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Movie Gathering


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#1 Busy Daddy

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 07:37 PM

Netflix is okay, but we'd like more choice when we decide to sit down and watch a movie / show.
Plus, they eliminated the 3-disk plan, and streaming is now a pricy layer of icing on the optical disk cake.
So....

What I'd like to do is set my TiVo to record movies off OTA & cable. There are tons, more than we could ever watch.
Then leave TiVo Transfer & Toast (with the ElGato turbo.264 HD stick) running on an old Mac Mini
And have TiVo Transfer set to automatically pull movies off the TiVo, hand off the files to Toast for compression to MP4, and then save them to the Media folder on our NAS.
This way, we could sit down and be able to choose from 20 or 30 movies, as opposed to 2.

How do I set up TiVo Transfer for an Auto Transfer of "movies" when the title, actors, whatever will change?
Does the TiVo need the .tivo movie file on the server, or can I set the computer up to delete it after compressing to MP4?
How do I get HD quality mMP4s? Everything I try to transfer is dumbed down to iPod resolution. (I have Toast9)

Lastly, and I know this is more a TiVo question... how do I set my TiVo up to record gobs of movies off cable? Smart search?


The NAS's Media folder has already, automatically, shown up on the TiVo, but I haven't set it up on the Blu-ray in the home theatre. Nor have I tested either playback device yet with any media. I'm compressing my first files (HD OTA TV show) as I type this.

Any advice is appreciated.
20 year video pro, Mac user, home IT department, father of two with a "to do" list that is way too long.

#2 tsantee

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 07:04 AM

Unfortunately your aims are well beyond what is currently possible with TiVo Transfer and Toast. TiVo Transfer's automatic transfer is based on show titles. It is good for transferring an entire season of a TV program but not for categories of programming. It is TiVo's license that limits the resolution of TiVo conversions to standard definition. It probably is due to some agreement TiVo has with networks that make TiVo Transfer allowable at all. The workaround is to use the Blu-ray plugin to save the transfer as a Blu-ray disc image, mount the disc image and then convert the .mts video file contained within. Another option is to use TiVo Decoder to remove the .tivo container so the video becomes a .mpg file before adding to Toast.

Given your setup I'd skip the stage of conversion to h.264. I'd use TiVo Decoder to make the .tivo files .mpg and play them in that format from the MacMini to the TV. If you don't already have it you'll need Apple's QuickTime MPEG 2 Playback Component. You also should have MPEG Streamclip for trimming out commercials.
I'm just a fellow Toast-user so please don't blame Roxio for any misguidance I may provide. And do let me know if your issue gets solved. Cheers from Eugene, Oregon!

#3 Busy Daddy

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 08:59 AM

Thanks for the suggestions! You have a lot of alternatives there and I understand some of the limitations are inerrant with the TiVo. Maybe a long-term solution would be to switch to Windows Media Center.

But for right now...
I'm not concerned about commercials, I can FF through them, and it'd take way too much time to do all the editing for movies we _might_ watch.
What does bug me, though is that the TiVo transfers are not even SD. SD is approximately 640x480. TiVo transfers are limited to 480x360 "The Maximum size allowed by TiVo". WTF?

I'm not going to go to Blu ray to them re-rip it, and AFAICS TiVo Decoder is a command line utility requiring manual entering of file directories to have anything happen. I'm looking for more automated than that. Right now, I can manually click "transfer" on a single file and it'll get transferred and then converted with no further effort on my part. I've already set up a "movies" wish list so it's recording all kinds of things and I can Transfer the ones I want to keep.

The best solution, IMHO, would be to enable TiVo to utilize networked storage as the recording folder for shows and on the computer, set it up to "watch" the folder & convert any program that appears.

Edited by Busy Daddy, 08 September 2011 - 09:00 AM.

20 year video pro, Mac user, home IT department, father of two with a "to do" list that is way too long.

#4 tsantee

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 12:57 PM

View PostBusy Daddy, on 08 September 2011 - 08:59 AM, said:

Thanks for the suggestions! You have a lot of alternatives there and I understand some of the limitations are inerrant with the TiVo. Maybe a long-term solution would be to switch to Windows Media Center.

But for right now...
I'm not concerned about commercials, I can FF through them, and it'd take way too much time to do all the editing for movies we _might_ watch.
What does bug me, though is that the TiVo transfers are not even SD. SD is approximately 640x480. TiVo transfers are limited to 480x360 "The Maximum size allowed by TiVo". WTF?

I'm not going to go to Blu ray to them re-rip it, and AFAICS TiVo Decoder is a command line utility requiring manual entering of file directories to have anything happen. I'm looking for more automated than that. Right now, I can manually click "transfer" on a single file and it'll get transferred and then converted with no further effort on my part. I've already set up a "movies" wish list so it's recording all kinds of things and I can Transfer the ones I want to keep.

The best solution, IMHO, would be to enable TiVo to utilize networked storage as the recording folder for shows and on the computer, set it up to "watch" the folder & convert any program that appears.
You must have an older version of Toast or Popcorn because recent versions support 640 x 480 TiVo conversions. TiVo Decoder is extremely simple. Just drop the .tivo file onto the TiVo Decoder icon and that's all there is to do. The new .mpg version appears in the TiVo Transfer folder alongside the .tivo version. The only reason to bother with that, though, is if you want to keep the HD videos in HD.
I'm just a fellow Toast-user so please don't blame Roxio for any misguidance I may provide. And do let me know if your issue gets solved. Cheers from Eugene, Oregon!

#5 Busy Daddy

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 07:12 AM

Yes, I have Toast 9. But the newer versions would only give me to 640x480? That sucks.

I tested playback from the NAS to the TiVo and the TiVo only sees the .TiVo files and I have to re-transfer them back to the TiVo (even though the source files are still on the TiVo) in order to watch them. It can't stream them? It can't play MP4? That sucks. :(

None of the Mp4 movies show up. Haven't check yet on the Sony Blu-ray.


Two new problems have come to light:
I looked at what the TiVo had recorded in the TiVo "movie" folder and it's only TCM movies. Nothing else. I get HD OTA and when I did a manual search for Movies > HD it showed me nothing. So apparently almost all movies aired are not properly classified as "movies" for TiVo to select them as a category search. That sucks. :(

And, when I use TiVo transfer to go get the movies from the TiVo, The description in TiVo Transfer is different than as shows up on the TiVo... no mention of how many stars, who are the actors, what network... I get just a one sentence summary of the movie: "A promoter calls for a gym teacher he bills as the world's top athlete." That's not a lot to go on to try to determine if I want to keep it or not.

Yea, this solution is turning out to not be as good as I had hoped.
20 year video pro, Mac user, home IT department, father of two with a "to do" list that is way too long.

#6 tsantee

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 08:09 AM

View PostBusy Daddy, on 09 September 2011 - 07:12 AM, said:

Yes, I have Toast 9. But the newer versions would only give me to 640x480? That sucks.

I tested playback from the NAS to the TiVo and the TiVo only sees the .TiVo files and I have to re-transfer them back to the TiVo (even though the source files are still on the TiVo) in order to watch them. It can't stream them? It can't play MP4? That sucks. :(

None of the Mp4 movies show up. Haven't check yet on the Sony Blu-ray.


Two new problems have come to light:
I looked at what the TiVo had recorded in the TiVo "movie" folder and it's only TCM movies. Nothing else. I get HD OTA and when I did a manual search for Movies > HD it showed me nothing. So apparently almost all movies aired are not properly classified as "movies" for TiVo to select them as a category search. That sucks. :(

And, when I use TiVo transfer to go get the movies from the TiVo, The description in TiVo Transfer is different than as shows up on the TiVo... no mention of how many stars, who are the actors, what network... I get just a one sentence summary of the movie: "A promoter calls for a gym teacher he bills as the world's top athlete." That's not a lot to go on to try to determine if I want to keep it or not.

Yea, this solution is turning out to not be as good as I had hoped.
What is the NAS you are using? Can the Mini be connected to the TV via HDMI? If the latter you could use Toast Video Player to play the movies straight from TiVo Transfer.

I'm wondering if a better solution is to simply get a large external hard drive for the TiVo so it can store more content before having to delete things you might want to watch later.

The transferred .tivo files are in mpeg 2 format but are in a proprietary .tivo container. I've converted some to .mp4 and found that they don't get very much smaller in file size. So as long as my device can play mpeg 2 I see little benefit in converting the format. By the way, macupdate.com is having a sale right now of an application bundle for $49 that includes Toast 11. If you have an Intel Mac I recommend leaping at that offer.
I'm just a fellow Toast-user so please don't blame Roxio for any misguidance I may provide. And do let me know if your issue gets solved. Cheers from Eugene, Oregon!

#7 Busy Daddy

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 11:50 AM

I have an Infrant (Now Netgear) ReadyNas NV+.
My PPC Mini is pre-HDMI, but it does have a dedicated GPU. :)

I'll check out the MacUpdate offer! Thanks for the tip!
I do ave a MacTel Book Pro, but I use it primarily as my pro video workstation & portable media wrangling station.
Everything else is PPC, for now.

I can get a large drive for the TiVo, but then the trouble is getting the content accessible to my networked Sony Blu-ray player in the home theatre. Is there one file format compatible to both?
20 year video pro, Mac user, home IT department, father of two with a "to do" list that is way too long.




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