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Using Your TiVo DVR as a Video Jukebox

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by flatcurve, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. flatcurve

    flatcurve New Member

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    Sep 27, 2007
    Chicago
    These are good questions, thanks for bringing this up!

    What you're seeing with the deinterlacing sounds like interlace artifacts. In over-simplified terms, interlacing is when a single video frame is composed of two fields (one field is every even line, and the other is all the odd lines) that are recorded one after the other. On standard NTSC sets, these fields are displayed in sequence. On progressive sets (all HDTV sets), they are displayed at the same time. The interlacing is most obvious during fast movements, and therefore when it's displayed on a progressive set, it can cause those blurry artifacts. All HDTV sets have circuitry that converts interlaced video to progressive scan. So in theory, if your final destination for the video is going to be your TV, you can probably opt to not de-interlace it, as your TV will probably do a better job of it than your encoding software will. If you do de-interlace the video when you encode it, the HDTV will just handle it as progressive scan, and you won't take advantage of the de-interlacing magic that it has to offer. The only way to know what works best is to experiment, which it sounds like you have.

    As far as 2-pass encoding is concerned, it's a matter of file size and not so much quality. It'll make one pass analyzing the video, and logging information about it. Then on the second (or sometimes third) pass, it will actually do the encoding and vary the bitrate depending on the information it logged in it's first pass. So for example, portions of the video that don't need high bitrates (such as all black screens) will be encoded at lower bitrates, thus reducing file size. In some instances this may actually decrease quality, depending on what portions of video the encoder decides requires a low bitrate. It will also take significantly longer to multi-pass encode a video.

    I suggest really experimenting, because these are things that will have different effects on different sets, and different viewers as well. What I did when I was experimenting for this article, was just rip a single 5 minute chapter off of a DVD, and run that through WinFF at different settings until I found one I liked. A lot of this boils down to personal preference.
     
  2. Southcross

    Southcross New Member

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    Nov 28, 2008
    sweet! thanks for the tips :up:

    P.S.
    and thank gawd, someone else in this world that knows and uses the term "artifacts" correctly :up: I work in the printing side of "graphics", having to stop and explain what "artifacts" are on (so called graphic designers) people's crappy print jobs gets annoying
     
  3. flatcurve

    flatcurve New Member

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    Sep 27, 2007
    Chicago
    It's funny you mention that, because I used to work in printing. Specifically typesetting, pre-press and digital printing. I learned really quickly that step one should always be to check the resolution of the source files. 72dpi JPEG logos lifted from websites were the bane of my existence back then. And we're talking about corporations doing that too, not just amateurs. It's never fun explaining to a customer why their super expensive NexPress run looks terrible.
     
  4. txporter

    txporter One sec, almost done

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    Sep 17, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I have been playing around more and more with ripping DVDs to upload to my Tivo. My wife is a big fan of subtitles/closed captions, however, so I am trying to find software that will create permanent subtitles on the MPEG2 files that I am creating. I have experimented with various methods, but haven't really come across a favorite program to use.

    I have used Alldj DVD Ripper, Wondershare DVD Ripper, DVD2SCVD, and am now experimenting with XVID4PSP. They are all capable of producing a MPEG2 file with permanent subtitles, but I usually have a complaint or two for each.

    Alldj doesn't really encode at the bitrate I ask it to and actually gives me an error if I enter anything higher than 5500 kbps. Typically, the a 4000 kbps encoding will result in the highest possible final encoding in the program, but it is usually ~3100 kbps. Very odd... At any rate, the quality isn't what I would like and I sometimes see some type of interlacing defect (not sure what exactly to call it) where every other line on the screen is white or somehow noticeably off.

    Wondershare will result in an encoded file at the requested bitrate, but I still see the interlacing defect. It also seems to have a problem displaying the correct aspect ratio on some DVDs.

    DVD2SVCD is an older program that I have used off and on for a year or two. It generally will produce a decent file, but it cannot pull the subtitles directly from the VOBs. They need to be supplied. I have recently had some problems with some DVDs producing the interlacing defects with this as well, so I have continued to look.

    I am just now starting to experiment with XVID4PSP. It doesn't seem to have an issue with interlacing defects, but I am getting some stuttering in the video (not audio). I am going to try a quickstream fix with VideoRedo to see if that fixes it, but I am not sure if it will. At any rate, this program also needs the subtitles to be supplied rather than pulling them directly from the VOB.

    My question is: Do you have any experience with permanent subtitles? Does WinFF handle them? Does anyone have a recommendation for an all-in-one method for producing mpeg2 from dvd with permanent subtitles?

    Jason
     
  5. Southcross

    Southcross New Member

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    Nov 28, 2008
    I wish it were simple to keep subtitles... from DVDs and from ripped .TiVo files :(
     
  6. txporter

    txporter One sec, almost done

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    Sep 17, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Update on DVD to MPEG2 conversion with permanent subtitles:

    I found a fix for the stuttering video problem using XVID4PSP. Under the video pulldown, there is a menu for Interlace/Framerate. I told XVID4PSP to keep file as interlaced and used AssumeFrameRate rather than forcing to 29.97. Video seems to play fine now. I did also run the XVID4PSP MPEG2 file through VideoRedo QuickStream Fix and it did find some sync errors, but I didn't upload it to Tivo to see if it fixed the problem because I had already found the other fix.

    The process is fairly simple for converting VOB to a MPEG2 with permanent subtitles.
    1. Rip DVD to hard drive (I use AnyDVD).
    2. Download subtitles from web (I just search for subtitles in google).
    2a. Alternatively, I could supposedly use VOBSUB to rip the subtitles directly from the VOBs. I haven't tried this yet.
    3. Open DVD Folder in XVID4PSP. It will run the video through DGIndex and a few other things.
    4. Under Subtitles pulldown, add subtitles file that I downloaded from web. (I have only converted a couple of clips and none of them had any subtitle sync issues, so I haven't had to play around with syncing up the audio/subtitles yet. I know I can do this with Subtitle Workshop, but I am not sure if it is possible within XVID4PSP. The preview window within XVID4PSP will play the file with the subtitles though so you can determine if they are sync'd up.)
    5. Under Video pulldown-->Interlace/Framerate, set to Interlace and AssumeFrameRate.
    6. Change encoding setting to whatever you desire. I used MPEG2 HQ Turbo.
    7. Set audio to Copy rather than encode.
    8. Hit Encode.

    Output file was good quality with permanent subtitles and no noticeable video issues (I have not watched all the way through, but the stuttering/interlace issues I had previously were immediately obvious on the Tivo.)

    Jason
     
  7. burnside

    burnside New Member

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    Jan 12, 2009
    This may be a dumb question, but is a Tivo HD and Series 3 the same thing? Will this all work on my Tivo HD? Also, for these 2 methods (pyTivo and TD Plus) do they play the videos from my computer's HD or from Tivo's HD. I just don't want to leave my computer on all the time to play movies and instead would just like to save the MPGs on the Tivo HD and watch them from there.
     
  8. txporter

    txporter One sec, almost done

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    Sep 17, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Tivo Desktop Plus and pytivo work for both Series3 (original 250gb model) and TivoHD. It will actually work for any model with network capability. Both pieces of software transcode your videos from your computer into a file that the Tivo uses for storage (MPEG2 variant). Once it is on your tivo, you do not need your computer to be on. It is stored on tivo drive.

    Jason
     
  9. Southcross

    Southcross New Member

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    Nov 28, 2008
    My wish would be to have CC or subtitles that can be turned on and off, just like the native TiVo files.
     
  10. txporter

    txporter One sec, almost done

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    Sep 17, 2006
    Austin, TX
    As far as I have been able to find researching this on the web, that is not possible. You might want to pop over to videohelp.com. It is a HUGE resource for most things video.

    Jason
     
  11. Southcross

    Southcross New Member

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    Nov 28, 2008
    OK... doing just a minor comparison (file size) between 2-pass and 1-pass encoding on simple 15min Cartoon/Animation (Aqua Teen Hunger Force for you AdultSwim people ;) )... the difference in "time" is 40mins per MPG file to transcode to a 2-pass MP4 vs a 1-pass... the difference in "file size" is only 1-0 (yes Zero) MB. I see little benefit of a 2-pass on a 32 (or less) color video like a cartoon

    Haven't done a comparison of a movie yet
     
  12. txporter

    txporter One sec, almost done

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    Sep 17, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Is this using XVID4PSP? I haven't done any conversion to anything other than MPEG2, so I don't have any experience to draw from. From what I saw on MPEG2 conversion, 1-pass vs 2-pass is that there is some size savings (I think I converted a 1 hr episode from DVD and saw something like 2.5GB vs 2.0-2.2GB). I am currently not space limited though, so I don't see a need for 2X conversion time to save ~10-15% in file size.

    I am not surprised that you saw almost no difference in file size for an animation though. I would stick with single pass always for that. I would think the biggest benefit would come from a movie that has a mix of action and relatively still shots. 1-pass will tend to err on the high side for bitrate whereas 2-pass would allow the encoder to come back and encode the still shots at a lower bitrate with minimal loss.

    Jason
     
  13. Southcross

    Southcross New Member

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    Nov 28, 2008
    no, thats using the instructions based on the OP's writeup using MP4 compression ;)
     
  14. cburbs

    cburbs New Member

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    Jan 29, 2009
    So can you play the file off of your PC with PyTivo without transferring it to the Tivo?
     
  15. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Jan 23, 2006
    Mission...
    Not with pyTivo, but there are a couple of tools for doing it:
    StreamBaby
    HME/VLC Video Streamer
    (Also if you happen to be using Mac platform I believe there are new versions of PyTivoX that integrates StreamBaby capabilities.)
     
  16. rfryar

    rfryar My Media, My Way

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    Feb 15, 2008
    Cottage...
    The newest version to Streambaby will allow just that. Please check the details on the most recent version and check it out.

    Rick
     
  17. Southcross

    Southcross New Member

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    Nov 28, 2008
    so this will work with my S2?
     
  18. txporter

    txporter One sec, almost done

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    Sep 17, 2006
    Austin, TX
    No, it is only for Series3. :(

    Jason
     
  19. Southcross

    Southcross New Member

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    Nov 28, 2008
    thought so :p
     
  20. rfryar

    rfryar My Media, My Way

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    Feb 15, 2008
    Cottage...
    For those using WinFF...

    Has anyone created some good presets for High Res tivo files? The 16:9 selection reduces the resolution to ~720x350 on all videos I pass through it. Now for DVD titles this resolution is close enough.

    But for recoding the Tivo MPGs to MP$ it leaves a bit to be desired with the default presets.

    Thanks,

    Rick
     

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