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Old 8th May 2010, 16:55   #1  |  Link
Atum
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Join Date: Apr 2010
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Mac OSX - Tivo HD to BluRay Workflow

Hardware you will need:

Mac or Hackintosh running OSX 10.5 or better (this may be obvious but you never know)
TivoHD or TiVoHDXL networked with the Mac (gigabit network helps here)
BluRay burner (if you want to actually burn the discs)
A big fat hard drive for scratch files. (yes in this case bigger is better)

Software tools you will need:

Tivo Butler works best for downloading and decoding the TiVo files to your Mac. You can also use tivodecode after you transfer the file to your Mac by other means (tivotogo or accssing the tiro through your browser.) Trust me Tivo Butler works great and is easiest. It can even be set up to monitor your TiVo(s) and download recordings automatically and can use mencoder to encode them to mp4's. It is quite versatile and free.

Get it here: http://www.baurhome.net/software/tivobutler/index.html


Mpeg Streamclip

Greatest program ever! Ok, well maybe not but if you want to edit commercials out of a video file this jewel IS the greatest program ever. This program will also transcode your file to other formats which is what we need to do when trying to clip the commercials. Best thing is…..it is free, Get it here: http://www.squared5.com/

Toast Titanium 10 with the BluRay plug-in

This one will cost you some cash but is the best way to burn BluRay on a Mac. Especially if you are burning multiple episodes of a TV series to one BluRay disc and you want a menu system. I found I could do individual episodes of a series with TSmuxer and then just use Toast's BDMV folder option to burn it. This works but leaves you with a autoplay-on-insert disc and is not very user friendly without a menu.

Media Info Mac

This program tells you all the particulars about your video and audio files and is useful to check the run time on files after toast has converted them to make sure it did the job right. Get it here: http://mediainfo.massanti.com/


OK - Here is the Workflow:

1) Use TiVo Butler to download and decode episodes of "insert your favorite show here" to your computer. In the preferences under "Downloading" choose "Download and Decode". (do not convert the file to mp4 when going to BluRay this is for conversion to iPod/iTunes/AppleTV) You will have to provide TiVo Butler with the MAK number of your TiVo for it to properly decode the files.

2) At this point you will have an mpeg2 file with AC-3 audio. Now for some reason Mpeg Streamclip cannot edit these files very well and usually chokes when trying to clip commercials or the clip points are very far apart. So, use Mpeg Streamclip to first convert your file to a plain mpeg2 for editing. On Mpeg Streamclip's "File" menu choose "Convert to MPEG". DO NOT convert to mpeg with mp2 audio as this will require Toast to re-encode and will take forever.

3) So, now that you have a plain mpeg2 with AC-3 audio you can edit that file with Mpeg Streamclip. Follow the instructions and cut out all the commercials. Now before you save your file choose to "Fix Timecode Breaks" from the Edit menu and check the "Do not skip any frame" checkbox. (This may help avoid a damaged file that causes Toast to only get part of the program.) After you have fixed the timecode breaks, save the file by selecting "Save As" from the File menu. You cannot mess up the original file here since Mpeg Streamclip only allows you to create an edited copy of the original. (save your original for now until your disc is burned and verified)

4) Now that you have an edited version of your show you can start Toast and select the "Blu-ray Video" option. (You have to purchase the Blu-ray plugin from Roxio to burn Blu-Ray discs.) Add your files to the window and name your disc. Go to the options pop-up tab in the left pane and select the menu style (I use the Arabesque option with a video clip from the title of the show, Mpeg streamclip lets you capture individual frames from your favorite program as a jpeg to use for the title here, or you can use some other art or a plain menu). Now, the important part…click on the small icon of the menu (not the magnifying glass but the menu itself) This drops down the options pull-down window. Here you have three tabs, "Disc" "Menus" and "Encoding". On the Disc tab you can change the name of your disc and uncheck anything else. On the Menus tab you can select your menu system and choose what will appear as the title of the menu. And finally on the Encoding tab you want to select "Custom" and where it says "Reencoding" select "Never". Now, Toast will take the raw Mpeg2 w/AC3 audio files and just multiplex them and burn them. This saves hours of reencoding time. The ONLY way this works is you have to preserve the AC3 audio with the Mpeg2 video. If you transcode the audio or video to any other format you will be losing quality and they will need to be reencoded to work on a BluRay disc. (AVC or MP4 with AC3 may also work but your raw files from the TiVo will be in Mpeg2 format so why mess with them?)

5) Burn to a disk image first. Then use "Media Info Mac" to check the time for each program file m2ts on the disk image (in the "/BDMV/STREAM" folder) to make sure it matches the original program run time. (a few seconds either way is usually not a problem). You can use VLC to play the M2TS file to check if it is all there also. Every once in a while I have run into a program that has been edited and saved just fine from Mpeg Streamclip and can be played fine as an mpeg but when Toast converts it to an M2TS it chops off part of the program. It usually cuts off right where I have edited out a commercial break. Now, this is why I had you fix the timecode breaks but it is not always successful so double check your files first.

If the file is cut short the only fix I successfully employed was to run the file through VirtualHub as an Mpeg2 with an audio passthrough. Somehow that fixed whatever Toast didn't like about the file and it got the whole program the next time I ran it through. (Virtual hub is no longer available for download but can be had on the newsgroups and torrents. You could also try ffmpegX but the file must stay an mpeg2 w/AC3 audio or Toast will want to reencode it. It takes about 12 hours to encode a disc of Mpeg2's with mp2 audio tracks so DON'T transcode anything or drop the AC3 audio. )


6) Next to last step, get yourself a BD-RE disc and burn the disc as a test. Check it out on your stand-alone player and verify that it all works properly with the menus and skip through each show to check that it is all there or watch the whole disc for that matter.

7) Once you have verified that all is well burn to a permanent BD-R for your HD collection.

Just hope this helps someone avoid hours of frustrating trial and error that I went through.
Good Luck
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