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2627 posts

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# 214710 24-May-2017 20:37
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I decommissioned my TiVo because I never really liked the OS and replaced it with Panny units, and it has been bunged in the garage for the last few years (I should have sold it while it still had value).

 

With the service ceasing, I'm guessing it has pretty much lost all value.

 

It seems a shame to just dump it. Before I bung it in a skip, I was wondering whether there was anything useful that could be done with it post 31-October.

 

It has a pretty decent case, and also has a hard drive, twin tuners, and (as I understand it) a runs a proprietary TiVo version of Linux. Does anyone know whether, or have any views on:

 

  • it's possible to zap the TiVo OS and turn it into a DVR by installing something like a stripper down version of Linux and PVR software?
  • any of the parts inside are ludicrously proprietary, or potentially worth salvaging for re-use in a project like a HTPC (eg the hard drive, the tuners, the power supply etc)?
  • whether the remote control can be used with a HTPC?
  • whether the (pretty nice) case is practical for gutting and re-use to house a HTPC?

Or is it more trouble than it's worth, and I should just say "Meh" and chuck it.


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1080 posts

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  # 1787787 24-May-2017 20:41
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You could donate it to those trying to hack the software to work with a community server.


Mr Snotty
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  # 1787832 24-May-2017 23:14
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  # 1787845 25-May-2017 06:10
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I have the same issue now that we have Sky and a quad tuner card in my HTPC.


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  # 1788053 25-May-2017 11:53
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michaelmurfy:

 

Donate it to @bartender - he is attempting to reverse engineer them.

 

 

Glad to hear this. Is this being documented anywhere?

 

 


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Ultimate Geek


  # 1788085 25-May-2017 12:58
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I have a number of raspberry pis running for different purposes.

 

I was thinking of putting all these RPis inside the tivo casing.

 

The existing fan on the case will help with the cooling.


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  # 1788086 25-May-2017 13:00
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I wonder if rather than just reverse engineer the TIVO software, if instead you could just run some form of linux on them?





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  # 1788099 25-May-2017 13:27
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raytaylor:

 

I wonder if rather than just reverse engineer the TIVO software, if instead you could just run some form of linux on them?

 

 

 

 

Yea I wondered the same thing.

 

But with only 128MB RAM, its not going to be very useful at all.


 
 
 
 


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  # 1788370 25-May-2017 20:49
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There is a whole range of issues why you can't run your own code on a Tivo. Firstly the prom requires replacement as it checks the kernel is signed and refuses to boot if the kernel is modified.

 

To keep the TiVo going post October it looks pretty likely that you will need to get the prom re-flashed first following the Series 3 Prom Hack: http://www.dealdatabase.com/forum/showthread.php?52620-Series-3-PROM-Hack

 

Someone who is handy with de-soldering the surface mount PLCC-32 prom and then soldering a socket in it's place to install the modified image is step number 1, where things go from there is up in the air.

 

Worth reading this thread: http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=2613609

 

But I wouldn't commit to full functionality remaining post shutdown.






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  # 1788427 25-May-2017 22:00
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Door stop? Monitor stand? Following some threads online plenty have tried modifying with seemingly little success. Possibly re-use the case and build a bespoke HTPC?




Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then always be the Batman



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  # 1788452 25-May-2017 23:28
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Or tivo could open it up to allow developers to easily upload EPGs to it. I am somewhat surprised that companies can lock hardware down, which people own outright, to make it practically unusable for the purpose it was purchased for, if the company decide to stop providing support for it. 


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  # 1788736 26-May-2017 13:37
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mattwnz:

 

Or tivo could open it up to allow developers to easily upload EPGs to it. I am somewhat surprised that companies can lock hardware down, which people own outright, to make it practically unusable for the purpose it was purchased for, if the company decide to stop providing support for it. 

 

 

I couldn't see TiVo opening the boxes up for developers. They had an agreement with Hybrid for 10 years, Hybrid is bust and the deal is over so the boxes are due to be boat anchors post October.

 

If for example TiVo released a kernel image signed by The Porridge Bird private key that included an updated initird/linuxrc that didn't check the signatures of all the files on the filesystems. If that was the case then the prom replacement wouldn't be necessary as the prom hack turns off checking the kernel is signed. Then you could easily install your own scripts to prevent removing all the unsigned files and the process of running your own headend would be vastly simpler.

 

If that happened then that exact same kernel could be loaded in the US on Series 3 TiVos over there and the whole process of circumventing service there would be a whole lot easier.

 

I doubt that will be the case so whatever happens I am of the view the prom hack will be mandatory.






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  # 1789105 27-May-2017 12:35
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Collecting unwanted Tivo in ChCh. Using for research and possible later deployment.


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  # 1789114 27-May-2017 13:06
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hit it with a big hammer

 

cool




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  # 1790333 27-May-2017 17:47
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It looks like I will open it up and try and salvage the case (which will be nice for a HTPC build, esp if it has a relatively standard power supply already installed) and the hard drive (which is only 320GB but presumably a model picked for continuous use) for the HTPC also. With the rest being binned.

 

Pity, as it's a nice case with twin tuners, and a bespoke Linux version running HTPC software could have been a nice project.

 

For the $189 I paid, given the use I had, it's not exactly a big loss to swallow. It's just a pity that DRM looks like it prevents us making use of nice hardware that we own, for legit purposes.


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