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Thread: Speeding up Tivo to PC downloads

  1. #1

    Speeding up Tivo to PC downloads

    Greetings all - first post...
    I have a newish TiVo - bought early 2011 and have just bought the media access key and desktop software. I have read that download speeds are dependant on your network, wireless speeds etc, but I would appreciate any tips on how to make downloads faster.

    I cued up 2 shows of about 6GB in total and the download time estimate was about 3hours. It got to 40% and the laptop probably went into hibernation or something, but the download got interrupted there. I cant see myself sitting in front of the laptop to wake it up every so often.

    So to summarise, I guess there are two questions here: how to make it faster, and how to stop interruptions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    That is an extremely long time for just 6GB.

    You have not said how you are connected to your TiVo, is it wired or wireless? also is your laptop wired or wireless?

    one general trick to speed up downloads is to tune the tivo to unused channels. for example tune the first tuner to channel 100 and the other tuner to 101.

    Peter.
    Please search this forum and our Website for your TiVo questions before starting a new thread. Thanks!

  3. #3
    Peter

    Thanks for the reply. I have a laptop hardwired into the network, while the TiVo is wireless. The Tivo signal strength indicator in Networking showed around 40% signal strength. I managed to get this up to 72% using aluminium foil behind the wireless USB device on the TiVo. Speeded it up tremendously. It now takes under an hour for that same download.

    I am having another issue though: now that I have the files on my tivo desktop software, it can't seem to convert the files. It starts, gets to 1/3 or 2/3 of the way and then seems to restart.

    Anyway, I read your article on this forum about the kttmg and have been using that instead. It works fine 50% of the time. Occasionally I get a file that comes out a little scrambled: every 3 or 4 seconds the screen goes blocky, then back to normal and so on. The original file views perfectly on the windows 7 laptop and on TiVo itself. I have tried to convert the .tivo files using kttmg, OTiv and I think one other program which all basically seem to make use of tivodecode-1.1.4 (I think).

    Long story short (too late!!), are there any other tivo to mpg converters out there? Ideally I want the tivo desktop software to do it all - the $99 I spent, I assumed it would work.

    Regards
    Greg

  4. #4
    I am busy downloading and trying out videoredo - was not keen on spending more money though - after TiVo desktop's failure to convert...

  5. #5
    I should mention that the laptop I am running is on Windows 7 64 Bit

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    TiVodecode is an unauthorised hack and has not been developed for a few years now. It does seem to have some problem decoding TS at times, but I find it is ok with PS.

    All free tools use tivodecode, so there is not any other free option.

    There is a another paid option which many people swear by called videoredo studio, you can download a free trial to see if you like it.

    If you use KMTTG, and only select decode (not encode) does the resulting file run ok? If it does, then it is the encoding that is inducing an error, you may want to try a different encoding profile to see what works for you.

    As for TiVoDesktop, it should work for you. But you did have a very low signal strength, and still a little low which might upset it. I just don't like using it because it is flakey and a resource hog.

    Peter.
    Please search this forum and our Website for your TiVo questions before starting a new thread. Thanks!

  7. #7
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    If it's any consolation, you could not use Videoredo if you hadn't purchased HNP which gave you the MAK...

    Peter.
    Please search this forum and our Website for your TiVo questions before starting a new thread. Thanks!

  8. #8
    Peter

    Thanks for that. Yes I know I would have had to buy it anyway. Interesting what you say about the .ps vs .ts files. Any technical insight as to the difference between the files? Surely TiVo does not store two versions of each show?
    Now that you mention that, I may have downloaded the wrong ones :-) I'll try again tonight.

    Have quickly tried videoredo, but don't really like it. It's pretty klunky and I have a heap of commercial video editing software (PowerDirector, Winavi, AVS Suite etc) which can do pretty fancy (for me anyway) stuff so I'd be paying only for the decode functionality.

    RE:Your question on the decode vs encode.: I have selected both options (dec. and enc.) as well as decode only with the same result.

    RE: Signal strength - Yep 72% is not great - think I have a crappy modem! But will try moving it around and various tweaks to get more signal out of it before buying a better one.

    RE: Tivodecode - Did not know it was "unauthorised" and so old.

    Kmttg is pretty good though - it can transfer from tivo, decode and encode. ad-snip not too flash thought.

    Anyway - thanks for your responses - I'll be back to let you know if the .ps files was the solution.

  9. #9
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    The file is stored in a single format, but it can be streamed from the TiVo in 2 different methods PS & TS.

    The MPEG-2 standard allows two forms of multiplexing:
    • MPEG Program Stream (PS) A group of tightly coupled PES packets referenced to the
    same time base. Such streams are suited for transmission in a relatively error-free
    environment and enable easy software processing of the received data. This form
    of multiplexing is used for video playback and for some network applications.

    • MPEG Transport Stream (TS) Each PES packet is broken into fixed-sized transport packets
    forming a general purpose way of combining one or more streams, possibly with
    independent time bases. This is suited for transmission in which there may be potential
    packet loss or corruption by noise, or / and where there is a need to send more than
    one program at a time.

    But given the definitions, it is a little ironic that a TiVo streaming using TS is actually more suseptible to Transport errors. The problem is that both methods are streams, so some errors in the stream are not corrected to save the file stopping during the stream. It is only once the file needs to be decoded by tivodecode, that some of these minor errors (which the Tivo codec handles well for play back natively on the PC) become bigger ones in the outputed files.

    It would be much easier if the files could just be FTP'ed off the TiVo out of the box, which would allow for better error correction. But would also probably infringe on the Freeview status of the box.

    Peter.
    Please search this forum and our Website for your TiVo questions before starting a new thread. Thanks!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
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    Buy the way, you can choose to still use KMTTG, and tell it to use videoredo's decoder instead of tivodecode.

    Peter.
    Please search this forum and our Website for your TiVo questions before starting a new thread. Thanks!

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