DVD to PC or MAC to TIVO-HD via PYTIVO

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by tivoROCKSme, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. tivoROCKSme

    tivoROCKSme New Member

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    Jun 23, 2003

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    So I have quite a collection of standard definition DVD's that I have on stored on my PC in the separate VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS folder. What application will BEST convert those to a file format that I can then transfer to my TIVO-HD via pytivo or even tivo desktop? I've tried many programs, but nothing seems to do a good job. Everything I've tried has terrible picture quality after the conversion or has some other issue. I have access to a MACBOOK PRO as well, if that helps. I'm not opposed to purchasing a product as long as it works well. I would prefer to make them into an MPEG-4 format, but not sure if pytivo can handle it.
     
  2. pmiranda

    pmiranda Member

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    Feb 12, 2003
    Austin, TX
    If dvdshrink will open them (I've never tried opening a DVD from the video_ts, I always just stored off the iso's) then it can reauthor them to a new video_ts folder and with the right options, the movie will be one big VOB file that you can rename to a mpg and PyTiVo or even TiVo Desktop will happily serve it to your TiVo. This keeps it in the original MPEG-2 format and if you choose "no compression", then it's the original bits of the DVD without recompression and any loss of quality. I don't know how to keep subtitles but I think it's possible.
    If you go to MPEG-4 there will be some loss of quality and PyTiVo will reconvert it to MPEG-2 on the fly when the TiVo copies it over.
     
  3. pmiranda

    pmiranda Member

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    Feb 12, 2003
    Austin, TX
    Tried replying to your email but it bounced...

    I don't think anyone has modified pyTiVo to use an iso file directly but it would be possible (with the right supporting tools like imagedrive or virtualclonedrive) to do a script to mount the iso, find the biggest VOB, and ship that as an MPEG2.
    Of course, DVD's usually split the main title into 1GB chunks so the script would have to glue them back together.

    DVD shrink can read iso's directly and does a good job of finding the main title, but it doesn't seem to have a command-line interface so I don't think it could be used to automate an ISO to TiVo flow. It easy enough to do by hand that I haven't bothered to figure out another way.
     
  4. txporter

    txporter One sec, almost done

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    Sep 17, 2006
    Austin, TX
    There is already a thread going in the Home Media forum with a lot of info on this.

    The answer to your question sort of depends on whether or not you have any concern for space and if you want to try to keep the subtitles. The simplest thing to do if you don't care about subtitles is to merge all of the VOB files without re-encoding (VideoRedo can do this, VOB2MPG, VOBmerge, DVD Decrypter [turn off parsing into 1GB chunks], etc). Just merging the VOB into a MPEG2 will result in the same quality that the files were ripped at, and pytivo will not need to transcode the video, so you will not lose any quality on your tivo either.

    Adding subtitles will require you to embed the text into the video which will require a re-encode. Check out the above linked thread for some program with which you can do this.

    Are the VOB files that you have ripped onto your drive acceptable quality for you? If you used a program like DVDshrink to rip the files, you were likely already loosing quality since it defaults to fit everything onto a DVD5 rather than DVD9. Just thought I would mention that in case you didn't realize that.

    Finally, many people prefer to transcode their DVDs into some MPEG4 format for storage since they can achieve similar quality levels with lower bitrates (smaller files). Doing this will require you to transcode using pytivo when you go to upload them which results in quality loss due to the two transcodes.

    Jason
     
  5. pmiranda

    pmiranda Member

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    Feb 12, 2003
    Austin, TX

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    I never actually burn DVDs, so I setup DVD shrink to think it's targeting a 9G disc and also manually choose "no compression".

    BTW, there's a thread here from the guy that created a path for adding captions back into an mpeg2 stream. I can't remember the software that can convert subtitles to captions, but I know it exists.
     
  6. txporter

    txporter One sec, almost done

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    Sep 17, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Thanks for the link. I never thought to look up the actual link to the software here on TCF. :eek: James Memmott is the author of that software T2Sami which apparently includes a tool for both extraction (t2extract) and re-encoding (t2merge). The software is transcoding on the fly. I will have to check it out.

    Jason
     

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