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Old 10-17-2013, 10:13 AM   #1
SWFan
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Moving .tivo files back to Tivo

We were running low on hard drive space, so using the included Tivo transfer app that came with Toast Titanium 11 I was able to copy the shows from our Premier Tivo to my iMac. Then I deleted the shows on the Tivo to free up the space.

We are now ready to watch the shows, and I thought it would be pretty simple to copy the files back to the Tivo using the MactoTivo app that came with Toast 11, but that appears to not be the case.

I've found numerous articles talking about unlocking a feature in the Tivo to Desktop program for Mac that would allow you to transfer Mpeg-2 files over to your Tivo. But I wasn't sure if that would work with the encrypted .tivo files (I know that is just a Tivo protected container for mpeg-2 files).

Has anyone had any experience in copying original untouched .tivo files back to a Tivo using a Mac?
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Old 10-17-2013, 08:18 PM   #2
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You can use PyTivo to transfer to/from Tivo and computer, also its free.
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Old 10-18-2013, 07:34 AM   #3
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I ended up playing with Tivo Desktop and got the Video tab to show up. Turns out the Tivo unit recognizes its own .tivo files stored on another computer and I was able to transfer the shows back to the Tivo without any issues.
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Old 10-19-2013, 08:25 PM   #4
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Can you be more explicit as to what steps you took to move .tivo files to the DVR? I am using the Windows version of Desktop Plus, and when I try to transfer unchanged .tivo files back, I get an error dialog that says .tivo files can't be transfered to the DVR.
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Old 10-20-2013, 02:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmicvoid View Post
Can you be more explicit as to what steps you took to move .tivo files to the DVR? I am using the Windows version of Desktop Plus, and when I try to transfer unchanged .tivo files back, I get an error dialog that says .tivo files can't be transfered to the DVR.
You're trying to "pull" files from the PC to the TiVo, right?

Going into the TiVo's Now Playing list and finding the PC at the bottom?

Was the TiVo that did the recording originally using the same MAK as the PC and the TiVo to which you're trying copy the files?
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Old 10-20-2013, 03:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unitron View Post
You're trying to "pull" files from the PC to the TiVo, right? ...
Yes. I 'pulled' some shows from the DVR to the PC, with kmttg. Now, I want to push them back onto the upgraded Tivo HDD. I don't understand how SWFan did it. I'm not trying to do it from the DVR, but from the Desktop app. I was under the impression I would have to install pyTivo to do the 'push' from the PC end. Same machine and MAK.

Or am I misunderstanding how these things work?
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Old 10-20-2013, 04:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmicvoid View Post
Yes. I 'pulled' some shows from the DVR to the PC, with kmttg. Now, I want to push them back onto the upgraded Tivo HDD. I don't understand how SWFan did it. I'm not trying to do it from the DVR, but from the Desktop app. I was under the impression I would have to install pyTivo to do the 'push' from the PC end. Same machine and MAK.

Or am I misunderstanding how these things work?
If you're running TiVo Desktop on a PC, there should be a folder somewhere on that PC's hard drive, or one of its drives if it has more than one, named "My TiVo Recordings".

This is where Desktop puts .tivo files when it copies them from a TiVo (although they call it transfer, but it's really copying because the source is not erased when it's finished).

And at the bottom of the TiVo's Now Playing list should be a folder with the name of the PC if tivoserver.exe is running on the PC (which it most likely will be if you have Desktop open, or even if you don't).

Inside that folder should be the contents of the My TiVo Recordings folder, available to select and copy to the TiVo.

So maybe you need to move the .tivo files to the My TiVo Recordings folder.

But before doing that, I suggest you find out where the MTR folder is and see if it's on an NT formatted partition (FAT32 limits file size, which makes a 2 hour SD recording about 1 hour, 55 minutes), and if there's a decent amount of room on that partition to store shows.

If not, your can click on File in Desktop, and then Preferences, and it'll show you where the MTR folder is and let you change the location if you want to, although I don't think it'll automatically move any files in the old folder to the new one.

You can also put shortcuts to other folders anywhere on that PC's drive(s) in the MTR folder, and they'll show up on the TiVo as subfolders of the PC name folder.

If you have a lot of shows stored on the PC, this is a way to sort them alphabetically or by network or year recorded, etc, and lets you store them on multiple drives, including some NAS drives.
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Old 10-20-2013, 08:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmicvoid View Post
Yes. I 'pulled' some shows from the DVR to the PC, with kmttg. Now, I want to push them back onto the upgraded Tivo HDD. I don't understand how SWFan did it. I'm not trying to do it from the DVR, but from the Desktop app. I was under the impression I would have to install pyTivo to do the 'push' from the PC end. Same machine and MAK.

Or am I misunderstanding how these things work?
I don't have the Plus version of Tivo Desktop, but from what I understand, that option is for converting and transferring non-Tivo compatible formats.
It could be that option doesn't work with files that do not need to be converted, I don't know. Things may be different for the Mac version, someone else will have to confirm or deny.

Having said that, you should be able to push files from the PC to the Tivo with PyTivo. If you can't, there could be some sort of configuration problem.
You might have better luck posting your problem over in the PyTivo thread.
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Old 10-20-2013, 04:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unitron View Post
... So maybe you need to move the .tivo files to the My TiVo Recordings folder. ...
Good info, thanx. I wasn't aware of a MTR folder created by Desktop. I will try those suggestions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve614 View Post
... You might have better luck posting your problem over in the PyTivo thread.
I haven't actually installed pyTivo yet. I'm trying to avoid yet another installation if I can do this file push without it.
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unitron View Post
... And at the bottom of the TiVo's Now Playing list should be a folder with the name of the PC if tivoserver.exe is running on the PC (which it most likely will be if you have Desktop open, or even if you don't). ...
Ok, found the My Tivo Recordings folder and moved the off-loaded .tivo files there. Then, on the Tivo, at the bottom of the My Shows list is an entry that sez "Now Playing on <name of computer>".

From there, its simple to transfer the shows back to the Tivo, although somewhat tedious to schedule them one at a time. The process of transferring seems to be going very slowly.

So the upshot here is that the tivoserver process has to be running on the PC, and the transfer is controlled by the Tivo, not the Desktop app.

Tnx again for your help .
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:11 AM   #11
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Wow, using the Desktop Plus app/server to transfer to the DVR is a losing proposition.

When I copied 6 shows (~5 hrs, 25GB) from DVR to PC, using kmttg, it took an hour for the whole batch. Now, I just checked the progress of the transfer back to the DVR, and after 3 hours, the first half-hour show has not yet finished copying.

But the real deal breaker is that the restored show seems to NOT have any captions. Why not? Is this the usual result of copying an unmodified .tivo file? Or do I have to wait for the transfer of the show to finish to get captions to show?

I'm inclined to ask if shows copied to the DVR using pyTivo would also lose the captions.
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Old 10-21-2013, 05:36 AM   #12
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Losing captions is a bug in recent-ish (been a while now actually) versions of the TiVo box software. It doesn't matter what you use on the computer side; it's the TiVo that strips them. Fortunately, there is a workaround: use transport stream mode to send them back, instead of program stream mode. However, since apparently you already extracted them as program streams, this is a bit tricky. I'm not sure if you can do it with Desktop. (?) I can give you instructions for pyTivo.

I can't account for the slowness, unless the files are being transcoded for some reason.
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:30 AM   #13
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Losing captions is a bug in recent-ish (been a while now actually) versions of the TiVo box software. It doesn't matter what you use on the computer side; it's the TiVo that strips them. Fortunately, there is a workaround: use transport stream mode to send them back, instead of program stream mode. However, since apparently you already extracted them as program streams, this is a bit tricky. I'm not sure if you can do it with Desktop. (?) I can give you instructions for pyTivo.

I can't account for the slowness, unless the files are being transcoded for some reason.
Does the TiVo strip them (captions) out on the way to the PC or on the way back from the PC?
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Old 10-21-2013, 04:57 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by wmcbrine View Post
... Fortunately, there is a workaround: use transport stream mode to send them back, instead of program stream mode. However, since apparently you already extracted them as program streams, this is a bit tricky. I'm not sure if you can do it with Desktop. (?) I can give you instructions for pyTivo...
I just downloaded pyTivo last night and about ready to install it, so any info you can give on how to do this will be welcome.
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Old 02-24-2014, 02:10 AM   #15
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I am moving files from one TiVo to another at a different location - Cabin at the lake.

TiVo Desktop will host the files in My TiVo Recordings folder and I can go to the TiVo itself and start the transfer there. It takes twice as long as real time on my TiVo HD on a wired network (ie about 2hours to transfer a one hour show).

If I try to push the files from TiVo Desktop it pops up a message saying you can't do that with a file from another TiVo.

And just like Unitron stated I can create a link from My TiVo Recordings folder to a folder on an external USB drive - and those files show up on the TiVo, ready to transfer.

I am hoping this is a bit more stable than using the Mac software - it will transfer, but it only gets a couple of files in before I have to stop and start the TiVo server software.

BTW I am seeing the captions on the transferred shows, so I must have KTTMG set properly (or the bug was fixed).
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