TivoToGo without a Network
May 5, 2005 9:16 AM   Subscribe

How do I extract a file from my Tivo and put it onto my computer?

We have a Series2 box, but it is not networked in any way - we would need to physically hook a computer to the Tivo (somehow). Tivo provides this helpful information about how to play the files once they're moved, but nothing about how to actually move them, except the TivoToGo info, which requires that the Tivo be networked, which is more trouble than we want to go to to remove a single clip.

The eventual goal is to burn some material to DVD for storage, rather than saving it to video tape. I'm sure there is a simple way to do this, and that people do it all the time, but clearly we are not those people.
posted by anastasiav to Technology (9 answers total)
I attacked this problem from a different angle by just buying this DVD recorder. It's dead simple to use and works great; if you put a $ value on your time, $150 might be worth it.

As a bonus this makes it very easy to dump all your camcorder tapes off onto DVD (front-panel DV and composite line-ins).
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:24 AM on May 5, 2005

Get a USB ethernet adapter and create a Home Network, then install TiVo Desktop on your PC, enable sharing via TiVo's website, then download the video file to your desktop using TiVo's software or via the unsupported server interface, and then burn it. You'll find many step by step guides at TiVo Community Forum.
posted by riffola at 9:31 AM on May 5, 2005

I would add, that if you have a Mac, forget it... you can transfer the file but you can't easily get it into a mac useable format.... The only way to do it on a mac is to get something like a Canopus
and save to imovie, then burn...

I second the "buy a dvd recorder" suggestion by the stupidsexy person...much easier, and probably faster!
posted by HuronBob at 10:09 AM on May 5, 2005

Response by poster: Ok, I guess I need to clarify one point -- we're not trying to get the file off the Tivo and on to my own computer. We're trying to get the file off the Tivo and onto a friend's Dell laptop (we Tivo'd her daughter's dance recital, which was broadcast on a local public access channel), thus us not wanting to spend money on a DVR or other recorder.

Riffola -- so we should be able to simply plug the eithernet adapter into the Tivo at one end and the Laptop on the other and have it work? I'm sorry if that sounds like a stupid question, but my impression from reading the links you provided (which I read before I posted my question, actually) was that we would need to buy a router, which is, again, more than we really want to get into to transfer a 15 minute public access clip.
posted by anastasiav at 10:16 AM on May 5, 2005

Anastsiav, I believe that, for copyright reasons, TiVo's file system is designed to prevent you from directly moving over the TiVo file to a computer which is not both yours and properly enabled with TiVo's mobile software.

Basically, you have to use some form of capture of TiVo's analog output to get TiVo content to a third party.

DVD burners and VCRs are the most common way to capture and archive analog content, but computer television cards are also an option. You might be able to get a PCMIA television card and its software for the laptop which permit you to network one of the TiVo's analog outputs straight to the laptop.
posted by MattD at 10:39 AM on May 5, 2005

anastasiav, yeah you need a router, I am not sure if just regular internet sharing will work. It might, who knows?
posted by riffola at 11:05 AM on May 5, 2005

This is the TiVo page you should be looking at.

You need a cheap router and a network adapter for the TiVo. You need to create a small network between the laptop and the TiVo. It can be done relatively cheaply, but does require some equipment.
posted by modofo at 11:48 AM on May 5, 2005

Best answer: I just did this! Or something like it. My wife appeared in a commercial, which we'd nabbed on TiVo and then wanted to share with family. After a lot of browsing, I found this page.
The instructions are a bit long, but at the end, you'll have an mpg file which you can edit, copy, and share as you like.
Combined with the links modofo provided, you should be all set.

One warning, .tivo files are huge. Expect to need several Gigs of space available just to download the file.
posted by Eddie Mars at 2:08 PM on May 5, 2005

Best answer: You shouldn't need a router, just a compatible network adapter and a cheap crossover cable.

This will require some manual IP configuration, though, since you won't have the DHCP server most home routers come with to do it automatically.

You'll have to manually assign a static IP address to the network card on the dell laptop, and to the Tivo.

A good choice would be for the laptop and for the Tivo. The netmask (or subnet mask) of should work.

You shouldn't need a default gateway or DNS server, but if the Tivo forces you to fill it in, use for both.

This Tivo page has info on configuring the IP information: http://customersupport.tivo.com/knowbase/root/public/tv2014.htm?

If you search the WindowsXP help for "configure TCP/IP settings" you'll get some help with the network settings on windows.

This assumes that the Tivo software will let you do what you want to do. I know nothing about that.
posted by Good Brain at 12:15 AM on May 8, 2005

« Older New York State Wineries   |   Online Calendars Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.