Fun at the hotel or Adventures with the Roku box, and Plex Media Server

So, I had some fun playing with the hotel’s TV system tonight, and just wanted to document what I did; just in the off-chance someone else, runs into a similar issue.

Also, it is important to read, and know what the rules and regulations are, concerning the hotel’s TV system, and know, that by tampering with it, there may be liabilities involved.

The story begins, when the wife and I want to make a getaway, for the day, to a hotel, just to hang out, with one another. We figured we would go to a hotel, and watch some TV and movies together. The best option for us watching TV, was to bring our Roku box, and stream shows that I have on my Plex Media Server at home; as opposed to paying $18.00 a show at the hotel.

We plug the Roku into the HDMI port on the back of the TV, and got ready to enjoy some TV and movies. Come to find out, I was unable to change the TV to the HDMI port, via the “INPUT” button on the TV or remote control. Challenge #1 accepted.

Discovered that if you unplug the RJ-11 (phone cable) from the back of the hotel TV reception box, that it will once again allow the TV to act as a normal TV. At that point, I was able to change the input to the HDMI port, and now I was able to use that port, and I saw my Roku box, there, displaying on the TV. Challenge #1 defeated.

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The next step was going to be a fun one; enter challenge #2. The Roku box needed to make use of the hotel’s wifi, however, in order to access the wifi at the hotel, you need to connect to the AP, and then use the web browser to enter a password, that would then give you access to the network. Unfortunately, on the Roku, you are unable to authenticate to the wifi, in this fashion, I had to think quick, and come up with a new plan.

Being a computer nerd, I had my laptop, a USB stick, and ISO images of a couple different linux distros, on my laptop. I used Win32 Disk Imager onto my Windows 7 (work laptop), to burn an image of Kali linux to the USB stick (any distro would have worked). Booted off the USB stick, and quickly changed the MAC address of my wifi card, on my laptop, to match the MAC address of the Roku box, connected to the internet, and entered the password, that allowed me access to the guest wifi.

Mission accomplished! After 20 minutes of getting all the work done, the wife and I were enjoying TV and movies at the hotel!

Short URL: http://bit.ly/1SGwyYu

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