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.

Categorized as Geek

By Jason Coleman

Structural engineer and technical content manager Bentley Systems by day. Geeky father and husband all the rest of time.


  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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