TiVo ToGo TooSlow – Redux

So, in the last day I’ve been playing catch-up to some folks who have already determined that using Sonic MyDVD transcoding for .tivo files was not for them either. They’ve detailed they’re steps, so I’ll just take a bit to gloss over mine.

Using the Moonlight-Elecard filters to convert a .tivo file to an .mpg file

So, in the last day I’ve been playing catch-up to some folks who have already determined that using Sonic MyDVD transcoding for .tivo files was way too slownot for them either. I want to use my own DVD authoring software using the video from TiVo. PVRBlog had posted an article nearly two weeks ago and I’ve found several other bloggers who have all come up with variations for the same process. They’ve detailed they’re steps, so I’ll just take a bit to gloss over mine.

  1. Download GraphEdit, a handy little program from Microsoft, which is part of DirectX 9.0 SDK. You can even find some help for GraphEdit on Microsoft’s MSDN site.
  2. Download X Muxer Pro from Moonlight. It’s a pre-release 1.0 version, but it’s currently free. This includes what will be your "filters" for GraphEdit. Once installed, GraphEdit will find them in you registry.
  3. Finally, grab the dump filter and RegDrop (unless you already know a better way for the next part of this step). Simply drag the dump.ax file onto RegDrop to add the filter to your list.
  4. Drag a .tivo file into the GraphEdit field and enter your password (TiVo’s not dumb). You’ll get some default filters connected to it, so just highlight them all and delete. Click Graph→Insert Filters…→ and find DirectShow Filters. You want Moonlight-Elecard MPEG2 Demultiplexer & Moonlight MPEG2 MultiplEX & Dump. For the dump filter, you’ll supply a file name (include the .mpg file type). You might want to check those all as favorite filters and save your .grf file, if this seems like something you’ll be doing a lot of.
  5. Connect them all up like you were wiring your entertainment system and press the green play button. It’s anticlimactic, but in about 5 minutes (for a 1 hour show) you’ve got yourself a .mpg file from your .tivo file.

That’s about 12x faster than the transcoder in MyDVD. Futher, now Now you can easily use the DVD authoring software of your choice. I’ll be using Nero 6 Ultra. This will still have to go through the process of transcoding the video, but I’m in control of what program I use. I like TiVo for recording television, but I don’t need them to decide what software I’ll use for making DVDs. They’re security features are still in tact.

You’re mpeg2 file will have a little logo in the top right-hand corner, but it’s nothing distracting. I apparently had an older Elecard codec that TiVo was using in Windows Media Player anyway, so if nothing else, this was a good way to update to a free (at least while it’s pre-release) codec. I would still recommend the download in my post yesterday, just so you can have some control over what codec Windows Media Player defaults to. It will tell you if TiVo has any problems with the one you’re choosing. All of the ones I tried seemed to work fine.

Finally, and I’m not just saying this to cover my ass: this is for personal use only. DO NOT redistribute these mpeg2 streams outside of your household. We have our fair use rights, but they do not allow us to violate copyright law. These mpeg2’s have the same license restrictions that the .tivo files have. Until we can change the law for the better, we have to live with it.