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MRV and TivoToComeBack Works if no cablecards

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Justin Thyme, Mar 30, 2007.

  1. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    Honestly not sure if pulling the drive is considered the same as fiddling with a prom. I'd have to go find that quote again and see how specific they are.

    Here's the BIG quesiton- can you insert a MAK by pulling an S3 drive in "some other system" and will it stick. Caus'e the MAK is what seems to be holding up MRV (IMHO- no expert at all). Does the S3 even have the database element for the MAK or do you have to fiddle with the S3 tivoapp to get it to see the MAK- if you have to fiddle with tivoapp then the prom thing comes into play and tivo's off the hook.

    If a mak will stay after set someplace else- can you please PM me - I'm all over that-LOL (edit- need to say without a prom mod- last time I played with a prom i was just doing the hack on the flashable s1 directivo's and trashed it- but it got donated to the cause at the database so it all worked out.- but I'm plenty gun shy on my 800 dollar toy...)

    edit: thinking about it through- doesn't the a,a,a or i,i,i come down from the moterh ship at each connection? If so you can change a,a,a all you want but the next day when it calls home you will be back to i,i,i. At best you can block it's calls come but after 2 weeks you run out of auth and tghe box boat anchors anyway. So not sure it's a realistic hack. You can't do it in the s3 without the prom mod- so you'd be pulling your drive daily (or at best every 13 days) to reanable the hack. Or am I wrong (totally possible you guys seem to know much more than I)
     
  2. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    not trying to have a pissing match but all i see in the article from tivo's mouth is:

    nothing about removing anything.

    I think the cablelabs guy is doing some laywer speak "we havne't seen it" can me that they haven't submitted an application. or They haven't shown us a trial version. And beyond that he's talking about TTG specifically not MRV at that point.

    thanks for the link though- I like when I see tivo or cablelabs on the record on the issues to see some actual facts...
     
  3. Carsten

    Carsten New Member

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Have you ever read anything about PGP/Hashs/etc?

    If it was that was that easy as you say then we wouldnt have any problem getting into the TiVo and running our own software...

    I dont feel like going into the details (google it if you want). But everything that runs/settings on the Tivo has signatures. This means if you go into the executable or settings (wherever they are stored) and you change something without resigning the file then the Tivo will throw an error message and halt execution. This check is on the BIOS level. The only way to remove this check would be to get the BIOS off the EPROM and make modifications to disable this signature check. Once you have that you'll need to reprogram the EPROM and that should do it.

    I know there are other ways of doing it as well. Like buffer overflows...but again I dont want to go into all that detail. Google Xbox hacks or even S1/S2's.

    I hope I didnt say to much....
     
  4. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    Feb 28, 2001
    North...
    I think you have a major misunderstanding of the CableLabs approval process that the S3 had to go through for initial approval. No code at all was looked at; CableLabs was required to treat the S3 as a black box and only test input/output behavior, according to CableLabs procedures that dt_dc has posted the links to. (Companies have to assured that their proprietary hardware won't be dissected if they submit something for approval). TiVo had to attest that restricted content was not available from other outputs, but that wasn't something that CableLabs tested or verified. So CableLabs had no opportunity to look at TTG code during the initial S3 approval.

    The TTG and eSata approval process is different. CablesLabs has to approve a process and interface. My guess is that still won't involve looking at code, just something like a finite-state machine that TiVo will have to supply, and then for S3 approval will have to show the S3 satisfies the finite-state machine.
     
  5. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Mar 29, 2005
    Regarding Tivo.Net- This works fine on the S3, converts all the usual files, my DivXs and the Hidef camcorder files just fine.

    Naturally, Tivo.Net was not written to take into consideration that it should not scale down Hidef files if the client is an S3. Hidef files are downscaled to 480 high by Tivo.net.

    Viewing Hidef camcorder files as I remarked earlier, will have to be transcoded if the S3 software does not change regarding playback performance with 25mbps (apparantely constant bit rate) files. I tried figuring out the formula for reliably transcoding these files, but I am half way moved in and my set up is a pain, making this experimentation painfully time consuming. (My good cpu is at the other house, and the video server where the S3 is is an ancient cpu with very slow processor/ low memory). Anyway, I am punting on further Hidef tests. I can easily get camcorder files over that look very nice and have no artifacts. CGould's charm video is an example. There is no question that good hidef files can be transfered to the S3 for playback- the S3 has no trouble playing back CableCo Hidef Mpeg files.

    The possibility that they might need to be transcoded when TTG gets turned on officially should not be a problem if software like Tivo.Net is updated to transcode Hidef files during the transfer. On the other hand, the reason that the hidef camcorder 25 mbps files stutter may be due to some minor tweaks to the data pipeline that the Tivo devs never tuned because no cable hidef shows would have such extreme datarates. But you will still have to send the camcorder files through a PC, so it hardly matters whether a transcode (that is effectively invisible with Tivo.Net) is necessary or not.

    I am going to reattach my S3 back to the net shortly, and it is possible I could loose my a,a,a settings. If there are any other experiments or things people suggest I try, let me know.
     
  6. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    fyi i you care- youcan cange the ffmpeg settingsthat tivo.net uses- so if you cared to play more you can set it to the correct reluton and the lik (I think...)
     
  7. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Mar 29, 2005
    I'm sure you are right, but I think it needs more than a static setting. For example, I don't want it to convert 544x480's to 1440x1080, and if I request a 1440x1080 hidef camcorder movie from the DT Tivo, I don't want Tivo.Net to send me 1440x1080.

    So there is a small decision tree in there requiring code.

    I think a TivoBack server, and not 1.3 TB removable disk pairs is probably going to remain the most versatile solution for packrats of video.

    Such a software package would do what Tivo.Net but also support:

    • Auto Archiving of shows from Tivo into MPEG4, thus doubling or tripling storage capacity.
    • Auto enhancement during archive (de interlace, anti aliasing, mpeg, film grain, and rf interference noise removal)
    • Download of filmography data and bitmaps into a MySql database
    • Terabytes and Terabytes of cheap drives means thousands and thousands of movies and shows. It must be much more easily navigable than a linear alphabetical list. So, Tivo Now playing list presents virtual folders of database information in folders by Actor, By Directory, by Genre etc., with subfolders showing the remaining dimensions. For example, Genre scifi would have an actors subfolder. Harrison Ford folder would have Blade Runner, Star Wars, and subfolders for other genres, allowing for non hierarchical navigation of content.
    • Power saving: Built to work so that server goes into hibernation during inactivity, and wakes up when a Tivo queries for the server directory. (Wake on Lan)

    Yikes! Anyone check out the hit count? 3100 reads of this thread in only 5 days, and we aren't even on the main forum.
     
  8. cramer

    cramer New Member

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    Aug 14, 2000
    Raleigh,...
    Yes. I guess you are unaware of the patches to disable the initrd that still pass the signature test.

    In fact, "we" don't. There's no initrdkiller for the S3 (yet.) Honestly, it's easier to change the prom; and that forever disables the initrd waste of time. (but then again, I know how to work with a soldering iron.)

    Apparently you don't know how it works. The PROM validates the signature over the kernel and initrd. Then the initrd checks the signatures of every file that's supposed to be in root filesystem -- files that aren't supposed to be there get deleted, invalid files trigger a software reinstall. The contents of MFS are not signed. One can easily go flip a bit here or there to change a resource setting from "off" to "on" without pissing off any "BIOS" check. How exactly do you think "we" have been changing the backdoor password over the last several years? (in fact, the PROM has ZERO knowledge of MFS -- I know; I've disassembled the damn things.)
     
  9. TexasAg

    TexasAg New Member

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    Apr 2, 2006
    Which requires a PROM mod. You can't just plug in the Tivo hard drive into another machine and switch the i,i,i flag to a,a,a. If you did that, the Tivo wouldn't boot. You also have to remove the original PROM and flash a replacement one.
     
  10. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Mar 29, 2005
    Because the TTG protocol functions on the S3, it probably comes as no surprize that PyTivo also works with the S3. I ran the test just to make sure this morning. No special settings were required for normal operation. I haven't had time to test anything fancy with it.


    By the way, the title of this thread suggests that this only works with non cablecard Tivos. As far as I know, if you have a,a,a on anS3 with cablecards, it may well work perfectly fine. I just can't confirm it because I have not gotten around to getting the cards put in. Theoretically, it should work just fine.
     
  11. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    3,647
    1
    Feb 28, 2001
    North...
    All of my MRV transfers when I mistakenly had a,a,a were with cablecards, so I would expect your TTG functionality would work with cablecards, though like you I have no proof. Thanks for experimenting so carefully with all of this!
     
  12. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Mar 29, 2005
    Well yay.

    PyTivo was very kindly modified by its author and I was able to transfer very high change Hidef files to the S3. For example:

    ftp://ftp.heise.de/pub/ct/spezial/crawford.mpg was ragged as it started up, and as it ended, but there were no blockey breakups during any of the fast motions in this short hidef clip.

    http://videosan.web.fc2.com/HV10docs/index.html has two files:
    HV10-05, which is a very low datarate 1440x1080 file
    HV10-12, a train passing by at high speed, also 1440x1080.

    Amazingly, PyTivo's mpeg decoder (FFMPEG) actually handled the train quite well. The low datarate flower was a great hidef picture.

    The downsides I found- I had to lower the datarate setting down to "6Mi" which I assume to be average VBR rate. If not, I can't understand how the picture would be even vaguely as crisp as it was. Even if this is an average rate, from what little I know, I would think this is way too low for a genuine Hidef picture.

    What FFMPEG appeared to do on fast motion was two things- on the passing train, the detail of the foreground portion of the train was grainey, while the stationary objects were razor sharp. Secondly, during some motion on a camcorder shot of my daughter's classroom, the frame rate appeared to go down slightly- like maybe to 20fps- as if they just gave up and started repeating frames.

    I also saw blockiness at the very beginning of the Crawford test file, and at the very end- I chalked that one up to some transition problem- either the encoder, or the S3, but from my armchair, I'd wager much easier to deal with.

    The largest problem occured while I was playing back the train file before it had completely transfered. I got pretty rough with it, FF'ing up to the point it was just delivering, then triple REW back. Anyway, something happenned to the S3's ability to play back audio from any show from the Now playing list. Most of the time everything was just silent, but on test files, audio would play very intermittently. Video was unaffected. I tried a few things to get it back to normal, but gave up after not too long and restarted. Everything was back to normal after that, and I could not repro by simply FF'ing and REW'ing in an already transfered show. Something about an in progress transfer had some bugs. The workaround for such a bug is pretty easy- just start the transfer 10 minutes early and you'll never get up to the "just loaded" bits where the problem seems to occur.

    In files I first encoded using a ulead media studio, I could get 20mbps (max VBR) rates on the daughter camcorder as well as CGould's charm video. The Train one I never did very well at- I couldn't even get 15mbps to work, but it wasn't like I knew what I was doing either.

    Anyway, for all I know the S3 will be tuned for such transfers and FFMPEG will be able to transfer at much greater rates.

    As of this point in time, what I have seen in these tests is that workable functionality for even Hidef files could be expected for TivoToGoBack transfers. Certainly, what is workable for gearheads like us is nowhere close to where products have to be for civilians. I have no way of telling how close they are. I have related the data I have collected. It's probably not enough to draw conclusions from, but what the heck- this is the blogosphere.

    If Photos would be helpful on the graininess/ what this blockiness is that I am talking about, I can shoot a few more illustrations. They may well have more to do with the encoder than they do the S3, so I hesitate to document these artifacts. I could also take some shots of the Crawford sequence so that comparison could be made with the file played on a computer.
     
  13. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Mar 29, 2005
    There seems to be two schools of thought on how folks can take matters into their own hands and get TivoToComeBack working now on their S3's.

    One seems to be that you can socket your S3 and change the PROM code, then change the TivoToGo bits. The second method seems to be that the PROM step is unnecessary.

    Whichever party is correct, I think there are a lot of folks that would be interested in learning how to do the part about changing the TivoToGo bits to a,a,a. The rest of it- hard drive manipulation and how to socket an S3 need not be covered that stuff is well coverred in DDB.
     

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