TiVo Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips and Techniques

Overview

TiVo Hacks helps you get the most out of your TiVo personal video recorder. Armed with just a screwdriver and basic understanding of PC hardware (or willingness to learn), preeminent hackability awaits. This book includes hacks for changing the order of recorded programs, activating the 30-second skip to blaze through commercials, upgrading TiVo's hard drive for more hours of recording, use of TiVo's Home Media Option to remotely schedule a recording via the Web, log in to the serial port for command-line access ...

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TiVo Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools

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Overview

TiVo Hacks helps you get the most out of your TiVo personal video recorder. Armed with just a screwdriver and basic understanding of PC hardware (or willingness to learn), preeminent hackability awaits. This book includes hacks for changing the order of recorded programs, activating the 30-second skip to blaze through commercials, upgrading TiVo's hard drive for more hours of recording, use of TiVo's Home Media Option to remotely schedule a recording via the Web, log in to the serial port for command-line access to programming data, log files, closed-captioning data, display graphics on the TiVo screen, and even play MP3s.

Readers who use advanced hacks to put TiVo on their home network via the serial port, Ethernet, USB, or wireless (with 802.11b WiFi) will watch a whole new world open up. By installing various open source software packages, you can use TiVo for mail, instant messaging, caller-ID, and more. It's also easy to run a web server on TiVo to schedule recordings, access lists of recorded shows, and even display them on a web site. While TiVo gives viewers personalized control of their TVs, TiVo Hacks gives users personalized control of TiVo.

Note: Not all TiVos are the same. The original TiVo, the Series 1, is the most hackable TiVo out there; it's a box thrown together with commodity parts and the TiVo code is running on open hardware. The Series 2 TiVo, the most commonly sold TiVo today, is not open. You won't see hacks in this book that involve modifying Series 2 software.

Krikorian offers 100 "industrial strength" tips and tools for using Tivo in this ultimate guide to the digital personal video recorder that's reinventing the way people view TV.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596005535
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/22/2003
  • Series: Hacks Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Raffi Krikorian is an unapologetic TIVo lover and a digital plumber. If you look hard enough, you can usually find him putting together a hack for some random stray idea that got him sidetracked from his last project. He is currently a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab where he is both studying systems of "organic scale" and constructing very small IP-nodes that self organise into larger systems. He does freely admits, however, that his serious television addiction is probably getting between him and his goal to finally graduate MIT for the second time. When he's not studying or watching TV, you can find him wandering about or trying something new. And finally, in whatever time is left, he tends to his wasted bits on his weblog.

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Table of Contents

Credits;
About the Author;
Contributors;
Preface;
What Is a TiVo?;
How to Use This Book;
Caveat Hacker;
How This Book Is Organized;
Conventions Used in This Book;
How to Contact Us;
Chapter 1: TiVo Remote Control Hacks;
1.1 Hacks #1-19;
1.2 Remote Control Hacks;
1.3 Backdoor Hacks;
1 Swinging TiVo;
2 Must-Skim TV;
3 Navigation Shortcuts;
4 The 30-Second Skip;
5 An Onscreen Clock;
6 Making the Play Bar Disappear Faster;
7 What's Your TiVo Doing?;
8 Opening the Backdoor;
9 Italicizing Everything;
10 Sorting the Now Playing List;
11 Turning Off Overshoot Protection;
12 Controlling Overshoot Protection;
13 Pushing Fast Forward to Eleven;
14 Viewing Suggestions in the To Do List;
15 Viewing "Hidden" Recordings;
16 Activating the Node Navigator;
17 Enabling Advanced WishLists;
18 Turning Off the TiVo Software;
19 Applaud the TiVo Team;
Chapter 2: Adding More Hours;
2.1 Hacks #20-28;
2.2 Basic Assumptions;
2.3 Gathering Some Information;
2.4 Getting Everything Together;
20 Opening the Box;
21 Removing TiVo's Hard Drive or Drives;
22 Installing TiVo's Hard Drive in Your PC;
23 Using MFS Tools for Backup and Restore;
24 Backing Up Your TiVo Software;
25 Restoring from Backup;
26 Adding a Second Drive the Quick-n-Dirty Way;
27 Putting TiVo's Drives Back;
28 Testing Your TiVo's New Capacity;
Chapter 3: The TiVo Shell;
3.1 Hacks #29-46;
29 Mounting and Working with TiVo's Drive Partitions;
30 Enabling Bash over the Serial Port;
31 Copying Unix Binaries to TiVo;
32 Clean Up and Shut Down;
33 Connecting to TiVo Serially;
34 Installing Unix Binaries on TiVo;
35 Poking Around;
36 Moving Stuff to and from Your TiVo;
37 Installing the less Pager on Your TiVo;
38 Text Editing with vi on Your TiVo;
39 Text Editing with Emacs on Your TiVo;
40 Displaying Images on Your TV;
41 Putting Text on the Screen;
42 Capturing Closed Captioning;
43 Caller ID on Your TV;
44 Running the Same Thing Over and Over...;
45 Save Multiple Shows at a Time to Your VCR;
46 Playing MP3s on your TiVo;
Chapter 4: Bring the Internet to TiVo;
4.1 Hacks #47-62;
47 Running PPP over TiVo's Serial Port;
48 Accept a PPP Connection from TiVo on Your PC;
49 Getting Your TiVo Series 1 Online;
50 Getting Your TiVo Series 2 Online;
51 Figuring Out Your TiVo's IP Address;
52 Getting Telnet to Your Ethernet-Enabled TiVo;
53 Fetching Files from the Web;
54 wget Things from the Web;
54 Setting Up an FTP server;
56 Using the Same Filesystem;
57 Reading Email on Your TiVo;
58 Using the TiVo Control Station;
59 Turning Your TV into a Virtual Window;
60 Streaming Internet Audio Broadcasts to TiVo;
61 Watching Your Email;
62 Listen to Your Email;
Chapter 5: TiVo and the Web;
5.1 Hacks #63-80;
63 Signing Up for the Home Media Option;
64 Remotely Scheduling a Recording Through the HMO;
65 TiVoWeb, a Web Interface to Your TiVo;
66 Scheduling a Recording with TiVoWeb;
67 What's on and beyond the To Do List?;
68 Deleting Scheduled Recordings;
69 Undeleting Recordings;
70 Renaming Recordings;
71 Editing Season Passes;
72 Emulating the TiVo Remote;
73 Emulating TiVo's Screens;
74 Using TiVo Mail;
75 Changing Channel Logos;
76 Automatically Assigning All Logos;
77 Creating Your Own Custom Logos;
78 Dropping New Extensions into TiVoWeb;
79 Starting TiVoWeb with TiVo;
80 Putting Your TiVo on the Web;
Chapter 6: Working with Videos;
6.1 Hacks #81-87;
6.2 Limitations;
81 Pulling Video from Your TiVo over FTP;
82 Pulling Video from Your TiVo via Web Interface;
83 Playing Extracted Video;
84 Streaming Video Directly from TiVo;
85 Converting Extracted Video;
86 Putting Videos Back into TiVo;
87 Moving Shows Between TiVo Units;
Chapter 7: Writing Code;
7.1 Hacks #88-100;
7.2 A Crash Course in Tcl;
88 Navigating the Media Filesystem;
89 Inspecting MFS Objects;
90 Extracting Your Now Showing List;
91 Discovering Your Favorite Actors;
92 Discovering Your Favorite Writers, Producers, and Directors;
93 Turning Favorites Lists into JavaScript;
94 How Do You Watch TV?;
95 Browsing Through TiVo's Resources;
96 Making Recordings Start Late and End Early;
97 Editing Resources with a Point and a Click;
98 Catching TiVo Events;
99 Disabling the Live TV button;
100 Cross-Compiling C Code for TiVo;
Colophon;

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2003

    An Open, Extensible Tivo for the Tinkerer

    Did you see the September 2003 Forbes magazine, with a Tivo on the cover? The folks at Tivo must have been pleased! So too might you, if you have a Tivo or are thinking of getting one. The article said that in the field of Digital Video Recorders, Tivo is the dominant one. [Though the article also said that the competition is increasing.] As far as this book is concerned, that article is reassuring. It says a Tivo is your safest choice of DVR; independent validation of the book's topic. Now considering the book itself, it is easily readable. Much more so than your typical instruction manual that comes with a software package, and usually feels like it was written as an afterthought. (As it probably was.) The copious diagrams in the book of the screen captures of software, and of the hardware, greatly help the understandability. Essentially, the book appeals to the tinkerer of either software or hardware. It gives you an appreciation of how open the product is, either explicitly by its manufacturer, or, perhaps more importantly, by the vast user community that has arisen around it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2003

    Best Tivo Hack Source!

    This is an awesome book, plain and simple. I have read many articles on hacking the Tivo, but this book is by far the best written on the topic. Just by flipping through the book, you are able to pick something out and do it with minimal effort and mental taxation. It is very nicely laid out, and very easy to understand. On thing that TiVo Hacks does a great job doing is explaining 100 cool things that you can do with your TiVo both outside the box and under the cover. Some of the things can even be done just by using your remote control! I have found many of the hacks on the Internet, but there were many more items in the book than I had found in my online searches. For instance, the book explains how to do the 30 second skip, add more space to your TiVo for longer recording, create a web interface, and activate on-screen caller ID! However, there is one thing I wish this book had incorporated. In case you didn¿t know, there are two different series of TiVo¿s in existence: Series 1 and Series 2. I have a DirecTV TiVo, which is not a normal TiVo. I know that there are some differences between it and a normal TiVo, but I am not sure what they are. I was hoping that the writers would spend some time talking about the different variations, but there was nothing in the book touching on the subject. Taking it all in, I would recommend this book to anyone with a TiVo. The numerous hacks it describes are great at stretching the TiVo¿s abilities. The remote control hacks alone are fun, cool, and very handy to have, even if you never plan on taking the cover off. This alone makes the book valuable to even the casual TiVo user.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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