ITS Past talk

When: Thursday Nov.29, 2001 6pm (coffee at 5:45)

Where: MCS 135 (111 Cummington St.)

Warranty-Safe TiVo Hacking

Prof. David Martin
Boston U., Denver U., Privacy Foundation

The TiVo device -- essentially a standalone hard disk video recorder -- has
been gleefully investigated by hobbyists and enthusiasts, and information
has been widely posted about its internal operation. My question is: what
can you learn about this device without opening the box (and thereby
breaking its warranty)? More generally, when faced with an impenetrable
consumer electronics gadget, how can you begin to investigate it? In this
talk I will describe our Privacy Foundation investigation of the TiVo device
with particular concentration on the equipment and software I assembled and
built in order to nonintrusively monitor the TiVo's telephone backchannel.

David Martin