Speaking of sucky TV, I finally got around to my TiVo hacking project.
I now have a TiVo service emulator, which connects to Zap2It’s listings (thanks to labs.zap2it.com ), downloads the rupert listings for the next couple of weeks in XML format, and parses them and prepares them for TiVo consumption.
The TiVo is connected to this emulator (currently running on my GF’s thinkpad) by a long serial cable (roll-over CAT5, actually), and the TiVo calls it every 24 hours to update its listings.
It’s working like a charm, I can watch TV on the TiVo, pause, rewind live TV, etc. It also lets me surf the listings, picking out stuff to automagically record. Then there’s the thumbs-up and thumbs-down buttons, which will tell the TiVo what I like and don’t like, so it knows that to record for me. “Season passes” record the entire season of any show that I specify.
Next step is to put a big drive in it, which I’ll do when I get back from vacation.
Then I’ll make a website about it, I think. Most of the hacks and information came from tivocanada.com (which seems to be down right now).