eMac's WebTV / MSNtv Hacking Emporium

I don't even know where to begin. eMac was the best without a doubt for lack of a better term Web TV hacker there was. His contributions to the scene were critical. As all "Web TV hackers" eMac came up with many tricks/methods to access areas of the Web TV network, but what really makes him stand out above everyone who was in the scene at this time was his vast knowledge of how the service and hardware worked. He was also the only one who was actively programming tools/utilities that the rest of us in the scene could use to further are exploration of the Web TV network. So on this page you will find only some of the stuff he had built over the years. Unfortunately some things have been lost to time.

There is only one other person in the scene that had a vast working knowledge of how the service and hardware really worked, unfortunately he wishes to remain anonymous, so we will refer to him as the "Server Dude". Server Dude always kept on the down low working secretly in the shadows and sharing his findings with only a select few. I wish I could share more info about him, but I just wanted to at least acknowledge that this person existed and without him lots of cool stuff would have never happened. I wish I could build a page on this site dedicated to just him, but I feel placing him here is just as good as he did work closely with eMac on many things. Thanks, Server Dude!

Download Description Image
WebTV Partition Editor WebTV boxes with hard drives have a unique partition layout. The layout is actually different between the original WebTV boxes, the Dish Network boxes and the UltimateTV boxes (DirectTV). eMac wanted an easy way to edit partitions without manually editing and creating partitions by hand using a hex editor. The WebTV Partition Editor was born. Thanks to this tool I was able to create a good custom WebTV build that people could install on certain models of WebTV boxes. Prior to this I was limited to only small edits using a hex editor.
WebTV WorkAround The Workaround is just a server that sends information out to the viewer. Service list, headers, ect. Was helpful in connecting to WebTV custom servers like TestDrive. Weekly, etc on the viewer. Could be used to connect to production as well and access any users account if you had proper id's etc.
WebTV EMU 1.5 Emulates the Web TV service. 1.5 is pretty well polished with services etc. I would like, at some point combine some features of 1.5 with 2.5 and make a 3.5 out of them both lol.
WebTV EMU 2.5 Emulates the WebTV service. Emu 2.5 was written from the ground up as a new emulator which was much better at performance and capability. It was never completely finished with services but one could add to it if so desired. It's currently being used to allow original WebTV boxes back online again since as of 2013 the WebTV/MSNtv service is now defunked. In its current condition I have edited eMac's original version of 2.5 and added a couple services just to get it going and to get the initial feel of connecting to WebTV. More info can be found here.
Webtv Proxy This proxy server is used to proxy a HTTP connection. You can run this program on Windows by ActivePerl or IndagoPerl or use UNIXs perl command from Linux. More info available in the ReadMe file. Thanks to eMac this is the tool I used to help me access the WebTV previewer groups/homepage as one needed to have a certain ip range to even get a password prompt.
WebTV ROMFS-Dumper Used to dump a WebTV ROMFS file or approm allowing you to edit things with ease then repacking for use. Has a dumped and repacked Flash.vwr from the WebTV viewer 2.5 included as an example. Edit romfs-dumper-emac.py to mess around with other ROMFS files.
WebTV SuperViewer 4.0 A tool that automatically edited the WebTV viewer to allow it to work better when connecting to the WebTV Network from a PC. Worked in conjunction with a file called WebTVIPE--3.0.pl witch required perl to be installed. Includes original Visual Basic 6 source code.
WebTV SuperViewer 4.1 Same as above except I have edited eMac's original code as some things were not working any longer. It does pretty much the same thing. Doesn't require perl to be installed.
WebTV Viewer Hacker Edition Launcher v1.2 This is a program that I created and placed here since I had no better place to put it. It's just a simple tool to quickly launch the WebTV viewer or to quickly reset the viewer back to stock settings. Made to work with the Hackers Edition WebTV Viewer. I did a few small updates to it in 2022 but kept it as original as I could for nostalgia.

The most recent version of this program can be found here and is included with the most recent version of the WebTV Viewer.

Hacker Site I found this on a old cd-r backup I made 20+ years ago. This is how eMac used to distribute his hacker tools. You had a limited time to snatch what you needed. All these tools are still available!

Other links and related stuff

Link Description
eMac's GitHub You can find other WebTV related projects eMac has worked on.
eMac's Old Site One of eMac's old WebTV sites that he created when he was in his teens.
ActivePerl 32bit
ActivePerl 64bit
For many of these tools you need to install ActivePerl to get them to run. If you wish to mess around with these old tools I have two older versions that I know will work correctly. You may also need to install the Net::DNS module for some of the above tools.
7-Zip Is a file archiver with a high compression ratio. I used this to archive most of the tools above.
Visual Basic 6.0 Runtime Plus Needed to run some of the files above. This is the complete package of runtime files and redistributable libraries for running or distributing applications written in Visual Basic 6.0 and together with some third-party redistributable components.

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