Windows Home Server: "TiVo Publisher" Add-in - Review

Rob Durfee’s TiVo Publisher for WHS connects your home server to your TiVo in a simple manner and gives you the ability to hear your music and see your pictures and video residing on your WHS from the familiar interface of your TiVo.  The key element of this add-in is streaming stuff to your TiVo […]

Rob Durfee’s TiVo Publisher for WHS connects your home server to your TiVo in a simple manner and gives you the ability to hear your music and see your pictures and video residing on your WHS from the familiar interface of your TiVo. 

The key element of this add-in is streaming stuff to your TiVo - so if you do not have a TiVo or if your TiVo is not connected to your home network then you will need to skip this add-in.  No offense intended - it is just that Rob Durfee has written this for a very explicit purpose which will only apply to a certain part of the WHS audience.

So with all that said, let’s get started and take a look at the add-in.  First you will have to download the add-in and install it.  You can grab the download directly from Rob’s download page.

In most standard TiVo setups the port should be 6103 and the add-in should find the IP address of TiVo machine if it is connected to your home network.  There should not be any need to change either of these settings in the majority of setups.

I keep the debug mode and flatten video container both unchecked.  I am sure if you’re using the add-in and trying to troubleshoot things with Rob then he may ask you to check the debug mode to help him out.  I have been using this add-in for some time and have never had the need to check either box - you probably will not need to either.

In the TiVo Publisher Settings box you can enter whatever names you wish for each folder - I changed the default to a shorter phrase by abbreviating Windows Home Server to WHS.  Other than that I did not change anything else for my setup in the main settings console page.

If you click on the TiVo Publisher Tab you will see this screen:

Listed here will be your WHS, which is broadcasting the TiVo beacon signal (used to verify and connect to your TiVo) and your TiVo itself.  Across the top of that window just below the tabs are some shortcuts to a log that keeps track of activity, Properties so you can see more detail on your clients, a refresh button to - well refresh - the client list, an option to clear the log (will be active while your reading the log), a button to rebuild your cache (if you set that up on the main settings page) and finally a shortcut to the main settings page.

I could sit here and go through each one of them in detail and repeat everything that Rob has posted in an excellent FAQ on his website about the add-in and all of its features.  However, I will elect to not do that and so I suggest if you want to learn even more about what you can do with this add-in head straight over to Rob’s site and check out the FAQ that he created.   It explains each aspect of the add-in and it is quite extensive and will help you setup your firewall if it is necessary and explains how to create cache folders on your WHS to help speed up the data exchange when your accessing files from your TiVo.

I really like this add-in for a couple of reasons.  First - I no longer have to install the TiVo desktop software to stream my music and pictures to the TiVo.  Previously I had to run that software on my desktop and eat up extra CPU cycles - now that is done on the WHS which can handle it just fine.  The add-in is well built and just works - the developer has done an excellent job of merging the development of WHS add-ins with the development of TiVo functionality by using both companies Software Development Kits or SDK’s.  This is exactly the type of merging of digital stuff that I desire as a customer and enthusiast.  I am also very encouraged by his plans for the future on this add-in and look forward to having the ability to download shows from my TiVo to the WHS for future viewing.  Nice work overall Rob and I look forward to seeing future development of this add-in.

So if you have a TiVo I suggest you get this installed on your WHS as soon as possible and then enjoy your pictures, music and video’s from your TiVo.

More Info

Source:→ WGS

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