In less than two weeks, we’ve gone from a manual keyboard kludge to a more polished method of TiVo network remote control (Ubuntu above, iPhone below). By using the Crestron hooks TiVo incorporated into the Fall 2007 Update, folks are beginning to design graphical apps. However, I still believe there’s more powerful and practical uses for this “hack”… TiVo could and should assist by documenting and expanding interface options – both via this port (31339) and the existing HTTPS/XML entrance.
Archives For Remotes
Brent and I are giving away a Firefly PC Remote ($50), courtesy of Snapstream. For remote details, check out my brief hands on or Brent’s extensive review. The rules are simple: Leave a comment on this post saying you want in. However, your comment must be accompanied by a Gravatar image/icon – sign up here. (It’s painless, really.) Please be located in the lower 48 (US) and we’ll randomly choose a winner later this week.
The latest TiVo hack doesn’t actually require any hacking. Last fall, TiVo partnered up with Creston to integrate the Series3 into their home automation framework. While I haven’t heard anything since, it turns out the hooks are wide open (via Omikron) to any application or hardware on one’s home network – and possibly well beyond by implementing router port fowarding. Until something more polished is developed, the telnet protocol allows you to manually feed a variety of remote commands to a networked TiVo. For example, in the video above, I’m using a terminal application on my jailbroken iPhone as a rudimentary WiFi remote control. There’s some real interesting potential here…
SnapStream, the folks behind Beyond TV DVR software, offered Team ZNF a look at the Firefly RF media center remote control ($50). While Brent‘s finalizing his review, he shipped the remote back to play with before we give it away on ZNF. The Firefly controls a wide variety of media apps out of the box, including Beyond TV and Vista Media Center (VMC), plus it can be customized to support additional programs. Generally speaking, RF is preferable to IR due to increased range and fewer line-of-sight issues. And the Firefly is certainly superior to my wireless Microsoft keyboard and mouse in controlling VMC from the La-Z-Boy. However, RF’s not going to turn my plasma on… Next!
After a looong time, Logitech is finally updating their Harmony remote line with the One. (The Harmony 1000 slab is a different product category as far as I’m concerned.) Given the extended gestation and $249 price point, I’m not particularly impressed. The remote looks and feels bulky.
I was browsing the show with Kyle Copeland (half the team behind Beginning TiVo Programming and Audio Faucet) when I swung by the Logitech booth. We agree the Harmony One display has been improved over the 880 – both in appearance and the very nice touch screen/control. However, Kyle found the clarity/resolution to be lacking. And when compared to his iPhone, it surely was.
Both the 880 and One share the same MSRP, so those new to Harmony should consider the One with improved finish, display, and charging cradle. (Though the 880 is often discounted by 50%…) However, those who currently own the 880 (as I do) will have a hard time justifying an upgrade.
There aren’t that many U-verse users and (relatively speaking) there aren’t that many TiVo owners either. But for the small number of folks that fall into both categories, there’s been an annoying little issue in trying to get TiVo to work with AT&T’s service: no way to change channels.
Luckily, the problem now appears to be solved. With new IR codes, TiVo users can change channels and avoid having to choose between IPTV and their TiVo crack, er, I mean box. A writer on the U-verse Users site details the fix here.
If you’re not a U-verse user, but you’ve been having trouble with Tivo and your air conditioner, see the comments on this post. Or just wait until winter.