My last TiVo post this week

Quick question... since the TiVo Home Media Option allows you to share video between TiVos across the network ... what would it take to get that to work on my laptop? I'd love to be able to play a TiVo video stream on my computer...

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3 Comments

test said:

:-D

Todd Larason said:

Tivo *really* doesn't want you to be able to do this.

See their first press release on the Home Media Option at http://tivo.com/5.3.1.1.asp?article=162 :
TiVoGuardTM Raises Bar for Content Security
While the TiVo Home Media OptionTM gives consumers new flexibility and ease of use when enjoying content within the home, this new service release also features an advanced conditional access technology designed to protect the rights of copyright holders. Some of the key innovations of the new TiVoGuardTM copy protection system that benefit consumers and copyright holders, include:
Every TiVo Series2 DVR contains a unique public/private key pair so that only designated recorders with the Home Media Option can engage in multi-room viewing.
Use of digital certificates to ensure that TiVo DVRs with the Home Media Option cannot send content outside the home.
Video programs are encrypted to ensure a secure transfer between TiVo DVRs within the home.


Now, whether this is really secure is an open question (we had ReplayTV's streaming protocol working within hours of them adding encryption to it in the 4.3 release, but the Replay doesn't have dedicated encryption hardware like the Tivo does, so the keys were necessarily available via the main processor's software), but their intent to put significant effort into keeping this closed is clear.

Steph said:

Streaming video is pretty easy to achieve with a Series 1 TiVo (click my URL) but I haven't heard any success stories with Series 2 boxes yet.

Disabling the video encryption is a very simple matter. The problem is that the video is mpeg2, but is stored in little chunks with a header telling the box which order to play them in, instead of being one big video file like you'd expect. (This is what allows the 30-second repeat, etc.) So once the box is networked and decrypted, you still can't stream the video without going through some sort of processor to string the chunks into the right order.

As Todd says, TiVo really doesn't want you to do this. But if you'd like to anyway, dealdatabase.com is your friend. :)

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This article was published on April 18, 2003 10:46 PM.

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