[mythtv-users] MythTV/TiVo integration

Rod Smith mythtv at rodsbooks.com
Mon Nov 19 20:18:02 UTC 2007

On Monday 19 November 2007 04:27:04 Bill Williamson wrote:
> On 11/19/07, Neil Dunbar <neil.dunbar at pobox.com> wrote:
> > Next question on TiVo mucking around:
> >
> > Got a TiVo series 1, upgraded with network connection, and God knows how
> > many TiVo hacks. Now, I can use mplayer et al to stream stuff to a random
> > computer from the TiVo.
> >
> > Question: has anyone used a TiVo as a IP recorder from MythTV? I have a
> > hunch it can be done - it might need a little Tcl hackery to provide the
> > right behaviour to the Myth box, but it seems it might be a fun
> > experiment.
> >
> > Anyone done this before I go code-digging?
> I doubt anyone has done it.  You COULD likely do some funky-ness by
> setting up a dummy recorder and doing tomfoolery with the channel
> change scripts.
> WHY though?  Using the tivo as a frontend is a "I can see why"
> prospect.  This is just plain silly seeing how cheap analog tuner
> cards with svideo-in are, seeing as that's all a tivo is for capture.

I've thought about looking into this myself, but it may be beyond my ability, 
skill-wise. My own personal reason would be that my TiVo is a DirecTiVo -- it 
directly records the digital DirecTV signals. Thus, if I could convince my 
DirecTiVo to act like an HDHomeRun unit, I could use my MythTV box to manage 
my DirecTV recordings without having any quality degradation from going 
through an unnecessary digital->analog->digital conversion, and I wouldn't 
need to deal with having two user interfaces to get at my recordings, as I 
must do now. Since I've got a DirecTiVo, though, this might be legally 
dicey -- it might be a violation of my DirecTV terms of service, and maybe 
even of the DMCA. My doubts about this, and the fact that it would take time 
and perhaps expertise that I lack, have prevented me from investigating the 
matter further.

More generally, for people with standalone (SA) TiVos, it could still be worth 
doing. After all, if you've already got an SA TiVo, that's one less extra 
video encoding card to buy. If your MythTV system's already maxed out its PCI 
slots, the alternatives would be building a new backend, replacing your 
motherboard with one with more slots, and using an external encoding device 
(such as a Plextor ConvertX or Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-USB2). These are certainly 
options, but all have problems. As a practical matter, taking one of these 
alternative approaches would be simpler; however, for the project-minded, 
hacking a TiVo to work as a network-enabled tuner does have a certain appeal.

Rod Smith

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