Getting TiVo to talk with Apple Mac

Apple Store“Tivo, as a company, is very similar to Apple. Both companies owe their success to spectacular user interfaces and attention to detail. Apparently the Tivo CEO is a Mac fan, which is strange considering the amount of time it took for them to support Macs for any of the functions that Windows users had been enjoying for years, such as sharing multimedia from the PC and copying videos to the PC. Also, for a while there were many rumors that Apple would acquire Tivo, but in light of the introduction of the AppleTV, that no longer is likely,” Devanshu Mehta writes for Apple Matters.

Mehta writes, “I have had my Tivo for a week now, and I enjoy it quite a bit. Besides being a DVR that records what I ask it to, it also goes out and keeps downloading things that I didn’t ask it for based on my taste and preferences, which it learns over time. Also, if it is connected to the Internet (which is the best way to have it), it will provide you with weather, traffic, podcasts, movie showtimes and tickets, and all kinds of other nifty features on your television. Also, the ability to send it recording requests over the Internet is fantastic.”

Mehta writes, “My experiences with getting the Tivo to talk with my Mac were quite straightforward, but will apply to you in the following situations:”

• You have a stand-alone Tivo Series 2.
• Your Tivo is on the same home network (wired or wireless) as the rest of your home computers.
• You have a Mac with OS 10.4 or higher.

Full article here.

Related articles:
Roxio releases Toast 8 Titanium; exclusive official provider of TiVoToGo for the Mac – January 08, 2007
TiVo updates TiVoDesktop for Mac – February 15, 2006


  1. I really do not know why so many people consider Apple and Tivo to be similar. From my experience over the past year with my Series 2 Tivo, the reliability is just AWFUL. I had a Dish Network DVR for over three years and NEVER ONCE missed a recording I had scheduled. In the year I have had my Tivo, I have missed about 4 episodes of the shows I record… and that ONLY THREE shows per season. No reason why, no excuse, no nothing. Just did NOT record a new episode.

    Second is quality. The Tivo is advertised as 80 hours. RIIIIIIIGHT. That’s 80 hours of BASIC QUALITY, which out and out SUCKS for anything that moves quickly like sports or action movies. If you record at HIGH QUALITY (which, incidentally, is LOWER than Broadcast Quality) then you only can fit about 20 hours on that new Tivo. The Dish DVR recorded everything at BROADCAST quality, and I had OVER 80 hours at Full Quality.

    Third is sound. I have always hooked up my television to a surround sound system. Well, guess what? Component out is all you get. NO Dolby 5.1, NO TOSLink, NO DIGITAL SOUND OUTPUT AT ALL. On a DVR purchased in 2006. That’s just rediculous.

    To me, all that adds up to Microsoft than Apple.

    Give me my Dish Network DVR.

  2. ReplayTV and freeware DVArchive. The DVArchive is a Java app that runs in Windows, Mac or Linux. Make your Mac act like another ReplayTV to move shows off the ReplayTV and then can stream them back whenever you want to watch. Used it for years, works great.

  3. Wow, is TiVo really that bad? I have digital audio out on my Scientific American DVR I got from Adelphia, and I’m pretty sure it records in DD5.1 (rarely have the need to test that).

    It doesn’t record stuff without my asking, but why would I want it to? I still have movies sitting on it from January that I haven’t watched.

  4. You can record digital programs via firewire from comcast boxes if the broadcast is unencrypted. Don’t think you can get the DVR to output through FW though.

    Tivo seems good but the quality issue is big for me.

    I’m not going to invest in a unit unless it:

    Records HDTV in good quality
    Can output to Mac for archiving
    Works with the cable for all channels.

  5. I agree that the DishNetwork DishDVR is much nicer overall. In fact, when we moved recently, we got a DirecTV/Phone/Internet package. We missed the DishNetwork system so much that we paid a $200 penalty just to get rid of DirecTV and install DishNetwork.

    However, lets not forget one thing, the video coming into your DishDVR is already very compressed, which is why it fits so much. Watch an episode of the X-Files and the compression is hideous!

  6. Love my replayTV and DVarchive. It’s great. I record various movies or old tv shows for family members who don’t have cable (or at least the channel I have) and this makes that so much easier. I can even burn DVDs to order when my family are together.
    I also have an external hard drive with shows I want to keep (mainly old movies that sound interesting).
    I wrote a Applescript application that will play a random movie in full screen whenever I want to. So now, I can record movies even if I know won’t have time to watch them, use DVArchive to transfer it to my mac. And when i have time, I can either choose a movie to watch or let my application choose one.
    I will never own a Tivo, not after I heard about them being paid to record a program on every Tivo in the UK and not letting the owners delete the program.
    How everyone talks about Tivo’s innovations (hah) reminds me alot of M$ innovation. Stuff that is relatively new to Tivo, I have had for several years, set recordings over the internet, broadband etc.
    The only thing is I wish it had wireless, I am too cheap to buy the USB adapter. And I would like to look at a whole day/week of the same channel on one screen.

  7. I’ve had a TiVo for over two years now. It’s great, records all the shows I tell it to. It does it’s job perfectly and for the most part lets me watch the TV that I want to and it otherwise stays out of my way. Very nice inteface that works as expected.

    As for TiVo and Apple being similar, I can see it on the aspects of paying attention to detail and making things that work like you expect. They both also have a fanatical fan base. But, on the other hand, TiVo does not make a profit and does not have the marketing that Apple (as of late) has had.

  8. Tivo Sux wrote:
    Third is sound. I have always hooked up my television to a surround sound system. Well, guess what? Component out is all you get. NO Dolby 5.1, NO TOSLink, NO DIGITAL SOUND OUTPUT AT ALL. On a DVR purchased in 2006. That’s just rediculous.”

    No argument there. I love my Tivo but the lack of 5.1 audio sucks…I mean, sux.

  9. nittany4 & hotnplaya…. – I use a dvr that I’m pretty sure is the same box with Cox Communications. I connected the firewire port to the back of the mac mini and use vlc media player and also upgraded to the quicktime mp2 component. Sometimes after recording, the DVR will not work right and I have to reboot it, but otherwise it’s ok.

    I’ve tried posing the urls to this thread for you to get the info and downloads, but for some reason it won’t post. So you’ll have to google it. Sorry.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.