TiVo and Crestron team up

Just over a week ago reports started coming out form CEDIA that TiVo and Crestron had teamed up – such as this report on Gizmodo. But all of the reports were light on the details, and some of them just didn’t make sense – such as reports saying Crestron was adding a touch panel to the S3 itself, etc. I figured it was something more along the lines of adding the ability to control TIVos from Crestron touch panels, but I couldn’t find any solid reports.

Well, it looks like my hunch was right, according to this post from a Crestron rep on TiVoCommunity.com:

Yes, the Crestron control is IP based. The first phase is complete, but a firmware upgrade is necessary to use it.

What it allows you to do is control the TiVo over IP. Functions currently are limited to IR-like commands, as well as direct channel entry (go to Channel 132, rather than pressing 1, 3, and 2).

TiVo is working with Crestron on phase 2, which will have more powerful functions enabled, such as getting guide data about a program.

This is pretty cool. But it’d be even better if TiVo would publish the protocol for this IP interface so that other vendors, and 3rd party developers, could also code applications to use it. (I won’t be surprised if the hacking community reverse engineers it if they don’t.) Being able to control a TiVo over a network is something people have asked for for a long time. I can see PC-based applications using it to setup recordings. Or how about a Slingbox using the network to reliably control the TiVo instead of using IR blasters? Let’s hope they’re open with this protocol.

While the Crestron deal is pretty nifty, if the protocol is available that’d be much bigger news.

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  • http://www.carltonbale.com Carlton Bale

    I agree that this is only a big deal if it is an open protocol; Creston is too small and too high-end of a company. This protocol only becomes truly useful if it allows 2-way communication with the remote. By this, I mean being able to browse the Now Playing list and start playing a show on the remote without ever viewing the Now Playing list on your television. The newest Philips Pronto remotes support 2-way communication over IP and Serial using a javascript-based protol called ProntoScript. Crestron support is nothing more than “interesting”; true 2-way communication with a more consumer-friendly remote would be spectacular. If TiVo makes a full-user-interface, 2-way protocol available, enthusiasts will figure out how to make it work with a wide variety of interesting devices.