Front-end device for watching in another room

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by orev, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. orev

    orev Member

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    Feb 16, 2003

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    Does anyone know of a device that can be used as a front end on another TV to watch shows recorded on a Tivo on the network (OTHER than another Tivo box). I don't need to have 2 tivos recording, just one recording and the other TVs just need a front-end.

    I'm hoping to find some type of media box, avoiding a whole HTPC setup. If it's some kind of software that can be run on a laptop, complete with menus and remote control support, that would probably work.
     
  2. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    Ontario Canada.
    No box other than a subscribed TiVo or a PC can play another TiVos recordings over a network.

    A cheap option is to extend the A/V from the TiVo to the other TV, and use a remote extender, but both TVs will get the same program. That is what I have done, and it works fine sine only I use the TiVo myself mostly.

    The Liquid TV software might work, but it costs $99/year to use, the same as a second TiVo.
     
  3. darksurtur

    darksurtur Member

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    Wouldn't a slingbox and slingcatcher be able to do this? Though that is a pricey option.

    Alternatively, the OP can download shows from the TiVo to a computer, decode them, and use any one of a number of display frontends. Options include connecting the PC directly to the other TV or streaming/downloading to an Xbox/360, PS3, Popcorn Hour, or Western Digital Media Extender.
     
  4. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    for SD content I have found a Series 2 box (DT is fastest) to be the cheapest route versus having to buy a PC and extender for it or TV out card, etc.. plus the interface and remote and known to the whole family. Even a Tiv o HD at 200$ and then lifetime for 299$ would be a consideration for me over some other option.

    I at first used stuff from www.crossbarmedia.com and found it worked well but with a family involved soon found the extra tuners and ease of use of just adding in a another TiVo to be the best solution. If I was single then I would likely have blown all my money on HD stuff :) and would be looking at the Slingcatcher HD to pipe it to where ever I was.
     
  5. Southcross

    Southcross New Member

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    I opted for a cheapo used series2, basic year to year contract, for the exact same thing... watching my shows in the bedroom. I'd go for a 2nd lifetime contract but I going under the assumption I might buy a HD unit in the next year or two.

    I do, how ever, like that I can set shows that I know for a fact I'll watch in bed to record in the bedroom... and the normal TV shows I'd watch in surround/etc to record in the family room. a 2nd TiVo unit gets my vote :up:
     
  6. orev

    orev Member

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    Feb 16, 2003
    I know that's the company line, but there's no reason another device cannot do it. In this day and age, it's trivial to download tivo files from a tivo, decrypt, and play or convert them using open-source software. I have this automated using some scripts to convert TDS and TCR on a daily basis. TTG has allowed this for a long time, and if I can do this on my PC there's no reason that a small dedicated device can't also do it.

    Sling would require that both TVs play the same content. I want to be able to watch different things, treating the TiVo as a central media server with multiple heads.

    Yes, the interface for the tivo really is the best, and I'm now thinking that's probably the more difficult part. The actual playing of the video is probably pretty easy.
     
  7. chip_r

    chip_r Member

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    What you're suggesting is a cheap front end, cheaper than a PC, to behave like a Tivo player. About as useful as a VCR that can only playback tapes. I don't recall ever seeing a big market (if any) for a video cassette player.

    Tivo I'm sure just breaks even with the hardware so unless they could market a playback-only device that costs the consumer more than a subscribed Tivo, then I don't see what you're describing as a (financially) viable product. Especially since TTG, Galleon, pyTivo, and a myriad of other programs allow you to do this for free. No pretty boxes for your living room though.

    Based on hardware and software development costs, I wouldn't think that a player-only device created by another company could pay the bills. On top of that, I'm sure Tivo would have some sort of licensing fee for the player developer.
     
  8. westside_guy

    westside_guy Annoyingly ephemeral

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    Mar 13, 2005
    The soggy...
    I think you're stuck unless you roll your own solution with a laptop.

    I agree there's at least some demand for what you want - I've wanted such a thing for a couple years. Especially now, with the dual tuner Tivos being the norm... I don't really need a second Tivo for recording purposes. Right now our second TV isn't HD capable, so we've got an older Series 2 box on it (at the older $6.95/mo. rate) - but it mainly serves as a receiver to let us watch SD content from the Tivo HD in our living room.

    I think Tivo could make some money building such a box, and maybe charge a $5/month service fee. I can't imagine it'd cost that much to produce.
     
  9. chip_r

    chip_r Member

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    Southeast PA
    Assuming that Tivo has limited development resources, a low-end box with a minimal service charge probably can't stack up to a next-generation DVR in terms of new revenue. Also a player-only could backfire and households with multiple Tivos could revert to a single full-featured DVR (as a media hub) and a few cheap players.

    Rolling your own via an older laptop as you suggested is always at a good price :)
     
  10. lafos

    lafos Well-Known Member

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    I looked at the Slingcatcher, and its output is 640x480. Not HD yet.
     
  11. lafos

    lafos Well-Known Member

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    Yes, these options can work. The problem comes in with the need to transcode the video. Media Center extenders don't grok .tivo files, nor do any of the other solutions I've examined. So you'd have to use a software tool such as VideoReDo to translate the files before they can be watched.

    I had a network system from SMC that wasn't bad, but it was clunky. The files had to be sent to a PC, transcoded, and then they could be used. I also tried a Buffalo networked media system. That doesn't like TiVo or Media Center files, requiring another translation. A Sling solution costs ~$500 for the Slingbox and first catcher, and ~$250 for each additional catcher. And then, what if I want to watch the TiVo locally while my wife wants somethig else through the Sling?

    It was tough, but I ended up putting TiVos where we needed recording and or MRV. Only two have cards, so that helps a litle bit on costs.
     
  12. orev

    orev Member

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    Feb 16, 2003
    You can decode using "tivodecode". It's still a step you need to take, but it's free.
     
  13. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    Ontario Canada.
    Technically, I suppose it is possible. However legally it isn't possible for somebody to come out with a TiVo player client without licensing the necessary bits from TiVo, namely the decryption, since that is not a public API.

    Therefore, it is only possible to "roll your own" and take matters in your own hands.

    And on those small standalone devices, their APIs/software are also closed, so there is really not may that have had itt added by the user community, that I know of.
     
  14. jgaermom

    jgaermom Member

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    Oct 22, 2005
    how about using tivo desktop to download the shows and then hooking the laptop up to the tv using svideo? Judy
     
  15. passmaster16

    passmaster16 New Member

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    Dec 30, 2008
    I think the issue with that is that TTG still requires the shows to be downloaded. The OP is looking for a simple device or piece of software that would allow streaming directly from the Tivo. I would be interested in this as well as I have 1 HD but would like my other TV to be able to view the shows off the Tivo. I already have an HTPC running MCE 2005 but as far as I can tell, any solution to view the video on my HTPC would require it to be downloaded and decrypted, and thus not streamed. While I assume that these processes could be automated, I'm not too keen on having to actually copy the shows to the HTPC just to be decrypted and viewed. It seems to me this would defeat the purpose of a high bandwidth home network. If I am wrong or there are other solutions, I'd be interested to hear.

    orev, do you have a dedicated PC right now that are already doing these tasks or you just trying to avoid that step completely? I'd be interested to hear more about how you are currently setup as I may have to resort to a similar solution of something better is not available

    Thanks
     
  16. bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

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    I have a TIVO in my media room and a tube TV in the game room. What I did was:

    -Purchased a simple RF Modulator.
    -Connected the Modulator the the TIVO with RCA audio/video cables
    -COAX cable from the Modulator to the Game Room TV
    -Ran a remote IR receiver to the game room TV.

    It was that simple. When I have a football night, I will run the game in both rooms, works out great. The COAX can run a long distance so no problems as long as you can run the cable. The only expensive part is the wired remote system, but I had most of that setup anyway.
     
  17. wgw

    wgw Member

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    May 16, 2007
    I did the same thing with this RF modulator and Wireless remote extender. There's some interferance lines on the screen and the picture is not 100%, but I don't need a great picture on the bedroom TV.

    http://www.amazon.com/Next-Generati...1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1230708733&sr=8-1

    http://www.amazon.com/Philips-PH-61...1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1230708865&sr=1-1
     
  18. passmaster16

    passmaster16 New Member

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    Dec 30, 2008
    Does TTG come with a plugin that lets it integrate into MCE 2005? I thought I read somewhere that this used to exist?
     
  19. bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

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    My picture seems fine... But since I was only running it to an older tube TV, I did not worry about any of the HD connections.
     
  20. darksurtur

    darksurtur Member

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    Jan 2, 2008
    This still won't let you watch two different things at the same time, though. That's what the OP wants ...
     

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