New user to pyTivo - can't get it to work

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by timckelley, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. Nov 9, 2012 #1 of 73
    timckelley

    timckelley run of the mill TCFer

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    To give some background, I want to get a network attached storage device to store TiVo videos, but I haven't had time to do it yet, but meanwhile, my wife's TiVos have run out of space, and she's losing shows, and she's pressuring me to give her a way of offloading shows from her TiVos ASAP.

    As a short term solution, I installed pyTiVo on her Windows 7 laptop, which has a 500GB drive on it, so I figured it could store a fair amount of stuff if it needs to.

    It's connect to my wifi network wirelessly though, so I'm guessing that's going to cause some slow transfer speeds, but maybe that would be okay for the short term.

    The other thing is that all 4 Tivos in our house are connected wirelessly as well, because our 1988 house does not contain any kind of ethernet network. My plan though is to put some kind of network attached storage in my study next to my router, so at least that will have a wired connection. (I have no experience with networked attached storage by the way, so that will be a learning experience by itself - I hope it won't require expertise beyond what I possess.)

    Anyway, I successfully transferred a show from my TiVo Premier to my PC, but I can't seem to transfer from PC to a TiVo. I wanted to try such a transfer so that I could try to play the video on the other Tivo as a way of proving the transfer really worked.

    I first tried to transfer to my TiVoHD. I see the computer icon in Now Playing and the video. When I try to transfer, it says it's scheduled on the To Do List to transfer, and will transfer when the current transfers are finished. But I have no current transfer, so it won't transfer.

    I then went to my wife's two series 2 TiVos. I do see the computer icon on those two as well, and when I try to transfer it tells me it won't, and that I should look at the View History to see why it won't transfer. I look, and it says "Transfer Error".

    By the way, I can see in Windows Explorer that the show is stored on the PC with a .TiVo suffix, which I assume is correct.

    I wonder if the first transfer (to the PC) really worked, or if there's something wrong with the file. Is there a way to tell if the file is okay or not? Basically, I'm wondering how to troubleshoot my problems.
     
  2. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    Did you use pyTivo to transfer them to the computer? Are you also running TiVo Desktop? Are all of the TiVos on the same account and thus have the same MAK?
     
  3. timckelley

    timckelley run of the mill TCFer

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    Yes I did transfer to the computer with pyTiVo, but assuming TiVo desktop is some other software package, no I'm not running that. Also my TiVos are all on the same account with the same MAK.

    Btw, at first I couldn't even get the transfer to the computer to work, until I specified the save path without using C: but instead using \\<computer name>\<path>
     
  4. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    That's because the togo path is supposed to be the total system path so it can be a network drive or a share name. Do you have any shares defined? You might want to post your pyTivo.conf file (between <CODE></CODE> tags) after redacting sensitive material ( user id, passwords, etc.).
     
  5. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    I'm not suggesting you turn away from your intended path - far from it - but along with the other upgrades, I suggest larger hard drives on your TiVos. Copy and expand the original internal drives, and then set them on the shelf for safekeeping. It will give you a huge amount of breathing room, and allow a very quick and easy repair solution when one of the hard drives fails. BE sure to keep at least 1 original hard drive for each model of TiVo you have, as hard drives are compatible between different units of the same model, but not between different models of TiVo.

    Well, it's something, but not all that much. A mere 500G shared between the OS, applications, and videos is not huge. 'More than you had, obviously.

    Well, that's your call. Slow transfers from the TiVo to the PC are probably a lot better tolerated than slow transfers to a TiVo.

    I surely recommend you pull some Category 5e drops from a central location to each room.

    Every wireless connection you can replace with wired will represent a significant gain in performance.

    Well, by definition, any endeavor one has not previously undertaken requires at least some level of expertise beyond which one possess at the outset. What is your budget? Your ultimate aims in terms of storage and capability? Purchasing a ready-made NAS of course requires very little expertise, but can be pricey. Building a roll-your-own NAS or file server is not very difficult, but based upon your posts in this thread, I think you will need to learn a few things. I and others are certainly willing to help.

    There are two basic means of transferring a video to a TiVo from a PC. One is known as a "pull". It is the simplest in terms of the underlying process (not the user experience, which is about the same for both). Simply go to one of your TiVos, go to the Now Playing List ("My Shows" on the Premiere), and go to the bottom of the list. There you will see each video share you defined in pyTivo.conf listed as a folder. Click on the folder, and then select a show like any other on the NPL.

    The other is known as a "push". In your favorite browser, put the IP Address of the machine running pyTivo followed by ":9032" or whatever port you defined in pyTivo.conf on the "port = " line. (Note you can edit the pyTivo configuration from here, as well.) Toward the bottom of the page, you will see a line that says, "Push from video shares:" with all the video shares shown as links below it. Go into the video share you want, and click the boxes next to the videos you wish to transfer. At the bottom of the page, select the TiVo to which you wish to transfer the videos fromthe drop-down box, and click on the <Send to TiVo> button. Note that pushing videos requires you to supply your tivo.com user name and password, because to implement a push, pyTivo must log in to TiVo's mind server.

    I would reboot the TiVos.

    For the moment, at least, yes. Does the file size look correct?

    Yes, several. I think the easiest for just a temporary / testing solution is to download and run tivodecode against the file. It will convert it to a standard .mpg file. Then any media player such as VLC or WMP can play the file. If it pays OK on the PC, then it is probably OK.
     
  6. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Yes. If TDT is running, it could interfere with pyTivo. It's not, so it won't.

    That's odd. I'm not running pyTivo on Windows, but c:\<pathname> should work just fine. You did remember the "\" right after the ":", right?
     
  7. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    lrhorer, with all due respect, I think it would be better to stay away from "push" for the nonce to avoid adding another set of variables to the equation.
     
  8. mlippert

    mlippert Active Member

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    I haven't installed pyTivo, but I am using kmttg (at code.google.com/p/kmttg) which is awesome and I highly recommend it. You should be able to keep your shows on your NAS or wherever as unencrypted mpg files. See the documentation on the kmttg page.

    Also I don't know if this is helpful or not, but I bought myself a Netgear ReadyNAS and then found out that it has some support for TiVos. Not great support, but I can tell it what top level folder I put my downloaded Videos in, and it is available in my Now Playing on my TiVo. Which was very handy because for some reason TiVo Desktop would not work for me. I may try pyTivo at some time to see if it is better, but the ReadyNAS functionality is sufficient.
     
  9. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Point taken, except that it does provide another means of troubleshooting his issues.
     
  10. timckelley

    timckelley run of the mill TCFer

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    Actually all 3 of her TiVos already have upgraded hard drives, though the oldest of hers was probably upgraded at a time when HDs were much smaller, so it's possible I could further upgrade it.


    On the push/pull subject, I've tried both, and I've rebooted TiVos, but none of that solved anything.
     
  11. timckelley

    timckelley run of the mill TCFer

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    I decided to see what I thought of this, so I installed kmttg on the old XP computer that's not being used for anything. I've successfully transferred a show to the computer, and right now I'm also encoding to mpg just to see if that works, and if I can then play the show. I like the progress meters and graphs this software comes with, by the way.

    One thing I can't figure out: how to transfer a show from a computer back to a TiVo. I wonder if I need to go into software configuration to do something that will make the TiVos see my computer like it's another TiVo or something. I've been googling and so far can't see how to get a show moved back to a TiVo.
     
  12. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    No, just running a properly configured copy of pyTivo is all that is required. You do have some version of Python 2 (not Python 3) installed, correct? As requested, please post your pyTivo.conf file here.
     
  13. timckelley

    timckelley run of the mill TCFer

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    Sorry; okay when I get home I'll do that. So I still need pyTiVo then to do this. That explains things. I set up this new software to save in a different spot than the pyTiVo share. My TiVo can see the pyTiVo share though.
     
  14. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Either the video or a link to it must appear in one or more of the directories for which you have created a pyTivo share. Any metafiles or links to them should also appear in the same directories as the video and its links.

    That, and having videos or links to them in the directories pointed to by pyTivo shares is all that is required.
     
  15. timckelley

    timckelley run of the mill TCFer

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    Okay, here's all the stuff I did today. I don't know if it was smart or not, but I figured that since the XP computer isn't being used, and since I earlier installed kmttg on that computer, and since it sounds like I still need pyTiVo, I uninstalled it from my wife's laptop and installed it on the same computer as kmttg. At first I had problems even getting it to run, but I think python and maybe something else was being blocked. So I logged on as administrator, and I couldn't even run pyTiVo there, because it wasn't recognizing python as being installed.

    That's weird, so I went back to my nonadmin user, uninstalled python, went to Administrator, installed python there, and then pyTiVo would run. I defined a share, and entered the MAK and a couple other settings, and now my TiVos can see the share.

    I defined the share as the exact folder where earlier today I used kmttg to transfer a show.

    So I went to my TiVo and the share is visible there along with the show I'd copied to the PC using kmttg. I then attempted to transfer the show to the TiVo (called a "pull" I think, using your terminology), and SUCCESS! It's transferring.

    I suppose a more thorough test would be to move a show after pyTiVo was installed, instead of before, to make sure that it still works. Another question I have is, does this mean I have to use the Admin ID? It would be nice if I could have the Admin logged off, and have everything executing under the nonAdmin ID.

    I guess I could try that to see if it will work, but once I started the transfer to my TiVo, I noticed a python.exe command prompt window open with a bunch of messages in it, among them, that a transfer is in progress, so if I log off now, I suspect it'll terminate the transfer.

    Also, I'm not sure if I'm running pyTiVo in console mode or as a service, but I think I might prefer to run it as a service, so it'll always be up. I guess I need to figure out how to do that.

    By the way, as requested, here is my pyTivo.conf file:

    [Server]
    port = 9032
    ffmpeg = /usr/bin/ffmpeg
    tivo_mak = <redacted - my Media AccessKey is here>
    togo_path = D:\TiVoTemp

    [MyMovies]
    type = video
    path = /home/armooo/Videos

    [_tivo_SD]

    [_tivo_HD]

    [E-machine]
    type = video
    path = D:\Tivo Storage Area




    By the way, the "My Movies" section was already there by default, and that path doesn't exist. Is there any harm in me deleting that section?
     
  16. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Yes, it has to be running somewhere, and wherever that is must have access to the directories containing the videos.

    On an XP machine, it's not so much that the user needs to be an administrator as the PATH variable needs to be updated for all users so they can run Python without specifying the full path.

    Yep. You can define others, if you like. Each will show up as a separate folder in the root of the NPL.

    Excellent. Congratulations.

    It should not matter. As long as none of the shares are on mapped network drives, pyTivo should be able to run as any user.

    Yes, it would.

    There is a way to do it under XP, I believe, but I am not familiar with it. I avoid using Windows. OTOH, since this is a short-term solution, you might just run it from the user for the time being. It's easy under Linux, and when you implement that NAS, that is how you will want to go.

    That's going to give you some problems. That is a Linux path, not a Windows path. The Windows path is something like

    Code:
    ffmpeg = c:\Program Files (x86)\ffmpeg\ffmpeg.exe
    That's a valid Windows path structure. As long as the specified path exists, you are fine. Note this particular parameter is only necessary if you are going to be using pyTivo to pull videos from your TiVos. If you choose to use something like kmttg, it is not required.

    Again, that is a Linux path. Note the "/" directory separators, rather than "\".


    'Nary a bit. Add as many others as you like, but just make sure their paths are valid.
     
  17. timckelley

    timckelley run of the mill TCFer

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    This brings up something I've been confused about. I wasn't sure if I should continue to run pyTiVo on a PC, and have it store the files on an NAS, or if the actual pyTiVo software should be installed on the NAS. I worry that the latter might be more complex for me implement with my lack of experience with any operating system other than Windows and DOS.

    And if it's installed directly on the NAS, there's one I was thinking of getting, as it seems to have high reviews: A Synology NAS. This particular model uses an operating system I haven't heard of before: DiskStation Manager (DSM) operating system. Have you heard of this, and do you think it would pose any difficulties for pyTiVo?
     
  18. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    The NAS is definitely a better choice, although it certainly can run on a workstation and transfer files to and from the NAS.

    Not really. The Linux bash prompt is not all that much different from cmd.exe for those purposes. I suggest you read through my Linux thread, stickied in this forum, and ask questions. There is nothing wrong with temporarily running pyTivo on a Windows workstation and moving it over. There is also no problem, during the transition, with running pyTivo on both the Windows PC and the NAS, until the version on the NAS is stable and properly configured. Then simply shut down the version on the Windows machine.

    Two drive bays is awfully small, although with a pair of 4T drives in a RAID1 configuration, that still gives you 4T. The other potential issue I see is it only has a 1.2 GHz CPU, probably single core. Now that is more than plenty, if you never do any recoding. If you need to do any recoding on the fly - for example pulling an MPEG-4 file to the TiVo, then the transfer rate is going to be really, really low. 'Perhaps 8 hours or more for a 90 minute movie.

    I admit, however, the price is very attractive, and your set-up time should be minimal. If you were me, I think I would go with a little larger and faster NAS or a roll-your-own. If I were you, I definitely would go with a roll-your-own.

    No, but it is highly likely it is a version of Linux.

    Well, it could. The worst issue would be if the OS is entirely embedded in a PROM, with only a tiny NVRAM section for configuration variables. If the OS is on flash or SSD, then it's unlikey to be an issue. Python is available for just about every OS on Earth. I suggest you investigate before you decide on a purchase.

    If it were me, I would look for a used or refurb tower with a decent CPU and motherboard, and no OS. They can be had on ebay for under $100. I would just make sure it had a working DVD drive, at least an 80G hard drive, and a halfway decent motherboard and CPU, and space for at least 3 or 4 additional drives. Loading Debian Linux takes about 45 minutes, and a basic configuration including pyTivo takes another two or three hours for an intermediate user. I recommend getting someone to help you over the phone if you don't know what the command `ls` does and have never used a command line version of ftp.
     
  19. jcthorne

    jcthorne Well-Known Member

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    Synology DSM runs on linux. pytivo will run fine on the Synology box if you so choose. I did that for a while and went back to running pytivo on a low power laptop that also handles other tasks for my network and runs windows 7. For me, it was easier and I could not move everything running on the pc over to the NAS so both had to run anyway.

    I have been very pleased with my Synology 1511+
     
  20. timckelley

    timckelley run of the mill TCFer

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    Oh, the old problem has resurfaced. I used pyTiVo to transfer several shows, and I see them in the share on my TiVos as well as when I look at Windows Explorer. But when I try to pull them on to the TiVoHD, it says it's been scheduled on the To Do List and will transfer when the current transfer is complete, but there is no current transfer, so the transfer doesn't happen.

    I thought, maybe my pyTiVo.conf file is bad, so I followed lrhorer's advice and made changes to it, but the problem remains. Here is my current config file:

    Code:
    [Server]
    port = 9032
    ffmpeg = C:\PyTivo\Bin\ffmpeg
    tivo_mak = 4140251951
    togo_path = D:\TiVoTemp
    
    [_tivo_SD]
    
    [_tivo_HD]
    
    [British Royal Family]
    type = video
    path = D:\Tivo Storage Area
    
    
    I know that's a funny name for a share area, but my wife has a lot of recordings relating to the British royal family, and she thought it would be nice to have a share devoted to it.

    By the way, I realize that when I had success it was kmttg that I had used to transfer to PC, not pyTiVo, so maybe I need to go back to using kmttg. The reason I didn't, is because I think I filled in a setting that's causing all my shows transfered using kmttg to show up in D:\TiVoTemp, which is not a share. I tried then to cut and paste shows using Windows Explorer from D:\TiVoTemp to an actual share, but it says I don't have permission or the file is open.

    I guess a simple solution is for me to go into the kmttg settings and tell it that transfers are to go to D:\Tivo Storage Area, which where my share is, and then there will be no cutting and pasting needed.

    By the way, to you users of kmttg: I don't see any way of telling it which share to transfer my stuff to, on a show by show basis. As far as I can see, I have to update the settings to tell it which path shows transfer to. So for example, if I have 3 shares, and I want to move some shows to share 1, some to share 2, and some to share 3, does that mean I have to update the settings to point to share 1, then transfer those shows, then updating the settings to put in the path for share 2, then transfer those over shows, etc? Or is there an easier way?
     

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