Windows Install

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Installing pyTivo on Windows


Install Instructions for Windows

1. Download & Install Python 2.7 for Windows using the installer-suggested defaults.

    pyTivo does not work with Python 2.4 and below, nor 3.0 and above.

2. Download the latest version of pyTivo from the Current_Releases page.

    If this is your first time using pyTivo, the wmcbrine fork is suggested to start.

3. Extract the .zip to a new directory of your choice: e.g. C:\pyTivo or similar. Make a note of the directory! This will be referred to as the <install folder> in the remainder of this document.

   On Windows 7 and above it is advisable to NOT install in the \program files or  \program files (x86) folder systems.
   You will have difficulty editing the pyTivo.conf file and upgrading in the future.
   This will especially be true if you edit using a browser (see Settings below).

Then, go to the directory and make a copy of the file pyTivo.conf.dist and name it pytivo.conf. Note the helpful comments throughout this file -- and in particular be sure to put the correct path to ffmpeg.exe (see next 2 steps) in the ffmpeg variable in the Server section.


4. Grab a 32 or 64 bit build of FFmpeg for pyTivo: Recent builds of FFmpeg for Windows are available at:

    Note: You'll need 7-Zip ( to extract ffmpeg.exe from its archive.

5. Copy the ffmpeg.exe file from step 4 to \<install folder>\bin\. If the directory does not exist, create it.

6. To properly handle .tivo files grab the special version of tivodecode:

7. Extract tivodecode.exe and tdcat.exe from the zip file downloaded in step 6 and drop them into \<install folder>\bin\.

8. If you are using Windows Firewall, add a Windows Firewall exception for UDP 5353 so that Windows won’t block pyTivo’s new zeroconf share announcements. (The most common reason pyTivo shares don’t show up or disappear from the Now Playing list on the Tivo is firewall blockages)

9. Start pyTivo by executing the file \<install folder>\

10. Now that it's running, point your browser to http://localhost:9032. You should get the pyTivo home page:


11. Click on the "Settings" link to change your pyTivo settings (instead of having to edit the pytivo.conf file manually in a text editor) :


In here you can set your account name and password (required for pushing videos from the pyTivo server to the TiVo) and also your MAK and file location (required for TiVoToGo downloads). Once you've saved those changes, restart pyTivo with the "Restart pyTivo" button so they take effect.

12. By default, there is one example share in pyTivo, called "MyMovies". You should click on the "MyMovies" item on the pyTivo Settings page and edit the path to point to a directory on your computer that contains videos, such as c:\Users\YourUserName\Videos.

13. Back on the pyTivo home page, you can click on one of your TiVos to download recordings via TiVoToGo:


Or, click on your video share to browse your local videos to push to a selected TiVo box:



Or look at the bottom of the TiVo's Now Playing List on your tv to pull videos to the TiVo using your remote:



14. Enjoy. You may also wish to add photo and music shares. It may be necessary to restart your TiVo unit for these shares to appear in your TiVo menus.

NOTE: The folder names for your photo and music sources may be different than is shown by Windows Explorer.
For example, the folder name for "\My Music" might actually be "\Music". One way to check the actual name is
to open a DOS command window, go to the folder's parent directory and issue a "DIR" command.

Running as a Service

  • pywin32 (necessary to install pyTivo as a service)
  • Select the version that matches your installed Python version. Ex: If you installed Python 2.7 32bit then download pywin32.win32-py2.7.exe
     If you installed 32bit Python then download the 32bit version of pywin.  
     If you installed 64bit Python then download the AMD64 version of pywin.

To create the pyTivo service after installing pywin32 perform the following steps

  1. Start Menu->Run
  2. Type "cmd" and hit enter
  3. Change directory to base pyTivo directory (the <install folder> from above). For example, type "cd c:\pytivo"
  4. Type " --startup auto install"
 * You may need to run the command prompt with administrative rights to install the service properly
 * You may also need to add "c:\<Python Directory>\python.exe" in front of " --startup auto install" in order to install pyTivo as a service if you receive the usage statistics when simply running the above command.

It is reported when accessing network shares when pyTivo is running as a service to not use the Local System account but rather the Network Services account.

To configure for pyTivo to run as Network Services perform the following steps

  1. Go to a command prompt (Start Menu->Run)
  2. Type services.msc and hit enter
  3. Find the pyTivo service from the list of services right-click and select PropertiesFile:Properties.png
  4. Select the Log On tab and then Browse...
  5. Type network in the Enter the object name to select (examples): box.
    File:Select User.png
  6. Press the Check Name button and the Network Service object should appear in the box.
  7. Press the OK button
  8. Press the Apply and then OK button
  9. Rebooting the computer or Stopping and Starting the service should invoke the Network Service object in managing the network shares found in the pyTivo.conf.


If you installed the service, remove it with the following steps:

  1. Start Menu->Run
  2. Type "cmd" and hit enter
  3. Change directory to base pyTivo directory
  4. Type " remove"

Now simply delete the pyTivo base folder. pyTivo does not use the registry.

General Notes

Photo Plugin

For better performance in the photo plugin, you can install the Python Imaging Library too. (or for a 64-bit build).

Windows Firewall

Note - If you have the Windows Firewall enabled, be sure to open the port number specified in your pyTivo.conf file. When first running pyTivo you may get the following warning:

A troubleshooting guide for firewall settings is located here: TroubleShoot#To_create_an_exception_in_the_Windows_firewall


Click "Unblock" to allow pyTivo to run.

Example pyTiVo.conf

If you've followed the guide above, your pytivo.conf file (without comments) should look something very much like this:

tivo_password = acbdefg
tivo_username = wxyz123
tivo_mak = 0123456789
port = 9032
togo_path = C:\Users\YourUserName\Videos
ffmpeg = C:\pyTivo\bin\ffmpeg.exe
tivodecode = C:\pyTivo\bin\tivodecode.exe

type = video
path = C:\Users\YourUserName\Videos

Note: This is a very basic pytivo.conf, there are many more advanced options, but they are not shown here so that new users can see the most important options necessary to getting pyTiVo started. Once it is running correctly, users are encouraged to first learn about then experiment with the more advanced features.

Starting pyTivo from the command line

If pyTiVo is not starting up correctly, it will be necessary to troubleshoot why. Often, it will report errors to the console before exiting. To see the errors report, start pyTivo from the command line by following the steps below: Press [Windows Key]-R to open the run window, then type cmd and press [Enter].

Type cd <install directory*>
and press [Enter] then type
and press [Enter]

  • Note: type out the actual path to the pytivo directory, such as c:\pytivo, do not type the words 'install direcory'</pre>

Once you are able to see pyTivo attempting to start up, you can copy and paste the errors or messages it generates into a message on the pyTivo or TiVoCommunity forums. To copy from the command line, right-click and Select All, then press Enter to copy, then paste into a forum post.

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