My Tivo desktop (version 2.8.3) will not open in Windows 10. Help please?

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by Jeff_890_321, Jul 12, 2020.

  1. Jeff_890_321

    Jeff_890_321 New Member

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    Hello, I am new to this forum, but have been a Tivo user for over 15 years. Have gone through a few Tivo's due to hard drive crashes/corruptions. I was instructed by Tivo I could save my programs I recorded by using this program. I have many programs on my PC's hard drive as well as having 3 My Passports Ultra drives loaded with programs. I had not used my Tivo desktop in a good 2-3 years until this week. I believe I was using Windows 7 or 8 at the time. When I clicked on my desktop icon now, it simply will not open. Here is the exact message I got:


    "Unable to begin Tivo Desktop. The parameter is incorrect"


    I'm assuming this is solely due to Windows being upgraded to now Windows 10 from whatever I had when it was working 2-3 years ago ago, Windows 7 or 8. Can anyone offer me step by step guidance on what to do? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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  3. Jeff_890_321

    Jeff_890_321 New Member

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    Thank you. I see that this is in an alternative to use instead of Tivo Desktop. I did a quick look at it, and the brief part that I saw talked about downloading programs/transferring etc.

    I did not want to make my initial post to wordy, but I should have added that I have no interest in doing any more transfers at all. My sole desire to be able to play back the programs that I already have on my hard drives as well as on the 3 ultra passport portable hard drives.

    Will this new program allow me to accomplish that?
     
  4. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    That's a PC issue due to Win 10 not including the CODEC needed. Read this thread: IS THERE A TIVO CONVERSION APP?
     
  5. Jeff_890_321

    Jeff_890_321 New Member

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    Thanks. That is quite a thread. I see you posted in there to "Download K-Lite Codec Pack".
    I clicked on that live link, and there are multiple versions to choose from.
    Do you recommend I download one of these versions for my specific problem? If so, which one, the "Standard"?

    Lastly, after downloading this, will my Tivo Desktop now start and open once I double click on it on my desktop? (Please refer to my original post where it tells me it is unable to open because the parameters are incorrect.

    I saw on the thread it was suggested to re-install it. Is that something I should do? Uninstall mine and then re-install it? (If so, how would I do that if Tivo stopped supporting it? Did they still leave the link there to install it even though they no longer support it? If so, that seems a bit strange. Thanks.
     
  6. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    Sorry, I stopped using TiVo's Desktop years ago. All I know is what I've seen posted on this forum.
     
  7. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    Uninstall and reinstall TiVo Desktop, then re-enter your Media Access Key. The upgrade from earlier versions to Windows 10 breaks Desktop, and it will break again every time they do a major update.
     
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  8. Thom

    Thom Unemployed and loving it !

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    Be advised that PyTiVo sometimes messes up restored show identifiers and metadata when extended ASCII characters are present in the metadata, whereas TiVo Desktop does them correctly.

    A few years ago I upgraded a Roamio to dual 6TB drives.
    First, I used KMTTG to backup all shows to PC.
    Second, I installed the dual 6 TB hard drives.
    Third, I used PyTiVo to restore all shows from the PC to the Roamio.

    On using the Roamio, everything looked fine until I noticed a few shows that were NOT part of the backup/restore, Magnum PI being most prevalent.

    Playing the Magnum PI shows revealed them all to actually be Welcome To Sweden shows, which were part of the backup/restore. Only Welcome To Sweden shows were messed up, and some of them had names and metadata for shows other than Magnum PI, but Magnum PI was most prevalent among the errors.

    I finally came to the conclusion that the Swedish extended ASCII characters used in some Swedish names, episode titles, and episode descriptions were confusing PyTiVo when it was restoring the shows from PC, causing PyTiVo to alter the unique show/episode identifier numbers, which caused the TiVO software to mis-identify the show. Only the Welcome To Sweden shows had extended ASCII characters occuring in the metadata for Swedish names of people and places.

    Using TiVo Desktop Plus (manually, one show at a time) to restore all shows from the KMTTG backup on PC worked. All my Welcome To Sweden shows were now indentified properly with correct metadata. I reported this problem to WMcBrine.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2020
  9. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Is this when preserving the .tivo format or when decrypting and saving the metadata to a separate file?
     
  10. Thom

    Thom Unemployed and loving it !

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    I don't remember now, it's been too many years.
     
  11. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    A .tivo file should retain the metadata correctly, as it's stored directly in the header of the file. Although IIRC pyTivo does do some weird stuff even when sending back a .tivo file, so maybe not. The decrypted file with separate metadata file works a little different and is more likely to have a problem like that since the metadata is stored as plain text and probably isn't unicode friendly.

    I didn’t actually mess with the core pyTivo code that much in my version. I added some code to beef up the download part, and some extra stuff to support my UI, but I only made a few minor changes to the core pyTivo part. So a lot of this stuff is even a mystery to me.
     
  12. Thom

    Thom Unemployed and loving it !

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    The Roamio I expanded was at least a 3 TB box, but may have been a dual 3TB box, which means it had a LOT of shows to migrate.

    The only shows that were messed up were the Welcome To Sweden shows.

    I was periodically monitoring (by looking at the Roamio Now Playing list) the restoration from PC to Roamio, and I noticed a Magnum PI episode early in the restoration. I've never recorded Magnum PI. All metadata for the episode pointed to it being a Magnum episode, but playing the episode on the Roamio showed it to be a Welcome To Sweden episode. I interrupted the restore, maybe tried some different settings, restarted the restore, and the same thing happened.

    I let the restore complete, then began spot checking the restored recordings. Only Welcome To Sweden shows were affected. As I looked at the various restored shows, I realized that only the Welcome To Sweden shows used special extended characters due to the Swedish alphabet spellings of Swedish actor names, Swedish place names, etc. Because Welcome To Sweden was an actual Swedish show filmed in Sweden, these special characters popped up in several fields scattered throughout the metadata, including fields I suspect that I suspect the PyTiVo creaters never applied any extended character escaping logic to, since they never thought extended characters would be used in that field.

    I suspect one of the extended character codes caused the PyTiVo software to latch onto the wrong number for the unique show identifier value, which then caused the Roamio software to lookup and apply the wrong metadata for the show. Thus, Welcome To Sweden is presented as Magnum PI. Not all Welcome To Sweden shows were Magnum PI, a few were presented with non-Magnum metadata and title, but still wrong.

    Since I had bought TiVo Desktop, I decided to try restoring with Desktop, hoping that the TiVo Desktop software engineers would have been more aware of the need to escape special characters for all fields. I used Desktop to restore from the same KMTTG source that PyTiVo messed up, and Desktop transferred all metadata correctly. If I remember correctly, I first used Desktop to just restore the Welcome To Sweden episodes only, and they showed up on the Roamio as Welcome To Sweden episodes with their Swedish special characters intact in the metadata seen on the Roamio. So I then repeated the entire restoration of ALL shows using Desktop, one show at a time. That was a pain, but I didn't (and don't) trust PyTiVo. I'm pretty sure the PyTiVo code has not had extended character escaping applied to all metadata fields.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2020
  13. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Yeah looking at the code pyTivo does something weird. It creates it's own metadata XML for every file, even .tivo files. For .tivo it decrypts the data from the .tivo file and converts it to XML from there using the same code it used to read the text files, so I could see where that might have some issue with unicode characters. I'm not sure why they don't just send the .tivo file back to the TiVo as-is and let it decrypt the metadata itself. Maybe that's not how TiVo Desktop works either. Like I said this wasn't really an area of the code I dove into. I was mainly focused on nice UI and installer so it was easier to use, not really the core functionality of pyTivo itself.

    If TiVo weren't such a sh*tshow these days I'd revisit it. But I'm afraid any additional work I put into it would just be a waste at this point as I have zero confidence in the current company.
     
  14. Jeff_890_321

    Jeff_890_321 New Member

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    Hi, I was wondering if you had a possible link to uninstall it?
    On Tivo's site, I did a search for Tivo desktop and I got this page. There is all kinds of instructions for installing and then first uninstalling, but I could not find a link or a download option to do the actual install.

    Tivo Customer Support Community
     
  15. Jeff_890_321

    Jeff_890_321 New Member

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    Sorry, "a link to install it", not uninstall it.
     
  16. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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  17. Jeff_890_321

    Jeff_890_321 New Member

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  18. lhvetinari

    lhvetinari Watching telly, drinking wine - Lily Allen TCF Club

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    It should trigger a download. Check your Downloads folder, or try another browser (Chrome, Firefox, etc)
     
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  19. Jeff_890_321

    Jeff_890_321 New Member

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    Yes, you are right. It actually did.
    LOL, at the bottom of my screen I had 4 files at the bottom ready for me to click on.
    Thanks.
     
  20. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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    The reason it's not linked to in their documents is that it's no longer officially supported.
     
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