Saturday, November 13, 2004

TiVo hacks flourish

TiVo hacks flourish | CNET "TiVo boxes are in many ways a perfect target for gadget hobbyists, providing both the means and motive to create some high-powered enhancements.

The devices use mostly off-the-shelf computer components and run the open-source Linux operating system, making it easy for curious tinkerers to try out their skills. In addition, TiVo has intentionally left many tantalizing features out of its boxes due to concerns over potential copyright violations.

That combination has fueled a high-stakes game of underground innovation for TiVo, which must tread carefully as it seeks to create new features to stay ahead of rivals without angering Hollywood and broadcasters such as partner DirecTV.

Bottom line:
TiVo may frown on the practice officially, but it has done little to crack down on such tinkering so far."

I have had my TiVo for 2 years now - got it as a Christmas gift a couple years back. I much love my TiVo - maybe a little too much :) I had read in a magazine article way back when, "If you don't want to watch more TV, don't get a TiVo!" Back when I got mine, I figured I wasn't much of a TV watcher. There were just a few shows I was missing that I wanted to catch, and programming the VCR was just a pain in the butt. Actually it was dealing with all the tapes that drove me nuts, but anyway. I got the TiVo, and in no time I was watching more TV than I'd ever watched in my life! But it was all good - Sunday became my TV day and I loved it.

I still love it :)

I saw recently on TechTV a tidbit about hacking the TiVo, and they mentioned the O'Reilly book, "TiVo Hacks." I have the eBay Hacks book from O'Reilly and think highly of it. So I'm thinking maybe I'll pick up that book and see what I'm missing out on. Being the computer hardware geek that I am, hacking a TiVo box should be no problem, and from what I hear, most of the hacks don't even require you to open the box. Many are simple keycode combinations that you input on your remote control.

My only fear is, I have an old TiVo (ie. not a Series 2), and I think most of the hacks are for Series 2 (though I could be wrong). I'll letchas know how it goes, if I ever do try tweaking my TiVo box!

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