What media formats does BOLT VOX support?

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by barnabas1969, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. barnabas1969

    barnabas1969 Member

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    Hi all, I'm fairly new here. I just pulled the trigger and ordered a BOLT VOX 1TB, two Mini VOX's and all the parts to upgrade to an external 3.5" 4TB HDD, connected to the internal SATA connector. See the following post for details on those parts. I welcome any advice about the HDD that I chose.

    MFS Reformatter (mfsr)

    I've searched a lot on this site and I haven't found much info aside from references to Plex and pyTivo about what media formats are natively supported by the BOLT VOX.

    For example, can the BOLT play mp4 or mkv files (with mp4 video and ac3 audio inside of the mkv container) from a NAS or from an external HDD that is connected to one of the USB ports on the BOLT?

    Is this ONLY possible with Plex or pyTivo?

    Thanks,
    Brian

    P.S. - If there are any "how-to's" or "stickies" that I should have read, please direct me to them. I didn't see any.

    P.P.S. - A little background about me:

    I've been using Windows 7 Media Center since 2011. At one point, I had 10 tuners and 5 TV's connected to it (4 with XBox 360's used as extenders). Right now, I have 6 tuners (Silicondust HD HomeRun PRIME CableCARD tuners) and two XB360 extenders.

    I have been waiting for a LONG time for Silicondust to finish their DVR solution. I donated to their Kickstarter campaign quite a few years ago. But they STILL do not offer the ability to record copy-protected content... so I converted to Tivo today.
     
  2. barnabas1969

    barnabas1969 Member

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    Also, I assume that there is no way for the BOLT to play a file that is stored in ISO format (ripped from a BluRay disc)?

    I know it's a stretch to ask if the BOLT can play a BluRay ISO. But I can hope, right?

    If it can do this, then I can get rid of my HTPC.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  3. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah...except for Plex and the like, your TiVo will mostly just play the TV show files that you record on it. The USB ports and E-Sata port can't be used for Media Files.

    Playing networked .mp3 files was killed off quite a while back, without too much of an uproar around these parts.

    If you run the TE3 software, you can 'pull' files on to the TiVo. They'll be converted to .mpg or .mp4 if they're not already in that format.

    -KP
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
  4. barnabas1969

    barnabas1969 Member

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    Thanks for the quick response!

    I don't like the idea of pulling/pushing files. I was kinda hoping that the BOLT could just play common file types from devices on the local network or via USB.

    Lots of Media Center users use plex, but I've never tried it.

    How difficult is it to make Plex work with the BOLT?
     
  5. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    Plex is super easy to get set up and running. And then you'll spend the rest of your natural life fussing with it.

    I've switched to Kodi devices at each TV to do what you're trying to do.

    And a Roku for Streaming Services.

    -KP
     
  6. barnabas1969

    barnabas1969 Member

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    I have Kodi installed on my HTPC (Windows 7) and on Raspberry Pi devices.

    Those are handy sometimes.

    My primary use of my current system (Win7 Media Center plus XBox360 extenders) is watching recorded TV shows.

    I very rarely watch "live" TV.

    I also enjoy the fact that my (very heavily modified) Windows 7 Media Center system can play MKV, MP4, and ISO files. The most unique ISO files are 3D BluRay discs that contain frame-packed 3D video.

    I understand that the BOLT probably cannot play BluRay ISO files... but it would be nice to be able to play MKV and MP4 files.... natively, without a PC which is running a Plex server.

    If I must run a Plex server... then I will just continue to use my old HTPC for those tasks... with a direct HDMI connection to my AV receiver and TV.
     
  7. barnabas1969

    barnabas1969 Member

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    If I cannot use the BOLT to play MKV and MP4 files from NAS drives, or from a drive that is connected to the BOLT via USB...

    Then I will need to use my old Home Theater PC to play those files.

    Is this correct?
     
  8. barnabas1969

    barnabas1969 Member

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    I can use Plex to play MKV and MP4 files, correct?

    But I cannot play ISO files that were ripped from a BluRay disc, correct?
     
  9. Sparky1234

    Sparky1234 Well-Known Member

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    pytivo and TE3 work great together!
     
  10. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    In short, a TiVo box running the TE4 software supports NO media file types except its own recordings and streaming from its own built-in apps. TiVo has been working very hard to make certain that there is absolutely NO WAY for you to ever access external files again with their hardware. Nobody will say why, but they have deliberately removed this capability from their software.

    The older TE3 software can play some of the more common types of media files, but NOT .iso files from either DVD or Blu-ray.

    You can use Plex to play back SOME types of media from a computer to the TiVo (but NOT .iso files). Some people seem to like Plex, but I have NO IDEA WHY - I tried it, and it is absolutely the WORST software I have ever touched!
     
  11. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    If you're still running MCE ( I remember that from XP!), you're plenty familiar with eternal fussing, I suppose...

    I'd be surprised to learn my Xbox DVD wasn't still in a stack around here somewhere.

    -KP
     
  12. barnabas1969

    barnabas1969 Member

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    Actually, I did a lot of customization when I built the PC back in 2012, but I haven't really needed to do anything since then. It's just that Microsoft's guide data is getting worse lately and one of these days it will stop altogether. I could fiddle with 3rd party software to load guide data, but I would rather not. The Tivo BOLT looks like it covers 90%+ of my needs, so I'll use it most of the time and keep my HTPC for times when I want to play other file types.
     
    kpeters59 likes this.
  13. leiff

    leiff Active Member

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    Plex is the reason I bought my Nvidia Shield media player. Seems like the best way to access my 4K UHD hdr atmos Rips that reside on my x2 10 tb easystore USB hard drives i hooked up to the USB ports of my Nvidia Shield. My Nvidia Shield is my Plex server and Plex client at the same time. The Nvidia Shield USB ports also put to sleep drives that are Idle. So my Nvidia Shield also takes the place of NAS I wont need to buy since 20 tbs of storage is large enough for me. although I might be able to daisy chain even more hard drives to my shield for a larger movie Library.
     
  14. mrick

    mrick Member

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    That's what I did. I have 3 hard drives to the Shield. My back up is my NAS. Never could get the NAS to work over my Ethernet.
     

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