.TiVo to .Mpeg4

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by jibit3, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. jibit3

    jibit3 New Member

    Jun 25, 2018
    Does anyone know of a free software that is capable of converting [.TiVo] files into [.Mpeg4]?

    I appreciate your help and thank you.
  2. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2005
  3. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    That only talks about MPEG2 and doesn't work with TS downloaded files right (per the link) while the OP was asking about converting to MPEG4.


    Are these .TiVo files MPEG4 or MPEG2 and did you download them in PS or TS format? Just trying to determine if you need to just decode them to the same format or if you want to convert any that are MPEG2 to MPEG4.

  4. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

    Feb 4, 2008
    Doesn't the decoder just take the tivo wrapper off of a file? It was written well before mpeg4 was a thing (at least for comcast), so I wonder if the core file is the result, and not necessarily a mpeg2.
  5. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

    Aug 2, 2003
    Sort of. There are two fundamental kinds of .TiVo file -- program streams, and transport streams. Program streams were the first, but they can only handle MPEG2 video*. Transport streams can hold either H.264 or MPEG2 video, and are also faster for the TiVo to transfer; however, they're prone to uncorrectable errors. (On the third hand, since a while now, captions are corrupted on PS files coming out of a TiVo, where TS captions are OK.)

    Early versions of tivodecode, the command-line tool that provides the core functionality for programs like TiVo Decoder GUI, only understand program streams. tivodecode-ng will handle transport streams, but has issues. The Java-based tivolibre may be your best choice, but there will still be errors. But, if the original source was MPEG2 (and the captions aren't critical), I'd suggest just using a program stream.

    That gets you to a playable file in a standard format. Where you go from there depends on exactly what you're trying to do ("mpeg4" is a really broad category), as well as the exact source format. But at that point, it's no longer a TiVo-specific issue.

    * Or MPEG1, but let's not go there.
    dlfl likes this.
  6. ClearToLand

    ClearToLand Old !*#$% Tinkerer!

    Jul 9, 2001
    Central Jersey
    For YOUR needs - MPEG2 codec transferred via Program Stream. ;)

    It's misleading to newbies to read your referral(s) without any accompanying discussion of H.264 codec transferred via Transport Stream. :(
  7. ClearToLand

    ClearToLand Old !*#$% Tinkerer!

    Jul 9, 2001
    Central Jersey
    Newbies tend to confuse containers (.mpg, .ts, .mp4) with codecs (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 Part 10 aka H.264 and AVC).

    While I am by no means an expert on this topic, from my current knowledge level I would explain:
    • .TIVO as an ENcrypted container / wrapper that can contain video using various codecs (i.e. MPEG-1, MPEG-2, H.264).
    • .MPG as a DEcrypted container that can contain video using various codecs (i.e. MPEG-1, MPEG-2).
    • .TS as a DEcrypted container that can contain video using the H.264 codec.
    These are the main three extensions that you see when working with kmttg and pyTiVo* (meaning both @Dan203 and @wmcbrine versions) and, TiVo-wise, the expected contents.

    The 'gotcha' with H.264 video is that the TiVo unit can only transfer it TiVo-to-PC in a Transport Stream (TS). The 'gotcha' with TS 'Fast' Format file transfers is TS Sync Errors. The 'gotcha' with TS Sync Errors is how many packets will the tool you choose to do the decrypting lose?

    The *BEST* solution is to eliminate the TS Sync Errors completely as I've outlined in my 'experiments' with pyTiVo Desktop. Next best is to minimize the lost packets via VideoRedo using the DirectShow Filter in Mode 2 along with the VRD 'Secret Sauce' to attempt to pick out video and audio from the 'bad' packets. Next are (probably) kmttg using the DirectShow Filter in Mode 1, then TiVoLibre either in kmttg or pyTiVo*.
  8. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2005
    Yes, for my needs, and thank you for amplifying further, including into realms that I do not and need not go.

    Oh, and to clarify your own post, MPEG2 files also may be transferred via Transport Stream.

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