PyTiv and Tivo Desktop - Grrrrr !

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by grahamg, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. Dec 3, 2007 #1 of 16
    grahamg

    grahamg New Member

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    Hi, got off to a great start using PyTivo with dlfl's help - thanks a million.

    I am using PyTivo version 208 BTW. Tivo Series 2 Ver 9.1

    The problem is that (on my system at least) I soon discovered that PyTivo is somewhat fragile. eg.

    a). If I try to transfer more than one video ie. forming a queue then the Tivo gets confused, the video transfers in queue are never completed and I find that it is not possible to cancel the transfers in queue.

    b). I am using a wifi to the Tivo. If a transfer gets interrupted I see the video ends up in the NPL as incomplete, but it still remains in queue and the queue cannot be deleted, which blocks new attempts to transfer the same video.

    Note. restarting the Tivo is the fix for a). & b). which takes forever.

    c). Sometimes I find that I cannot delete video files in the NPL. The only way to delete them is to play them, skip to the end and then delete.

    Last night I decided to give PyTivo a rest and I installed Tivo Desktop.

    I used Winavi to convert a couple of short avi's to mpeg and put them in the Tivo Desktop video folder. I then transfered one file to the Tivo, after waiting a few minutes I played the file. Sound, but no picture - wonderful. I decided to abort the video transfer and try WinAvi under a different setting.

    Guess what, I could not delete the video transfer or remove it from the Queue.

    Oh, frustration!

    My thoughts are that PyTivo and Tivo Desktop are probably working fine as a file server to the Tivo. The problem is the Tivo units software?

    I see no point in purchasing Desktop plus, this leaves Galleon and Tivo.Net

    I have searched this forum and cannot find anyone with similar symptoms as mine. I wonder if it is my wifi, or if I have to change a firewall setting?

    Sorry to go on. Just getting a little frustrated. I would like to stay with PyTivo. I like the way it works and puts almost no load on my PC. But all I want is something reliable..
     
  2. Dec 3, 2007 #2 of 16
    reneg

    reneg Well-Known Member

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    I think you will find quirks with all the possible options.
    1) Tivo.net was my early favorite. It had great support until the primary developer got tied up with real life and hasn't returned to update the software.
    2) Galleon is a swiss army knife with the broadest support however, it is way more application than I needed, so I haven't really looked into it. It seemed to have trouble with the Tivo 9.x software, but maybe that's been resolved now? I don't follow Galleon much.
    3) Tivo Desktop - perhaps the finickiest application of them all. Easy to set up, but flaky as could be for me.
    4) PyTivo - Constant and dynamic changing program with active development support. Perhaps a bit skewed towards the tinkerer which helps inclusion of new features, but doesn't help someone that just wants a reliable app.

    My recommendation is to stick with PyTivo and run yourself an ethernet cable to your Tivo.
     
  3. Dec 3, 2007 #3 of 16
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    I agree with reneg's summary.

    I haven't actually stacked files for transfer by pyTivo.

    When I can't delete a pyTivo-transfered file from the NPL (which does happen to me) I'm able to just exit to live viewing, return to NPL and it will then delete. (Tried that ?)

    There's no question that pyTivo isn't seamlessly integrated with TiVo. There are other little quirks. Fortunately I haven't had a reboot in a long, long time. I guess I view pyTivo like a dancing bear -- I'm just amazed at what it does do.

    When an incomplete transfer gets stuck in the NPL, have your tried deleting it from the ToDo list? I've had to do that occasionally.
     
  4. Dec 4, 2007 #4 of 16
    grahamg

    grahamg New Member

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    I agree, my gut feeling is to run with PyTivo. I installed Tivo Desktop just to see if it got rid of some of the PyTivo quirks, which it doesn't seem to have.

    I would like to run a LAN cable but it would be a pain. The route includes sliding doors, a tiled floor, multiple doors and the cable would look a mess if I had to run it around all these obstacles. From both yours and dlfl's posting neither of you mentions getting the problems that I am seeing. But I am using the proper Tivo USB wifi and I would have thought that the Tivo would have been configured to allow dropouts and repeat sending etc that goes along with wifi. Therefore I would have hoped that the wifi would not be a problem. I was thinking about buying some powerline LAN's, but on top of that I would need a USB - LAN adapter at the Tivo end. The other possibility is to buy a couple of powerline USB.

    Question, can I run a powerline USB from the Tivo to the PC and run the Tivo network through that I wonder.
     
  5. Dec 4, 2007 #5 of 16
    grahamg

    grahamg New Member

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    Hi dlfl The main problem is me having to reboot the Tivo to clear the ToDo list. For some reason I sometimes I cannot delete an incomplete item in the ToDo list. I haven't tried your first suggestion ie. going to the "live viewing" and returning. Maybe that will work for the Todo list too. I will try it and post again later.

    Can I possibly ask you to try transferring two files to the Tivo, so that one's in queue and see if that works ok through your wired LAN?
     
  6. Dec 4, 2007 #6 of 16
    reneg

    reneg Well-Known Member

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    I have 2 THDs and 2 Series 2's now all connected via ethernet cable. I have not seen the same problem as you have seen. Maybe 3 years ago, i tried both wireless and powerline methods of connecting to my Series 2's, I had issues with both connectivity methods. My opinion was that the Tivo software was not very robust in handling error recovery. I had no proof other than my failed transfers. Once I went to ethernet cable, things improved tremendously.

    When I tried powerline, I ran ethernet cable from the Tivo to a hub (with another PC on the hub) and the hub connected to the powerline adapter and the other powerline adapter connected to another PC via USB. I not only had transfer issues with the Tivo, but also with the PC over powerline. Maybe powerline has improved in the last 3 years, but I was unimpressed when I tried it.
     
  7. Dec 5, 2007 #7 of 16
    grahamg

    grahamg New Member

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    Thanks for yourself and dlfl confirming that a wire connection works well. I have given up the idea of a wired connection it's just not practical. I have been looking at using the homeplug family of powerline adapters. There are several reports on this forum of people getting excellent results. It also appears that I may be able to use a "usb to homeplug" at the Tivo end and "homeplug to network" at the PC end. That would save me $40-50 for a usb-network adapter. Anyway thats the plan, this might take me a while to get around to trying.

    But thanks again for your input's
     
  8. Dec 5, 2007 #8 of 16
    greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

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    Same here. I bought the Linksys PowerLine AV PLE200. Heard great things. Works great, when it works. Sometimes it just doesn't. :(

    My house has "new" wiring, built in late 90's.

    Edit: feel bad suggesting you not get it though. like I said, when it works, it works great. I just hooked it up again to give it another shot. just built a new pc, so maybe it will make a difference...

    Here is the PLK200 that includes two units. That is what I purchased. Not cheap.
     
  9. Dec 5, 2007 #9 of 16
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    I did this with a couple of short videos, but long enough that the second one was queued before the first one finished transferring. Seemed to work just fine. After they were both queued, I went to the ToDo list and watched the progress evolve. Everything seemed correct there.

    I'm using version d498.....
     
  10. grahamg

    grahamg New Member

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    Thanks, I now know what to expect performance wise once I can get a solid connection between the PC and the Tivo. The $50 spent on the Tivo Wifi seems to have been a waste.

    For the heck of it I will try this version, but I dont have much confidence anything will change.

    pyTivo-2007-11-25-master-d49819f39a81972d744a39a9eea42c63b5b455f4.zip 25-Nov-2007 13:31

    Even 10 minutes ago I now have a video in the Todo list which simply refuses to be deleted. I stopped Pytivo and removed the service/process. I found that ffmpeg was still running and killed that process too. Then went back to the Tivo but still couldn't delete the item in the Todo list. I give up, I will have to restart the Tivo, then it should get fixed. I notice that there are other choices. As well as restart the Tivo, there is another one which removes the Todo items and programs. But that sounds a bit too radical to try !

    Anyway I blame the Tivo for this problem, not Pytivo.

    Yes I tried this and it works for me. But a quicker way is to play the offending file, skip to the very end and then delete.

    A question of Python - Pytivo, perhaps you know, is there a integrated suite or application that handles management of a Python project? I have tinkered with using winword, but feel there must be a more elegant way.
     
  11. grahamg

    grahamg New Member

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    Thanks Greg, I am now looking into the various brands. Yours is about $175 at CircuitCity, but it might be the easiest way to try something given CircuitCity's good return policy? They also have similar rated DLinks at $117 but the 3x reviews people left, dont look good
     
  12. Shawn95GT

    Shawn95GT Tivo, in HD!

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    Hey Greg, how have these worked for you?

    I have a pair setup bridging my up and downstairs showing about 33 Mb/sec. Tivo Desktop works fine but MRV fails when I try to transfer. I'm going to re-arrange some stuff and see if I can better the situation.
     
  13. greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

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    I just unplugged the thing again the other night. I have one PC connected via it and it seems like every other time I use the PC the internet isn't working. Or there is a "hesitation" before it does. Grrr. I have an wired ethernet stretched over to the PC as well, and never have that problem when it is a direct connect. :confused:

    But I will do some expirementation with MRV between my S2 and S3 with it and see if I run into any issues.

    For the price I paid I would have expected better. :thumbsdown:
     
  14. Shawn95GT

    Shawn95GT Tivo, in HD!

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    Oct 7, 2005
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    Much appreciated. I bought the kit hoping to better the performance of my 802.11g wireless bridge which will eventually connect two S3s.

    I'm doing MRV between and S2 and a S3 right now across that link and I'm having problems. Pulling shows off via Tivo Desktop seems to fly across the PLEs.
     
  15. greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

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    Slower...
    I queued up some and MRVd about 10 analog shows from my S3 to my S2 using the PLEs overnight. Not sure how long it took, but they all made it across.

    Had to fiddle with different outlets though. The first one I tried would give the Tivo an IP address, but nothing else. :confused:
     
  16. grahamg

    grahamg New Member

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    Aug 18, 2006
    Pasadena CA
    Hi,

    Just for info. On a previous post I mentioned that I had improved my wifi signal strength to 80% or so by adding a parabolic reflector. However, I still was suffering from inconsistent data rates of between 50 - 600 kbytes/s (sometimes it worked great, other times not).

    I have had some success with my wifi by making some changes. I now have a consistent pytivo service. My average transfer rate from PC to Tivo is approx 600 kByte/s, (600x8=4800 kbit/s) which is higher than the default 4096 kbit/s encoder setting.

    I cannot find out what speed the wifi is attaining, but it must be considerably higher than 600 mb/s, so I assume that the Tivo 2 series 540 is the bottleneck.

    I found out that I am operating in a fairly intense wifi enviroment, I see about 18 other users on the airways.

    I made the following changes.

    1. My Netgear was set to automatically seek and change to a quiet wifi channel. This seemed to cause problems. I eventually monitored my neighborhood and decided that chan 2 was the optimum and set my wifi to that channel.

    2. I found an Intel wifi article that said that a common problem with wifi in high useage areas is due to collisions between wifi's because they typically all use the same default CTS/RTS threshold value of 2346, the article suggest that this be changed to 2304. I have done this and the consistancy of data transfer rate has improved tremendously.


    Anyway - thought that I would share this...
     

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