<< . .

( 36)

. . >>

FIGURE 12-2: Series 1 TiVo with installed TurboNet adapter and Ethernet-to-wireless bridge.

In this case, the Ethernet-to-wireless bridge is configured to connect to the TiVo Ethernet jack
to your existing wireless network. Follow the instructions that come with your particular bridge
to configure it for your wireless network.
To install the TurboNet:

1. Unplug the TiVo.
2. Open the TiVo case.
3. Insert the TurboNet adapter onto the edge-connector plug.
4. Install an Ethernet-to-wireless bridge (see Figure 12-2).

5. From a PC, configure the Ethernet-to-wireless bridge.
6. Boot up the TiVo and configure the dialing parameters, as specified in the instructions.

The TiVo AirNet adapter is not supported by TiVo software version 3.0, but it may be sup-
ported in future versions. Here is a guideline for the AirNet adapter software install:

1. Download the AirNet install CD image and burn it onto a CDR.
2. Remove the hard disk drive(s) from TiVo.
3. Install the drive(s) in a desktop PC.
Chapter 12 ” Wi-Fi Your TiVo

FIGURE 12-3: TiVo Series 1 with the TiVo AirNet adapter and PC card.

4. Boot the PC using the CDR (this loads a Linux kernel).
5. Follow the instructions to back up the TiVo drive.
6. Follow the instructions to add the AirNet driver.
7. Shut down the PC and reinsert the TiVo drive(s) back into the TiVo. (If you changed
the hard drive jumper settings, make sure you return them to the original positions!)
8. Insert the AirNet adapter and a compatible PC-Card into the edge-connector plug
inside the TiVo unit.
9. Boot up the TiVo unit and reset the dialing parameters as specified in the instructions.

Figure 12-3 shows a TiVo AirNet adapter with a compatible PC card installed.
The AirNet adapter software adds extra network features to the TiVo software. Telnet and
FTP are now available to directly access the TiVo.
To really go further with a Series 1 TiVo, pick up one of the many books available on hacking

Series 2: Wi-Fi for Late Arrivals
Series 2 TiVo are more readily upgraded to wireless. There™s no need to open the case. It may take
some experimentation to get it working, though. Series 2 TiVo include two USB connectors on
the back of the unit. Figure 12-4 shows these connectors. Either one can be used successfully.
292 Part IV ” Just for Fun

FIGURE 12-4: TiVo Series 2 sports two USB ports. Either should work fine.

Series 2 TiVo are far more numerous than Series 1 models. To see which Series you have,
check the service number on the back of the TiVo unit. Series 2 TiVo begin with the following
service number prefixes (with more to come):
110, 130, 140, 1F0, 230, 240, 264, 275, 2F0, 2F4, 2F5
For example, the service number “240-0000-3298-21EC” starts with 240, and is therefore a
Series 2 TiVo DVR.
There are dozens of wireless USB adapters on the market. Unfortunately, TiVo only works
with a small number of the most popular adapters. The TiVo software is patched periodically
with driver updates for the most recent USB network adapters.

When it was discovered that many wireless USB adapters available in stores did not work with
the current TiVo software, the company offered no timely solution. “Wait a month or two” was
the response from TiVo technical support. This frustrating but true comment indicates the soft-
ware upgrade path used by TiVo central. As new wireless products are brought to market, TiVo is
engaged in a game of continuous catch-up. If you happen to buy a USB adapter at the wrong
time in the lifecycle, these words may be your only solace.
Chapter 12 ” Wi-Fi Your TiVo

To set up your TiVo Series 2 with a wireless connection, you need to follow these steps:

1. Get a USB adapter from your local computer store.
2. Make sure your TiVo™s software is up-to-date.
3. Plug in the adapter.
4. Configure the wireless network.

These are discussed in more detail in the following sections.

Step 1: Raiding the Computer Store
The first thing you need to do to is get your TiVo connected to a wireless network, which
means you™ll need a USB adapter. This should be as simple as going to the store and buying
one, but unfortunately, it™s not that easy. TiVo doesn™t support all the major USB adapters, and
support varies by the TiVo software on your model as well.
You may be tempted to buy your favorite brand of wireless USB adapter and return home to set
up your TiVo. Yet, the path of least resistance is not always an option. To ensure a successful
installation, raid the store of every full-size USB adapter available from major manufacturers.
Table 12-2 shows a list of some of the adapters we tried.
Note the subtle distinction between adapters that are supported and those that are not. The
Linksys WUSB11 version 2.6 works, while version 2.8 did not. Also, TiVo states support of the
D-Link DWL-120, but not the DWL-120 . The “ ” makes all the difference. Chances are,
the USB adapters listed in the table will be supported by TiVo eventually. However, as new
adapters are released, TiVo will need to keep updating their software to work with them.

Table 12-2 Not All USB Adapters Are Supported
Manufacturer Model Supported by TiVo model

Linksys WUSB11 ver. 2.6 Yes
Linksys WUSB11 ver. 2.8 No
Microsoft MN-510 Yes
D-Link DWL-120 Yes
D-Link DWL-120 No
D-Link DWL-122 No
Netgear MA111 No
Belkin F5D6050 No
294 Part IV ” Just for Fun

TiVo maintains a list of recommended adapters at Some are directly
supported, while others carry caveats like, “we have had positive reports on these makes,”
which is the same as telling you to try them. Who knows if it will work or not.

There is a simple solution:

1. Visit the computer store.
2. Verify their return policy (shoot for 30 days with no restocking fee).
3. Buy every USB adapter from every different manufacturer.
4. Try them one at a time until you are successful.
5. Return all of the ones that didn™t work.

If none of the adapters work, there is one more option: Buy a new adapter, and return it as
defective to the manufacturer. When asked what model is needed for replacement, specify the
version number that is known to work. For example, with Linksys, request the WUSB11 version
2.6 while sending back version 2.8. This trick only works with products using the same model
number. Linksys technical support recommended this procedure to overcome the TiVo compati-
bility problem since they discontinued version 2.6.

Step 2: Ensuring TiVo Is Ready
If this is a new TiVo just out of the box, make sure it™s connected to a phone line first. TiVo
requires activation through a regular phone line. Also, it may need to download software
updates to bring the version to a level that will support USB broadband (version 4.0 or
Many TiVo units are shipped with older software. This is not a problem because TiVo sends
updates directly over the phone. However, it may take several connections to the TiVo service
and a few reboots to apply all of the updates. The process can take a couple of hours with man-
ual intervention, and probably would take days if left untouched.
Figure 12-5 shows the system information screen. Make sure TiVo is running version 4.0 or
higher before inserting a USB adapter.
Manually activate the TiVo update service to get caught up with updates. These menus vary
from TiVo to TiVo. Use this as a guideline:

1. Press the TiVo button on the remote
2. Click TiVo Messages and Setup
3. Click Settings
4. Click Phone and Network Setup
Chapter 12 ” Wi-Fi Your TiVo

FIGURE 12-5: TiVo provides extensive system Information,
including software version and connection status.

5. Click Connect to the TiVo service now
6. Press Select on the remote to start the update procedure

Now go to the System Information Screen, and follow these steps:

1. Press the TiVo button on the remote
2. Click TiVo Messages and Setup
3. Click System Information

Check the “Software Version” on the first page. Press Channel Down on the remote to monitor
the “Service Connection: Current/Last Status.”
Sometimes, the status will show that a reboot is required. Perform a restart by following these

1. Press the TiVo button
2. Click TiVo Messages and Setup
3. Click Restart or Reset System
4. Click Restart the TiVo DVR
5. Follow the on-screen confirmation instructions and observe the warnings

Now check the System Information again. If the status is “Succeeded,” try another update con-
nection until the system is at the required software version: 4.0 or higher.
296 Part IV ” Just for Fun

FIGURE 12-6: The TiVo Phone and Network Setup screen
updates status in real-time.

Step 3: Plugging In
Now that TiVo is running the latest software, it™s time to start plugging in all of those USB
adapters until one works. The tricky part here is knowing when it has worked. Figure 12-6
shows the best screen to see network adapter status: Phone and Network Setup. Follow these
steps to get to this screen:

1. Press the TiVo button
2. Click TiVo Messages and Setup
3. Click Settings
4. Click Phone and Network Setup

When an adapter is present and detected by TiVo, the IP address and MAC address will
appear in the top right corner of the screen. Also, wireless network information will be dis-
played just under the MAC address.
TiVo recommends a lot of troubleshooting steps, but you can circumvent all of the hassle by
plugging and unplugging one adapter after the other. Wait about 30 seconds in between swap-
ping adapters.

Before TiVo detects its first adapter, the Phone and Network Setup screen will show an entry like,
“Click here to learn about networking.” This will disappear when an adapter is detected and it
will be replaced with network options.
Chapter 12 ” Wi-Fi Your TiVo



FIGURE 12-7: TiVo connects to the WLAN like any other client.

Step 4: Configuring for Wireless
The TiVo connects to your home wireless network like any other client. The wireless and
TCP/IP settings need to be configured to coincide with the wireless LAN settings. Figure 12-7
shows a standard wireless network and how TiVo will connect.
TiVo will walk you through the wireless network setup. Follow these guidelines:

1. Go to Phone and Network Setup
2. Click Change connection type
3. Select Network
4. Go back one screen
5. Click Edit phone or network settings
6. Select Wireless Settings
7. Follow the on-screen guide to configure the wireless adapter
8. Check the final status screen to ensure connectivity. The TiVo will let you know if it does
not connect to the wireless network.

If you™re using WEP on your network (which is highly recommended) try to use a hexadecimal
password (also called a WEP key). This will ensure the same key is used on all devices. Some
alphanumeric to hexadecimal converters follow different algorithms. Entering an alpha password
like “wi-tivo-link” can be converted differently on different wireless devices.

Try making names out of regular hex characters (A-Z, 0-9), like “cafe2feed1decaf4fadedface1.”

Next, set up the TCP/IP settings:

1. Go to Phone and Network Setup
2. Click Edit phone or network settings
3. Click TCP/IP Settings
298 Part IV ” Just for Fun

4. Follow the on-screen guide to configure the TCP/IP settings
5. Check the final status screen. The TiVo will attempt to verify the TCP/IP settings

Now test the network settings by connecting to the TiVo service:

1. Go to Phone and Network Setup
2. Click Connect to the TiVo service now
3. Press Select to connect
4. Make sure the screen displays something like, “Connecting to the TiVo service via the

Congratulations! TiVo is now connected to your wireless network. Now there™s so much you
can do. The following sections will explore some of these options.
If you have problems connecting to the TiVo service at this point, the problem is probably one
of two things: an incorrect WEP key or a TCP/IP configuration problem.
First, double check that the WEP key is entered correctly. Often, the network will respond well
to a connection, but no traffic is passed because the keys don™t match. You may wish to tem-
porarily disable WEP on your access point to eliminate this possibility.
Second, ensure your TCP/IP settings match those of your network. Check another computer
on your network to see if it uses DHCP (automatic IP address assignment) and make sure the
TiVo matches that setting. If you are using static IP addresses, make sure you use an unused IP
address for your network and that the Subnet Mask, DNS, and Gateway addresses all match
one of your working computers.

In Windows 2000 and XP, use the command prompt and enter ipconfig/all to see TCP/IP
settings. In Windows 98, use the winipcfg command from the Run menu.

PC to TiVo to PC
TiVo Series 2 really shows its colors when piloted with the TiVo Home Media Option. This is
a software add-on for the TiVo that enables broadband streaming music, digital picture
slideshows, sharing recordings across multiple TiVo, and setting recording options through the
TiVo Web site.

TiVo Series 1 does not currently support the Home Media Option, but serious hackers can use
the broadband readiness for getting under the hood of TiVo. Transferring files to and from the
TiVo, adding software hacks, and playing MP3s are among the many Series 1 hacks available.
Chapter 12 ” Wi-Fi Your TiVo

We™ll cover the following scenarios:

Playing music on TiVo
Viewing a slideshow
Watching on another TiVo
Sharing with your neighbor

Publishing with the Home Media Option
Purchase Home Media Option direct from TiVo to open the floodgates. Download the TiVo
Desktop software from the Web site, and install it onto a Windows PC running
Windows 98 or higher or a Macintosh running OS X 10.2 or higher.

For some reason, TiVo Desktop may also be called TiVo Publisher. On the Web site,
the references are to TiVo Desktop software. When installed, the shortcut and software title is
TiVo Publisher.

The TiVo Desktop software has two components that work together:

The Publisher File Manager
The TiVo Server

Desktop Publisher and Server
The Publisher is a graphical user interface to browse files on your PC hard drive. TiVo
Publisher has two categories: Music and Photos.
The music feature plays MP3 files directly. It recognizes MP3 playlists and extracts the MP3
files into the selector window. The photo feature recognizes many different file types, GIF,
To publish a file, drag and drop the file from the file selector listing to the “Published” pane.
Figure 12-8 shows the publisher with several MP3s published and ready to play on TiVo.
After selecting and publishing the files, click the Server menu item and Start the TiVo Server.
A black TiVo icon should appear in the system tray indicating the server is running. If the
server is “paused,” a red “X” will be placed over the icon.
To play music or view photos, follow these steps:

1. Ensure the TiVo Server is running on your PC.
2. Press the TiVo button on the remote.
3. Select Music and Photos.
300 Part IV ” Just for Fun

FIGURE 12-8: TiVo Desktop Publisher serves up music and pictures.

4. Wait up to 30 seconds for the TiVo to discover your PC files.
5. Select the appropriate media and press Play to start the slideshow or music.

Press the Enter button on the TiVo remote to select options while playing a slideshow or music.

You can also play media content from TiVo™s central servers. This feature is called “TiVo Online.”
Select TiVo Online as you would a TiVo Publisher source.

Remote Viewing
The Home Media Option also allows two separate TiVo units to work together. You can watch
shows recorded on your family room TiVo from your bedroom TiVo. Not only does it allow this
“Multi-room viewing,” but now the show can actually be copied from one TiVo to the other.
Chapter 12 ” Wi-Fi Your TiVo

This requires at least two TiVo DVRs under the same account. Both must have a network con-
nection to each other. And both must have the Home Media Option upgrade.
A few steps are required at the Web site to get started:

1. Buy the TiVo Home Media Option for both TiVo DVRs.
2. Surf to the “Manage My Account” section on
3. Select “DVR Preferences.”

<< . .

( 36)

. . >>

Copyright Design by: Sunlight webdesign