Help downloading Tivo shows to laptop

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by jrusch, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. jrusch

    jrusch New Member

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    Dec 3, 2008

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    I am a relatively new Tivo user, switched about 4 weeks ago from a combination of ReplayTV and Moxi.

    I am trying to download shows recorded in HD so I can copy them to my Macbook laptop and watch them on there.

    I have a Windows XP PC with a 2Ghz CPU and 768mb of RAM that I have Tivo Desktop Plus installed on.

    I have tried numerous options, but so far nothing works for what I want.

    1. I can use Tivo Desktop Plus. But the only option is to convert for portable media. The quality on the laptop is poor.

    2. I tried kmttg. It sort of works. But it takes way too long to encode the program. A 30 minute show takes 15+ hours to encode.

    What is the best/easiest solution for this? Even if I have to buy some more software, it would be worth it if it would be automated and be able to convert 2-3 hours worth of shows overnight.
     
  2. Yoav

    Yoav New Member

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    Jan 12, 2007
    Erm.. Skip the PC and go directly to your mac?

    iTiVo

    (Unless your mac is VERY old/slow). It will still be as slow as kmttg is.. because, as it turns out, encoding HD content takes a LOT of processing power. Encoding to a smaller format than the HD source (like iPhone, or AppleTV) will be faster.

    If you don't have the time to let it do the encoding overnight, choose 'decrypt' as the download format, and install MplayerOSX or VLC to view the file. This will be fast to download, but will take up a LOT of hard drive space.
     
  3. jrusch

    jrusch New Member

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    Dec 3, 2008
    I would like to skip the PC. iTivo works great on my Macbook. But because it is a laptop most of the time I don't have it powered on overnight.

    So I'm still looking for a solution that will work on the PC.

    I will try using the decrypt only option again and see if that works. The last time I tried it the video was fine but there was no audio. I have been using Miro for playback of my mpeg files. I like that it has 30-second skip (right arrow), 10?-second rewind (left arrow) and pause (spacebar).
     
  4. Yoav

    Yoav New Member

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    Jan 12, 2007
    Decrypt definitely keeps the audio, so I'd guess it's something about the viewer you are using (I've never used miro). If you do prefer to stick to a PC, and your only complaint with kmttg is the speed, you can always pick a format to convert to that is faster (again, the1920x1080 h.264 is going to be very slow to encode on anything.. try to encode at 640x480, or use a simpler encoder like xvid, or even mpeg-2).
     
  5. jrusch

    jrusch New Member

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    Dec 3, 2008

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    I tried the decrypt only option and copied the file to my Macbook. The video looks great, but there is no audio.
     
  6. Yoav

    Yoav New Member

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    Jan 12, 2007
    Again, I will ask 'what viewer are you using'? I just downloaded an HD show using 'decrypt' to test, and am hearing the sound fine (I am viewing it with vlc). Looking at the info, the audio is using a52 as the encoding. Is it possible your viewer simply doesn't support HDTV audio (and if so, you are going to have to convert.. but at least you can make it use a fast conversion.. I'll help you do that if that's the case..) -- Just tell me if that's what you would prefer to do, and I'll reply with instructions..

    Can you try with vlc or mplayerosx first though? If it really matters to you, I just tried hitting 'right arrow' on mplayerOSX and it skipped forward 10 seconds.. so if that's the only reason you're sticking to miro.. you don't have to... (and in fact, with decrypt/convert.. you can have it try to remove commercials for you automatically).
     
  7. Yoav

    Yoav New Member

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    Jan 12, 2007
    Eh, I need to run off for a bit, so might as well quickly describe how to re-encode the audio instead of viewing with vlc... (do whichever you find easier I suppose):

    First, select the 'decrypt/copy' format. If you want to enable comskip, go ahead.
    Then select the 'advanced' tab, and look at the audio encoder options. Right now it should have
    Code:
     -oac copy 
    Which tells mencoder to wholesale copy the dolby digital encoding (a52). Since we want to convert it to mp2, you're gonna need to delete that, and replace it with
    Code:
    -srate 48000 -af lavcresample=48000 -oac lavc -lavcopts acodec=mp2:abitrate=128 
    This is mp2 at 128kbps, and is probably fine for what you need.

    However, if only it were this easy. Go ahead and start downloading an HD show you want to watch.. get about 100megs of it (enough so you can view the opening -- make sure to hit 'cancel download' so that it fully writes out what it has). And view it in your viewer. Make sure you get SOME audio, and then you'll probably notice a HUGE sync problem between the picture and the sound (if you don't, then yay you're done).

    To fix the sync, you're gonna have to guess about how many seconds of a video delay you need (in my experience, about 0-2.0 is right, so for this example I'll use 1.5, but you're gonna get to play around with this). Open up the Prefs in iTivo, and go to the advanced tab. Under 'other encoder options' ADD
    Code:
     -delay 1.5 
    (or however long the delay you want is. leave the -edl thing there.). Start another encode, and cancel after 100m or so. View, decide if this is good or if you need to adjust that number.. repeat until you're happy.

    Once you have an invocation that works, I would save it as a format that you can re-use later...

    So, either way *should* work for you... so choose whichever makes you happier...

    Edit: Oh, I should mention that there is also the possibility of it falling out of sync after every commercial cut, so you may want to avoid comskip if you're re-encoding just the audio...
     
  8. jrusch

    jrusch New Member

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    Dec 3, 2008
    Thanks, I will give that a try!

    I also tried VLC and the audio is there, so you are right it is a problem with my player. I have no audio when I play it with Quicktime either. Miro uses the same settings or whatever that Quicktime does. If I could get it to work in Quicktime, it should work in Miro.

    I like Miro for a couple of other reasons - it remembers the last position I was in when I stopped a video and it also has a nice interface for selecting videos.
     
  9. Yoav

    Yoav New Member

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    Jan 12, 2007
    Ok I'm back :)
    Have you tried installing Perian? It supposedly has an ac52 codec, so once you install it, quicktime and whatever else that uses the quicktime codecs will be able to read that...
    (oddly enough though, I'm surprised that quicktime can even play the movie.. I was having trouble viewing 'decrypt' only files in quicktime...)

    Update: Looks like this thread claims that Perian doesn't do the trick.. oh well..
     

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