Tivo jpegwriter

Disclaimer: Use this at your own Risk! Always back up your Tivo before using any hack! The utility could cause your Tivo to do horrific things, including, but not limited to: playing the Rosie O’Donnel show over and over, calling your friends and hanging up when they answer, or bursting into flame. By using this or any utility written by Jake, you do so at your own risk. No warranties, expressed or implied… etc. Use this and you agree not to sue me…

About jpegwriter

jpegwriter was the product of serveral months of boredom during that unemployed period between college and my first job. Sadly, I am now fully employed and do not have the time to play with my Tivo as much as I used to. 🙂 So I’ve decided to release the program and source under the GPL.

jpegwriter uses libjpeg to display images to the TiVo’s on screen display. Images are displayed in 256 colors. The color palette is created dynamically by libjpeg. The image is scaled to 1/2, 1/4, or 1/8th of its actual size, if necessary, to make it fit on the screen.

this is a development version of jpeg writer. this means you can count on it to:

(a) be unstable
(b) crash a lot
(c) possibly screw up your tivo
(3) maybe display a jpeg on your screen

I’m not sure if I ever released the 1.0b version. t has a “-dc” flag which will draw your jpeg using the osd’s “direct color mode”. It should display better pictures than in just 256 colors. Give it a shot. It is known to be unstable and crashes on some jpegs. You’ve been warned! 🙂

Use it at your own risk


Visit GNU.org for the terms of the GNU Public License. Both jpegwriter and libosd are now released under the GPL, and are included in the zip file below.


  • Thanks to [mbm] (embeem) for all his help. [mbm] pretty much helped me learn everything I know about coding for the Tivo in C. This includes the OSD routines.
  • Thanks to the libjpeg people for their fine library. head on over to their site to download the source to libjpeg, it compiles fine for the TiVo without any modifications. I beleive i used version jpeg-6b of this library originally. I’m not sure if newer or older will work. If you plan to compile this yourself, you’ll need to go compile yourself a copy. Several header files are needed by jpegwriter as well.


If you’re fully comfortable with the disclaimer and the terms of the GPL, then download jpegwriter:

Note: the 1.0b version doesn’t seem to work properly on all jpegs. I’m not really equipped to fix it anymore (My cross-compiler isn’t set up anymore). However, if you fix the seg-faults, let me know, and I’ll post the repaired copy here!

Bonus! JpegWriter 1.0b also comes with the source to my libosd library. This is a really simple OSD library for drawing to the tivo’s on-screen display. Again, it is released under the GPL.

NEW! Graham has extended the jpegwriter 1.0b. Hopefully the segfault is fixed, and he’s added some new features too! Take a look at Graham’s jpegwriter v1.1 page for more information. Thanks Graham. Note: I don’t have my Tivo setup with telnet right now, so this is untested, but my guess is that it probably works. Remember, as with any Tivo software, use at your own risk!