TiVo ToGo TooSlow — Redux

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 comments

  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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