Here's how to activate the hidden features of your standalone TiVo Series2 DVR. We should note that there's no guarantee that these procedures will work with original TiVos or combination DirecTV/TiVo satellite receivers. Also, since these features are currently unsupported by TiVo, don't call the company's tech-support center if they don't work. Instead, try the TiVo Community Forum for help.
This one has been floating around for a while. Currently, the button marked -->|, which sits to the lower left of the big, yellow pause button, skips to the end of the recorded program. By following the instructions below, you can transform it into a 30-second-skip control. Incidentally, many commercials are exactly 30 seconds long. Here's what to do:
By default, the TiVo gets its program information--namely times and dates for shows--by calling the server on a normal phone line. This is also the way that software updates are handled. By following the instructions below, you can configure TiVo to get its program and other information over an Ethernet connection, typically by using a router connected to a DSL line or a cable modem instead of the phone. These instructions assume that you're using a router.*
*TiVo doesn't officially support this feature, but it's safe to assume that the products on the company's list of compatible adapters for their Home Media Option will work.
For full, supported wired or wireless networking access, consider upgrading to the Home Media Option, which allows TiVo to access music and photos on a home computer, takes full advantage of the USB connection, and requires a USB-to-Ethernet or USB wireless networking adapter for full functionality. TiVo has selected Linksys as its "preferred network connectivity solution," but it also lists compatible wired and wireless adapters from other manufacturers on its Web site.