View Full Version : how can you burn saved Tivo programs to DVD?
10-06-2003, 07:24 PM
As I stated it this thread (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=215799), I now have a job, which means I can spend my money on all sorts of nifty electronic toys. I'm thinking about getting Tivo. I was checking out their website and they said it was not possible to swap files from a Tivo unit to a computer.
I was thinking that a nifty use of Tivo + a DVD burner would be to make my own TV show season DVDs. I just don't know how to do it. I was thinking maybe you could connect the video/audio output of the TV to the video/audio input of a computer (equipped with a DVD burner, of course) and do it that way, but it seems overly complicated and likely to result in a loss of fidelity.
Or, I could pony up the $$ for a separate DVD burner, but I just got a new DVD player, so that seems like one more piece of equipment on my entertainment center.
Is there another way (other than Tivo hacks, which I don't think could be discussed on this board)?
As an aside, how much are blank DVDs, anyway?
10-06-2003, 08:35 PM
Any digital to digital copying via a TiVo (or any PVR) is going to require some kind of hack as the data is always saved in an encrypted format on the PVR's hard drive. Do a search on TyStudio for software being developed to do this on TiVos..
There is software available now for the other PVR, ReplayTV, which lets you transfer things back and forth from your computer to the Replay. It was demonstrated on The Screen Savers (http://www.techtv.com/screensavers/howto/story/0,24330,3423839,00.html) on Tech TV.
With a hack, the only way to transfer from a standard TiVo to another device is thru the RCA or S-video outputs. To copy onto a computer and burn videos requires a video capture card, a lot of hard drive space, a decently fast computer and something to burn with. I have just a regular CD writer and am quite happy with the SVCDs I burn.
The downside of the indirect approach: too many lossy steps.
The signal goes into the TiVo and is compressed onto disk.
The signal comes out of the TiVo and is decompressed.
Along the way it passes thru analog cables.
Arrives on the PC and gets recompressed again for storage.
Each of those reduces the quality of the signal.
For more help on DVD burning etc., try DVDr Help (http://www.dvdrhelp.com/).
DVDrs run about $1 each in bulk. That's the same price CDrs were when I first started burning them (1997), now they're under a nickel. (Or free with rebates.)
"Without" a hack...
10-06-2003, 09:32 PM
Pioneer's coming out with a DVD burner/Tivo combo for the lovely price of $1199. But those will certainly allow you to copy shows from Tivo to dvd.
10-06-2003, 10:33 PM
This is pretty easy to do.
You'll need a turbonet from www.9thtee.com.
All the instructions are available at www.dealdatabase.com
10-06-2003, 10:36 PM
Hmm that first link isn't working right for me...
10-06-2003, 10:38 PM
Ugh I'm sorry for the triple post, but here is the tivo video extraction forum at deal database:
10-06-2003, 11:21 PM
Darn it now I'm sorry for the quadruple post, but this is necessary for accuracy's sake. (I wish we could edit our posts)
If you have Series 1, it's easy to do. The newer Series 2 units have no place for a turbonet card, and would require kernel level hacking and, I think reprogramming the PROM chip. Then you could use the USB port to extract video. It's a LOT more involved.
10-07-2003, 12:44 AM
I'm sorry the Series 2 units have no spot for Turbonet or Tivonet because the USB port is designed to take a USB Etherner adapter. Now I don't have a series II unit so I'm not sure if they solved how to avoid having your hacks (user added programs) whiped out
MODS's TiVo has no problems with people who own the box and pay for the service "hacking" the boxes to add functionality.
10-07-2003, 04:06 AM
Hey MannyL, yes S2 tivos have been hacked. There's a couple of ways to do it, but the one I think most people are using is called the "monte hack". There is an entire forum at dealdatabase dedicated to S2 hacking.
I should also note to the mods that the dealdatabse forums I linked do not allow any talk of service theft or DTV hacking. (or anything illegal for that matter)
10-07-2003, 10:56 AM
The Series 2 Tivos can be connected to a network with an appropriate USB-to-ethernet adaptor. You still need to take out the hard drive and tinker with it to allow you to log into a command shell if you want to do neat tricks like extracting the video and copying it to your computer. Otherwise the only purpose for using a network adaptor is to get your program listings across the net, thus avoiding the need for a phone line.
Incidentally, the Tivo doesn't store the video "encrypted" - it's just stored in a proprietary file system format that requires special software to read. But it's just straight MPEG2 data that's being written to the hard drive.
There's nothing illegal about hacking your Tivo - the company even tolerates "hackers" who want to tinker with the internals of the Tivo (for example, when those Turbonet cards became available one of the official software updates from Tivo included drivers to support them). But copying video off the hard drive is definitely frowned upon and could be considered copyright infringement if you distribute it. If too many people start doing things like this Tivo will be forced to start building countermeasures to keep the "hackers" out, and that would just hurt the Tivo community as a whole. So please, if anyone decides to do this, try to be responsible about it.
10-07-2003, 11:33 AM
Check out the forums at www.tivocommunity.com (http://www.tivocommunity.com).
10-07-2003, 04:40 PM
If it has a video out you could use a dvd recorder. I use a Panasonic E30. Its a dvd player too. I think you can still buy a E50, but you can get one with 80HD for $500.00....
10-07-2003, 05:46 PM
Did you even bother to read the thread, handy?
10-08-2003, 10:03 AM
Yes, friedo, I did read the topic, I frequent dvd forums daily & he asked:
"Is there another way ?"
I answered with a dvd recorder, do you know what those are friedo? If not, here is one:
Have a look.
"As an aside, how much are blank DVDs, anyway?"
Anywhere from 60 cents on up.
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