Andrew Connell

Converting .tivo -> .mpg without Sonic

In case you’ve been under a rock, TiVo released an update to their software that includes the covetted TiVoToGo (TTG or T2G) a few weeks back. I’ve been critical of TiVo recently, as noted here , While some people are going crazy waiting on their TTG software updates, I got mine about a week and a half ago. Basically, it allows you to download a show from your TiVo and play it on a compatible player (one that understands the specific codec used). When you go to play the show, you’re prompted for a password, your own unique password (no problems here). But if you want to burn it for archival to a DVD, you have to buy Sonic’s program as it’s the only commercial product at the time of this blogging that will work with it.

Frankly I think that’s crap, as do a lot of other TiVo peeps I chat with. But someone has come out with a process that worked great for me to convert the program from the password-protected .tivo file to a standard .mpg. I tried it this morning on a 1 hour show I pulled down from my TiVo and it was converted in less than 5 minutes! I played the first few minutes and it worked great!!!! I didn’t follow the instructions exactly, so I’ll explain what I did:

  1. First, you need to download two utilities: Moonlight XMuxer [ direct download ] and something called DirectX 9 GraphEdit that I got from this guy . Those are the two links found in the actual instructions linked above.
  2. Now follow his instructions to a point:
    1. Open GraphEdit.exe
    2. Open the *.tivo file in GraphEdit.exe
    3. Select & delete all boxes except the source one. The source box contains your *.tivo filename and should be the first one in the upper right.
    4. Select [GRAPH] | [INSERT FILTER] and then select the Direct Show Filters node.
  3. This is where my instructions start to stray. I added the Moonlight-Elecard MPEG 2 Demultiplexer filter, then added the Moonlight MPEG2 MultiplEX filter, and finally added the Dump filter (you’ll br prompted to enter a filename for the export).
  4. Connect the output line of the source box to the input line of the demultiplexer box, connect the two output lines of the demultiplexer to the input lines of the multiplexer box (make sure you line video to video and audio to audio), and connect the output box of the multiplexer box to the input of the dump blox.

That’s it… I hit play and within a few minutes (it was acutally more like 1-2 minutes for a 1 hour recording. Refer to my GraphEdit screenshot below for help.

There’s some additional info on the underpinnings of TiVoToGo in this recent PVRBlog post … like the web interface!

Andrew Connell
Developer & Chief Course Artisan, Voitanos LLC. | Microsoft MVP
Written by Andrew Connell

Andrew Connell is a web developer with a focus on Microsoft Azure & Microsoft 365. He’s received Microsoft’s MVP award every year since 2005 and has helped thousands of developers through the various courses he’s authored & taught. Andrew’s the founder of Voitanos and is dedicated to delivering industry-leading on-demand video training to professional developers. He lives with his wife & two kids in Florida.