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How to make mpegs/vobs compatible with TiVo and pyTivo

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Joined: 06 Jan 2008
Posts: 284

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:34 am    Post subject: How to make mpegs/vobs compatible with TiVo and pyTivo Reply with quote

Note: This thread/sticky is a work in progress.

Mpeg and vob duration and/or pixelation issues is a recurring problem that is quite often caused by errors in the mpg/vob and can usually be corrected by changing the way that the mpeg or vob is created. Mpegs with invalid timestamps will frequently result in the early termination of transfers to the tivo because the video is longer than the value reported to ffmpeg. Vob's are especially prone to errors and require preprocessing before attempting to send them to the tivo. The best way I have found to ensure mpegs and vobs are fully compatible and transfer completely to the tivo is to run them through an mpeg repair program like Mpeg StreamClip before attempting to transfer the file to the tivo. When you open a vob file with Mpeg Streamclip, a timecode fix window will pop up if the file contains timecode breaks. Proceed with the timecode fix if you see this window. After opening an mpg or vob with Mpeg Streamclip, use the "Convert to Mpeg" option to write the video to a new file.

Mpeg StreamClip is available in both Windows and MAC versions. Be sure to use the latest beta rather than the standard version. It is not necessary to purchase the Mpeg-2 Playback Component used by Mpeg StreamClip unless you wish to use Mpeg SteamClip to view/edit the file and/or cut out the commercials. The timecode fix and convert to mpeg options will still repair the video without being able to view the video with the Playback Component.

Mpeg Streamclip "Convert to Mpeg" will also repair the audio reference when an audio stream other than the first has been been extracted from a dvd and there is no sound when the file is sent to the tivo.

Mpeg Streamclip can also rip a non-copy protected dvd directly to a single mpeg file. Use the "Open DVD" option and then select the VTS number which contains the movie or clip you wish to extract. Fix the timecode breaks if prompted. Select your favorite audio stream at the bottom of the screen where it says "Audio PID". Mpeg Streamclip will make the selected audio stream the default stream that plays when the file is sent to the tivo. Mpeg Streamclip will also retain all the other audio streams in case you wish to use pytivo's audio mapping options to select different audio streams later on. Or, if you only want to keep one stream, you can tell it to convert only one audio track in preferences. Then select "Convert to Mpeg".

Not every application will repair every file. Some applications may work better than others depending on the errors in the file, and some files may not be repairable. You may want to keep a few different programs on hand and process your video with a different application when you find a video that your favorite application does not repair. You might also try tools that demux the video and audio into separate streams and then remux them. But that's another guide. I'm lazy and prefer tools that re-multiplex in one step.

some free mpeg repair apps
Mpeg Streamclip

some non-free apps for mpeg repair
VideoRedo (Quickstream Fix option)
SolveigMM Video Splitter
Womble MPEG Video Wizard
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Joined: 24 Mar 2009
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you! This is very helpful info.

VOB2MPG is another tool that can convert VOB files to MPG, but it does NOT fix the audio reference issue if you rip something other than the first audio stream from a dvd. Mpeg Streamclip is also MUCH faster than VOB2MPG.
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Joined: 04 Jan 2008
Posts: 2627
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since this thread got bumped by a spammer, I may as well comment:

For timestamp issues, lately I've been getting very good results with the FFmpeg option, "-fflags +genpts". That is to say:

ffmpeg -fflags +genpts -i infile.mpg -c:v copy -c:a copy outfile.ts

(I normally use this to generate transport stream files, for various reasons, but it should work with program streams as well.) The position of the option in the command line seems to be important -- I have to put it near the beginning, maybe before the -i option.

My pyTivo fork . My page
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