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Getting TiVo to work with a Mac Airport Express wireless network ! (long)

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by TiVoEvan74, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. TiVoEvan74

    TiVoEvan74 Active Member

    1,203
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    Sep 11, 2004
    The key is that you must enter your network password in HEXADECIMAL into your TiVo. You must do that even if your Airport Express password is basic, old alphanumeric text. You do NOT have to change your passwords on the Mac or the Airport Express to get this to work. But TiVo, for some reason, requires that you give it the hexadecimal equivalent of your password to hook up to Apple wireless network.

    For those of you out of the loop, AE is the new little card deck size, portable wireless base station from Apple. I purchased the adapter that TiVo recommends--the Linksys WUSB11 Wireless-B (though TiVo's site confusingly lists different software(?) versions). I plugged it in, and my TiVo Series 2 unit immediately recognized the Airport Express network I use to connect to the Internet, listing it by name. But you still have to configure your TiVo by telling it the network's password.

    Here's how to find the hexadecimal equivalent of your existing network password. Open the AirPort Admin Utility on your Mac (your airport network should show up in the list), click on the Configure button in the tab bar, that opens a window of network settings, then click on Password in the new window's tab bar at the top. That will open an alert box that gives both your regular text password and the hexadecimal one. You can even select the hexadecimal password (hold down your mouse button and drag across it) and then copy and paste it into a word processor for printing out.

    Take it to the TiVo and under the network settings, you can enter your password. (You do not have to do anything with TiVo's TCP settings.)

    Here's the TiVo menu sequence. Select Read New Messages & Setup ---> Settings ---> Phone & Network ---> Edit phone or network settings ---> Wireless Settings . It will give your directions, then continue, and your network should show up. Select it, go right, and then you'll be prompted for the password. Just be sure to select HEXADECIMAL!

    If it works, you will get a message indicating that TiVo has successfully located the network. If not, you probably selected the wrong characters.

    After that, you should be all set.

    If you go back to the Phone & Network Settings page, you'll see on the upper right side, your wireless information--name of network and signal strength. That screen is also where you can Change connection type from Phone to Network to TiVo's calling home.

    The TiVo on-screen directions, manual, and web site really should highlight the hexadecimal requirement for Macs and explain how to find the equivalent of regular passwords.

    Hope this post saves others time, trouble, and frustration. And lets others know that Airport Express works great with TiVo!
     
  2. bedelman

    bedelman Call me Bob

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    Feb 26, 2001
    Crystal...
    The reason why you need to use the Hexadecimal password is because the Airport Express is from a different manufacturer than any of the supported wireless USB adapters. The algorithm used to convert a human-readable pass phrase into the actual encryption key is not a standard that everyone uses -- so different manufacturers use different algorithms.

    I believe that the Hexadecimal password is really the encryption key that's being used -- and the method of encrypting the data stream is part of the 802.11 standard -- and that's why using the hexadecimal key works across devices from different manufacturers.

    It's not an Apple or Airport Express thing. You'd probably have the same situation if you were using a Netgear wireless router together with a LinkSys wireless USB adapter.
     
  3. TiVoEvan74

    TiVoEvan74 Active Member

    1,203
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    Sep 11, 2004
    Bob, you've left me confused! Airport Express is NOT a wireless USB adapter!

    "The reason why you need to use the Hexadecimal password is because the Airport Express is from a different manufacturer than any of the supported wireless USB adapters."

    Or do you mean that if TiVo were hooking up to a LinkSys router with a LinkSys USB adapter, one could use alphanumeric?

    Ah! On re-reading your post, I see what you're saying. Namely that a given wireless adapter itself translate alphanumeric into hexadecimal and each adapter (or company) embeds a different translation from alpha to hexa to the network.

    I'm surprised! I thought hexadecimal-alphanumeric conversion was standard--the same as translating a numeric expression between base 10 and base 16.

    "It's not an Apple or Airport Express thing." Yet, buried in its web site, TiVo does say that you must use hexadecimal when working with an Apple network!

    In any event, I wish TiVo would bold highlight the hexadecimal requirements in its materials, right up front, plus explain how to find the hexadecimal equivalent on Apple's wireless networks.

    Thanks for a technical heads up on all this. It's intriguing.
     
  4. chrisirmo

    chrisirmo New Member

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    Feb 11, 2004
    Cincinnati, OH
    Just for clarity: These same instructions apply for the entire Airport line of base stations, not just Airport Express.
     
  5. bedelman

    bedelman Call me Bob

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    Feb 26, 2001
    Crystal...
    And the need to use a Hexadecimal password isn't limited to cases where an Apple Airport Base Station is being used. I recently helped a person in the TiVo Help Forums with the same issue and he was using a 2Wire wireless router with a LinkSys WUSB12 adapter -- http://forums.tivo.com/pe/action/forums/displaysinglethread?rootPostID=10107696

    If the wireless router and the wireless adapter is from a different manufacturer and you're using WEP, you might have to use the hexadecimal password.
     
  6. muzzymate

    muzzymate Member

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    Sep 2, 2004
    Cleveland
    Strange.

    I'm sharing an internet connection with my neighbor. He's using an Airport Extreme base station with WEP w/128bit password. I have an Airport Express in my apartment that is using WDS to extend the range so I can reliably get a signal in anywhere in my apartment.

    My Tivo is hooking into this wireless network with a Linksys WUSB11 network card. All what I have to do is type in the pass phrase WEP password into my TIVO and it is able to join and pull down data and connect to my computers with HMO.

    I wonder why I don't need to use the hexadecmial password (not that I'm complaining mind you).
     
  7. dave1law

    dave1law New Member

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    Dec 30, 2004
    Chicago
    FYI...my 2wire requires me to use "hexidecimel" rather than alphanumeric. I figured this out by chance and I really don't understand the difference between the two.
     
  8. bedelman

    bedelman Call me Bob

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    Feb 26, 2001
    Crystal...
    If the WEP key is exactly 13 characters in length for 128 bit WEP, you might not need to use hexadecimal. But it's just more certain to use the hex key all the time because what you're entering is the actual encryption key (rather than something that needs to be converted into an encryption key -- and the algorithm to do so might vary from manufacturer to manufacturer)
     
  9. ncradit

    ncradit New Member

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    Sep 18, 2004
    I'm having a similar problem, and would love some help!

    My TiVo recognizes and connects to the Airport network without any problems. I can use the wireless connection to connect to the TiVo service just fine. But when I go into Music & Photos, it says that it can't find my server. I've entered the IP address from System Preferences on my iBook, TiVo Desktop is on, and I can't figure out why it's not working.

    Thanks!
     
  10. bedelman

    bedelman Call me Bob

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    Feb 26, 2001
    Crystal...
    What adapter do you have on your TiVo and what software version is it running? There's this weird issue with USB 2.0 adapters when you're running version 7.1x of the TiVo software.

    Check the Firewall settings within the Sharing Preference Pane and make sure it's either not running or that you have the opening enabled for TiVo Desktop.
     
  11. ncradit

    ncradit New Member

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    Sep 18, 2004
    I'm using a DWL-122 adapter, and I'm using version 7.1b-01-2-240. I've tried both not having the firewall on, and having it on with the port opened.
     
  12. bedelman

    bedelman Call me Bob

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    Feb 26, 2001
    Crystal...
    Well, the DWL-122 is an 802.11b adapter so it shouldn't suffer from the USB 2.0 issue I've found (at least I don't think it would but I don't know this adapter).

    You can check connectivity from your Macintosh by opening a browser and going to http:// followed by the IP address of the TiVo. You should get a "welcome" page.

    Did you check the TiVo Desktop Preference Pane to make sure that it's running? It should say "TiVo Desktop On" and have a "stop" button.

    You can check Bonjour (previously known as Rendezvous) connectivity by turning on the "Rendezvous" item in the bookmark bar in the Safari browser. To enable it, go to Preferences in Safari and click on the "Bookmarks" section. Put a checkmark next to "Include Rendezvous" in the bookmark bar section.

    Your TiVo should appear like this example (my TiVo is named "basement" in this image" -- the other two items are printers)

    [​IMG]

    Some folks have found that removing unusual names from their computer name (visible in the Sharing Preference Pane) can also help.

    Finally, it can take 20-30 seconds sometimes for the Macintosh to appear in the Music & Photos area -- so wait a bit. If it still doesn't appear, you can sometimes force it to refresh by going to the TiVo Desktop Preference Pane and stopping it and then starting it (while the TiVo is sitting inside the Music & Photos screen)
     
  13. ncradit

    ncradit New Member

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    Sep 18, 2004
    Okay, I've tried all of your advice, but nothing seems to be working. I can pull up the IP address welcome page in Safari. When I turn on Rendezvous in the Bookmarks Bar, the only item there is "About Rendezvous." How do I fix that problem? When I put the IP address into the TiVo, and then select it, it doesn't even seem to be checking to see if it works before it returns the message about that server not being available. Should it be instant like that?
     
  14. bedelman

    bedelman Call me Bob

    3,564
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    Feb 26, 2001
    Crystal...
    About the only thing left to try to make it appear in Rendezvous is to restart the TiVo (using the option to do so under "Messages & Setup")

    What you're getting is similar to what I get when I use either an 802.11g adapter (Netgear WG111) or a USB 2.0 wired adapter (Linksys USB200M). When I go back to an 802.11b adapter (Netgear MA101 or Belkin F5D6050) or a USB 1.1 wired adapter (Linksys USB100M), I have to reboot the TiVo to get it to get the Rendezvous services working.
     
  15. bluetex

    bluetex Wha?

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    Apr 23, 2005
    Houston, TX
    babble babble babble.. so I can post a spam link. How nice.
     
  16. JediJoker7169

    JediJoker7169 New Member

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    Jan 23, 2006
    Can the Airport Express be used as a USB-to-wireless adapter, by hooking it up to TiVo through USB? Or do you absolutely need to use a USB-to-ethernet adapter and then hook it into the Express through ethernet?
     
  17. TydalForce

    TydalForce Active Member

    1,034
    1
    Feb 8, 2006
    Philadelphia...
    the Airport Express will not connect to a TiVo or computer via USB

    AE's USB port can only be used for two things
    - Sharing a USB Printer over your network
    - A nifty Remote control (from keyspan) to control iTunes

    You CAN use the Airport Express as:
    - A wireless router
    - A wireless signal booster
    - A wireless-to-wired adapter, if your TiVo had a USB-to-Ethernet adapter you could run an ethernet cable to the Express and the Express would link you to a Wireless Network (this way is kinda silly when you could just get a USB Wireless adapter for your TiVo!)
     
  18. Doc.

    Doc. New Member

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    Nov 3, 2005
    open airport admin utility-configure-Network. then make sure distribute ip adress is unchecked.
     
  19. aforkosh

    aforkosh Member

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    Apr 20, 2003
    Oakland, CA
    Actually, it is not silly to wire your Tivo to an Airport Express. Even though, with the right adapter, Tivo can communicate via the 802.11g protocol, it still cannot use the more secure forms of encryption, such as WPA and WPA2. By using a wired connection to an Airport Express, Tivo allows you to better secure your wireless network.
     
  20. TydalForce

    TydalForce Active Member

    1,034
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    Feb 8, 2006
    Philadelphia...
    ah thats true, I knew that but I didn't think of it when writing my list

    Yeah, you can use WPA if you ethernet-to-Airport and want that extra bit of security - same as any Wireless Bridge would. Plus the printer sharing and music streaming ;-}
     

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