Just about ready to return WD TV Live due to no workable solution for Tivo integration


#1

I bought the WDTV live with the hope that I could mount it behind my LCD TV in the bedroom and be able to access my Tivo recordings (many of which are high def).  Unfortunately I keep running into walls.  Here they are in order:

  1. Inability to see shares on my Windows 7 PC that will store all my media (including .TIVO files).  I got through this problem.

  2. Inability to play .TiVo files directly from the Windows 7 share.  I got around this by building my own version of tivodecode.exe, which will basically convert the .TiVo file into an MPG and copying it to my share.

  3. When I try to play the new MPG files I don’t get audio.  I’ve seen many people with this problem as well.   My best guess right now is that the audio format differs from pre-show commercials and the switch to an AC3 surround sound format confuses the WD TV live.  I can get around this by converting the MPG into a different format.  This is a long process.

Ultimately, all this is causing me to have to spend *way* more time than I originally had hoped.  If there’s some chance that WD TV live could directly support .TiVo files, that would be GREAT.  Alternativey supporting the resulting MPG from tivodecode.exe would be second-best.  Having to transcode to a different format altogether is just too much hassle.

Any suggestions from anybody?


#2

greazer wrote:

I bought the WDTV live with the hope that I could mount it behind my LCD TV in the bedroom and be able to access my Tivo recordings (many of which are high def).  Unfortunately I keep running into walls.  Here they are in order:

  1. Inability to see shares on my Windows 7 PC that will store all my media (including .TIVO files).  I got through this problem.
  1. Inability to play .TiVo files directly from the Windows 7 share.  I got around this by building my own version of tivodecode.exe, which will basically convert the .TiVo file into an MPG and copying it to my share.
  1. When I try to play the new MPG files I don’t get audio.  I’ve seen many people with this problem as well.   My best guess right now is that the audio format differs from pre-show commercials and the switch to an AC3 surround sound format confuses the WD TV live.  I can get around this by converting the MPG into a different format.  This is a long process.

 

Ultimately, all this is causing me to have to spend *way* more time than I originally had hoped.  If there’s some chance that WD TV live could directly support .TiVo files, that would be GREAT.  Alternativey supporting the resulting MPG from tivodecode.exe would be second-best.  Having to transcode to a different format altogether is just too much hassle.

 

Any suggestions from anybody?

You should post your request in the IDEAS page (see link at bottom of page). My question is why you would waste the time to do this? If you have a Tivo file, why not watch it on Tivo through your TV? And, if you want to watch it on your computer, all you need is TivoDesktop which I think is free for the basic version - to transfer and convert your files. Why would you involve the WDTVlive at all? I believe a SlingBox might be a better option - but I have not used one. I would agree that you should probably return it - it does not seem like what you need.


#3

greazer wrote: Having to transcode to a different format altogether is just too much hassle.

 

Any suggestions from anybody?

I think you should return the Live.  There is no way this support will be added anytime soon.

(My own solution is to reencode to MKV using Handbrake, but that’s not a good solution for the kind of temporary files TiVO produces.  As always, TiVO plays TiVO files best, and so for just stuff I’m going to erase I watch it via TiVO, and for archive stuff everything I do is MKV, which both TiVO and the Live like just fine).


#4

Use TivO Desktop Plus to transcode the video to a supported format.


#5

I greatly appreciate the responses.  As for using a Tivo to view the tivo files, that would be great, if I could find a tivo that was the size of the WD TV Live.   See, I don’t have anything around the LCD TV mounted to the wall in my bedroom.  I just want to attach a small device behind it that can access all media on my network.

I have considered and started writing a tool to automatically detect, and convert the TiVo files using tivodecode and handbrake (I’m a developer in my real job), but sheesh, the length of time it takes to re-encode using handbrake just pushes me past the limit.

Slingbox is an option, but it doesn’t do full HD resolution (I don’t think) and it’s pricier.  I’d need the slingbox and a slingbox catcher.

All that being said, I do appreciate the response.  I may play with it a few more days, but it just doesn’t seem like it’s gonna work.  Oh well.


#6

greazer wrote:

.   See, I don’t have anything around the LCD TV mounted to the wall in my bedroom.

 

 

LOL – that’s why God invented running wires in walls.  I have Cat5 going to all my HDTVs and they hang perfectly on the wall with no one suspecting the wiser .

Really, with the sets nowadays (and their multiple HDMI inputs) it just makes more sense to use things that are designed for the purpose.  *Nothing* will play those TiVO files better than TiVo (trust me, been there, bought the T-shirt).

For me I have my TiVo in a remote close and use an IR repeater to control it in the bedroom (my other TiVos can sit next to their respective TVs)  Looks transparent, as the IR repeater sits just below the set and I point it at the set and control it as if it were the TV (actually, I use a Harmony remote so it controls *everything* included the Live).

But, to each his own.  I truly don’t think you’ll find an all-in-one solution, but the best of luck to you (perhaps someday the new TiVO units will match up well with the Live, although their development direction seems to be going more for internet content than actual playback of things like blu-ray rips).


#7

No, the real funny thing is, is that I did run 2 Cat5’s, 2 coax (for cable) and a power-outlet, because during my remodel, I knew I’d be putting a TV there.  I’ve been around the block a few times.  :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

I had considered putting a Tivo in the closet, but what I wasn’t smart enough to do is run an HDMI line behind the TV (figures).  So, I have a problem getting the AV to the TV from the Tivo, without having to run even more lines (not a trivial task at this point) .  ARGHH! 

So.  One option is what I’m trying to do now.  Another is to find a small form-factor media PC that I can mount and use Tivo2Go (this would work, but would be more expensive).  One last would be to run HDMI from the Tivo through Cat5.  I"m pretty sure this can be done, but I haven’t looked into it.

I guess the WD Live is going to have to go back. :(  Seemed like such a good idea too.


#8

I don’t think I’d do the small PC – TiVOtoGo still takes a lot of transfer time.

I still think wiring your TiVO directly (even if you have to run more wire) to your TV is the way to go.  If you’re used to TiVO, you’ll never be happier with anything else (as much as I love my Live, I wouldn’t give up TiVO for it.  Two completely different animals).  Yeah, pulling cable is a PITA, but you only have to do it once and you’re done.

I don’t know about HDMI through Cat5 – if you can do it and think about it, I’d appreciate a post here just to let me know (and, once again, best of luck to you.  The good news is you’ll figure this out and then be able to rest.  I know it took me several months to get my media stuff all straightened out, and now I’m good to go, although I think I need to buy ONE more WD Live).


#9

I disagree with the comment why would you want to play tivo on the WD? . The reason tivo users may want to use a WD TV live to play back tivo files,. is because the computer itself may struggle to playback HD content. Even with Windows 7, 64-bit, 2.1GHZ dual core processor  I have noticed this on both my systems.


#10

A lot of people complain about the Live not doing everything possible. The Live does exactly what is says on the box and anything more is a gift from WD.  It will play any industry standard format. 99% of the playback problems I see people posting are because the file they are playing is not standard compliant. If you change from the standards, then don’t expect it to play the files. Sorry

Often people say, well on the pc so and so player with xxx codec can play it why can’t the Live ? the reason is most of those codecs have been altered to accept non industry accepted formats . The Live chipset was created for Blu-ray and DVR applications so it supports those formats 100%, but if you go outside them, then you are on your own.


#11

Thanks all.  I have officially returned my WD Live.  I went above and beyond the call of duty to get it to work with .tivo files (or files sourced from .tivo) and it just became too time consuming (both my part and the PC dedicated to retranscoding all the files).

I do plan on investigating the HDMI through Cat5 route so that I can hook up a *real* tivo without having to run a new set of wires. :(  Provided I remember, I’ll post the results.