Watching TiVo shows on another computer
May 26, 2007 8:50 AM   Subscribe

Is there one of the PVR software systems (MythTV, SageTV, etc) I can use to access my TiVo shows over my network?

I currently have a networked Series2 TiVo in the living room, and a spare Via Epia-M computer sitting around that I'd like to use for media viewing in another room. Ideally, I'm looking for any of these media center front end programs that can transfer TiVo files and play them on the second computer. While I have a TV tuner card to install, that's a secondary concern, I really want to use this unit for watching shows from my TiVo or from the TiVo shared files on my desktop computer (these are normally unencrypted MPEG2 files). While I realize I can just run Windows and the TivoDesktop software, I'm looking for a setup that allows me to do the transfer and watching in an easy-to-use interface (preferably to watch while streaming - like I can do on the TiVo when transferring from my computer). Any suggestions?
posted by shinynewnick to Technology (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Hack your TiVo. Then you can get unprotected MPEG files off it and watch them in any player you like.
posted by kindall at 9:34 AM on May 26, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks, kindall. Actually, you don't need to hack the TiVo to get unprotected MPEG files off. You can transfer them to your computer with TiVoToGo and then use programs to strip off the DRM once it is transferred.

I'm looking for a good interface to do this on the second computer. A way I can look at the list of shows on the TiVo (or on the desktop) and play them over the network.
posted by shinynewnick at 9:43 AM on May 26, 2007

The easy way is just getting a Slingbox. It's a network streaming app that talks to your tivo and you can even access it away from your home network if you want.
posted by mathowie at 9:54 AM on May 26, 2007

I use TivoToGo to pull the shows down to a PC, then I use VideoReDo (best ~$25 I ever spent) to remove the commercials, then I use AutoGordianKnot (best $25 I ever donated, but it's free) to shrink down the files into Xvid-encoded AVI files. Lastly, which is really what you asked about, I keep all the files on a large harddisk on the network, and use GeexBox on an old (re-purposed) laptop connected to the TV to play the files.

You could also use Xbox Media Center (xbmc) on a first-gen Xbox to play the videos instead of a PC & GeexBox.

GeexBox runs off of a LiveCd so you can take any PC and have it up and running in minutes. Only downside is that you have a PC (could be a small form factor box or a small notebook) clumping around near your TV. Not a big deal for some, a total deal-breaker for others.
posted by Radian at 7:11 PM on May 26, 2007 [2 favorites]

J River's Media Center (not the Microsoft thing) can stream from Tivos on the network. They appear as just another uPNP device.

MC is also the best damn media manager software yet made. Think about where something like iTunes is today - MC was there five years ago. If you have a complex system with lots of different devices, speakers in different rooms, and various streamers, then it's a great way to link them together. This sounds like a shill, but it's not. I am just a very satisfied user who gets sad when my friends ask me why their (fill in blank) software is crapping out or can't do X or Y.
posted by meehawl at 10:34 AM on May 27, 2007

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