Tivo Desktop and Plex

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by danschn, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. danschn

    danschn Member

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    Apr 22, 2004
    New York

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    I've been a Tivo owner since 2003, and in the last year upgraded to the Roamio Pro and a Mini. It's so easily the best solution out there, but I do have some small issues left over. I still have my Series 3 and a Premiere in other rooms of the house, and when disk space was more of an issue, I used Desktop to offload shows and movies off the older equipment onto my PC hard drives. While the older Tivos see the Desktop and it's shows (usually - it's always been a little flaky), the Roamio only shows the Desktop as a device, but none of the old shows and movies "inside" of it. It does show the contents of the other Tivo boxes, so I know I don't have any kind of networking issues holding me up.

    I check every so often, hoping the Roamio does see the old shows, but it never has, so I recently decided to take advantage of the Plex app. Everything appears to be working fine, but for the fact that Plex doesn't seem to want to know about the old shows either! I have some video content that isn't .tivo files, .mpg for instance, which Plex does pick up and add to its library, so I have confidence I have Plex working.

    My internet research says Plex doesn't like the .tivo file type due to the DRM wrapping, and my option is to convert all the old stuff that's on the PC hard drives. It seems to me that since Tivo decided to integrate Plex into the offering it should also integrate the old .tivo files as well. The Desktop required the Tivo MAK, so do they do the same with Plex, or is converting all the .tivo files my only option?
     
  2. Nickipedia

    Nickipedia Nick of Time

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    Jul 18, 2015
    Michigan/D.C.
    As a long time user of Plex, you will need to transcode the .tivo files to an MPEG format. Plex is simply a 3rd party media management system, with support for several standard file types. The .tivo files are MPEG files that are Tivo DRM encoded. By transcoding the files from the .tivo format you can strip off the encryption and have a standard MPEG file that will play on Plex (or any other media player.)

    As far as Plex supporting Tivo encrypted files: it's a nice idea, but doubtful it would happen. The Plex app included is simply a standalone Plex client. Plex would require a substantial code change to decrypt the files tied to a specific MAK on the fly (among other code changes.) That's not to say what you're suggesting isn't possible. But with the number of "typical" Tivo users that would utilize that feature it's highly unlikely Plex or Tivo would ever bring it to fruition.

    Your best bet would be to copy and decrypt the files from the Tivo to an MPEG format for any future use.
     
  3. robfay

    robfay New Member

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    Dec 29, 2015
  4. Nickipedia

    Nickipedia Nick of Time

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    Jul 18, 2015
    Michigan/D.C.
    I use the same setup as robfay too, works nice.
     
  5. danschn

    danschn Member

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    Apr 22, 2004
    New York

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    cTivo says its for Mac. What about the Windows environment? What should I use to convert the Tivo files I've already pulled off?

    Interesting, Tivo Desktop can pull .tivo files off my Roamio, as well as all my other Tivos, but only the Roamio doesn't see the files that are in my Tivo Desktop collection.
     
  6. Nickipedia

    Nickipedia Nick of Time

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    Jul 18, 2015
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