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.

4 thoughts on “TiVo ToGo TooSlow – Redux”

  1. Thanx for the decoding tip. I would like to get rid of the little Icon though. Can you advise? Also I did not get the Moonlight Mpeg2 multiplex filter in the Xmuxer pro 1.0, as if they removed it. I found a version of Muxer 2.03 online that provided that filter. If you have a fix for the icon please advise…. Thanx again

  2. Bill – Honestly, I haven’t got a clue how to go about removing the icon/logo from the screen on video like this. I would hope that if you were to purchase the Moonlight-Elecard filters (approx 45 USD), any video transcoded from that point wouldn’t have it. However, that may very well not be the case. I’m too cheap to bother with that myself. Given that the TiVo video I tried this with has station ID, Comcast Digital show info, & even local snow relates school closing information overlaid, it would seem like way too much work for very little result. You may have some better video or some other reason to want to take it off.
    Anyway, short of that, I’d say you might have some luck with some digital video editing software, since you’ve not got it in the relatively editing friendly MPEG2 file-type. Never-the-less, good luck, and if you do find anything, you’re of course welcome to post back here with what you discover.
    As far as the Moonlight MPEG2 multiplEX filter is concerned, I don’t think Moonlight/Elecard has changed the file since I downloaded it. I must have been mistaken to say that it came with the Xmuxer Pro 1.0. I was playing with a lot of filters last weekend and didn’t keep clear notes as to what came from where. It looks as though you found it, but for completeness, you can download it here via FTP from Elecard.

  3. I downloaded the file from the ftp site, but I still can’t find the Moonlight MPEG2 multiplEX filter. Help! It the only thing holding from using this conversion.

  4. Mike, as I remember, I had a lot of different filters. I’ll do my best to make a list of them and hopefully you can find it within them. However, I’ll warn you that one or more of the files I was using expires after some time or number of uses. I haven’t actually used this conversion since, as it is now just cheaper for me to buy Sonic’s MyDVD. Drop me an e-mail or watch the comments on this post. Good luck.

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