Can I use a TiVO DVR in a security system?

I’ve got an old DirecTV brand receiver/DVR sitting around unused (its a Hughes model SD-DVR40, if it matters). It is equipped with a couple of USB ports in the back, which served no useful purpose in its previous job.

It occurred to me earlier that it ought to be possible to use this as the DVR portion of a security system. I’m assuming that I would need to hack the DirecTV/TiVO software in order to do this. I was imagining using a couple of wireless cameras in conjunction with the DVR, and maybe even making it web-enabled, so I could monitor from a remote location.

So, does anyone know if this is possible and, if so, where I would start gathering the knowledge necessary to do this? I’m not the most handy guy around, but I follow instructions well, and can handle slightly-more-complex-than-average computer-related projects.

Have a look here. There may be something you can use there, if not, someone there will where to find it. Hope that that helps.

You might wish to consider whether or not you would get as many ports as you might like out of this.
A lot of camera installs need 2-3 or more cameras, which gets tricky to manage on a consumer DVR.
One workaround would be an analog switcher or digital multiplexer. As newer DVR security systems are beginning to render these obsolete, Ebay is lousy with them.
Of course, if this is a pure geek project, well, then, have fun!
If you can part with $400 or so, I could find you a commercially available system.
For DIY types, I like the homesecuritystore website.

Here we have a regular set of 4 security cameras that connect to a monitor/multiplexer. From there the video dumps to a time lapse VCR. When the VCR broke, I put a TiVo in in it’s place. It worked great. BUT, you will either have to get a subscription for one or find a series 1 that worked without the subscription. BTW if you use the composite IN on the Tivo, it will be on channel 0.
The other trick I did was to set 12 manual recordings of two hours each (12:00 - 2:00, 2:00-4:00 …), then I set it to delete the oldest one when space was needed. So it filled up about three days worth and then everytime it started recording a new 2 hour section, it deleted the oldest one, so I always had about three days of video…and it was regular video instead of time lapse, which means the audio was in tact as well.
So wheather or not you can use your DTivo and wireless cameras, I have no idea, but it IS possible to use a Tivo in conjunction with a security system.

There are also systems out there that are just a multiplexer/camera interface card and software for a windows PC.

I have dealt with a few of them, the learning curve is a bit steep on setup, but once they are in, your only limit is hard drive space.