TiVo Community
TiVo Community
TiVo Community
Go Back   TiVo Community > Main TiVo Forums > TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion
TiVo Community
Reply
Forum Jump
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-22-2011, 02:47 PM   #1
mr.unnatural
Registered User
 
mr.unnatural's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,230
What to do with your old Tivo

For those of you wondering what to do with your old Tivo, here's one that's been re-purposed and put to good use:

http://www.missingremote.com/blog/tivo-goes-htpc

It's been converted to an HTPC using a mini-ITX motherboard. Add a USB tuner or two or a networked tuner, like the SiliconDust HDHomeRun, and you've got yourself a new DVR with no paid subscription required. Make it a cablecard tuner and you only pay for the cablecard rental, plus whatever digital TV service you're already subscribed to.

The article uses a series 1 standalone chassis but I see no reason why you couldn't use any later model chassis instead. OTOH, the S1 SA chassis has lots of room and supports two internal hard drives. The main thing to be aware of is whether the motherboard will interfere with the hard drive location. I haven't compared measurements but I'd wager than a mini-ITX motherboard is slightly smaller than most Tivo mainboards.

You can power the beast using a pico USB power supply like the one mentioned in the article. Get a small SSD for the OS and an external drive for recording (or keep it internal if using the S1 case or a dual-drive adapter for an S2). An external powered USB hub would be a good choice to attach your peripherals. The new Lenovo 5902 mini-keyboard remote with backlighting and a touchpad sensor works great for controlling an HTPC, but there are other small remote keyboards to suit different tastes. A USB DVD drive can be added for as little as $30 or less (I picked up a refurbed drive for about $10).

Last edited by mr.unnatural : 11-23-2011 at 07:22 AM.
mr.unnatural is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2011, 05:31 AM   #2
unitron
Registered User
 
unitron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: semi-coastal NC
Posts: 12,399
Technically that's what to do with your old TiVo chassis.

Unless I saw an earlier version of this project, I think I saw another one about a year or 3 ago.

Now if he'd retained the original power supply and added the necessary circuitry to come up with the required outputs besides 3.3, 5 and 12, that would have been impressive.

There are a couple of people, one in England, one stateside, that have put LCD displays on the front of their S1s, hooking into the serial port and adding some software to make it display time, channel, show title, stuff like that.
__________________
(thisismysigfile)


"I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further."

Darth TiVo, 14 February, 2011
unitron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2011, 12:28 PM   #3
mr.unnatural
Registered User
 
mr.unnatural's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,230
I remember seeing the LCD project years ago over at DDB. The HTPC in a Tivo chassis isn't new, but the older project you mentioned used a micro-ATX board. I don't recall what kind of power supply was used but I don't think it was from the Tivo. The new mini-ITX motherboards are tailor made for a project such as this using the pico-PSU power supply.

Anyone that's looked at DIY HTPC's knows that custom HTPC enclosures can get a bit pricey. Using an old Tivo chassis not only cuts costs considerably but also allows the HTPC to blend into any equipment rack unobtrusively. I just thought some of the rank and file would get a kick out of seeing an old Tivo being reborn as a different DVR.
mr.unnatural is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2011, 12:42 PM   #4
unitron
Registered User
 
unitron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: semi-coastal NC
Posts: 12,399
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.unnatural View Post
...Anyone that's looked at DIY HTPC's knows that custom HTPC enclosures can get a bit pricey...
Man, you ain't just whistlin' it. Those things start at expensive and zoom for the stars.

I kind of wish you hadn't posted this, cause I've got a spare S2 DT with a non-working motherboard...

...and I'm having trouble keeping from reaching for the tape measure.

newegg's got this mini-ITX mobo on sale for just $15 after rebate and free shipping...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813500045

I think I need to go lie down until the urge passes.
__________________
(thisismysigfile)


"I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further."

Darth TiVo, 14 February, 2011
unitron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2011, 09:23 AM   #5
mr.unnatural
Registered User
 
mr.unnatural's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,230
Awwww crap! You had to post that link, didn't you? Now I'm the one that needs to fight the urge. Did you see the Apex enclosure at the bottom of the page? It's a mini-ITX enclosure with a 250-watt PSU for only $35. An enclosure with PSU and motherboard for only $50 after MIR is a huge deal.
mr.unnatural is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2011, 10:56 AM   #6
slowbiscuit
FUBAR
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: In the ATL
Posts: 2,328
Forgive me but I'm not getting the excitement here - VGA out only with no PCI-E video slot? Yeah, the Nvidia 6100 will work for full HD if you have a TV that supports it but I'd want HDMI nowadays. Plus no optical audio out. What am I missing, just use it as a server-only build or something?

Great price on a mini-ITX build though, $50 is outstanding for a barebones kit.
slowbiscuit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2011, 11:58 AM   #7
mr.unnatural
Registered User
 
mr.unnatural's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,230
I forgot to check the video output on the board. You're absolutely right. VGA only isn't going to cut it for HTPC use. Mini-ITX boards rarely have more than one PCI-E slot, simply because there isn't any room for them. If the board has onboard audio and video there's no need for any slots. Peripherals are usually added vis e-SATA or USB ports. In any case, here's a mini-ITX board for $55 plus $5 shipping with an HDMI output that supports an 1155 Intel SandyBridge CPU with integrated HD audio and video:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813186211

The Zotac board referenced by unitron would make for a great little desktop PC for the kids or just one for surfing the web.
mr.unnatural is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2011, 06:25 PM   #8
shwru980r
Registered User
 
shwru980r's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,299
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.unnatural View Post
I forgot to check the video output on the board. You're absolutely right. VGA only isn't going to cut it for HTPC use.
There are many TVs with RGB inputs, but you'd need a cable.
__________________
HD-Lifetime-OTA
S3-Lifetime-OTA
Series 2-Lifetime-OTA
Humax DRT800-Lifetime-OTA
Series 2-Lifetime-Cable
Series 2-Lifetime-Cable
Toshiba SD-H400-Basic-Cable
shwru980r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2011, 06:56 PM   #9
mr.unnatural
Registered User
 
mr.unnatural's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,230
True, but for the best picture and sound it's better to have an HDMI output. Any of the Intel socket 1155 or 1156 motherboards can deliver both HD audio and video via HDMI without the need for a separate graphics or sound card.
mr.unnatural is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2011, 09:19 PM   #10
unitron
Registered User
 
unitron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: semi-coastal NC
Posts: 12,399
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.unnatural View Post
Awwww crap! You had to post that link, didn't you? Now I'm the one that needs to fight the urge. Did you see the Apex enclosure at the bottom of the page? It's a mini-ITX enclosure with a 250-watt PSU for only $35. An enclosure with PSU and motherboard for only $50 after MIR is a huge deal.
Just tell yourself you still need a CPU and fan for it and pretend that's another $1000.
__________________
(thisismysigfile)


"I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further."

Darth TiVo, 14 February, 2011
unitron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2011, 08:35 AM   #11
mr.unnatural
Registered User
 
mr.unnatural's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,230
I passed on the motherboard but decided to pick up the Apex case. I've been considering a mini-ITX project for a while now but most of the cases I saw were too pricey. I figure I'll wait for an H67 motherboard to go on sale and pick one up.

On another note, Newegg's got the Ceton InfiniTV 4 PCI-E cablecard tuner on sale for $219.
mr.unnatural is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2011, 09:57 AM   #12
slowbiscuit
FUBAR
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: In the ATL
Posts: 2,328
Wow, that's the lowest price I've seen on the Ceton so far. Looks like they are trying to compete with the recent price drop on the SD HDHomerun Prime ($177 shipped from the egg). I bought a Prime and a couple of cheap Xboxes with the BF sales on them.
slowbiscuit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2011, 11:27 AM   #13
classicsat
Astute User
 
classicsat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Ontario Canada.
Posts: 17,878
I am going to mention what I have, which is an Asrock E350M1, board, which includes the AMD Fusion E350 APU (dual core 1.6 Ghz, Radeon 6310 graphics, video coprocessor for HS playback), and the Hudson M1 I/O controller, codenamed "Zacate". It has a PCI-X4 slot, 5.1 analog, optical, HDMI, DVI, VGA, plenty of USB. The chip supports 6 SATA 6Gbs connectors. This board has 4 inside, one eSATA, and an IR receiver connector for WMC. Some Zacate boards have USB3.0 and mini PCI-E.

I was going to get one and put that into a TiVo or other case, but ended up getting it as an assembled system from my local computer store. There may be better newer AMD Fusion models.

This board sells for around $120. The other boards mentioned require a separate CPU, although the are more capable.
__________________
Series 2 234 Hr Lifetime.
Window XP and Ubuntu Linux on my PCs.
Watching more and more in HD direct now.
classicsat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2011, 12:26 PM   #14
mr.unnatural
Registered User
 
mr.unnatural's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,230
Nice. Can it output HD audio? I can't seem to find any info about whether it supports it or not. How does it handle Blu-Ray playback?
mr.unnatural is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2011, 08:07 AM   #15
classicsat
Astute User
 
classicsat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Ontario Canada.
Posts: 17,878
I think it is supposed to, with the pay version of the Blu-ay app. It supposedly plays BluRay HD. I have no surroud receiver at all or BD-reader, so cannot say my self how well it does for either.
__________________
Series 2 234 Hr Lifetime.
Window XP and Ubuntu Linux on my PCs.
Watching more and more in HD direct now.
classicsat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2011, 02:30 PM   #16
lrhorer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Posts: 6,849
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.unnatural View Post
True, but for the best picture and sound it's better to have an HDMI output. Any of the Intel socket 1155 or 1156 motherboards can deliver both HD audio and video via HDMI without the need for a separate graphics or sound card.
Yes, but I have yet to find a motherboard with embedded video that has decent video performance. Some do a modestly good job of rendering MPEG2 video at 1080i, and a few are OK on 1080p, but I have yet to try one that's worth a crap at even 1080i or 720P with h.264 coding and any significant compression. Most suffer resolution compatibility issues, as well.
lrhorer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2011, 07:09 AM   #17
mr.unnatural
Registered User
 
mr.unnatural's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,230
The GPU is embedded in the CPU and not the motherboard for the Intel Clarkdale or SandyBridge CPUs. I'm currently using a Clarkdale CORE i5-660 CPU in an ASRock motherboard and I can't tell the difference between the embedded HD graphics and any standalone graphics card I had been using previously (I've used various ATI and Nvidia cards with HDMI out and HD audio support). The Intels also support HD audio so there's no need for a separate graphics card that supports HD audio or an additional sound card.
mr.unnatural is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
Forum Jump




Thread Tools


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Advertisements

TiVo Community
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
vBulletin Skins by: Relivo Media

(C) 2013 Magenium Solutions - All Rights Reserved. No information may be posted elsewhere without written permission.
TiVoŽ is a registered trademark of TiVo Inc. This site is not owned or operated by TiVo Inc.
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:42 AM.
OUR NETWORK: MyOpenRouter | TechLore | SansaCommunity | RoboCommunity | MediaSmart Home | Explore3DTV | Dijit Community | DVR Playground |