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.