have installed DNS server and wants to skip webserver steps as you explain. Thanks

  4. RafaReta permalink

    My computer has python so I just copied the code in a file.html and executed “python -m SimpleHTTPServer 80″. I also changed de DNS resolution from sharp.funspot.tv instead of accesshollywood.com (opens the directory content) and cliked the file.html.

    Is there any way I can type somthing in the text boxes? I can access Google but I can’t do any text seach!

    RafaReta

    • Just select the field with the arrow cursor and click enter on the remote. Then a virtual keyboard will show up and you can write what you need.

  5. Joe permalink

    My Aquos TV wasn’t looking for widget_split.php, instead it wanted screen.php.

  6. Mark Cards permalink

    Good morning Big Diver…I really appreciate this but I can’t seem to do this. Any way you can give me step by step instructions? I am pretty good with computers but I can’t figure this one out. Quite frankly I would hire someone to do this at my home. I don’t really “need” to do this, but really want to because Sharp has no business locking us out like this…same deal applies to many devices, specifically Android phones!

  7. Heath Spivey permalink

    Can you break this down for someone who knows little about computers? My father-in-law just purchased a 52″ Aquos and he is very disappointed that the internet feature is so limited. Please advise. Thanks!

  8. Probably the easiest way to explain this is that all you need to do is redirect the TV to access a web server that you control. In order to do that you need to change the configuration of a DNS Server (Domain Name Resolution) that you also control.

    If you internet router can be configured as a DNS server for your LAN (internal/home network), all you need to do is check the router’s manual on how to configure this. In my case I use a Fortinet FortiGate device which supports this feature so all I did was add a new host to the DNS configuration.

    Since the TV is looking for the host special.accesshollywood.com when you access the widget, you need to map that to the IP address of your web server instead of the real IP address of special.accesshollywood.com. Therefore when the TV resolves the name it gets the IP address of your web server and fetches your page instead of the real one.

    If your Internet router cannot be configured as a DNS Server then the setup is a bit more complicated and like some commenters mentioned you would need to install a DNS server on your computer and configure it so that it resolves the special.accesshollywood.com host to your web server’s IP address. This configuration varies a lot from server to server, from Windows, to Mac or Linux so you need to find one DNS server that works on your OS. MaraDNS (http://www.maradns.org/) is easy enough and runs on most platforms. They also keep a list of other DNS Servers that you can use http://www.maradns.org/dns_software.html. Then you still need to force ALL DNS queries from the TV to go to the DNS server you just installed. This can be done on your Internet router by configuring the DNS options in the DHCP, or directly on the TV by using a static IP address and DNS Settings, on the Initial Setup – Internet Setup – Network Setup Menu.

    Once you get this far all you need to do is copy & paste the HTML on the article to the file that the TV is looking for.

    In my case it was looking for /sharpaquos/widget_split.php. If you get a page not found error on the TV once you try to access the widget you can check the webserver logs and get the real file name that it is looking for, just create that one and use the same content.

    These file names can change with TV firmware version.

    • Mark Cards permalink

      BigDiver….thank you for your continued comments on this matter. My router does support DNS configuration but when I go to the dyndns.org website I don’t see where I can get an account without a monthly fee. I am pretty good with technology but don’t want to go messing around and possibly screw up my setup. Is there any way you could contact me and use logmein to do this jailbreak?

      thanks!

      Mark

      • Dyndns would not help in this situation, because you cannot change how they resolve the domain name the TV is querying. You need to check if your internet router can work as a DNS Server, that way you can configure it to resolve any name the way you want.

        Probably the best is to install a DNS server on your computer and use it to follow the procedure.

        good luck

    • Umair permalink

      BigDiver : How do you find the URL behind the widget , I dont have access hollywood widget in and LC-52LE830U but I do have funspot.tv , problem is when i try to point sharp.funspot.tv as some blogger did it fails, when i click on funspot widget it says ” cannot find the server” i dont understand whether the url is wrong or my something else. Please update.

      Thanks in advance.

      Umair.

  9. Fred permalink

    BigDiver, computer unsavy. what would I do with a linksys router and a 60″ aquos?

  10. bhakthil permalink

    Thanks for the info. I must add a note on to the post. I tried widget_split.php which did not work for me, but, screen.php worked.

  11. RockyB permalink

    Hey, I found a simpler method that worked for me. Following the basic idea of getting an external link onto the TV browser and keep navigating until you can get to something useful like google.

    I found I could enable my router’s “Parental Controls” and blacklist “www.accesshollywood.com.” When the accesshollywood widget is added, a parental control page screen is displayed :) And it just happens that for my router, I get a link to opendns.com and the http://guide.opendns.com search come up. Search for google and then bookmark it ;)

    But, having achieved this, I still find the sharp browser is inadequate to do much (no video and runs out of memory).

  12. Hi, Neat post. There’s an issue together with your website in web explorer, may check this? IE still is the market chief and a big component of other people will pass over your excellent writing due to this problem.

  13. I’ve tried with:

    192.168.56.1 funspot.tv
    192.168.56.1 sharp.funspot.tv
    192.168.56.1 widget.screendreams.tv

    And created the file landing-ss-en.html inside C:\xampp\htdocs\sla001\en

    Then I restart the router

    But when I click the ScreenDream button inside the Featured Content it just says:

    There is a TCP connection error :S

    Any hints or advice?

    Cheers

  14. AVRIntegrated permalink

    2014 Update – Unfortunately Sharp has decided to disable the Aquos Net feature on these “older” Sharp Aquos TVs. So, this jailbreak will no longer work. Sharp disabled the Aquos Net by stopping the network stream going to the TV. This is only for the older (5 years old to 2 years old) Aquos Net HDTVs.

    More information can be found at: http://andysbrain.com/sharp_aquos_net

  15. Thanks for finally writing about >Jailbreak the Internet
    Browser on your Sharp Aquos | BigDiver <Liked it!

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