Codec Used when TiVoing?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by jvandecar, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. jvandecar

    jvandecar New Member

    Feb 10, 2006
    Is there any room for improvement with the current codec that TiVo uses during ordinary TiVoing? Last time I checked, the files for a 60min show were enormous.

    I have no idea if TiVo uses hardware or software encoding, I'm assuming hardware due to it all being realtime.

    I'm just throwing this out there, but if my TiVo uses, say, mpeg2 encoding, is there a way to make it use mpeg4? Or would that involve hardware changes?
  2. dylanemcgregor

    dylanemcgregor Well-Known Member

    Jan 31, 2003
    Corner of...
    I don't know too much about this, but as I understand it the current generation of TiVo hardware only allows for mpeg2 recording and playback. The series 3 due out at the end of the year is supposed to allow for playback of mpeg4 files, but maybe not recording of them.

  3. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

    Aug 23, 2000
    Nashua, NH
    Current TiVos use an MPEG2 encoding chip and don't have the CPU power to do MPEG4.

    The Series 3 won't have an encoder at all. In that regard it will be like the DTiVos that simply record the digital bitstream directly and just have to decode it on playback. While MPEG4 won't be used in its normal recording (all the input streams are MPEG2), it could perhaps offer MPEG4 decoding for programs sourced from a networked device.
  4. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    The Seies3 will have an encoder for analog video. It could be improved though, but will likely be MPEG2, to maintain MRV capability with existing S2s.
  5. morac

    morac Cat God

    Mar 14, 2003
    MPEG4 was originally designed for streaming video and support for it is definately needed for TiVo's Video Download service to take off. Sure you can download short clips in MPEG2, but 2 or 3 hour movies would bring your Internet connection to a grinding halt for a good number of hours.

    As long as the hard drive is large enough MPEG2 is fine for recording TV. Also I'm pretty sure digitial cable is currently MPEG2.

    The only improvements to MPEG2 that will decrease the size is to lower the bitrate or lower the resolution. The later isn't really possible and the former will make your recordings look really bad. DVD-R TiVos don't have a choice since the DVD MPEG2 formats are standards.
  6. megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

    Mar 3, 2002
    Yes it will - it needs to encode analog cable and NTSC signals on the box. Digital cable and ATSC will be recorded "as-is", writing the bitstream to the drive. But analog signals will have the same encoding options as today, and it will be using MPEG2.

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