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Old 02-22-2009, 09:42 AM   #271
Flyinace2000
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Alright, wierd problem. I am running iTivo on a G4 server runnign leopard with a 200gb drive for OS/Applications and a 2TB RAID5 for media storage. I want iTivo to grab and decrypt, but i have problems. To test it out i told it to download 1 episode last night. I have set the destination path for files to my RAID5, but after it completes it is no where to be found. Any ideas?

Also, what transcoding options woudl be the fastest to simply remove the DRM. I will be mostly watching ripped tivo shows on my boxee box.
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:42 AM   #272
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Originally Posted by Flyinace2000 View Post
Alright, wierd problem. I am running iTivo on a G4 server runnign leopard with a 200gb drive for OS/Applications and a 2TB RAID5 for media storage. I want iTivo to grab and decrypt, but i have problems. To test it out i told it to download 1 episode last night. I have set the destination path for files to my RAID5, but after it completes it is no where to be found. Any ideas?

Also, what transcoding options woudl be the fastest to simply remove the DRM. I will be mostly watching ripped tivo shows on my boxee box.
Fastest = 'decrypt' (this will not remove commercials). decrypt/copy will allow you to use 'comskip', but unfortunately often leads to annoying video/audio sync issues.

As for where the download is, it should be in whatever download location you specified. Make sure iTiVo has no problems writing there. And then if you still don't see it at the END of the completed download, then you need to go to the advanced preferences, turn on log debugging output, and attach /tmp/iTiVo-<username>/iTiVo.log here so I can look at it. (or look at it yourself and see if you can identify any issues).
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:44 AM   #273
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Originally Posted by steinbch View Post
I was wondering if I could also get some support! :-)

Did you specify the 'create subdirectory for show' option? Turn it off. Also, do you have any options set under advanced prefs 'run command when download completes'? There should be a bunch more interesting stuff in the log AFTER the Handbrake invocation (where it does things like moving the file around some more, setting up metadata, etc).
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Old 02-22-2009, 02:19 PM   #274
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Did you specify the 'create subdirectory for show' option? Turn it off. Also, do you have any options set under advanced prefs 'run command when download completes'? There should be a bunch more interesting stuff in the log AFTER the Handbrake invocation (where it does things like moving the file around some more, setting up metadata, etc).
I'm in the middle of trying it now with your suggestions. I turned off the 'create subdirectory' and i got rid of some information that was listed after run command when download completes. I thought I had copied the text to the clipboard, but it is gone.

On another note, should it really take 5+ hours to transfer a hour and a half HD movie with the AppleTV Handbrake setting? Just want to make sure that everything is running normally. :-) Thanks for all your help!
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Old 02-22-2009, 02:35 PM   #275
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On another note, should it really take 5+ hours to transfer a hour and a half HD movie with the AppleTV Handbrake setting? Just want to make sure that everything is running normally. :-) Thanks for all your help!
(short version: 5 hours is within reason, read the faq)

long version:
the handbrake (yuck yuck) setting first downloads the file, then encodes it. You can see how long each part takes. Downloading time is a function of what type of tivo you have, how big the file is, and the network speed. On wired, S3, high-def, a 1:30 show is around the 12G mark, and probably takes about an hour and a half to download.

Then handbrake attempts to convert it. This is effectively doing a 900x500 (some really weird apple resolution from hell) encode using the x.264 encoder. This is entirely controlled by your computer's speed, but on a fast computer probably takes about 1 hour, and on a slow computer can take 2 days).

If you did it at full HD resolution (1920x1080), it would take about 4 times longer. (and be unplayable on an AppleTV). If you used a lower resolution (like the iPhone setting) it would similarly be faster. There are options that will let you trade some quality for a slightly faster encode, but the basic problem is that h.264 encodes are just REALLY REALLY complex. Hopefully in the near future one of the encoders will support the ATI/NVidia graphics chip to help make encodes run faster.

I'd suggest just leaving it overnight to do your encodes, or using a format that is faster to encode if 5 hours is too long for you.
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Old 02-22-2009, 02:36 PM   #276
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I'm in the middle of trying it now with your suggestions. I turned off the 'create subdirectory' and i got rid of some information that was listed after run command when download completes. I thought I had copied the text to the clipboard, but it is gone.
I'm curious... was the 'information that was listed after 'run command' something like "rm $filename" ?
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Old 02-22-2009, 03:17 PM   #277
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Here are my log files. I have dbl checked the path in the prefs and the are set to the right spot. Here are the logs.
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Old 02-22-2009, 03:34 PM   #278
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Here are my log files. I have dbl checked the path in the prefs and the are set to the right spot. Here are the logs.
From the log it looks like mencoder is exitting on processing the file (re-encoding it) - it might be crashing or it might be a clean exit -- I'd guess it's crashing. But it's exitting after processing it for a very short time. Possibly the conversion is too much for it based on the source and target formats.

Can you try picking a simpler encoding format (like iPhone) and see what happens? This may just boil down to 'sorry, mencoder doesn't like you' answer which there's not much I can do about. Since it sounds like you're ok with 'fast encoding to mpeg-2' why not just use 'decrypt' as your format? That completely skips using mencoder.
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Old 02-22-2009, 03:56 PM   #279
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I'm curious... was the 'information that was listed after 'run command' something like "rm $filename" ?
That is exactly (OK, I'm pretty sure) what was listed. I'm assuming the 'rm' means remove.
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Old 02-22-2009, 03:59 PM   #280
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(short version: 5 hours is within reason, read the faq)

long version:
the handbrake (yuck yuck) setting first downloads the file, then encodes it. You can see how long each part takes. Downloading time is a function of what type of tivo you have, how big the file is, and the network speed. On wired, S3, high-def, a 1:30 show is around the 12G mark, and probably takes about an hour and a half to download.
Since it seems that the standard AppleTV preset using mencoder is preferred, is there a way to mimic Handbrake's ability to create two audio tracks (1 being the stereo and 2 being the passthrough for 5.1)?

Have I mentioned how awesome you are?
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Old 02-22-2009, 04:07 PM   #281
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That is exactly (OK, I'm pretty sure) what was listed. I'm assuming the 'rm' means remove.
yep.. rm deletes the file. Usually you'd use that when itunes makes a copy of the file into its own library. Otherwise.. yeah you don't want it..
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Old 02-22-2009, 04:08 PM   #282
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Since it seems that the standard AppleTV preset using mencoder is preferred, is there a way to mimic Handbrake's ability to create two audio tracks (1 being the stereo and 2 being the passthrough for 5.1)?

Have I mentioned how awesome you are?
Sadly, not without some serious hacking of configs (I'm sure mencoder can do it, I just don't know the options ...)

so, yeah.. sorry.

Then again, what do you need the stereo track for?
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Old 02-22-2009, 05:16 PM   #283
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Then again, what do you need the stereo track for?
My understanding from my limited playing around with encoding videos for the AppleTV is that videos won't work on the AppleTV if they only have one audio track and it is 5.1. Things seem to work fine when the first audio track is AAC and the second is passthrough 5.1

On another note, and I didn't see this in the FAQ or the issues reported through the website, when encoding files, I've noticed that the time reported on the lower left side of the screen is not matching up with the time of the video file. I've also noticed that the blue status bar will move backwards and forwards during the encoding process.
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Old 02-22-2009, 06:25 PM   #284
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For some reason it doesn't work at all now. The download never starts. Before it would at least download the file. I have tried using the decrypt only option and iphone. Can you take another look at the logs. Thanks
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Old 02-22-2009, 06:50 PM   #285
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On another note, and I didn't see this in the FAQ or the issues reported through the website, when encoding files, I've noticed that the time reported on the lower left side of the screen is not matching up with the time of the video file. I've also noticed that the blue status bar will move backwards and forwards during the encoding process.
The time is just a number being reported by mencoder. And I have also seen it be completely wrong (like starting at 10 mins, or freezing for a while). The same is true for estimates for how long until it completes.

The bar moving backwards is a seperate issue related to how progress is being determined. Especially during a long commercial cut, the progress measurements 'break'... Again, none of it will affect the actual underlying code.. it's just related to underlying tools, what they report, and how they are used.

(fwiw, you may also see time remaining estimates jump up to 200 mins, and the progress bouncing to 0 for a while). I *could* put in the effort to try and smooth all that information, but really it's very low priority for me.
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Old 02-22-2009, 06:53 PM   #286
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For some reason it doesn't work at all now. The download never starts. Before it would at least download the file. I have tried using the decrypt only option and iphone. Can you take another look at the logs. Thanks
I *think* you have a competing download going on from that tivo.
You may need to reboot the computer to make sure there's nothing hanging from a previous broken iTiVo. Also, make sure you do not have ANY other tools running (like tivo desktop) or the NowShowing widget.
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Old 02-22-2009, 07:19 PM   #287
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I restarted and it still failed, but i looked at the logs and it said there was a permissinos error to the save target. Not sure why. I am running this as a local admin to the machine. Either way, i changed the save target to the admin's own Movies folder and it is downloading now. I will fix the permssion thing once i confirm the download/decrypt worked.

How does the comercial remover work?

-Will
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Old 02-22-2009, 07:27 PM   #288
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How does the comercial remover work?

-Will
MAGIC!!!!




It generally 'doesn't work' but it's a tool called comskip (look it up on google) which tries to figure out where there are commercials based on a LOT of tricks -- detailed on their homepage. However, since it ends up cutting your movie up, sometimes it can lead to audio/video sync issues. Try it first and see if it's worth it for you. A lot of people who care about commercial removal prefer to do it manually. It's worked fairly well for me when the source has been of high quality.
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Old 02-22-2009, 07:31 PM   #289
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I might give it a shot. I repaired permissions on the folder and i am now able to save to the RAID.

FYI: You can officially say that iTivo runs on 10.5.6 server (ppc).
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Old 02-22-2009, 07:51 PM   #290
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After playing around a little more, I'm even more confused!

1) While the Apple TV Handbrake preset creates two audio tracks, the second track (ac3 passthrough) seems to be 2.0 sound regardless of what the initial Tivo source is (originally an HD movie with 5.1).

2)I currently am unable to get any video files to transfer to the AppleTV using the AppleTV Handbrake preset (tried both SD and HD files). They will all import into iTunes, but refuse to transfer over.

3) I tried just downloading the videos using the 'decrypt' preset in hopes of using handbrake manually to encode into an AppleTV 5.1 file. Unfortunately, it seems like the file I get from the 'decrypt' preset no longer has a 5.1 ac3 track and only has a 2.0 track.
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Old 02-22-2009, 08:06 PM   #291
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After playing around a little more, I'm even more confused!

1) While the Apple TV Handbrake preset creates two audio tracks, the second track (ac3 passthrough) seems to be 2.0 sound regardless of what the initial Tivo source is (originally an HD movie with 5.1).

2)I currently am unable to get any video files to transfer to the AppleTV using the AppleTV Handbrake preset (tried both SD and HD files). They will all import into iTunes, but refuse to transfer over.

3) I tried just downloading the videos using the 'decrypt' preset in hopes of using handbrake manually to encode into an AppleTV 5.1 file. Unfortunately, it seems like the file I get from the 'decrypt' preset no longer has a 5.1 ac3 track and only has a 2.0 track.
The decrypt takes whatever the tivo provides and just removes the DRM. So if you ended up with a 2-channel audio, that is all there is in the original source.

That probably explains why you have 2 tracks of 2-channel audio from handbrake. One is probably aac 2-channel, and one is dolby digital 2-channel (the second one would be 5.1 channels if the source had 5.1, but it looks like it doesn't).

As for failing to transfer to the AppleTV. short version: <sigh>. AppleTV causes no end of headaches. I wish apple stopped making it or at least made it into a real device that can play REAL h.264 files at 1920x1080. Handbrake is doing its best. Look around on the web and you'll find tons of people having issues encoding for it, and some advice of things to try. You can completely control the handbrake or mencoder invocation through the advanced prefs options, but that's about all I can help with (don't own an AppleTV).
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Old 02-22-2009, 09:30 PM   #292
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Then again, what do you need the stereo track for?
I believe it's required for 5.1 AC3 playback on AppleTV (as done by Handbrake):

http://support.apple.com/kb/TA25199
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Old 02-22-2009, 09:31 PM   #293
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2)I currently am unable to get any video files to transfer to the AppleTV using the AppleTV Handbrake preset (tried both SD and HD files). They will all import into iTunes, but refuse to transfer over.
Go to the Advanced tab in Prefs and change "encoder video options" from
Code:
-Z "AppleTV"
to
Code:
-Z "AppleTV" --rate 29.97
That allowed me to create files that sync to the AppleTV.
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:40 PM   #294
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Turbo.264: transfer then encode?

First off, many thanks to Yoav for a great program!

So my question is when using Turbo.264 does iTiVo first transfer the show then encode? If so, is there a way to transfer and encode at the same time like when using mencoder? Thanks again!
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:53 PM   #295
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First off, many thanks to Yoav for a great program!

So my question is when using Turbo.264 does iTiVo first transfer the show then encode? If so, is there a way to transfer and encode at the same time like when using mencoder? Thanks again!
Yes to transfer it first, No to can I do transfer and encode at the same time.

The documented method for encoding with the device involves providing a complete file to compress. So iTiVo first downloads it, removes the DRM and possibly commercials, and then puts all that data into a temporary file. It then calls the appropriate invocations to get their encoder to do the work.

If they had a documented method for providing an mpeg-2 stream instead of a file to encode, I'd be happy to try using it. I should point out though that I don't even have an turbostick, so the support is entirely based on documentation....

I should give you a heads up that people have complained that sometimes only the last file in a scheduled list gets saved, and the rest are not. I can't really debug this though .


The only encoder that I support downloading AND encoding at the same time from is mencoder. It is possible (though I haven't tried it) that ffmpeg will also happily accept a stream via a named pipe, in which case it would be possible to use ffmpeg... But I haven't tried that yet.
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Old 02-24-2009, 05:06 PM   #296
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Go to the Advanced tab in Prefs and change "encoder video options" from
Code:
-Z "AppleTV"
to
Code:
-Z "AppleTV" --rate 29.97
That allowed me to create files that sync to the AppleTV.
Thanks! Will try that tonight! Do you know offhand if that creates a 5.1 ac3 track as well? I noticed today as I tried to use handbrake on a DVD that the appletv preset defaulted to the 2.0 ac3 track for track 2.
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Old 02-24-2009, 06:24 PM   #297
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I might give it a shot. I repaired permissions on the folder and i am now able to save to the RAID.

FYI: You can officially say that iTivo runs on 10.5.6 server (ppc).
Flyinace,

I have had very little luck getting my Dual G5 (tiger) to work seamlessly. Decrypt works like a champ, but mencoder is BRUTALLY slow. I use other tools to transcode the video once it's downloaded to my storage drive on the PC. Even with the previous (few pages back) mentioned changes to the compression quality, I get MUCH better results using VisualHub or ffmpegx to do the compression. I can't remove the commercials, but it's what I'm stuck with until my QUAD shows up... someday...

-fate
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:18 PM   #298
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Thanks! Will try that tonight! Do you know offhand if that creates a 5.1 ac3 track as well? I noticed today as I tried to use handbrake on a DVD that the appletv preset defaulted to the 2.0 ac3 track for track 2.
If your source is 2.0 ac3, then you'll end up with 2.0 ac3. If your source is 5.1 ac3, then you get 5.1 ac3.
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Old 02-25-2009, 06:20 AM   #299
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Go to the Advanced tab in Prefs and change "encoder video options"
Code:
-Z "AppleTV" --rate 29.97
That worked perfectly! Might I suggest that be implemented as part of the standard preset in iTivo? :-)
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Old 02-25-2009, 09:24 AM   #300
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That worked perfectly! Might I suggest that be implemented as part of the standard preset in iTivo? :-)
I'm really not 'ignoring' the suggestion. But I don't want to do this. The point of the handbrake 'appleTV' preset is to use the preset that the handbrake developers (who spent a lot more time over this) believe is 'correct' for appleTV. You *may* want to get in touch with the handbrake developers and tell them that for your specific video you had to add some flags.

The real problem is that while it seems to fix it for your particular input, I suspect it breaks it for others (notably 1280x720 video at 24fps (720p) will either look really bad or break). As such I'm glad you have a workaround, and I'm happy to add it to the FAQ, but I'd rather trust the handbrake developers opinion of what are the 'right' flags and have them put it into the preset...

Here is the link to the handbrake forum where all their encodings are discussed. It may also give you other ideas for more flags you may want to use too: http://forum.handbrake.fr/viewforum....1f032c4bfc9bc7

That said, if you *DO* prefer that to be a format that is available, you can go to the advanced prefs, make your edits and click the 'save format' button at the bottom. Call it something like "My Handbrake AppleTV", and from now on, you can select that as a format. I'm curious if it works fine for all the following inputs:
1) shows recorded in medium and best quality.
2) digital shows in SD resolution. (480i and 480p)
3) digital shows in HD 1080i
4) digital shows in HD 720p

If all those work fine and look as good as without the flag, I would probably be more amenable to making the changes to the default flags, although I *do* wonder why the handbrake developers didn't make that the default for appleTV.
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