Fixing Tivo S2 video dimension??

ggee

New member
How can I fix the output of the file so that the aspect ratio is correct. These files are from a Tivo S2. As you can see, the display size and dimension are not the same. On some players, the player will stretch the video to the display size so it looks right but other players just display it by the native dimension which makes it have black bars on the side. How can I "Save as"/reencode as 720x480? I can't find an option to change the dimension. Is there a better tool for this?

Thanks,
Greg

File Name: C:\My TiVo Recordings\Chuggington - ''Blang Klang Wilson'' (Recorded Apr 5, 2009, TREEC).TiVo
File Size: 401802974 ( 0.37 GB )
Program Duration: 00:14:58.20
File Type: TiVo
Encoding: MPEG 2
Video stream Id: xE0
Encoding Dimensions: 480 x 480
Display Size: 720 x 480
Aspect Ratio: 4/3
Frame Rate: 29.97 FPS
Bit Rate: 9.000 Mbps
VBV_Buffer: 224 KB
Profile: Main/Main
Progressive: Prog or Int
Chroma: 4:2:0
Audio Format: Layer 2
Audio Stream Id: xC0
Audio Bit Rate: 192 Kbps
Audio Sampling Rate: 48000 Hz
 

phd

Super Moderator
Currently you cannot change the display dimension in VRD.

I haven't found a tool that will modify the header info either.
 

ggee

New member
I didn't want to edit the display dimension. I want to change the encoded dimension so that the encoded dimension matches the display dimension. I want to take the 480x480 and stretch it to 720x480.

For some reason, Tivo S2 takes a 720x480 video and encodes it as 480x480.

Greg
 

phd

Super Moderator
If you author it to a DVD folder with TVSuite, you can reencode it as 720X480.
 

dlflannery

Moderator
How can I fix the output of the file so that the aspect ratio is correct. These files are from a Tivo S2. As you can see, the display size and dimension are not the same. On some players, the player will stretch the video to the display size so it looks right but other players just display it by the native dimension which makes it have black bars on the side. How can I "Save as"/reencode as 720x480? I can't find an option to change the dimension. Is there a better tool for this?
.....
Re-encoding to get different encoded dimensions takes a lot of time and reduces quality, although perhaps not significantly.

You just need a display device that will apply the correct display aspect ratio to the files you have.

How do you desire to display the videos? Computer? DVD Player?

Most modern DVD Players will properly display the 480x480 encodings if you author a DVD without re-encoding, which TVSuite will do.

Normally Windows Media Player will display the .TiVo files with the correct aspect ratio but it does depend on proper "Direct Show" codec setup. For help on this, and an excellent tool, see here.

Or get (free) VLC Media Player. It won't play the .TiVo files directly, but you can convert them to mpeg2 (.mpg) with (free) TiVoDecode software and this is a very fast process (no re-encoding is needed). VLC player has a pull down menu that allows you to select whatever display aspect ratio you desire. VLC player will also play DVD's or DVD image files (.iso) as created by TVSuite, which is handy for testing prior to burning a DVD disk.
 

Dan203

Senior Developer
Staff member
TiVo does NOT take a 720x480 video and encode it as 480x480. On S2 TiVo's they base the encoding resolution on the input source. Analog video does not technically have a "resolution", it's analog so it's all based frequency bandwidth scan lines. While the NTSC standard has a maximum bandwidth capable producing a picture roughly equivalent to 720x480i, OTA and analog cable only uses a portion of that bandwidth for each channel resulting in a signal that's closer to 480x480i. Which is why TiVo records at 480x480 on S2 TiVos.

That being said there are a few exceptions to this rule....

1) Only Best and High are recorded at 480x480, Medium and Basic are recorded at 352x480 to conserve more of the bitrate for motion rather then resolution.

2) If you have a S2 connected to a DSS receiver via S-Video then it will record at 544x480i. This is because DSS is actually digital and as such can carry, and output, the full 720x480i resolution. TiVo limited the resolution to 544x480i because that was a commonly used resolution for DirecTV channels back when TiVo was first released. (and may still be today, I'm not sure)

3) The S2 TiVos with built in DVD recorders record Best and High at 720x480. This is not to increase quality but to meet the DVD specification. The DVD specification only permits 720x480 or 352x480 video, so they had to increase the resolution of the video to be complaint and insure the DVDs were playable on all DVD players. In turn they also increase the bitrates for those two settings, which means those units can hold less hours when compared to a standard S2 at the same quality settings.

4) S3 TiVos use the same resolution/bitrates as the DVD units. I'm not 100% sure why, but I'm guessing it's because the higher bitrates used for these settings actually produces slightly better quality and since these units have such large hard drives to begin with space was not as much of a premium as it was back when the original 40GB S2 units came out.

All that being said... The display resolution really doesn't mean anything. In fact if your video was actually played at 720x480 it would look too long and narrow. The proper display resolution for a 4:3 video is 640x480. Most decoders calculate this by using the encoded resolution and the aspect ratio. (i.e. (Height/Aspect Height)*Aspect Width = Display Width) If you're seeing the video displayed as tall and skinny then it's because the decoder installed on your system is not taking the aspect ratio into account and is simply displaying the video at 1:1. For that you should follow dlflannery's advice and try alternate decoders or VLC instead, as either will most likely fix your problem without you having to do anything to the original file.

Dan
 
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DBT

New member
My workflow and problem is:
1. I use Tivo desktop plus to transfer files from my Tivo S2, that was recorded in basic quality, to my PC. The Dimension field is: 352x480 and the Display size is: 720x480.
2. I use VideoReDo Plus to convert the .tivo file to .mpg. The Dimension and Display size stay the same. The resultant .mpg file ends up on a removable disk drive.
3. The removable disk drive is connected to a Western Digital WDTV Media Player that displays the .mpg file(s) on an analog tv.

The problem is that for .mpg files that are created by VideoReDo, the image is actually 352x480 on the tv screen, not 720x480 or 640x480. Other .mpg files work just fine but the dimension and display fields are the same and are usually 480x480 or greater, even 1920x1080.

I have contacted Western Digital about this problem and their last response is:

An analog TV will output 640x480 when using NTSC via composite (RCA) cables. The information on your first two MPG files show that they are encoded at 352x480 resolution. I recommend that you re-encode your videos using a different program so that they can retain the same resolution as the source file, 720X480.

So I don't know if the problem is in their product, VideoReDo or Tivo. Or if I need another program to process the output of VideoReDo.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Dennis
 

Dan203

Senior Developer
Staff member
You should try one of the other programs available to decrypt the TiVo file. Like DirectShow Dump or TiVoDecode GUI. If they produce the same result then you know it's an issue with the TiVo file itself, and if they don't let us know and we'll look into it and see what we can do.

Dan
 

DBT

New member
Hi Dan,
Thanks for the pointers and help.

I installed TivoDecoder GUI and ran it against a .tivo file with the same result of VideoReDo; the dimension field didn't change from 352x480.

I tried to find a download for "Direct Show Dump" but the links at http://prish.com/etivo/ is invalid.

I created a 720x480 Profile in AVS Video Converter 6 and ran it against the output of TivoDecoder GUI and it created a dimension field of 720x480, which will play on correctly on the Western Digital WDTV unit. The draw back is that it takes about 20 minutes to convert the file, whereas VideoReDo takes about 4 seconds!

So the question seems to be should VideoReDo change the dimension field to 720x480 or should the Western Digital WDTV unit ignore the dimension field and use the display size?

Your thoughts?

Thanks
Dennis
 

DBT

New member
Hi Dan,

I installed Tivo Decoder GUI and processed a 1 hour .tivo file but the results were the same as with VideoReDo; the Dimension field stayed the same after processing (352x480).

I wasn’t able to find a download for Direct Show Dump. I tried http://prish.com/etivo/ but it was an invalid address.

I created a 720x480 profile in AVS Video Converter 6 and processed the output of Tivo Decoder GUI (.mpeg). It correctly created a .mpg file with a dimension field of 720x480 which will play correctly with the Western Digital WDTV unit. The problem is that took over 20 minutes to process the file while VideoReDo only takes about 4 seconds.

It seems like either VideoReDo needs to create a Dimension field of 720x480 or the Western Digital WDTV unit needs to ignore the Dimension field and use the Display Size field instead.

Your thoughts?

Thanks
Dennis

PS. This is the second reply to your previous message. The last one seems to have disappeared.
 

dlflannery

Moderator
Your TiVo files are specially wrapped meg2 files at 352x480. A program that just decrypts them (e.g., tivodecode or VRD) will just give you the mpeg2 file at the same resolution.

If your display device (or program) absolutely requires 720x480 in order to play back with correct display aspect ratio (640x480) then there is no escaping transcoding (re-encoding) your file, which takes a lot of time.

VideoReDo TVSuite will transcode (if properly configured) when it creates a DVD. But that doesn't create a single mpeg2 file that you desire.

There are free programs that will transcode. Since you already have a program that will do the job, you just need to accept the fact it is going to take some time.

Ironically, the default recording format for TiVo HD models tuned to a SD digital channel is either 720x480 or 704x480, either of which would probably play fine on your WDT (after decrypting to mpeg2).
 

DBT

New member
Thanks for your reply.

What you outlined is exactly what I did to get tivo files from a s2 recorder to play correctly on the Western Digital WDTV media player.

I upgraded to VideoReDo Suite to transcode from 352x480 to 720x480, which takes a long time, into a VOB format.

I then used VOB2MPG Pro to consolidate the Video_TS files into one mpg file. It only takes about 8 minutes for a 2 hour show.

I'm still hoping that WD will somehow make these files play without transcoding them.

Thanks
Dennis
 

dlflannery

Moderator
I assume you're creating a Video_TS folder containing several .vob files when you run VRD, correct?

Isn't VRD able to load the Video_TS folder and create the .mpg combined file?
(Thus eliminating the need for a separate program.) Probably no major advantage of this over the way you're doing it, I guess. I've never used VRD for this so I'm just going by what I remember seeing about VRD.

Glad you got a solution.
 

Larry

Member
How can I fix the output of the file so that the aspect ratio is correct. These files are from a Tivo S2.
Did I miss something.... or is this as easy as selecting SAVE AS, OPTIONS, ASPECT RATIO. (its been some time since I played with my tivo files though) If not, DVD patcher may trick the player into displaying the file in the proper aspect ratio for you.
 
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