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cTiVo Announcement

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by mackworth, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. May 24, 2013 #21 of 179
    tannebil

    tannebil New Member

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    Mar 9, 2006
    Sorry for the delay but I've been away for a few weeks.

    My Handbrake CLI dual audio stream rips is:

    -f mp4 -4 -w 960 -e x264 -q 20 --vfr -r 29.97 --pfr -a 1,1 -E faac,copy:ac3 -6 dpl2,auto -R Auto,Auto -B 160,auto -D 2.0,2.0 -x b-adapt=2:rc-lookahead=50 --verbose=1

    It's a much higher quality rip than needed for an iPhone/iPad but looks great when played on an Apple TV. I decided that I'd take the file size hit to get a single file that looked good on ATV and still worked with my iOS devices. It also means that if I use AirPlay with my ATV, the video looks great (although I only get stereo sound).

    Another recent glitch I've encountered with metadata is that the track number has to be set to the episode number or the episodes on iOS6 will sort alphabetically by episode name rather than in episode number sequence.

    Most of my artwork was downloaded from thetvdb.com. VideoRedo AutoProcessor looks for jpg/png artwork in files named "<show title>_thumbnail" located in a folder set in the program preferences.
     
  2. May 24, 2013 #22 of 179
    javabird

    javabird Active Member

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    Oct 12, 2006
    Seattle
    Thanks, I found it. I had already tried right-clicking on just about everything else to see if the info was hidden, I just hadn't thought about the column headers.
     
  3. May 25, 2013 #23 of 179
    tannebil

    tannebil New Member

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    Mar 9, 2006
    The issue with the Videos app needing an Album field with "<show name>, Season x" came up with iOS5 on an iPad3. I retested and the problem doesn't exist in iOS6 (latest version of iOS6 tested on an iPhone 4S and an iPad Mini) or iOS5 (latest version of iOS5 tested on an iPod Touch (3rd Generation). Unfortunately, I no longer have an iPad running iOS5 so I can't retest it.
     
  4. May 25, 2013 #24 of 179
    mackworth

    mackworth Member

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    Jul 31, 2006
    We'll add this.

    Just to clarify, you're downloading these files manually, correct? I don't see anything in thetvdb.com API to get them.
     
  5. May 25, 2013 #25 of 179
    tannebil

    tannebil New Member

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    Mar 9, 2006
    I am manually downloading my images from a variety of sources. Most are from thetvdb.com but sometimes I prefer an image from elsewhere.

    There's usually a dozen or so different images on the thetvdb.com to pick from so I don't see it being an automated process. iFlicks gets a default image from thetvdb.com somehow but the results have not been satisfactory. iFlicks does a pretty good job with completing the rest of the metadata though.

    One challenge with using thetvdb.com for metadata is that you need a system for handing mismatches between the show and episode names in TiVo and in thetvdb.com. For example, there are two shows named "Castle" in thetvdb.com so you have to use "Castle (2009)" to get the current show. Hawai Five-O is another example. Similar problems exist with episode names.

    A nice enhancement would be to be able to have the option to use different images for different seasons by including the season number in the file name, e.g. fringe.jpg is the default image but if fringe_S02.jpg exists, it's used for season 2 episodes.

    I ran a five shows through cTiVo Beta 3 yesterday using my custom Handbrake configuration (HB version 0.9.9 w/ a custom encode) and it worked great. Nice work.
     
  6. May 27, 2013 #26 of 179
    tannebil

    tannebil New Member

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    Mar 9, 2006
    How do I get just a decrypted TiVo file? If I use the encoding format "Decrypted TiVo Show", I get a .mpg file rather than a .tivo file.

    Edit: Actually, sometimes I get an .mpg file and sometimes I get a .tivo file so maybe there's a bug somewhere. Restarting cTiVo seems to give .tivo files until I cancel a download. After that, I get .mpg files.

    Edit2: It's not as simple as that as now I'm getting .mpg files even after a restart.
     
  7. May 27, 2013 #27 of 179
    mackworth

    mackworth Member

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    Jul 31, 2006
    Technically, I would argue that .mpg is correct, as the file as created by tivo is indeed an mpeg format, albeit MPEG2. In fact, a .tivo file is really an mpeg file as well, but still encrypted with your MAK. Regardless, .mpg is what cTivo is supposed to be creating.

    As background on extensions, with different encoders, we either do sequential encoding or simultaneous (depending on whether it is designed to accept an input file from a pipe). So for Handbrake, we mark the original downloaded file as .tivo, then the decrypted file as .tivo.mpg, then the "encoded" version as .mpg. With encoders that can support pipes , we use a buffer file .bin where necessary.

    To avoid creating a whole separate code path for decrypt-only files, we use a "encoder" that simply renames the .tivo.mpg file to .mpg. So, the odd thing would be if you got a .tivo file from the decode-only process. Maybe this was an in-process file on the HB side? FYI, this whole area is being redone to improve parallelism as much as possible in the next version.

    To confirm that you're getting a decode-only version, look at the file size of the .mpg file, it should be essentially the same on disk as on your tivo (shown as "size" column in cTivo; possibly a hidden column).
     
  8. May 27, 2013 #28 of 179
    wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

    10,366
    22
    Aug 2, 2003
    Plus the header, with the metadata.

    It's possible to create an unencrypted .TiVo file, which is just the header file plus the MPEG. I don't personally find this format useful, but some people do.
     
  9. May 27, 2013 #29 of 179
    tannebil

    tannebil New Member

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    Mar 9, 2006
    The metadata is important to me because I'm taking the file and feeding into a Windows process that uses the metadata to populate the .m4v file. Encrypted or unencrypted doesn't really matter to my process.

    I was trying to trick cTiVo by setting "don't delete tmp files" in advanced settings to leave the .tivo file behind. It worked for a bit but doesn't seem to be working now.
     
  10. May 27, 2013 #30 of 179
    SeanC

    SeanC ECT

    9,616
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    Dec 30, 2003
    Someplace
    Thanks for posting this. I used it to get the whole season of Brickleberry onto my Ipad, couldn't have been easier.
     
  11. May 28, 2013 #31 of 179
    tannebil

    tannebil New Member

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    Mar 9, 2006
    I hacked a temporary solution by using a custom encode that uses Handbrake to encode just a minute of the show and doesn't delete tmp file. That leaves the .tivo file behind and I can use a folder action to copy it to my Windows box.
     
  12. May 28, 2013 #32 of 179
    mackworth

    mackworth Member

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    Jul 31, 2006
    By metadata, you mean the XML that the Tivo provides (originalAirDate, actors and all that stuff)? There's a separate option (Export XML metadata) which saves the .XML file as it comes over from the tivo. We don't get that from the .tivo file, it's pulled down separately
     
  13. Jul 4, 2013 #33 of 179
    javabird

    javabird Active Member

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    Oct 12, 2006
    Seattle
    I just noticed the Alpha version of cTivo is now available. I'm downloading it now and will be trying it out.
     
  14. Jul 5, 2013 #34 of 179
    tannebil

    tannebil New Member

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    Mar 9, 2006
    I'm using the alpha and it has been rock solid. I'm using a custom Handbrake encode to get mp4 files with both stereo and 5.1 audio tracks.
     
  15. Jul 5, 2013 #35 of 179
    mackworth

    mackworth Member

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    Jul 31, 2006
    We have indeed released the alpha version of 2.1, currently only as a manual download. After a few weeks in the wild, we will push out a beta update via the automatic update. Available at http://ctivo.googlecode.com

    Some of the major changes are:
    • Higher performance workflow (increased parallelism, memory buffering)
    • Subscriptions across multiple Tivo's, including controls on which Tivo, resolution, suggestions, or ALL to download all shows recorded.
    • Commercials optionally marked as MPEG chapters to allow easy skipping without losing info
    • Subtitles and artwork optionally embedded in the file.
    • theTVDB integration to improve season/episode information and artwork
    And many other bug fixes and polishing improvements...
     
  16. Jul 11, 2013 #36 of 179
    mackworth

    mackworth Member

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    Jul 31, 2006
    And with some very positive feedback about reliability from the initial users, we've now officially released 2.1. Let us know what you think, or if there's any problems or suggestions...
     
  17. Jul 15, 2013 #37 of 179
    IPbUnSJ5njOL

    IPbUnSJ5njOL New Member

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    Feb 19, 2005
    It seems comskip for linux is now at version 0.93e. Can you provide any guidance on how you got it to build? I'd like the latest and greatest...

    Thanks.
     
  18. Sep 14, 2013 #38 of 179
    kingmob

    kingmob New Member

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    Jan 27, 2007
    I just started trying cTiVo as a replacement for KMTTG. I was hopeful that I would finally be able to get comskip to work, which I was never able to do with KMTTG. Unfortunately, that hasn't turned out to be the case, although it's much nicer to use.

    Every time I try to transfer a file and use comskip, the transfer fails. I have tried fixing permissions, and that had no effect. I also haven't been able to use cTiVo to convert videos to another format. That also fails. All that I've been able to get working is transferring and decrypting.

    If I can provide you with logs or other info, please let me know. I'd really like to get the other features working, since the application looks great otherwise.
     
  19. Sep 15, 2013 #39 of 179
    tannebil

    tannebil New Member

    68
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    Mar 9, 2006
    I've encoded hundreds of shows with cTiVo from a Premiere, an S3, and an HD and have only encountered a few shows where cTiVo couldn't handle them so cTiVo does work. We just need to figure out why it doesn't work for you.

    What model TiVo are you using? Are you transferring HD or SD shows?

    What version of OS X are you using?

    How much free space on your system drive?

    What encoding format are you using? Does the same thing happen when you encode using a Handbrake format?

    The one consistent problem has been with MLB Extra Innings games on a Premiere. SD recordings are fine but HD recordings always fail. The one thing I noticed is that on Verizon FIOS, the HD recordings are in H.264 rather than MPG.

    What all the problem shows have had in common is that I can't download them using the web interface either. cTiVo uses the same mechanism for download so that's not too surprising. They also failed when I tried to use KKTMG instead of cTiVo. TiVo Desktop Manager on Windows uses a different mechanism and all my problem downloads can be downloaded using TDM.

    One twitchy bit is that the TiVo's don't seem to clean-up canceled transfers very well. If I cancel a few downloads in cTiVo, all downloads will start failing. TiVo seems to eventually get things cleaned up but I end up rebooting the TiVo half the time and avoid canceling transfers. This seems to be a bigger problem with my HD/S3 TiVo's than my Premiere.

    Also, TDM and cTiVo cannot be transferring simultaneously. The cTiVo download will fail immediately.

    However, if you are able to successfully download and decrypt, it sounds like something in the encode process. Are you able to encode downloaded files using the Handbrake GUI?
     
  20. Sep 15, 2013 #40 of 179
    kingmob

    kingmob New Member

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    Jan 27, 2007
    Thanks for the reply! Here are the details.

    TiVo HD.

    Mac OS X 10.8.4.

    160 GB free on the system disk.

    For comskip, I tried encoding with MPEG-2 HD. I also tried encoding with the HandBrake Apple TV setting (without comskip) and that failed also. Manual encoding with HandBrake 0.9.9 x86_64 (2013051800) works fine. I was able to download files just using the Decrypted TiVo Show setting.

    If it matters, I use Comcast, and the shows that I've tried transferring and using comskip on and/or transcoding have been from BBCA and AMC.

    I should also note that cTiVo also doesn't seem to be able to save my TiVo's MAK. I've tried deleting the plist file a couple of times, but that hasn't helped.

    Let me know if there's more info that I can provide.
     

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