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SteveC

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#294106 5-Mar-2022 16:29
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Good afternoon all!

I am looking for a Vodafone TV (VTV) replacement. (Fortunately, we have until September ...)
One option is TiVo! I've been encouraged by the great work of @Spong, particularly as sustainability is very important to our whānau (OK - only moderately important to the teenager), and TiVo fits that bill beautifully. The VTV is the opposite extreme. Tens of thousands of devices that have extremely nice hardware, only 1 to 4 years old, are going to be recycled because of manufacturer DRM. The manufacturer will not allow Vodafone NZ to flash them to make them more open.
Two broad questions:
* Does a modded TiVo do anything other than UHF Freeview (and maybe Internet or Satelite Freeview.) Specifically, is there a way to access on-demand sites, DLNA, or anything else?
* What do I look for when buying one off TradeMe. The ones we see have a model number starting with TCD66. Does this confirm they are series 3? Are there other considerations?

Thanks!

Steve

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gregmcc
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  #2879463 5-Mar-2022 16:35
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1) Just standard UHF freeview, no satellite option)

 

2) Look for ones that say modded to work with Oz Tivo or similar.

 

 

 

If you are after an already modded Tivo, drop me a message. I have a number of them ready to got with everything in the box.

 

We still use 2 tivo's here, they have been running faultless since they were chipped (I also done HDD upgrades at the same time)

 

 

 

Greg

 

 


 
 
 

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SteveC

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  #2879469 5-Mar-2022 16:59
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@gregmcc:

1) Just standard UHF freeview, no satellite option)


2) Look for ones that say modded to work with Oz Tivo or similar.


 


If you are after an already modded Tivo, drop me a message. I have a number of them ready to got with everything in the box.


...

Cheers Greg. I guess question two was about how I can tell if a second-hand TiVo is suitable for modding?

We are still contemplating what we want. Seems there is nothing that does everything what we want easily (new Sky box might, at a cost). Comments on the VTV topics (and others) along with experience from the old T-Box confirm that dealing with streaming is not easy, largely complicated by DRM as far as I can tell.
TiVo looks nice, but we would want something else to play On Demand and NetFlix.


gregmcc
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  #2879472 5-Mar-2022 17:14
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SteveC:
Cheers Greg. I guess question two was about how I can tell if a second-hand TiVo is suitable for modding?

 

We are still contemplating what we want. Seems there is nothing that does everything what we want easily (new Sky box might, at a cost). Comments on the VTV topics (and others) along with experience from the old T-Box confirm that dealing with streaming is not easy, largely complicated by DRM as far as I can tell.
TiVo looks nice, but we would want something else to play On Demand and NetFlix.

 

 

 

If it's currently working with Freeview then it's already modded, otherwise any that are not modded are suitable for modding as there was (AFAIK) only ever one model of Tivo sold in NZ

 

There are some Got you's, I've seen Tivos arrive for modding with damaged HDMI sockets, and attempts from people to do their own mod and damage the PCB tracks beyond repair.

 

Tivo remotes are becoming hard to get, although if it's remote you are after it's often cheaper to buy one that includes a Tivo.

 

 

 

As far as a device that will do on demand or netflix, the Tivo's suitable for NZ do not have this capability, you will need a android tv/stick or fire stick....

 

 

 

 




SteveC

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  #2879478 5-Mar-2022 17:50
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@gregmcc:


....

As far as a device that will do on demand or netflix, the Tivo's suitable for NZ do not have this capability, you will need a android tv/stick or fire stick....



Yes - all roads seem to point to Android with on-demand apps and Kodi, then a NextPVR backend to do recording / serving recorded content to Kodi.

Sounds so simple when put like that ...

One TiVo question I forgot to ask - is there any complication when it comes to upgrading the hard disk? Just any old SATA drive and the firmware will sort out the correct capacity?

Spong
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  #2879481 5-Mar-2022 17:54
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Just to clarify a few things, the Series 3 Tivo that's in NZ/Aust market is the TCD663320 (320GB model) and a very small number of early models for beta testers had 160GB drives (TCD-663160). People often list Tivos on Trademe with no knowledge of their status, so I try to provide some guidance as a "question" added to most listings. Some people accept this with good grace, some ignore, and one person got nasty. 

 

An unmodified Tivo that's gone through the original guided setup, prior to the service shutdown in Nov 2017,  will operate like a "dumb VCR" with inaccurate clock, so is not very useful. Once modified with a new PROM chip and patched software, it operates much as it did back when the original service was active, providing a proper guide, series passes, and searches etc. The OzTivo community supported guide has been as reliable as the original service, if not better, , and there are no plans for this to change. A modified Tivo can successfully be factory reset and survive a guided setup if required. Hard disk upgrades to 1TB or 2TB are recommended as all of the original disks were made in 2009, but upgrades can be done later if required, keeping original recordings if required. 

 

If you're lucky, some Tivos had a "Media Access Key" installed at additional cost, and these can be used with 3rd party software like kmttg or pyTivo to transfer and decrypt recordings for saving elsewhere. 





Tivo upgrades to operate with the new OzTivo EPG, support and service. Over 400 performed here so far. See: www.hillcrest.net.nz


gregmcc
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  #2879483 5-Mar-2022 18:00
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SteveC:
@gregmcc:

 


....

 

As far as a device that will do on demand or netflix, the Tivo's suitable for NZ do not have this capability, you will need a android tv/stick or fire stick....



Yes - all roads seem to point to Android with on-demand apps and Kodi, then a NextPVR backend to do recording / serving recorded content to Kodi.

Sounds so simple when put like that ...

One TiVo question I forgot to ask - is there any complication when it comes to upgrading the hard disk? Just any old SATA drive and the firmware will sort out the correct capacity?

 

 

 

Any Sata will do.... but I've always use ones rated for security DVR's, Don't get anything bigger than 2TB as that is the limit for Tivo's

 

it isn't a standard file system, there is specific software to transfer the OS on to the hard drive, you will need a computer with a spare SATA port, I picked up a X-lease PC and installed everything on it and had 2 SATA cable hanging out the back so it made it easy to setup a new Tivo HDD.

 

The Oz-Tivo software upgrade (as part of the hardware mod) is linux based and completely erases any previous recordings and scheduled recordings, again this requires a boot device - I used a USB stick, makes it straight forward doing the software upgrade, you will need an image of the software to do this.

 

Over all its not too hard to do the upgrade, the hardware mod is not for the home hobbist, you will need a hot air station, a steady hand and good soldering skills, I found a microscope was very good in getting the soldering done correctly.

 

 


Spong
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  #2879484 5-Mar-2022 18:01
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Spong:

 

Just to clarify a few things, the Series 3 Tivo that's in NZ/Aust market is the TCD663320 (320GB model) and a very small number of early models for beta testers had 160GB drives (TCD-663160). People often list Tivos on Trademe with no knowledge of their status, so I try to provide some guidance as a "question" added to most listings. Some people accept this with good grace, some ignore, and one person got nasty. 

 

An unmodified Tivo that's gone through the original guided setup, prior to the service shutdown in Nov 2017,  will operate like a "dumb VCR" with inaccurate clock, so is not very useful. Once modified with a new PROM chip and patched software, it operates much as it did back when the original service was active, providing a proper guide, series passes, and searches etc. The OzTivo community supported guide has been as reliable as the original service, if not better, , and there are no plans for this to change. A modified Tivo can successfully be factory reset and survive a guided setup if required. Hard disk upgrades to 1TB or 2TB are recommended as all of the original disks were made in 2009, but upgrades can be done later if required, keeping original recordings if required. 

 

If you're lucky, some Tivos had a "Media Access Key" installed at additional cost, and these can be used with 3rd party software like kmttg or pyTivo to transfer and decrypt recordings for saving elsewhere. 

 

 

Although you could use "any old SATA HDD" up to 2TB, it's not ideal. Regular desktop drives tend to run hotter and noisier and don't last as long as proper AV drives rated for 24/7 operation. In addition, some WD "green" drives need to have an idle setting changed to survive a warm reboot.  I recommend the WD Purple surveillance drives as the best option. You can't just replace a drive and expect it to work. You need to clone the original drive with one of a couple of utilities, expand to fit the drive, or better still start with a new patched Tivo clean image. 





Tivo upgrades to operate with the new OzTivo EPG, support and service. Over 400 performed here so far. See: www.hillcrest.net.nz




SteveC

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  #2879891 6-Mar-2022 17:43
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Well, that was quick!
We read your advice @gregmcc and @spong - thanks for that. Our current 'trial' solution through some curve balls last night so we decided we might as well bid on a TiVo in Petone, closing this evening. $100 for a modded one in good condition. No one else bid, so we expect to be TiVo owners in a few days!
Not sure if it will be part of our long-term replacement for Vodafone TV, but we expect the value will only go up as September draws near.
Thanks again. I love Geekzone.
Steve

Spong
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  #2879981 6-Mar-2022 21:21
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Well done Steve. Unless the Tivo you've bought was getting TV signals from the same transmitter as you will now, you'll need to retune the TV channels and connect to the internet for EPG downloads, either via ethernet or using the Tivo's wifi adapter connecting to your wifi. 

 

Here is a quick guide to retune your TV channels, or even to update the current ones if they've been any changes. 

 

Press the TiVo button on your remote

 

Choose Messages and Settings

 

Choose Settings

 

Choose Channels

 

Choose Channel Scan

 

Choose “Delete previously scanned channels”

 

Press “Thumbs Down” 3x times followed by the “Enter/Last” key

 

Let your Tivo scan for channels, then when completed, choose to add them all.

 

This will clear out the old dead channels and will keep the current channels.

 

You can then delete any you don’t want listed from the “Channel List” menu item if you never want them to be shown.





Tivo upgrades to operate with the new OzTivo EPG, support and service. Over 400 performed here so far. See: www.hillcrest.net.nz


Wellingtondave
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  #2879984 6-Mar-2022 21:39
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How sad is it (technology wise) in 2022 that we're now looking at Tivos as a solution to a problem that shouldn't exist. 


SteveC

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  #2879985 6-Mar-2022 21:49
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@Wellingtondave: How sad is it (technology wise) in 2022 that we're now looking at Tivos as a solution to a problem that shouldn't exist.

Since you mentioned it ... one of the alternatives I'm looking at is Android OS running on this hardware that I have sitting around. https://www.hardkernel.com/shop/odroid-c2/
Got Android installed. Faffted about with Google Apps - made difficult for licensing reasons - got it going. Ran Kodi 10 no problems. Connected nicely to our NextPVR, so I went to install On Demand Apps. No go - not allowed to run TVNZ or TV3 apps on a rooted device. Licensing again. Cross off that option. So much waste of functional technology.

fe31nz
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  #2879994 6-Mar-2022 23:08
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SteveC:
Since you mentioned it ... one of the alternatives I'm looking at is Android OS running on this hardware that I have sitting around. https://www.hardkernel.com/shop/odroid-c2/
Got Android installed. Faffted about with Google Apps - made difficult for licensing reasons - got it going. Ran Kodi 10 no problems. Connected nicely to our NextPVR, so I went to install On Demand Apps. No go - not allowed to run TVNZ or TV3 apps on a rooted device. Licensing again. Cross off that option. So much waste of functional technology.

 

I know nothing about Odroids, but for rooting my phone I installed Magisk.   Everything I have tried so far that checks for rooting still works with Magisk installed.


old3eyes
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  #2880073 7-Mar-2022 07:58
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One thing I have noticed over the years TiVo digital tuners are not good and require a near perfect signal. My one here regularly has picture breakup even though the other TVs in the house have perfect pictures. I used to get this when I lived in Auckland as well.




Regards,

Old3eyes


jonathan18
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  #2880075 7-Mar-2022 08:02
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Hey there - I have a couple of un-modded TiVos, which should have the media access key installed (I recall purchasing and using this) gathering dust - @spong or others: is there any interest still in these for modding, and if so whereabouts in the country? I'd rather some use was found for them than being binned.


Spong
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  #2880115 7-Mar-2022 10:15
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jonathan18:

 

Hey there - I have a couple of un-modded TiVos, which should have the media access key installed (I recall purchasing and using this) gathering dust - @spong or others: is there any interest still in these for modding, and if so whereabouts in the country? I'd rather some use was found for them than being binned.

 

 

The  Media Access key is pretty much a "niche bonus" these days. It was more useful back when the original service refreshed the keys, and allowed 2 or more Tivos to copy recordings between themselves etc, or use with the pretty awful "Tivo Desktop" software. These days, it can be used and setup easily with the free Java based program "kmttg" for decrypting and copying recordings to a PC (or a NAS drive as I do and making them available via Plex) or for moving media files to and from using pyTivo which is a little more difficult. 

 

I try to keep a few Tivos in stock to help out people with "uneconomic to repair" units, for example those with the flashing green LED problem (usually RAM). I'm on the North Shore of Auckland.  





Tivo upgrades to operate with the new OzTivo EPG, support and service. Over 400 performed here so far. See: www.hillcrest.net.nz


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