Connecting a TiVo Directly to a PC

Do you only have one computer at home, but you would still like to connect
to your TiVo? Contrary to what you may have heard, there is no need for a
router (or even a high-speed internet connection) to do so. This article
assumes you have the following:

  1. A network-enabled TiVo. The
    TiVo can be a Series 1 with a TurboNET card or a Series 2 with a
    USB-ethernet adapter. If it is a Series 2 DirecTiVo, you'll need a utility
    such as PTVnet to hack it to enable the networking features.
  2. A computer running Windows
    XP.
  3. A second network interface in
    your PC. If you have both a wireless and a wired interface, and you use
    the wireless interface for your connection to the internet, this will work
    fine. If you don't have a broadband internet connection, but you have both
    a modem and a network interface, this will also work. If you only have one
    ethernet interface, and it is being used to connect to the internet, you
    can either install a second PCI network card or use a USB-ethernet
    adapter, such as the one you would use for a Series 2 TiVo. For the best
    performance, get a USB 2.0 adapter, such as the Netgear FA120, if at all possible.
  4. A crossover ethernet cable. If you have trouble finding
    one, an Xbox "System Link" cable is a crossover cable and can be
    easily found at most stores that sell gaming consoles.

After you have confirmed you have everything you need to begin, you may
proceed with setting up the connection:

  1. Connect your TiVo to your
    computer using the crossover cable. If your crossover cable isn't long
    enough, you can use a Category 5 ethernet coupler to connect it to a
    standard (not crossover) ethernet cable.
  2. Configure Windows XP's
    Internet Connection Sharing. A good article on configuring ICS can be
    found here (use the "manual" methods listed in the article, not any "wizards"). ICS is used in this case only for its DHCP server, which is necessary for your TiVo to obtain an IP address. Note that you can share an ethernet connection,
    a wireless connection, or a modem.
  3. After ICS is configured,
    you'll need to determine the IP address of your TiVo, assuming you have it
    set to use DHCP. Use a utility such as Angry IP Scanner
    to do so. Your TiVo will have an IP address beginning with 192.168.0. If
    you want to configure your TiVo with a static IP address, make sure the IP
    is between 192.168.0.2 and 192.168.0.254. If you are using PTVnet,
    instructions on how to configure your TiVo for a static IP can be found here.
  4. Connect to TiVoWebPlus in a
    web browser using your TiVo's IP address.

After you have confirmed you can connect to your TiVo using a web browser,
you can use the connection to your TiVo for other things, such as telnet, FTP,
and extraction.

Note that you can use Internet Connection Sharing in lieu of a router to
share your connection to the internet. In place of a crossover cable, you could
connect a hub or switch to your computer's second network interface (using a
regular ethernet cable) and connect all of your other network devices (TiVos,
other computers, Slingbox, etc.) to the hub or switch (using regular ethernet
cables). If you need to determine the IP addresses of the devices you
connected, you can use Angry IP Scanner.

Even though the above instructions call for Windows XP, a computer running
Windows 98SE, Windows Me, Windows 2000, or Linux should also work, as should a
Mac running OS 10 or later. If you would like to contribute information for any
of those platforms, feel free to respond under this article.

 

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