Override/Proxy TiVo RF Remote?

Discussion in 'Developers Corner' started by davidblackledge, Nov 10, 2019.

Tags:
  1. davidblackledge

    davidblackledge Registered lÜser

    555
    35
    Sep 9, 2008
    NM
    Just thinking again about the HTML 5 Opera features available and an abandoned HME UI-replacement project I was thinking about long ago (abandoned because it couldn't include closed captioning). It seems like it might be possible to do it with Opera (I believe that has all the CC support built-in), but the TiVo remote's teleport keys (TiVo, LiveTV, Guide) would also break the "immersion."

    So I was thinking how the RF remotes could maybe be paired with an Arduino or Raspberry Pi instead of a TiVo, then that device could use the TiVo's network remote interface to forward all the commands except the teleport keys (maybe sending different commands that could be intercepted to do an immersive equivalent). More generally it could be useful to convert a TiVo Remote to do whatever.

    I've never built any of these things, but if there is a kit that has the required RF features it might be an interesting project to get into. I'm guessing nobody has done this before so there isn't an existing TiVo-pairing/interpreting library for one of those devices, but if one exists that sure would be nice.

    Anybody have any useful thoughts on this?
     
  2. jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

    2,669
    317
    Jan 1, 2009
    That would be interesting. You could use the A,B,C,D keys for custom macros.

    The slide remote was a Bluetooth device if memory serves. I have not looked into the latest remotes.

    Raspberry Pi does have a Bluetooth interface.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  3. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    47,281
    4,444
    Apr 17, 2000
    Nevada
    Is there a way to pair a TiVo remote to another device? Is their RF interface public?

    One thing I'd like to see is a way to map the keys on the remote better when using the apps. All the apps seem to handle the keys different, it would be nice if you could detect which app was being used via RPC and then create a custom map. Like one where pressing "clear" actually removes the playbar in Netflix instead of exiting the app.
     
    davidblackledge likes this.
  4. Allanon

    Allanon Active Member

    810
    102
    Nov 2, 2005
    I did a project for my home theater that allowed a single Tivo remote to control all the devices in my theater and the lights. Here is a list of the hardware and software used:
    • Tivo HD remote which has the switch for using 2 different Tivos
    • PC mini running linux with LIRC and HEYU software installed
    • RF Remote Converter
    • Some X10 light socket controllers
    • X10 transmitter
    • IR transceiver
    • Tivo, Projector, A/V Receiver, and Bluray player
    I also made a switch that when no voltage is applied it connects the IR LED coming from the RF Remote Converter to the Tivo's IR LED. If 5V is applied to the switch then no connection is made. I was able to program my A/V receiver to send the 5V signal when on any input except the Tivo's input. This made it so when the A/V receiver is on the Tivo input remote codes go directly from the RF Remote Converter to the Tivo but if the A/V receiver is on any other input then no remote codes go to the Tivo.

    I had IR LED leads going from the IR transceiver to every other device and I had the RF Remote Converter and IR transceiver pointed at each other so IR codes could be passed. This allowed codes from the remote to get to the IR transceiver which was in a cabinet next to the RF Remote Converter.

    I wrote a program that polled the A/V receiver for which input it was on and using the LIRC API software the program converted codes received by the IR transceiver in to codes for the devices. Then transmitted those new codes to the devices using the IR transceiver.

    To take it a step farther I wanted to control the lights in the theater so this is where the switch on the Tivo remote came in handy. When the switch is in position 1 it would control the Tivo but when in position 2 it sent different Tivo codes that the Tivo didn't respond to but the IR transceiver was able to receive. I interpreted the codes using the LIRC API software and sent X10 commands to the X10 light sockets using the X10 transmitter and HEYU API Software.

    This setup allowed me to control all my devices with one Tivo remote just by turning to the device on the A/V receiver using the input button on the remote. And to control the light by flipping the switch on the remote and pressing buttons on the remote.

    Also note that I tried sending Tivo commands through the IR transceiver but it was too slow and the lag made it hard to navigate the menus. This is why I created the pass-through switch.

    For your project you could have the Tivo paired to different codes than the Tivo remote and use an IR transceiver and LIRC API software to interpret the codes from the remote and send whatever Tivo code your want in it's place.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
    davidblackledge likes this.
  5. davidblackledge

    davidblackledge Registered lÜser

    555
    35
    Sep 9, 2008
    NM
    I like your approach a lot, but it sounds like the lag issue would make it not as useful when I mainly want direct hijacking of only certain codes.
    If an RF equivalent of what you did is possible, I would hope it would largely remove the lag problem.
    If anybody has any information I'd love to hear it, too.
    But the little info I've researched so far makes it sound like RF remotes are not an encrypted transmission, you just have to experiment until you've "tuned in" to the transmission correctly, then identify each button sent in the transmission. It would require some effort with the right equipment, but shouldn't be difficult.

    What I don't know is what some options are for the equipment.
     
  6. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    47,281
    4,444
    Apr 17, 2000
    Nevada
    Yeah that's way out of my wheelhouse
     
  7. Allanon

    Allanon Active Member

    810
    102
    Nov 2, 2005
    I only have Tivo Premier and Bolt cable boxes from my cable company and they don't have RF remotes so I don't know if they pair with other devices. But they do sell RF dongles for older Tivos maybe it's possible that the dongle will also work on a computer and would be faster than the IR Transceiver.

    Using this scenario I would envision using a Raspberry Pi to translate RF codes from the RF dongle and output IR to the Tivo or maybe plug the RPi in to the Tivo using USB and send keyboard commands.
     
  8. davidblackledge

    davidblackledge Registered lÜser

    555
    35
    Sep 9, 2008
    NM
    Ok, did a little more searching and our forums helped me to know that the "kodi" computer-based DVR stuff is possible to be controlled with TiVo RF remotes:
    TiVo Slide - Official Kodi Wiki
    So hopefully it wouldn't be necessary to reinvent the wheel for this.
    I know nothing about Kodi...yet.
    ... however the windows install just says TBD and talks about EventGhost.

    EventGhost might be the easiest solution - something designed to just take remote input and "do stuff." (Looks like EventGhost's website is dealing with a major crash right now which may complicate things.)

    I'm going to start looking into that as soon as I get some time, but this looks like an exciting solution because it's possible the EG enthusiasts may even just throw together a plugin for exactly what I'm talking about if I ask for it nicely.
     
  9. davidblackledge

    davidblackledge Registered lÜser

    555
    35
    Sep 9, 2008
    NM
    FYI, I ordered a "TiVo USB-RF Dongle Slide Pro" on Amazon for about $25, paired it with my Roamio RF remote, and installed EventGhost.

    I also installed a TiVo Network plugin for EG that sends network remote events and can be mapped to any event to fire them.

    The Dongle shows up as 11 Human Interface Devices (HID) for some reason, and at that point I have access to almost every key via 2 of them (and an odd "value 60" gets reported via the 4th device the first time I hit the TiVo button). 2nd device is thumbs, TiVo, and LiveTV; Everything else is on the first device, but "Clear" doesn't ever seem to show up for any device. And finally the numbers are forcibly passed through as HID keys, so EventGhost can't tell the difference from my keyboard for those. Also Volume/Mute get interpreted and change the volume on the computer and EventGhost can't prevent that, too. 2 of the 11 devices don't work with EG, so maybe Clear is in those?

    Anyhow, there is an EG plugin that is supposed to be a low-level access to this device instead of going through the HID, but it doesn't install correctly. I'm asking EG forums about this, but have gotten no response (no posts on this plugin in the last 3 years). If I can get it to work, maybe I can have the remote just be 100% overridden, then could activate TiVo Network remote events as I desire.

    That said, now that I have the dongle, it might be easier for me to learn enough about Raspberry Pi to write my own equivalent of EG for its USB port just for my purposes and I can just use the HID device directly (since that will be the only "keyboard" plugged into the Pi). Still doesn't solve the "clear" button problem, but it's "close enough."

    For now, I've got it set up where EG is making my remote act like it's paired with a mini on my network, it just doesn't send Clear or numbers. No lag at all.
     

Share This Page