backing up to pc

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by Mike Pfeifer, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. Mike Pfeifer

    Mike Pfeifer What?

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    I could have sworn that I read in some thread here that some people use TivoDesktop for backing up shows to the PC until you want to watch them.

    Here is the deal: my wife has a season pass for Sons of Anarchy. Season 3 has been recording and I have 14 episodes stored on the TiVo Premier. We also have netflix, but it only has season 1. She does not want to watch season 3 till she can watch season 2 first on netflix.

    It seems to me she may be waiting a long time for it to show up on netflix if it ever does at all.

    So I want to offload it all to my PC untill she needs it to free up the space on the TiVo. I dont want to watch it on the PC, just store it. Transfer to PC, store it, then transfer back to Tivo to watch when wanted.

    I thought TivoDesktop would serve this purpose, but it looks like I would have to get the Plus key to do the last step.

    I looked at PyTivo, but gave up on that after trying to get it installed.

    Is kmttg any easier, or is there something else I am missing that will do this function?
     
  2. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Yes, but it is a horrible application. It's goofy and badly broken. In addition, no application can transfer copy protected material on an unmodified TiVo (Series III and above). If your CATV system copy protects everything but the local broadcast stations, then you won't be able to transfer anything but the locals unless your TiVo is modified. The Premier cannot be modified.

    I don't know what gave you that idea. The Plus version is no more capable of transferring videos to the Tivo than the basic version. Both do a lousy job of it, but they both do it.

    Installation of pyTivo is trivial. If Python is not installed (e.g. you are running Windows), then install an appropriate version. Unzip pyTivo into an appropriate directory. Modify a handful of lines in the config file. Run pyTivo. Done.

    Kmttg doesn't perform this function. Kmttg is designed to transfer the files from the TiVo to the PC. (The "ttg" in kmttg stands for TiVo To Go.) It's definitely not easier to install, but then it offers tons of features and options.

    What difference does it make how difficult something is to install? It's irrelevant. One only does it once, and then not again (at least on that workstation.) What is iimportant is how something works.
     
  3. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    The free version of Tivo Desktop will do what you want. It allows you to transfer Tivo files to computer and back. You will also be able to transfer .mpg files to the Tivo since MPEG is a native format.

    The plus key is only needed if you want to transfer other formats from the computer not native to the Tivo.

    Edit: As lrhorer points out, if your show is copy protected, you cannot transfer it to a computer no matter what software program you use.

    Edit 2: I disagree with lrhorer on the use of Tivo Desktop. It works just fine for how I use it.
     
  4. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    It's slow, buggy as hell, poorly laid out, won't work with anything but Windows - if one can call what it does working, and can only be managed from the PC running the software. It doesn't work with network shares, at all, and its server operations are extremely frail. It only supports a small handful of media types, it's a resource hog, and its interface is ragged and does not perform smoothly. The server section is only HMO based, which limits its capabilities to those of the NPL, which is limited and klunky. It does not support decoding from .TiVo to .mpg internally, and it does not support spawning processes like tivodecode, comskip, and VideoRedo.

    For something that is supposed to be a server, it has virtually none of the attributes required of a server.
     
  5. Mike Pfeifer

    Mike Pfeifer What?

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    I'll mess with tivodesktop again then. I was able to transfer from the TiVo to the pc but couldn't figure out how to transfer it back.

    In terms of ease of install, I couldn't figure out which version of pytivo I needed (only could find an old version with a windows installer) and also then couldn't find a pre-compiled python windows installer for the 2.5 version, only source code. Definately does not sound like what I want to spend much time doing.
     
  6. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Were your shares not showing up in the NPL?

    The newest git is a good bet. A Windows installer is a stupid idea for any software. It's certainly not reasonable for a utility as simple as pyTivo.

    You must not have looked very hard. A Google search for "python" took less than 2 seconds. The second link says, "Download", and takes one to the download page. The top binary there is the Windows 2.7.2 installer.

    The first time I installed pyTivo, it took me less than 5 minutes. Setting it up as a server took about 30 minutes, but then I set it up so it was not only a server, but also providing a system V service, and that takes a little time. Thirty minutes work for four years of functionality isn't much. I did have to work a bit with the current developer of the DVD app to get it working properly, though.
     
  7. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    You would need to go to your Tivo Play list and scroll down to the bottom to find your computer running Tivo Desktop and select shows to transfer.

    With PyTivo and the auto-push option, videos can be 'pushed' back.

    FYI, it does not delete shows when you transfer them to the Tivo to a PC, just copies them, you have to manually delete them from the list.
     
  8. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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    To each their own, Tivo Desktop works just fine for many people and does the job, you don't have to like it, but IMNSHO it is nowhere near as horrid as your description would lead someone to believe.
     
  9. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    +1
     
  10. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    My advice- try tivo desktop and get used to its function. If you start to see its limitations, then it would be worth going the pytivo route. However, you should be easily able to transfer these if the flag is not set.

    Another option, which is also rather easy to do, is to upgrade your hard disk size to 2TB. It will greatly reduce your need to have a backup at all. For me, I am never over 30% usage anymore and never have to manage my shows. If anything, it gave me reason to finally get my dvds on the WHS and set up pytivo. Even the kids can easily transfer movies now from teh server to the tivo, it is that easy once set up properly.
     
  11. jcthorne

    jcthorne Well-Known Member

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    See the link in my signature for step by step windows install instructions for pytivo.
     
  12. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    If your cable company hasn't set the anti-copy bit on those shows (unless you're only using analog cable), then you can use TiVo Desktop to copy them to the (or a*) computer.

    I suggest setting aside a fairly large NTFS format partition (FAT32 has a file size limit that'll screw things up). You can go into preferences and change the default location of the "My TiVo Recordings" folder.

    The contents of the MTR folder should appear in your TiVo's "Now Playing" list inside a folder whose name is the name of the computer, down at the bottom, just under the "Recently Deleted" folder.

    From there you can copy them to the TiVo.


    *I say "a" computer because my TiVos wound up with their own computer.:)
     
  13. Mike Pfeifer

    Mike Pfeifer What?

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    Thanks for all the replies, guys. I did get TivoDesktop working on a second attempt. What happened was that the transferred recordings were not showing up in the NPL at the bottom. I must have had some setting set wrong and it kept asking me to link the software to the Tivo account which requires the plus upgrade, so I had confused myself on that.

    Anyway, long story short, I got it to work and all is good now.

    About going through the hassle of pytivo:

    Maybe 10 years ago it would have been right up my alley. In fact I probably would have even tried coding my own software do do something similar or gotten involved in pytivo itself. I have run several flavors of linux, and even wrote my own software. Pytivo looks like a hugely powerful piece of software, but requires the user to be willing to get into the really uninteresting points of getting everything to work seamlessly, especially when the pieces required are scattered in multiple locations that are not necessarilly obvious.

    I have been there and done that, for lack of a bettery way to say it.

    I got a tivo because I wanted ease of use, and didnt want to figure out how to do things. I was spoiled by the way apple products "just work" in recent years, and have really never looked back. I am past the point in my life where I am willing to tinker with anything to get the results I am after. If it doesn't just work,then I am going to move on and try the next thing in line. It's not that I can't figure it out, it's that I am not willing to spend more than a few minutes on it anymore. Pytivo is not in line with the Tivo's ease of use, at least not for me.

    I don't believe anyone should be steered away from using it, it's just not for me.
     
  14. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    It's a network application that does not work on a network, can't be accessed from the network, and provides a service, but won't run properly as a server. How much worse does it have to be? That doesn't even begin to address the myriad bugs that lurk within it. Did they ever get the memory leak fixed? Just look at the number of threads in this forum alone that talk about post-installation problems with TDT.
     
  15. qz3fwd

    qz3fwd Member

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    +1 - Yes Tivo Desktop is a resource hog and kinda buggy, but for basic useage it will get the job done of transferring your tivo files to your hard drive. You might end up eating a gigiabyte of leaked memory before killing the executable, but it will eventually transfer your shows. For less technically inclined users it is tolerable.

    Especially for folks who dont want to / struggle with ****ing around with downloading python, editing config files and the like. Some people would consider the kind of software you descibe as a horrible mess and the user should never have to go through these kinds of steps. You make it sound like a linux app. Step (1) grab the git repository, Step (2) make clean, make all, .... Step (3) cp * /home/users/userid , Step (4) edit config file in emacs, Step (5) reboot machine. Simple... :D
     
  16. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    That's like saying some people would rather taker the easy step of building a car from scratch with parts that are half metric and half English, rather than going to the trouble of getting a loan to buy one off a car lot.

    Compared to endless hours of editing the registry to try to get a failed install to work, only to have the system crash and corrupt the registry, over and over and over again? Windows installers are pathetic when they work, and utterly ghastly when they do not.

    No one I know has used git for an app in a Linux distro for the better part of a decade. Cross-platform apps like pyTivo and vidmgr, yes, but they don't require compilation. Just

    wget <url>
    tar -xzvf <filename>

    In what century are you living? Although compiling from source is usally extremely easy, I haven't compiled an app in years, except on embedded systems with a custom kernel, or those I have written myself. I don't usually worry about creating a make file if I've written the app myself.

    Again, not in a 1000 years. First of all, most apps go in /usr/share or /usr/local. Secondly, like any sane individual, I let the package maintainer worry about such thngs.

    'Haven't used emacs in over 2 decades. Editing config files, sometimes, but then either an application is brain dead, or else it has to be configurable. A configuration file (or directory structure) is a simple, robust, flexible, expansible, easily backed-up and recovered, easily revertible, stable solution. The registry is a nightmare abortion.

    Reboot a Linux machine? Are you daft? Such utter nonsense is typical of Windows, which usually requires endless reboots to get anything installed. The only thing that ordinarily ever requires a reboot in Linux is upgrading the kernel. Other than that and power outages, my Linux machines haven't been rebooted in years. The Windows machines are doing good to make it through a week without locking up. ( I had a Windows machine lock up seven times just last night. That is SEVEN TIMES in one night.)

    As far as Linux is concerned, however, installing most packages (29,000 and counting) on most distros is as simple as:

    apt-get install <package name>

    That or a single click in a graphical package manager like Synaptic (yuck) or Kpackage.

    On a Red Hat derivative system it is a bit more trouble: one must download the package before issuing the command. After that, however:

    rpm -i <filename.rpm>

    Or once again one can utilize yum, yast, etc.

    Here is a simple task for you: Take two PCs, one with a large drive subsystem (maybe a couple of 2T drives). Load Windows Home Server on the system with the large drive subsystem (install RAID if need be). Create a network share on the drive system and load a few hundred videos and music files on it. On the other PC load Windows Media Server, and map the network share from the WHS system as a drive. Once that is all in place, load TiVoDesktop on the WMS system, publishing the audio and video paths to your TiVos. Get back to me when you're done with that.
     
  17. SNJpage1

    SNJpage1 Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    The only problem I found with the free Desttop is I had to change a setting so the PC could see the Tivo. Bon Jour did not work had to switch to Tivo Beacon, even though the program says the first is preferred.
     
  18. Soapm

    Soapm Active Member

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    My problem with the desktop, besides being a resource hog and taking forever to start up, it goes in and out in my NPL. When I want to watch a movie it's missing then when I don't care it's always there. Seems to have a mind of its own but YMMV...
     
  19. Soapm

    Soapm Active Member

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    Reminds me of my wife, she would complain about the programmable seats moving every time she hit the remote button. She said it was a pain in the @$$ having to adjust the seat every time she got in the car. I said, "you know you can save your settings then it will be set for you when you get in". She replied, "who wants to go through all that sh**???"

    We were driving one day and we stopped at a stop sign. I reached over and put the car in park, pressed the button on her door until I got the two beeps and she's been happy since.

    Moral of the story, sometimes what we perceive as a struggle is as simple as pushing a button...
     
  20. qz3fwd

    qz3fwd Member

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    Maybe you guys didn't get my point that having to obtain, install python separately and edit config files is enough to scare off most casual users.
     

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