TiVo Desktop 2.4 Public Beta Released

Dave Zatz —  February 25, 2007 — 17 Comments
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While I was preoccupied in Canada, TiVo released a public beta of TiVo Desktop 2.4. Notable new features include the ability to broadcast “HD” photographs (1280×720) from computer to Series3 TiVo and the ability to transcode several video formats (other than DivX) for transfer to and playback on Series2 units. A less glamorous, but useful, feature allows the software to map beyond the default TiVo folder.

A few gotchas… TiVo has labeled this Preview software, though they document about a dozen known issues (hence my Public Beta label). The ability to transcode video (for TiVo playback OR in the other direction for iPod and PSP playback) requires a Plus codec license: $25. Sorry Mac owners, this is a Windows-only release — Perhaps Roxio will incorporate similar functionality into a Toast update.

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17 responses to TiVo Desktop 2.4 Public Beta Released

  1. Why are Series3 users being frozen out of all the Series2 features? This is really starting to aggravate me.

  2. What’s the hate for divx?
    “the ability to transcode several video formats (other than DivX) for transfer to and playback on Series2 units. ”

    Why can you use several other video formats (not sure that they are?) and not DivX (and thus I also assume not XviD?) It just seems like those would be the two better codecs for quality and compression purposes.

  3. I’m very interested in how HD JPEGs show up on a Tivo Series 3 using this new software. If someone can report on that, via Comments or otherwise, I’m sure we’d all appreciate it.

    Some things I’d like to see some info on:

    – whether there’s still an unused black box around the image (current Tivo Desktop doesn’t use the full height or width of the screen)

    – how does it handle undersized or oversized images? Does it scale them properly? Are there options for how you want to scale over- or under-sized pictures?

    – What happens if you have a 1080 TV? Is the output mode reset to 720? Or does it scale the image to 720, then up it to 1080 for display (thus possibly making the image look crappy, depending on how they scale it)?

    Surely I’m not the only person in the world looking for a device that can display decent, hi-res HD JPEG image slideshows, without barfing at a horrendous implementation of the concept? I mean, come on, CE manufacturers, how hard can implementing HD JPEG slideshows BE?

  4. Romeo, I don’t have all your answers. But in my simple test with pics from Toronto the pics filled theTV to the top and bottom, though there were black bars on the sides. My TiVo upconverts to 1080i, though I didn’t look too hard at the quality. Didn’t see much in the way of options…

    Dawn, it seems we’re currently limited to MPEG-4, MPEG-2, and WMV at the moment. Probably has to do with whatever codec package they’ve licensed.

  5. Ummm… whoever spec’d this messed up if it doesn’t support DivX. What are the most popular formats for video on the internet?

    #1: Probably Flash (.flv). I bet they don’t support conversion from Flash either. Almost all the online video (YouTube et al) is flash now.
    #2: Probably DivX (either .avi w divx or .divx). Almost all video torrents are DivX. Whether this is #1 or #2 depends on what you’re interested in. Guys getting hit in the balls or New Zealand Survivor?

    So they’re not supporting the conversion of either of the most popular video formats on the internet…

    Any more details? Sounds like wmv is there. How about QuickTime? Quicktime HD? Both .mp4 and h.264 formats for iPod? MPEG-2 both as .mpg and .vob? What about transport streams? What about .ms-dvr recordings from Windows MCE? What about video from your camcorder? Either in uncompressed AVI or in that format Camcorders use? What about all the audio formats? MPEG-2 transports with AC-3? AAC? MPEG-1 layer 2? MP3? Etc etc.

    Sounds pretty limited.

  6. Here’s a cut & paste from TiVo’s support site:

    http://tinyurl.com/yw45vv

    Supported video formats from the TiVo Desktop Video tab in the Publish Media section:
    • Windows Media Video (.wmv)
    • QuickTime Movie (.mov)
    • MPEG-4/H.264 (.mp4, .m4v, .mp4v)
    • MPEG-2 (.mpg, .mpeg, .mpe, .mp2, .mp2v, .mpv2)

  7. The screenshot you show of the photo app is the old version, not the new HD version.

  8. Hm… I’m out in California for a few days so I can’t mess with it at the moment. I’ll take another look when I get home. However, I did hit the check box for the HD pictures on the desktop software and I am running 8.1.

    Any suggestions, Doug? Feel free to drop me an email: davezatz@yahoo.com.

    EDIT: Between my Slingbox Pro and LogMeIn, I should be able to remotely try a few things if you can guide me.

  9. I got the update running today on my Series 2 Tivo. I can’t say that I like it much. For some reason a lot my movie files are renamed to ‘vts_chapters’ or something or other.
    Also, the fact that my movie file has to copy over to the Tivo is a little annoying.

  10. I really like how it won’t install in Vista because it requires “XP SP2 or higher.” It’s strange that the older desktop did not have this problem and installs on Vista.

  11. I’ll actually give anyone a break on Vista stuff. There’s a *lot* of programs that won’t work on Vista yet.

  12. Just to confirm, this won’t install on Vista. Bummer.

  13. Dave,

    When you check the box the old version continues to run. But there should also be a new version that has the computer icon to the right (ie locally running app designation) and photo icon to the left. You may have to exit/enter Music Photos and More or reboot your TiVo if that list isn’t refreshing.

    If you still aren’t seeing it you may have discovered a bug! BTW, you do need Java 1.5 for it to start up correctly.

  14. Everything’s been rebooted, and Java is 1.5. So either there is a bug somewhere OR is Windows Live OneCare blocking it in some way?

  15. Are you running other HME apps on your PC? Maybe they are using the port that HD Photos is trying to acquire (7288?). You may also want to check your firewall rules.

  16. Boy, sure sounds like TiVo has a lot of great features. However, I’m running a Series 3, and Mac OS X. Were do we go to find out WHEN those features will hit our equipment? Guess were SOL until then!

  17. Is there a way to change the Transcoding To Higher Resolutions like we were able to with Desktop 2.3? I cannot seem to be able to do it.

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