Can I transfer directly from Tivo to PC via ethernet (if tivo isn't hooked up to tv)?

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by lynnalexandra, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. lynnalexandra

    lynnalexandra Member

    109
    0
    Apr 26, 2009
    I've checked lots of threads - but still need help.

    I just got a new Premier - which is replacing a Tivo Series 2 Dual Tuner. The series 2 is now disconnected and unplugged. It was upgraded and has about 400GB of programs on it that I'd like to get on my PC. Is there a way to connect the Tivo directly to the PC (without hooking it up to a television) - just to transfer the shows to my PC?

    I was quite confused by some older threads (NIC, crossover cable, bridge?) - so I'm asking here. Wireless transfers from that bedroom (across the reach of the house to my PC) either took forever - or kept failing (getting interrupted).

    At some point I want to figure out why my wireless transfers are getting interrupted - from my Tivo Series 2 and Tivo HD. I had this problem a few weeks ago - updated to the newer tivo desktop plus software - and still have the problem. In the meantime, while I'm moving Tivos around, it would be easier to directly transfer.

    Can I run an ethernet cable either into my pc - or into an open port on my linksys n router? Will tivo desktop be able to read the programs and transfer from my Tivo without hooking the Tivo up to a tv (I can't imagine why not, but thought I'd ask).

    One other possibility is putting the Tivo 2 in the same room as the PC and router - and using the wireless g adapter - and doing the transfers wirelessly - but hopefully in such close proximity the transfers would work better/faster?

    I also have an upgraded Tivo HD (1TB internal, 1TB external). Got a scare a few months ago that the external drive was going bad. Turns out it was a bad antec enclosure. Got a new enclosure and my recordings are fine. But I have wanted to transfer them to my pc also so I have a back up - in case some day a drive does fail. Again - I have not been able to transfer wirelessly. I have to address this problem and find a fix at some point (calling Tivo a few weeks ago and he suggested the newer Tivo desktop software - worked for a couple of shows - but mostly isn't working). I plan to move this Tivo to a different room. While I've got it disconnected, can I take advantage of that to move it near the PC and transfer the nearly 2TB full of recordings to my PC? Will it speed things up to be wired?

    Thanks.
    Lynn.
     
  2. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

    11,653
    786
    Aug 2, 2003
    Yes, of course. The TV has nothing to do with it.

    Yes, wired is better. Connect it to the router, not directly to the PC. (You can connect it to the PC, but it's simpler and better to connect it to the router.)
     
  3. lynnalexandra

    lynnalexandra Member

    109
    0
    Apr 26, 2009
    Thank you for the quick reply, wmcbrine. Great news if it turns out to be that easy.

    Anyone have any idea how long it takes to transfer when wired to the pc's router? Just so I can plan.

    Another thought. I have a 100 foot ethernet cable. After I'm done transferring shows from the Tivo 2, I can run the cable from the Tivo HD - without disconnecting it from the TV - and connect it directly to my router. If the Tivo HD is still connected and being used by our living room television, do I need to do anything to make sure the PC pulls the programs via wired connection? Can I just unplug the Wireless N adapter - and will that mean that it automatically connects from the wired connection? Or do I change something in settings?

    Thanks.
    Lynn.
     
  4. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    10,722
    0
    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    I don't know if the dual tuner S2 is faster than a single tuner, but if it isn't, plan on it taking longer than real time to transfer a show (30 minute show might take 40 -45 minutes to transfer) depending on the file size. Shows recorded in best quality will take longer than lower quality recordings.

    On the TivoHD, there should be no problem unplugging the wireless adapter and then plugging in an ethernet cable. The router should do all the work.
    Reboot the router if the new connection is not recognized.
     
  5. Playloud

    Playloud Member

    103
    0
    Jan 6, 2008
    If you have a wired connection, there is no reason to have he wireless N adapter, so yes, you can take it out. WiFi "should" work, but wired is king for reliability. I would pull the N adapter. This guarantees the transfer is going over the Ethernet cable. In the case of the Tivo HD, wired probably won't be any faster than 802.11n (the Tivo HD transfers shows slowly), but it may be more reliable.

    My Tivo HD is painfully slow at transferring shows, to the point where I rarely want to do it. At one point, I transferred the entire series of Star Trek Enterprise off HDNet, just to back it up on my server (really just me learning how to do it. I haven't even watched them since). Each episode was about 8GB I think, and it took just over 2 hours (though I don't remember for certain) per episode. Transferring 2TB of data will take up to three weeks straight I think. You might be able to save some time on that if the Tivo is not hooked up to your cable. Having no channels to decode and buffer may help the transfer speed some.

    It shouldn't matter which room the Tivo is in. So long as it is hooked up to the router, the transfer speeds will be the same.
     
  6. lynnalexandra

    lynnalexandra Member

    109
    0
    Apr 26, 2009
    Thanks. I don't know how the transfer of the Tivo 2 DT is compared to single tuner either. Wirelessly - when it worked to transfer shows to the living room to watch, an sd show seemed to transfer in real time.

    I thought the Tivo HD transferred faster for file size - but since most of those recordings are HD, they are much larger files. In general my recollection was that an HD recorded show would transfer wirelessly to my computer (in the room right upstairs) in close to real time. It's been so long since it worked (Dec. may have been the last time it worked the way it's supposed to) - but I think I used to transfer an 8GB show in an hour or two.

    Now I tried transferring a 30 minute hd episode of Modern Family from the Tivo HD - wirelessly to my PC. I started 4 1/2 hours ago - and it's still not done. Something is clearly wrong - for the last 1/2 hour or so it says it's 79% done - has 8 minutes to go.

    Just to be clear, I can run the 100 foot ethernet cable across the living room and up the stairs - temporarily to get these shows transferred to my pc. I'm sure wireless is more reliable - I would have thought it was quicker but maybe not. Anyway - this would be a temporary method to get my shows transferred to PC. Not a permanent way to connect PC and Tivo HD.

    Any ideas why the transfers are slow or failing. The Tivo Desktop program is the newer one - but that's made no difference. Tivo and computer have been rebooted (Tivo today - PC some time this past week).

    Thank you.
    Lynn.
     
  7. Playloud

    Playloud Member

    103
    0
    Jan 6, 2008
    There could be some interference on the WiFi channel. Try switching to another channel. Also, how strong is the signal to that room? You mentioned using a 100ft cable. Are there a lot of walls also? The N adapter on the TiVo probably isn't the greatest.

    If you own the home, I would seriously consider installing some Cat 6 Ethernet throughout the house. It is so worth it in the long run. You only need one cable to enter each room. This is what I did in my room. The router is on the other side of the house. We went through the attic and dropped in the Ethernet cable through the wall. The cable is hooked up to a Gigabit switch on my end, and now I have 6 wired connections in my room (Gaming computer, FileServer/Folding computer, Laptop, Tivo, PS3, Slingbox). Really, the only thing I am using WiFi for is my iPhone.
     
  8. dwit

    dwit Active Member

    1,660
    0
    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    My S2 Dual Tuner transfers about as fast as Tivo HD, all things being equal.

    Which is to say, about 4 Gb per hour. Just transferred a 2 hour movie which is on the s2dt, which shows up as 2.04 Gb, in 30 min.

    This is without resorting to tweaks(setting tuners to blank channels, etc).
    The s2dt is hard wired to a wireless g router. The pc is wirelessly connected to router.

    So all in all, you should see at least about 4 gb per hour with all hard wiring.
     
  9. Playloud

    Playloud Member

    103
    0
    Jan 6, 2008
    Yeah, that would be 3 weeks for 2TB. I couldn't imagine transferring that much.

    lynnalexandra, if you are that behind in your TiVo viewing, God help you! :eek:

    If you just the type of person who doesn't like to delete shows, you need to spend the 3 weeks transferring them off, and then edit out the commercials and recompress the file to x264 or something (bring an 8GB file down to about 1GB).
     
  10. lynnalexandra

    lynnalexandra Member

    109
    0
    Apr 26, 2009
    playloud - I like your thinking. I have even adopted some of it. We did run cat6 from the loft where the router is - to the family room at the opposite end of the house - and have (basically) an airport switch/wireless router - that has wired connections for the slingbox, wii and perhaps tv some day. It also provides a wireless signal to my husband's den in the next room. Problem is that for some reason this airport seems to not always work. My husband's wireless connection doesn't work frequently - and he has to reset upstairs router and airport. I have not used it much - and it's possible he's doing something wrong (he knows less tech than I do, and that's frighteningly little). If I trusted that connection not to break so often, I could use it wirelessly in the bedroom just above.

    For the living room, the router is in the room on top with a strong signal. Just that running a cable would go to one side of the house where the stairs are - and then back up the stairs to the router in the loft. We have a really pretty, intricate faux painting on the living room walls - so I really hesitate to poke even a small hole - in the wall or floor. Maybe if I try running that cable and see better transfers from Tivo HD to the pc, I'll reconsider. But it used to transfer better - something is not working.

    If I change channels on my router, do I change them anywhere else? Do I change all the devices that use that wireless router? It's been a while since I set it and don't recall that.

    I am somewhat behind in watching - but I like to record movies and keep them for the day we do get to watch. There are also several series we want to keep. We're not behind in those but want them to rewatch in the future. One reason I want to get them to the pc is to edit out commercials. Not sure I want to recompress quite that much (from 8GB to 1) - some shows, fine, others I'll want to keep more of the visual quality.

    Dwit - 4GB/hour sounds like what I used to get until recently.

    Lynn.
     
  11. lynnalexandra

    lynnalexandra Member

    109
    0
    Apr 26, 2009
    I plugged my Tivo 2 in - first connected ethernet cable to the router (I may not have waited long enough) - the ethernet port on the Tivo has a green and amber light lit. Not sure what that means. Then I powered up the Tivo. That was 1/2 hour ago. The ethernet port still shows amber.

    I can't even open Tivo desktop to see if it can find this Tivo 2. It was open originally when I connected the Tivo2 1/2 hour ago. And it didn't find it - but i figured that it was just too soon - only a minute or so. So I exited Tivo desktop to try again. Now Tivo desktop won't open. I'm going to be on a business skype call soon. AFterwards I can try shutting down my computer if that might help open Tivo desktop.

    But I want to be sure of the order to do things. Why is the Tivo ethernet port amber? What should be the order of connection? ethernet first or powered up first? and how long should I wait until the next step?

    Thank you.
    Lynn.
     
  12. Playloud

    Playloud Member

    103
    0
    Jan 6, 2008
    You shouldn't have to change anything else. The devices should see the SSID of the router, and connect to it automatically

    Well, editing out the commercials will bring a 8GB show down to 6GB. I would advise using VideoReDo for this, as it can edit out the commercials losslessly (zero quality loss). Recompressing to x264 will bring that down to 1GB.

    The cable company sends out their shows compressed in Mpeg 2. This is an old compression scheme (used to compress DVDs) that is behind the times. x264 is an open source version of h.264, which is what they use to compress video for Blu-Ray. I can tell you that you should not have any quality problems with a 1GB x264 file (assuming that is for the 45 minutes remaining of a 1 hour HD TV show after the commercials were edited out), if you have the settings right.

    It's not the easiest thing to set correctly, as it took me a long time to even remotely figure out what I was doing. However, I now have all 4 seasons of Star Trek Enterprise taking up only about 100GB on my file server. If I want to watch them on my TV, I just use the PS3 Media Server, and stream it to my TV (looks outstanding). This is another reason to get everything hooked up via wire.

    As I said, that's still 3 weeks of transferring (for the 2TB of data on the TiVo HD) if you can get back to that speed.

    You shouldn't have to do anything in any special order. I don't know why it wouldn't work. You may want to try power cycling the Router. Check the network settings in the TiVo menu. I've never had anything but a TiVo HD, so I there may be something about the Series 2 that I don't know about.
     
  13. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    16,576
    41
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Is that Series 2 still subscribed? If not, does it yet know that it isn't? Has it connected to TiVo over phone or internet and found out that it no longer has a valid account status?
     
  14. lynnalexandra

    lynnalexandra Member

    109
    0
    Apr 26, 2009
    I had lifetime on the Tivo 2 - and was told when I upgraded that the Tivo 2 lifestime remains in force. I bought lifetime for the new Premier for an additional $199. The Tivo 2 is wired to my router now - and I've transferred shows to my pc. When I go to my Tivo Premier, it sees the Tivo 2 and all it's recordings. I haven't hooked it up to a tv yet - but I'm assuming it's going to work and still has the lifetime subscription.

    Anyone think I'm wrong and missed something?
    Thanks.
    Lynn.

    PS - the transferring has gone reliably and much more quickly with the wired connection. I'm also loving the Premier - faster, great menus and interface. And I transferred the Tivo 2's season passes to the premier - in one easy step online. That was an unexpected pleasure.
     
  15. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    16,576
    41
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    TiVo Desktop can be quirky and cranky.


    Be aware that it offers two ways of transferring shows, but the faster way produces something that older Tivos can't use. I can't find anything in writing to say if they mean older than the Premiere, or older than the Series 3 machines, or older than the later S3s, or older than the S2 double tuner, or what, so I just assume I need to stay away from it.


    Transferring shows directly from one Tivo to another loses some of the "meta-data". (Stuff that you can see with the "Info" button) For instance, the show shows up on the receiving unit as having been recorded on the time and date of the transfer and not the original record date/time. And some other stuff, like original quality (equivalent of VCR speed) gets lost as well.


    If you transfer via TiVo Desktop to computer hard drive and then from there to a different TiVo (or even back to originating Tivo), almost all of that info is retained, and it looks like the show was originally recorded on the TiVo that copied it from the computer.


    The two little lights on the Ethernet jack on the back of the TiVo (and on Ethernet jacks on other things as well--like network cards in computers--if the jack has the lights) indicate the presence of a connection and indicate activity over that connection.


    There is an option in TiVo Desktop to start the Tivo server that's part of Desktop when the computer starts even if you don't actually open the Tivo Desktop program itself. That lets your TiVos see the folder (My TiVo Recordings)* on the computer's hard drive that TiVo Desktop uses when it transfers shows from TiVos, so that, as long as the computer is on, the TiVo can transfer shows from it to the Tivo's Now Playing list, and it can start playing the show before the transfer is complete.


    With the possible exception of that faster speed that "older" TiVos can't read, when they say "transfer" they really mean "copy".


    You might want to consider getting your TiVos their own computer (with one or more big hard drives) hooked directly to the router and always on.


    *The "My TiVo Recordings" folder should, if you're using a PC and not a Mac (about whose file system limitations I know nothing), be on a partition that's NTFS formatted, to avoid the 4GB file size limit of FAT32 partitions. A 2 hour Best Quality recording comes in at just a little over 4GB, and no one normal wants to watch a movie where the last five minutes has been chopped off.
     

Share This Page