Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Home Media

Networked Series 2 TiVos have a feature called Home Media Option. You install a beacon program on your networked computer that has all your music or pictures, and then you can see those pictures or play the music on your TiVo over the network. TiVo opened the API for this network protocol and now other people can make beacon programs. One of them is Galleon, which used to be called JavaHMO. Galleon lets you define all kinds of other stuff on the network server, like webcam URLs and Shoutcast streams, and then you can play all that stuff on your TiVo in the living room.

I have installed Galleon twice now, on two different Win2K boxes, and I have noticed a pattern: I need to install it in a path with no spaces in it, just to be sure, because I know a weather module used to be unable to handle it (so no 'C:/Program Files/Galleon, but C:/Galleon). Then I run the configuration program that lets you set all the options and get the message 'Can't connect to server', which means the configuration program can't talk to the Galleon beacon on the same computer and tell the beacon what to serve to the TiVo. Uninstall Galleon, reboot, install again, and it works. It is worth it, Galleon works better than its predecessor JavaHMO. And boy does my friend Susan look comfy on her chaise on my TV.

I did this so I could hack Galleon to offload programs off my TiVo -- yes, it works both ways -- so I could then attach a webserver to those shows and punch a hole in my home firewall for the webserver and then I could download the shows wherever in the world I was as long as I was very patient. But reading around how to do that taught me that all those steps are unnecessary because I learned something new: Series 2 TiVos with the latest software are already running a webserver. Just point to https://<the ip address of your TiVo on your network>/  and yes, note the 'https' part, not 'http'. It wil ask for a name and password. Name is 'tivo', password is the Media Access Key, which you can find on your TiVo under settings. And there you go: a list of shows on your TiVo, ready to click and download. So if I set my firewall to forward all accesses from the public internet on port, oh, say 9999, to my TiVo's on port 443, I should be able to download the Housewives even when I am travelling... Hmm, I need to enable dynamic DNS again for my home network on No-IP.com or DynDNS.com or something.