How to Outsmart Your Hotel Room TV and Use Its HDMI Ports for Anything You Want

Hotels can be stingy about what guests are allowed to do with their TVs. For example, if you try to plug your own device into your room’s TV to watch your own content, odds are good that are nothing will happen. Hotel TVs are usually plugged into external boxes that track your hotel room’s TV activity and control what channels, apps, and TV features can be used by guests. These boxes are what prevent you from using the HDMI ports, but they can be easily circumvented.

Twitter user Deviant Ollam came across a pretty brilliant solution that allows you to transform your hotel’s locked TV into a boring ol’ normal TV—which then allows you use its HDMI ports for whatever you want.

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  1. Look at for a data cable plugged into the back or side of your room’s TV. The port resembles a phone or small ethernet cable plug, and the cable should be connected to a breakout box nearby.
  2. (Gently) pull out the cable. They usually have a small-and very fragile—plastic tab you need to hold down to take it out. Make sure you don’t damage it, since you’ll need to plug this back in before you check out.
  3. Turn the TV off and on again, and you should now be able to use the HDMI input.

Ollam notes this little trick may disable the TV’s remote in some instances. You should still be able to use the buttons on the TV to swap the inputs and adjust the volume, however.

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