How To: Converting DVD's to Watch on Tivo

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by joshdev, Oct 29, 2005.

  1. joshdev

    joshdev JoshDev

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    Oct 28, 2005

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    http://www.adverserealms.com/tivo/tivo.html

    After reading a few other guides and running into some hurdles I decided to document my solution to converting VOB files into a usable mpeg. The key topic I discuss is how to convert 16:9 content into 4:3 letterboxed, so that TV's/Tivo's that don't support 16:9 content properly can display the widescreene video. I know you can set the Tivo to display 16:9, but quiet a few Tivos don't add the letterbox and instead just stretch the image. Anyways, it takes a bit of time, but you only have to do it once for each DVD. The beginnings of Tivo becoming the gateway to all of your media is very close at hand.


    --Josh
     
  2. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Mar 29, 2005
    Nice work Josh. Thanks.

    Before someone jumps in and asks why not just use DVDPatcher after the DVD Shrink step, Josh already answered in another thread that this can yield the tall and skinny look on some videos and set ups. The Patcher route works for me, and is pretty simple, but this looks like another option for those for whom DVDPatcher is not a solution.

    DVDPatcher may be found at http://www.doom9.org/index.html?/software2.htm

    Load after the dvdshrink step (or whatever you used to get a merged mpeg), load up the merged mpeg into dvdpatcher, set the mpeg to 16:9 aspect.
     
  3. joshdev

    joshdev JoshDev

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    Oct 28, 2005
    If patching works fine for you, you can also just enable 16:9 support through Tivo options (introduced in system version 7.2). You can find it under Settings->Video. This of course only works if your TV can handle the content properly.

    --Josh
     
  4. goman

    goman Member

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    Dec 16, 2004
    So does this mean anamorphic DVDs stay anamorphic once converted to MPEG and then sent to Tivo? So when watching on a 16:9 TV the image looks normal?
     
  5. joshdev

    joshdev JoshDev

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    Oct 28, 2005

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    Yes, if you have a 16:9 TV the image should look normal.
     
  6. Re-Hash

    Re-Hash Registered Loser

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    Aug 24, 2005
    Great job of detailing the steps. If you are lazy (like me) and don't have a giant TV, you can convert DVDs or AVI's to SVCD (super-video CD) quality in one step. This program will also convert to DVD formats, I believe, if you want better resolution. DVD2SVCD is essentially a front-end to many of the programs listed in your guide.
    DVD2SVCD :D
     
  7. rjmitche

    rjmitche Member

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    Dec 30, 2004
    Thanks Josh.

    I've been using your instructions for the above reason and it has worked perfectly every time.
     
  8. joshdev

    joshdev JoshDev

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    Oct 28, 2005
    Awesome. As soon as I get a new hard drive to store some more movies, I'll test out a wider range of DVDs to see if I can enhance the instructions at all.

    --Josh
     
  9. rneily

    rneily New Member

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    Jul 15, 2002
  10. chipsndip

    chipsndip Member

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    Jul 8, 2002
    I just want to add on to this thread in case other people find it while searching like I did. I want to second the recommendation for Videora Tivo Convertor. I followed the above "how-to" for the dvdshrink steps (it's very important to only have 1 vob file for sound sync, in my experience), and then ran the videora convertor on the resulting vob. It magically does all the rest of the steps under the covers, and even converts 16:9 to 4:3 letterboxed if needed. It's stinkin' awesome that you can do this with two freeware apps...
     
  11. lappylaz

    lappylaz New Member

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    Sep 3, 2006
    I want to add to this for clarification for others. I've been converting using the DVDShrink to one VOB and this works great with 4:3 content, however with 16:9 content I am having to use DVDPatcher to modify the header to indicate that it is a 4:3, otherwise my video looks interlaced/scrambled. Both of my Tivo's and TVs are set to 16:9. I read others who are having no problems displaying 16:9 without patching, and I am curious how is this? Are they setting something different in Shrink?

    Further note, the pictures come up in 16:9 without distortion after patching the header to 4:3 so I am fine with this method, just wondering why others are not getting the interlaced/scrambled video without doing this step.
     
  12. Kalnel

    Kalnel New Member

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    Feb 12, 2006
    I'd like to know how several of these steps work, too. I have no problem getting a decent-sized VOB from DVDShrink, but I do have distortion problems. (I have a 4:3 TV.) If I leave the Tivos on 4:3, the edges of the video "fold over on themselves" and distort the picture. If I set the Tivos on 16:9, the picture fits in the screen OK, but everything is ever-so-slight tall and skinny.

    I tried running DVDPatcher to change the header, but it makes my pictures even more distorted. (I get thick alternating lines that screw up the picture.)

    I'm curious -- what settings do you use in DVD Patcher? I tried switching the the aspect ratio to 4:3 and applying it to every header in the file.

    thanks,
    kal
     
  13. lappylaz

    lappylaz New Member

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    Sep 3, 2006
    There seems to be some differences between the Humax DVD models and the other Series2. For instance I was never able to just set the 16:9 and fix the distored lines (thick alternating lines is a good way to explain it). Since DVDPatcher shows you the setting of the mpg after the rip, I would suggest you find a 4:3 dvd and start there. If you get the results you expect with 4:3 and no distortion then you might want to take your 16:9 and run it through Videora Tivo converter or Videoredo to change 16:9 to 4:3.

    Let me know what models of Tivo you are testing, both of mine are DVD Humax.
     

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