Programmatic VCR Control

Hello,

I was flicking through the Ruby Q.zes when I saw the VCR Program
Manager (#101) – and thought how nice it would be to control my
(real) video recorder via Ruby rather than its native GUI.

http://www.rubyquiz.com/quiz101.html

Inevitably when I return from a holiday somewhere I find that I’m
missing the final fifteen minutes of a favourite programme because
the TV network changed the schedules after I left. Of course you
only find out you missed the last part once you’ve watched up to that
point. Grr!

With a Ruby interface I could set a daily cron job to check the TV
schedules over the web and update the VCR if necessary.

So does anybody know of a neat way of interfacing to a VCR? Ideally
a cheap piece of electronics I could buy online…and no, a TiVo
thingy doesn’t count as cheap :slight_smile:

Thanks!

Andy S.

On Feb 15, 1:17 pm, Andrew S. [email protected] wrote:

the TV network changed the schedules after I left. Of course you
Thanks!

Andy S.

-------http://airbladesoftware.com

If the VCR can be programmed solely via remote, you could use a
software driven IR emitter to send the right signals to the VCR.
Something like this: http://www.usbuirt.com/ If you really want to do
this on the cheap and your time isn’t worth anything (if it is, you
should probably just get a TiVo), you could buy a much more bare bones
IR emitter (and probably a receiver so your software can learn the
right codes) and do all the code yourself.

On 15 Feb 2008, at 20:54, yermej wrote:

If the VCR can be programmed solely via remote, you could use a
software driven IR emitter to send the right signals to the VCR.
Something like this: http://www.usbuirt.com/ If you really want to do
this on the cheap and your time isn’t worth anything (if it is, you
should probably just get a TiVo), you could buy a much more bare bones
IR emitter (and probably a receiver so your software can learn the
right codes) and do all the code yourself.

Thanks for the suggestions and the link to that site.

It’s not that my time isn’t worth anything; instead that it would be
more satisfying to do it myself than simply buy somebody else’s
solution. On the other hand it would be more satisfying still to go
windsurfing and learn to duck gybe so maybe I’ll just get the TiVo
after all :slight_smile:

Regards,
Andy S.

Andrew S. [email protected] blabbered::

Thanks for the suggestions and the link to that site.

http://airbladesoftware.com

This is quite a bit OT, but maybe building a DVR or using something like
Dreambox (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreambox) would allow you to
program your own stuff into the "TiVo"ish unit…