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Will Desktop Plus conversion allow me to view in Chrome?

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by whitenack, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. Aug 1, 2013 #1 of 12
    whitenack

    whitenack New Member

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    Aug 26, 2008
    Hi all. I have the free version of Tivo Desktop and understand how to transfer recorded shows off the Tivo and onto my computer. However, I would like to be able to view those shows in the Chrome browser, but the browser doesn't recognize the .tivo format. I read that I can convert the files to MP4, but before I spend the money I am trying to figure out if it will work.

    Has anyone tried this? By the way, these shows will all be recorded from OTA stations...I understand that there is some limitations with certain shows due to licensing agreements.

    Many Thanks.
     
  2. Aug 2, 2013 #2 of 12
    ggieseke

    ggieseke Active Member

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    May 30, 2008
    The easiest free tool is kmttg. It can copy the files from the TiVo, decrypt them, and convert to any number of formats automatically. If you have a Premiere, copy the shows using the older program stream format instead of the new transport stream format. The underlying decrypter that kmttg uses can't handle TS files yet.

    You can set it up to do all of that automatically, so life doesn't get much easier. Since you're on OTA none of your shows should be copy protected.
     
  3. Aug 2, 2013 #3 of 12
    whitenack

    whitenack New Member

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    Aug 26, 2008
    Thanks for the reply. I have heard a lot about kmttg, but the website scared me off from trying it. I'll give it a try. Thanks again.
     
  4. Aug 2, 2013 #4 of 12
    ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

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    You cannot view the files in a browser, you should be able to view in Windows Media Player (unless you are using a mac.)
     
  5. Aug 3, 2013 #5 of 12
    jcthorne

    jcthorne Active Member

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    Chrome supports a number of video formats including mp4.
     
  6. Aug 3, 2013 #6 of 12
    alexofindy

    alexofindy New Member

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    Apr 15, 2010
    You can view the files in a browser, including Chrome. I don't have a chromecast myself, but I plan to get one as soon as they are back in stock.

    You do need to decrypt them, and to be sure they are in H.264 video format. Chrome requires H.264. I think kmttg can do both, though I haven't tried this. I would try kmttg, selecting the decrypt option, and one of the H264 formats. kmttg can transfer the files from Tivo to your PC and will then decrypt, and if necessary transcode them.

    The no-longer-available free version of Tivo would also transfer the files to your computer, but did not decrypt them. Rather, it installed a codec on your PC that Windows Media Player would use to decrypt the .tivo files on the fly, while you watched them. I don't know what the pay version of tivo desktop does. But you don't need it, I'll bet kmttg will do what you want, all by itself.

    Once you have a decrypted file in H.264 format, you just open Chrome, drag the file to the browser window, and it plays.
     
  7. Aug 3, 2013 #7 of 12
    ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

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    SF Bay Area
    Without Tivo Desktop/Plus, it cannot play the .TiVo files. Using programs such as TivoDecode, (or KMTTG which uses TivoDecode), it will be a .MPG file which is MPEG2 with AC3 audio. Tivo Decode removes the TiVo DRM encoded into the video.

    .TiVo files can only be played on the computer that has/had Desktop/Plus installed. Other computers will not recognize it, without being decoded.

    KMTTG can then encode to to .mp4, this is a compressed form of the MPEG2.
     
  8. Aug 4, 2013 #8 of 12
    alexofindy

    alexofindy New Member

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    Apr 15, 2010
    I'm in a bit over my head hear, so best to be careful....

    .mp4 is a container format - a format for a media file that contains several component files, including video, audio, and often subtitles. The video subfiles are compressed video, and may be compressed in one of several formats, specificially H.264 and mpeg-4. The media player in the Chrome browser understands and can play mp4 media files in which the embedded video is in the H.264 format, but not the mpeg-4 format.

    kmttg is a wonderful program which can do many tricks. The author of kmttg, moyekj, often comments on these forums. kmttg can download video from a Tivo, much like Tivo Desktop, and then invoke the program tivodecode to decrypt them. ONce the files are decrypted, it can reencode them using one of many formats, which are set by the "encode profile" pull-down menu. kmttg can also, optionally, extract subtitles from the video, using the program called ccextractor. kmttg uses a powerful and versatile program called ffmpeg to do the re-encoding. All of the tool programs (tivodecode, ffmpeg, ccextractor, etc) can be downloaded from the same web site as kmttg, and updated via the "help" menu in kmttg.

    It is sometimes useful to use ffmpeg directly, because it is very powerful and does a lot. ffmpeg is a command line program, binaries are available for multiple platforms, In addition, GUI's for ffmpeg are available from multiple sources. For windows systems there are many good free- or share- ware programs. I have just started to use one called avanti. If you use kmttg you probably won't need to bother with using ffmpeg as a standalone, but it's nice to know its possible.

    There's also a program called mediainfo available which will tell you what kind of subfiles are included in an mp4 container file.

    Finally, if you just want to download encrypted video from a .Tivo, you don't need any programs at all; the tivo has a built-in web interface. browse to
    https://ip.address.of.tivo
    and use "tivo" as the user and your MAK as the password
     
  9. Aug 4, 2013 #9 of 12
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Can it work with .tivo files already on the PC via the cheapskate's version of Desktop?
     
  10. whitenack

    whitenack New Member

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    Aug 26, 2008
    Ok, I installed kmttg and played around with it a bit. I transferred a small video recording, decrypted it, encoded it to "ff_h264_high-rate". It created an .mpg file, which I slid over to Google Chrome and dropped it into a window. However, instead of playing the video, Chrome just downloaded it to my downloads folder. Is this a problem with Chrome or the file?
     
  11. alexofindy

    alexofindy New Member

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    Apr 15, 2010
    I'm pretty sure the problem is with the file, not chrome. That's the behavior I experienced when I dropped a non-compatible video file on chrome. I'm not where I can try this myself now, but you're probably getting an mpg container file with an H.264 video; chrome requires an mp4 container file with an H.264 video.

    I don't know what the differences between mp4 and mpg containers are, but they are different.

    I think you can do one of several things:
    -use ffmpeg directly, either from the command line (not for the faint of heart) or with one one the many free gui front ends available. On Windows, I used a front end called avanti, easily findable with your favorite search engine. with avanti you can specify an mp4 container and h.264 video; I have done this myself, and the resulting file does play in Chrome (I used Windows). Note that before you use avanti/ffmpeg you will have to use tivodecode to decrypt the file; you can use kmttg to do this, or simply tivodecode itself from the command line
    -see if any of the other standard encoding profiles in kmttg work. I don't see one which does, but who knows
    -kmttg supports custom encoding profiles, I'm sure you can make one which does what you need. see the kmttg wiki at
    http://sourceforge.net/p/kmttg/wiki/using_kmttg/
    I haven't done this myself, but from the directions it looks doable

    moyekj, the author of kmttg, actively participates on this forum; you can find a topic (like the original kmttg topic) and post a question there, for example, on doing a custom encoding profile for kmttg. Obviously I can't speak for him, but I have posed questions myself, and he has usually provided prompt, friendly, and accurate responses.
     
  12. ggieseke

    ggieseke Active Member

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    May 30, 2008
    Yes.
     

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