I bought a TiVo2 during July 2003 and TiVo announced a free trial of their Home Media option (HMO) for August 2003 which allows
you to view images and play MP3's on your TiVo box from files located on your PC.
Sofar I have been very impressed with the possibilities of the HMO. However, the PC desktop media server software that TiVo provides
is very basic. The user interactions on the TiVo to view and play the media is also very simplistic. It seems that many people who have used
HMO have similar opinions.
However, I was interested in how I could extend/replace the server provided by TiVo to do more interesting things like
bringing internet content to the TiVo box.
Would it be possible to play games on a TiVo? Would it be possible to configure the server to bring personalized
content to my TV? Would it be possible to do electronic transactions?
Although, the HMO does not provide support for any of these possibilities, I believe that it would be possible to provide primitive
support for these services by using the way the HMO server publishes images. If these images are dynamically
created by the server instead of just serving files on the PC, there are some interesting possibilities...
TiVo does allow you to extend the capabilities of the desktop software they provide, however I havent done any C++ or Windows programming for many years.
So, I decided to write my own media server or TiVo Connect Machine (TCM). I decided to write it in Java since I have
experience in it and then the server could run on any platform.