7 Mar 2005
TiVo to DVD (or VCD) via Mac OSX
Because I’m relatively new to the Mac world, I had a lot of trouble finding both instructions and (free) software to extract video from my Series 1 TiVo and burn it to DVD or VCD/SCVD. The following is a write-up of the steps I’ve worked out.
- You must have an ethernet card and telnet access to your TiVo.
- Series 1 TiVos (which I have) are the easiest to hack. I ordered my TurboNet card from 9th Tee, but PTVUpgrade apprently sells them as well, along with replacement TiVo hard drives that already have all the modifications made on them.
- I don’t know much about Series 2 TiVos because I don’t have one (and Jeff hasn’t let me hack his yet). You don’t have to install a network card because you can use a USB-to-Ethernet adapter, but enabling telnet & installing your own applications is trickier. Check out the TivoCommunity or Deal Database forums or this short tutorial I found. Or you can order a replacement hard drive from PTVUpgrade that already has all the modifications made.
- Download and install TYServer on your TiVo (if you have a Series 2 TiVo, you will need to install a specially compiled version of TYServer, which I don’t have any links handy for right now). Follow these instructions (ignore the part about the TYTools “client” software, which is for the PC). You will need to let it run for a while to index all the recordings on your TiVo.
- Download and install X11 for OSX.
- Download and install TYStudio for OSX. To use it, launch X11 and use the terminal to locate and execute “tyeditor.”
- Use TYEditor (instructions) to edit and save TiVo programs to MPG files on your hard drive.
- Download and install ffmpegX for OSX.
- Use ffmpegX to convert your the MPG files into files that can be edited in iMovie.
- Drag and drop the MPG file on ffmpegX.
- Select “MP4 mpeg-4” as the target video format.
- On the “video” tab, select 4:3 as the aspect ratio (under “Auto-Size”). The video size should be 640×480.
- On the “audio” tab, make sure the Audio codec is set to AAC.
- Click “encode” and sit back while the MPG file is converted to MPEG-4.
- Open iMovie and create a new project (choose MPEG-4 as the video format). Import the MP4 file(s). Now you can edit and arrange the clips.
- From iMovie, you can “share” your project to iDVD and then burn it to DVD.
Creating a 2-hour DVD was an unbearably lengthy process (lots of waiting while files were encoded from one format to another) on my Mac Mini and used tons of space on my hard drive. And in the end, the DVD+R disc I burned wouldn’t play in my DVD player (I think I need to use DVD-R discs instead).
I’ve also encoded some video to SVCD, which uses regular CDRs and will play on my DVD player.
- Drag and drop the MPG file (saved from the TiVo) to ffmpegX.
- You should select “SVCD” as the target video format. Resolution should be 480 by 480.
- If you want to convert footage you’ve edited in iMovie, you should export the reference Quicktime file (click on your iMovie file and select “show package contents.” The file will be under “Shared Movies/iDVD”). Drag and drop this on ffmpegX and follow the same step as above.
- After encoding the file, use the “Tools” tab to author the file into a format that can be burned to CDR.
- Download and install Missing Media Encoder to burn the files to CDR.
- You can also use MMT-EZ to go from iMovie to VCD/SVCD.