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TiVo Stream via VPN?

Discussion in 'TiVo Stream' started by davezatz, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. Sep 13, 2012 #21 of 135
    danjw1

    danjw1 New Member

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    Sep 13, 2005
    I don't think anyone outside of Tivo actually has a Stream until the last day or so, so I doubt it. You need to wait until people have a chance to play with them. Then we may see some real answers.
     
  2. Sep 13, 2012 #22 of 135
    morac

    morac Cat God

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    NJ
    Huh? A ton of people have the Stream, including a number of posters in this thread. It's available in Best Buy.
     
  3. Sep 13, 2012 #23 of 135
    danjw1

    danjw1 New Member

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    Sep 13, 2005
    Yeah oops. Still it takes a while for people to try different scenarios and able to report back. This is a corner case for most people, I think. So not many will be looking into it.
     
  4. Sep 14, 2012 #24 of 135
    Dmyze

    Dmyze New Member

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    Apr 15, 2002
    Seattle
    I got my Tivo Stream yesterday. The first thing I tried was I fired up my VPN server and my cell phone's hot spot. Connected my iPad to my phone, VPN'd home, and started watching a video off my Tivo. It was glorious.

    I have a Windows 2003 server and I just enabled it's built in VPN server, made sure it passed out IP's in the same range as my Tivo and it worked just fine. (I did need to port forward the VPN ports over my router/firewall for that to work.)
     
  5. Sep 15, 2012 #25 of 135
    Sling_Blade

    Sling_Blade New Member

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    Sep 15, 2012
    I got it working too. I followed these instructions to setup PPTP on a Windows 7 computer I have on my home network:

    http://www.groovypost.com/howto/microsoft/setup-vpn-pptp-host-on-home-windows-7/

    Then I just used my iPad's PPTP VPN to connect to it over LTE. Tivo app worked flawlessly. Really cool!

    Obviously with data being as expensive as it is it's not really practical to use over LTE, but it should work well whenever I'm at a wifi hotspot.

    Edit: Also, something odd was that I found I couldn't connect to the VPN over my public IP when I was connected to my home network's wifi. I was trying to test the VPN to see if the ports were forwarded correctly and couldn't connect. It's probably something odd about the way my router treats its own public IP address. So don't fall into the same trap, go ahead and just test it using LTE/3g/another wifi hotspot.
     
  6. Sep 15, 2012 #26 of 135
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Nevada
    Cool I'm going to try this. I don't really travel much but it'll be nice to have he option.

    Dan
     
  7. Sep 15, 2012 #27 of 135
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Northern...
    Thanks, I'll need try this out when the stream works on Android. Since I'm on the 150/65 FiOS tier, and I'm on unlimited data on Verizon with my LTE phone, I should be able to stream as much as a want.
     
  8. Sep 15, 2012 #28 of 135
    Bob Lee

    Bob Lee Member

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    May 14, 2000
    Oakland,...
    Thanks for the PPTP suggestion, as I think this will put me over the top in terms of picking up a Stream unit. One question, though...When I bring up the Tivo iOS app while connected via 3G/LTE it detects that I'm not on WiFi and tells me I am in "away mode", with limited capability. Are Stream functions included in "away mode"? Not that I will ever do much over 3G/LTE, but more of a curiosity.

    Update: Hmm...not sure this is going to work. When my iPad is connected to my wireless network I can VPN and "see" my Tivo Premiere just fine. But in order to get around the 3G/LTE "away mode" issue above I try connecting via WiFi using my Android phone as a portable hotspot and unfortunately it cannot locate my Tivo on the "local network". Does the mean I'll have the same issue locating the Stream over a VPN connection?
     
  9. Sep 15, 2012 #29 of 135
    Sling_Blade

    Sling_Blade New Member

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    Sep 15, 2012
    Hmm I may have declared victory too soon :(

    When I tested it I switched to the VPN/LTE while the tivo app was open and already connected to my Tivo. I think this made it not check to see if it was on the home network. However, when I retested this by killing the tivo app and then trying to use it over LTE/VPN, I got the same problem you had.

    Hopefully if you're on wifi/VPN it will work? I can probably test this tomorrow when I'm out. It's not like I really need this to work over LTE anyway. I does work if I use my home network's Wifi, with VPN, so that is a good sign.

    Also when I tested again I think the port forwarding still isn't right. I had to use DMZ to get my iPad to connect to the VPN. It must use more than 1723? Before in my testing I thought I had turned this off and it still worked.

    Edit: figured out the port forwarding. If you have a Verizon Fios router you have to go to Firewall Settings->Port Forwarding. Then use the "Create Port Forwarding Rule". In the application drop down choose "show all services". Then scroll down to PPTP after that refreshes. I was using the custom port forwarding and specifying 1723, but apparently this doesn't forward GRE, while the above method will.
     
  10. Sep 15, 2012 #30 of 135
    wombat94

    wombat94 Member

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    Nov 18, 2007
    PPTP works perfectly for me.

    I have a mac based network, and PPTP is not easily configured on OSX unless you have Lion or Mountain Lion server, so I downloaded EasyVPN... a GUI that enabled PPTP and allows simple administration of VPN accounts.

    I ran EasyVPN on my MacBook, used the DMZ feature of my router to forward enable PPTP packets to pass through to my MacBook and then set up a PPTP VPN connection on my iPhone.

    I turned off WiFi on my phone, turned on the VPN (connecting via AT&T "4G") and fired up the Tivo app... it reconnected to my Tivo with no problem and I was able to stream the Phillies game. It was jerky because of bandwidth issues, but I'm sure I could download a show if I wanted to.

    I next went to my iPad (first generation WiFi only), created the same VPN connection, turned off the VPN on my iPhone, enabled Personal Hotspot and connected to it from my iPad and then turned on VPN.

    When I launched The Tivo app on my iPad, it again reconnected to my Tivo and I was able to stream the game there as well. No problems whatsoever.

    Obviously, this is not practical from a bandwidth standpoint over cellular data as the AT&T 3G+ isn't fast enough to stream (though I suppose it could side load - I'll have to try that out). I'm on the shared data plan for our two iPhones and my wife's iPad 3 AT&T LTE... though we don't have LTE service here yet.

    The real application of this is twofold for me:

    1. When somewhere with good enough bandwidth and solid WiFi signal, I should be able to stream video even away from home.

    2. Regardless of where I am, I can have realtime remote control ability in order to allow remote scheduling of programs without having to wait for the website/tivo interaction... much nicer process overall.

    Thanks for trying out PPTP and blazing the trail.

    Ted
     
  11. Sep 15, 2012 #31 of 135
    Sling_Blade

    Sling_Blade New Member

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    Sep 15, 2012
    Also Bob Lee, I would say if you can't get the Tivo app to work, you probably won't be able to get the streaming to work. So, figure that out first. If you use your phone as a mobile hotspot and enable VPN on the iPad I would think that would work. Are you sure you turned on VPN when you connected to the hotspot from your iPad?

    Wombat, DMZ is the easiest but it is probably worth the effort to see if you can get port forwarding to work. You might have to figure out how to specify GRE (protocol 47) should be forwarded, as was the case for my router. Using DMZ is like hooking your computer up directly to the internet. Anything can connect to it. There are lots of bots/worms scanning IPs on the internet and trying to infect them. Not being behind a firewall greatly increases your chance of getting infected. Some people have actually done tests on this and found an out of the box windows install (no patches, virus scanners, etc) gets infected in something like 7 minutes.
     
  12. Sep 15, 2012 #32 of 135
    Bob Lee

    Bob Lee Member

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    May 14, 2000
    Oakland,...
    I just got back from being out and about, and while out I had my iPad with me and was on somebody's wifi network. I was able to VPN in just fine, but in terms of the Tivo app I was a nogo...couldn't find a Tivo on the "local" network. My IP address was assigned to the same subnet as all of my local devices at home, and I even tried moving my VPN server machine to the DMZ...but same negative result.
     
  13. Sep 15, 2012 #33 of 135
    wombat94

    wombat94 Member

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    Nov 18, 2007
    Sling_Blade, I totally agree. DMZ was only a quick-and-dirty test. I will configure the PPTP connection and specific port forwards on the router. (Actually, I will probably upgrade my router to a third-party firmware that supports running a PPTP server on the router).

    Also... as you noted (you were posting at the same time as me earlier) if the Tivo app is already running on the iOS device, it can reconnect directly via the cellular/VPN, but if the app is not running already, it falls back to the "away mode" of operation.

    So I then went back to the iPad... reconnected everything the way I had had it a few minutes ago, but killed the Tivo app first. So I was connected via PPTP via my iPhone hotspot with a VPN from the iPad back to my Macbook... I launched the Tivo app, and it could not find the Tivos... the error message was not that I didn't have Wifi on (since I did), but it searched for Tivos, timed out and then offered to go into "Away mode" or watch shows already downloaded.

    I am suspecting that what is going on here is that PPTP is fine for the communication protocols including streaming and remote control, but that Bonjour is not really working over PPTP.

    I'm off to see if there is any discussion of this specific issue that I can find.

    It'll be interesting to experiment for a while though and see how long the cached bonjour discovery works. Maybe some combination of the PPTP along with the experimental DDNS remote Bonjour services that was mentioned above can get us to the total solution.

    Ted
     
  14. Sep 15, 2012 #34 of 135
    Sling_Blade

    Sling_Blade New Member

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    Sep 15, 2012
    It sounds like your VPN server isn't forwarding multicast packets. Until I am able to test mine on a different network I won't be positive mine is either.

    Edit: heh just saw your post wombat. Yep, this may be a problem. I think it will just take finding a VPN that can forward those and the right settings.
     
  15. Sep 15, 2012 #35 of 135
    morac

    morac Cat God

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    I've never gotten PPTP to work with the TiVo app. I tried a number of times with older app versions "just because" and even though I had a PPTP connection into my router and had a LAN ip address, bonjour discovery never worked. This with broadcast packet forwarding on (though it's possible the implementation on my router is flawed).

    Of note, 1.9.1 added a new discovery method which I don't believe uses Bonjour, though I'm not sure what it would use.
     
  16. Sep 15, 2012 #36 of 135
    Sling_Blade

    Sling_Blade New Member

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    Sep 15, 2012
    Ahh, just found a way of testing this. I do have the hotspot feature on my iPad, just not on my iPhone, so I tried streaming on my iPhone using my iPad as the hotspot. I had the same problem. Now that I think back to my earlier testing, I think this is a more serious problem. It works when I do a VPN connection over my local network, which I think must mean that the iPad itself is not sending the multicast packets over the VPN, but rather whatever network it is connected to. That means the only other options are to try the other VPN types that are built in to the iPhone to see if they work, or find a third party app that will forward multicast packets.

    Of course this wouldn't be a problem if Tivo would just give you the option of statically defining the IP of your Tivo and not using bonjoir :/

    EDIT: Actually I think I have it the wrong way around. The VPN Server isn't forwarding all the multicast it sees over the VPN, but if I am on that network it will still see it. Googling this it looks like most VPN services only do normal IP, and you'd have to use something like OpenVPN, and you would have to jailbreak your iphone/ipad to get that to work.
     
  17. Sep 18, 2012 #37 of 135
    Brad Bishop

    Brad Bishop Member

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    Sep 11, 2001
    Atlanta, GA
    I've sort of found a way to make it work outside the home. It's not how you'd want to do it long term but:

    Connect the app to the TiVo on the local network. Press the home button and head out. Go to a bar and connect to your home network via VPN. Now open the TiVo app back up. It'll see the TiVo and it'll let you stream.

    If at any time the TiVo app doesn't see a WiFi connection or you forget and don't connect to VPN then it will reset the app and put it in away mode until it sees the TiVo again.

    Again, this isn't ideal BUT it at least let's you see it work while you're out and about.
     
  18. Sep 18, 2012 #38 of 135
    Dmyze

    Dmyze New Member

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    Apr 15, 2002
    Seattle
    I seem to have declared victory too soon as well. Athough it works for me if you fire up the app locally and then switch to VPN, if I start the app remotely it does not find my tivos. I think I need to configure my VPN to support bonjour broadcasting.
     
  19. Sep 18, 2012 #39 of 135
    Sling_Blade

    Sling_Blade New Member

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    Sep 15, 2012
    Well, let us know if you find an Apple supported VPN that works. From my googling I couldn't find anything. There are only two solutions I could find:

    1. Jailbreak and use OpenVPN for server/client. It uses ssl, not L2TP,PPTP, or IPSEC. It can however forward multicast over the VPN connection.

    2. Bring along a laptop that can run a bonjoir proxy, there are a number of programs that do this, that will advertise your Tivo service, with it's local IP, on whatever network you are connected to.

    Neither of those are ideal. I haven't actually tried either of the above but there's been lots of people trying to get home sharing working over VPN, which has the same problem.
     
  20. Sep 22, 2012 #40 of 135
    windracer

    windracer joined the 10k club

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    I took a shot with OpenVPN this weekend and made some promising headway, but it's not working.

    I'm using the OpenVPN sever in DD-WRT on my router, and the GuizmOVPN application from Cydia for iOS (which supposedly supports multicast forwarding for iTunes sharing). Using TAP, I can get my iPhone to connect to the VPN and then I can ping and SSH into my iPhone from the local network (with the iPhone on 3G). The Bonjour browser can "see" all of the TiVo services on my local network. But, even with that, I must have a setting wrong because I can't seem to hit ALL my local network resources from the phone. I can SSH into my Linux server, but can't connect to a TiVo's Now Playing List over https and can't connect to my Calibre library. :confused:

    On top of all of that, the TiVo app knows I'm not on WiFi so it won't discover any boxes. I know there's 3G Unrestrictor but I don't really need that so I'll just test again when I'm on a WiFi network that's not my own (I wasn't able to get the OpenVPN connection to work when my iPhone was on my local WiFi, which I'm sure is just a config setting I'm missing).

    I'll keep messing around with it ...

    edit: no better luck on remote WiFi. The TiVo actually scans for boxes, but doesn't find any, and the Bonjour browser doesn't find any services. Guess I need to poke around in the settings/config a bit more. Seems like I am so close.
     

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