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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,


I've been trying to piece together different bits of information but can't find anything definitive. I want to be able to play back my Tivo recordings via MediaPortal on my HTPC. I only have a cable based HD content solution (no access to HD antenna), so I have to record through a STB if I want more than one recording or show at a time.


My understanding is that I can get a Card for a HDTivo from my provider - Cox which will allow it to work to record anything they chuck out.


I saw that there are some various options for transferring and decrypting .Tivo files to my HTPC but they weren't very conclusive.


I know a lot of people are using Hauppage HD-PVR but that is dependent on the tuner only outputting 1 signal and it seems that recording HD with 5.1 is very problematic.


I can live with not being ablt to schedule my recordings through my HTPC as long as I can play them back through MediaPortal. I just don't want to be limited to the type of content I can record or be limited to only being able to record 1 show at a time. SO it seems a way of tapping into my Tivo recordings for HTPC playback seems like the only option.


Your thoughts/suggestions?


J
 

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I suspect you'll want to explore here and probably some of the other adjacent forums as well.
 

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I have no experience with MediaPoertal so I'm not sure if this helps. Tivos have a feature called Tivo-To-Go that allows you to transfer recorded shows to a PC using the Tivo Desktop software (free for download from Tivo.com). There are a few utilities available that will allow you to decrypt the .tivo files and convert them to mpg or ts files. I personally prefer to use VideoReDo as it works with .tivo files directly and requires no separate decryption utility.


VideoReDo is primarily an editing program, but it has many other features as well. Check the VideoReDo website for details and also to download a full-featured demo version that's good for about 3 weeks of use so you can evaluate it before you buy. They also market a VideoReDo TV Suite that has DVD authoring functions built-in so you can create your own DVDs.


I use VRD to edit my .tivo files to strip out the commercials and convert the shows to mpeg2 transport streams (i.e., .ts files). If MediaPortal can work with transport streams then you're in luck. There are lots of playback utilities that are compatible with transport streams so it shouldn't be hard to find one that suits you. I use BeyondTV as my PVR app and it likes the .ts files that I create from my two Series 3 Tivos (also works with the newer Tivo HD models as well as their older standard def models). I just transfer the .ts files to my Recordings folder and they show up in BTV's playlist of recorded shows. I just don't get any program info included with the listing. Otherwise, BTV treats them just like any other recording and allows me to play them back through the BTV interface.


The best part about this is that there's absolutely no hacking required for your Tivo. Tivo-To-Go is available on any stock non-DirecTV Tivo that's a series 2 version or newer. I had the EEPROM mod done to one of my S3's and i just stopped rehacking it everytime there was a new OS update. There are lots of other features youcan add to your hacked Tivo but the ability to transfer shows to my PC was tops on my list. Now that it can be done on an unhacked Tivo I just don't need to keep rehacking it everytime the OS gets updated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
From what I have seen so far the integration path for HD into a personal DVR is way too painful and certainly not seamless (but hey that's why the cable companie$ give out set-top boxes so they can own the entire content delivery proce$$).


At this point I think I may stay with the $10 a month for a HD-DVR from the cable company and then use a Hauppage HD-DVR and the analog hole to back up the recorded stuff I want to keep to my HTPC. It would be nice to capture true digital but hacking PROMs, telnet access, muxing and dumping certainly sit outside my tolerence level.


It wouldn't be bad if you could hack your Tivo HD a sharable folder on your network and then play the content via your directshow filters of choice, but from what I can see so far that isn't possible without some prior converting of the file.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by griffindodd /forum/post/16996126


As I understand it you are limited to the content you can transfer this way, with QAM content flagged as non-transferrable?

Only certain providers flag content with copy protection which doesn't allow it to be transferred. For example Fios doesn't flag anything so I can transfer any recording I want. If you do hack your Tivo you can defeat this flag.


You may want to read this post on Tivoblog. They do a pretty good job of breaking down the various options for transferring shows off your unhacked Tivos.


Most of the transfers and muxing is handled automatically depending on the program. For example I use KMTTG which autotransfers any shows I have added to the watch list. It also has the option to convert the .tivo file into various formats depending on what you want to use for playback. You can also point it to VideoReDo to remove commercials as part of the process also. It really is very simple.


It might be worth picking up a Tivo HD just to try it since you have 30 days.


EDIT: I just tried decrypting a SD hour recording which was around 700 megs. It took 1 minute 26 seconds to decrypt the file from a .tivo file to .mpg. I assume Media Portal can playback that without issues. Now I didn't bother having it remove commercials since I don't have Video ReDo and I don't archive my shows. It is simply a matter of checking adcut though if I wanted it to do so.
 

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I also have FIOS and never had any problems transferring shows using Tivo-To-Go. I have one Series 3 Tivo with the PROM mod and previously had it hacked to allow video extraction to my PC via my home network. This was all prior to TTG being implemented in a subsequent OS update. Since FIOS does not flag any of their content and TTG allows me to transfer whatever I like with no issues, I stopped re-hacking my Tivo every time a new software update was sent out.


FYI - Tivo software updates are installed on an alternate set of partitions (partitions 3 and 4 for the kernel and 6 and 7 for the OS) which are then made active, essentially rendering any installed hacks useless. The good news is that the installed hacks aren't erased and they still exist on the inactive set of partitions. It's a relatively easy task to transfer the hacked files over to the active partitions but it tends to be annoying if they're updated frequently because it requires pulling the drive, installing it in a PC, and booting from an MFSTools boot disk or other compatible Linux distribution.


OTOH, if you are with a provider that does flag content then hacking your Tivo with the PROM mod and kernel modifications as well as installing the necessary apps and files are the only way to transfer flagged content to your PC. Direct extraction bypasses the flagging process and allows the recorded programs to be transferred and processed with no issues. One of the real benefits of hacking a Tivo for extraction rather than using TTG is the fact that you can transfer a show in about 1/4 to 1/6th of the time that TTG will do it.
 

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When you guys say that FIOS does not flag anything are you speaking of premium channels or just locals?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by griffindodd /forum/post/16996126


As I understand it you are limited to the content you can transfer this way, with QAM content flagged as non-transferrable?

I have a Series 3 Tivo on Comcast and I have a Digital Starter subscription, but no premiums like HBO, Showtime, etc. Without any hacking, I can transfer all programs using Tivo Desktop except programs that were downloaded by the Tivo itself like the old TivoCast content or what they now call Tivo Video On Demand. Once it's on the computer that has TivoDesktop installed, you can play the .tivo files with Windows Media Player. I use VideoRedo to remove the .tivo container and output a clean .ts or .mpg file. From there you can do anything with the files - re-encode for iPod/iPhone/other PMP, burn to DVD, etc. I'm sure MediaPortal won't have any problem with the files. They work fantastically for me in SageTv. I think the only thing that's missing is an automatic batch conversion from .tivo to .mpg and matching it up with guide data that would be present if was natively recorded in SageTV. I've been thinking about doing something like that as a method for getting programs from encrypted channels into SageTV that the HDhomerun can't record. For now, they just show up as other videos, not recorded TV.


- Mike
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by innocentfreak /forum/post/17014421


every channel as far as I know. I have yet to find a show I can't transfer including movies recorded off premium channels.

Wow. I just copied last night's episode of Entourage. I'm stoked. Now I don't have to worry about soldering a new prom on board. I should have tried this a month ago instead of just assuming it was locked down...
 

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Sorry for the thread jack but, I've read this in some other threads, but is there some way to automate the container change and extraction of commercials?


I just bought a 1TB TiVo S3 HD w/life time subscription as well as set up my homeserver with a ATi DCT. I'd like to use the combination to dump all of my cable boxes and save some $$$. I'm hoping the Ceton card is a reality after CEDIA so I can have multiple tuners in my HTPC Homeserver without having to add any more hardware than the Ceton card.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by miimura /forum/post/17014756


I think the only thing that's missing is an automatic batch conversion from .tivo to .mpg and matching it up with guide data that would be present if was natively recorded in SageTV. I've been thinking about doing something like that as a method for getting programs from encrypted channels into SageTV that the HDhomerun can't record. For now, they just show up as other videos, not recorded TV.


- Mike

Seriously check out KMTTG. It has the automated process as one of the options including metadata txt files that will work with pytivo another good program. Tivoblog did a nice breakdown of various free software options to replace Tivo Desktop. One thing nice with KMTTG is you can have it put everything into folders also so it is easier to organize.


Same goes for you SonicDeathMonkey. Check the link above and check out the threads here . The most popular programs seem to be Pytivo, KMTTG, and Streambaby. KMTTG is along the lines of what you are looking for. You can choose which shows to automatically convert and which codec to use. Mind you they will take a while but you can also just decrypt the Tivo files to MPG which only takes a few minutes.
 

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So tivo saves sd and hdtv in .tivo files? When you transfer them to the computer and change the file from .tivo to something else do you lose any picture quality?


I have most of my cable channels in digital, would recording them to the tivo and then playing them back off the tivo in the .tivo format be a lesser picture quality than watching the digital channel through the cable box live?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvguy7 /forum/post/17129690


So tivo saves sd and hdtv in .tivo files? When you transfer them to the computer and change the file from .tivo to something else do you lose any picture quality?


I have most of my cable channels in digital, would recording them to the tivo and then playing them back off the tivo in the .tivo format be a lesser picture quality than watching the digital channel through the cable box live?

The .tivo file is just a .mpg with a special container. When you install Tivo Desktop it installs a special filter that will allow other software like Windows Media Player to read and decode it. The MPEG data is exactly as captured from the cable or antenna connected to the Tivo. So, there is no quality change at all when you extract the .mpg file. I use VideoRedo for this task and it is worth every cent I paid for it. However, some software may change the file to be compatible with other devices like portable media players or DVD players. In that case, of course, the quality will be changed by the down-res and/or transcoding required for compatibility with those devices and formats.


- Mike
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by miimura /forum/post/17131824


The .tivo file is just a .mpg with a special container. When you install Tivo Desktop it installs a special filter that will allow other software like Windows Media Player to read and decode it. The MPEG data is exactly as captured from the cable or antenna connected to the Tivo. So, there is no quality change at all when you extract the .mpg file. I use VideoRedo for this task and it is worth every cent I paid for it. However, some software may change the file to be compatible with other devices like portable media players or DVD players. In that case, of course, the quality will be changed by the down-res and/or transcoding required for compatibility with those devices and formats.


- Mike

KMTTG will remove the .Tivo encryption also, I actually have it automatically do that after transfer and then have it run VideoRedo's Ad Scan automatically too. Unfortunately to get the cuts exactly right you still need to view the cuts, but that is what VideoRedo does a fantastic job with, highly recommended program. I actually bought TiVo's own desktop software before I found KMTTG, but now use only KMTTG, it was more dependable at the time. It does the job great so I have never looked back.
 
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