1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

iTiVo (TiVo -> mac -> iPhone)

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by Yoav, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. psywzrd

    psywzrd New Member

    219
    0
    Mar 25, 2003
    I'm using the most recent version of iTivo to transfer a recording from my S3 Tivo my MacBook (using the Decrypt option to get the best possible quality). When I play the resulting mpgeg on my MacBook, I'm getting frequent audio dropouts that are not there when I watch the program on my Tivo. Any idea what could be causing this problem?
     
  2. fatespawn

    fatespawn New Member

    139
    0
    Oct 14, 2007
    Chicagoish, IL
    Is it 5.1 audio? Quicktime has issues with properly decoding 5.1. Try VLC and see if you get the same dropouts.

    -fate
     
  3. psywzrd

    psywzrd New Member

    219
    0
    Mar 25, 2003
    Nope, it's not 5.1 and I am using VLC to view it on my computer.
     
  4. Yoav

    Yoav New Member

    1,048
    0
    Jan 12, 2007
    Can you try playing it with Mplayer OSX Extended: http://mplayerosx.sttz.ch/

    It's *possible* that there's some issue with vlc. It's also possible that the data on the tivo is mildly corrupt in such a way that the tivo can recover from it, but that when it turns it into an mpeg to hand over to your computer, the error becomes larger. Is this happening just to one file or everything?
     
  5. psywzrd

    psywzrd New Member

    219
    0
    Mar 25, 2003
    This is weird. When I tried to play it with the program you linked to above, the audio was fine but the video was screwed up. I'm not sure what to make of this. I haven't tried any other files recently but I guess I could - it would just take a while to download them (this is just a 4 minute clip so it doesn't take long to download). I can send you the file if you want so you can try it on your end as well. If you want, PM me your email address and I'll email you a link so that you can download it (it's a little under 400MB).
     
  6. thebizz

    thebizz New Member

    1
    0
    Jul 27, 2009

    psywzrd....please let us know what you find out, as I have had the exact same experience with a file I downloaded from my Tivo. I tried playing the file with Mplayer OSX Extended and also had choppy video...but it fixed the sound problem.
     
  7. Yoav

    Yoav New Member

    1,048
    0
    Jan 12, 2007
    I suspect emailing me the file won't reveal anything new (I'm gonna have the same results as you do).. but if you put it up somewhere I'm happy to try it (just put up like the first 20 megs or so).

    It's definitely looking like a corrupt file that is causing different players to react differently.... Out of interest, if you select a format other than decrypt -- like maybe iphone, (which will take a while to transcode it) do things seem to work?

    It might need an mpeg 'fixer' to run on it, and the only one I'm aware of is on windows (part of the videoReDo suite).
     
  8. psywzrd

    psywzrd New Member

    219
    0
    Mar 25, 2003
    Just download the same video using the iphone option - now the audio and video are out of sync. Here's some additional information that may help you figure out the problem. This was a 2+ hour program that I recorded in its entirety; however, I didn't want the whole thing anymore (taking up too much space on my Tivo). There was basically a 4-minute portion of the program that I wanted, so I paused the recording right before the 4-minute portion that I wanted. I went to my other S3 Tivo and transferred the recording from the paused location (that's an option when you transfer a video). Once the video was transferred to my other S3, I deleted the original recording. After that, I transferred the recording back to my original S3 and stopped the transfer before it finished (this allowed me to cut off everything after the part that I wanted). Basically, I took a 2+ hour show and "edited" it down to about 4 minutes by transferring it back and forth. Do you think that's why I'm having these problems now?
     
  9. Yoav

    Yoav New Member

    1,048
    0
    Jan 12, 2007
    Well, I can't say anything authoritative (I'm guessing as much as you are here), but if the tivo simply 'cuts' the clip when you do that, it can introduce errors that might result in what you're seeing. Clearly the standard media players are unhappy with the mpg file, so 'something' is off about it. It's also worth keeping in mind that TS mpeg formats actually seperate out the audio and video, and they are not always kept in sync in the bitstream, so if you cut it at a random location and start playing, it's pretty common to see audio/video sync issues...

    But yeah, I don't really know for sure :(
     
  10. jsb_hburg

    jsb_hburg New Member

    3
    0
    Feb 27, 2005
    Hello,

    I have been trying out iTiVo and having some fun with it. I do have a question. This relates to 1.7.6. I notice lip sync issues when converting the file as H.264 at 10Mbps. The lip sync issues are worse at the start of a file but seem to improve about 10 to 15 seconds into the file. I am using either QuickTime on a MacBook or TiVo via pyTivoX on an Epson Home Cinema 720 to watch the file.

    Is this a known issue? Am I missing a step to avoid this?
     
  11. Sevenfeet

    Sevenfeet Gentle Giant

    164
    0
    Jun 24, 2000
    Nashville, TN
    Hi Yoav,

    I've been out of the discussions for iTivo/pTivoX for a little while but I'm coming back to it for hopefully a simple question. I've been using iTivo more and more as a replacement for Roxio's Tivo Transfer. Tivo Transfer does move shows off the Tivo S3 to my server ok, but I can't trust Toast 9 to transform the Mpeg-2 broadcasts to anything that I can easily control. I'm going on a family vacation soon and have been using iTivo to transfer and encode to MP4 several episodes of "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" from Disney HD for my kids.

    One thing that I remember discussing a while back (so I apologize if its been answered before) is whether or not it's possible keep the original AC3 soundtracks for encoded shows (an MKV file I think?) and have the Tivo understand them. I've been playing around with the Quicktime H.264 settings (5 and 3 Mbit/sec) and the encoded MP4s play really well streamed back to the Tivo, but the soundtracks are AAC which ends up being Dolby Pro Logic II in my home theater rig.

    One more note. While encoding Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, I was frustrated that neither the 5 or 3 Mbit/sec encoding settings allowed the shows to play well on my black Macbook 2006 under 10.5.7 (my Core 2 Duo Macs didn't have this problem). There were lots and lots of dropouts..totally unwatchable. Then I booted to Snow Leopard and the new OS ever since the first releases past the WWDC release can play these files without issue. What I discovered was a couple of things. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is a 720p show (all Disney Channel HD shows in HD are) which matches the resolution of my Macbook but this show is also 60 fps. Apparently Leopard 10.5.7 can't keep up with the framerate. Although Quicktime has been revamped, the key performance issue appears to be the graphics driver for the embedded Intel X3100 graphics chip. Snow Leopard's version is much better and allows a better "stuffing of the pipe" as it were.
     
  12. psywzrd

    psywzrd New Member

    219
    0
    Mar 25, 2003
    Crap - I guess I shouldn't have deleted the original file, huh? I didn't think this would cause any problems but I guess I was wrong. I'll have to look online to try and find a good copy of the original then.
     
  13. Yoav

    Yoav New Member

    1,048
    0
    Jan 12, 2007
    The simple answer is "if ffmpeg, mencoder, or handbrake can do it, then yes it can be done". In this case, you don't even need to use an mkv container, since newer mp4 specs support AC-3 audio instead of AAC, although older implementation may be unable to play it. And I'm pretty sure that the appleTV only accepts AC-3 audio if it's a second audio stream alongside a stereo aac stream or whatnot. (You may end up needing to toy around until things work).

    The 'quick' way to not even re-encode audio is to open up iTiVo, select the format you like, and go to the Advanced tab. under the 'audio encoding options' just put in
    Code:
    -oac copy
    . This will do no re-encoding of the audio at all and just accept whatever was in the original data stream (for an HD feed, that's going to be AC-3 audio. (This assumes your encoder is mencoder).

    HOWEVER, if you re-encode the video but do not re-encode the audio, you are almost guaranteed to get audio/video sync issues. To re-encode the audio source to a 6-channel ac-3 audio stream, you can use something like:
    Code:
     -channels 6 -oac lavc -lavcopts acodec=ac3:abitrate=384 
    Again I havent tried this, so you should test all this first. I do know that often re-encoding to ac-3 requires very specific inputs (for example 4-channel to 6-channel can't be done), so you may need to toy around with the flags...

    There are similar options if you prefer to use ffmpeg or handbrake as your encoder.

    Hey that's pretty cool :).
     
  14. Yoav

    Yoav New Member

    1,048
    0
    Jan 12, 2007
    This is a 'known' issue. Basically, the video source from the tivo sometimes doesn't translate well to re-encoding. If you get a fixed 'offset' sync issue there are workarounds, but if it changes as the stream progresses then your only option might be to try a different encoder (some people have reported more luck with Handbrake as the encoder).

    Just a quick point: If you're ok with huge files (which I assume you must be if you're using 10Mbps) your best bet may be to use the 'decrypt' format, which does no re-encoding at all and gives you the actual bits from the tivo. This will be the highest quality you can get, and is least likely to have A/V sync issues. You will have to use VLC or MPlayer OSX (extended) to view the movie though, since quicktime player can't understand the mpeg-2 file that is the result.
     
  15. Sevenfeet

    Sevenfeet Gentle Giant

    164
    0
    Jun 24, 2000
    Nashville, TN
    OK, will a Tivo allow such a file (MP4 + AC3) to be played (streaming or download)?
     
  16. NA9D

    NA9D New Member

    196
    0
    May 26, 2008
    Algonquin, IL
    Yes and no. :)

    It's been discovered recently that you can PUSH an MP4 file to a Tivo and have it play no problem. Such pushes can be accomplished in pyTivo (or pyTivoX) and also in Streambaby (part of pyTivoX). Trying to pull such a file from the Tivo directly will not work.

    Alternatively, it's simpler IMHO, to simply let pyTivo(X) transcode the file to MPEG-2 as part of a normal pull sequence.
     
  17. Sevenfeet

    Sevenfeet Gentle Giant

    164
    0
    Jun 24, 2000
    Nashville, TN
    So streaming will work. File transfer and then play will not. Hmmmmm. Very strange.

    Unfortunately on-the-fly transcoding won't work for me now since my Leopard Server is an ancient G4 Powermac that doesn't have enough horsepower, even with two processors. I'll have to replace the machine at some point when Snow Leopard server ships. Maybe I can get a Mac Mini for the job then.
     
  18. NA9D

    NA9D New Member

    196
    0
    May 26, 2008
    Algonquin, IL
    Transfer and play would probably technically work, but Tivo has just not enabled it as such yet. The Tivo will certainly play MPEG-4 files.

    On the server side - you'll be sooo much happier if you get an Intel based machine... :)
     
  19. Yoav

    Yoav New Member

    1,048
    0
    Jan 12, 2007
    for what it's worth, try out push and see if you like it. (configure pyTivoX with your tivo.com username/password, hit apply, and then use streambaby to initiate a push instead of playing directly).

    The one annoyance with mp4 pushes is that the tivo only actually plays *some* mp4s, not everything. moyekj wrote up a nice document on how to make valid 'mp4s' that the tivo should be able to play (his document is oriented around using ffmpeg, but you can derive the appropriate options for mencoder OR use ffmpeg if you like): http://code.google.com/p/streambaby/wiki/video_compatibility
     
  20. Bombino

    Bombino New Member

    2
    0
    Jul 28, 2009
    Hi there,

    Today, my iTiVo install started marking all recorded programs as 'copyright' protected. This only just started on programs recorded SINCE today at 05:00, so all programs older than 7/28 appear with a valid ID and can be marked for downloading. The only thing that changed on my end was that I downloaded a few music choice videos a couple of days ago, which expectedly were marked as 'copyright'. Has anyone else on the west coast experienced this in recent days? I am in the TWC footprint.

    Thanks
     

Share This Page