I’ve been using TiVo for a long time, and have been very happy with it. That said, with money always being an issue, cable television and TiVo seemed like two expenditures which would be rather easy to get rid of…
Well, I’ve finally taken the plunge. I’m ditching cable television and just going with the interbutts.
Now, television shows are simple enough to find… if you’re actively looking for them. But if you’re anything like me, you tend to be forgetful and may not think to search for the new South Park Wednesday, or might even forget about a show entirely. This is what was so great about TiVo, it remembers for you.
Clearly, an automated solution is required… and an automated solution is available!
First, download Miro. Miro is a combination browser, RSS reader, torrent client and media player. It allows you to specify RSS feeds which point to torrents of shows, and then download them automatically as new shows are released.
Once you’ve got Miro installed, start it up and take a look around. It comes with some default content, including an RSS feed for the wonderful This American Life podcast which I highly recommend you check out… Feel free to delete anything you don’t see yourself using to tidy things up a bit. Just right click any website or feed in the sidebar and choose delete.
Finding Your Shows
So now that you’ve got Miro, the question becomes how to find all your favorite shows. Open the Sidebar menu at the top of Miro, and click “Add Website.” Type in “ezrss.it” and then hit OK, and you’ll see a new entry under Websites in the sidebar. Click the ezRSS entry to load it up.
ezRSS exists solely to create torrents from content from EZTV, a website which aggregates TV show torrents. Just enter the name of the show you want and click search. If everything looks good, click the “Search-based RSS feed” link and Miro will automatically add it to your list of video feeds and queue the latest episode for auto-downloading.
Et voila! From now on, Miro will automatically download new shows as they’re put out. Just repeat the process above for each show you want to keep track of.
Each feed is going to get a default title, along the lines of “ezRSS search-based feed…” Not terribly helpful to have that repeated over and over. Now, technically it doesn’t matter. Miro will download the shows just fine… But personally, I like things to be a bit more organized, so I rename each feed to the name of the show. Just right click the feed and choose “Rename.” You can also reorder the list, e.g. into alphabetical order, by dragging and dropping items.
There’s Only One Thing Missing…
There’s just one thing I miss from TiVo… the suggestions. Based on the shows you like, TiVo would fill any extra capacity with shows it thought you might enjoy. Good for those days when there’s nothing new on and you just wanna watch TV. It’s also how I found some of my favorites, like How I Met Your Mother and My Name is Earl. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any way to replicate this in any sort of automated fashion… if you have any ideas, leave a comment!