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How do these hacks stand up? Comment on a hack from the book by choosing the associated "Discuss" link below. You can also view the code from any of the hacks by clicking on the "Listing" or "Code" links. A number of hacks have been selected to be featured online in their entirety; you may view those hacks by clicking on the hack titles that are linked.

Jump to: TiVo Remote Control Hacks  | Adding More Hours  | The TiVo Shell  | Bring the Internet to TiVo  | TiVo and the Web  | Working with Videos  | Writing Code

TiVo Remote Control Hacks

HACK
#1

Swinging TiVo
Take a walk down memory lane with the first-time-power-up "Tarzan" video sequence
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#2

Must-Skim TV
Slide through boring baseball games, pausing only for crowd-pleasing catches and game-tying errors. Cram that unnecessarily lengthy reality show into a scant 15 minutes of onscreen viewing
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#3

Navigation Shortcuts
Remote control shortcuts mean cruising through the TiVo menu system at high velocity
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#4

The 30-Second Skip
Forget about fast forwarding through commercials; blaze through in just three to five clicks of your remote
[Discuss (92) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#5

An Onscreen Clock
Turn your TiVo into a glorified and expensive clock
[Discuss (1) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#6

Making the Play Bar Disappear Faster
Reduce the amount of time the play bar lingers on the screen
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#7

What's Your TiVo Doing?
Out of the corner of your eye, you see TiVo's red light flicker on. Ever wonder just what your TiVo is up to?
[Discuss (1) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#8

Opening the Backdoor
Open TiVo to backdoor hacks to reveal some configuration settings and features that the "untouched" TiVo does not normally allow access to
[Discuss (2) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#9

Italicizing Everything
If slanted type is your thing, this hack will italicize your TiVo's menus
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#10

Sorting the Now Playing List
If you want the sorting abilities of OS 4.0 while still using OS 3.x, then this hack is for you
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#11

Turning Off Overshoot Protection
Turn off the overshoot protection to put fast forwarding completely under your own control
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#12

Controlling Overshoot Protection
Rather than turning off overshoot protection, fine-tune it to suit your fancy
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#13

Pushing Fast Forward to Eleven
If TiVo's default fast forward is just not fast enough for you, this hack will satisfy your need for speed
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#14

Viewing Suggestions in the To Do List
TiVo has a wandering eye and is always on the lookout for what you may not have explicitly ask it to record, but which it thinks you might enjoy anyway. This hack shows you what TiVo has in mind
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#15

Viewing "Hidden" Recordings
Display previews, content, and advertising in the list
[Discuss (1) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#16

Activating the Node Navigator
Surf through all TiVo's menus—even a few you can't usually see—via this backdoor menu system
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#17

Enabling Advanced WishLists
Advanced WishLists allow you to specify combinations of actors, titles, and so forth for TiVo to find and record
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#18

Turning Off the TiVo Software
Turn off the software that makes your TiVo a TiVo, turning it into a $300 lemon. More precisely, you'll have a nicely packaged, almost-special-purpose Linux box
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#19

Applaud the TiVo Team
Give credit where credit is due
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

Adding More Hours

HACK
#20

Opening the Box
Pop the top off your TiVo unit
[Discuss (6) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#21

Removing TiVo's Hard Drive or Drives
To access the internals of your TiVo, you're going to have to pull out its hard drive
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#22

Installing TiVo's Hard Drive in Your PC
With the drive out of the box, mount it in your PC, ready for booting into TiVo with keyboard and monitor attached
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#23

Using MFS Tools for Backup and Restore
If you need to back up or restore your TiVo software, you are going to need to use MFS Tools
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#24

Backing Up Your TiVo Software
Before you get too involved in hacking your TiVo, back it up!
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#25

Restoring from Backup
Restore your TiVo's software from backup, whether for disaster recovery or for expanding capacity
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#26

Adding a Second Drive the Quick-n-Dirty Way
Live on the edge and add another drive without performing a full backup of your software, or without even removing the original TiVo drive from its case
[Discuss (5) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#27

Putting TiVo's Drives Back
You took those hard drives out. Now they have to go back in just right to make everything work again
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#28

Testing Your TiVo's New Capacity
Wondering if your new hard drives work? Let's find out
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

The TiVo Shell

HACK
#29

Mounting and Working with TiVo's Drive Partitions
Before you can edit any of TiVo's configuration files, turn on the Bash shell, copy across files, and so forth, you need to understand a little about TiVo's drive partitions
[Discuss (1) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#30

Enabling Bash over the Serial Port
The simplest way to get a prompt on your TiVo is to activate the serial port and connect your TiVo to your PC
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#31

Copying Unix Binaries to TiVo
The shell is nothing without its utilities. What's a work environment worth if you can't do anything while you're there?
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#32

Clean Up and Shut Down
After mounting TiVo's drives in your PC and fiddling with configuration files, you need to carefully clean up and shut down the PC to preserve your changes
[Discuss (1) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#33

Connecting to TiVo Serially
With your TiVo offering a Bash shell prompt over its serial port, let's tap your computer into that flow of bits
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#34

Installing Unix Binaries on TiVo
Continuing where we left off a little earlier , let's install those useful Unix utilities we copied over to TiVo's hard drive
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#35

Poking Around
With a Bash prompt and some basic Unix utilities, let's get a lay of the land
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#36

Moving Stuff to and from Your TiVo
Now that you have a prompt, how do you get more programs onto the TiVo for you to use?
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#37

Installing the less Pager on Your TiVo
Do more with , the best way to page through and find things within a text file
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#38

Text Editing with vi on Your TiVo
Nothing says text editing like vi, the default Unix editor
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#39

Text Editing with Emacs on Your TiVo
Nothing says text editing like Emacs, the other default Unix editor
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#40

Displaying Images on Your TV
Hijack your television screen for displaying your own still images
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#41

Putting Text on the Screen
Ever wanted to add your own Closed Captioning to a television show? Here is your chance
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#42

Capturing Closed Captioning
TiVo has access to Closed Captioning for the programs it records. Pipe Closed Captioning to your screen even if your TV doesn't have CC support, or capture a transcript of the show you're watching for your reference
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#43

Caller ID on Your TV
Only a chosen few are allowed to interrupt your favorite television show, TiVo or no. Find out who's calling without averting your eyes from the tube
[Discuss (10) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#44

Running the Same Thing Over and Over...
Use cron, the Unix scheduling service, to run a hack at particular times of the day, week, month, or year
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#45

Save Multiple Shows at a Time to Your VCR
Dumping multiple shows in succession to your VCR is impossible with the default TiVo interface, but this is nothing a little hacking can't get around
[Discuss (1) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#46

Playing MP3s on your TiVo
The Series 2 and Home Media Option allow you to play MP3s on your TiVo. Why not play them on the Series 1 as well?
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

Bring the Internet to TiVo

HACK
#47

Running PPP over TiVo's Serial Port
Make a PPP connection over that serial cable plugged into your TiVo , and make your daily call over the Internet
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#48

Accept a PPP Connection from TiVo on Your PC
Just getting the TiVo to run PPP over its serial port is not quite enough—you need your PC to accept the call and route it to the Internet
[Discuss (1) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#49

Getting Your TiVo Series 1 Online
The Series 1 TiVo was not designed with networking in mind. But being the most hack-worthy of TiVo units means it didn't take long for some crafty hackers to get it online
[Discuss (2) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#50

Getting Your TiVo Series 2 Online
The TiVo Series 2 comes with online access baked in. Plug in a USB-to-Ethernet or USB-to-WiFi adapter, and your TiVo's a first-class citizen on your home network
[Discuss (5) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#51

Figuring Out Your TiVo's IP Address
Before you can even get to your now-network-enabled TiVo—let alone do anything interesting to it—you need to figure out just where it is on your home network
[Discuss (1) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#52

Getting Telnet to Your Ethernet-Enabled TiVo
Now that our Series 1 TiVo is using Ethernet and is online, let's get a telnet prompt on it
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#53

Fetching Files from the Web
Now that TiVo has high-speed Internet access, let's download some files from the Web
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#54

wget Things from the Web
Bring the power of GNU , the ubiquitous file fetcher, to your TiVo
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#55

Setting Up an FTP server
Transfer files to and from your TiVo with the ease of FTP
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#56

Using the Same Filesystem
Rather than all this passing about of files back and forth between TiVo and your PC, mount an NFS share on your TiVo and access that networked partition as if it were local to your TiVo
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#57

Reading Email on Your TiVo
What's the point of a network connection if you can't read your email?
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#58

Using the TiVo Control Station
Control the various hacks you have installed on your TiVo and populate your TV screen with sports scores, weather forecasts, stock quotes, Closed Captioning, and more
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#59

Turning Your TV into a Virtual Window
It's raining in Boston, and you're stuck inside for the day. Take a virtual trip to a far-off tropical locale, without ever leaving your recliner
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#60

Streaming Internet Audio Broadcasts to TiVo
Stream SHOUTcast Internet audio alongside your own MP3s to your HMO-enabled TiVo
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#61

Watching Your Email
Is a picture indeed worth a thousand words? That depends on how many words are in the picture. Render your email as PNG images, suitable for viewing via the TiVo HMO's photo sharing
The Code
[Discuss (1) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#62

Listen to Your Email
Listen to your email as an MP3 audio stream—just because you can
The Code
[Discuss (1) | Link to this hack]

TiVo and the Web

HACK
#63

Signing Up for the Home Media Option
Expand your Series 2's capabilities with TiVo, Inc.'s software upgrade
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#64

Remotely Scheduling a Recording Through the HMO
With the TiVo Home Media Option, remotely scheduling a recording is as easy as going to and making your selection
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#65

TiVoWeb, a Web Interface to Your TiVo
TiVoWeb is the TiVo interface embodied in a web browser, allowing you full remote control of your TiVo from anywhere in the world
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#66

Scheduling a Recording with TiVoWeb
Remotely scheduling a recording is just a few web pages away, thanks to the wonders of the TiVoWeb web interface
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#67

What's on and beyond the To Do List?
Take a peek at what TiVo has in mind to record, both explicitly requested items and TiVo Suggestions
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#68

Deleting Scheduled Recordings
TiVoWeb enables you to remove scheduled recordings from both the To Do List and TiVo's internal Scheduled Suggestions
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#69

Undeleting Recordings
So you've become a little trigger-happy and accidentally deleted something your spouse or roommate has asked you to keep. Reclaim recently deleted recordings before TiVo does away with them permanently
[Discuss (3) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#70

Renaming Recordings
Amuse yourself and entertain your friends by editing show titles, episode names, and program descriptions
[Discuss (1) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#71

Editing Season Passes
What TiVoWeb interface would be complete without the ability to manipulate your Season Passes?
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#72

Emulating the TiVo Remote
TiVoWeb sports a working image map of a TiVo remote control that you can actually use to control your TiVo
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#73

Emulating TiVo's Screens
TiVoWeb's web browser emulation of the current TiVo screen allows you to control TiVo through the traditional interface without being anywhere near your TV
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#74

Using TiVo Mail
TiVoWeb turns your web browser into a web mail client so you can read and delete your TiVo mail
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#75

Changing Channel Logos
Fiddle with the channel logos shown in the and program info bars
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#76

Automatically Assigning All Logos
If TiVo already has all these logos on board, why doesn't it just use them?
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#77

Creating Your Own Custom Logos
If you have a creative flair and want your TiVo to have a little more of its own personality, you might try creating your own custom channel logos
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#78

Dropping New Extensions into TiVoWeb
TiVoWeb is more than just a web server; it's an application server. Extending its functionality is as simple as dropping a module into the right directory
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#79

Starting TiVoWeb with TiVo
You certainly don't want to have to start TiVoWeb from the command line every time you reboot your TiVo. Instead, have it start up when TiVo boots
[Discuss (1) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#80

Putting Your TiVo on the Web
All your TiVoWeb usage thus far has probably been done from the comfort of your own home network. But the true magic lies in reaching your TiVo from anywhere in the world
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

Working with Videos

HACK
#81

Pulling Video from Your TiVo over FTP
Extract recorded television shows from TiVo's Media File System using and your garden-variety FTP application
[Discuss (3) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#82

Pulling Video from Your TiVo via Web Interface
Clean and simple downloading of recorded shows through your web browser is just a module away
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#83

Playing Extracted Video
Now that you do have the video on your computer, what do you do with it?
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#84

Streaming Video Directly from TiVo
Why download massive videos and take up local hard drive space when you can stream them right from your TiVo over your home network?
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#85

Converting Extracted Video
Coerce those TiVo files into a more standard video format
[Discuss (1) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#86

Putting Videos Back into TiVo
You have all these great videos you've been archiving from your TiVo, but you miss watching them on your TV; let's put them back into your TiVo
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#87

Moving Shows Between TiVo Units
Of course you could just extract a television show from one TiVo and insert it into another, but there's an easier way to transfer from one unit to another
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

Writing Code

HACK
#88

Navigating the Media Filesystem
The Media Filesystem (MFS) is the database and filesystem that the TiVo uses to hold all of its useful information
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#89

Inspecting MFS Objects
Embedded in the are the .This is where the real data is actually hiding out
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#90

Extracting Your Now Showing List
Ask TiVo's MFS database for your Now Showing List, including title, description, and date and time the show aired
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#91

Discovering Your Favorite Actors
Ever think about who your favorite stars of the small screen are? I don't mean those you can think of off the top of your head. I mean based on actual television viewing habits
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#92

Discovering Your Favorite Writers, Producers, and Directors
Do you tend to favor the work of a particular director? Do the words of a particular writer keep you riveted to the screen? Chances are that you haven't given your favorite creatives much thought. Thankfully, TiVo keeps track of them for you
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#93

Turning Favorites Lists into JavaScript
With a little Tcl, you can query TiVo for your favorite actors, preferred creatives, Now Showing List, and so forth. Syndicate those lists to your web site or weblog with a little JavaScript and the magic of TiVoWeb
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#94

How Do You Watch TV?
Compute your hunt-and-peck percentage to truly find out what kind of a viewer you are
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#95

Browsing Through TiVo's Resources
Groups of resources are loaded by TiVo's main programs at runtime. Hacking these resources allows customization of the TiVo software without recompiling or any such complex shenanigans
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#96

Making Recordings Start Late and End Early
Only interested in your local news for tomorrow's weather report, but you find yourself having to fast forward through the whole thing every night? By altering TiVo's resources, you can allow scheduled recordings of only the portion of a show you're interested in
The Code
[Discuss (2) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#97

Editing Resources with a Point and a Click
One of the easier ways to edit a resource is just to make use of the TiVoWeb resource editor module
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#98

Catching TiVo Events
Instead of being one monolithic system, the TiVo is broken down into smaller programs that communicate with one another by passing messages around. If you intercept that message stream, you can get a clue into what the TiVo is doing
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#99

Disabling the Live TV button
What good is limiting your children's viewing to the G-rated bounty TiVo's brought them if they can just meander into an R-rated neighborhood with a click of the button?
The Code
[Discuss (2) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#100

Cross-Compiling C Code for TiVo
Sometimes, you just need to use C. For those times, you'll need a compiler that is capable of generating binaries to run on your Series 1 or Series 2 TiVo
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]


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