Directv to DVD

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

A question for you folks that have DirecTv and DVR / DVD burners.
The DirecTivo records the digital stream to the hard drive and therefore the
playback looks the same as live DirecTv. Are there boxes that can record to DVD
in the same manner? If so is the DVD playback limited to playing back through
that box or can the DVDs playback on any DVD player?
The root of my question has to do with how much video / audio you can squeeze
onto a single layer DVD and have decent playback. The DirecTivo records almost
one hour of program per one gigabyte of hard drive space. But trying to squeeze
3 hours of TV program onto a single layer DVD usually results in a degraded
playback.
Another question. When watching "live tv" on a DirecTivo am I "really" watching
live tv? (not an immediate playback off the hard drive) Could be my imagination
but it seems that the picture quality of my R10 is not as good as my old
original RCA box.
16 answers Last reply
More about directv dvd
  1. Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

    "DanR" <dhr22@sorrynospm.com> wrote in message
    news:%Vnge.638$sb5.229@newssvr12.news.prodigy.com...
    > A question for you folks that have DirecTv and DVR / DVD burners.
    > The DirecTivo records the digital stream to the hard drive and therefore
    the
    > playback looks the same as live DirecTv. Are there boxes that can record
    to DVD
    > in the same manner? If so is the DVD playback limited to playing back
    through
    > that box or can the DVDs playback on any DVD player?
    >
    This may not directly anser your question, but the Tivo can output to DVD as
    easily as VCR, or so the manual claims.
  2. Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

    "Robert B. Peirce" <rbp@cooksonpeirce.com> wrote in message
    news:428215c3$1_3@news.nauticom.net...

    > > A question for you folks that have DirecTv and DVR / DVD
    > > burners. The DirecTivo records the digital stream to the
    > > hard drive and therefore the playback looks the same as
    > > live DirecTv. Are there boxes that can record to DVD
    > > in the same manner? If so is the DVD playback limited to
    > > playing back through that box or can the DVDs playback
    > > on any DVD player?
    > >
    > This may not directly anser your question, but the Tivo can output
    > to DVD as easily as VCR, or so the manual claims.

    Yes, but that's after the DTivo converts from digital to analogue and
    then the DVD recorder converts it once again from analogue back to
    digital. Each conversion introduces some loss in signal quality.

    AFAIK, there's no DTivo box with a built-in DVD recorder. DirecTV and
    Tivo have deliberately designed their equipment NOT to allow you to
    transfer the DirecTV digital signal to DVD without converting from
    digital to analogue and then back again.

    DanR raises an interesting question. DVDs will hold an hour of video in
    XP mode (highest quality) and 2 hours of video in SP mode. If the Tivo
    hard drive holds about one hour of video per GB, then theoretically, you
    could get 4.5 hours of video at DTivo quality on a one single sided DVD.
    Seems hard to believe. Is the DirecTV compression scheme that much
    better than what's available on DVD recorders and PCs?

    Perhaps someone who's hacked their DTivo can address the questions that
    DanR raises.
  3. Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

    On Wed, 11 May 2005 10:25:07 -0400, "Robert B. Peirce"
    <rbp@cooksonpeirce.com> wrote:

    >
    >"DanR" <dhr22@sorrynospm.com> wrote in message
    >news:%Vnge.638$sb5.229@newssvr12.news.prodigy.com...
    >> A question for you folks that have DirecTv and DVR / DVD burners.
    >> The DirecTivo records the digital stream to the hard drive and therefore
    >the
    >> playback looks the same as live DirecTv. Are there boxes that can record
    >to DVD
    >> in the same manner? If so is the DVD playback limited to playing back
    >through
    >> that box or can the DVDs playback on any DVD player?
    >>
    >This may not directly anser your question, but the Tivo can output to DVD as
    >easily as VCR, or so the manual claims.

    I think he means ripping the mpegs so he can burn lossless without going
    through the analog conversion.

    Try visiting the forums at www.dealdatabase.com
  4. Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

    >>This may not directly anser your question, but the Tivo can output to DVD as
    >>easily as VCR, or so the manual claims.
    >
    >
    > I think he means ripping the mpegs so he can burn lossless without going
    > through the analog conversion.
    >
    > Try visiting the forums at www.dealdatabase.com

    I think he *really* wants to record the video to DVD in the compressed
    satellite format to maximize space. The problem with doing this is that
    no DVD player would be able to play it back, since the compression is
    proprietary to Directv. So the answer is basically no. Even if Directv
    released a Directivo/DVD combo, the video would have to be converted to
    a DVD compatible MPEG2 format before it was recorded. That's better
    than doing a compressed digital --> analog --> DVD digital conversion,
    but it still involves a conversion.

    Randy S.
  5. Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

    Randy S. wrote:
    > >>This may not directly anser your question, but the Tivo can output
    to DVD as
    > >>easily as VCR, or so the manual claims.
    > >
    > >
    > > I think he means ripping the mpegs so he can burn lossless without
    going
    > > through the analog conversion.
    > >
    > > Try visiting the forums at www.dealdatabase.com
    >
    > I think he *really* wants to record the video to DVD in the
    compressed
    > satellite format to maximize space. The problem with doing this is
    that
    > no DVD player would be able to play it back, since the compression is

    > proprietary to Directv. So the answer is basically no. Even if
    Directv
    > released a Directivo/DVD combo, the video would have to be converted
    to
    > a DVD compatible MPEG2 format before it was recorded. That's better
    > than doing a compressed digital --> analog --> DVD digital
    conversion,
    > but it still involves a conversion.
    >
    > Randy S.

    This is incorrect. I can't speak for people using Tivo to go (but they
    are all SA users anyway, and this is a directv discussion) but I
    extract the streams from my HDVR2 and burn them all the time. You'll
    need to hack the box (dealdatabase is the best place to start, but, as
    was mentioned, not for the faint of heart, although I did manage to
    figure it out) and go from there. No re-encoding required, just some
    data juggling to change the file from a .ty datastream (the tivo
    format) to mpeg2 (which it basically already is, minus header
    information, etc.)

    Once your directivo is hacked (which is a day's project, probably) you
    can see the box on your home network. Use Tytool to grab the .ty
    files. They are mpeg2 but not really DVD spec. They're 480x480, but
    most new dvd players can read them just fine. Tytool will take you
    from grabbing a .ty file, creating a key file (needed for editing
    purposes), editing the key file to exclude lead in and lead out,
    commercials, etc, creating a .vob file (which DVD players can use), and
    authoring the disc. There is no re-encoding required, and the DVDs I
    make are EXACTLY the same as what I watch on my HDVR2. This includes
    the 5.1 sound, if present. You just need to make sure your DVD player
    will like the discs. Mine does, and it's 2 years old (a JWIN
    multi-region) and cost 100 bucks. The whole process, from grabbing,
    say, Deadwood over the network (at 2 meg/sec) to having a burned disc
    of the show, takes about 15 minutes. You can get about 4 hours onto a
    disc and the quality is exactly the same as what you see on directv.
    If you're happy with that you'll be happy with the disc.

    I wrote a walkthrough in this group a while back. Search for it and
    you'll have a good place to start with the hacking.
  6. Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

    "David Z" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message
    news:3eelfcF2nhq1U1@individual.net...
    > "Robert B. Peirce" <rbp@cooksonpeirce.com> wrote in message
    > news:428215c3$1_3@news.nauticom.net...
    >
    >> > A question for you folks that have DirecTv and DVR / DVD
    >> > burners. The DirecTivo records the digital stream to the
    >> > hard drive and therefore the playback looks the same as
    >> > live DirecTv. Are there boxes that can record to DVD
    >> > in the same manner? If so is the DVD playback limited to
    >> > playing back through that box or can the DVDs playback
    >> > on any DVD player?
    >> >
    >> This may not directly anser your question, but the Tivo can output
    >> to DVD as easily as VCR, or so the manual claims.
    >
    > Yes, but that's after the DTivo converts from digital to analogue and
    > then the DVD recorder converts it once again from analogue back to
    > digital. Each conversion introduces some loss in signal quality.
    >
    > AFAIK, there's no DTivo box with a built-in DVD recorder. DirecTV and
    > Tivo have deliberately designed their equipment NOT to allow you to
    > transfer the DirecTV digital signal to DVD without converting from
    > digital to analogue and then back again.
    >
    > DanR raises an interesting question. DVDs will hold an hour of video in
    > XP mode (highest quality) and 2 hours of video in SP mode. If the Tivo
    > hard drive holds about one hour of video per GB, then theoretically, you
    > could get 4.5 hours of video at DTivo quality on a one single sided DVD.
    > Seems hard to believe. Is the DirecTV compression scheme that much
    > better than what's available on DVD recorders and PCs?
    >
    > Perhaps someone who's hacked their DTivo can address the questions that
    > DanR raises.
    >
    >
    >
    You can indeed record the directivo files in a lossless way. Directv does
    create files that are a little over 1 gb/hour. You can fit 4 hours on a dvd
    with no loss in quality from the original directv program. How does directv
    do this? They use a lot of compression, which results in some quality loss.
    Most people don't seem to notice it, but it is definitely there. Video is
    clear, but soft, if that makes sense. You need to hack your dtivo to
    transfer the recordings. The site was mentioned earlier in this thread, it
    is not for the faint of heart, or the technically challenged. It requires
    you to remove the hard drive from your tivo, put it in a pc, and do some
    software changes.

    Rick
  7. Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

    * DanR Wrote in alt.video.ptv.tivo:

    > A question for you folks that have DirecTv and DVR / DVD burners.
    > The DirecTivo records the digital stream to the hard drive and
    > therefore the playback looks the same as live DirecTv. Are there
    > boxes that can record to DVD in the same manner? If so is the DVD
    > playback limited to playing back through that box or can the DVDs
    > playback on any DVD player? The root of my question has to do with
    > how much video / audio you can squeeze onto a single layer DVD and
    > have decent playback. The DirecTivo records almost one hour of
    > program per one gigabyte of hard drive space. But trying to
    > squeeze 3 hours of TV program onto a single layer DVD usually
    > results in a degraded playback.

    You can use a program like DVD Shrink (Freeware) to do the
    compression. THis program lets you take a dual layer store bought DVD
    and compresses it to fit on a single layer DVD. IME it still ooks
    very good. I only have a 36" TV and no HiDef so I am not sure if it
    looks worse under different circumstances but I'd say its worth a
    shot if you dont find an easier more direct solution

    http://www.dvdshrink.org/what.html

    > Another question. When watching "live tv" on a DirecTivo am I
    > "really" watching live tv?

    No. You are actually a second or so behind live.

    --
    David
  8. Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

    SINNER wrote:
    > * DanR Wrote in alt.video.ptv.tivo:
    >
    >> A question for you folks that have DirecTv and DVR / DVD burners.
    >> The DirecTivo records the digital stream to the hard drive and
    >> therefore the playback looks the same as live DirecTv. Are there
    >> boxes that can record to DVD in the same manner? If so is the DVD
    >> playback limited to playing back through that box or can the DVDs
    >> playback on any DVD player? The root of my question has to do with
    >> how much video / audio you can squeeze onto a single layer DVD and
    >> have decent playback. The DirecTivo records almost one hour of
    >> program per one gigabyte of hard drive space. But trying to
    >> squeeze 3 hours of TV program onto a single layer DVD usually
    >> results in a degraded playback.
    >
    > You can use a program like DVD Shrink (Freeware) to do the
    > compression. THis program lets you take a dual layer store bought DVD
    > and compresses it to fit on a single layer DVD. IME it still ooks
    > very good. I only have a 36" TV and no HiDef so I am not sure if it
    > looks worse under different circumstances but I'd say its worth a
    > shot if you dont find an easier more direct solution
    >
    > http://www.dvdshrink.org/what.html
    >
    >> Another question. When watching "live tv" on a DirecTivo am I
    >> "really" watching live tv?
    >
    > No. You are actually a second or so behind live.

    When my downstairs RCA (old model) DirecTV receiver is tuned to the same channel
    as my upstairs DirecTivo (R10) there is approximately a 1/4 to 1/2 second delay
    between the two. The DirecTivo is delayed. So I'm thinking that I'm always
    watching off the buffer on the R10. So when people say the quality is the same
    for live and playback... seems that we are always watching playback. But... if
    the digital signal sent to the video circuits is the same both ways it shouldn't
    matter. Or does it? Might there be extra compression happening as the signal is
    recorded to the hard drive.
  9. Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

    >>No. You are actually a second or so behind live.
    >
    >
    > When my downstairs RCA (old model) DirecTV receiver is tuned to the same channel
    > as my upstairs DirecTivo (R10) there is approximately a 1/4 to 1/2 second delay
    > between the two. The DirecTivo is delayed. So I'm thinking that I'm always
    > watching off the buffer on the R10. So when people say the quality is the same
    > for live and playback... seems that we are always watching playback. But... if
    > the digital signal sent to the video circuits is the same both ways it shouldn't
    > matter. Or does it? Might there be extra compression happening as the signal is
    > recorded to the hard drive.

    The difference shouldn't be attributable to the fact that it's recorded,
    the signal is digital, and directivo's record the original digital
    signal (since compression is probably *more* important to save satellite
    bandwidth than saving hard drive space, the compression is already
    better than anything your Tivo could do unassisted).

    However, there could be a difference in the video circuitry between the
    two units. If the RCA unit has higher quality circuitry, then the image
    could definitely appear higher quality.

    Randy S.
  10. Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

    Randy S. wrote:
    >>> This may not directly anser your question, but the Tivo can output to DVD as
    >>> easily as VCR, or so the manual claims.
    >>
    >>
    >> I think he means ripping the mpegs so he can burn lossless without going
    >> through the analog conversion.
    >>
    >> Try visiting the forums at www.dealdatabase.com
    >
    > I think he *really* wants to record the video to DVD in the compressed
    > satellite format to maximize space. The problem with doing this is that
    > no DVD player would be able to play it back, since the compression is
    > proprietary to Directv. So the answer is basically no. Even if Directv
    > released a Directivo/DVD combo, the video would have to be converted to
    > a DVD compatible MPEG2 format before it was recorded. That's better
    > than doing a compressed digital --> analog --> DVD digital conversion,
    > but it still involves a conversion.
    >
    > Randy S.

    My question is mostly theoretical. Wondering how DirecTv is able to squeeze the
    video so much and still maintain acceptable image quality.
  11. Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

    "Randy S." <rswitt@nospamgmail.com> wrote in message
    news:d5tam5$vta$1@spnode25.nerdc.ufl.edu...
    >>>No. You are actually a second or so behind live.
    >>
    >>
    >> When my downstairs RCA (old model) DirecTV receiver is tuned to the same
    >> channel
    >> as my upstairs DirecTivo (R10) there is approximately a 1/4 to 1/2 second
    >> delay
    >> between the two. The DirecTivo is delayed. So I'm thinking that I'm
    >> always
    >> watching off the buffer on the R10. So when people say the quality is the
    >> same
    >> for live and playback... seems that we are always watching playback.
    >> But... if
    >> the digital signal sent to the video circuits is the same both ways it
    >> shouldn't
    >> matter. Or does it? Might there be extra compression happening as the
    >> signal is
    >> recorded to the hard drive.
    >
    > The difference shouldn't be attributable to the fact that it's recorded,
    > the signal is digital, and directivo's record the original digital signal
    > (since compression is probably *more* important to save satellite
    > bandwidth than saving hard drive space, the compression is already better
    > than anything your Tivo could do unassisted).
    >
    > However, there could be a difference in the video circuitry between the
    > two units. If the RCA unit has higher quality circuitry, then the image
    > could definitely appear higher quality.
    >
    > Randy S.

    Very true, and it is wise to remember that it doesn't take much to
    cause a minor loss. Even the power circuit (leg) you plug into can
    have an effect, if one is noisier that the other.

    "DanR", you might see my response to "worrier" in rec.video.desktop.

    Luck;
    Ken
  12. Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

    > This is incorrect. I can't speak for people using Tivo to go (but they
    > are all SA users anyway, and this is a directv discussion) but I
    > extract the streams from my HDVR2 and burn them all the time. You'll
    > need to hack the box (dealdatabase is the best place to start, but, as
    > was mentioned, not for the faint of heart, although I did manage to
    > figure it out) and go from there. No re-encoding required, just some
    > data juggling to change the file from a .ty datastream (the tivo
    > format) to mpeg2 (which it basically already is, minus header
    > information, etc.)

    Ok, thanks, obviously some incorrectly drawn conclusions on my part. So
    Now that I think about it, I should have known that Directv is
    broadcasting in MPEG2 natively, and the Tivo is only encrypting it,
    which can be disabled by hacking. It's just that the higher quality
    compression that Directv is able to do is better than consumer grade
    PC's are capable of, though they can certainly play it back just fine.

    Rady S.
  13. Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

    * Wrote in alt.video.ptv.tivo:

    > I wrote a walkthrough in this group a while back. Search for it and
    > you'll have a good place to start with the hacking.

    http://groups-beta.google.com/group/alt.video.ptv.tivo/msg/5a74bf01214fa50f?hl=en

    --
    David
  14. Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

    Ken Maltby wrote:
    > "Randy S." <rswitt@nospamgmail.com> wrote in message
    > news:d5tam5$vta$1@spnode25.nerdc.ufl.edu...
    >>>> No. You are actually a second or so behind live.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> When my downstairs RCA (old model) DirecTV receiver is tuned to the same
    >>> channel
    >>> as my upstairs DirecTivo (R10) there is approximately a 1/4 to 1/2 second
    >>> delay
    >>> between the two. The DirecTivo is delayed. So I'm thinking that I'm
    >>> always
    >>> watching off the buffer on the R10. So when people say the quality is the
    >>> same
    >>> for live and playback... seems that we are always watching playback.
    >>> But... if
    >>> the digital signal sent to the video circuits is the same both ways it
    >>> shouldn't
    >>> matter. Or does it? Might there be extra compression happening as the
    >>> signal is
    >>> recorded to the hard drive.
    >>
    >> The difference shouldn't be attributable to the fact that it's recorded,
    >> the signal is digital, and directivo's record the original digital signal
    >> (since compression is probably *more* important to save satellite
    >> bandwidth than saving hard drive space, the compression is already better
    >> than anything your Tivo could do unassisted).
    >>
    >> However, there could be a difference in the video circuitry between the
    >> two units. If the RCA unit has higher quality circuitry, then the image
    >> could definitely appear higher quality.
    >>
    >> Randy S.
    >
    > Very true, and it is wise to remember that it doesn't take much to
    > cause a minor loss. Even the power circuit (leg) you plug into can
    > have an effect, if one is noisier that the other.
    >
    > "DanR", you might see my response to "worrier" in rec.video.desktop.
    >
    > Luck;
    > Ken

    Yes, I saw your reply there. In fact the "worrier" post is what got me thinking
    about this.
  15. Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

    >
    > Ok, thanks, obviously some incorrectly drawn conclusions on my part.
    So
    > Now that I think about it, I should have known that Directv is
    > broadcasting in MPEG2 natively, and the Tivo is only encrypting it,
    > which can be disabled by hacking. It's just that the higher quality
    > compression that Directv is able to do is better than consumer grade
    > PC's are capable of, though they can certainly play it back just
    fine.
    >
    > Rady S.

    Almost. My Tivo doesn't encrypt anything, but it does use a slightly
    different method of storing the mpeg2 data. .ty files are actually
    compilations of .ty streams on the tivo hard drive. If you look at the
    info in tytool you'll see that each video is made up of a certain
    number of tystreams. One of the many things tytool does is collate
    these streams into one .ty file, which is then easily converted
    (without re-encoding - it only takes a minute or two to make a .vob out
    of a .ty file) Tytool can't deal with encrypted tystreams, which is
    why one of the things you do when you hack the box is disable
    encryption. Superpatch-4-all is the utility that does this, as well as
    enable MRV and all the other stuff we're not supposed to have.
  16. Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

    See also:

    http://themurrays.homeip.net/downloads/tivo/extraction_articles/tivo_dvd.html

    The DirecTV MPEG encoding uses roughly 800-1000 megabytes per hour.
    After clipping commercials, I can usually fit 6 or 7 one-hour shows on
    a single DVD.

    - Pat
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