Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Television Media

Capture MPEG From TiVo 225

Posted by timothy
from the look-out-for-flying-lawsuits dept.
cworley writes: "Andrew Tridgell devised an ethernet for the TiVo a few months ago, but decided not to post any of his vide extraction software, in fear of a Napster-like backlash against TiVo (some of the legal implications were directly discussed in a recent slashdot interview). But, today, MPEG extraction has been released in the TiVo underground, although rough around the edges, it allows the user to view TiVo recordings on any PC in the LAN in real time, as well as save the mpeg2 recordings on your PC." Update: 06/07 05:40PM EST by C : As of a few minutes before this update, the thread regarding this software was pulled from the forum in question. From the message: "We wish for this topic to be 100% dead on this site form this point forward. Thank you." As many users have already said in the comments, there are serious implications with the relese of these tools, that TiVo will have to deal with. I am also disappointed, but not surprised, that the forum thread was pulled.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Capture MPEG From TiVo

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    write that script that streams the playboy channel into alt.binaries.multimedia.erotica?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Good point. I almost forgot that all positions on slashdot are made by one person who is unable to form new opinions based on new information.

    I wish /. had a retard moderation.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Take them out of episode format? Are you nuts man? The cliffhanger endings make watching DW much nicer. And I never ever seem to get tired of seeing the trailer and intro credits roll by. To each his own, I suppose. :-) I've got around 100 VHS tapes filled with DW myself. One day I'll put them into the computer too. --A fellow fan
  • by Anonymous Coward
    There is already a massive effort underway for Dr. Who. Nearly all available who is capped and available in digital formats. See The DW Archive [cjb.net] site for more information. P.S. The preferred format is EPISODIC!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Um, you do realize how many people read this site and how many different opinions are represented here, don't you? It's not necessarily the same people posting one thing, then posting the exact opposite later. Your percieved "hypocrisy" is nothing more than short-sighted immaturity on your part.
  • The instructions are still at the 9thTee URL, only the source/binaries have been moved.

    Moved where?

    I already capture nightly B5 episodes using firewire and convert them to divx v.3, but this sounds like a more convinient way for me to excersize my Fair Use rights. I would seriously consider buying a TiVo if I'm able to record and playback the content to CDR, especially if I can snip out the commercials using an NLE.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Here's a link to the "real" site. Note posting as AC so no Kharma whoring here. http://www.9thtee.com/ExtractStream.html [9thtee.com] WTF is this 2 minute delay between posts now!
  • See:

    http://www.stampede.org/~skibum/tivo/

    I talked to 9thTee, they only had to remove the files because their ISP was getting slashdotted, and supposedly had "other customers" that needed bandwidth ;)

    The instructions are still at the 9thTee URL, only the source/binaries have been moved.

  • Everything is back up and available. Source, binaries, everything.

    http://www.stampede.org/~skibum/tivo/ [stampede.org]
  • It's cowardly, in my arrogant opinion.

    I don't own a TiVo, but you, sir, are a quivering little pussy.

    - A.P.

    --
    Forget Napster. Why not really break the law?

  • I just downloaded all the binaries and source from 9thtee. They're right here [bitey.net].

    --
    Forget Napster. Why not really break the law?

  • All I really want is for Tivo, Replay or, god forbid, Ultimate TV to get it's channel listings and data over ethernet instead of the phone line.

    I don't even have a phone line installed at my house. Why should I? I have a cell phone and I have cable internet access. Why should I pay $20/month for a service I would use only for a 2 minute phone call for a VTR to dial up.

    Supposedly, Microsoft is planning to support the USB to Ethernet adapters to let me do this, but they want to improve the "quality" of the interface first.

    Oh well, maybe someday.
  • by echo (735)
    I wonder how long will it be before Microsoft uses this and DeCSS as an example of how open source "threatens intellectual property"?
  • What I find *really* interesting is the growing fear of that legal backlash. This Tivo hack doesn't necessarily permit anyting beyond fair use/time shifting/space shifting (IANAL, but come on!), but people are screaming for this hack to be smothered lest the Tivo itself be taken away from us.

    In other words - there's unprecedented power in the hands of the individual these days, and the 'content' industries don't like it. The power they have flexed is so intimidating that we're now acting to prevent the release of a new capability that would be in the hands of the individual Tivo owner. A chilling effect, no?

    Soon, the MPAA, RIAA, etc. won't need to pay lawyers or defend their abuses of copyright in court. We'll be so afraid of having our rights trampled that we'll trample them ourselves.
  • TiVo didn't put that connector on there just to be irritating. It's on the PowerPC reference board from IBM that they designed the TiVo around.
  • Why try to send _decoded_ video over a USB port? It makes much more sense to keep the existing MPEG encoding and then dump it for editing.. (much like this tivo hack is for.. so you don't have to go analog->mpeg->analog->computer->endformat).
  • by Zarquon (1778) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @11:09AM (#168200)
    Well, there is one major restriction for now: IO. Tivos don't have any fancy IO ports on them by default, just a serial port. That leaves three options: Building the ethernet card hack (or buying it) which isn't cheap, physically removing the hard drive and reading it on a computer (no mfs drivers yet, AFAIK), or streaming the sucker over a low-grade serial port (think weeks).
    Also, except for a few boxes where you can get a bash prompt without opening it, all these methods void your warranty.
  • by Zarquon (1778) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @11:45AM (#168201)
    Well, if the damage is already done, and your tools are so much better than Nick Hull's, why don't you release yours (well, tridge's) now?
  • Naw, your reply was to a different anonymous coward. I didn't want to directly connect my business with my personal opinion. The second person you were replying to has a very important point. Until quite recently copyright law only applied in a meaningful way to companies in the copyright industries who would employ lawyers to interpret and influence its evolution. Now that they need and want it to apply to everyone they plan to extend their industry brokered deals as if it were legitimate public policy, for example the theory that every time a digital copy is loaded into memory there is an actionable copy that requires a license. Ha, try to get that one to pass in the clear light of day. Read Littman's book "Digital Copyright" to see all the sordid details.

    Anyhow, buckling under preemptively to every outrageous demand of these robber barons (don't forget the Constitution introduces this topic to encourage the eventual enrichment of the public domain, not its evisceration in back room deals) will do nothing but encourage their rapacity. This is much bigger than just a specific case. Don't forget they already lost this case in "Sony vs Universal Studios" so they are trying to rewrite history by fiat.
  • Owner of Hogan's heroes sues Tivo. Tivo goes after infringers (or, more likely, goes out of business.)
  • It turns out that writing computer software is not half as easy as you seem to think.
  • Under the DMCA, access control doesn't have to be robust encryption; as long as it's a means of making something less readable. If you XOR your new movie with 0xff, you can sue people for illegally decrypting it.

    As such, if TiVo deliberately did not reveal the details of the proprietary file system format, which is used for storing (and thereby controlling access to) copyrighted materials, they could be within their rights to sue under the DMCA anybody reverse-engineering it.
  • well, that's partly what I was talking about. The kind of flesh-eating lawyers wielded like linebackers in the software/content business these days are more than formidable -- they're completely unsurmountable by individuals and small corporations.When is the chilling effect going to sink all the way back to the engineering decisions made at the design stage of product development for these kinds of appliances?
  • by fade (4063) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @10:02AM (#168207) Homepage
    ... watching how commodity appliances based on free software evolve and mutate beyond the intentions of their creators. While this is obviously good for the consumer, this kind of activity seems to be broadly percieved as threatening to the producers of these toys. I wonder if the real threat to free software systems in embedded roles is the building legal backlash; eventually the costs of defending engineering choices is going to offset the advantages of choosing free systems to begin with and purely pragmatic people (accountants) will decide that it's not worth the effort and time. Is this what groups like the MPAA, RIAA and the proprietary software houses are counting on?
  • Well, yes, that's (normally) rather easy to do. Pointless and stupid, but rather easy.
  • I hardly think that the same people who could install napster are going to be able to hack napster, get linux up and running, etc - its too much trouble for your average idiot.

    By your logic, the only people who are able to use Napster are those who were able to write their own client from scratch. Sooner or later, one bright guy makes it easy enough for the average idiot. Then the shit hits the fan.
  • Yeah, I've read it. A bunch of whining and crying about, essentially, nothing.

  • I was simply stating that it is more difficult to hack your linux-based Tivo appliance, then it is to install the window-based Napster client.

    My logic does not allow you to conclude "the only people who are able to use Napster are those who were able to write their own client from scratch."


    Let me clarify. You're stating that applying these tools today is beyond the reach of the average idiot. I agree completely. My point is not about the state of things today, but the direction that things are now headed.

    My point is that this brings us a step closer to the day when the average idiot will be able to use his TiVo to easily trade video over the 'net. Sure, he may have to recruit a technically oriented buddy to install the ethernet, but the software side could be made every bit as simple as Napster.

  • t's not pointless and stupid if you want to use this new hack. It doesn't work with the 2.0 version of the software.

    I'm sure it will soon.
  • The thing is that they CAN'T change the codec. All of the encoding/decoding is handled in hardware, and the processor isn't nearly powerful enough to implement a software codec.

    More likely they'll just change the software so that it refuses to operate on a modified box.
  • I can't speak for sorphin, but as someone who knows the "secret handshake" I can tell you what it is that I'm pissed about.

    I'm pissed that this is quite likely going to force TiVo to take action against modified boxes. I'm pissed that the modifications I've been enjoying on my TiVos up until now will, in all likelihood, not be possible in the future.

    I'm pissed that the next time I buy a 20 hour TiVo, it will probably have to remain a 20 hour TiVo.

    I'm pissed that I'll probably have to install a land line again, since running serial PPP over my cable modem probably won't be an option anymore.

    And I'm sure that the folks who dropped a hundred bucks to add ethernet are going to be pissed when that little circuit board is rendered useless.

    In short, there are plenty of reasons to be disturbed by this that have nothing to do with elitism, exclusivity, or "secret handshakes".
  • by bonehead (6382) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @10:22AM (#168216)
    Gotta agree with sorphin on this one. Beneath the cheers of all the people shouting about what a great thing this is, there are a handful of folks who understand the probable ramifications, and are truly dismayed that this software was released.

    Sure, it's useful, and a cool thing to be able to do. But having this stuff out there will likely have negative repurcussions that could have been avoided if things had been handled properly.

    You can scream your "Information wants to be free" battle cry at the top of your lungs all you want. It doesn't change the reality that the people who own the rights to that information DON'T want it to be free, and will fight to maintain control.

    My bet is that the public availability of this software will end up being a lose/lose situation.

  • by waldoj (8229) <(waldo) (at) (jaquith.org)> on Thursday June 07, 2001 @10:23AM (#168219) Homepage Journal
    My roommate just got digital cable, which came with a really incredible cable box. It's a Scientific-Atlanta Explorer 3100, which comes with a smartcard slot (PCMCIA sized), s-video output, 2 USB slots, 2MB flash memory, 10MB of DRAM, a 54MIPS Sun MicroSparc RISC processor, DES decryption and a damned fast upstream connection. When we first flip to a channel, the video is digitally distorted for a second or so. (You know, like low-quality RealVideo.) This is because it handles video in an MPEG format. So this has got me thinking -- surely there's some way that I can take this native MPEG video format and export it, presumably via USB, to a hard drive or CD burner or something.

    So what I'm wondering is if the same good hacking that's enabled MPEG captures from Tivo will permit capturing video from these fancy digital cable boxen.

    -Waldo
  • by Sethb (9355) <bokelman@gmail.com> on Thursday June 07, 2001 @10:12AM (#168221) Homepage
    Or, you could just use a Terapin device which can record to CD-R

    Here's a link to their store [goterapin.com]
    ---
  • by unsung (10704) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @11:51AM (#168224) Journal
    The strange thing about video is that I simply don't have the patience to watch the same show again and again like I would music files. Probably has to do with the fact that I can't do much else if I'm watching TV shows, whereas with music, I'm driving a car, reading a book, surfing the net, doing my dishes...

    Bandwidth also is an issue... in fact, I didn't even realize this until I put it down here, but - Music files you can download (albeit painfully) through dial-up. Movie files? full length MPEG2 (DVD) movies are 8 GB!... MPEG4 you can bring a movie down to 700MB. When was the last time you downloaded an entire linux distribution over DSL? Takes a while, doesn't it? Basically, DSL users can spend a couple of hours downloading one movie provided there's a reasonably fast server... but in instances of P2P, who's going to open their bandwidth so that 10's of not hundreds or thousands of people grab their movies? Ok, I may do it from home for about a day just for kicks, but I wouldn't be able to do it from work (where most of us have faster connections).

  • by sorphin (14046) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @10:13AM (#168225)
    cuz it's gonna soon as the media finds this, and of course, it hits TiVo... all i can say.. Thanks alot chris.. (cworley).. now the 'vcd kiddies' will strike, piss everyone off, make tivo act, and there goes my hobby.. all i have to say, is if/when tivo acts, you'll see *why* we didn't release the tools we have.. (which, i can tell you work probably better than nickhull's)..

    sorphin
    Chief #TiVo Elitist
  • by Sloppy (14984) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @10:33AM (#168229) Homepage Journal

    This is interesting, because the party that owns the copyright on the encrypted streams, and the party that encrypted (Tivo? Or the Tivo machine?) are different.

    The owner of "Hogan's Heroes" can't sue you under DMCA for cracking the encryption, because they broadcast it without encryption. Their content doesn't have a "technological measure that effectively controls access."

    Tivo can't sue you under DMCA for cracking their encryption, because they don't own the copyright to the stuff being decrypted.

    It's legal.


    ---
  • For all of the people saying that this will make it easier to pirate video.. I don't really think so.

    Our imaginary TiVo pirate will pay $300 or so for the box, $100 for the network interface, $10 a month subscription. Plus he will void his potentially-valuable warranty, and spend hours of time setting up the system. And he'll have to reencode his MPEG's to fix artifact problems. Other technical difficulties will ensue.

    All this will give him some of the capabilities he would have had with a $250 Dazzle DV Creator II... except that the DDV2 would actually WORK (valid files, for instance) right off the bat, and provide higher quality video, support for popular codecs like RealMedia.... etc. (Disclaimer: I picked a midrange video capture card at random, I don't own one of these and I'm not endorsing them)

    This hack is pretty cool. But it has appeal only for hackers, not pirates. People that have the knowledge, time and motivation to do this trick are not going to seriously bother to spend all day distributing movies over their cable modems. They will have more interesting problems to solve, and much better ways to get respect. And the pir8 skr1p+ |1dd13z types will spend their allowance money on a cheap video capture card that works in Windows, like normal people. In case you [the reader] are clueless or just haven't ever used IRC, allow me to inform you that about 99 percent of the video pirates out there are running a Windows machine.

    It will be a sad day if TiVo does not see this and decides to litigate or otherwise be a pain in the ass. Hopefully TiVo will realize (before the "everybody loses" scenario occurs) that actually acting against the community, as opposed to making a little noise for the media, would be pointless and rude. This type of thing can generate publicity which sells units. The more units, the more money. That's what they care about, right?
  • It doesn't record the encrypted stream, it records the decrypted stream. Decryption happens before it's passed out of the DirecTV "tuner". There's two decryption chips on the mobo.

    And yes, it's stored as MPEG2, with some minor modifications for speed improvements, most likely. But yeah, this util will likely work without a lot of modifications on a D-Tivo, which is the whole problem. DTV won't like people being able to pull their streams off the unit.
  • TivoNet. Interface your Tivo into an ethernet. Yes, it can get guide data this way. No, it's not an extremely easy hack, but it's not that difficult either if you are clueful.

    Of course, with this new hack, I expect hacking will be harder in the future, so your milage may vary.
  • by Otto (17870) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @01:10PM (#168233) Homepage Journal
    Besides, how does it matter if you extract video from a DirecTiVo rather than a stand-alone TiVo hooked to a DirecTV receiver? It's the same content, and the same copyright holders. Distributing extracted video would be copyright infringement either way.

    You're preaching to the choir, man. In my mind both are the same as pulling it out over the analog video connection, reencoding it, and distributing it. I think that legally there's no difference.

    However, I don't expect the CEOs of various companies to see it that way, because I have low opinions of their intelligence. :P
  • I thought there was a satellite based tivo that didn't need to encode analog video? If so, it would have perfect MPEG instead of "resampled" video.
  • If TiVo disables my TiVoNET ethernet board, then I'll cancel TiVo service and feed the guide data myself. Blocking the 'hackers' is going to affect their revenue. I will be the first to cancel service and strike out on my own *and* further develop TiVo software.
  • I think it would have been better if the tools had been released earlier. The "hackers steal IP" story has been simmering too long now. Long enough that most people have been made to believe that IP can be stolen.

    Let's face it. These are tools for doing what every consumer who purchases a TiVo wants to do: store exact copies of the shows they record to a long-term storage system.

    I just wish this had been done through the TiVo software, so that I could select the "Save to HTML Form" option on my TiVo ;-)

    --
    Aaron Sherman (ajs@ajs.com)
  • Yeah, why is this suprising? I do file uploads all the time through HTML forms. It's just a matter of turning the file into a MIME attachment on the HTTP request and setting the right multipart headers.

    --
    Aaron Sherman (ajs@ajs.com)
  • One would hope that accountants would clue in to the extra sales that a better product brings in,

    The problem here is that in many cases hardware is being sold at below cost (even given away) with the money being made on service provision.
  • The solution here would seem to be that eventually brains would win out and companies would see that the loss leader subscription model is really pretty stupid

    A big problem with this business model is that the loss leader forms a large part of the business. When someone like a supermarket uses loss leader products these might be a dozen out of thousands of products. Also you can be sure that even if all of their loss leaders were to be cherry picked then they won't lose money.

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of googly-eyed execs who have fallen in love with the concept of instead of customers paying once, they pay forever... problem is, they don't stop to think that in the tech industry, forever is a very short time indeed.

    Also if they use commodity hardware then it's quite likely that their hardware is not as tied to the service as they might think. This model can work with mobile phones since no-one is selling mobile base stations for PBX useage. Thus without the subscription the phone really is useless.
  • Thank you, sir! A voice of reason! We need people like you on slashdot.

    -grendel drago
  • Well, yea, it can be done now... hell, I can do it... but it's time consuming and difficult. This makes it automatic. And once it's done... well, it's difficult to reverse. And I'm not talking about people recording the shows using this hack indefinitely... I mean, once they're on your hard drive, or burned to CDR, they're pretty much YOURS. And once they're on the Internet, it's hard to get them off of it.

    Besides, yea there's TV rippers out there, but that scene doesn't compare to the movie rip scene... especially because why go through all the trouble of downloading an episode of the Simpsons when it's gonna be on 6pm every day anyway? Perhaps this will increase the speed of deployment and availabilty of TV shows to the point where it becomes a worthwhile scene to be involved in.

    And, unlike with movies, syndication will remain popular. It's less trouble to watch the Simpsons at 6pm than it is to go find it on your computer and choose a random episode. Most likely, people will watch the Simpsons more when it's NOT supposed to be on, which is the same as time-shifting, which is legal. Of course, the entertainment industry does lose a lot of control here, hence there's probaby some reason they'll create (if it doesn't already exist) to make this horribly illegal (you know, like 15 years in jail for every episode you "pirate")...
  • by brianvan (42539) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @10:28AM (#168255)
    and one step farther back for the entertainment industry.

    Over the past... I dunno, say 20 years... the media and entertainment industry has been hyping up and trying to plan the deployment of their ultimate wet dream: on-demand pay per view for everyone and everything. This would mean total control over viewership, programming, and revenue for the entertainment industry... the whole thing about choosing stuff to watch when you want to watch it is just a red herring, cause ultimately you won't have everything at your fingertips at once even if they could provide it that way. It'll just be what they want you to see. Hence, just like today, you might have a choice of when you want to start watching a movie (except you'll have a greater flexibility in choosing the start time), but just like today there will be days when all that's available to watch is "Battlefield Earth" if they so choose to do that. (That's a great scheme, to play one movie all day on a PPV channel no matter how bad it is) That's obviously a bit extreme of a scenario, but I assure you their intentions are not much different from that.

    On the other hand, the public does not want pay per view, and on-demand service is not enough compensation to deal with such a nuisance. Furthermore, people want access to EVERYTHING at any time... hey, I wanna watch that old episode of "Growing Pains", get it NOW. I'm in the mood to watch "The Godfather", so bring it to me. Or, perhaps I want to see the Redskins win the Super Bowl in '87 again. And I want to see the best commercials from 1993, just to be nostalgic. This is what people want... and they want it in decent quality, and they don't want to pay a lot to do it. Unfortunately, this would kill broadcast television, the home video market, and the video rental market all at once - hypothetically, anyway. Just like Napster is killing radio, CD sales, and music stores - it's not really, but some people think the potential is there.

    This just hastens the massacre on the way. TiVO itself is bad enough... but now people will be distributing those episodes of "Seinfeld" on the Internet for everyone to watch at anytime. It won't make a squat of difference at the moment on ratings, but once people have a taste of something like that, they continue down that path with or without the help of the entertainment industry. So, it's up to them to either provide services that would improve on what's available in the underground, or to die a slow miserable death trying to fight the oncoming rush of things bigger and better.

    Of course, I don't support the idea of media being FREE, but then again, if there's not a convenient and practical way to pay for it, I'm not gonna deny myself the enjoyment of what's out there...
  • Is he a troll? Yes. Does he have a point? Most definitely.
  • by GoofyBoy (44399) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @09:54AM (#168259) Journal
    .. than having a computer with a TV-in port?
  • Now, the big question is will one be able to do the opposite, copy your MPEGs onto your TiVO.

    Personally, I wouldn't care too much about that...it might be nice once in a while, but what I'd really like would be for my TiVo to grab a show so that I can transfer it to my computer and then burn an SVCD or two. I can then pop that SVCD into my DVD player and watch it. (It also frees up disk space on the TiVo...I have 45GB in mine, but there's no sense wasting it.)

    Maybe this has already been answered further downstream, but are there any mirrors of the software to grab video from your TiVo? If it's still out there, then I guess it's time to get a TiVoNet adapter and go to town. :-)

  • Where are our
    Region 1 DVD's? Where's the new series? Where's BBC America on my local cable provider?

    If your cable provider has a digital-cable service, you might have BBC America on it. When my parents returned from overseas, they signed up for digital cable [cox.com] specifically because BBC America was available on it. (They don't care much for Doctor Who, but they've followed EastEnders as much as they could since it premiered in the mid-80s. BBC America is also on digital cable where I live [cox.com], but I don't watch enough TV to justify the expense, and (dragging this back on-topic) I don't know if a TiVo can control a digital-cable receiver.)

  • I have NO PROBLEM getting TiVo to do all these incredibly bizarre things it was never meant to do (like Caller ID, video extraction, or asking me if it should call for chinese takeout).


    I'll have an order of whoflungdung, charpet on a stick, and my girlfriend will have an order of Cream of someyoungguy.
  • by hattig (47930) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @10:10AM (#168264) Journal
    So, already I see Slashdottians doing a complete U-turn faster than it takes to say "George Bush". Earlier today, TiVo was evil, nasty, dictatorial and enslaving...

    now their hardware is hackable and can be used to distribute video around a house (but could it stream video from another computer in the house - say a CD-jukebox all burned with MPEG movies?), so instantly people will forget about earlier ("Ooh, I've lost the functionality to record what I am currently watching" story).

    Anyway, so what is the "PCI style" connector on the TiVo? Is it a PCI slot in reverse (connector instead of slot)? If so, then why not just get a PCI ethernet card, so some jiggery with the interface (turn a connector into a 90degree angle slot) and use that?

    F*CKING BT-GOATSE.CX-INTERNET threw me off after 10 minutes online and then not let me back on again. 30 redials, all with engaged tone. calm ... calm ... calm ... the glass has done nothing wrong.

  • I don't think TiVo is mostly worried about being sued by the networks; the time-shifting battle is over, and it's legal. What TiVo is worried about is that their business plan includes partnerships with various TV networks, by which I means investments from those networks (NBC and various cable channels at the moment). They don't want that to dry up. So it's not quite the same as a Napster-like TV tool.
  • The solution here would seem to be that eventually brains would win out and companies would see that the loss leader subscription model is really pretty stupid. Unfortunately, there are a lot of googly-eyed execs who have fallen in love with the concept of instead of customers paying once, they pay forever... problem is, they don't stop to think that in the tech industry, forever is a very short time indeed. Short enough that they very well could make less on hardware+subs than on hardware alone.

    Incidentally, I'd bet these are the same breed of people whose Internet strategy was "we want to be the Amazon.com of dust bunnies!". But since they are actually bringing in at least a few dollars, unlike the ones who came before, they are taken seriously.

    Let it take its course; it'll go away soon. :-)

  • by Louis Savain (65843) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @10:28AM (#168274) Homepage
    All multimedia should be set free.

    I agree. The only property worthy of the name is tangible property. If you cannot put a fence around it or put chains on it or lock it up in some manner, it does not belong to you. Once it is released to the world, it belongs to nobody or to everybody. There are tens of millions of copies of Windows and MS Office being used freely around the world right now and there isn't a damn thing Microsoft can do about it. The Brazillian goverment in now using patented AIDS drugs to cure AIDS victims without sending a cent to the patent holders. Information (ideas, music, software, inventions, writings, etc...) wants to be free. There is no stopping it.

    IP laws are unnatural and IP owners must rely on powerful police states to force people to comply. Only big-brother type governments can enforce them. The only way to defeat IP laws is to copy it all and download it all!

    You may ask, "What are artists, inventors and programmers going to do for a living?" My answer is that the system must be changed. What is everybody going to do when AI and advanced robotics replace everybody? We need a system based, not on labor, but on everybody being guaranteed an inheritance in the earth, a piece of the pie, an estate if you will. What we do with our piece is up to us. Such a system would ensure a totally free market the way it was supposed to be. No more slavery, no more sucking up to those who exploit us. Real freedom.

    Demand Liberty! Nothing less!
  • by Zak3056 (69287) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @11:41AM (#168277) Journal
    Damn you waldo, now I'm going to have to resist tearing into my cable box when I get home from work. Hmm.. Or maybe I'll just bust up my roommate's. Heh.

    If you're being serious, I'd be careful. A large number of (leased) cable boxes include an anti tamper circuit. Take the screws out and pop the cover in the wrong way, the unit gets zorched. This could incur liability when you attempt to get the cable company to replace your box ("You opened it?! You pirate!")

  • by intuition (74209) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @10:09AM (#168282) Homepage
    As has been said before, The reason napster was so sucessful was that it enable the average idiot to establish a node on a P2P network and share files.

    I hardly think that the same people who could install napster are going to be able to hack napster, get linux up and running, etc - its too much trouble for your average idiot.

    As an aside,

    "The software is functional, but has limitations that we hope to remove in the future.

    Direct viewing can only be done on a Linux PC."

    Now all you people who whine about Windows Media, Realmedia, Quicktime, et al. can have your day of glory.

  • I seem to recall a thread no more than a day ago where legions of people were going to start class-action lawsuits against a company for not being able to use their product (which they sell for much less than cost) in a manner opposing what the box says is required for full functionality (namely the TiVo service)... but now when someone breaks into the TiVo and figures out how to do something illegal with it, everyone sings it's praises!

    I can't stand it anymore. I can't stand this hypocrisy. When someone wants to use the product in an unintended manner and fails (hence full recording capabilities without service), they scream, whine, bitch and moan to the company and every available media outlet possible. They threaten legal action, and promise to make said company's life a living hell until they get what they want. But when someone is successful in getting TiVo to do something that it was designed not to do (hence perfect video extraction), people flock to it.

    I have NO PROBLEM getting TiVo to do all these incredibly bizarre things it was never meant to do (like Caller ID, video extraction, or asking me if it should call for chinese takeout). The only problem I have is when people can't make it do something, and they threaten the well-being of the company. TiVo is bar none the GREATEST electronic device I own, and I can't imagine my TV viewing experience without it. So now TiVo will not only have to deal with the legions of imbeciles that want to sue to use their product (again, sold AT A LOSS) without service, but now the legal problems with decoding DirecTV service and digital distribution of said service is going to keep TiVo more than occupied for a long while. And as stated elsewhere in this posting, all the public release of this hack will lead to, is TiVo doing a lot more anti-hacking coding, which makes all of us in the TiVo hacking community much worse off.

    (P.S. When I stated this was illegal, I'm referring specifically to the DirecTV combo boxen, for which this is SURELY going to be a major legal problem. Other applications, such as the standalone boxen, present a blurry legal issue that I'm sure this discovery will bring to the forefront.)
  • As AVS forum has banned the topic [avsforum.com] entirely from their site, I have set up a tempoary Yahoo Group [yahoo.com] for technical issues relating to video and audio extraction.
  • A large number of (leased) cable boxes include an anti tamper circuit. Take the screws out and pop the cover in the wrong way, the unit gets zorched.

    Well wouldn't unplugging it for a few days remove that possibility? Surely they couldn't do that with any battery that was small enough to survive in there; not with so much more juice going in from the A/C ...
  • The owners of the AVS forum won't allow further posting of mpeg extraction questions. Given that the message will be deleted in 48 hours, I thought it might be good to post it somewhere where the record will remain:

    http://www.avsforum.com/ubbtivo/Forum6/HTML/0054 98 .html

    Ok...I will try to make this a plain as I can.

    After thinking this over and going through all this for the last 48 hours I would like to respectfully request the following. My reasons are also given.

    1) I request their be NO LINKS to any extraction software on this site including NO LINKS to others sites that do nothing but offer the software for download. This does not include other hacking sites. But don't care to see just a post that does nothing but point to a site that offers nothing but the download. (I think you know what I mean.) The data extraction it is still a gray area to me and thus I care not to even take the chance at getting anyone upset. (Thanks for all the letters trying to help me understand it.)

    2) I request their be NO POSTS on hacking the channel guide, the subscription service, or any other area that would cost revenue loss to any company. This I know really has been taboo and I thank you for that.

    I really do not care about hardware hacks at all, or even the software ones, for it seems that no company that I have read about is upset by this. Just please, nothing that can effect a bottom line of any company, in any way. That is what starts to raise issues in my head.

    You see, if we want TiVo (or other companies) to read and post on the site, then I need to take care that some lines are not crossed that will make them not want to be here or link to this site any longer. I for one like them here and I also think they like being here for the customers. I like that they choose to link to this site from theirs and feel proud they choose myself and this site for this purpose. Very Proud Indeed!!!

    So, I respectfully ask that the above now be followed from this point forward and hope you can understand why. I have received a lot of mail that has been informative, helpful, and sometimes down right rude. But hey...People are people and we all have our own thoughts on different matters. That is what make us...well...us.

    I thank you for your time and understanding in this matter. I am not stopping the talk of hacking, just trying to protect this site from the touchy areas. I think most of the underground community here enjoy the chats and the learning that take place here...I would like to protect that and still have the trust of the companies evolved.

    Please, this is not up for debate for I feel good about this. Not to be rude, but I will not reply to posts or e-mail on this, for I am quite tired after all this. This post will be closed within 48 hours.

    Respectfully
    Submitted,

    David Bott

    Note:

    The TiVoNet questions might be moving to:

    http://www.linux-hacker.net/cgi-bin/UltraBoard/U lt raBoard.pl?Action=ShowBoard&Board=tivohacks&Idle=& Sort=&Order=&Session=

  • by cworley (96911) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @08:35PM (#168297)
    >Big difference here, the DirecTiVo units store the pure, original, never-converted-to-analog, mpeg2

    Agreed. The MPAA will go nuts if DVD quality bootlegs are marketed or distributed.

    My point is: the problem occurs if someone distributes. DirecTV/MPAA is not going to take people to court who view the extracted mpegs on their computer, or make VCD's for personal use, ore any other "fair use" application... They're only concerned about distribution.

    TiVo can keep it's hackers and DirectTV/MPAA happy at the same time by spying. It's easier to implement (than shutting hacking down entirely), and harder for the hackers to detect, and the only ones that will care are those very few with distribution in mind.

    TiVo can, for example, randomly pepper the mpegs with your encrypted serial number -- no effect to video quality, impossible to differentiate from mpeg data. If a bootleg mpeg is being distributed with your serial number... you're busted.

    I can think of many ways for them to implement similar schemes. Low overhead (for their CPU) and impossible to detect.

    If they clobber the hack altogether, then you immediately realize it, download your backup, and you're back in business. Then, sombody will hack the program guide... which is illegal because it is encrypted... and TiVo will loose the revenue stream they've been enjoying from their hackers.

    Which method do you think TiVo & DireTV will prefer?

    It's a no-brainer...

  • by cworley (96911) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @11:05AM (#168298)
    I changed my mind. That hinking doesn't make sense.

    Tivo as Napster doesn't fit. They are not the medium of exchange, they're the capture device.

    There are a lot of capture devices, including Hauppauge's PVR which also captures mpeg. Nobody's going after them.

    TiVo loves it's hackers. They bring in money... not much but they need all they can get.

    DirectTV's DSS hackers steal service, TiVo's hackers pay for service -- I don't think TiVo want's to change that arrangement and make it hostile.

    If DirectTV has a problem with DirectTiVo's (which the ethernet hardware and software don't work on, anyway), then I think TiVo will be able to convince them there's more value in "spying" on their customers (which is legal by the DirecTiVo eula) than there is in shutting them down.

    Shut the hackers down, and they'll find a way around the service altogether, and still be extracting mpegs.

    Spy on the hackers, and you'll be able to pinpoint who's distributing MPEGS from DirecTiVo's -- if anyone does.

    Plus, there is no DMCA-style encryption for the MPAA to claim "beyond fair use".

    I've changed my mind from that post.

    Logically, this will be a win-win situation.

    Look how many folks responded in slashdot that they're going to buy a TiVo today!

  • One would hope that accountants would clue in to the extra sales that a better product brings in, to counter the threat of suits. On the other hand, given the percieved rising cost of litigation these days, that hope may be in vain.
  • I still have to put together my TivoNet, however, I'd suggest looking into the Broadcast Project for Linux. There are many tools and utils included, some specifically for straming in a format Windows will like.
  • by Kagato (116051) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @04:15PM (#168307)
    Get off your high horse, I now have possession of two seperate distro's that do this. Neither are Tridges. It's not hard to pull the MPEG out of Tivo if you look at Playstream. In fact one group modified it in less than a day. *rolls eyes*

    Here's what horks me off about this. I've read the DMCA front to back, I've read Sony Beta Max rulings, home recording act, EFF opinions, and everything I see pretty much says it's un-encrypted analog (in the case of my Tivo) I can copy it for my personal use, put it on a CD-R, lend it to a friend, blah, blah, blah, and I'm allowed to.

    Tridges only PUBLIC comments on Tivo's objections to releasing the code were that they were "weak". Other than that, no ones posted any official or unoffical communications from Tivo about posting the code. Tridge certainly isn't talking, and the appointed mouth pieces for him come out Jihad style basically turning pissing off people who were generally nutral or supportive.

    The problem is people who already had the working code on avs and irc, even if they didn't mean to, flaunted it in a fairly elist way. All that serves is to make technical geeks who were late getting onto the Tivo boat more determined to come up with a solution. And that's pretty much what happened.

    If Tivo wants to get heavy handed about this, fine. Wall street already thinks the 9.99 a month fee is going to land Tivo in the Tech Dead Pool in a couple years.

    At the moment though Tivo is playing this really well. AVS and #Tivo declairing Jihad so they don't even have to be heavy handed. Go work.
  • True, inside a PC is a lousy environment for a receiver. Things like grounding and case RF-tightness matter. If you're receiving over-the-air signals, an external RF preamp (one of those things that goes on an outside TV antenna) can be a big help.
  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @12:30PM (#168311) Homepage
    Why is this a big deal? You can buy a WinTV-PVR board that includes a cable-ready tuner [hauppauge.com]. That unit can receive TV, encode it into MPEG-2, and store it on a PC. What's the advantage of using a TiVo box as a buffer?

    In any case, it's legal to record broadcast TV. That was settled long ago.

  • Just post it again. Even better, make/find a program that notices when your post is cancelled and auto-reposts it. The good news is a LOT of sites ignore cancel messages nowadays...

    I just had this post rejected and got a message saying I must wait 2 minutes between posts. So much for free speech here. 1 minute is reasonable, but the 2 minute time is TOO LONG, both my posts were legitimate. Can we cut it back to one minute for those with karma >= 25? Well, I'll wait tand try it again...

  • by elegant7x (142766) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @06:15PM (#168321)
    I don't get why these people were so worried. I mean, did they think people would be afraid if people could (oh my gosh) record television shows? Oh The horror!

    Seriously, hundreds of millions of people around the world already have the ability to permanently store video... it's called a VCR. I mean, fuck I can get then tapes for ten dollars nowadays.

    I can't believe that a place calling itself 'the TiVo underground' would voluntarily pull stuff, without any threatening letters, and ban the discussion of said tool on their site. I mean, what the fuck.

    Recording television shows. Oh, the horror!

    (By the way, seriously cool hardware hack! I am sexualy aroused.)
  • by djrogers (153854) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @06:12PM (#168326)

    There are a lot of capture devices, including Hauppauge's PVR which also captures mpeg

    Big difference here, the DirecTiVo units store the pure, original, never-converted-to-analog, mpeg2 files that are recorded on it... A truly beautiful thing, and if hacked DirecTV would be in direct trouble from then networks, the RIAA, and everyone else under the sun...
  • by robhu (154103) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @01:25PM (#168327) Homepage

    Tivo Community have shutdown the thread because its going to screw up the relationship between the hackers and Tivo (which was good until now - oops!)

    Anyway - the link for the software is here at 9th Tee [9thtee.com].

    Have fun! :0)
    -Rob

    "Black holes are where God is dividing by zero." --Anonymous

    "Only wimps use tape backup: _real_ men just upload their important stuff on ftp, and let the rest of the world mirror it." -- Linus Torvalds
  • by issachar (170323) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @10:16AM (#168337) Homepage
    Now this is the problem with all these admitedly very cool Napster-like copyright infringement tools.

    This is a reposting of cworley/s comment on the TIVO discussion board [avsforum.com].

    ***

    Here's the scenario:

    The code is released, TiVoNets/TiVo's sell like mad.

    DirectTV gets wind, and tells TiVo to "shut them down".

    TiVo complies: nightly dialin's delete files that aren't supposed to be there, add software that changes the MFS, add encryption to the MFS data (making any hacking illegal).

    This drives the hackers underground. The honeymoon is over. TiVo treats its hackes like DirectTV treats DSS hackers.

    The TiVo hackers subvert and make the program guide free.

    TiVo looses it's revenue stream.

    Everybody looses.

    ***

    Until we find away to make information "free", without removing all incentives to make the content in the first place, these technologies will continue to be surpressed in the legal system. Simply saying "screw 'em" achieves nothing except to make the guy saying it feel all cool and defiant.

  • What would be better would be to be able to copy mpeg2 from a computer to a tivo so you could watch movies stored on a server or copy shows to anoughter tivo.

    MG

  • by sulli (195030) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @10:22AM (#168343) Journal
    Now this, unlike the previous TiVo story, [slashdot.org] should have been put in the Upgrades [slashdot.org] category!
  • Durning every discussion I've ever had about Tivo, I've always said I'll get one when I can pull the videos off for archive to DVD. I'm ready to put my money where my mouth has been for the last 18 months. If anyone is in Cincinnati, and you see a Silver Audi TT hauling tail, GET OUT OF THE WAY!

    A big congradulations to all the people in the Tivo underground forum. They are true hackers and have done some really cool stuff to the little PPC linux box.

  • I also have about 100 tapes, about a quarter of which are store bought... most of Tom Baker (only missing that one silly episode with the big man-eating plant -- the second one, with k9 & romana), most (if not all, I haven't done inventory in a while) of Peter Davidson (kinda/snakedance rules!), about half of Jon Pertwee (karate master / scientist extroidainere), a good chunk of Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy. I wish there was more Patrick Troughton and William Hartnell episodes to be found, though. I hardly have any of those very early ones.

    I have been thinking about taking them out of episode format because that's how I was introduced to Doctor Who, age 10 in 1982. My local PBS station, WTTW Chicago used to play episodes in their entirety, every sunday night. Some of the tapes in my collection are from that period. I guess it's just a question of nostalga.



    Well, your fingers weave quick minarets; Speak in secret alphabets;
  • by graveyhead (210996) <`fletch' `at' `fletchtronics.net'> on Thursday June 07, 2001 @09:56AM (#168349)
    My Dr. Who collection thanks Mr. Andrew Tridgell. Now I can precisely edit those separate half-hour episodes into complete episodes. This rocks!

    Well, your fingers weave quick minarets; Speak in secret alphabets;
  • by graveyhead (210996) <`fletch' `at' `fletchtronics.net'> on Thursday June 07, 2001 @10:23AM (#168350)
    Yes, but you are forgetting about something crucial. DeCSS is also only usable by folks with know-how and that didn't stop the MPAA going after it with a vengance. I think their (spurious) logic is that if geeks can do it now, we will make it eaiser for Joe Sixpack in the future. Even though hardware mods are impossible for Average Joe, there are enough electronics geeks around the world who might be willing to do this for a price. A good percentage of us here in the US know someone who can crack cable/direct-tv recievers. Something like this might just be the excuse the MPAA is looing for...

    Well, your fingers weave quick minarets; Speak in secret alphabets;
  • No more slavery, no more sucking up to those who exploit us. Real freedom.

    Demand Liberty! Nothing less!


    Hey, William Wallace, why don't you just set the remote down, and back slowly away from your TV set...
  • by ageitgey (216346) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @10:38AM (#168354) Homepage
    Anyone who ever gets on irc these days can see that pirated copies of TV shows are getting really popular. There are groups that exist only to release say Sopranos or Simpsons episodes. This hack will A. reduce their work-load tremendously. B. allow one person to basically capture/encode several shows instead of it taking several people to do one show. I'd be upset if I was HBO. At this rate I would not be surprized if we start seeing yesterday's baseball game,etc on the napster clones and IRC on a daily basis. But then again, isn't this what is supposed to happen? Video content on the net...

  • I might ask "What are artists, inventors and programmers going to do for a living?" but I won't. The question I will ask is this: how can we measure the demand for information if you can't put a price on it? Free economies are not about moving money; they're about communicating demand. The greatest accomplishment of the free market has been the automatic determination of what everyone in the world should be doing, based on what everyone in the world wants for themselves. There are various distortions, but the idea still mostly works.

    Even if we can all be guaranteed an inheritance in the earth, if information and "intellectual property" are taken out of the free market, how will an artist or a programmer know whether s/he is producing something of value to someone or simply wasting his/her time? Fan clubs?

  • by Dave Rickey (229333) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @11:03AM (#168364)
    What would it take to create a bare-bones TiVo equivalent? Not anything fancy like Indrema tried to be, but the bare minimum (for the hardware, make the software an open source arrangement)? Seems like what you'd need would be:

    1) A commodity-grade CPU and mobo, like a 400 Celeron (or equivalent Duron, I don't care). About $100.

    2) A TV In/Out card that also contained a tuner (support having two tuning circuits, but lets assume only one for now). STB lists one at $129.

    3) A network card (many of the most promising software expansions of the system would be dependant on transparent access to the internet). $20, max.

    4) A hard drive. Maybe use some dockable approach? Anyway, you can get a 20 gig retail for $100.

    5) A case and 200W power supply. $30 if you use a standard PC mini-tower.

    Seems like that would be it. What are we talking, maybe $380 in parts (most of that for the Tuner cards)? And you could probably get most of that stuff cheaper.

    Why not? Compared to an entire operating system that is ported to just about every platform in the freaking world, this is a trivial problem. Just Keep It Simple, Stupid, don't attach all the freaking bells and whistles to the hardware, make that as simple as possible and then use software to leverage that capability.

    People don't want yet another game console that is also a TiVo, nor do they want a really complicated system that requires them to learn how to code C.

    Most non-geeks can't figure out why open source is anything they should give a damn about, and couldn't care less if big media is locking them out of things they never even knew were possible. But put a Open Source turnkey TV recording device in their hands without any built-in crippleware, and god help the poor bastard that tries to take it away after they've gotten used to what it can do.

    --Dave Rickey

  • Media outlets have and will continue to gight against digital recording and re-use of broadcast media, however they will eventually loose as they did with in their fight against the VCR in the early 1980s.

    This will spur the wholescale adoption of product placement advertizing as a replacement for treditional advertising (which can be easily segmented and editied out of media broadcasts). Here's an Interesting Paper on Product Placement [utexas.edu] giving a pretty good synopsis of the business case for it. The issue that is not explored in detail in this paper is the advantage to production companies that if, for example, I record an episode of seinfeld, on my TiVo, then skip the ads, I still see Jerry Seinfeld holding and drinking a Yoohoo [drinkyoo-hoo.com] chocolate drink. This is all fine and good, but that is one advertising slot which can never be re-sold when the show is in re-runs (ie: NOW).

    Well, Not so. Enter Virtual Product Placement [videosystems.com]. This advertising methodology is described as:
    [T]he lectronic insertion of brand-name, 3D computer-generated products into TV shows that already are on tape. Although the virtual products are inserted into the scenes in post, the process is different from digital compositing in that the former occurs in real time. In other words, instead of physically compositing a CG box of Corn Flakes into every video frame showing Jerry Seinfeld's kitchen cabinet -- an expensive process because of the amount of time involved -- virtual product placement technology is capable of tracking the motion in the video sequence and inserting the CG box onto the cabinet shelf automatically. Therefore, after some initial computer set-up, inserting that virtual box of Corn Flakes into a 10-second video sequence takes only 10 seconds.
    And suddenly it really doesn't matter if end users can easily skip over 30 seconds ob a broadcast which was taken up by a treditional ad which the viewer has no interest in seeing, because the real ad is built into the entertainment program the viewer has chosen to watch. This solves the economic problem of allowing users to edit television content in realtime, which would otherwise effect potential advertising revenues.

    The use of PVRs like TiVo and especially modified PVRs like is duscussed in the aboce /. article, has and will continue to increase the speed with which virtual product placement will be adopted in favor of treditional advertising.

    --CTH
  • by ryanvm (247662) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @11:44AM (#168366)
    all i have to say, is if/when tivo acts, you'll see *why* we didn't release the tools we have

    I'm a huge fan of TiVo, and lurking in the AVS forum, I've noticed that exact opinion is very common among TiVo owners.

    But why? This is an extremely useful tool, and it also certainly falls under the concept of 'fair use'. Are you guys really such pussies that you'd rather buckle under potential pressure than "fight the good fight".

    It's that kind of bullshit that has got us where we are:
    "The record companies are fucking me over? Oh well, I'll go buy more CDs anyway."
    "The MPAA doesn't want me archiving things that I paid to watch? I guess I better sit down and shut up."

    I don't mean to be rude to you personally, but this is ridiculous. When your rights are being tread upon, you don't cower in fear that you'll lose even more. You stand the fuck up and do something!!!

    Sheesh.

  • Save The Server Processes!

    avsforum.com has this posted now:

    Due to recent postings on another site that linked back here, we needed to close down for sometime to save the server processes.

    We are sorry for this outage and hope to be back on-line as soon as possible.

    LOL

  • Well, perhaps if you had read the other /. article recently about TiVo [slashdot.org], you'd understand why "downgrading" to 1.3 would be far from pointless or stupid. Perhaps you should join the world of the clueful before proclaiming something stupid...
  • Isn't space-shifting protected as well as time-shifting? Isn't this just a convenient way for people to copy a few episodes of "The Simpsons" to CD-R?
  • Hack it all!

    Cut the Tivo software out of the thing completely if it comes to that. Get your program listings from tvguide.com.
  • ReplayTV apparently doesn't charge for this programming information. Just for the unit (which does cost more).

    One thing I wonder about is that there is no need for ReplayTV to duplicate TiVo's efforts, and vice versa. The programming is the same everywhere. I wonder if they collaborate on this effort, or if they have a third party they are getting the information from.

    cryptochrome
  • by cryptochrome (303529) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @12:52PM (#168382) Journal

    People have already proposed this in a number of ways. They also lump in digital cable/satellite decoding too, since that's just another type of MPEG2 feed to deal with. There was a discussion a while back on the hypothetical Borg Box [slashdot.org]. The ill-fated Indrema [indrema.com] had all those capabilities and more. And the vaporous Nokia Media Terminal [nokia.com] looks promising.

    But in all these cases they were including hardware encoding/decoding for MPEG2, since that's the only appropriate codec for real-time encoding of high quality video, which costs buck$. A celeron 400 wouldn't be up to the job. This drives the cost well above $300, more than most people would be willing to pay for such a device. That's why Tivo is sold at a loss, which is made up by the subscription service. (I know, in the long run it costs more, but people are shortsighted when it comes to buying stuff and companies like to keep their hands in your pockets).

    Even if you had a personal TV device that did everything tivo did, and were hooked up to a free TV listing service, you still have to get your TV from somewhere. The digital cable and satellite providers reeeeeeeeally don't want you copying and distributing their pristine feeds. Those satellites weren't cheap, and you're damn right they want their money, probably worse than most. If such devices did become available, we'd have a serious encryption war on our hands in no time, just like with DirecTV [slashdot.org]. Such a device would be unusable much of the time, which is hardly good enough for the casual user.

    cryptochrome
  • My box has 2 unfilled 1394 ports on it and a filled USB port. Boy, I wish I was smarter, then I could l33t h4x0r my box...

    The wierd thing is, I don't see how cable companies, being in bed with the RIAA and MPAA like they are, could ever offer anything that would be dump video through firewire to a PC of any sort.
    Damn you waldo, now I'm going to have to resist tearing into my cable box when I get home from work. Hmm.. Or maybe I'll just bust up my roommate's. Heh.


    Brant
  • by PicassoJones (315767) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @03:31PM (#168384)
    This is obviously a great example for Microsoft to use in it's "Linux is cancer that eats away other's intellectual property" campaign.

    Because TiVo decided to use Linux, they were "forced" to release the source, allowing malicious hackers to figure out all their trade secrets and steal the intellectual property of television networks and producers on a mass scale.

    Oooh, I'm trembling.
  • And it's own spyware, and it's own subscription, and it's own auto upgrades to kill everything you've done to it. (Yes, I know you can use it without the phone line, but eveyone I know with one thinks the TV guide is the best part, and yes they are also HUGE linux supporters, not your average mom and pop, so I suspect a lot of you are using that as well) I HAVE an ATI allinwonder card in a dedicated media PC. The PC sits by my stereo rack (Still looking for a cooler rack case) it serves MP3's to the stereo and all PCs in the house. It serves video captured from the ATI card and from the net to the TV and all computers in the house. I can watch WinAMP visualisations on my big screen while playing the MP3's throught the stereo. I can surf the web and MUD from the TV. And so on. In this situation, my Windows media machine seems to be a lot more Linux like than the Tivo running Linux! Far more breadth of use and customization than a Tivo.
  • >.. (which, i can tell you work probably better than nickhull's).. How can you compare your 'vaporware' against a real released version of the software (with source) waiting for the masses to try - and add to. You should download a copy.... better yet send me a version of yours (actually Andrews's) and I'll compare them for you.
  • Ok... now it's out there and the fuss will (hopefully) die down. I'm looking for a Windows MPEG2 viewer that will either accept piped input, or has source code enough to be able to interface with netcat. Lets get this compatible with Windows for the masses.

Real Users find the one combination of bizarre input values that shuts down the system for days.

Working...