“She Didn’t Count!”

Today is Food Network’s Good Eats marathon! They have shown one episode so far (Mission: Poachable), and it was new to me (and here I was thinking I had seen them all). This should fatten up the archive (which is now almost 50% complete!)

I found a hack to let my Tivo control the cable box via the serial port on the box as opposed to the IR blaster doohickeys… It is faster and more reliable, but one advantage I didn’t expect is that the Tivo is now aware of what channel the box is tuned to. Now, if the Tivo is recording two programs back-to-back on the same station (like today’s marathon), it doesn’t retune the station for the second program (it just stays put). The advantage of this is that I don’t have to see the annoying cable box banner at the beginning of every episode…

This is my favorite television program.

The episode on now is “Churn, Baby, Churn” which is on ice cream…. We just got an ice cream maker, and watched this episode earlier this week, so I am going to jump in the shower while it is on.. But it is a great episode, and makes a Blade Runner joke. (Update: No it doesn’t, the Blade Runner joke was in the Jam episode…) Watch it!

14 thoughts on ““She Didn’t Count!”

    1. The hack I used is outlined here

      I tried doing it before, just by linking them directly and still using the IR codes, but it wasn’t so reliable.

      You want to know why it wasn’t reliable? Because it wasn’t working at all… I did the same thing you did, and saw the same results… You want to try an neat experiment? Before you try the hack above, humor me: Hook up the serial cable, but disconnect the IR blaster.. Then try changing channels on the TiVo, it may or may not work…. If it does work, then press the channel up on the tivo, but quickly put your hand over the “eye” on the front of the unit (or just disconnect the serial cable)… You will notice the cable box magically stops changing channels…

      What most TiVo users don’t know is that there is an IR blaster built into the eye, and if you have a good bounce, you don’t even need the IR Blaster dongles… The behavior you were seeing was the built-in blaster doing the job you expected the serial cable to do.. The TiVo is so easy to use that people often completely skip reading the instructions, which is why most people don’t know about the built-in IR Blaster..

      Anyway, the hack above is pretty specific: It only works on certain digital cable boxes, and beyond that, it only works with certain firmware. This feature was standard in early versions of 3.0 as well as on the Series2 boxes, but TiVo found it to be so unreliable (because of the varying cable boxes) that they ended up hiding it… Not only is it dependent on box and firmware, but the cable co can even turn off the serial control themselves…

  1. You suck, I want serial control! I’ve got the right cable box but I’ve been too lazy to try any hacks. I recently found out that on large TiVos, if you don’t increase the swap partition’s size then the box can hang when it’s doing a filesystem check. I haven’t fixed this yet on my box, hope it doesn’t have to fsck any time soon. At the same time I need to get my TiVoNET working again. I haven’t gotten ethernet down to my AV setup yet, nothing is wrong with the TiVo.

    Here is a question. Not a technical one, more of a question of “good taste”. I’m planning on getting a few TiVos off Ebay before the Holiday
    gift giving season. Since they require either a subscription or a lifetime service fee, is it bad taste to give it to someone as a suprise? “Merry Xmas, here is a TiVo. You’ll need to pay them.” What do you think?

    1. Tough call… I am not really sure on that one…. I think as far as giving it as a surprise, it might be bad taste… Perhaps if you prepay a few months it might not be so bad…

      1. I’ll probably just hold off on getting it as a suprise. I’ve got enough people I know want TiVos that I shouldn’t have a problem.

        I was a bit suprised by the picks for the good eats marathon. Oh well. I hope they air the beer one soon.

        1. I was a bit suprised by the picks for the good eats marathon. Oh well. I hope they air the beer one soon.

          I was surprised by “Scrap Iron Chef” being #1, because while I *SHOULD* have liked the episode (I mean, I like Junkyard Wars AND Iron Chef) I didn’t. But out of the 12 episodes shown 10 were new to my archive and 3 were new to me!

          As far as the beer episode goes, I don’t drink beer, so it won’t do much for me…

          1. Which episodes were new to you/your archive? Looking at the list on goodeatsfanpage.com I see alot I’ve never seen (or can’t remember).

            Grr, my co-worker is running nessus against my webmail servers. Just what I need on a busy morning.

            Rock on.

            1. Which episodes were new to you/your archive? Looking at the list on goodeatsfanpage.com I see alot I’ve never seen (or can’t remember).

              The ones that were new to me were:

              • Crustacean Nation
              • Mission Poachable
              • True Brew

              The only episodes I had in my archive already were:

              • Churn Baby Churn
              • Scrap Iron Chef

              My archive now contains 43 episodes!

    2. You suck, I want serial control! I’ve got the right cable box but I’ve been too lazy to try any hacks.

      By the way, you say I suck for having serial control, but the reason you don’t have it is your own laziness? Get off your ass and get to work, it took me an entire 3 minutes to enable serial control…. :)

      1. Hah! My laziness is beyond your comprehension, even with 100% of your brain.

        I’ll get to it, but first I want to get some cat5 run to my entertainment center.

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