Upgrading my Hotel Internet

I recently stayed in a hotel that provided “complimentary” free wi-fi. This was great, however my speed was limited to ~1.5Mbps down unless I wanted to fork out the ~$70 for a week’s worth of “High Speed” internet.

Speedtest results showing 1.72 Mbit/s down.
1.72 Mbit/s down.

After the first night I discovered that the TV was connected via Ethernet (something that I’ve been waiting to play with but have yet to actually find! Apparently I don’t travel much). Connecting to the network directly was pretty fruitless as I couldn’t establish an IP. I figured they possibly had some kind of MAC-Based filtering on the ports as locking down a TV with any kind of certificate-based security seemed excessive.

So at this stage I’m thinking the process will be:
-Obtain the MAC address of the TV
-Spoof the MAC address of my laptop.
-PROFIT (Or… Bandwidth, hopefully!)

While this was technically the case, I expected that obtaining the MAC address would be a lot easier. Generally speaking, these are printed on stickers on the back of devices. The issue I faced was that the TV was mounted to the wall with very little clearance so simply checking a sticker wasn’t an option. The TV was also in “Hotel Mode” which meant that I was locked out of pretty much all menu options. This mode is used to maintain consistency across all rooms as well as enabling functionality with Hotel Management Systems (the system that enables your TV to greet you with your name when you arrive in your room).

A simple Google search provided the secret key combination needed to escape hotel mode (though I was later able to partially escape differently by launching the web browser) — Mute + 1 + 1 + 9 + Enter. This brought me to the following screen (please excuse the photo quality):

Hotel/Administrator mode menu on the tv.
Hotel/Administrator Mode

Jackpot! I navigated to the Network section hoping to find some MAC information but there was nothing to be found 🙁 I also discovered that even though I had exited this “Hotel Mode” I was still unable to access most functions of the TV through the usual Main Menu.

Error on screen stating "This function isn't available".
Still locked out 🙁

After a little more menu exploration I found the “System” option. Under this heading there was a “Contact Samsung” option which seemed to just provide a link to the Samsung support page at first but by scrolling down I saw this:

Message on screen with information about the TV that includes the MAC address and serial number of the unit.
Samsung support to the rescue!

From here I was able to update my MAC address and run a new speedtest with surprising results!

Speedtest results showing 185.81 Mbit/s down.
185.81 Mbit/s Down!

Methods of MAC address spoofing vary from system to system so I suggest having a Google to find the best method for you.