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High-Tech Toys for Your TV: Secrets of TiVo™, Xbox

Book Description

Take control of your digital living room! Make your TiVO, UltimateTV, XBox or GameCube do your bidding. We show you how to use these PCs in sheep's clothing to be king of your domain (or at least the area immediately surrounding your recliner).

Like the plot from a circa 1950's sci-fi film, computerized look-alikes have surreptitiously replaced our VCRs, our video game consoles...even our televisions and stereos. While the advantages that these digital entertainment devices (DEDs) offer over their analog predecessors are immense - so is the potential for sensory and information overload. Unlike the benign appliances we grew up with, these new digital wonders demand much more from us than the simple ability to turn them on and off. It's time to take control, put them through their paces, show them who's boss.

  • The revolution in your living roomThe same forces that revolutionized the workplace during the past 25 years are now at work in our homes. The PCs in our dens were only the forerunners of this computer revolution. The real fireworks are taking place in the living room, where computers hidden inside our everyday appliances are poised to transform the way we live. Bottom line: Your days as a couch potato are numbered.

  • TiVO and UltimateTV - changing the way you watch TV - forever! TiVO and UltimateTV are shaping up to be the white-hot category in home electronics for 2002. The merger of computers and traditional VCRs goes far beyond the superficial benefits of pausing and applying slow-motion and stop-action effects to live television. Learn the full range of these versatile machines.

  • Choosing the right game console - You might not know it, we are amid a hardware slugfest between Nintendo, Sony and the dark horse, Microsoft. It's likely to be a battle as bloody as any depicted on the game consoles themselves. Compare the XBox, GameCube and Playstation2 side-by-side, and decide which console is right for you. Understanding the technical specs will help you make the right decision.

  • Are you Feeling Lucky? Then, hacking your TiVO or UltimateTV box is just up your alley!You are truly the master of your digital domain. Not satisfied to let well enough alone, you're ready to venture into the unknown, in search of personal video recording nirvana. Kiss your warranty goodbye as you open up the box and truly push the envelope of digital entertainment.

  • Not sure how to deal with the @#%^$@^ rat's nest of cables behind your entertainment center? Simmer down, there and let Steve help you set up your new TiVO or UltimateTV. If you have only a TV and cable box, the setup is a snap, but if you are working in a cramped space, trying to run video into the digital recorder from DirecTV and cable, want to run the audio through the stereo receiver and have everything use S-video, though your TV has only one S-video jack, you might need a little help.

  • Table of Contents

    1. Copyright
      1. Dedication
    2. Foreword
    3. Preface
    4. About the Author
    5. Acknowledgments
    6. Tell Us What You Think!
    7. Introduction
      1. The Revolution in Your Living Room
      2. Where This Book Comes In
    8. 1. The Revolution in Your Living Room
      1. Why Buy an Interactive Entertainment Device (IED)?
        1. The Cost Justifies the Means
        2. The Down Side of IEDs
      2. Video IEDs: A Better Mousetrap
      3. Gaming IEDs Get Real
      4. Audio IEDs: Finding a Home
      5. The Living Room of Tomorrow
    9. 2. Intelligent Television—The Boob Tube Wises Up
      1. Overview of Video IEDs
        1. A VCR on Steroids
        2. What’s Still Missing
          1. Skipping Commercials
          2. Cost Issues
          3. Simplified Operation
        3. What’s Coming Next
          1. Sights Set on Set-Tops
          2. Lean This Way
      2. Getting Hooked (Up) with Intelligent Television
        1. Pre-Installation Considerations
          1. Making a Single Tuner Satisfy the Needs of Multiple TVs
          2. Additional Installation Considerations
        2. Cables: Which Wire Should You Use?
        3. Putting It All Together
      3. Video IED Recording Options
        1. Timeshifting TV
        2. Random Access
        3. Pausing, Zapping, and Deleting
        4. Playback and Recording Strategies
        5. Internet Access and Interactivity
      4. Flies in the Soup: Known Bugs and Glitches
    10. 3. Video IEDs: More Than Just Appliances
      1. Choosing the Right Video IED for You
      2. ReplayTV
        1. Hardware
        2. The “Hidden” Menu
        3. ReplayTV Rerun
        4. Software Highlights
        5. The User Interface
          1. Creating Theme Channels
          2. Deleting Unsubscribed to Channels
          3. Creating Show-Based Replay Channels
          4. Watching Custom Channels
          5. Programming ReplayTV from the Road
          6. An Evolving Platform
        6. Dumb ReplayTV Trick (Easter Eggs)
      3. TiVo
        1. Reaching Out to the Consumer
        2. Hardware
        3. Software
        4. The Operating System
        5. The User Interface
        6. TiVo’s Hidden Backdoor
          1. CEC Codes
          2. CCEE Codes
          3. Thumbs Up/Down Codes
          4. Other Codes
        7. Conclusions
      4. UltimateTV
        1. Hardware
        2. Software
          1. Making UltimateTV Better
          2. Diagnostics and Other Housekeeping
        3. UltimateTV’s Ultimate Future
    11. 4. Playing the Field: Other Video IED Convergence Devices
      1. Can My PC Be My IED?
      2. Thinking Inside the Box: PC Hardware Requirements
        1. Processor and Memory
        2. Hard Disk
        3. Displays
        4. TV Tuner Cards
          1. Hauppauge
          2. ATI
          3. Matrox
          4. nVidia
      3. Video IED Software for Your PC
        1. ShowShifter
        2. SnapStream PVS
        3. VCR
        4. CinePlayer DVR Plus
        5. WinDVR
      4. Buying Off the Rack: The Sony Digital Studio PC
      5. What’s Coming Next?
    12. 5. Intelligent Game Consoles—Gaming Goes Global
      1. Overview of Gaming IEDs
        1. Is the PC Passé?
        2. Separating PCs from Consoles
      2. The Winds of War: Console Versus Console
      3. What’s in a Game?
        1. Hard Drives
        2. Modems
      4. What’s Still Missing
    13. 6. Choosing the Right Gaming IED for You
      1. Overview
        1. Performance
        2. Software
        3. Features
        4. Price
        5. That Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi
      2. Nintendo GameCube
        1. Hardware
          1. Enclosure
          2. Processing Power
          3. Memory
          4. Input/Output
          5. Storage
          6. Controller
        2. Software
        3. Tips, Tricks, and Modifications
      3. Microsoft Xbox
        1. Hardware
          1. Enclosure
          2. Processing Power
          3. Memory
          4. Input/Output
          5. Storage
          6. Controller
        2. Software
        3. Tips, Tricks, and Modifications
      4. Sony PlayStation 2
        1. Hardware
        2. Software
        3. Tips, Tricks, and Modifications
      5. What’s Coming Next
    14. 7. Intelligent Audio—Teaching Your Stereo New Tricks
      1. Overview of Audio IEDs
        1. The Basics
        2. MP3 and Your Stereo
      2. Bring On the IEDs
        1. Where Are the Big Brands?
      3. What’s Coming Next
    15. 8. Choosing the Right Audio IED for You
      1. Overview
      2. SonicBlue Rio Digital Audio Receiver
        1. Hardware
        2. Software
      3. Turtle Beach AudioTron
        1. Hardware
        2. Software
      4. iPaq Music Center
        1. Hardware
        2. Software
      5. AudioReQuest Pro Digital Music System
        1. Hardware
        2. Software
      6. Additional Audio IEDs and Related Components
        1. Perception Digital’s PD Hercules
        2. DigMedia’s MusicStore
        3. Bose Wave/PC Interactive Audio System
      7. Coming Attractions
    16. 9. Other “Convergence” Devices
      1. What Else Is There?
      2. ZapStation
        1. Hardware
        2. Software
        3. Conclusions
      3. Internet-Enabled Set-Top Boxes
        1. Open Season for Set-Tops
        2. Integrated Devices
        3. SurfReady NTV-2500
        4. A TASTE for Tuxia
        5. Motorola Digital Convergence Platform 500 Series
        6. Simple Devices SimpleFi Wireless Broadband Audio Player
      4. Conclusions on Convergence
    17. 10. Customizing Your Digital Entertainment Experience
      1. Understanding the Pieces of the Puzzle
      2. How Does It All Fit Together?
        1. Overprotective Copy Protection?
        2. All About Macromedia and Fair Use
        3. The A/V Receiver
        4. Seeing Infrared
      3. Making Web Connections
        1. The Value Proposition
        2. How to Connect
      4. Future Trends
    18. 11. Hacking Your IED
      1. Are You a “Tweaker?”
        1. Weighing the Risks
        2. Weighing the Benefits
      2. Tweaking Your Video IED
        1. Does It Work?
        2. Adding Storage Space to a TiVo
          1. Step 1: Typing Your TiVo
          2. Step 2: Making a Backup
          3. Step 3: Test Your Backup
          4. Step 4: Bless a New Drive
        3. Where to Go from Here
      3. Game IEDs
        1. Audio IEDs
      4. Final Options
    19. 12. How Did You Ever Live Without It?
      1. Overview
      2. Video IEDs
        1. Video IED Outlook
        2. What About “Surf TVs”?
        3. Where’s the Service?
      3. Gaming IEDs
        1. Gaming IED Outlook
      4. Audio IEDs
      5. And The Hits Keep Coming
      6. A Final Rant