TiVo Premiere’s Keyboard Surprises! (Wireless, IP)

Dave Zatz —  April 2, 2010 — 21 Comments

Feeling a bit down that your brand spankin’ new TiVo Premiere ($300) doesn’t ship with the Bluetooth qwerty remote? (Of unknown price and delivery date.) Well, it appears that version 14 of the TiVo OS, as found on the Premiere, has all sorts of juicy keyboard hooks built right in.

First, IR-over-IP keyboard mapping has been discovered by TiVo Community Forum member William McBrine. Building upon earlier forum work that led to iPhone telnet control, and followed by more polished TiVo network remote controls. No need to wait for a dedicated QWERTY remote, when there’s (now) bound to be updated iPhone and Android apps with similar functionality at a lower cost in the near future.

Just as interesting, it appears any ‘ole USB keyboard can be connected to the TiVo Premiere. Making short work of Season Passes and Wish Lists. In fact, I imagine most standard IR or RF HID-compliant wireless keyboards also would do the trick. As I demonstrate above using the compact and svelte Microsoft Arc Keyboard ($70).

Although I’m still tracking down backspace and space bar mappings, here are some of the keyboard shortcuts McBrine has uncovered thus far:

Cursor keys = arrows
Enter = Select
Esc = Clear
F1 = TiVo
F2 = LiveTV
F3 = Guide
F5 = Thumbs Up
F6 = Thumbs Down
F7 = Channel Up
F8 = Channel Down
F9 = Record (?)
F10 = Info

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21 responses to TiVo Premiere’s Keyboard Surprises! (Wireless, IP)

  1. I have to wonder if the USB HID interface isn’t a left-over from the OS build / testing process. I almost don’t believe TiVo would be that nice to us.

  2. None of those things would be necessary if they’d implement 10-key text entry like every other civilized dvr…

  3. Nice, very nice. Being able to use my laptop keyboard to type on the TiVo will be sweet.

    I wonder if we could get Sling to add network TiVo control to the Slingbox, they have it for the DISH DVR boxes.

  4. Mega! Welcome back! Hope your carpal tunnel is doing better. Would be nice to see your site up and running again sometime…

    Nice find guys (via Dave)! This will be incredibly useful. I’d agree it *might* be a side effect of the OS build process, but the Fn keys kind of blow that theory out of the water. Somebody built those shortcuts in on purpose…

  5. MZ, Their parent co may still be a bit bitter about the hundreds of millions flowing in TiVo’s general direction. ;) More practically, I think management intends to favor/push DISH stuff over competitors (real or imagined) anyway.

    The spacebar and backspace issue could be a bug according to McBrine… as it works under the classic UI, just not the HDUI as I demo-ed.

  6. I have both a TiVo and wireless keyboard so I tried this immediately. It works fantastic and is much faster than the provided remote.

  7. Does this work with older Tivo units, like Tivo HD?

  8. Spidey, not yet. But I bet that it will. The BT QWERTY remote will supposedly work with the S3/HD when released. So I suspect they’ll get a software update at some point with these same hooks. But this is purely a guess…

  9. TiVo nice, actually devoping something to make using my TiVo less painful! Can’t wait to not feel like a caveman hunting and pecking to search for something on my TiVo….

  10. I’ve been complaining for years TiVo won’t make a cablecardless box for Canada and the international market, but my disappointment is tempered by the lack of speed in the new premiere. I mean, it’s 2010 and it’s running no faster then my series 2. That’s sad and a fail for TiVo. I know that eventually there will be an update to make it a little faster, but still… that’s really weak.

    As for the USB keyboard, why would anyone even want the new remote now? I’d rather save the money and use a cheap USB wireless keyboard.

  11. Eh.. not really so much about the money, seems to be if you want a keyboard hanging around your living room or just a slightly different size TiVo remote… Is the difference in price really that much?

  12. Brad, yeah a keyboard is less than ideal for most. I expect iPhone and Android apps (a few bucks each) to be updated shortly which is a better solution in terms of convenience and price. In terms of cash for a physical keyboard, many already have wireless keyboards around and you can purchase one for probably half (or less) of what the TiVo QWERTY remote will run. I’m expecting something in the 80 or 90 range given the regular Glo clocks in at $50. Also, TiVo’s BT peanut is shorter, fatter, and heavier than the regular remote. May not appeal to all.

  13. Damn, the interface IS slow :(

  14. Only works for me with the standard menus on my Tivo Premiere. The arrow keys work with HD menus but not the letter keys. It’s fine with me because the HD menus are slooowww.

  15. I am using the Tivo Premiere Network Control with my own interface using telnet…does anybody know the KEYBOARD command for backspace/delete?

  16. Dave, I had the same question as Spidey: Do you know if it works with HD XL now?

    Very neat article, btw. tyvm!

  17. Yes, this should work with the HD and S3 which were updated to support the new Slide remote with similar commands.

  18. I tried a i-rocks keyboard and a multimedia keyboard.

    Neither has and FF, RW, skip functionality. The keyboard Pause works, not the multimedia Pause button.
    So the keyboard will operate a TiVo, but is not a replacement for a remote.

    F-11 is like the TiVo button, but brings up the older SD menu, like on series 3 or earlier.

    So far I see little difference between a series 3 and series 4, other than the HD menues come out of the “experimental” section. The F-11 seems to reinforce that impression.

  19. Dave, I’ve enjoyed your Tivo guidance for years. Has anyone confirmed that wireless keyboard’s such as Microsoft’s Arc will work with the S3/HD Tivo models? Thank you for helping all of us.

  20. P.S., Sorry about the typo. Maybe I need a new keyboard anyway! (:o))

  21. To Random Rage:
    Why does a 10-key text entry make this unnecessary? Just because you are obviously a “master” at texting doesn’t mean that the rest of us want to press 11 Keys to type the word FIVE or the word COST. Really thoughtless comment.

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