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!! WARNING !!
Use the following information with care. You could damage your TiVo.

Note I can not help you with TiVo upgrades - this page is provided as a guide to other sources of information only.

TiVo uses the LINUX operating system, so its a little like a PC inside. You can connect to the serial port at the back and get a BASH prompt, and from there access all kinds of things. Even without this there are a few tricks you can do with your TiVo like accessing secret backdoor codes for extra (unsupported) functionality.

Books about hacking TiVo

There are now a few books available explaining some of the various ways you can hack your TiVo to make it perform some new tricks. You can find a list of these, and a review of one of the books here.

Frequently asked hacking questions
The best place to start when hacking is the
HackFAQ.
Another good source of information is tivohelp.com.

I've read the hack FAQ and want to upgrade the capacity of my TiVo
If you have any questions ask on the users forum. Both Rob Bellis and Trevor Heartfield are currently generously helping users to upgrade their TiVo's - you might like to contact either of them: or
. The definitive upgrade manual is Hinsdales How-To Guide. You can purchase ready to go hard drive upgrades at pacelink.co.uk. If you need a hard drive bracket to properly secure a second hard drive in your TiVo, then check out 9th Tee's website.

How do I make a serial cable to hook up TiVo to my PC?
You can either make your own - a picture showing the pin connections is here. Or you can purchase one from pacelink.co.uk.

What are the backdoor codes?
TiVo has many secret codes to allow extra unsupported functionality. For a full list see here and follow the instructions for V2.5 of the TiVo software.

TiVo PPP over the serial port
Information of how to get a BASH prompt for shell access to your TiVo, and how to setup PPP via TiVo's serial port can be found at Black Widows Dummy Guide.

TurboNET Ethernet Adaptor
TurboNET is an ethernet adaptor card that allows you to hook up your TiVo to your home network. TiVo can be configured to use your broadband connection to download its listings instead of the phone line. For more information check out 9th Tee's website.

TiVoWeb
TivoWeb allows you to control your TiVo via the Internet. It presents web pages to allow you to set recordings over the Web. For further information see here. (Note UK users may need a fixed ui.itcl module to support UK genres. You can find it here.)

Sky Digital Add-ons
A few add-ons can be bought to make TiVo and Sky Digital boxes operate better together:

Red dot remover: The interactive red dot that appears on some Sky channels can be annoying (user discussion of this here). A few methods exist to remove this:

  • The DigiMemo device from pacelink.co.uk (seperate hardware add-on).
  • The SkyEye device (seperate hardare add-on). User discussion of this device here.
  • A TiVo hack exists and is discussed on the UK TiVo forum here.

Rf2Link: This hardware add-on device from pacelink.co.uk connects the TiVo Infra Red signals directly to any Sky Digibox through the RF2 connector for more reliable channel changing.

MemoZap: Sends the Sky key every few minutes to bring the Sky box out of standby, and also removes the interactive red dot. The device is a hardware add-on supplied by
pacelink.co.uk. Note that as of V2.5.5 of the TiVo software TiVo can also send the Sky key before a channel change - just select IR codes 20016 under manufacturer Grundig.

Digital Cable Add-ons
A
dd-ons can be bought to make TiVo and Digital Cable boxes operate better together:

Red Eye: Similar to the device that can be purchased from TiVo but more generic, this hardware add-on translates normal Philips IR commands into the IrDA commands needed by some digital cable boxes. This allows both TiVo and learning remotes to control the digital cable box. For more details see here.

Extra RAM
TiVo comes as standard with 16MB of RAM. It is possible to upgrade your TiVo to 32MB which may be needed to increase performance if you install other hacks. Its generally thought that its not worth the hassle, but if you want to upgrade memory chips and instructions are available on 9th Tee's website.

Flickering Menu Bar Fix
Some users may be distracted by TiVo's menu bar, which on some TV's can appear to flicker at the white edges. A hack exists to replace the graphics with flicker free ones. For further information see this thread on the UK TiVo forum.

Add your own channel logos
For some selected channels TiVo displays a channel logo. You can create your own and add these to your TiVo, or replace the existing ones. Details on how to do this can be found here (alternative site here). Also search the UK TiVo Forum as users will sometimes post their logos.

TiVoWeb Modules
TiVoWeb modules add even more functionality to your TiVo. The latest list of modules should be available here and the list below is a snapshot of those available as of 15th Mar 2004 (give me a if this list is out-of-date and i'll update it!).

Back-up Season Passes Creates a backup of your Season Passes without having to remove the TiVo HD.

Channel Grid Allows the user to see a single channel's programming data for a week.

Check Guide Data against Digiguide Compares the guide data to that sourced over the web from Digiguide (UK only).

Conflict Resolve with Two TiVos Shows you unresolved conflicts, then discovers if a second networked TiVo is available to record them.

Display Text A TivoWeb module that will display text on the TiVo screen. Text to be displayed may be entered interactively from a PC web browser

Edit Startup Script Easy editing of the boot up script

Guide Data Checker Checks that guide data is present for each channel; check for rogue/orphaned Season Pass series.

JPEG Display Show JPEG images on the TiVo screen

Manual Recording Set manual recordings

Movie Search This program allows you to easily browse upcoming movies for your TiVo. Allows you to browse by Category, premiere, keyword all movies that are playing on the movie channels of your choice

New Episodes Shows the programmes in the schedule where the Original Air Date is the same as the broadcast date, ie they are brand new episodes.

Now Playing with Sort and Folders Adds Folders and Sorting to the Now Playing module

Now Playing with Sort for version 2.5.5 TiVos This module allows us 2.5.5 TiVo users to sort Now Playing by Classic, Expiry Date, Title, Title + Episode Title, Duration and Genre.

Remap Channel Numbers Allows you to change TiVo's channel numbers

Re-Order Season Passes Allows you to change the priorities of Season passes, as in the SP Manager on the TiVo

Schedule Shows in calendar format all upcoming "to-do" items and programs that are in your "now showing list". You can navigate to previous and coming weeks by click forward and back arrows.

Search Advisory Codes This module allows you to search by Advisory Code.

Set manual recordings from Digiguide (1) Set a manual recording by right-clicking in the Digiguide PC app (UK only)

Set recording from Digiguide (2) Another modules to set a recording by right-clicking in the Digiguide PC app (Needs subbed TiVo, UK only)

Show conflicts for a series These changes will show you an icon against each showing in a series letting you know whether your TiVo is already planning to record something in that slot.

Showcase Shows the Inside TiVo and Channel Highlights screens in your browser.

TiVoTokens Send programme suggestions to your friends

TV Listings Grid Displays upcoming listings in a grid format.

WAP A re-write of TiVoWeb itself to give access via WAP.

What's On This module is based on the Browse by Time screen on the TiVo. This TiVoWeb version also allows you to press a button to watch a programme if it is currently on and will show you if future programmes conflict with programmes currently scheduled to be recorded.

How do I get the TiVo service without paying?
You can't! This is a taboo subject amongst most TiVo hackers. Circumventing the service would both (a) prompt TiVo to make their software completely unhackable; (b) would cause TiVo to loose money - if they go bankrupt then your TiVo isn't much use.

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