July 10, 2005 11:29 | Comments (6) | computers, software |
As a public service, I’m providing these instructions to anyone who might need them. Since February of this year, I’ve been using the TiVoToGo capability to transfer shows from my TiVo unit to my PC and then archiving these shows to DVD. It took me several weeks of trial and error, while scouring the ‘net for instructions, before I reached a point where I could do this reliably. To save others the pain I’ve gone through, I decided to compile this step-by-step list. I may not be the first to do so (in fact, I’m sure I’m not), but I hope this will help those who are perhaps just getting started.
First, a short disclaimer. I offer no warranties. This combination of free software works for me, it may not be the greatest, nor the latest, software combo that works, but I am reluctant to invest any more of my time in tweaking and refining a process that reliably works for me.
Also, I am assuming that you already have TiVoToGo configured and are able to transfer .TiVo files to your PC. If you are unsure about how to do this, well, that’s what Google is for, right? But I’ll get you started. So, without further ado, download the software you will need:
There is no fancy install, just download each of these zip files and unzip them into their own folders. There is a text file in the filters.zip that explains how to install the filters on your system.
Once you have everything installed, run GraphEdit.exe. You will use this utility to remove the password from the .TiVo files and convert them to plain old .mpg files. Do the following:
- Drag .TiVo file into Graphedit
- Delete last few filters in the chain except Moonlight-Elecard MPEG2 Demuxer
- Add Moonlight M71 Muxer (Ctrl-F -> DirectShow -> double-click Moonlight M71)
- Right-click on M71, Filter Properties…
- Double-click on Transport Stream and change it to Program Stream
- Double-click on Compatibility and change it to DVD
- Add Input to Program (in the left pane) by right-clicking and selecting Create Stream
- Save your changes and then hit the Refresh button in GraphEdit (the circular arrows). This will make the new input pin visible on the graph.
- Join Audio pin to Input1 pin
- Add Moonlight DumpPos filter (Ctrl-F -> DirectShow -> double-click Moonlight DumpPos)
- Select an output file name (make sure to include an .mpg extension)
- Join M71 Out pin to Input pin
- Now press Play and wait a few minutes. On my P4 3GHz machine, an hour show typically takes less than five minutes to process. YMMV.
Occasionally, I’ve had GraphEdit hang on me before it finished writing the output file. You will know when this happens because there should be almost constant hard drive activity when you press Play. If it stops for more than a second or two, and the output file ceases to grow, GraphEdit is hung. Just hit the Stop button, delete the output file, and hit Play again.
Once you have your shows converted to .mpg files (and assuming the combined sizes of those files is less than the capacity of your DVD — 4.7GB for single-layer media), you are ready create the VOB files and build a DVD. Run TyTool9r18.exe and do the following:
- File -> Make Key file
- Double-click each of the .mpg files you want to process to add them to the queue, then click the Process button
- If you want to edit out commercials, or any other fluff before you burn your DVD, select File -> Edit Key file. This is the most complicated and time-consuming step of the entire process. If you don’t care about the commercials, skip it.
- Scan through the video (there is no audio provided, unfortunately) with the < and > buttons. You define a cut with the [ and ] buttons and click Add to add it to the cut list.
- When all of your cuts are defined, select File -> Save Cut List and then exit the editor.
- File -> Multiplex files (and wait a while)
- File -> VOB Mux files (and wait a while)
- File -> Create IFO Files/Dirs
- Click a menu item in the top-right pane. Set the Menu Item below to a .vob file in the pulldown menu and click the “Set Item” button. The text you type there is the text that will appear in the DVD menu. Repeat this for each menu item you wish to include.
- select a file to use as the menu background
- Hit the Preview button at any time to see what your DVD menu is going to look like.
- When you’re satisfied with your creation, press Make IFO (and wait a while).
When you see the popup window that says “DVD Created,” you will find AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS folders have been created for you. Use your favorite burning software to burn these onto a DVD. If you are looking for a free burner, I had some limited success with CDBurnerXP Pro, but I eventually broke down and went with Nero for better reliability.
If you have any technical problems that you can’t figure out, I can’t guarantee that I will have the time or the inclination to help you debug them, but contact me and I’ll see what I can do.
[Update Nov 20, 2007] I bought a software package called VideoReDo and it’s the best $50 I ever spent. I have been using it for several months now, so I feel confident in recommending it. It eliminates the need for the GraphEdit portion of the process above because it removes the TiVo encryption for you and outputs a straight .mpg file. It also has sound (something TyTool doesn’t offer). Its best feature by far, however, is the Ad Detective that automatically removes commercials from a recording. I still use TyTool for steps 7-12 above, but I’m hooked on VideoReDo. Try it, you’ll like it!