Toms TiVo

One of the guys at work here has a TiVo which has been ‘functionally enhanced’ to work in New Zealand (thanks NZTiVo) but it had run out of guide data – he took me around to his place this lunchtime to get things going again, which served to make me realise that it’s been a long time since I’ve played with my TiVo and perhaps a refresher HOWTO could be in order

First things first, we had to find his TiVo on his home network. While in the future he might choose to set a static IP address, in this instance we needed to:

  1. Open a command prompt
  2. Type ‘ipconfig’
  3. Grab the ‘Gateway Address’

Armed with the address of the gateway, we then proceeded to drop it’s IP into a browser window and login. On the main page of the gateway/router interface was listed the current DHCP clients. We needed to get the IP of the client called ‘oztivo’

The ‘functionally enhanced’ TiVo has a browser interface which we were then able to bring up to confirm it was on the network simply by dropping it’s IP address into the browser.

  1. Click the ‘Phone’ link
  2. Attempt to ‘Make Daily Call Now’

The daily call failed (which was kinda good, otherwise it would have been a trip simply to reboot everything) so the next thing to do was to telnet into the box and follow the instructions found (eventually) on the NZTiVo site here – and confirmed by my good friend John who has a well behaved TiVo and was able to log into it remotely to confirm the correct settings and txt them to me en-route to Toms. Anyway, back to the HOWTO:

  1. Open PuTTY
  2. Enter the TiVos IP Address (and choose the ‘Telnet’ protocol (port 23)
  3. Click ‘Open’

A window should then open and you’ll be looking at a friendly prompt which will look something like

[TiVo [p0] ~]#
Nice huh? Now you need to make the file system read write:


To change the location that the TiVo connects to for the guide data we need to edit the tclient.conf file:

joe /etc/tclient.conf

Now, somewhere in this file there is a line stating ‘This is the line the server uses to connect to minnie’ it makes sense to the TiVo community, so just roll with it, the line will start with ‘127::’. We needed to change the IP address so, edit the line:


to the new address (which worked today) of:


Once that’s done, you’ll need to exit the text editor (joe) by holding down the key and hitting K then X. You should be returned to the prompt.

Set the file system to read only:


and exit the telnet session


Right! Almost done, you’ll need to get back into the TiVo browser interface by dropping it’s IP address into the browser.

  1. Click the ‘Phone’ link
  2. Attempt to ‘Make Daily Call Now’

If the PVR gods are smiling, then the daily call will succeed and you’ll be downloading the latest guide info soonish, you may need to be patient as the TiVo will need to reindex and stuff, but then – while it’s doing that, you could be outside, enjoying the amazing high definition resolution of ‘The Real WorldTM‘.

That’s it, hopefully this helps in the future when my brain fails and I need reminding of what needs doing when TiVos go bad…