How to Use Tivo to Record from a Security Camera

So you've been wondering whether you can use your TiVo as a security camera? The good news is that you can, the not so great news is that it takes a little work. You'll have to download some files and input some code but it's nothing too complicated.

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Step 1

Perform "Guided Set Up" as normal. Tivo will ignore the IR control option so it doesn't matter which you choose. When choosing "Channels you receive" deselect everything except for CNN. You will need at least one channel to set manual recordings.

Step 2

Now you must prevent Tivo from making regular call-ins. To fool the TiVo into thinking a recent successful call-in has been made, you must install the "SpecifiedDaysZA" script available in the resources section. Once you've installed the script you will be able to specify which days the Tivo should search for data. You must set it to "N".

Step 3

The Tivo will run out of guide data and will complain. In order to prevent this you must install the "nonag.slice" file in the "/tmp" directory in the Tivo. Telnet to your Tivo and type:

dbload30.tcl /tmp/NoNag.slice

The "NoNag.slice" file provides an entry for "CNN" on Wed Jan 26, 2011 and as such the TiVo won't complain about not having guide data.

Step 4

Once you've configured the above, you are now ready to use the TiVo as a CCTV recorder. By default the TiVo will buffer the inputted signal but you can save the recorded input by setting up manual recordings.

Using the "Manually Record Time/Channel" menu you can configure recurring recordings thus allowing you to specify the internal and length of time that each recording should be.

Step 5

Plug the CCTV camera into the S-video video source on the back of the TiVo. Now switch to channel 0.

Things You'll Need

  • A Tivo

  • A CCTV camera


Performing these actions could void your warranty. Always check with your manufacturer to see if this is the case.