Setting STATIC or DHCP IP address settings on PTVnet

For PTVnet releases prior to 1.1:

Use flag_swap NETWORK to swap status of DHCP and STATIC flags.

Edit /etc/rc.d/ to change static IP settings (if you are unfamiliar with the ‘vi’ editor, here is a nice cheatsheet.



For PTVnet releases 1.1:

You can use the above method, OR use netconfig.tcl to manually set your IP settings; we’ve experienced mixed results with this procedure so proceed at your own risk, or use the aforementioned method for best results.

cd /ptvupgrade/bin

tivosh ./netconfig.tcl IP NETMASK GATEWAY DNS

for example: 

     tivosh ./netconfig.tcl


and to switch back to DHCP,


If you are going to use this method, we recommend you cd to the /init/ptv_flags directory and remove the DHCP and STATIC flags:


rm -rf DHCP* STATIC*


PTVnet and PTVnetHD Software CD Instructions

The following is an excerpt of the instructions published at DVRplayground .  The instructions published on DVRplayground are also combined with a discussion thread which you may find useful.

PTVnet/PTVnetHD DIY Software CD Instructions

The PTVnet Software Utility is a Linux Boot CD distributed in ISO format. We expect, the savvy computer user that you are, that you know how to burn an ISO to CD.

If you don’t, here’s a good place to start. If its still not making sense to you… well, we recommend you consider purchasing a full upgrade kit, or using our professional installation services. DIY tools are not intended for everyone.

Once you’ve burned your ISO, you will need to shutdown your computer, connect one or two drives intended for use in your DVR and carefully follow the boot screens and system prompts.

You will need to know the configuration of your CD-ROM drive (is it on the primary/secondary master or slave?) as well as the configuration of your TiVo drive(s). We highly recommend you disconnect your PC’s system drive, or any other drives which contain important data on them – this will reduce the possibility that you will accidentally overwrite any important data.

Note: If you are using InstantCake in conjunction with PTVnet, please boot your PTVnet disk FIRST and then supply the InstantCake CD when prompted. Some folks have reported problems when building a disk with InstantCake, and then rebooting and installing PTVnet; this would not be expected to work unless the freshly “baked” drive is first installed in your TiVo, and then reconnect to your PC for PTVnet configuration. Clearly the recommended method is faster.

That is it.  Now go ahead and read the PTVnet support information here, and you’ll be good to go!

Can I use PTVnet by adding a drive?

No, you must replace the drive in the unit. Why? Networking your unit requires the installation and configuration of several complex software components. In order for your unit to be networked, these tools must be installed on the “primary” drive of your TiVo; we cannot prepare a simple add-on drive that could be installed and would then allow your unit to be networked, as well. PTVnet replacement drive kits include all of the necessary software components. Simply remove the drive currently used in your system and replace it with the drive we supply. Keep your old drive as a backup, just in case you have a problem in the future. If your existing content is important to you, you can send your unit to us and we’ll replicate the drive onto a larger one, and make a kit for you with all the necessary software components.

Is PTVnet a way to install “version 4.01” on my DirecTV DVR?

I’ve heard that you can run version 4.01 of the ‘standalone’ software from some older TiVo units on my Series2 DirecTV DVR. I think I’d like to do that so that I can get features such as TiVo to Go and HMO on my DirecTV DVR. Does PTVnet do that?

No, it does not. We undersand that there are ways to do this, and it may very well possible, and easier to install/configure ‘alternative’ software system on a PTVnet-enabled drive, however our products are based upon the software revisions for the platforms intended. For example PTVnet 311e is based upon 311e, the release of software made available for the Series2 DirecTV DVR. Obviously we’ve enhanced it, but it is fundamentally no different than the software originally shipped, or updated to your DVR. We’ve chosen NOT to offer products based upon the standalone TiVo operating system because they were not designed with the intention of being installed on DirecTV boxes when they were originally distributed. In addition, we want to ensure that DirecTV systems can still be updated to the latest revision of software available at any time — by installing a different type of software, you would not be able to do this.

Can I run the PTVnet Software CD on an original TiVo drive?

This is currently not supported. We feel very strongly that you should not be modifying your existing TiVo drive, and early tests indicate that the installation utilities we’ve created may or may not work on an original drive. We highly recommend you use mfstools to backup your existing drive and that you restore that image onto a new drive prior to using the PTVnet software CD. If you are unfamiliar with making a backup, you can use InstantCake to image a blank drive or two for your particular system. In fact, the PTVnet CD will work, in conjunction with an InstantCake CD (or any CD with a known good backup on it placed in the correct folder) to restore, expand, and configure networking utilities in a step-by-step process.

If I’m using PTVnet, what happens if there is a software update?

Whenever there is a software update, any changes or modifications made to the software you are currently running will be ‘left behind.’ We use that terminology because the modifications are actually not erased or overwritten. Your TiVo hard drive has partitions on it which can hold TWO different versions of software. When a new version is downloaded and installed, the TiVo switches to the alternate partition, and leaves the old version behind. Currently, there is no way to automatically preserve your changes when a new software version is downloaded and installed. Fortunately, preventing a software update is as simple as leaving your unit unplugged from the phone line. In addition, it is actually possible to manually update your software if its downloaded to your unit through the satellite. With the correct information, it is possible to then reimplement your modifications and preserve some of them without actually removing the drive from the TiVo unit.

In the 2nd half of 2006, we released a DIY software tool called The Slicer which is designed to preserve many modifications and allows more experienced users to manually install software updates that have been downloaded from TiVo’s servers. Mileage may vary when using The Slicer, so it is recommended that users use DVRplayground and TiVoCommunity to research the use of the product before actually purchasing it or using it.

Configuring PTVnet to make calls using Internet connection instead of phoneline

If you need to ‘repeat your guided setup’ as a result of doing a ‘clear and delete everything’ or need to make a test call as part of configuring your satellite connections, you can configure your unit to use an Internet connection instead of requiring the use of your phone line.

There are several ways of doing this, however only one method applies for kits purchased prior to 12/20/2006, or drives prepared with our PTVnet software prior to that date.  For kits purchased (or drives prepared) after 12/20/2006, there is a different method, which we recommend.

To force your PTVnet configured unit to make a call using a network connection:

PTVnet SWCD version 1.0 – or kits purchased prior to December 20, 2006

Method one: 

You will need to establish a telnet session with your TiVo and edit the following file using “vi”:


and change the occurrence of:


on line 48 of the file to:


Method two:

This method allows you to download and replace the aforementioned file with one that is slightly modified.  Use it at your own risk and if it does not work, you will need to use method one.

Establish a telnet session with your unit  by typing (use copy and paste whenever possible):

  1. telnet (use your ip address, instead)
  2. rootwrite
  3. wget -O /etc/rc.d/
  4. rootread
  5. sync
  6. reboot

Step #3 will download and replace the existing file with one that is modified in the same way the method 1 suggests.

PTVnet SWCD version 1.1 – or kits purchased AFTER to December 20, 2006

If you are not sure what version of PTVnet you used or when you purchased your kit, then you may want to use the previous methods of configuring the unit.  Or to verify whether you have the right files in place, establish a telnet session with your unit and type the following:

ls -al /init/ptv_flags

If you see a variable called:


then you have version 1.1

now type:

flag_swap NETWORK_CALL

If the network call was previously configured to be OFF, it will be set to ON, and vice versa.

Alternatively, you could type the following to turn things on:


rm -rf /init/ptv_flags/NETWORK_CALL*

touch /init/ptv_flags/NETWORK_CALL_ON

If you wanted to turn it off, then just replace ON with OFF in the previous instructions.

You will need to reboot your unit after doing this; we recommend typing the following to reboot (DO NOT PULL THE PLUG!):

sync ; reboot

OR just use the remote to restart your unit.

Can I use PTVnet to extract videos to my PC?

I want to save videos to my PC and convert them to MPEG-4, DIVX, or some other format so that I can burn them to DVD or watch them while travelling. Can I do that with PTVnet?

Well, yes and no. PTVnet does not give you the direct capability to extract from your DVR. PTVnet does give you network access to your DVR via telnet and ftp. With telnet and ftp you can install and configure other publicly available applications and techniques that might enable you to save videos to your PC, however this is not a capability that PTVnet directly offers or supports. Why is this? Well, the folks at TiVo and DirecTV get concerned when digital copies of their programs are no longer secure. We know that there is nothing unethical or illegal about archiving your media to your PC or portable video devices for mobile viewing, however we do not want folks to be worried about the security of their content.

Does using PTVnet mean I can run the Home Media Option on my DirecTV DVR?

I am considering PTVnet but I want to know if I can run the Home Media Option on my Series2 DirecTV DVR. Is that what PTVnet is?

PTVnet is not the same as Home Media Option (HMO).  PTVnet will enable telnet/ftp and also install a webserver (TiVoWebPlus) on your TiVo unit.  Currently, the units supported are DirecTiVo 6.2 (SD) units and DirecTiVo 3.1.5f and 6.3 (HD) units.

This is not the same as HMO.  However, on DirecTiVo SD and HD units, once you have telnet/ftp enabled, you can remote log into your system and install an additional utility that will enable some features of HMO, which many people find desirable. On SD units, you can enable HMO and MRV (multi-room viewing), as well as HME.  On HD units, you can enable HMO, and HME (sorry, no MRV on HD units…) Please note: These features are unavailable with software version 6.4a.

What is the PTVnet Software?

The PTVnet software CD is designed to be a DIY tool for those with decent PC technical skills who lack the time, energy and patience to implement the wide variety of software tools and techniques available for networking their Series2 DirecTV DVR. In short, the software CD is an inexpensive alternative to purchasae our preconfigured PTVnet kits (which can be found on our site). Of course, you have to do more of the work, but you can save money by using the CD and shopping for your own hard drive.