TiVo stuff

Now that I have my TiVo connected to my network, I’ve been playing around with a few things that I thought might be worth blogging about.

First, the new online services appeared on my box a few days ago — Yahoo weather, Live365 music, podcasting, and so on. All this new stuff is pretty neat, but there are some rough edges. For instance, everything is pretty slow; sometimes it takes a few seconds for the TiVo to respond to a click from the remote. The podcasting application does a reasonable job of playing podcasts, but it doesn’t support fast forward or rewind. Weird. I think the killer app here would be support for pulling down video podcasts to the TiVo, but that’s not included yet. I really don’t have much interest in sitting in front of my TV and listening to audio, but it would be real convenient if I could pull down video from the internet and watch it on the TiVo instead of my home computer.

I’ve also been playing around with the standard TiVo Desktop software. This is fine for streaming music from your computer to your TiVo, but, again, that’s not really that useful or interesting. The ability to pull shows from my TiVo to my computer is kind of interesting, but I haven’t bothered trying it out yet. I would up turning off the TiVo server software on my machine, since the software doesn’t seem to be able to exit gracefully when I turn off my computer. It pops up a whole bunch of error dialogs that need to be dismissed. Very annoying. I know other people have had this problem too; I’ve seen several references to it on the tivocommunity forums.

I also tried out an open source program called Galleon. This is a server program that runs on your computer and lets you do a bunch of interesting things with your TiVo. Unfortunately, I found that it ate up a lot of RAM and processor time, even when it should have been idle, so I uninstalled it from my machine. I think one of the problems here is that it’s written in Java, which has always caused some trouble on my current machine.

So, in a nutshell, about the only useful thing I’m getting out of the network connectivity at this point is the ability to check Yahoo weather. Maybe at some point, I’ll straighten out the problems I had with Galleon, and do something interesting with that. Or I’ll get completely fed up with FM radio, and start listening to audio on the TiVo, either podcasts, Live365, or my own audio collection.

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