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Thread: Renaissance Possible for the HR10-250?

  1. #1
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    Renaissance Possible for the HR10-250?

    Since last night's lame Tivo event, and the almost total lack of interest here, except for the inestimable Omikron, it may be that Tivo as a long term ongoing entity is dead to us here at DDB.

    The evidence indicates that any new DirecTivo HiDef device coming along will not be of much interest here. I doubt Tivo have the skill left, certainly not any of the hacker-tolerant inclinations of the founders.

    That leaves us with the existing hardware, and whether there is interest here in expanding the capabilities.

    I have a fondness for the HR10-250. I think it has some capabilities moving forward.

    I am not blind to its shortcomings: slow processor, mediocre OTA tuner.

    Nonetheless.

    * Digital and HiDef OTA recording (subbed or not)
    * Playback of HiDef video
    * Full DirecTV standard def recording (with subscription)
    * Hackable, with a considerable body of former art
    * HME capability
    * MovieLoader already serves playsback pre-series3 tfm/ty, including HiDef
    * ffmpeg (special version) capability to move from many mpeg formats (including HiDef) to tfm/ty already exists

    The only two things missing from the HR10-250 becoming an exciting and viable platform for many years to come are, it seems to me:

    1. Do we wish, as a forum, to allow discussion of full OTA recording and guide capability sans subscription
    * would such open discussion be against the principles of the forum
    * would such open discussion put the capability in jeopardy of countermeasures from DirecTV?

    2. Is there interest/remaining capability here to develop an on-the-fly computer server (like TivoServer) that would work within the abilities of HME/mfs_ftp.tcl to provide computer-resident serving of typical mpeg files (2 and 4, SD and HD) to the HR10-250 in close to real time

    I invite discussion.

  2. #2
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    Discussion of bypassing a paid subscription on any Tivo has always been a verboten topic here so I'd have to say it still wouldn't be allowed for legal reasons. However, that doesn't preclude someone setting up a separate forum on Yahoo! or something similar to host said discussions. The HR10-250 was orphaned by DirecTV years ago. They basically bitch-slapped every HDTivo owner that paid the high price of ownership of this model, myself included, so I wouldn't feel much remorse in a hack of this nature.

    OTOH, I no longer have a DirecTV dish on my roof and I'm more into HTPCs than Tivos these days. With ATSC tuner cards costing about $50 on average these days and DVR apps available with free guide data, I can't see hacking a HDTivo just to get OTA channels. The new Ceton quad tuner cablecard tuners are supposed to be available by the end of the month so I'll eventually be kissing my two S3 Tivos goodbye.
    Last edited by captain_video; 04-29-2010 at 07:26 AM.
    Please don't PM me or any other members looking for personal assistance. You'll do better by posting (after you've exhausted the search feature, of course) and taking advantage of the collective expertise of the membership instead of a single individual that may or may not be able to help you. Thank you and enjoy your stay at DDB!

  3. #3
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    Sure, the HR10 was/is a great piece of gear, but how many people out there still feel the same? and still have one in service? I never really quit hacking on mine, but how many others are in that boat?

    I doubt at this point in the game Directv would really put up too much of a fight if someone posted a method to use the HR10 for ota without a sub. However, in my experience, I have yet to come up with something that is not easily portable to SA tivo's. A patch that allows paid features on an unsub'd SA tivo would certainly be more of a legal problem.

    Maybe it would be OK to just post a hint :P

  4. #4
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    Would rather see the effort go towards supporting MPEG4 on it :P

  5. #5
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    Not going to happen without replacing the mainboard and tuners. In other words, a completely new DVR.
    Please don't PM me or any other members looking for personal assistance. You'll do better by posting (after you've exhausted the search feature, of course) and taking advantage of the collective expertise of the membership instead of a single individual that may or may not be able to help you. Thank you and enjoy your stay at DDB!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortkud View Post
    would rather see the effort go towards supporting mpeg4 on it
    zooooooom!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jt1134 View Post
    Sure, the HR10 was/is a great piece of gear, but how many people out there still feel the same? and still have one in service? I never really quit hacking on mine, but how many others are in that boat?

    I doubt at this point in the game Directv would really put up too much of a fight if someone posted a method to use the HR10 for ota without a sub. However, in my experience, I have yet to come up with something that is not easily portable to SA tivo's. A patch that allows paid features on an unsub'd SA tivo would certainly be more of a legal problem.

    Maybe it would be OK to just post a hint :P
    I still use my HR10-250 every day to watch OTA digital TV. I'm looking into a hack to get it to quit adding satellite channels to my lineup. I get tired of having to go in and delete them all. It also recently started getting messages (DirecTV advertisements or announcements) which sure I could ignore, but I'd rather they didn't appear at all. Other than that and the fact that it doesn't receive the few remaining analog channels, I'm pretty happy with it. I may buy a S3 TiVo if/when the price gets down around $25.

  8. #8
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    Does anyone know where the HR10-250 stores mail/messages? I've looked in mfs under /MessageItem/MessageBoard and /MessageItem/PreTivoCentral and found nothing. I also did a recursive grep of the entire /var directory for words from a message that showed up on my unit.

    I found in tivoapp 6.4a two locations to patch that will probably only keep the UI from telling me there are new messages but will probably not keep messages from being received and saved (wherever it is they are saved).
    Last edited by woracan; 08-30-2010 at 03:15 AM.

  9. #9
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    Last hope for the HR10-250: Mpeg playback station?

    Seems like the HR10-250 is over, as many in my local community say they will abandon the ones we have kept going the past few years and will go back to active DirecTV accounts and the new DirecTivo. As counseled, I have not discussed the details of how these DirecTV-abandoned and salvaged HR10-250s have been working well for OTA-only recording; but in any case the need for that is now over.

    One last appeal, though, as to whether anyone has come up with a practical way to play back normal mpeg files on the HR10-250? Some blend of TivoServer and MovieLoader? A few people have indicated they'd still like to keep the HR10-250s going (like in seldom-used rooms, etc.) if it could just play back their networked mpeg files somehow.

    Thanks

  10. #10
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    Here's my case for the HR10-250, in the largest portion of the niche I serve (at no charge, even though I incur signficant expense). Admittedly I also keep them running just because I like them.

    Elderly people on fixed, and low, income. Can't afford DirecTV or cable, even basic. But they would like, and I would say deserve after a lifetime of creating a robust economy we have subsequently squandered, basic OTA DVR capability. Given that the HR10-250s have been abandoned by their seller for the purpose for which they were sold, any salvage value is fair game as far as I'm concerned, and I'd like to see that salvage value put to good use.

    These people must have (for me to help) a resource, a relative or whatever, or by existing or whatever means, to have an OTA antenna that gets reasonable coverage from the local OTA networks PLUS a DirecTV satellite dish (these are available in the trash, basically, for the resourceful [poor doesn't mean stupid or inept or without people to help] ).

    Given all that, a modified HR10-250 can give these folks OTA DVR, with full recording and guide capability. I applaud DirecTV for continuing to make that guide available; and even if/when they abort it we will find other guide resources, admittedly more complex; but the niche will be provided for.

    The big gap in the capability I can give these people is that standard mpg files (as opposed to .tfm/.ty files) are not accessible. I have therefore invited technical contributions to the cause. I'm not inclined to give up that cause, which is why I'm so annoyingly relentless here.
    Last edited by Roger Dylan; 01-29-2012 at 08:46 AM.

  11. #11
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    There exist commercial products that serve this market - DISH offers one for example. I will note that an HR10 without service has no guide, as that comes over the satellite. The HR10 does not look at the OTA guide info.
    Steve

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevel View Post
    an HR10 without service has no guide
    You are a helpful guy, always have been. But you have this bug up about the HR10-250. I wish your wife would get rid if it so you could have a peaceful life with your DirecTV H2X knockoff. Your statement continues to be incorrect. An HR10 hooked up to a DirecTV dish can get the OTA guide, with or without service.

    Quote Originally Posted by stevel View Post
    that [guide data] comes over the satellite. The HR10 does not look at the OTA guide info.
    Again, the impulse to help by correcting me is to be applauded; but there isn't anything to be corrected. In the message you are replying to I stated that a DirecTV satellite dish is required. Service is not, but the dish is.

    You do have a continuing interest in discussing the HR10-250, and there are few of us left, so I'm grateful for your comments.

  13. #13
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    I was responding to your most recent post suggesting that "elderly people" who don't have DirecTV could use an HR10. As you said (and as did I), the guide info for an HR10 comes over the satellite. No dish, no guide. Or were you suggesting that these folks spring for a DirecTV dish, get it installed and have a cable run to the HR10 just to get the guide?

    I'm just trying to be a realist here. As for a "bug up", I know what the HR10 can do and what it can't - I've had one for six years. What I get from your posts is "If the only tool I have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." Your proposed usage is satisfied by other products on the market which are not expensive, though I guess you are suggesting a use for discarded HR10s. Even so, the dish requirement (and the inability to record without service) makes that a non-starter in my book.
    Steve

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevel View Post
    I guess you are suggesting a use for discarded HR10s
    Wow. No grass growing under your feet.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevel View Post
    the inability to record without service makes that a non-starter in my book
    Something, again, you say over and over again. It is probably still the policy here not to discuss the salvage value of the HR10-250 as an OTA recorder, but I don't think that means we have to say things that aren't true.

    If, for example, a policy were not to discuss that the world is round I don't think it's appropriate to say the world is flat; we should rather say "we can't discuss the round world point of view here." So, why don't we agree to say "We can't discuss the ability of the HR10-250 to record OTA without service."

  15. #15
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    Well, this is embarrassing. I was asked whether a .tmf/ty/ty+ file from a Tivo s3 or Tivo HD can be imported directly to an HR10-250 without intermediate conversion. I've never tried that (more likely I have but can't remember the results). I know there are some format differences but I'm just not sure. Obviously I will do some experiments as soon as I can fire up an old s3.

    But in case someone knows, in theory, or has tried it, I ask here first.

    As something of a progress report, I've recently been asked to look with an eye to preventive maintenance at a few existing multi-room non-subscribed OTA HR10-250 setups (2/3 HR10s harvested by scripts to a central computer running MovieLoader), that have been running for years without intervention, and I could find nothing needing fixing. I eyeballed the power supplies and saw no capacitor swelling, and there have been no symptoms.

    I know I'm fixated on this, but this is one hell of a piece of hardware.
    Last edited by Roger Dylan; 02-12-2012 at 11:06 AM.

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