Hackability

Discussion in 'TiVo Underground' started by Cyb3rKitt3h, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. Cyb3rKitt3h

    Cyb3rKitt3h New Member

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    Aug 10, 2011
    I found a TiVo at a Goodwill store today for $15. Thinking "Oh neat, I've always kinda wanted one of these." No cables, no remote. Being the geek I am I decided to buy it anyways to make some sort of media center. When i got home I started googling how to run custom kernels and what-not on the box, since I read it was basically a linux comp. Now all the posts are from 2004-2009, and I'm looking for something not-archived or 404'd. Do I still need to do the PROM hardware mod, or is there an easier way?

    Model: TCD540040
    Series "2.5"

    Havn't even plugged it in any further than seeing the lights turn on.

    Also, what are the benefits of running an unsigned kernel? I don't plan on getting a subscription, and I'd really like to use it as a media center since it fits in nicely with my other equipment on the shelf.
     
  2. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    17,877
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    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    Yes you still need to do a PROM mod to do system hacks. You don't gain anything as far as using the TiVo from the TV, apart form you can add Caller ID, or send your own messages. What hacks allow you to do (as far as we can discuss here), is allow you to supermanage the TiVo from the TiVoWeb interface, Caller ID, and add FTP and such to the network interface.

    I will remind you, that while the core OS is open source linux, the application level and some system drivers (mostly for the Broadcom chips and some network adapters) are closed.

    Also, of note, the application is pay software, of which the license is paid for with the service subscription, which is against the rules here to discuss how to defeat. Without subscription, all you can do is buffer live TV and view recordings made when it had service.

    Bottom line, as far as this forum is concerned, unless you wish to subscribe to the TiVo service, you have a doorstop.

    Even with a proper subscription, it makes a lousy media center, since it is SD only, and everything needs to be converted to MPEG2 (either well before hand, which takes up space, or as you go, which takes even more time), plus you have to copy from your PC.

    I have a Series 2 (with Product Lifetime), and only use it to record TV to watch later. I have a PC connected to my TV (running full Linux), as my HTPC media box (altough it does not play HD very well, being an older PC).
     
  3. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    16,576
    41
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Until you're ready to spend money on a subscription, don't connect a phone line to it, and don't let it connect to an ethernet network that will allow it to connect to the Internet.


    You can use a universal remote to play with it some, if yours is too old to have TiVo codes, set it up for a Philips VCR and that'll work some of the features.

    It's not really basically a Linux computer, though. It's an appliance that uses some microprocessors and part of the code involved is Linux kernel. Or maybe I should say GNU-Linux, I'm not sure. But a PC it ain't, and even with an Apple Partition Map on the hard drive, it ain't a Mac, either.


    Has the emblem fallen off of the front of yours yet? That particular model has a problem with that.
     
  4. Cyb3rKitt3h

    Cyb3rKitt3h New Member

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    Aug 10, 2011
    Yeah the logo fell off. It looks like the original owner may have left a Lifetime subscription on it. I can't really tell, but under the account info it says it's in Good Standing. I ended up programming the remote from a Comcast DVR I used to have, works like a charm.

    I'm working on setting up a Fon router as an ethernet bridge, since my WUSB54G isn't supported.

    Wish it was as easy as modding an original xbox.
     
  5. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    16,576
    41
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Good standing (level 3) means it was disconnected from any ability to connect to the mothership before the sub was cancelled. If you let it connect, and if you plug in the phone line or connect it to a network that connects to the internet, it will try to connect, and if it does, it'll change to level 8, account closed.

    Lifetime is level 5, Product Lifetime Service.
     

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