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pc to tivo transfer is it here?

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by aircrewguy, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. juanian

    juanian Member

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    Oct 1, 2002
    Chandler, AZ
    I can't wait to try transferring files to my TiVo myself.

    1: As far as transferring .TiVo files back to a TiVo, what are the restrictions -- can it be transferred back to any TiVo, only a TiVo with the same MAK, or only the TiVo that it came from?

    2: Is there a way to transfer a file into a TiVo without using TiVo Desktop (like you can use the web interface to transfer out of a TiVo)?

    Thanks
     
  2. pcbguy

    pcbguy New Member

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    Sep 26, 2004
    I transferred a video at 23.976 and it would go and stop go and stop. There was also no audio. Pretty sure that is another problem. Gonna try a few more things.
     
  3. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    Nov 27, 2002
    On further analysis, I have to eat some crow on the 23.98fps thing. It does look great, but there are problems like, AFTER the transfer completes, the TiVo shows the green show length bar much shorter than the actual movie (up until xfer completion the bar is correct.) Now the movie is all there, and will keep playing but the bar never passes the artificially early end. Also, I can't do any skip or FF without returning to the beginning.

    If I transcode a VOB to MPEG-2 @ 29.97fps, the motion is jerky, like the 3:2 frame insertion is causing this, but the VOB is 29.97fps to begin with; whereas @24fps motion is smooth.

    I am being careful in all tests to use "approved" resolutions (720x480) and bitrates.

    Now, if I just use SHRINK, the output VOB is 29.97fps and, after renaming to .mpg, plays smoothly (like my 23.98fps MPEG-2s.) So I guess I am missing something in the manual transcodes (still using FFMPEG command line.)
     
  4. sixseven

    sixseven New Member

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    Jan 6, 2005
    I can confirm this on my 540.
     
  5. azitnay

    azitnay Active Member

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    Jan 20, 2003
    Washington,...
    One of the main points of all this is to be able to offload TiVo'ed content onto a computer for virtually unlimited storage (being that it's much more user-friendly for the average person to add storage to a computer than it is to upgrade a TiVo hard drive), and then be able to get it back onto the TiVo eventually.

    Drew
     
  6. azitnay

    azitnay Active Member

    2,977
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    Jan 20, 2003
    Washington,...
    Only a TiVo with the same MAK... Same as MRV.

    There's no known way with the web interface, but third-party apps can certainly add their own functionality. Galleon already has.

    Drew
     
  7. parzec

    parzec Wizard of Oz

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    Jun 21, 2002
    Charlotte, NC
    I also confirm the 540 inability to properly deal with widescreen MPEGs -- I also have a 240 on my network which plays the MPEGs correctly whereas the 540 does not. Perhaps this bug should be listed in the FAQ.

    Also can confirm that the 540 can't transfer in real time,resulting in stutter play, whereas the 240 is faster than real time.
     
  8. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    Nov 27, 2002
    I have not carefully measured, but I see around 5mbps (back) transfer on the 240. My network has typically gotten the high end of MRV/TTG speeds reported by others.
     
  9. MikeMar

    MikeMar Go Pats

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    Jan 7, 2005
    Boston...
    This is exactly what I use it for. I have a computer with about 500 gig on it, so i just dump all the shows i want onto it, and then just pop them onto my TiVo when i want to watch them

    Really good for me since I have a 40 hour Tivo
     
  10. oodie

    oodie New Member

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    Nov 20, 2002
    I have noticed the same thing, where when panning there will be a slight gerkinesss. I am also using FFMPEG (GUI4FFMEG). On some DVD's, when using the Shrink method, the video vibrates or jitters; is this due to too-high of a bitrate? On these DVDs, I then coverted the VOB file with FFMPEG, which fixes the jitter but causes the jerkiness during panning.

    Also, I have noticed that on some videos the 1X FF doesn't work (it will play at normal speed without sound). I have not yet correlated this with a characterstic of the MPG file though.

    Final question. When using Shrink to rip the DVD and choosing to compresss the video, will results in a reduction of the bit rate, correct? I still notice the vibrating when I do this.
     
  11. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Mar 29, 2005
    It looks like if you run into the problem with 16:9 mpegs, you only have to do a reencoding if you have a 4x3 set that doesn't have a 16X9 compatible mode. In all other situations, worst case is you patch the first header in the mpeg and you are done in seconds.

    Table attached indicates what remedy to use in which situation. (second to last column: F= Fix required. U=Tivo setting change needed, X= no tivo problem.)

    Lucky ones are the 240 owners- it seems to handle all configurations with 16:9 megs just dandy.


    (Technical FYI- the "aspect" ratio indicated in the Mpeg header is the pixel aspect ratio, not the data frame aspect ratio. My amature understanding is that there is no relationship between this settting and the horizontal or vertical number of lines.)
     

    Attached Files:

  12. rjmitche

    rjmitche Member

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    Dec 30, 2004
    Looks like I fall into your "worst case" scenario here. Your table indicates that I need to "convert rescaled with letterbox bars inserted, 4x3 aspect ratio". What is the best/easiest way to accomplish this?

    (Hmmm... maybe I just need to go out and buy a new TV!)
     
  13. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

    3,306
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    Mar 29, 2005
    This general procedure and set of modules can be adapted for letterboxing many different kinds of video. It also can be used for downsizing a video so that it "streams" to your Tivo without any halts. DVD size video (720x480) can be played in streaming mode only by 240 Tivos (noticing a pattern here?), so folks with other Tivos that want real time may be interested in this technique as well. For the particular bug discussed, it is only necessary if you have a "dumb" SD set with a Toshiba Tivo, or a 54000x0 Tivo trying to play a 16:9 mpeg file.

    You can accomplish this with graphedit, but it's going to get a bit messy- you'll have to install some codecs, possibly buy one (the ones I have I bought, but I recall using another free DirectShow module that will do the image manipulation portion and I probably mentioned it in a note back in March or April. All other modules have free versions as well. I prefer moonlight ones because of their features, but Free is a very nice feature too. Basically you just need something that will squeeze the image vertically and insert the black bars.

    This heavy lifting work is done by an image manipulation module- everything else is housekeeping- separating the streams (demuxing), decoding them into something the image manipulator can manipulate, reencoding the video back, then mixing the streams back (muxer), then writing the file.

    Where to load graphedit and some more methodical explanation of how to do things may be found in this thread.

    The attached example graph "graphedit.png" uses modules from Moonlight. The image module is included with one of the Moonlight trial software products here . I can't remember which- maybe one stop compressor. It may also be downloaded from http://www.free-codecs.com/download/Moonlight_Scalar_DirectShow_Filter.htm Anyhow the way they are all hitched up is in the attached screen shots. To build, you drag drop your input file, then add graph filters- menu item graph.insert filters.Directshow Filters.

    My box "Output file" is Moonlight filter Dumpos. When you insert this one, it will present a file dialog and you type in the output file name you'd like. The only other trick to know is that in the M71 muxer you must make sure you change it from transport stream to program stream. Also, you need to right click program stream and insert an additional stream. Then dismiss the dialog and refresh the screen. Otherwise you will only have one input pin and wonder how I got the second pin to send the audio over. I generally set the Dumpos object to crop files at 30000 ms, so that I can run quick tests. When you are good to go, hit the green arrow run key. When output file fills up, hit stop and see how it looks on the tivo. Sometimes you get memory errors on the second run. Just save your .GRf file and reload and you'll be ok.

    This is definitely not for civilians, but if there are a lot of docs on how to use graphedit and you don't have to especially understand what is going on underneath the hood in order to get it to do useful things for you.

    I have included the dialogs for some of the tricky objects. For some reason the image preparator calls the black bars an "appendix". Anyway, the calculation here is that our data is 480 lines, so our 4x3 screen width needs 640 dots across which has to correspond to the 16 in the 16:9 proportion, with the height being the 9, so 9/16 of 640 delivers us 360 line height for our image. So we need 60 lines above and 60 below to bulk us back out to the 480 lines that is required for the Tivo format. If I calculated wrong or you have a different goal- the idea hear is that the resized vertical (360) plus 2 times the black bar "appendix" value (60) has to come out to 480.

    Why is the horizontal setting at 720? Aren't other settings ok? Students of this may wonder why I have 720 as my horizontal. The TV is going to stretch this or squeeze the horizontal line to whatever fits, so all you are really saying here is what your compression vs quality setting is. In my case, the original was 720, so I left the data as it was. But if I wanted a an mpeg that streamed to a 540 in real time, then 480 would have been a good choice. As the OP link'd Tivo article stated, this value can be as low as 352. It states legal values are 352, 480, 544, 704 & 720. Most people's Tivo's don't record at higher than 480. If you don't see the difference on your TV, make it lower- you will conserve space, and you will be able to play back in "streaming" mode without breaks.

    Anyhow, for those that are trying to get 16:9 mpegs to play on their SDTV, what you will wind up with after running a correctly configured graph is a file that will play properly if you put your 540 Tivo in 16:9 mode. Folks with a DVD burner Tivo with a "dumb" SD TV should set the aspect ratio to 4x3 on the Image preparator dialog and they will be set. All those without dumb SD sets or with 240 Tivos don't need to be reading this note.

    A similar procedure could be used for letterboxing 2.25:1 content into 16:9 windows, though this sort of transformation is already done for you on so called "anamorphic" DVDs for those ultra wide aspect ratios.

    As an efficiency measure, if you move the input file to a processing folder, and set the output file to the same folder, you only have to perform the error prone authoring of the grf file once. There are probably some programs that will let you automate the moving files in, renaming them, running graphedit on them, then moving the outputfile out. I don't have any real need for such batch operations but there are programs that allow you do create such things.

    Hopefully you won't have too long a wait before Santa brings you a TV or writes you a freeware program that makes this more painless.

    Good luck.

    Note- the m71 muxer filter and possibly the moonlight encoder that I use will display a banner on the video until it is paid for. Many other muxer/demuxers will work just fine, and might be on your machine already because you have a video application like Sonic MyDVD, Ulead MovieMaker, or Nero. For the image processing module, if you look in the graphedit insert modules pick list under directshow filters, anything that says scaler, scalar [sic], bilinear, bicubic or has image in the name might help you. The trouble is that some scale, but don't add borders. If the scaler gives you a choice for best results, use "simple" or "bilinear" for downsizing, and "precise" or "Bicubic for upscaling. Just found more info on this at this site that may help with other graphedit techniques. Hang with it- you'll get a graph that works. There are definately free filters out there that will the same job. If anyone gets a set working that is free and doesn't display banners, I'm sure that many folks here would appreciate your posting them here.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. MikeMar

    MikeMar Go Pats

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    Jan 7, 2005
    Boston...
    Love this Reverse TTG!

    I've been bittorrenting Twin Peaks Season 2 for like 2 months (5.5 gig at 2 k/sec about = long time) and now i just converted .avi to .mpg and transfered the first few eps to the TiVo and now I can watch them on TV, VERY happy!
     
  15. cwoody222

    cwoody222 Active Member

    11,137
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    Nov 13, 1999
    Buffalo, NY
    Twin Peaks season 2? I'm very jealous! (I've got them on VHS but that's it and I don't have a VCR connected to my TV)

    What program did you use to convert to .avi to .mpg that TiVo could play?
     
  16. MikeMar

    MikeMar Go Pats

    42,113
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    Jan 7, 2005
    Boston...
    I'll have to look at home, it was some trial thing, you can convert avi to mpg or wmv and all the other way around wmv to avi or mpg etc, or vob's and all that stuff.

    I have never seen Season 2, and this was the only way I could get it! damn you not releasing the dvd's!
     
  17. Sep 4, 2005 #157 of 215
    datlev

    datlev New Member

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    May 2, 2004
    Looks like I have the same issues with 16x9 mpg DVD content on my Humax DVD Recorder (595) Tivo. I just upgraded to 7.2 last night.

    The artifacts seen when playing 16x9 Mpg files on the Tivo (regardless of Tivo's Video Setting of 4:3 or 16:9) are more like a completely out of sync video rather than cropping.

    But in any case, the same resolution applies (DVDPatcher to modify to first header of the file to lie to Tivo that this is a 4:3 works great) Thanks for doing this investigation, as I was prepared to use Nero to change my DVD's to 4:3, but much prefer having native 16:9.

    Still waiting for the 7.2 update for my 240 series Tivo.

    -Datlev
     
  18. Sep 4, 2005 #158 of 215
    justmike

    justmike This space for rent

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    Dec 20, 2004
    Lower...
    You should be able to do the same trick with IfoEdit.
     
  19. Sep 7, 2005 #159 of 215
    dick_pfister

    dick_pfister New Member

    9
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    Apr 21, 2005
    Palestine
    I got some to work, but they looked like crap. I took a few files and converted them to mpeg2 at 352x240 with a 750kbit CBR and MP2 @ 128 kbit. These are 4:3 files.

    They play, but in a herky-jerky fashion with a pause every few seconds. The Tivo peeps say that the bitrate should be between 1000 and 8000 kbit. As the picture quality goes, the resolution looked just fine. So I don't know if the jerky nature of the clip was due to the bitrate, resolution, or both.

    But in any case, they play, but not well. This is on a 540 series Tivo.

    I also tried a 16:9 ratio convertion. That looked like a mess. The picture was fubar.

    As for speed goes, it's slow on the wireless. I have a D-Link 802.11b adapter on Tivo, and it's the only wireless device on the network. The PC->Tivo sends at about 370 kilobytes per second. Tivo->PC goes about 340-350 kilobytes per second. That's not bad for wireless, however. Still a bit shy of the 700-800 kilobytes per second real-life max for a 10mbit ethernet connection, however.
     
  20. Sep 8, 2005 #160 of 215
    skillsrhodes

    skillsrhodes New Member

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    Apr 4, 2003
    It looks fantastic! I was really shocked by the picture quality from a few DVD's that I had pre-Shrunk. But I'm having a few problems.

    When I create my vob's from DVD-Shrink I'm also getting .bup and .ifo, does that matter? And also, my Tivo only appears willing to transfer the first minute of a VOB. But that first minute is beautiful. And since my HTPC just died Tivo might actually replace it.

    thanks

    skills
     

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