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Blocking the domains is one solution, although I fully expect those to change over time as well, so it will be a wild goose chase keeping up :)
I doubt TiVo will put that much effort into it. Based on my (daily) usage pi-hole blocks from 15-30% of my DNS requests with the majority of them being "big boys" Now most of them are via Blocklists which I'm sure get updated on a regular basis however I get the impression they are fairly static. If they don't try I can't imagine TiVo giving much of an attempt.
 

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If they knew we were unhappy enough to cause them revenue loss one imagines they would stop.
Give them a little credit... they well knew there would be (some) pushback. From the feedback (here) it's been less than I would have thought... probably them as well. Hard to guess the numbers aren't in their favor. Loss of subscriber fees vs streaming revenue... I'd love to see the numbers. Hard to lose revenue on us lifetimers who have already decided we are on our last TiVo... which appears to be the vocal majority. :)
 

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As long as we can figure out which URLs they are using we should be able to always block it because the Tivo would need to assume "oh well the ad service is down, we need to keep the viewing process moving" and move to the DVR'ed content.
I know if you DNS blacklist the guide ad server it endlessly tries to connect every 10 seconds. The guide works as normal but internally TiVo never gives up trying. Funny thing is if you whitelist the domain after booting the ads never appear in the guide (even though it hits the domain the moment it's whitelisted).
 

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Doesn't seem to do anything for my ads.
I just...
  • Restarted TiVo and the guide ads are there - it hit mm1.tivoservice.com
  • Blacklisted mm1.tivoservice.com and restarted
  • Once restarted no ads in the guide - keeps trying to hit mm1.tivoservice.com
  • Deleted the blacklist - it hit mm1.tivoservice.com and still no ads.
I'm using a Roamio on TE4...
 

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I'm using a Roamio OTA and blocking that domain hasn't blocked the in guide ads.
That's interesting... I presume you are on the 846 release? I'm trying the process once again...

  • No ads - restarted TiVo
  • Ads - after restart
  • Blacklisted mm1.tivoservice.com and restarted
  • No ads - after restart

Now I can delete the blacklist and the ads won't appear (although mm1... gets hit) until you reboot. Note once the ads are "loaded" they won't go away until you blacklist and restart.

Per the images... first one shows mm1 getting hit and ads follow. Second shows mm1 blocked and no ads. Third is the guide after restarting with mm1 getting hit (ads). Fourth is the guide after restarting with mm1 blocked (no ads).
 

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Also, are you using your Pi-hole for DHCP as well?
No, although it shouldn't make any difference. I have done the above a dozen times or so and each time it has worked. Only once after removing mm1 from the blacklist (after restarting) did the ads came back after a day or so). All of others have been several days and between restarts (to test again...) no guide ads in site. Once restarted I remove the blacklist so TiVo doesn't endlessly (every 10 seconds) try to connect to mm1.
 

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I just got around to trying the guide ad blocking and that domain does seem to do the trick. I think it is worth the trade-off of losing channel icons.
Just checked and the channel icons are now there... still no guide ads. I'm glad someone duplicated the results as I was beginning to doubt myself. :)

Note we are discussing ads in the guide not pre-roll ads (the topic of the thread).
 

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When you have mm1 blocked are you able to get online.tivo.com to work (see your recorded shows for example) or the mobile app?
Blacklisted it and online appears to be available via my browser (My Shows - Guide). Note I remove the blacklist as soon as it restarts... since it seems silly for TiVo to keeping to access it every 10 seconds - and again once hit the guide ads still don't appear.
 

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Did that server not exist at all before the guide ads? Just wondering if there is any chance it could be used for anything else that nobody has noticed yet.
Don't know and anything is possible. A (quick) Google search doesn't find any references beyond our current obsession. Recordings, guide data and AutoSkip work which is pretty much all I care about at this point.

Also remember once restarted you can remove the blacklist and it gets hit right away. So based on how the code is written some things (dependent on it) might still work or not work. Like the guide ads don't start appearing once it's successful if it initially failed. Something else might begin to work ...
 

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Parental controls or site blocking via the router didn't work for me with the guide ads. Plus doing this for the pre-roll ads was blocking playback on one of my tivos too. So that is why I eventually went with Pi-Hole. It seems to block things differently than your router/parental controls
Just as a point of reference (for anyone reading along) pi-hole doesn't block data per se. Rather it doesn't return (via DNS) the domain's address so the domain is never reached/contacted. Unlike a typical firewall where the data would be dropped once received if it meets certain criteria...
 

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Is there any way to get Pi-hole working on a Windows machine? That's all I have available. From what I see on their site it looks like you need to have a Unix-based system.
Not without installing VirtualBox on the Windows machine and running Ubuntu inside of it. :) I'd probably recommend picking up a Raspberry Pi (since the latest model is much more powerful). I use an ODROID XU4 (more powerful than the Pi and still well under $100) running Ubuntu 18.04 with Pi-hole, Plex Media Server, MySQL Server (for Kodi), file server, print server and backups. Both will run headless (without issue) and only take an hour or so to install/configure. The new Pi (kit - power supply, SD card, case, etc) will hit you around $80.

If nothing else they are great little boxes to throw on your network and you'll probably find quite a few uses for it. They draw next to zero power and run endlessly...
 

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If you can, I would try PiHole and see how it goes. Besides TiVo, I am amazed at how much other junk queries are blocked from various other apps/sites.

It will be a permanent part of our network, even when TiVo is long gone.
I agree. Worse case for $50 (or so) for a Raspberry Pi you get to stop 10-40% of your Internet traffic and speed up your devices accordingly. Based on my surfing I average around 25% and it runs on my ODROID file server as another app... along with a half dozen or so others.

 

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The more deeply techie options described here would probably be too difficult to deploy for your entire family.
In reality (blocking ads) the "family" would do/see nothing different. They wouldn't even know something had changed outside of not seeing x number of ads. Nothing to configure per user... simply update your router's DNS and you're done.
 

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But even then, hey I do this stuff all the time, but most people's eyes glaze over if I even mention "router" or "DNS" in a sentence. :)
That's the point... you configure it and you never have to touch their devices or mention router, DNS or anything else to them. Sure an ad blocker isn't for everyone... but being "complex" in most cases isn't a reason to pass.
 

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Until TiVo changes something and one of those needs to be unblocked at least temporarily, and/or another needs to be blocked, but he can't get over to their houses to do it and their TiVo doesn't work right that weekend...
Ever hear of remote access... worse case one click of the mouse locally/remotely and it's disabled. Again the point is it's not difficult for those following along. I never actually addressed one use case... I'm sure they know what's better suited for themselves than I ever would.
 
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