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Thread: Head Is Swimming: Looking to Purchase Directivo

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2002

    Head Is Swimming: Looking to Purchase Directivo

    Hi All:

    I have been reading here a while and there is so much information that my head is swimming. First, I have never even seen TiVo live but I have heard and read so much about how great it is, I really want to purchase one right away. First off, I don't mind subscribing to TiVo at all and I pay for a basic Directv subscription. However, I do not EVER want the unit to call Directv - PERIOD. Also, there are things I have read on this site that I may want to hack on TiVo. For example:

    1. It is my understanding from what I've read that you can't setup TiVo to record authorized PPVs for future recording, but you can hack and set a flag with TiVo to override this.

    2. I may want to increase storage to greater than 35 hours, although this sounds like a lot of hours to me. But I may (or may not) want to do this in the future. I understand TiVo doesn't support this, but turns a blind eye to it.

    3. I understand certain programs are scrambled and I may want to extract video to DVD or VCD later. This is unimportant to me at the beginning. However, I may want to do this later in time.

    I want to be the basic TiVo user: pause live TV, setup and record programs to watch later (including PPVs), watch one channel while recording another. However, I want to maintain my options as listed in my objectives above.

    Above all, I DO NOT want it to ever call Directv or communicate any information to Directv. I have read that TiVo has a privacy policy and I've never heard of anyone complaining that TiVo "turned them in" to Directv - so I can probably live with the privacy policy if it makes life easier. I understand I can hack and wipe out logs. I'm not clear on if I can change the Directv phone number in the software and manage how it calls in. However, if any of this requires me to manage when the phone line is connected (physically inserting and removing the phone line repeatedly), I prefer a total hack because I may forget to unhook the line.

    So I have to decide first whether I can meet my objectives described above and still subscribe to TiVo or buy the Directivo and totally hack it so its never connected to the phone line.

    Any advice? As I said, I don't mind subscribing to TiVo as long as my objectives are met. Actually I would prefer subscribing to TiVo and paying them for their service - as long as my objectives are met.

    Finally, I'm tired of reading and not doing. I want to purchase a Directivo ASAP. Considering what I've described, is there any restrictions/suggestions as to what I should buy. Is it important that I buy a Directivo pre-2.5.2 considering my objectives? Still not clear from all the forum threads how 2.5.2/3.0 affects the future of Directivo hacking. Do the stickies "How-Tos" still apply or are they out-of-date?

    Really need some help to get my head around this. But first, I need to make sure I don't screw up on the purchase, so any advise suggestions would be appreciated.

    Also, I'm an ex-software guy although it's been 10 years since I worked with Unix. However, I can certainly do things like burn the Extreme image and load the software, etc. However, I'm not great with hardware: cables, soldering, etc. What hardware am I going to need to do all this and is there a place I can just buy it instead of soldering, etc?

    Thanks for your help in helping me to get off the pot and make the next move.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    out of space
    Get a DirecTiVo, I don't think you'll regret it.

    Subcription to TiVo service on DTiVo is done through DirecTV. If you don't want phone calls to DirecTV install v25xtreme, activate fixsub, install logsNull and don't connect phone line. If you subscribe to DirecTV the TiVo sub fee is going down to $5/mo. later this year.

    The sticky thread HowTos Only is up to date. The only piece of hardware you'll need is a serial cable for bash and 2 torx screwdrivers. The important thing is to get a unit that is working properly, the software version doesn't matter. Try to keep your initial TiVo hacking as simple as possible. Do additional mods one at a time.

    Here's a checklist I put together a while back:

    You probably want to install v2.5Xtreme to allow hacking of DTiVo software v2.5, to enable the 2 tuners, get activate TiVo sub, and permit you to make future modifications.
    • For v2.5Xtreme, checklist:
    • The file is 159MB, Do you only have a dialup internet connection to download? If yes, not recommeded.
    • Do you have a CD burner? If no, you need one to burn the boot CD.
    • Does your PC allow booting from CD? If no, you can't run.
    • Are you comfortable with opening the DTiVo and your PC and are you familiar with hard drives (jumpers, primary/secondary/master/slave IDE channels)?
    • You need to make or buy a serial cable to connect from PC to DTiVo.
    • You need #10 and #15 Torx screwdrivers

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