Tivo to mp4 conversion

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by BigOldArt, Dec 22, 2020.

  1. BigOldArt

    BigOldArt New Member

    Jun 12, 2014


    Apologies if this has already been answered. Perhaps I used the wrong search terms.

    I have a Roamio Pro.

    I was able to use Tivo Desktop to transfer a TV show to my Windows 10 PC.

    If I recall correctly I used kmttg to convert the file to mp4 format for free. However, it appears that it is no longer available.

    How can I convert a tivo file to mp4 format?
  2. BigOldArt

    BigOldArt New Member

    Jun 12, 2014
    I think MP4 is what I need. I just want to watch it with something like Windows Photo, VLC, Windows Media Player on a Windows 10 PC.
  3. robojerk

    robojerk Well-Known Member

    Jun 13, 2006
    Laguna Hills CA
    The files on the Tivo are .tivo files. Which are encrypted mpeg2 files. You need TivoLibre or tivodecode_ng to decrypt the files using your MAK number. At this point any media player can play the mpg (mpeg2) file but it will be HUGE. Transcoding it to mp4 and modifying the quality will shrink it down to a more portable size..

    In kmttg you need to point it at your choice of decoding app, enter your MAK key in the settings and after that you're more or less set and be patient. kmttg will transfer the file to your PC, decode it, and then use handbrake or ffmpeg (depeding on your settings) transcode it to mp4 for ya.

    If Tivo Desktop worked you can use an app like Handbrake or ffmpeg (command line) to convert it to mp4.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2020
  4. BigOldArt

    BigOldArt New Member

    Jun 12, 2014
    Thank you very much. The output file worked with Windows Media Player and with VLC.

    Surprisingly, right-clicking on the tivo file brought up this! opening tivo file with windows media player.jpg
  5. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH


    So, unless you’re concerned about file size, it sounds like you have what you want already. However, the fact it works depends on you having installed TiVo Desktop which is unsupported legacy software. (Installing TDP causes some software components to be installed that use your TiVo MAK to decrypt the .tivo files.). Those .tivo files will be unplayable on any other platform that doesn’t have those components installed. It would be a safer long term strategy to at least decrypt the .tivo files to .mpg files.

    Recoding the files to .mp4 is a good thing to do for the size reduction, although doing this while maintaining close to the original quality, takes time and more than a 30% reduction in size may take more time, or involve more quality degradation, than is acceptable to you.
  6. BigOldArt

    BigOldArt New Member

    Jun 12, 2014
    Thank you. The conversion worked very well. I did not try reducing the size. Just renamed the Tivo file to input.tivo, placed the jar file in the same folder.

    Then I created a kludge text file like this to point to where the files are and then execute the java command.
    <begin text>
    CD C:\Users\Art\Documents\My TiVo Recordings

    java -jar TivoDecoder.jar -i input.TiVo -o output.mpg -m 0123456789
    <end text>
    (not my real MAK)
    I then pasted the text into a command prompt.

    Since this is not something I expect to do more than once or twice a year, I did not try using longer file specs for input.Tivo and output.mpg. I also did not try different folders for jar tivo and mpg files.
  7. jonw747

    jonw747 Active Member

    Aug 2, 2015
    kmttg still works and they recently updated the certificate so it can keep on working for 2 more years.

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