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Old 12-04-2008, 01:33 AM   #61
Yoav
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Originally Posted by AudioNutz View Post
This is the argument that I'm currently using with ffmpeg:
Code:
FFMPEG -y -i INPUT -threads 4       -s 320x240 -aspect 320:240   -r 29.97   -vcodec h264  -g 150  -qmin 25  -b 560k  -level 13 -loop 1 -sc_threshold 40 -partp4x4 1 -rc_eq 'blurCplx^(1-qComp)' -refs 3  -qmax 51 -maxrate 700k -keyint_min 40    -async 50  -acodec libfaac  -ar 48000 -ac 2 -ab 128k OUTPUT
Ok, so I had some trouble mapping some of your arguments since afaik they don't apply to h.264, but I believe changing your video options to:

Code:
-of lavf -lavfopts format=ipod -ovc x264 -vf scale=320:240,harddup -ofps 30000/1001 -x264encopts threads=4:bitrate=560:level_idc=13:partitions=4x4:subq=4:bframes=0:nocabac:global_header
I think your 'speed' win on encoding comes from the fact that you're encoding using the simplest of encoding (baseline 1.3) which is fast but not very good. ipods support level 3.0, and quicktime up to level 4.1...

Also, I notice you're using threads=4, which is only useful on a 4-core or 4-cpu system. I'd switch it to threads=auto and let it pick the right number.

however, the interesting question: is the speed now comparable?

Last edited by Yoav : 12-04-2008 at 04:24 AM.
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Old 12-04-2008, 02:00 AM   #62
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On a brighter note - I did some digging around and found a parameter for Mencoder to restrict the ouput frame rate to 24fps. This in combination with a 960 x 540 appear to allow it to transfer and play on the AppleTV.
Awesome. Does it work if you set the resolution back to 1280x720 ?

Tell me what options you used, I'll put them into the next beta...
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:53 AM   #63
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Anyone have a rough estimate on how long the encoding should take? I'm running v1.5 on a Mac Mini -- 1.42 GHz PPC G4 with 1 GB RAM on OSX 10.5.5. Trying to encode to iPod/iPhone SuperRes settings (640x480 h.264 at 1500 kbps, audio aac 128 kbs). Trying to encode a 30 minute program telling me this should take about 7 hours.

I know I have an old/slow system, but was just trying to see if there's a setting I've been missing.

BTW -- love the program!
This may a bit OT, but I thought I'd provide some comparison numbers. I encoded a 30min SD program last night with VisualHub. I have 3 mac's. Here were my results.

Powerbook G4 1.5Ghz 177 minutes
Dual G5 2.0 Ghz Powermac 57 minutes
iMac 2.4 Ghz intel Core Duo 21 minutes

The output file was an h264 640x480 file at about 1100kbps

So, your 7 hours with a 1.42 Ghz G4 processor is substantially slower than my 1.5Ghz G4 but it may have to do with your source video and the fact you have 1500kbps selected.

-fate
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:12 PM   #64
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Also, any more opinions on handbrake? I added it since I heard tons of gushing about how great an encoder it is.. But it seems like it doesn't support skip lists (no commercial skipping), and I actually can't tell any performance difference either.. so trying to figure if it's worth doubling the size of the bundle to support it...
I think the main benefit to handbrake over mencoder is multi-threaded encoding to h.264. It's beneficial to those of us with multi-core (or multiple) processors.

Ideally for me iTiVo would use comskip then mencoder to produce commercial-free MPEG2, then use handbrake to compress the resulting file to an iTunes-friendly h.264 mp4 file.
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:13 PM   #65
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Ideally for me iTiVo would use comskip then mencoder to produce commercial-free MPEG2, then use handbrake to compress the resulting file to an iTunes-friendly h.264 mp4 file.
Yeah, that'd be super cool.
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:32 PM   #66
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I think the main benefit to handbrake over mencoder is multi-threaded encoding to h.264. It's beneficial to those of us with multi-core (or multiple) processors.

Ideally for me iTiVo would use comskip then mencoder to produce commercial-free MPEG2, then use handbrake to compress the resulting file to an iTunes-friendly h.264 mp4 file.
mencoder uses the same libx264 to encode, and therefore also supports multi-threading (that's what threads=auto does in the arguments list). HOWEVER, I believe handbrake will also multi-thread the de-interlace, which mencoder doesn't do (not sure how much of an improvement that leads to).

I believe if I cut out commercials with mencoder (with no re-encoding), and then encode with handbrake, there will be an audio/video sync problem.. but I guess I might as well try it before assuming anything
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Old 12-04-2008, 02:09 PM   #67
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I am not having any luck with either Apple TV preset on my Tivo S 3. It seems to keep restarting itself. Is everyone else having success?
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:15 PM   #68
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...Ideally for me iTiVo would use comskip then mencoder to produce commercial-free MPEG2, then use handbrake to compress the resulting file to an iTunes-friendly h.264 mp4 file.
I'm glad I'm not the only one that wants this as a feature. I really like having the option of saving the non-encoded file to go back to my TiVo, and then also having the file ready for my iPod if I happen to be traveling that week.

ALSO... Has anyone given any thought to XGrid capabilities? Wouldn't it be nice (for those of us with multiple computers) to have iTiVo pass some of the processing tasks to other CPUs on the local LAN for processing simultaneously. (Can you tell I've been a VisualHub user? It has these capabilities)
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:27 PM   #69
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I'm glad I'm not the only one that wants this as a feature. I really like having the option of saving the non-encoded file to go back to my TiVo, and then also having the file ready for my iPod if I happen to be traveling that week.

ALSO... Has anyone given any thought to XGrid capabilities? Wouldn't it be nice (for those of us with multiple computers) to have iTiVo pass some of the processing tasks to other CPUs on the local LAN for processing simultaneously. (Can you tell I've been a VisualHub user? It has these capabilities)
Well, what you're asking for is this:

select "MPEG2-TS" as your encoder (that will keep the original data from the tivo, but cut out commercials). Then load up handbrake, and encode the result to any other format you like (ipod, whatever).
(The only extra is you want iTiVo to do that in one step). Every time I've tried it I get massive audio/video sync issues where the cuts happen. Does it work for you?
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:30 PM   #70
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ALSO... Has anyone given any thought to XGrid capabilities? Wouldn't it be nice (for those of us with multiple computers) to have iTiVo pass some of the processing tasks to other CPUs on the local LAN for processing simultaneously. (Can you tell I've been a VisualHub user? It has these capabilities)
That will happen if/when mplayer or handbrake add code to support this. As far as I know it's not in their plans though. You may want to contact them and suggest it as an option.
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:34 PM   #71
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I am not having any luck with either Apple TV preset on my Tivo S 3. It seems to keep restarting itself. Is everyone else having success?
To clarify, I just selected a SD 30 minute show and it took about 15 minutes to code but when it said it was about done it started coding again. Does it do multiple passes?
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:14 PM   #72
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Ok, so I had some trouble mapping some of your arguments since afaik they don't apply to h.264, but I believe changing your video options to........the interesting question: is the speed now comparable?
I'm trying the new code that you gave me, but it doesn't look good. I've been processing the same 30min show for two hours, and it's less than 1/2 way done.

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...I believe if I cut out commercials with mencoder (with no re-encoding), and then encode with handbrake, there will be an audio/video sync problem.. but I guess I might as well try it before assuming anything
If I understand KMTTG correctly, I think that's what it does. (I'm the guy that got KMTTG to work on Macintosh, but I would still prefer to use iTiVo if I can get some of the features/performance to be equal) But I don't think KMTTG it's using "Handbrake", it's using ffmpeg. I'm observing it use mencoder to do the comcut, then save the mpeg file, then feed the cut mpeg file into the ffmpeg for the encode for iPod process.

BUT... That may not be the most elegant way. What if we put a "Fork" in the iTiVo workflow, that downloaded the show once, decrypted once, then simultaneously did two things:
  1. comcut>encode for iPod (Or whatever your favorite device is)
  2. comcut>encode for mpeg (TiVo)
Or, you could do them in-line with each other, but I'm just trying to brainstorm about a more elegant way, that would be easy to write. (Maybe comcut once, then encode twice)

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Well, what you're asking for is this:

select "MPEG2-TS" as your encoder (that will keep the original data from the tivo, but cut out commercials). Then load up handbrake, and encode the result to any other format you like (ipod, whatever).
(The only extra is you want iTiVo to do that in one step). Every time I've tried it I get massive audio/video sync issues where the cuts happen. Does it work for you?
Yes, I think you have an idea of what we're asking for with this request. Like I mention, I think this is what KMTTG does, and it's not perfect, but try it and you tell me if you agree. The only other thing that I would add to this right now is that I would prefer the two files (mp4, mpeg) go to different download locations.

When speaking about XGrid, you wrote:
Quote:
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That will happen if/when mplayer or handbrake add code to support this. As far as I know it's not in their plans though. You may want to contact them and suggest it as an option.
Again, I think it doesn't need to be that exotic in the execution. I think VisualHub simply sends the file over to the other computer, and then gives that computer a command to fire up ffmpeg with a particular argument, and then sends the file back to the output location. The code (mencoder, ffmpeg) still needs to be installed on both Macs, and each of them needs to be aware of the other on the network. (I'm also wondering if ssh commands would be easier than using XGrid to issue these commands) It would be slick if this could happen, especially for a person like me, who has 5 Macs & 4 PeeCees on their home network.

But, I digress, just file it away in the back of your mind for the next time you have warm thoughts about the folks who enjoy iTiVo.


Which leads me to my next (NEW) question about the existing code: Right now I have an elaborate workflow where I download the show from one of my 2 TiVo's, then decrypt & encode for iPod. This is great, but then I also need to .zip the file, re-name it, and then move it to a different volume of my XServe. I do this because that volume of the XServe is available to the outside world via FTP, and I can pick these shows up when I'm traveling. (My company does not allow me to share out to AFP or SMB points when I'm at my office, so I use FTP protocol)

My question is this: I see the "Run when Download completes" feature in the Advanced tab of the preferences. What is this feature meant for? Can I execute a terminal command that .zips the file, then moves it? Maybe I can use it to execute an Automator action, or execute an AppleScript?

I looked in the documentation, but I don't think I see the intent of this feature. (Maybe I ask too much?)
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Old 12-05-2008, 12:30 AM   #73
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My question is this: I see the "Run when Download completes" feature in the Advanced tab of the preferences. What is this feature meant for? Can I execute a terminal command that .zips the file, then moves it? Maybe I can use it to execute an Automator action, or execute an AppleScript?

I looked in the documentation, but I don't think I see the intent of this feature. (Maybe I ask too much?)
Yeah not really documented, but it's a valid use of 'run when'. If you mouseover it will tell you what variables are supported, and then it simply runs whatever command you specify in a shell after the download/add to itunes finishes. Just make sure to put the variables in quotes since a lot of show names have spaces in them.

So for example, if you put in something like
tar -czf /tmp/output.tgz "$file" ; scp /tmp/output.tgz john@otherhost:/tmp/

it *should* do what you want. Feature is not really tested/debugged yet though...
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Old 12-05-2008, 11:16 AM   #74
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Ok, for those who don't mind helping debug
I put up 1.6b3 just now. This is my 'last ditch' attempt to get the encoder working with Tiger (10.4). As I don't have a tiger machine to test on, if someone could tell me if it's working I'll be very appreciative!!
Yoav,

Any luck finding your divide by zero error? I have a G5 I'm using and would like to test it out. My intel iMac works like a champ..... but that's my wife's computer and she gets testy when I start lurking over in her corner.
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Old 12-05-2008, 11:47 AM   #75
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...My intel iMac works like a champ..... but that's my wife's computer and she gets testy when I start lurking over in her corner.
Ha! Another argument for grid-based processing... She wouldn't even need to know you're borrowing her processing power...

Last edited by AudioNutz : 12-05-2008 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:07 PM   #76
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Yoav,

Any luck finding your divide by zero error? I have a G5 I'm using and would like to test it out. My intel iMac works like a champ..... but that's my wife's computer and she gets testy when I start lurking over in her corner.
Nothing yet. The place I thought it was happening seems to not be 'it'.

It 'looks' like it's happening right when it's doing the math to figure out how much space is available on your tivo, but nowhere there can I find a zero to divide by . So still working on it.
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Old 12-05-2008, 03:11 PM   #77
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Ok, so I had some trouble mapping some of your arguments since afaik they don't apply to h.264, but I believe changing your video options to:

Code:
-of lavf -lavfopts format=ipod -ovc x264 -vf scale=320:240,harddup -ofps 30000/1001 -x264encopts threads=4:bitrate=560:level_idc=13:partitions=4x4:subq=4:bframes=0:nocabac:global_header
is the speed now comparable?
I did some further testing today with this argument. It took us from 5+ hrs down to 2hrs. It's still not the 20 minutes that ffmpeg is doing, but it's better.
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Old 12-05-2008, 05:18 PM   #78
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Yoav - I gave up on the Handbrake option after it started to download the episode for the second time. I started the initial download at 6:30 this morning by 12:30pm it indicated that there was 38 minutes left to the encode process. Download normally takes only about 2 1/2 hours for a 60 minute HD program. Looks like it went through a couple of passes to encode and then when I came back from lunch it showed it was downloading it again.

On a brighter note - I did some digging around and found a parameter for Mencoder to restrict the ouput frame rate to 24fps. This in combination with a 960 x 540 appear to allow it to transfer and play on the AppleTV.

I'm running another test now and will let you know how it works out.

Thanks!
Memcoder is outputting the fps in native 59.96fps which the AppleTV can't handle. 24fps is slightly choppy, so I upped it to 30fps. It works for both 1080i and 720p sources. I changed the encoder video options to the below and all is happy now.

-of lavf -ofps 30 -lavfopts format=mp4 -ovc x264 -x264encopts nocabac:level_idc=30:bitrate=2000:threads=auto:bframes=0:glo bal_header -vf pp=lb,dsize=960:540:0,scale=-8:-8,harddup
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Old 12-05-2008, 06:10 PM   #79
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Ok beta 4 is up
changes are to allow you to use 'mencoder' to cut up the show, and then 'handbrake' to re-encode it (to remove commercials and encode with handbrake).

I also threw in a few more catches to try and see if I can figure out where the divide by zero is happening on 10.4, so if anyone with 10.4 can try it out and tell me if it's still happening -- and send me the debug log when it does -- I'd appreciate it.
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Old 12-05-2008, 06:11 PM   #80
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-of lavf -ofps 30 -lavfopts format=mp4 -ovc x264 -x264encopts nocabac:level_idc=30:bitrate=2000:threads=auto:bframes=0:glo bal_header -vf pp=lb,dsize=960:540:0,scale=-8:-8,harddup
Woot.. Thank you so much!

Will put the change in (just released a beta so missed that one). It should make it into the next beta..
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:21 PM   #81
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Divide by zero seems good now on my G5/10.4.

I see the Handbrake option is only for 10.5 - is that going to be final? I'll try a iphone/comskip download and report the results.

I like the new "phase" reporting.

-fate

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Old 12-05-2008, 08:18 PM   #82
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Divide by zero seems good now on my G5/10.4.

I see the Handbrake option is only for 10.5 - is that going to be final? I'll try a iphone/comskip download and report the results.

I like the new "phase" reporting.

-fate
I'm using the handbrakecli that is distributed by the handbrake team. I didn't build it from scratch (just made it universal). Their build claims to be 10.5-only. I don't enforce it, but I'm guessing the binary doesn't run on 10.4

If you can find a new build of handbrakecli which is 10.4 universal, I'd be happy to use it instead
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:00 PM   #83
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Exclamation turbo.264

Started playing with the elgato turbo.264 output and have some observations.

-The handoff from the download of the file to the turbo.264 encoder/transcoder works. The last time I tried it, this part failed so this is good.

-The encoding option defaults to iPod High. There is no way to change it in the turbo.264 software once encoding begins. So, what happens is that the turbo.264 software gets the video from iTivo and immediately starts to encode on the first option listed in the drop down list of turbo.264, which is iPod High.

There is not an option to set a default preset in the application preferences. Sounds like more of an el gato feature request rather than an iTivo bug, but I sure wish the iPhone preset was selected rather than the iPod High preset.

-Metadata about the particular tv show are not preserved going from iTivo to turbo.264. If I have iTiVo perform the entire job, all of the metadata are present. If I go the turbo.264 route, no metadata. Again, this may very well have something to do with the turbo.264 software.

Let me know if there is anything else I should try.
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:34 PM   #84
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Started playing with the elgato turbo.264 output and have some observations.

-The handoff from the download of the file to the turbo.264 encoder/transcoder works. The last time I tried it, this part failed so this is good.

-The encoding option defaults to iPod High. There is no way to change it in the turbo.264 software once encoding begins. So, what happens is that the turbo.264 software gets the video from iTivo and immediately starts to encode on the first option listed in the drop down list of turbo.264, which is iPod High.

There is not an option to set a default preset in the application preferences. Sounds like more of an el gato feature request rather than an iTivo bug, but I sure wish the iPhone preset was selected rather than the iPod High preset.

-Metadata about the particular tv show are not preserved going from iTivo to turbo.264. If I have iTiVo perform the entire job, all of the metadata are present. If I go the turbo.264 route, no metadata. Again, this may very well have something to do with the turbo.264 software.

Let me know if there is anything else I should try.
Hey thanks! (As you can tell i've been busy trying to get 10.4 working and completely dropped the ball on ElGato).

I was hoping that the elgato encoder defaulted to 'last value used' for the setting, so that you can run it manually, change the settings, and then let iTiVo do its thing.
There *IS* a way to force it to encode with particular resolution choices (it has to be one of 'ipod high, ipod standard, sony psp, appletv, iphone' when you invoke the encoder). I just didn't want to create another 5 download formats to support each individually....

Can you tell me if it saves the last format used? Would it help if I left the application running after the encode is done?

I'm not sure about the metadata though. I have no clue what turbo.264 does with it
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:56 PM   #85
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Can you tell me if it saves the last format used? Would it help if I left the application running after the encode is done?
Ok just checked in a change that will let you specify in advanced options (under video encoder) one of
ipodH , ipod, psp, appleTV, iPhone
and if none are specified, it will default to using whatever the program already has.

Also, re-enabling comskip since we can use the same hack we're using for handbrake.
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:57 AM   #86
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Ermm, a large bunch of people downloaded the beta. Not sure why (guessing it got posted somewhere?).

Anyways, I just uploaded the 1.6 release. Includes all the changes from the beta, and seems more useful. Key features are *actually working* on 10.4, and support for handbrake (10.5 only there.. sorry). As well as 'prettifying' the list a bit and including more info.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:39 AM   #87
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I concede I may be a bit slow, but the pie chart (for how space is being used) isn't very clear to me. I have a 750 GB drive, and I surmise it's close to full simply because my "Deleted Folder" doesn't retain everything I delete for very long. (Should it, or do items disappear regardless after some period of time?)

Anyway, I don't have interest in marking everything I have "Save Until I Delete." I would, however, be a bit interested to know just when my oldest expired recording is most likely of being deleted on it's own. Is there some other gauge here to let me know, just how much "free" space is left right now... how much elbow room I have?

Perhaps percentage as an option instead of GB would help. I guess I'm looking at the pie chart trying to make sense of it to answer the "real world" question posed above, and I can't figure it out.

I'll upload a screenshot of my graph when I get back home.
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:24 PM   #88
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I concede I may be a bit slow, but the pie chart (for how space is being used) isn't very clear to me. I have a 750 GB drive, and I surmise it's close to full simply because my "Deleted Folder" doesn't retain everything I delete for very long. (Should it, or do items disappear regardless after some period of time?)

Anyway, I don't have interest in marking everything I have "Save Until I Delete." I would, however, be a bit interested to know just when my oldest expired recording is most likely of being deleted on it's own. Is there some other gauge here to let me know, just how much "free" space is left right now... how much elbow room I have?

Perhaps percentage as an option instead of GB would help. I guess I'm looking at the pie chart trying to make sense of it to answer the "real world" question posed above, and I can't figure it out.

I'll upload a screenshot of my graph when I get back home.
I'm not familiar exactly how it determines when to really delete things, but if you turned off suggestions, I assume it's when it actually needs the space (someone else can chime in?).

One thing I would check is that it's reporting almost 750G at the top under 'used'. If it isn't, then click on the number and edit it to be 750. (There is no way for me to know how big the HD is, so either you set it, or else you turn on suggestions and let the hard drive fill.. it will remember how much got used).

Your 'wiggle' room is the gray piece of the pie. Then the 'expired' should be deleted when needed, then expiring soon, etc...
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:43 PM   #89
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I'm not familiar exactly how it determines when to really delete things, but if you turned off suggestions, I assume it's when it actually needs the space (someone else can chime in?).
You're correct.

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One thing I would check is that it's reporting almost 750G at the top under 'used'. If it isn't, then click on the number and edit it to be 750.
Make sure you edit it to about 93% of drive size, as drives are advertised in decimal notation, but computers (and TiVos) actually use drives in binary. See this Wikipedia page for some more info.

My 1TB drive becomes about 930GB of total usable space. A 200GB drive would be 186GB. A drive advertised as 750GB has 698GB of usable space.
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Old 12-10-2008, 07:37 AM   #90
fatespawn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoav View Post
Ermm, a large bunch of people downloaded the beta. Not sure why (guessing it got posted somewhere?).

Anyways, I just uploaded the 1.6 release. Includes all the changes from the beta, and seems more useful. Key features are *actually working* on 10.4, and support for handbrake (10.5 only there.. sorry). As well as 'prettifying' the list a bit and including more info.
Yoav,

On my G5 10.4 mac, I am still having difficulty encoding to .mp4. I have "iphone" and edit commercials selected. The download is successful, and the comskip seems successful, but when the encoding phase begins, everything bogs down. It's reporting 180+ minutes remaining. My G5 may be yesterday's Mac, but it's not THAT slow. Here's a sample of the output file iTivo is giving me.



Not very pretty. I'll try some other presets - disabling comskip etc. and see if anything changes. I don't have a log file because I couldn't wait the 3 hours for the total encode.
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