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Old 03-19-2012, 08:27 AM   #1
Shanezam203
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Why doesn't Tivo Desktop Plus come Free?

I am close to upgrading to Tivo Desktop Plus For $25, I'm curious why Tivo limits the Free version to only support certain files but the upgrade has a lot more features... besides the added rev. for licensing, why don't they include that as a competitive advantage/ part of the Tivo services?

Upgrade the free version of TiVo Desktop software for the PC and get these additional features:
  • Convert shows for playback on your iPod, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, PSP or other compatible device
  • Transfer compatible web videos to your TiVo box for viewing on your TV

Supported video formats include:
  • Windows Media Video (.wmv)
  • QuickTime Movie (.mov)
  • MPEG-4/H.264 (.mp4, .m4v, .mp4v)
  • MPEG-2 (.mpg, .mpeg, .mpe, .mp2, .mp2v, .mpv2)
  • DivX and Xvid (.avi, .divx)*

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Old 03-19-2012, 08:57 AM   #2
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Because someone is trying to make extra money.

You'd be better off looking into PyTivo.
It does everything TD Plus does and is completely free.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:22 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shanezam203 View Post
I am close to upgrading to Tivo Desktop Plus For $25, I'm curious why Tivo limits the Free version to only support certain files but the upgrade has a lot more features... besides the added rev. for licensing, why don't they include that as a competitive advantage/ part of the Tivo services?

Upgrade the free version of TiVo Desktop software for the PC and get these additional features:
  • Convert shows for playback on your iPod, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, PSP or other compatible device
  • Transfer compatible web videos to your TiVo box for viewing on your TV

Supported video formats include:
  • Windows Media Video (.wmv)
  • QuickTime Movie (.mov)
  • MPEG-4/H.264 (.mp4, .m4v, .mp4v)
  • MPEG-2 (.mpg, .mpeg, .mpe, .mp2, .mp2v, .mpv2)
  • DivX and Xvid (.avi, .divx)*
Why not check out the free programs written by Forum members? That would include kmttg and pyTivo.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:25 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by lillevig View Post
Why not check out the free programs written by Forum members? That would include kmttg and pyTivo.
I've tried PyTivo but I couldnt get passed some of the steps. I'm simply looking to play the MPEG-4 files I have formatted to play on Apple TV, also on my Tivo.

Right now I have to convert them to mpg-2 so I have double the files on my PC. One for iTunes (mpeg-4) and My Tivo Recordings mpg-2.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:12 AM   #5
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I've tried PyTivo but I couldnt get passed some of the steps.
If you want, tell us where you got stuck and I'm sure it can be worked out.
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:31 AM   #6
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MPEG4 is exactly the reason for the $25 price tag. It contains portions that are still under patent protection. There is no such thing as a free MPEG4 encoder... if there was one TiVo would be using it.
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:55 AM   #7
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pyTiVo is worth getting installed correctly. The folks on this board can help that happen. I have done it with posted instructions a few times, and a few others I needed some help.

It will be worth it in the end.

Not just because it is free, but because it is more reliable and powerful. You can easily watch content and trigger downloads/uploads from your tablet to you PC/home server. I can format the videos with handbrake so I can watch them on the TiVo and my Xoom.
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:05 PM   #8
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MPEG4 is exactly the reason for the $25 price tag. It contains portions that are still under patent protection. There is no such thing as a free MPEG4 encoder... if there was one TiVo would be using it.
I just upgraded to Desktop Plus and I now can see all my media!

Well well worth the $25, funny I used so many converting programs over the last 5+ years.
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by LostCluster View Post
MPEG4 is exactly the reason for the $25 price tag. It contains portions that are still under patent protection. There is no such thing as a free MPEG4 encoder... if there was one TiVo would be using it.
Handbrake will convert MPEG2 to MPEG4, and is free, covered under the GNU General Public License. I use it to convert DVDs and .tivo files to .mp4 files to play on my portables.

[edit] To clarify, I use TivoDecode to decrypt and convert .tivo to .mpg, and then Handbrake to go from .mpg to .mp4, and I use DVDFab and Handbrake for a similar conversion to make convert DVDs to .mp4

Last edited by justen_m : 03-19-2012 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:57 PM   #10
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Had it! It quit working so I Dumped it! Moved to PyTivo and KMTTG. Loved it!
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:48 AM   #11
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AFAIK, the $25 goes straight to MainConcept (the authors of the Plus codecs).
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:29 AM   #12
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The reason I ask is because I finally paid the $25 yesterday after Years of debating and trying to convert media to the right format (using video converter). I upgraded to Desktop Plus and it plays all my media!

Man this is nice, I would have gladly paid the $25 years ago.
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:03 PM   #13
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The reason I ask is because I finally paid the $25 yesterday after Years of debating and trying to convert media to the right format (using video converter). I upgraded to Desktop Plus and it plays all my media!

Man this is nice, I would have gladly paid the $25 years ago.
I thought it was nice too back 3 years ago when I got it for my wife. Watching shows on an iPhone was great. But I haven't been able to have my computer or Tivo recognize each other in over two years. I sincerely hope you don't run into the same issue.
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:55 PM   #14
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I thought it was nice too back 3 years ago when I got it for my wife. Watching shows on an iPhone was great. But I haven't been able to have my computer or Tivo recognize each other in over two years. I sincerely hope you don't run into the same issue.
Did you ever post a question or help request in this forum? I'm guessing somebody here could have helped fix your problem. My first suggestion is to dump DHCP and use static IP addresses. I had tons of problems with my two Tivos seeing each other and my computers, then occasionally seeing each other, then not seeing each other, etc, when I was using DHCP. I switched everything to static IP addresses and haven't had a problem since. I've only got eight devices that need addresses, so there really isn't a need for DHCP.
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:13 PM   #15
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Did you ever post a question or help request in this forum? I'm guessing somebody here could have helped fix your problem. My first suggestion is to dump DHCP and use static IP addresses. I had tons of problems with my two Tivos seeing each other and my computers, then occasionally seeing each other, then not seeing each other, etc, when I was using DHCP. I switched everything to static IP addresses and haven't had a problem since. I've only got eight devices that need addresses, so there really isn't a need for DHCP.
The OPs initial question was "Why doesn't Tivo Desktop Plus come free".

We tried to steer him to the free alternatives, but he chose to pay the $25 for TD Plus. I guess having things set up for you is worth something to him.
I just hope he avoids the small irritating bugs that TD has.
I am currently experiencing a bug that kills the Tivo Server process on a Windows 7 PC.
I am this >< close to switching to pyTivo myself, but it requires user setup and I just have to get motivated.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:12 PM   #16
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Yes, I tried PyTivo a few times but couldn't get passed some of the steps.

Regarding paying $25 and having it setup for me, I'd have paid $100 for this Desktop Plus 5 years ago, it is doing Exactly what I needed. I can access multiple formats of Media that is on my PC, on my Tivo. working wonderfully & well worth the $25.
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:38 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by steve614 View Post
The OPs initial question was "Why doesn't Tivo Desktop Plus come free".

We tried to steer him to the free alternatives, but he chose to pay the $25 for TD Plus. I guess having things set up for you is worth something to him.
I just hope he avoids the small irritating bugs that TD has.
I am currently experiencing a bug that kills the Tivo Server process on a Windows 7 PC.
I am this >< close to switching to pyTivo myself, but it requires user setup and I just have to get motivated.
I understand. I use Tivo Desktop myself on all my systems. I have already made them all dual boot XP/Linux. I figure if I can install and use Linux (and used Linux in my job as my primary dev platform for more than a decade), pyTivo should be easy. I'm expecting a tarball I can just unpack, or a zipfile with windows install package. AFAIK, that doesn't exist. Point me to a file where I can do a tar -xvf <filename>, or pkunzip <filename>, etc. To be truthful, I haven't even bothered trying in a long time. Maybe this ease of use does exist now. I've got a workstation running 24/7 that would probably be a great pyTivo server.

I'm just lazy. As a LaserJet engineer for HP's Core Technology Lab, I could just ask one of our dedicated support people to set this up for me. My time is much more valuable zapping and destroying prototype circuit boards, blowing freeze-it on ASICs that are drawing 10x as much power as they should and constantly overheating, jury-rigging our printers to add a serial connection to control our coffee machines so the waste heat from the fuser would keep our coffee warm, you know, stuff like that.
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:16 PM   #18
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I'm expecting a tarball I can just unpack, or a zipfile with windows install package. AFAIK, that doesn't exist. Point me to a file where I can do a tar -xvf <filename>, or pkunzip <filename>, etc.
There is and always has been a package that you can just extract and run. Windows installers come and go (the maintainers disappear) but the zip/tar packages are always available and runs on basically any OS that Python will. There are several developers working on their own forks but wmcbrine is considered the 'main' branch of pyTivo development. His pyTivo download page is here: https://github.com/wmcbrine/pytivo and if you don't want to look for the link his latest package is here: https://github.com/wmcbrine/pytivo/zipball/master

At one point you had to setup a config file before first run but that is no longer the case. Install Python if you don't have it. Start up pyTivo.py and away you go. You can setup shares directly from the web server interface. Supplying a FFmpeg binary will greatly enhance your experience.

There is a support wiki and a support forum and as always TCF if you have questions.
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:01 PM   #19
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There is a support wiki and a support forum and as always TCF if you have questions.
That is one of my complaints. Why does there need to be one? It should be point and click. Tivo Desktop is point and click. In any case, I'll give it a go tomorrow or Friday in both XPP and Linux and document what I do.
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:06 PM   #20
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I LOVE VideoReDo
It is a program that allows you to convert/cut/edit .tivo files
You can move a .tivo file to your PC, remove the commercials and send it back. It retains all the info/tags/data/folders/filing and is commercial free. This is GREAT for shows that kids love and want to keep without the extra space.

Also you can convert them to whatever format you want.

I also use handbrake to convert files for the ipod touch

www.videoredo.com/
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:20 AM   #21
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I purchased Tivo Desktop Plus and was very disappointed. I had to convert half the files I downloaded.

PyTivo is a bit of a struggle to install and get working but is well worth the effort. There are step-by-step instructions posted somewhere on this forum that makes setup pretty easy. Now I can download almost any format and pyTivo takes care of the rest.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:11 AM   #22
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I have had tivo desktop plus for many years. I only used it for a couple of month before I found pytivo and havent used it since.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:21 AM   #23
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That is one of my complaints. Why does there need to be one? It should be point and click. Tivo Desktop is point and click.
It is developed and supported by TCF community members. pyTivo is an open source project that is freely available to users of not just Windows but every OS that supports Python. I think it it has done quite good for a project that does not take money from it's users or even accept donations (that I am aware of). Having someplace where someone can go for help seems like it would be common sense. Even TD, a commercial program that is very limited when compared to the various tools that TCF members have created, has pages and pages of support documents on their site on how to use and troubleshoot. Even a support forum as well.

pyTivo is not as user friendly as TD but it is infinitely more useful. However the code is freely available so please if you feel like it make a GUI experience for pyTivo that is more user/Windows friendly.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:31 AM   #24
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I would say that pytivo is simply awesome. Its problem is not user friendliness in function, but in installation. There are numerous guides, but they are not really tested against non-techies, so some of the language and expectations can go over a normal users head (like mine). But, researching, printing out the instructions, and asking for help here has always gotten the job done for me.
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:31 PM   #25
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pyTivo

So, the last post was several years ago... is pyTivo for OSX still the way to go... for non-Techies? Has TivoDesktop been upgraded since the last post on this forum?
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:35 PM   #26
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So, the last post was several years ago... is pyTivo for OSX still the way to go... for non-Techies? Has TivoDesktop been upgraded since the last post on this forum?
Look for iTivo or PyTivoX.
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:04 PM   #27
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Look for iTivo or PyTivoX.
While the pyTivo portion of pyTivoX works, keep in mind it is no longer developed or supported and is very out of date. Yoav dissappeared from the forums some years ago.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:07 PM   #28
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pyTivo should be easy.
"Trivial" is closer to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justen_m View Post
I'm expecting a tarball I can just unpack
Yep, as long as you have Python 2.x and ffmpeg installed. Most Linux distros do. If not, install them first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justen_m View Post
AFAIK, that doesn't exist.
Of course it does, although there is more than one development fork. Pick the one you want, and go for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justen_m View Post
Point me to a file where I can do a tar -xvf <filename>, or pkunzip <filename>, etc.
Shall I Google that for you?

wmcbine's fork:
https://github.com/wmcbrine/pytivo/tarball/master

lucasnz's fork:
http://repo.or.cz/w/pyTivo/wmcbrine/...b5d8a65.tar.gz

Iluvatar's fork:
http://repo.or.cz/w/pyTivo/wmcbrine/...540590b.tar.gz

Oh, and don't forget, those are compressed tarballs, so it is `tar -xzvf <filename>` not `tar -xvf <filename>`

Quote:
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I'm just lazy.
What can I say? You will, of course, need to input the information such as where the various shares are to be found, and your password and MAK. IF you're familiar with Linux, then 2 minutes or less with vim will set everything up. Give it another 5 minutes or so to set up your init scripts so it runs as a server.

Last edited by lrhorer : 03-22-2012 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:18 PM   #29
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That is one of my complaints. Why does there need to be one?
Because it is a server.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justen_m View Post
It should be point and click.
No server should ever be point and click. No worthwhile server has an interface. That's what clients are for. PyTivo's clients are any old web browser, and the TiVo NPL (and vidmgr ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by justen_m View Post
Tivo Desktop is point and click.
And rates moderately high on my list of 100 worst commercial applications ever written.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justen_m View Post
In any case, I'll give it a go tomorrow or Friday in both XPP and Linux and document what I do.
What's to document?

tar -xzvf <tarball>
cd <directory>
vim pyTivo.conf
cd /etc/init (assuming a Debian derivative distro)
cp skeleton pyTiVo
vim pyTiVo
update-rc.d pyTiVo defaults

That's it in a nutshell.
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:47 AM   #30
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pyTivo

hey i have just found this site and the pytivo software. i cant seem to figure out how to get this work....

i have installed pytivo but i cannot see it in the now playing list on my tivo. also on pytivo it has an ip address i think which is 127.0.0.1 not sure if this is suppose to be this or am i to change it?

any help will be greatly appreciated
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