Tivo's 30 Second Skip Easter Egg

TiVo doesn't advertise a 30 second skip feature. And when you first set up your Tivo, you'll discover that such a feature, seemingly a no brainer for skipping commercials quickly, doesn't exist. And it doesn't officially exist because television advertisers don't want it to exist. So it doesn't exist.

Or does it?

As it turns out, a 30 second skip is buried within the programming of the TiVo device and can be brought to the surface using an "easter egg". After enabling the 30 second skip feature, The skip-to-hash button becomes a 30 second skip button. Once you begin using this feature, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it. (In fact, while updating this page, I just noticed that the silk screened image on the skip-to-hash button on my remote is nearly worn off.)

So how do you do this? It's easy. You just hit a few buttons on your remote.

  1. Grab your TiVo remote.
  2. Bring up any recorded program. (I believe you have to be watching a recorded program rather than "Live TV" in order to enable the feature.)
  3. On your TiVo remote, key in the following sequence:
    select play select 3 0 select
  4. If you've successfully entered the code, you should hear three "bings" in succession to let you know that you've successfully enabled the 30 second skip feature.
  5. The skip-to-hash button on your remote will now skip forward 30 seconds during playback.
  6. The previous function of the skip to hash button (that is, jumping to the next "hash" mark on the playback progress bar at the bottom of the screen) can still be accessed by first pressing fast forward or reverse. Press the fast forward button and then press skip-to-hash and the playback will advance to the next hashmark (or the end of the program if you're close to the end of playback.) Press the rewind button and then the skip-to-hash and you jump back to the previous hash mark, or the beginning of the program depending on your place in the playback. Skipping past the end of the program takes you back to the start of playback.

Note that you'll have to re-enable this feature any time your TiVo is rebooted (such as after a power outage or a software update.)

Should you not like the 30 second skip, you can disable it by re-entering the Easter Egg exactly as you did to enable it.

DISCLAIMER: No guarantees that these features will work on your TiVo, nor that it will continue to work in the future. Furthermore, it's not my fault if something YOU do breaks your TiVo.

I didn't discover this trick myself, by the way. Friends on The Well discovered it before I did, and I believe most of them got it from wonderful places like I simply got tired of forgetting what the simple sequence is and put it on my own website so I had an easy place to find it.

I've jotted down a few other tips that you might be interested in and put them here.