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TiVo Hacks

Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

  1. Credits
    1. About the Author
    2. Contributors
      1. Acknowledgments
  2. Preface
    1. What Is a TiVo?
    2. How to Use This Book
    3. Caveat Hacker
    4. How This Book Is Organized
    5. Conventions Used in This Book
    6. How to Contact Us
  3. 1. TiVo Remote Control Hacks
    1. 1.1. Hacks #1-19
    2. 1.2. Remote Control Hacks
    3. 1.3. Backdoor Hacks
    4. 1. Swinging TiVo
    5. 2. Must-Skim TV
      1. Sliding Straight to the Instant Replay
      2. The 10-FF40-10 Solution
      3. Speed Reading
    6. 3. Navigation Shortcuts
    7. 4. The 30-Second Skip
    8. 5. An Onscreen Clock
    9. 6. Making the Play Bar Disappear Faster
    10. 7. What’s Your TiVo Doing?
    11. 8. Opening the Backdoor
      1. Opening the Backdoor on TiVo OS 3.0 or Earlier
      2. Opening the Backdoor on TiVo OS 3.1 or Later
    12. 9. Italicizing Everything
    13. 10. Sorting the Now Playing List
    14. 11. Turning Off Overshoot Protection
    15. 12. Controlling Overshoot Protection
    16. 13. Pushing Fast Forward to Eleven
    17. 14. Viewing Suggestions in the To Do List
    18. 15. Viewing “Hidden” Recordings
    19. 16. Activating the Node Navigator
    20. 17. Enabling Advanced WishLists
    21. 18. Turning Off the TiVo Software
    22. 19. Applaud the TiVo Team
  4. 2. Adding More Hours
    1. 2.1. Hacks #20-28
    2. 2.2. Basic Assumptions
    3. 2.3. Gathering Some Information
      1. What TiVo Model Do You Have?
      2. How Many Hard Drives Does Your TiVo Currently Have?
      3. Should You Add to or Replace Your Drives?
      4. Should You Back Up Your TiVo Before You Upgrade?
    4. 2.4. Getting Everything Together
      1. A Hard Drive
      2. A Spare Computer
      3. Some Software
      4. Other Accessories
    5. 20. Opening the Box
    6. 21. Removing TiVo’s Hard Drive or Drives
      1. Removing the Hard Drive from a Type 1 TiVo
      2. Removing the Hard Drive from a Type 2 TiVo
      3. Removing the Hard Drive from a Type 3 TiVo
      4. Removing the Hard Drive from a Type 4 TiVo
    7. 22. Installing TiVo’s Hard Drive in Your PC
    8. 23. Using MFS Tools for Backup and Restore
      1. Check Your BIOS Settings
      2. Boot MFS Tools 2.0 CD or Floppy
      3. Verify Drive Sizes
      4. Unlock Your Drive
    9. 24. Backing Up Your TiVo Software
    10. 25. Restoring from Backup
    11. 26. Adding a Second Drive the Quick-n-Dirty Way
      1. Using mfsadd
      2. Using BlessTiVo
    12. 27. Putting TiVo’s Drives Back
      1. Putting Hard Drives into Type 1 TiVos
      2. Putting Hard Drives into Type 2 and Type 3 TiVos
      3. Putting Hard Drives into Type 4 TiVos
    13. 28. Testing Your TiVo’s New Capacity
  5. 3. The TiVo Shell
    1. 3.1. Hacks #29-46
    2. 29. Mounting and Working with TiVo’s Drive Partitions
      1. Understanding Partitions
      2. Mounting Partitions
      3. Poking About
      4. Go To
    3. 30. Enabling Bash over the Serial Port
      1. Go To
    4. 31. Copying Unix Binaries to TiVo
      1. Go To
    5. 32. Clean Up and Shut Down
      1. Go To
    6. 33. Connecting to TiVo Serially
      1. SecureCRT for Windows
      2. ZTerm on Macintosh
      3. Minicom for Linux
      4. Boot TiVo
      5. Troubleshooting
    7. 34. Installing Unix Binaries on TiVo
      1. See Also
    8. 35. Poking Around
    9. 36. Moving Stuff to and from Your TiVo
      1. SecureCRT for Windows
      2. ZTerm on Macintosh
    10. 37. Installing the less Pager on Your TiVo
    11. 38. Text Editing with vi on Your TiVo
      1. Installing elvis
      2. Running elvis
      3. See Also
    12. 39. Text Editing with Emacs on Your TiVo
    13. 40. Displaying Images on Your TV
    14. 41. Putting Text on the Screen
    15. 42. Capturing Closed Captioning
      1. Keeping a Transcript
      2. Showing Closed Captioning on Your Television
    16. 43. Caller ID on Your TV
    17. 44. Running the Same Thing Over and Over...
      1. Hacking the Hack
    18. 45. Save Multiple Shows at a Time to Your VCR
    19. 46. Playing MP3s on your TiVo
  6. 4. Bring the Internet to TiVo
    1. 4.1. Hacks #47-62
    2. 47. Running PPP over TiVo’s Serial Port
      1. Go To
    3. 48. Accept a PPP Connection from TiVo on Your PC
      1. Configuring Windows
      2. Configuring Linux
      3. Testing Your PPP-over-Serial Connection
    4. 49. Getting Your TiVo Series 1 Online
    5. 50. Getting Your TiVo Series 2 Online
    6. 51. Figuring Out Your TiVo’s IP Address
      1. Series 1
      2. Series 2
      3. Ping!
    7. 52. Getting Telnet to Your Ethernet-Enabled TiVo
    8. 53. Fetching Files from the Web
    9. 54. wget Things from the Web
    10. 54. Setting Up an FTP server
    11. 56. Using the Same Filesystem
      1. Serving NFS from Windows
      2. Serving NFS from Linux
      3. Mounting an NFS Share on Your TiVo
    12. 57. Reading Email on Your TiVo
    13. 58. Using the TiVo Control Station
      1. Weather Forecasts
      2. Sports Scores
      3. Stock Quotes
    14. 59. Turning Your TV into a Virtual Window
      1. Automating Webcam Downloads with Windows
      2. Automating Webcam Downloads with Mac OS X
      3. Watching Time (and the Waves) Roll By
    15. 60. Streaming Internet Audio Broadcasts to TiVo
      1. The Code
      2. Running the Hack
    16. 61. Watching Your Email
      1. The Code
      2. Running the Hack
    17. 62. Listen to Your Email
      1. The Code
      2. Running the Hack
      3. See Also
  7. 5. TiVo and the Web
    1. 5.1. Hacks #63-80
    2. 63. Signing Up for the Home Media Option
    3. 64. Remotely Scheduling a Recording Through the HMO
    4. 65. TiVoWeb, a Web Interface to Your TiVo
      1. Installing TiVoWeb
      2. Starting TiVoWeb
      3. Poking Around TiVoWeb
      4. Stopping TiVoWeb
    5. 66. Scheduling a Recording with TiVoWeb
    6. 67. What’s on and beyond the To Do List?
      1. The To Do List
      2. The Scheduled Suggestions List
    7. 68. Deleting Scheduled Recordings
    8. 69. Undeleting Recordings
    9. 70. Renaming Recordings
    10. 71. Editing Season Passes
    11. 72. Emulating the TiVo Remote
    12. 73. Emulating TiVo’s Screens
    13. 74. Using TiVo Mail
    14. 75. Changing Channel Logos
      1. Browsing the Available Logos
      2. Assigning a Logo
    15. 76. Automatically Assigning All Logos
    16. 77. Creating Your Own Custom Logos
    17. 78. Dropping New Extensions into TiVoWeb
      1. Now Playing with Sort and Folders
      2. DisplayText
    18. 79. Starting TiVoWeb with TiVo
    19. 80. Putting Your TiVo on the Web
      1. Port Forwarding and Security by Obscurity
      2. TiVoWeb’s Rudimentary Password Protection
      3. Proxy Pass-Through with Apache
      4. See Also
  8. 6. Working with Videos
    1. 6.1. Hacks #81-87
    2. 6.2. Limitations
    3. 81. Pulling Video from Your TiVo over FTP
      1. Installing mfs_ftp
      2. A Tour of mfs_ftp’s Filesystem
      3. Transferring Video Files
      4. Go To
    4. 82. Pulling Video from Your TiVo via Web Interface
      1. MfsStream and Proxying TiVoWeb Through Apache
      2. Go To
    5. 83. Playing Extracted Video
    6. 84. Streaming Video Directly from TiVo
    7. 85. Converting Extracted Video
      1. MPlayer
      2. TyStudio
    8. 86. Putting Videos Back into TiVo
    9. 87. Moving Shows Between TiVo Units
  9. 7. Writing Code
    1. 7.1. Hacks #88-100
    2. 7.2. A Crash Course in Tcl
      1. Variables
      2. Expressions
      3. Flow Control
      4. Procedures
    3. 88. Navigating the Media Filesystem
      1. The mls Command
    4. 89. Inspecting MFS Objects
    5. 90. Extracting Your Now Showing List
      1. The Code
      2. Running the Hack
    6. 91. Discovering Your Favorite Actors
      1. The Code
      2. Running the Hack
    7. 92. Discovering Your Favorite Writers, Producers, and Directors
      1. The Code
      2. Running the Hack
    8. 93. Turning Favorites Lists into JavaScript
      1. The Code
      2. Running the Hack
    9. 94. How Do You Watch TV?
      1. The Code
      2. Running the Hack
    10. 95. Browsing Through TiVo’s Resources
      1. The Code
      2. Running the Hack
    11. 96. Making Recordings Start Late and End Early
      1. The Code
      2. Running the Hack
      3. Hacking the Hack
    12. 97. Editing Resources with a Point and a Click
    13. 98. Catching TiVo Events
      1. The Code
      2. Running the Hack
    14. 99. Disabling the Live TV button
      1. The Code
      2. Running the Hack
    15. 100. Cross-Compiling C Code for TiVo
      1. The Code
  10. About the Author
  11. Colophon
  12. Copyright