Nearly two years (10/31/2005) since the last update to the public HME SDK (1.4) was released, on October 2 TiVo slipped out an update. The HME SDK 1.4.1 is considered experimental:
10/2/2007 – Experimental HME SDK 1.4.1 Released
* Multiple resolution support: This release introduces the ability for an HME application to control the rendering resolution of the receiver. The resolutions supported by the receiver are constrained by the hardware capabilities and current output configuration. The primary purpose of this feature is to enable the rendering of true HD resolution HME applications on Series 3 and TiVo HD platforms.
* Thread safe API wrappers (experimental): This release contains extensive use of locking and ‘synchronized’ blocks in the SDK implementation to work around poorly written applications that use multiple threads but are not thread safe. This bulletproofing of the SDK comes at a measurable cost to performance, and so other solutions are being evaluated. There is no significant visible API change associated with this change.
* This SDK is EXPERIMENTAL, meaning that the direction of the SDK implementation in this release should not be taken to be indicative of future releases. The resolution support is part of the protocol, but the way it is exposed in the SDK may change slightly. The thread safe bulletproofing is a test concept, and so applications that want to be forward compatible should do their own locking and not depend on it.
It is nice to see anything happening with HME. After a flurry of updates through 2004 and 2005, TiVo just seemed to abandon Home Media Engine. At least the public SDK – the internal SDK has been actively used for many things, most recently Rhapsody, but also Swivel Search, TiVoCast, and more. Even without TiVo’s support, sites like Apps.tv and PlayTeeVee.com have continued to provide content, as well as third party applications such as Galleon.tv. Until now, support for the higher resolution provided by the Series3 and TiVo HD has been accomplished through developer provided hacks to the SDK.
I hope that this signals some renewed attention from TiVo toward the public HME SDK.
Dave Zatz tipped me off to this in a comment buried on one of his own posts.