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Encryption Security Media Television Entertainment

TiVo File Encryption Cracked 250

Posted by kdawson
from the platform-equity dept.
An anonymous reader writes "TiVo file encryption has been cracked. Details on the project can be found on the wiki. Mac and Linux users rejoice!" The project page says, "The conversion still requires the valid MAK of the TiVo which recorded the file, so it cannot be used to circumvent their protection, simply to provide the same level of access as is already available on Windows."
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TiVo File Encryption Cracked

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  • Yay fair use (Score:2, Insightful)

    by spyder913 (448266)
    This is good news for people who are trying to use content they recorded, like they should be able to.
    • Re:Yay fair use (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Lumpy (12016) on Monday December 04, 2006 @03:28PM (#17103806) Homepage
      Funny, I've been doing this with my ReplayTV for years now. I made the decision to go replay instead of Tivo back then and enjoyed full access to my content, no features removed (I still have a commercial skip button that works, no pause ad's and everything works as it should and was promised when I bought it.

      Nice to see that TiVO owners can catch up to the rest of us now, but a smarter decision at the beginning would have given you that choice from the start.

      if someone figures out how to take a TiVo and install a linux distro on it and a mythtv install I'll be all over buying a Tivo or two to hack, but until then. I'll keep using my networked replays.
      • Oh no! (Score:5, Funny)

        by PHAEDRU5 (213667) <instascreedNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday December 04, 2006 @04:06PM (#17104364) Homepage
        A cloud of smug!
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by LordSkippy (140884)
        And I've been pulling shows off my Series 1 TiVo for years now too. What's your point?
      • Re:Yay fair use (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Manchot (847225) on Monday December 04, 2006 @04:26PM (#17104638)
        Commercial skip: Still works on the Tivo, except now you have to push a six-button sequence every couple months to get it to work.
        Ads: Barely visible. They either appear on the bottom of the Now Playing screen, in which case they're optional, or it takes up an eighth of the screen during the commercial for the product being shown. In essence, the latter are only visible in the short time while you're fast-forwarding, showing you a stationary ad for a couple seconds. Those ads are exceedingly rare anyway. (I saw one for the Wii yesterday during primetime, but that's the first I've seen in weeks.)

        It seems to me that many people on Slashdot, the Richard Stallman crowd especially, act like Tivo is most evil company on the planet for a few very minor faults (especially when it comes to DRM). In reality, I like Tivo because while they do pay lip service to the likes of the RIAA and the MPAA, it is only lip service. They didn't actually remove the commerical-skip feature: they just put in an easy workaround to get it. They included DRM to prevent themselves from getting sued, but it is extremely minimal DRM that is easily circumvented by the owner of the Tivo with a single DirectShow filter. If ReplayTV had paid lip service, it might still be around.

        In fact, Tivo even does things that most Slashdotters would applaud, but are villainized nonetheless. Though they have a few patents, a lot of it is for innovative hardware. They aren't like some of the patent-whores who patent things invented fifteen years ago: they basically co-invented the DVR, and made a damn good one. They even use Linux and released their code under the GPL. And yet, we still hear Stallman complaining about the fact that the Tivo hardware locks you out from changing the software. What he (and many others) apparently miss is that when you buy a Tivo, you're not buying a general purpose computer: you're buying a DVR. I mean, God forbid that they prevent users from running them out of business by buying the hardware for far less than it costs Tivo to make it and loading MythTV onto it. (Yes, Tivo subsidizes the cost of the hardware, but only because you are agreeing to pay for the service.)
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jedidiah (1196)
          Quite simply, I shouldn't need to indulge in a "hack" that is a well known secret in order to get my PVR to skip ahead 30 seconds. You've just been conditioned to accept this. Nevermind how annoying it is anytime there's a power hit.

          It's really quite nice being able to completely power down the MythTV box that sits in my living room. If I do the same to my Tivo, not only does stuff not get recorded but I will have to re-enter that stupid hack to get my 30-second skip back again.

          That's not even getting into
          • by Anonymous Coward
            or $5 for those long standing customers. For two tuners per unit. And in my case, in HD.

            Shortly I'm going to try to get a fusion card to work in HD-OTA with a new box, but don't kid yourselves on the costs. A tivo runs 40+ watts and costs about $3/month to run. An efficient PC is likely to be double that, at best. (the older CPUs - perhaps we're talking Athlons - burn 90-100 watts on their own.) The older machine will also need a new hard drive for the storage needs, esp for the HD crowd. Add another
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by trix7117 (835907)

            It's really quite nice being able to completely power down the MythTV box that sits in my living room. If I do the same to my Tivo, not only does stuff not get recorded but I will have to re-enter that stupid hack to get my 30-second skip back again.

            Are you saying that if you "completely power down the MythTV box" it somehow continues to record your shows? Are you talking about your master backend machine or a remote frontend? If you're talking about a frontend-only machine, that really isn't the same a

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by HTH NE1 (675604)
              Also, does turning the power off on a TiVo (not pulling the power plug or anything) actually stop the box from recording? I haven't had a TiVo in my house for about 5 years (been using MythTV and cable company HD DVRs), but I thought the TiVo would turn itself on and record when your shows come on.

              TiVo's don't have a power switch. The closest you get is putting it in Standby mode which stops video and audio output. The unit is still on and still records shows and LiveTV. At least, that's true for the sta
            • I've never used it, but as I recall, I believe there is a way to configure MythTV to go to sleep and then wake 5 minutes before the next program is supposed to record. It might require bios support for it. I know my P3-450 BIOS has a setting to wake at a specified time, but I don't know if that has a API to set it via software.

              Of course, it has it's downside. You can't remotely log in and schedule programs while it's sleeping, and you can get screwed in the times where the schedule changes suddenly.
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by makomk (752139)
                I know my P3-450 BIOS has a setting to wake at a specified time, but I don't know if that has a API to set it via software.

                It probably doesn't. The usual trick is to use nvram-wakeup to edit the onboard CMOS RAM and set the wakeup time that way...
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by walt-sjc (145127)
          I'll respond to this a bit... I have 2 DirectTivo's - a series 1 and a series 2.

          I DO like my Tivo, but it is showing it's age. It's slow, and the feature you mention as "commercial skip" isn't (it's a 30 second skip.) I also want the ability to get programs off it (which I'll probably add a cache+net card to do on the S1.) At this point, after using tivo for about 5 years now, I want more. I want more flexibility, speed, features (play MP3's, photos, etc.) and storage. The Tivo has served me well, but it's
          • by Balthisar (649688)
            (My Series 1 didn't have encrypted video, either).

            I retired my Series 1 early this year for the same reasons that you mention -- it was getting slow and didn't do everything else that I wanted it to do. So I built my MythTV box where it lives in its closet happily. For front ends, I use Xboxes. For non-HDTV, they're perfect. You can either install Xebian and the MythTV front end (sloooow) or just use XBMC with the XBMXMythTV script. Works well for my purposes.

            Given that, I miss some features from my Tivo. P
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Commercial skip: Still works on the Tivo, except now you have to push a six-button sequence every couple months to get it to work.

          That's not commercial skip. That's 30-second skip.

          ReplayTV's commercial skip, like MythTV's commercial skip, figures out what portions of the recorded show are commercials and then automagically skips them on playback. Certain VCR's (I think JVC) had similar functionality, just not as nice since fast-forwarding tape is a lot clunkier than seeking on a file.
          • by kmcrober (194430)
            How does the software detect a commercial? Is there an underlying signal the machine picks up, or does it go by volume/brightness cues?
            • by technos (73414)
              They watch the VBI (video blanking interval). When you cut from a show to a commercial, or vice versa, or from one commercial to another, the VBI screams "Hey! New video feed!"..

              After it figures out the opening credits for the show from start time, anything that was a cut away and lasts less than 62s is a commercial, and doesn't get shown.

              • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

                by trix7117 (835907)
                I know that MythTV also uses other methods including looking for the network logo which anymore is included on almost every station. I can't speak for ReplayTV, but using MythTV's combination method it probably catches about 90% of commercial breaks properly (and even the ones it misses are not big deal with a 30s skip).
        • by irving47 (73147)
          My problems with TiVo:
          They have become Microsoftian in that they think they can charge out the butt for inferior service.
          TiVo2Go on a Mac? No. Sorry. They'll promise they're working on it for a few years, but it'll take (what will likely be touted as illegal) hacking/cracking to even SLIGHTLY level the field.
          All the while, I have my tivo hooked to my network and am therefore not using their dialup lines, (nor could I with voip)
          So I'm paying the same price as people using more of their services.
          All I get to
        • It seems to me that many people on Slashdot, the Richard Stallman crowd especially, act like Tivo is most evil company on the planet for a few very minor faults (especially when it comes to DRM).

          The "Richard Stallman crowd" doesn't like TiVo because it violates the spirit of the GPL (although unfortunately not the letter, which is what version 3 is for) by stopping modified code from running. The GPL is not just about being able to see the source code and saying "oh, gee, that's nice;" it's about being abl

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by howardd21 (1001567)
        quote:
        if someone figures out how to take a TiVo and install a linux distro on it and a mythtv install

        I believe that is called a "PC", you can buy them, or do like I do and just buy the parts you need and build it.
  • by adam (1231) * on Monday December 04, 2006 @03:20PM (#17103682)
    After reading the linked "details" article, I am at a loss to tell whether or not this will work with HD-Tivo. I've wanted to buy one of these for a long time (and they've recently hit the market [engadget.com], but at $700ish I can't justify the cost unless I have some way to archive my programing (and Tivo2Go is not offered for HDcontent). HD-DVD and BluRay are both non-starters at the moment, whereas HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, etc all play assloads of HD content all the time (including many movies that aren't out on DVD yet, as well as their own series such as Deadwood, Dexter, etc).

    So can anyone tell me if this actually brightens the prospects of being able to use a series 3 HD Tivo to record HD shows and then archive them offline for storage? I did RTFA but the jargon about headers and address bytes and whatnot got a little heavy for me.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 04, 2006 @03:30PM (#17103852)
      No, this just applies to standard def content from a Series 2 TiVo. You must use the Home Media Option to get the files off the TiVo top begin with. The Series 3 TiVo (the HD version) does not support the Home Media Option.
    • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Monday December 04, 2006 @03:49PM (#17104114) Homepage
      It won't. Series 3 do not have the necessary feature enabled because Cable Labs won't let them (yet). Look for it in a future release (if hell freezes over).

      For getting video off a Series 3, I worry that it will take an external drive (once they enable THAT) and then get the files that way.

      I say all this as a Series 3 owner who, really, doesn't have a ton of use for extracting video.

      In short: Series 3 need not apply.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Macrat (638047)

      You've already paid for an expensive HD TV and the extra charges for the HD channels.

      Now you are going to cry over the cost of the HD Tivo?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jedidiah (1196)
        Yup. A HD TV isn't expensive really. Anymore HD is just a standard feature with any TV that's a decent large screen TV for watching movies. All of that progressive DVD content will be more than adequately cool. You don't even need to futz with the HD channels (payware or otherwise).

        Infact, when stacked up next to a nice progressive DVD those HD channels aren't that hot anyways. Even when not compared to good DVD's in a side by side comparison those HD channels aren't that impressive.

        Many people don't have t
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by InsaneGeek (175763)
          Either you have a really crappy HD input signal, you don't have your TV calibrated correctly (get a video essentials/avia DVD), something else is bad (cables, malfunctioning part, etc), or you have a smaller TV and you are not sitting close to it; because I've never known anybody to say that it's not really that different when seeing the actual difference. (most often it's because they have their TV calibrated to make 408i signals to look better, which unfortunately conversely makes their HD signals look
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by tfoss (203340)
          Infact, when stacked up next to a nice progressive DVD those HD channels aren't that hot anyways. Even when not compared to good DVD's in a side by side comparison those HD channels aren't that impressive.

          If it's good HD, that is just not true. Sure, for poorly encoded, or lower bit-rate transcoded stuff that may be so, but check out PBS-HD and tell me it's not better.

          -Ted
  • by Anonymous Coward
    whats the news? i've been doing this for a while, they come to the pc in a proprietary format and then i use tshow to clean them up. I'm using a series 1.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by NSIM (953498)
      Apples & Oranges, the data you get from the disk on a Series 1 is no-DRM, unencrypted marginally proprietary MPEG-2, the stuff you get from a series 2 via Tivo to Go is DRMed and not easy to un-DRM, so you need a TIVO-annointed software component to read it, this is about removing the TIVO-annointed requirement ;-)
  • No it hasn't. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    It hasn't been "cracked", since it still requires your Media Access Key to decode the video.
    • Re:No it hasn't. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pegr (46683) on Monday December 04, 2006 @03:54PM (#17104182) Homepage Journal
      It hasn't been "cracked", since it still requires your Media Access Key to decode the video.
       
      Remember what Bruce says kids: In the classic encryption scenerio, A(lice) encrypts her message to B(ob) to protect it from C(harles). With DRM, Bob and Charles are the same person!
    • Re:No it hasn't. (Score:4, Informative)

      by mrsbrisby (60242) on Monday December 04, 2006 @04:01PM (#17104294) Homepage
      It hasn't been "cracked", since it still requires your Media Access Key to decode the video.
      Yes it has. The MAK isn't the key to the encrypted stream- the MAK is what's printed on the System Information page in the TiVO.

      This defeats TiVO's DRM that was used to prevent Linux and Mac users from watching shows on their PC.

      Please stop replying if you have no idea what you're talking about.
  • DMCA? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Thunderstruck (210399) on Monday December 04, 2006 @03:22PM (#17103734)
    If I recall, the DMCA prohibits trafficing in technology to bypass security measures on copyrighted media put in place by the owners of that copyright.

    The limitations on Tivo are copy protections put in place by a third party, not the owner. (I can still record the same programs on my betamax with no trouble.) Have I missed something?

    • Re:DMCA? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Aadain2001 (684036) on Monday December 04, 2006 @03:29PM (#17103824) Journal
      IANAL, but from my understanding it can summed up as: the MPAA/ABC/CBS/etc can't sue them for this (they didn't put the protection in place), but TiVo certainly can!
      • Re:DMCA? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by ahknight (128958) * on Monday December 04, 2006 @03:35PM (#17103928)
        It's not TiVo's media. You are, however, breaking the license agreement for the service if you do this and they can disconnect you. That's about it. (IANAL, either)
        • They can definitely shut off your service (thus turning your TiVo into a brain dead PVR), but I still think they are the ones who can sue under the DMCA. While the content (TV show, movie, etc) is not their legal property, they did produce the file that exists on the TiVo and on the user's computer once transfered. The whole reason for the encryption was to prevent the files being shared, thus a form of copyright protection. It's a stretch, but with the current US legal system it's not hard to see TiVo w
    • Re:DMCA? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jerf (17166) on Monday December 04, 2006 @03:32PM (#17103876) Journal
      Why "recall"? This is the Internet. Look it up.
      Sec. 1201. Circumvention of copyright protection systems

                  `(a) VIOLATIONS REGARDING CIRCUMVENTION OF TECHNOLOGICAL MEASURES- (1)(A) No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title. The prohibition contained in the preceding sentence shall take effect at the end of the 2-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this chapter.
      I don't see any reference to who is adding the "protection". This is probably a DMCA violation.

      'Course, unless you run Linux but have never watched a DVD, you've pretty much already opened that door.

      IANAL, but while I'm sure you could argue either way, I'm pretty sure that the better argument is that the DMCA is intended to allow non-owners to add protection, as TiVo is here, for exactly the sort of things TiVo is doing.
      • Re:DMCA? (Score:5, Funny)

        by acklenx (646834) on Monday December 04, 2006 @04:14PM (#17104472) Homepage

        No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title.
        Call me crazy, but if you can circumvent it, then it doesn't seem like it effectively controls access. So you can crack anything that you can crack, duh.
        • by Jerf (17166)

          Call me crazy, but if you can circumvent it, then it doesn't seem like it effectively controls access.

          You'll have to take that up with Congress and the Supreme Court.

          cfulmer's sibling to my post is a much more interesting counterpoint.

          A further interesting point is that while TiVo may not have directly contracted with the media companies (and maybe they did, I just don't remember and if they do have a formal contract none of my internet searches could find it), they clearly added this protection to placate

          • by AusIV (950840)

            it's pretty clear the media companies wouldn't approve of this.

            Is it? We're not talking about music or (new) movies, we're talking about things that are being aired on TV. Every once in a while I'll miss an episode of one of my favorite shows and torrent it. A case point: The TV show Day Break is airing the entire series during a 12 week period. No reruns, no option to buy on iTunes, and if you miss an episode, there's no legit way to catch up - so it's either torrent it, continue on in confusion, or forge

            • by Jerf (17166)
              The media companies don't really approve of TiVos, even, they just haven't figured out to stop them legally. They don't approve of, well, anything. It's not a hard guess that once something has been locked up, they wouldn't approve of you unlocking it.
              • by AusIV (950840)
                Probably true, but I do think the media companies would find a sharp decline in viewers if PVRs got outlawed I have a MythTV box, and frankly I'm not going to interrupt my daily life to go watch a TV show - the only way they're getting me as a viewer is if I can do it on my time. The only way they'll get me to watch commercials is to have a show that is so good I can't wait to watch it, so I'll watch it when it's airing - there are several shows that fall into that category, so it can be done.

                I'm not tryin

        • In this case, the author is using the alternate meaning of effectively, which is to say, "for all practical purposes." So one might also write it as "a technological measure that has the effect of controlling access to a work blah blah..." The author may have wanted to imply a vague concept of access control, for whatever reason.
          • On one hand when the text of a law is ambiguous the courts are supposed to use the interpretation most in favor of the defendant.

            On the other, if it meant what acklenx wished it would say nothing. So the courts would say that this excludes that meaning and the other must be what was meant - making it unabmiguous.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by evilviper (135110)

        'Course, unless you run Linux but have never watched a DVD, you've pretty much already opened that door.

        There's every reason to believe dvdcss (and this software) is perfectly legal under the DMCA, as it falls under "interoperability":

        `(3) The information acquired through the acts permitted under paragraph (1), and the means permitted under paragraph (2), may be made available to others if the person referred to in paragraph (1) or (2), as the case may be, provides such information or means solely for the p

      • Why "recall"? This is the Internet. Look it up.

        Ok.

        `(B) The prohibition contained in subparagraph (A) shall not apply to persons who are users of a copyrighted work which is in a particular class of works, if such persons are, or are likely to be in the succeeding 3-year period, adversely affected by virtue of such prohibition in their ability to make noninfringing uses of that particular class of works under this title, as determined under subparagraph (C).

        `

    • Re:DMCA? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by cfulmer (3166) on Monday December 04, 2006 @03:41PM (#17104010) Homepage Journal
      Well, the relevant part of the DMCA is this:

      'a technological measure "effectively controls access to a work" if the measure, in the ordinary course of its operation, requires the application of information, or a process or a treatment, with the authority of the copyright owner, to gain access to the work.'

      (that's 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(3)(B)). Under your reading, where it says "with the authority of the copyright owner," that means that the copyright owner has to approve the encryption being put in place. Since I don't think Tivo has agreements with all the media companies, I don't think this applies. Also, I don't think Tivo adds anything to the media, so it doesn't have any copyright in it. So, under this section, you're right.

      But, there's another section, 17 U.S.C. 1201(b) which says that you cannot traffic in something that circumvents "a technological measure that effectively protects a right of a copyright owner under this title in a work or a portion thereof." And, here, it does that if it "prevents, restricts, or otherwise limits the exercise of a right of a copyright owner under this title." That's a bit odd to read -- the expression "a right of a copyright owner" is a term of art which basically means "the things only copyright owners can do." The end result is that you cannot traffic in circumvention devices, even if they circumvent something that was not put there with the agreement of the copyright owner, so long as it keeps you from doing something that only the copyright owner can do (i.e. *copying*).

      I think that the end result of this odd situation is that people can circumvent the encryption on the Tivo, but can't provide a tool for others to do the same thing.

      [See a lawyer before you rely on this.]

    • Not if it's technology to bypass security measures in order to achieve interoperability [hellerehrman.com].

      Granted, there's been a few conflicting precedents (DeCSS/libdvdcss) but I think it's well within consumer's rights to watch Tivo-recorded video on whatever OS they darn well please. And on that topic . . . why doesn't Tivo already have a Linux client? It's the native OS on the box itself, after all . . . then again . . . Tivo hasn't shown itself to be particularly supportive of the community that created the base so

  • by Space cowboy (13680) * on Monday December 04, 2006 @03:23PM (#17103742) Journal
    It's cool that Mac/Linux users can now access their media in the same way as Windows users have been able to. It's not *too* cool (ie: dangerous to TiVo, and by extension the implementors) because you still need your MAK key, and all it does is provide the same level of access as TiVo already provide to windows users.

    The crucial thing here is that TiVo took a business decision not to support Mac/Linux users. They can't really complain when those users decide to support themselves, giving themselves the same abilities that TiVo provide to Windows users...

    Personally I think this is the right balance - my TiVo has been sitting in a corner since I moved house - the new cable box does everything TiVo did, and does it in HD (although the interface sucks a bit. Bad comcast). With this though, I can see a new lease of life for the TiVo ... a few creative uses come to mind :-)

    Simon
    • by MBCook (132727)

      Sorry, but I've got to call you on that one. I'm a Mac user and I love my Tivo (I've now got a Series 3). I can't extract video because I have the S3, but I don't have much desire to any way.

      That said...

      They can't really complain (emphasis mine) when those users decide to support themselves, giving themselves the same abilities that TiVo provide to Windows users...

      That's false. People will want the functionality, but TiVo certainly reserves the right to complain.

      That's like buying a little Ford Focus a

      • by Mr2001 (90979)

        That's like buying a little Ford Focus and being mad that you can't tow 3000lbs. You knew that going in.

        Yes... and this crack is like buying a Focus, then putting a bigger engine in it so you can tow 3000 lbs. You aren't suggesting that a Focus owner doesn't have the right to do that, are you?

        TiVo did the smart thing and went after the largest share of the market first. I agree they should add Mac support (Linux is another argument), but they didn't give up their right to control access to their box because

  • Are there any new solutions these days for recording tv that _DON'T_ require subscribing to a monthly service, like the vcr did? Like, say... recording programs to a large hard drive and then being able to either play from the HD or else transfer them to a computer and burn DVD's of the stuff for permanent storage.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      ...recording programs to a large hard drive and then being able to either play from the HD or else transfer them to a computer and burn DVD's of the stuff for permanent storage. There are standalone DVD burners (Panasonic, Sony, etc.) that have hard drives. You record to either DVD or the hard drive, and you can playback from the HD or record the data to DVD.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Cramer (69040)
      Yes. Almost all video capture cards come with programs to do this -- every card I've had/seen from ASUS and ATI does. There won't be any program guide or fancy remote control, but it'll record whatever you program it to. Just like a VCR.

      The appeal of the Tivo is it's simplicity and ease of use. Yes, I can build my own, but it will cost far more than the cost of the tivo and monthly (or lifetime) service. Plus a home grown solution will tend to require never ending tweaks to keep it running.
      • by Abcd1234 (188840)
        *Far* more? Really? I can build a capable Myth system for $500. How much does your Tivo plus a monthly subscription (I don't believe lifetimes are available anymore) for, say, 3 years run you?
    • by jandrese (485)
      while TiVos don't allow you to burn to DVD (AFAIK), they don't also force you to get the guide subscription. The thing is, if you don't have the guide info, you have to specify all of your recordings by time and channel (just like your old VCR!), also the thumbs up/down functionality and everything that goes with it won't work. You also won't get the ability to record shows based on metadata (like the actors, director, substrings in the title, etc...). Honestly, once you get the full fledged TiVo functio
      • by mark-t (151149)

        While TiVos don't allow you to burn to DVD (AFAIK), they don't also force you to get the guide subscription. The thing is, if you don't have the guide info, you have to specify all of your recordings by time and channel (just like your old VCR!)

        Specifying everything by time and channel is perfectly okay by me... it's what I always did with a VCR, after all. But I'd for sure want the ability to either burn a DVD or at least transfer the content to a computer so I can burn it to DVD from there for permanen

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Dewin (989206)
      I'm personally interested in Neuros OSD [thinkgeek.com], which is an open source hardware solution to DVR and whatnot. The specs seem to require a separate memory card or USB hard drive though (no indication of any built-in capacity) -- and I haven't ever actually seen/purchased/played with one.
  • --begin opinion--

    I don't understand why someone would go through the effort of downloading movies from their TiVo to watch on a PC.

    - Basic TiVo quality isn't so hot
    - The TV shows that I record in high-quality usually exist on purchasable DVD's anyway
    - Who ever watch movies more than once or twice? Thanks to Netflix, there is a never ending list of good movies that I've never seen

    I don't see all the fuss. TiVo is fine, the DRM is fine. TiVo records disposable media, and media worth hanging onto is worth p
    • by mrsbrisby (60242)

      I don't understand why someone would go through the effort of downloading movies from their TiVo to watch on a PC. ... The only case I can see is if your kid is on the local news and you want a permanent record. Even then, you can usually contact the news station for that.

      So see? You made a liar of yourself: You _CAN_ understand why someone would download from their tivo to watch on their TV.

      I like putting cartoons on DVD so my kid can watch something on long car rides. Before today, this meant using wine a

    • I collect Rocky Horror and related items. Meat Loaf just released Bat out of Hell 3, and did the circuit of the Today Show, Jimmy Kimmel, etc. I've been recording them at Best quality (+2 minutes on both sides), and then burning them off to DVD. Even with a good DVD burner, you lose quite a bit of quality after the double (or triple, if it's an analog channel) decode/encode cycle. Many of the Lifetime movies that Barry Bostwick stars in are simply unavailable on any media.

      Basically, if you have a reaso

      • > I collect Rocky Horror and related items

        How far does this hobby extend, precisely?
        - Do you attend Susan Sarandon press conferences?
        - How many toasters do you own?
        - Wheelchairs?
        - Fishnet stockings?

    • I don't understand why someone would go through the effort of downloading movies from their TiVo to watch on a PC.

      I'd imagine most people wouldn't use the functionality for this. It's a LOT more usefull for burning the movies to a DVD and watching it on your DVD player connected to your TV though. I'm sure there's a LOT of people that'd like to keep a few seasons of a TV show on DVD that they recorded.

      You could also burn something to DVD and give it to your friend or family to watch. Ever had someone ask
  • So can a MythTV install now send shows recorded by TiVo to other MythTV or TiVo players across the Internet? Do you even need MythTV to do this?
  • Now who will write a MythTV plugin, so I can use Inter-room transfers (or whatever TiVo calls them) between TiVo and Myth? It has already worked the other way, right (at least if you use MPEG2 encoding)?

The more cordial the buyer's secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.

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