Dr. Divx decrypts .tivo files

I haven’t written about Tivo’s TivoToGo features, even though I got the upgrade around mid-February. My Series 2 Tivo now serves web pages wirelessly to my home network showing what files it has on its hard drive. With any machine, linux/mac/windows, I can browse their interface and download files. At first I was really excited by it but the Windows-only DRM that they include really killed that buzz. I was looking forward to archiving a lot of stuff, mostly DC United games, in order to free up drive space. Well, I definitely could move the files off but could only watch them when in Windows. And when I’m in Windows, i’m not watching TV, I’m playing World of Warcraft Well, it turns out that as you download, the files are encrypted by Tivo and you have to put in a password every time you want to watch a show. By the way, the fact that Tivo doesn’t yet support 802.11g adapters is another needless speed bump.

There were postings that you could use Dr. Divx to transcode the .tivo files to smaller DivX files but that didn’t work for me – the program would just hang. I also tried the instructions posted on Evil Labs for transcoding tivo to raw mpeg files but that was cumbersome and didn’t work either. Today on Engadget, I read through the comments on Decypting TivoToGo video files and saw that other people had the same problem and that it can be solved by installing the K-Lite Full codec pack. Presto! I was able to convert a 30 minute, 536 megabyte tivo file into a 149 megabyte DivX file in about 30 minutes on my Athlon 2100. Mr Divx is only $30, I’ll be purchasing that instead of the Sonic MyDVD software that Tivo pushes but is only good for burining the video to DVD.