Hacking the LG Wireless Media Kit AN-WL100W

On July 22, 2013, in Projects, by Matt Defenthaler

Note: This is mostly an aggregation of information from others

History

The LG Wireless Media Kit ( AN-WL100 ) was manufactured by LG for the purpose of wirelessly transmitting video and audio from a variety of sources to an LG-branded TV. There is a base station that connects to the source and a ‘dongle’ receiver that connects to the display. A proprietary 20-pin connector goes between the LG-branded TV and the dongle. LG eventually discontinued the unit and many places began selling the device (originally $400+) for about $20. This made the unit affordable for hackers to buy to play around with. It was soon discovered that the dongle could operate with only power (about 20v) going to it. This requires splicing the cable and instructions are detailed in one of the links below. Continued hacking occurred and communication over the 3.5mm service port opened up methods to control the box and its functions. I’ve consolidated some of the information I’ve found useful and have placed it below.

 

My particular purposes involve splitting an HDMI signal from my HTPC to view it on a TV in the living room as well as one in the bedroom. In order to split the cable, I used this HDMI splitter (don’t forget cables if you need them)

 

Getting power to the wireless dongle

Splice power into the 20-pin dongle (Ryan Matthews’ G+ post)

 

Utilize the service port:

The service port that looks like a headphone jack (because it is) is an interface to a serial transceiver.

DB9 to TRS

DB9 to TRS

  • To communicate, we need a serial terminal application
    • I’ve used gtkTerm on Ubuntu and RealTerm on Windows
      • If using RealTerm, click on the ‘Port’ tab
      • Set the following:
        • baud rate: 9600
        • select the correct port
        • stop bits: 1
        • flow control: none
        • data bits: 8
      • I like to see what I’ve typed, so I normally turn on ‘local echo’ (mislabeled as half-duplex in RealTerm)
  • The commands to send are listed in this appendix of an LG manual
    • I have my HDMI source connected to HDMI1, so sending xb 00 70 will switch if need be
    • The overscan was initially pretty bad, so I sent kc 00 09 to fix the issue (still not perfect, but it’s ok)
    • I’ve written a Python script to send commands without a full-blown serial terminal
  • Debug mode allows for access to the Linux shell running on the transmitter (it gives a lot of control and should be used with caution)

 

Misc Info

  • If your display looks funny after turning off/on, put a piece of tape (electrical or other) over pin 19 (Hot Plug Detect) on the HDMI cable end going into the wireless dongle
hdmi cable pinout

http://www.hdmi.org/installers/insidehdmicable.aspx

 

 

 

 

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9 Responses to Hacking the LG Wireless Media Kit AN-WL100W

  1. Cyrus says:

    Great stuff! I was wondering what you are using the service port/serial transceiver for. Are you using the port for servicing or are you planning on further hacking the system?

    • Thanks! I haven’t used it for much past the initial setup. I mostly needed it to fix the overscan issue, but did explore the commands in the LG manual I posted. I may dive deeper into it to explore what the OS has to offer and maybe do some vulnerability research on it. If nothing else, I’d like to see if I can make custom overscan settings since it’s still clipping the screen slightly.

  2. Reza says:

    hi is there anyway to convert from 1080p to 1080i on the ouput of the dongle reciever i opened it up and there is a serial connection and some jumpers but im not sure what they do ?

  3. Sully40272 says:

    Have you done anything else with this? Or any plans or visions of its possibilities? Thanks in advance.

  4. Hi! Great post! I was thinking in put some pepper in this hard mod! I have an ANWL100 working with an sony TV and I was think about snnif the wifi trafc with an LG TV using the ANWL100 and try to detect switch commands… if it works… we can develop an android app to change inputs using wifi signals! So, anyone had an LG TV working with the ANWL100 switch?

  5. Another option is to try to use an RS232 IR receiver and try to configure an IR app to switch inputs!!! Does anyone have an RS232 IR receiver to try?

  6. fredic_L says:

    worked but was blocked. an expert told me that the HDCP lock the microprocessor and I had to reset it from within

  7. vtormann says:

    put a pic to emulate the entrance to lg tv but no programming, thus, functioned Ships inputs and green background

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