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Critique my setup for streaming Tivo recordings to Chromecast

OP whitenack

17th July 2014, 05:32 AM   |  #41  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitenack

However, now I see I can use another program, pyTivo, that will allow transfers back to the Tivo in a standard mpg format. It will even allow the transfers to be triggered from the Tivo, which is even better that what I think I was going to be able to do (had to trigger from the PC and then pull it back off the Tivo when I was done).

Yup, I run pyTiVo to make my non-TiVo content available there. The nice thing with TiVo is it's a download rather than a streaming operation, which is perfect for queuing a bunch of programs and binge-watching them later when your transcoding server is slow like mine.

I use the wmcbrine build... Be careful about Python versions - pyTivo doesn't work on newer ones. These instructions are from 2010 but still should apply: http://scottsoapbox.com/2010/04/20/p...-instructions/ (if you're doing a Windows install).
17th July 2014, 08:01 AM   |  #42  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitenack

Is there any way to speed up the Handbrake conversion? I tried out the following encoding profile and it produces a smaller file with good video quality, but it took over an hour to encode. I use a "veryfast" ffmpeg profile and it just takes 10 minutes. I have read online that handbrake can only be as fast as your machine can run, but I think I have a pretty quick machine (i5 3570k, 8GB ram). Am I missing something? See below...

Code:
HANDBRAKE -i INPUT -t 1 -c 1 -f mkv --large-file --decomb  --detelecine -e x264 -b 1300 -2  -T  -a 1 -E faac -B 160 -6 dpl2 -D 1 -x threads=CPU_CORES:ref=3:mixed-refs=1:bframes=6:weightb=1:direct=auto:b-pyramid=1:me=umh:subq=9:analyse=all:8x8dct=1:trellis=1:nr=150:no-fast-pskip=1:psy-rd=1,1 -v -o OUTPUT

Handbrake and FFMPEG all are CPU intensive encoders...so the CPU is the key to the speed, you can however tweak the settings for a faster encode but at the expense of quality.
There are other encoding option that will use your Video Card GPU (nVidia and Radeon) to help with the encode and take a big load off the CPU, it speeds up encoding time quite a bit.I use Xilisoft which supports this when I don't need to tweak or add tracks since it has none of that capability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whitenack

I have researched some more info on this. It looks like TiVo is using the "Production Number" instead of the "Episode Number". Most times, this number is the same, but sometimes it is not (the episodes were aired out of order, or the show lists the pilot as production number 100 instead of 101. It's not a huge deal, but it is incorrect probably 25-50% of the time on certain shows which really hampers my "automatic" goal.

There are three standard forms of TV Show Cataloging...
One you have is usually reserved for Syndicated only shows since they don't have a clear Original Air Date and don't really have SEASONS so to speak in the general sense since thats a Network thing not really a production thing...
What is throwing you off is if Episode 1 is listed as 0 it throws the whole damn series out of whack as far as scraping is concerned. So you will need a good renaming utility.

Proper conventions for TV shows and good scraping are
SxxExx - S00=Specials S01=Season 1 Etc...E01 =Episode 1
SxEE - S=Season EE=Episode and the x is really an x! examples are 1x01 is Season 1 Episode 1
Last and not least is the 100 system
SEE Where S= the Season EE is the Episode examples are 101 Season 1 Episode 1, 201 Season 2 Episode 1

The Pilot being Ep100 may not be a problem if that Pilot is listed as a Special on TVDB. You will only have to rename that title to S00Exx
The issue will be do they just count episodes is it the latter SEE format if so you might have a 100 but you should NOT have a 200 just a 201
That would be season 2 Ep 1


Quote:
Originally Posted by whitenack

So, I'll have a better quality video plus I'll be using less storage. Win Win!

Thanks for all the help folks! Please excuse all my bumblings and "learn-as-you-go" posts.

Glad to help but you may still need to encode because I'm not sure Plex can play the Tivo native files...If it can you are good to go!
Don't worry about the AC3 since Plex will transcode it to AAC....
If you want to reencode then use the handbrake, slow as it is and keep the AC3 but ADD an AAC track to it using the AC3 track as the source.
It won't add much to the filesize at all!
17th July 2014, 08:08 AM   |  #43  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asphyx

Glad to help but you may still need to encode because I'm not sure Plex can play the Tivo native files...If it can you are good to go!

If it can't, there's tivodecode which will decode the .tivo files back to normal MPEG-2.
17th July 2014, 02:29 PM   |  #44  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhiga

I use the wmcbrine build... Be careful about Python versions - pyTivo doesn't work on newer ones. These instructions are from 2010 but still should apply: http://scottsoapbox.com/2010/04/20/p...-instructions/ (if you're doing a Windows install).

Thanks for the tip. I don't haven't done any reading on pyTivo, so I have no idea what you are saying here, but I'll start my research!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asphyx

Glad to help but you may still need to encode because I'm not sure Plex can play the Tivo native files...If it can you are good to go!
Don't worry about the AC3 since Plex will transcode it to AAC....
If you want to reencode then use the handbrake, slow as it is and keep the AC3 but ADD an AAC track to it using the AC3 track as the source.
It won't add much to the filesize at all!

Yeah, Plex won't play .TiVo files because they are encrypted mpeg files. However, kmttg will decrypt them and convert them to standard mpeg. The problem I am running into right now is Plex has a bug right now where it can't transcode AC3 5.1 to something Chromecast can play. Some of my recordings are AC3 5.1. Therefore, I either need to encode to just AAC stereo or, as you say, add an AAC track. I don't have surround sound equipment, so I'm not sure I'll ever need/want the 5.1 track.

Another little tidbit I found is the Plex player has a setting where you can adjust the video bitrate while the recording is playing. So, if your network is slow, you can lower a high bitrate file down to a bitrate that will play smoothly. The default is 2000, and I didn't realize this. I started playing the high quality 8000-9000 videos and the video quality didn't look all that great. I was kinda bummed, thinking maybe the chromecast was hindering video quality. However, once I found that setting and knocked it up to 8000, the video quality was very good.
17th July 2014, 03:52 PM   |  #45  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitenack

Thanks for the tip. I don't haven't done any reading on pyTivo, so I have no idea what you are saying here, but I'll start my research!

Yeah, Plex won't play .TiVo files because they are encrypted mpeg files. However, kmttg will decrypt them and convert them to standard mpeg. The problem I am running into right now is Plex has a bug right now where it can't transcode AC3 5.1 to something Chromecast can play. Some of my recordings are AC3 5.1. Therefore, I either need to encode to just AAC stereo or, as you say, add an AAC track. I don't have surround sound equipment, so I'm not sure I'll ever need/want the 5.1 track.

Another little tidbit I found is the Plex player has a setting where you can adjust the video bitrate while the recording is playing. So, if your network is slow, you can lower a high bitrate file down to a bitrate that will play smoothly. The default is 2000, and I didn't realize this. I started playing the high quality 8000-9000 videos and the video quality didn't look all that great. I was kinda bummed, thinking maybe the chromecast was hindering video quality. However, once I found that setting and knocked it up to 8000, the video quality was very good.

You don't have surround gear now...But you never know what you might have in the future! LOL
I meant to mention the Player side bit rate controls but it was late and forgot....
You should set them for the highest quality possible as you can lower it on a case by case basis as needed from within the stream.
What you really want to happen is for the file to direct play without transcoding at all...
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