Originally Posted by Possumgirl
But you need the Desktop software to initiate a transfer, right? It just goes directly from one TiVo to another?
Using a wired network.
The Premiers' transfer speed to PC is 40Mbps -- that is >2X the bitrate of any recording. Premier to Premier is faster because between TiVo's they transfer the transport stream as it is stored on the disk and don't have to mux the output into an MPEG-2 file like they do for PC transfer. The TiVo HD transfer speed to PC is much slower -- 10-14 Mbps -- which will bottleneck a Premier <--> TiVo HD transfer to the lower speed. You cannot watch a TiVo HD based transfer as soon as you start the transfer (except ABC), you have to give it some initial transfer time.
You do not need TiVo Desktop software running on a PC to transfer between TiVo's -- the two functions are unrelated. You do not even need TiVo Desktop software to transfer from TiVo to PC if you elect to use kmttg instead; there is also a direct FTP method. TiVo Desktop has value in that the Desktop server runs in the background and will automatically transfer series recordings to PC if you are collecting. It will also "publish" PC folders to your TiVo so they are available to you in the TiVo playlist. A Tivo could be set to record a series; Tivo Desktop could be set to automatically transfer each recording of the series as soon as it is recorded to your serving PC; TiVo Desktop can publish those recordings so they can be accesses by any other TiVo in your household.
Tivo is not limited to playing .tivo files. It will play .VOB files (from DVD) and .mpg files (HD/5.1). You can rip movies or TV episodes from your DVD's as single .VOB files; store them on your TiVo Desktop server and have them available to all your TiVo's for transfer and playback from your TiVo playlist. You can transfer TiVo HD/5.1 recordings to your PC then edit out commercials with Video ReDo and save them as .mpg files; then store them on network storage where they can be published by TiVo Desktop to be accessed by your TiVo's or shared by Windows so they can be accessed by any media players on TV's without a TiVo -- whole-house media. If you don't need two TiVo's but occasionally need more than two tuners, you can buy an inexpensive PC tuner (I have the dual-tuner HD Homerun) to record the overflow, then edit commercials and save to .mpg and publish for transfer/playback on your TiVo.
When you went from the DHG to a TiVo you acquired a very sophisticated piece of kit with far more capability than the DHG ever had, beyond DVR functionality, due to TiVo's network capability. Right now people are into nit-picking minor capability differences and ways of doing things. Once they get over this and get into the network features, they will find a whole new world of capabilities the DHG could never provide. The first post of this thread has a lot of information that is still relevant and answers a lot of these things.