YouTube for Tivo!

Discussion in 'Developers Corner' started by rgura, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. rgura

    rgura RobGTX

    Feb 20, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Anyone interested in working on a YouTube application for TiVo?

    My high-level thoughts are:
    • Allow browsing by category
    • Allow searchign by title
    • Display title, description and thumbnail for selection. Once selected, download video into TiVo now playing list (Galleon does something similar with video blogs)
    • Allow subscribing to a YouTube Channel
    • Allow Subscribing to a YouTube blog by user name
    • Auto Subscription to the top-N videos of the day
    • Auto "Surprise me" surfing - n-videos per day
    • Links to related videos, other videos by the user, etc.

    I seriously doubt that we could create an embedded player, however it may be possible to download, convert to MPEG and drop into the now playing list.

    Contact me if you have HME experience and are interested in collaborating.

  2. MichaelK

    MichaelK Active Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    I believe the recently delayed tivo desktop plus 2.4 will allow you to set it up to download to a designated folder and then the tivo desktop does the auto transcode and sets it up for you to download to the tivo.

    so if you can set up download and dont mind paying for plus then you can let tivo desktop handle it.
  3. rgura

    rgura RobGTX

    Feb 20, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Part 1: Subscription Management

    Interface to subscribe to one or more YouTube RSS feeds:
    Recently Added (
    Recently Features (
    Top Favorites (
    Top Rated (
    Most Viewed Today (
    Most Viewed this week (
    Most Viewed this month (
    Most Discussed Today (
    Most Discussed this week (
    Most Discussed this month (

    Option to select the number of daily downloads per each subscription (1-5)

    Option to select the maximum number of daily downloads (1-10)

    Part 2: Downloads

    Determine and download FLV (Flash Video) file from YouTube. Several websites offer similar functionality:

    From the RSS feed, determine the URL for the video, such as

    For a quick proof of concept, I used the to convert the HD TiVo video file from and saved the resulting file as TiVo_S3_HD.flv

    It would be nice if one of these sites offers a WebService that can be called to derive a flash video file from a given YouTube URL. Or if I can obtain the source code to build the call into a Java app.

    Part 3: Conversion to a format that TiVo can understand.
    This is where things got interesting. Using ‘s service I made several attempts at directly converting the file as well as the URL to mpg. Nothing seemed to work correctly and I either ended up with A/V sync issues, black video or no audio. The best success was achieved by using service to convert a FLV file (not a URL) to WMV.

    Next I used Nero Vision 7, added the WMV file to a “new video” and exported to SVCD. SVCD works nice with TiVo because it really just results in a 480X480 MPG file.

    Part 4: Transfer to TiVo
    This part was easy, with TiVo desktop installed I just dropped the mpg file in the TiVo directory and then browsed to my PC from a TiVo Series 2. Unfortunately TiVo transfers are not allowed on my Series 3.

    The results were decent, about what I expected, grainy video and decent mono audio.

    Putting it all together, here is what I think I need:
    • Callable WebService for (or similar)
    • Callable WebService for
    • Use Nero’s API for conversion to mpg

    I like the idea of using WebServices to cut down on the troubleshooting and maintenance of the application. My experience has been that things get flakey when you are reliant on one or more codecs being installed on a PC. As a side benefit, nothing to worry about with licensing.

    Does anyone have any better ideas?
  4. MichaelK

    MichaelK Active Member

    Jan 10, 2002

    might get some ideas from this thread:

    great new open source app that converts basically ANYTHING on the fly for playback on a tivo.
  5. rgura

    rgura RobGTX

    Feb 20, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Cool that should do the trick.
  6. Fofer

    Fofer Bo55man69

    Oct 29, 2000
    This would be very cool; I'd love to browse popular YouTube videos on my TiVo! Good luck with the endeavor.
  7. geoffoliver

    geoffoliver New Member

    Feb 19, 2007
    looks like that 'great new app' just uses ffmpeg (which supports flv) to transcode. Why not just use ffmpeg by itself?

    Source: ffmpeg_mplayerhq_hu/download.html
    Windows Binaries: ffdshow_faireal_net/mirror/ffmpeg/

    Sorry, BB won't let me submit URLs until I make 5 posts.

    I'm interested in helping.
  8. MichaelK

    MichaelK Active Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    the great new app just provides an auitomated front end for ffmpeg.

    You can use ffmpeg just fine but then everytime you want a video off the pc you need to go to the pc and start ffmpeg yourself before you want o watch the video, then let the video finsih encoding creating a tivo readable copy on your pc's hardrive, then go back to the tivo to transfer it (still with the duplicate on the pc).

    With the new app you can browse your pc's hard drive from the tivo
    and then it starts the encode automatically and pipes the encoder out to the tivo so no copy on the PC and you can begin watchign immediately without having to wait for the conversion to complete.

    Also with you can create the "guide data" to go to the tivo so that instead of just the filename on your nowplaying list you can make whatever "series" info you want, add "episode info" add a Descrription, and then put in categories. I think even ratings info it you want.

    So is much value added to ffmpeg alone.

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