Monday, December 17, 2012

Tivo Copy Protection

Having seen an article on Tivo usage, the running out of disc space, I thought that I would do some research on the matter.

When I first looked at Tivo it was little more than a curiosity, now it is the major PVR system that is offered worldwide. My interest lay in the recording of TV from various sources and not necessarily the ability to program the periodic capture of content. In 2005 there were a number of forum threads on how you can copy files from a Tivo onto a computer. These posts can still be found. The main thrust was that it could be done but it involved "hacking" the Tivo and subsequently voiding the warranty. The bottom line was that if your primary goal was to record DRM free video then a Tivo was not the way to go.

As the Tivo is supported by the copyright owners it is not surprising that the majority of the video that can be downloaded to a Tivo is Copy Protected. This protection hinders the transfer of video to other devices such as an iPad, it also affects the ability of streaming to such portable devices.

When it comes to the capture of TV signals you have 3 options:
  1. Capture the TV from the broadcast, cable, satellite or off-air. Using a video recorder that is connected to a TV tuner card in a PC or a dedicated video recorder from which you can copy the recorded files. Remember that a lot of digital video recorders will have the same problems that the Tivo has, the inability to copy files from the internal hard drive.
  2. Download the TV programs directly from the Internet. This is done by accessing the RTMP feeds on the servers run by the TV companies. This is the method I use when accessing BBC programing that is available on BBC iPlayer. Other TV networks use similar IP based distribution methods for their Internet services. I use get_iplayer.exe to download BBC programming I also have a program that can access You Tube files directly from the Google server.
  3. Capture the video in real-time from a stream that is played on a computer using one of the many available `capture`programs. These programs generally yield low quality results that are not worth the time and effort involved. These programs are generally what you will see promoted on the Internet.
The TV content you see on torrent (P2P) websites has not been captured by a Tivo or using the 3rd method I describe above.

1 comment:

New York said...

how to transfer copy protected tivo