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TiVo Hacks by Raffi Krikorian

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Hack #85. Converting Extracted Video

Coerce those TiVo ty files into a more standard video format.

Video file formats proliferate, but there are a few standards supported by the lion's share of media players, MPEG, DiVX, and AVI being among the most common. TiVo's ty files are just not one of them. So, in order to play them just about anywhere, we need to coerce those files into a more standard video format.

You have a couple of options here, both of which have varying degrees success. Both solutions are still under development and have received their fair share of complaints.

MPlayer

If you compiled your own version of TiVo-MPlayer [Hack #83], you also have a copy of the bundled mencoder application, a perfectly fine option for simple encoding.

mencoder can take a ty file specified on the command line and encode the audio and video using a variety of different codecs. In my opinion, the best tradeoff of quality, space, and resolution is to encode the video using the DiVX 5.0 codec (http://www.divx.com) and audio into MP3 using lame (http://lame.sourceforge.net/). I like to resize the output to 352 by 240 pixels, because that is approximately the resolution of a video CD; anything larger may be a waste, and anything smaller loses information. You can also deinterlace the resulting AVI file at the same time. Instead of transmitting every line on your television at one time, all the odd lines are transmitted first, followed by all the even lines. While this looks fine on a television ...

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