armoir, thanks for some excellent tips. I've been trying to find a executable for netcat on Windows -- could you give us a link as well? Actually, even better would be a pointer to a Windows netmplex executable.
I'd much prefer to do this on a Mac, but at this point I'll take whatever I can get seeing as I couldn't find an NFS daemon which runs under Mac OS 9.2...
[ September 19, 2001: Message edited by: KenNashua ]
These are some tips for you out there getting started with the whole ExtractStream thing. I'm by no means an expert on it, but I'm hoping the experience I've had so far will be of help. I've been using a Philips 30 hour Tivo with 2.0.1 and my PC running Windows 98 and 2000.
If you have your own tips, please chime in!
Use Windows 2000
I started off with 98SE just to get started, but I found that the stability and access to NTFS for larger files sizes very useful with Windows 2000. You don't have to completely restart the PC as often.
Use netcat for transfers
I initially used WarNFSD to get started with file transfers. I found that I could only get about 300-400k/sec transfer speed. When I switched over to using netcat, I got about 00-900k/sec transfer. About twice the speed. That meant I could download a 30 min program of medium quality in about 11-12 minutes and high quality in about 17-18 minutes.
Get PowerDVD or WinDVD for playback
You'll need something to playback the mpegs and you might as well get something that allows DVD playback too. I've found mpeg playback better and more stable using PowerDVD compared with just Windows Media Player with the proper DLL for mpeg.
Use High Quality encoding on TiVo
I've tried encoding Best Quality mpeg streams but I get much more audio sync problems and encoding failure with TMPGEnc. TMPGEnc just fails completely on certain Best Quality frames.
Use a different program to reencode TiVo audio for VCD/SVCD
The TiVo audio streams are not quite VCD/SVCD spec. To make VCD/SVCDs you'll need to convert the audio to 44kHz, 224bps mp2s. Unfortunately the TMPGEnc audio converter/encoder is not that great. To improve the audio I take the TiVo audio file, bring it into an audio program like SoundForge and convert it to 44kHz and save it to a wav file. I then take a mp2 encoding program, I'm using CDex right now, and convert the wav file to a proper mp2 ausio file fod VCD/SVCD. The audio is much better this way.
When encoding with TMPGEnc have separate video and audio files.
If you try to encode a muxed mpeg file, the results are bad. They need to be in separate video and audio mpeg files.
Womble MPEGVCR is an excellent editing tool
I main thing is the edit out the commercials. Ideally with frame accurate edits. I've tried Womble MPEGVCR and it's really pretty good. There are some quirks, but overall I like it. It can do frame accurate edits, although it's kinda flaky sometimes. The Mux and Demux are stable. I found that TMPGEnc sometimes just hangs after a mux or demux.
Use RAID 0 with two drives
After I figured out that I could get extraction and reencoding to work, I got 2 100GB maxtor drives and put them on RAID 0. That means that the drives are striped so that access is faster. So my computer has a 184GB RAID 0 drive that's exclusively for video. I've found that editing and copying are noticeably faster.
If you're making a VCD or SVCD you gotta test it on a stand-alone player.
I found that a SVCD disk I made that played fine on the computer did not play well on a standalone DVD player. It turned out that during encoding the setting for interlace field was incorrect. So the standalone player played the SVCD but with a lot of stuttering. I changed the interlace setting and the later encodes played fine.