View Full Version : DTivo and Mac OS X extraction

05-04-2003, 09:00 PM
Is there anyone here who has been able to successfully extract a video stream from a DTivo to a Mac running OS X and get it converted into something useful (i.e. Quicktime)? Please don't flame this as a FAQ, because it's not. I've spent much of the past few weeks working through many versions of tools, tutorials, and different hacks, none of which seem to actually fit this simple combination of Mac and Tivo.

I believe the recent tutorials are aimed at SATivo users and the DTivo streams seem to be incompatible (even unscrambled) with the work flows documented for Mac users.

I'm more than happy to take a shot at documenting all the steps and even building an appropriate set of tools. But it'd be a lot easier if someone who already has this working can volunteer a few hints.

05-05-2003, 07:50 AM
Nothing like answering (partially) your own question, but in the interests of helping others wade through this process, here's an extraction process for DTivo and Mac OS X that has worked for about 50% of the files I've tried.

First, you need to download several files from http://themurrays.homeip.net/downloads/tivo/for_mac/

Grab a copy of
mplex (http://themurrays.homeip.net/downloads/tivo/for_mac/mplex)
tydemux-m-0.4.0.zip (http://themurrays.homeip.net/downloads/tivo/for_mac/tydemux-m-0.4.0.zip)

You'll obviously need a .ty file from your TiVo (exercise for the reader) and a way to run these applications. I suggest throwing all the parts in a subdirectory and using the attached shell script to run everything. (e.g., ./ty2mpg2 yourfile.ty) This was able to consistently convert short video clips, but has failed about half the time on longer segments.

05-06-2003, 03:26 PM
DTivo to Mac (as of May 2003) for viewing in QuickTime:

tydemux 4.2 (note, there's a newer version than the 4.0 listed) + mplex

This will get you an *.mpg that will play in Quicktime (or without mplex, elemental streams for use with DVD Studio Pro, or www.hillmanminx.com's Transcribe)

It won't let you cut commercials. You'll need to wait for Guy to reappear and get around to the OS X port of TyStudio.

The other route, again, note, I am saying at this time for an all Mac solution is JDiner's mac_vsplit. Use the -m option for a *.mpg. With a lot of trial and view, you can use the -j and -l options to cut out commercials, etc. JDiner hasn't ported his GOPEditor, so you're SOL for a visual editor.

This will work in QuickTime unless you're using an AC3 audio stream... in which case, you won't get audio in QT with AC3. Ditch the -m option, and slap the elemental streams into Transcribe, created a VIDEO_TS folder, and use DVD Player if you want to get AC3 audio to play.

When there is a Mac OS TyStudio port, all this will be moot. But if you can't wait... hope this helps.

05-06-2003, 04:15 PM
I've had good success with mac_vsplit. The biggest problem is getting it into some sort of editor. iMovie is totally lame in that it can only import 2gb DV files, even though it'll read huge amounts of data from a camera. I don't relish the idea of chopping up a 2 hour movie into 9 minute chunks just to satisfy iTunes.

And it makes the audio sync a bit problematic. You can import the MPEG2 and then paste in the audio, but I've never figured out how to get iMovie to let you cut both video and audio at the same time. Always seems to chop out the selected video and leave the audio track untouched.

I've been playing around with getting ElGato's EyeTV app to edit video, but it seems to only work with muxed MPEG1 video, and I hate to have to convert to that format and back to MPEG2 just to get rid of commercials. But nonetheless, you CAN stick an MPEG1 file into EyeTV's directory structure and it will let you cut out commercials. It's a freely available download from www.elgato.com

It's really surprising given all of Apple's claims to be a superior video platform that it's this hard to assemble an appropriate suite of tools to do something that seems like it ought to be very straightforward. Oh well...

05-08-2003, 04:14 PM
It's really surprising given all of Apple's claims to be a superior video platform that it's this hard to assemble an appropriate suite of tools to do something that seems like it ought to be very straightforward. Oh well...

What did you expect from iMovie? It's free. Try the Pro versions from Apple.

Apple DVD Studio Pro
Apple Final Cut Pro
Apple Quicktime MPEG2 Import & Export Plug-ins

The big problem is Apple assumes you're working with your own video... i.e. DV. So even if you get it into Final Cut Pro, it'll want to re-encode it to MPEG2. That's why I said, if you want to edit out commercials, use mac_vsplit -l and -j options.

mpgtx (you can get it at Fink, or get a OS X GUI interface from, I think, sourceforge) can split and join (not graphically, it's try, view, guess again at cut points). However, joining split files with it doesn't seem to work well with DVD SP (mpgtx does say it's MPEG2 stuff is Experimental). And sadly, it's join functionality doesn't seem to work well either for MPEG2.

However, for DVDs, it really doesn't matter, since DVD SP will take multiple parts and you can link them to play as one continious video. The only issue with this is chapter marks, with multiple source m2v's... I can't seem to find any way to set a chapter mark in say, part2.m2v that will allow me to use th remote to jump back to the middle of part1.m2v.

Anyway, like I said before, the whole set of problems should go away soon if TyStudio gets a Mac port finished. You'll have a graphical editor, and, it'll output as a single set of elemental streams, that will work great with DVD SP or Transcribe, and I assume, if you want to convert to something less than DVD.

05-13-2003, 03:11 PM
If you look through the tystudio announcement thread, you'll find the links and info on Tystudio for OS X. You'll need to install X11 (from Apple) and Dlcompat to get it to work though, and you can then run tyeditor from the X11 console to give you a working (for me at least) version of the software. Also I've stopped using mpeg audio, as my DVD player has problems with it. I leave the audio as 32khz and use iTunes to convert the tystudio mpa file to 48khz aif, then ac3 encode it. And you'll brobably need a copy of bbdemux.