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Thread: Batch upload of .tivo files from PC to TiVo

  1. #1

    Batch upload of .tivo files from PC to TiVo

    I ran my TiVo with an 1 TB expander drive, and a couple of hundred shows accumulated over the years. Before applying the new software on the modded TiVo, I saved the shows to the PC using TiVo Desktop, as the expander drive needed to be disconnected. It was slow, but I have rescued all .tivo files. Once TiVo rebuilt itself without the expander drive, I backed up the internal 160 GB drive, transferred the image to the 1 TB expander drive (all using winmfs) and successfully patched the software. The TiVo is now up and running with the 1 TB drive, which is just fantastic.

    The final step would be to copy the files from the PC back to the TiVo. Whilst I can transfer the shows one file at a time, it is obviously really tedious and slow, so I am looking for a better way to copy all files more quickly. I can access the TiVo drive via FTP (root), but I can't locate the folder holding the recordings. Any tips and instructions would be most welcome. Alternatively, would it be easier to use a Linux distro to access the TiVo drive? I tried Puppy Linux, but it can't see and mount the TiVo drive.

    Many thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    I have the same problem but no solution yet.

    You cannot use ordinary FTP because the server running on the TiVo has to be able to address the MFS media partitions. You cannot navigate to them just using ordinary Linux commands or programs.

    The official TiVo Desktop software does not work. I have read that it stopped pushing videos some time in 2016. PyTiVo has a push feature but it also seems to be broken. MFS_FTP might work. A version of MFS_FTP is installed by the Oztivo nodding script. I can get it running and the FTP program on my PC detects the server but no files are shown. It is possible the version which is installed is not quite right. (I found that the version of dbset installed by the nodding script did not work so I replaced it). I have thought about sourcing a different version of MFS_FTP but have not been able to find one yet.

  3. #3
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    I don't quite understand the problem here with recording transfers either way.
    I think that recent changes in OS security may be causing more problems.
    I've spent months trying to get Tivo Desktop to work in Win 10, to no avail.
    I found many of the problems mentioned here with Windows 10.
    Tivo Desktop doesn't work with it on my PCs, any of 'em.
    Tivo Desktop is working fine on my Windows 7 machines. Transfer either way, tivo to pc or pc to tivo is brilliant.
    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vuillard View Post
    I have read that it stopped pushing videos some time in 2016.
    G'day Vuillard,

    I'm not familiar with the methods of transfer you have mentioned, but have used browser access before, but that's only tivo to pc, then have to convert the video.

    What do you mean by 'pushing videos'?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by cpab View Post
    What do you mean by 'pushing videos'?
    "Push" and "pull" are generic terms that apply to various different programs that allow copying files to a TiVo.

    By "pushing" we mean that on the PC you tell the PC to copy a file or files to the TiVo. Typically, given the more flexible interface on a PC, you can choose many files in one hit e.g. a whole folder. The transfer still takes as long but it is quick to get going. Tivo Desktop, PyTiVo and MFS_FTP in theory all allow you to push files to a TiVo (but appear to be broken, at least for some users).

    It is to be contrasted with "pulling", by which we mean that on the TiVo, you select a file that is on the PC and ask for it to be copied to the TiVo. From the point of view of the TiVo, it may not be apparent which software on the PC is providing the server and it may not matter. TiVo Desktop and PyTiVo still work for this.

    Typically, if you have TiVo desktop running on your PC with a folder of files selected to share, at the bottom of the "Now playing" menu on the TiVo there will be an entry with a name that reflects your PC. When you choose that on the TiVo you should get a list of files and you can then select them to transfer. The trouble with this is you can only choose one file at a time. You can choose one after another in fairly quick succession (allowing for the fact that the TiVo UI is as slow as a wet week at the best of times) but if you have 100s of videos to transfer back this is very tedious.

    PyTivo is a python program that runs on your PC and provides this same functionality (that is, an entry will show up on your "Now playing" list). If you only want (or can live with only being able) to choose one file at a time from your PC, you can use pyTiVo. I have it working on my Windows 10 PCs so you could try it instead of TiVo Desktop.

    I am interested to hear that you have TiVo Desktop working on Windows 7 and that it allows transfer both ways. Does it allow you to select more than one video file on the PC and have the files transfer to the TiVo? If so, what format are the videos? Are they in the original .tivo format or have you converted them to something else? Also, when did you install TiVo desktop on the Windows 7 machine? I have a Windows 7 machine I could use for this but TiVo desktop is not presently installed.
    Last edited by Vuillard; 29-12-2017 at 09:54 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vuillard View Post
    I am interested to hear that you have TiVo Desktop working on Windows 7 and that it allows transfer both ways. Does it allow you to select more than one video file on the PC and have the files transfer to the TiVo? If so, what format are the videos? Are they in the original .tivo format or have you converted them to something else? Also, when did you install TiVo desktop on the Windows 7 machine? I have a Windows 7 machine I could use for this but TiVo desktop is not presently installed.
    G'day Vuillard,

    I have been trying to do a few things in Windows 10 that I'd always done in Windows 7, Tivo Desktop being one that will not work in Windows 10.

    My other issue in Windows 10 is the fact that it doesn't support firewire.

    I even went to the expense of buying another firewire connection for my PC because I thought my firewire card was 'broke'. Even with the new connection, ' couldn't get firewire working, but a clue came up with our Toshiba laptop.
    Well, a clue for me. Anyone with a bit more nous may have been quicker off the mark.

    Luckily we have an older Toshiba 18" Satellite lappy that has TV card, firewire port, sata port etc.
    We took up the Windows 10 offer, as you would, with all of our Windows PCs, but after the upgrade the TV card in this Tosh 18 didn't work. I tried a few different apps with it, but none compared to the Windows 7 Media setup.
    So, because we wanted this TV we reinstalled Windows 7.
    Because Tivo Desktop had stopped working in Windows 10 on my desktop PC, I thought to try it on the laptop.
    Installed it and put my MAK and Desktop Plus keys in and it worked perfectly; so did TV card and firewire.

    I purchased a Windows 7 from 'Softwarelicence4u'(checked them out thoroughly)(Cost $27 for download) at the beginning of this December and installed it with a dual boot on my desktop PC. The phone activation with Microsoft/Windows went 'smooth as', surprisingly.
    The dual boot is a bit of a hassle as I have to press keys to stop it doing a checkdisk each start, but I can get along with it the way it is.
    Installed Tivo Desktop on the Windows 7 and that works great too.

    Now to the idiosyncrasies:

    From what I remember of the first transfers of Tivo recordings that I did in 2009-10, the recordings had to be converted and yes, it was quite a mess around.
    Well, now transfers are brilliant and easy. They play straight away on PC as mp4 files and vice-versa mp4s transfer straight to Tivo.
    As you say in your description Vuillard, my PC comes up at the bottom of my Now Playing List, under Deleted folder and all transfers are listed in there.
    Not only, but also are folders that you choose to share from Tivo Desktop on your PC. When you select a file from a folder, it asks if you want to transfer, then it asks if you want to start watching it while it's transferring.
    I love the blue light on the front of the Tivo.
    Good luck Vuillard, it does work great.
    Edit:
    Yes it does allow to transfer multiple recordings both ways. On the Tivo you have to choose them singularly, but after you set each one transferring you can select another. On the Tivo Desktop you just tick the multiple boxes and start transfer.
    Another Edit:
    Transferring from Tivo Desktop cannot be setup to "Auto-transfer", because the link to connect to My Tivo account doesn't work anymore, but as I've explained above, when you go to My Playing List on your Tivo, the folders you have selected to share in Tivo Desktop are there. The items in them can be selected to transfer...etc.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by cpab; 31-12-2017 at 11:33 AM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by cpab View Post
    Another Edit:
    Transferring from Tivo Desktop cannot be setup to "Auto-transfer", because the link to connect to My Tivo account doesn't work anymore, but as I've explained above, when you go to My Playing List on your Tivo, the folders you have selected to share in Tivo Desktop are there. The items in them can be selected to transfer...etc.
    Hi cpab
    Does this mean that you cannot actually choose multiple files at the PC? I tried getting this to work on an old Windows 8.1 PC that I had not used for ages but already had TiVo Desktop installed. I could not find a way to make it transfer without coming up against the account problem. I am leaning to the view that I will just have to sit at the TV clicking through. It is tedious but once it is done it is done.
    Cheers
    Vuillard

  8. #8
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    Another minor search is necessary after the transfer of files to the 'Now Playing List'.
    It's easy to scroll past them, when looking through the list; annoying.
    May be easier to find if you sort your list alphabetically, finding them by date is a guessing game.
    Last edited by cpab; 08-01-2018 at 09:31 PM.

  9. #9

    Kludgy MS Access VBA script with TiVo telnet on port 31339

    I could not get any of the existing software push options to work any more. So, I cobbled together a kludgy solution which is a looping VBA script sending keypresses via Telnet to the TiVo on port 31339: see the original documentation of port 31339 here.

    The script is attached. TiVo_interface.txt To make it work do this.

    First, get PyTivo or TiVo Desktop working on your PC to the point where videos are available to be pulled from your TiVo. You need to be able on the TiVo to navigate to the video files on your PC and queue them for transfer one by one.

    Secondly, connect to the TiVo using Telnet fron your PC but instead of the usual port 22 use port 31339. This permits you to input a limited number of codes that mimic the TiVo IR remote. I used PuTTY for Windows but in theory you could use any terminal program. You will need to make a note of what the caption on the window for your terminal program is when connected.

    Thirdly, import the text of the attached script into a module in MS Access. Probably with not much work the script could work in any MS program that supports VBA (e.g. Word, Excel) and indeed, with not much more work could probably be a standalone VBS script.

    Fourthly, edit the script to suit your situation. You need to change the window title caption in the AppActivate command which presently reads "192.168.1.99 - PuTTY" to match the caption on the window for your terminal program. If you use PuTTY like me then you may only need to change the IP address portion.

    Fifthly, edit the script to change the number in the For loop which is presently 72 to the number of items in the folder of video files that you want to upload. This step needs to be repeated each time you run the script.

    Sixthly, on the TiVo again, navigate to the folder on your PC that contains the videos you want to transfer. Position the selection highlight on the first item in the list. This step needs to be repeated each time you run the script.

    Finally, run the subroutine entitled "QueueGroup" in the script in Access. I do this by selecting that sub then pressing F5. This step needs to be repeated each time you run the script.

    You should now see the TiVo UI swing into (very slow) action as the invisible hand of the PC manipulates the TiVo.

    You need to repeat the fifth to seventh steps for each folder of videos you have to upload.

    You will see that I have built in very generous delays between each step. That is because TiVo can take a long time some times to go between steps in the process and if the keypresses are sent too soon the TiVo and the script will get out of step with unexpected results. You could finesse this. I did not spend too much time refining the script because I only had four folders of videos to do so once I could set it running and walk away I was happy.

    I do not expect this will be of much use to anyone but you never know.Use at your own risk. No warranties given. If you are not prepared to lose everything do not even try it.

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