Putting Movie Collection on TiVo HD? TTCB pyTiVo Questions.

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by jvandecar, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. jvandecar

    jvandecar New Member

    Feb 10, 2006
    With a precursory glance at TiVo Desktop Plus and pytivo, reading some of the FAQs on both, I really haven't found the answers that I'm looking for.

    I have an extensive collection of MP4 video, some HD some SD, some with run of the mill stereo sound, and others with DTS tracks. With either the Desktop Plus or pytivo can I move this collection to the TiVo HD hard drive provided I have the space?

    Is it possible to preload an external hard drive with video and just connect it to the ESATA port on the back?

    Can/Will the TiVo bitstream DTS and DD 5.1 to my receiver from those files?
  2. jbcahill

    jbcahill New Member

    Oct 1, 2007
    Yes, you can move it to the Tivo. But from my experience, you will be VERY unhappy with the results. They are less than satisfactory. I believe when video is converted and moved to the Tivo, it is converted to mpeg2. Someone please correct me if I am mistaken. So your nice HD will be downgraded and it will also show in a panel instead of filling the screen. And your 5.1 or DTS audio will be downgraded to stereo.

    Filling an external eSata hard drive will not work either. As soon as you connect it to the Tivo, the contents will be erased and the external hd will be "married" to the Tivo. The external drive will have the disk volumn of the internal drive expanded across it.

    i have been through all this myself. I had the same idea as you did about making my movie collection in h.264 available on the Tivo. My solution was to get an AppleTv and setup a pc with iTunes and use it as an iTunes server for the AppleTV. I imported all my movies into iTunes. I get the high resolution it was encoded in as well as the Dolby Digital 5.1 sound track.
  3. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    Jan 2, 2004
    TiVo just started it first H.264 format in the form of You Tube streaming to Series 3.

    No word from PyTiVo guys if they have figure out how to send H.264 straight to TiVo yet. So currently the previosu answer is correct that conversion to mpeg2 and stereo happens. Stay tuned though H.264 is just starting on the TiVo.
  4. TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    First off... YES but there are caveats to this procedure. I have been doing something similar to this ever since MRV/TTCB has been enabled on the S3/HD units.

    NO it isn't possible to preload an external hard drive and connect it to the esata port. No way to get that to work. It wasn't designed to work that way.

    Lets start off by what the S3/HD units will support file format wise.

    IF you are using 9.3 or earlier on your TiVo's then the only format playable on the TiVo is MPG2. pyTiVo & TD will have to first convert any other video to this format PRIOR to transfer.

    If your TiVo's have upgraded to 9.4, then MPG4/H.264 format has been enabled & those TiVo's can play MPG2/MPG4/H.264.

    HOWEVER... current versions as of (7/19/08) of pyTiVo & TD will still covert MPG4/H.264 to MPG2 prior to transfer to yoru TiVo.

    TiVo will be releasing TD+ 2.7 sometime soon. Once they do it will be able to transfer MPG2 & MPG4/H.264 to the TiVo without any conversion. pyTiVo I am sure will soon support unconverted MPG4/H.264 transfer soon.

    In regards to the AUDIO of your video files. TiVo is Dolby Digital 5.1 compatible. IT will NOT read any DTS sound track. The TiVo will play Stereo, Mono or DD 5.1 only. All DTS sound tracks will either be lost or converted to plain 2.0 stereo. If the video file is using a DD4.1 soundtrack it will be transfered & played with no issues.

    Because of limited space on my TiVo's, & the massive amounts of Video files I have. (Over 100 movies, and over a 500 TV episodes & home videos) I am using a NAS (Networked attached Storage) device 3TB in size. Then use a cheap dedicated computer running both pyTiVo and TD+. The computer acts as my server pulling off any videos on the NAS I desire and serving them to my TiVo's.

    Some people have been successful with various different NAS devices in getting pyTiVo to run on the actual NAS device. IN these cases the NAS device serves out the video directly to the Tivo's as desired.

  5. jvandecar

    jvandecar New Member

    Feb 10, 2006
    Thanks for the replies. I guess the best solution at this point, is still a dedicated HTPC.
  6. BrianAZ

    BrianAZ Back on the wagon

    Aug 13, 2007
    Chandler, Az
    Just to clarify... is it your assumption that TD+ 2.7 will come out soon or have you read that it is Tivo's intention somewhere? I am eagerly awaiting this.

  7. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    I second that question. I have not heard any plans for TD 2.7 & H.264 native support either. Do you have a link/source?
  8. quango

    quango Member

    Sep 25, 2005
    Macon, Georgia
    Yes, pyTiVo converts the video to MPEG-2, but the conversion should be pretty close to lossless (ffmpeg is called with the -sameq option, which maximizes the quality) and shouldn't change the resolution or aspect ratio at all on a Series 3 or HD unit, as long as it's 1080p or lower. Audio is transcoded to AC3 if it's not AC3 or MP2 already; I don't think channels are deliberately dropped in the conversion, although the TiVo may not be able to play back anything beyond the stereo channels--I don't have anything 5.1 to test, or even a 5.1 audio setup for that matter.

    I've generally been happy with pyTiVo as a solution; really, the only additional benefits I can see for MPEG-4/H.264 support are lossless & fast transfers of H.264 videos and lower disk space needs on the TiVo. If you haven't tried it in a while the latest pyTiVo (I'm using the wmcbrine tree) is much improved.
  9. TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Yes, I do have a source that I am not at liberty to divulge. Not that I don't want too.

    I also believe I saw someone else mention that a new release of TD was coming in another feed related to the 9.4 release & YouTube capability.

    Now I could be WRONG on the actual version number they release with, but they are working on releasing that soon. Then again... Things can change.

    I too would love to see that capability added to TD+ ASAP! :)

  10. rlj5242

    rlj5242 Active Member

    Dec 20, 2000
    Southaven, MS
    Why not something like the Popcorn Hour Media Tank or another similar digital media player?

  11. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    I second the notion of a purpose built box to hold your movies en masse, either for serving to the TiVo or other device, or that directly views on your TV. A TiVo would not be a good choice for that.

    The TiVo does very good as a TV recorder though, and use it to view your movie collection by loading them to the TiVo as needed.
    It will be good for
  12. Rdian06

    Rdian06 New Member

    Apr 12, 2008
    quango is right about the video conversion. Converting h264 to Mpeg2 on the fly from pyTivo to Tivo preserves the quality, but at the cost of additional storage space. Resolution and aspect ratio aren't changed unless you specfically choose pyTivo options to force down-rezing.

    DTS and AAC 5.1 audio tracks will be converted to Dolby Digital 5.1 (aka AC3 5.1). The most recent forks of pyTivo have a modified ffmpeg that will fix the audio channel mapping problems that exist in the stock ffmpeg when converting DTS or AAC to AC3 5.1.

    So if you have the space available on your pyTivo hard drive and don't mind possible slowdown in converting from h264 to Mpeg2 (with a fast enough CPU on the pyTivo box, even HD conversion happens in realtime), pyTivo and the Tivo work very nicely for a digital movie archive.
  13. bghmsh

    bghmsh New Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    I have a similar setup for all of my tv shows , NAS Dedicated PC (2) , but have added a DLINK dedicated 520 box withit's own cheap pc Works great !
  14. kas25

    kas25 New Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    You could just get an Apple TV until Tivo catches up?

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