I came back from a quick road trip with a trunk full of hackable hardware. After grabbing a little caffeine this morning, I thought we’d try something different for those slow Sundays. I’m going to come up some interesting hacking kit, point out a few classic hacks for it, and challenge you guys to come up with something better. Every so often, we’ll be sending some of said hardware to the most worthy of commenters. Read on to check out our first ‘Hackit’ challenge.
Let’s start things off with a classic: The TiVo. TiVos got some major interest as soon as the words ‘Linux’ and ‘TiVo’ were uttered together. The hacking scene for the hardware has some odd quirks. Pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about hacking them is buried in the forums at deal database. Most of the hacks are geared toward video extraction or adding features like networking or on screen caller ID.
Today, older TiVo’s are dirt cheap. Just about every sattelite/cable/fiber company will provide a DVR for a small fee. So, what can we do with all that nice, integrated video hardware? Make a cheap disguised file server? Roll your own security DVR? Use them to stream video feeds from inexpensive cameras? Re-work the faster one’s into networked media players? Or is there a better way to slave them into a MythTV network? (I’ve never been into the latter since my local cable is junk and the dual tuner sattelite units are cheaper per tuner.)
So, got a better idea? Lets hear it.