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TiVo Hacks by Raffi Krikorian

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Hack #40. Displaying Images on Your TV

Hijack your television screen for displaying your own still images.

Ever considered using your TiVo to display some of your own images? Maybe you can coerce it to become your own personal slideshow viewer as you feed it JPEGs of your last family vacation? Thanks to some clever hackers, you can.

Tip

Of course TiVo Series 2 users have a much easier time of it thanks to the Home Media Option [Hack #63] which allows you to share on your personal computer with TiVo for your viewing pleasure.

When your TiVo records a television show, it creates an MPEG file on its hard drive. MPEG is the Moving Picture Experts Group's file format for motion video; it makes use of excessive computing to squeeze every single bit of redundant data out of the video, making the smallest, yet highest quality, recording it can make. Mounted on TiVo's motherboard is an IBM MPEG CS22 Decoder. This hardware converts the MPEG-encoded video that the TiVo records to what is displayed on the TV screen.

This chip's instruction set also includes the ability to overlay the MPEG stream (read: television programming) with graphics and text. This is how the status bar is displayed on the screen during recorded video playback and when the TV guide floats over live television shows.

If you convince TiVo to send the decoder the appropriate commands, you can place whatever you wish on your television screen.

TiVo accepts only 720x480 indexed color PNG image files. Converting your images ...

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