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TiVo extraction to DVD

How can I download TV programs from my TiVo to my computer, and then burn them on DVD?

Tivo Stand-Alone Series 1 or 2, or DirecTiVo with software version 3.0 or later and Microsoft Windows


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Obligatory Disclaimer
There are several reasons I chose to write this guide. First of all, some of the major TiVo hacking forums do not allow discussion of video extraction for various legal reasons. On the sites that do, you'll quickly learn that the process is still very much in the development stages. Instead of reading through several web pages of posts, I have tried to reduce the noise and supply the basic steps to get you started. Finally, I realize you paid good money for your TiVo and subscription, and whatever you do with your personal electronics is your business. However, I will not be held responsible for your actions if you choose to violate your TiVo warranty or the law.

Technical Support
I have successfully applied this tip to one Stand-Alone Series 1 (SA1). It is all I have to bang on. I've tried to include Stand-Alone Series 2 (SA2) and DirecTiVo (DTiVo)-specific information that other people have passed along to me where possible, but I can't guarantee it will work.

This how-to assumes you know how to move around in Windows. If you get stuck, please do not e-mail me. I don't have much time to provide technical support. I'm not an extraction guru either. I just stumbled through the process until I finally got it working and decided to write a how-to to help others. The Extraction Forum at is where the experts hang out. Chances are that your question has been asked and answered many, many times before, so I highly recommend using the search feature. If you can't find the answer, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the "new thread" button to start a new thread. You'll typically receive a reply in a matter of minutes to a few hours.

What You Need

  • A network connection between your TiVo and your computer. Series 1 users will need to purchase a network card specifically designed for the TiVo. You can purchase one at 9th Tee. If you have a newer TiVo with a USB port, all you need is a major-brand USB network adapter to connect the TiVo to your home network. More information and installation instructions are in Steve Jenkin's TiVo Network Hack How-To Guide.
  • A telnet and ftp server on your TiVo. This requires removing the hard drive from the TiVo, connecting it to your PC in order to copy some files over, and then replacing the hard drive back in the TiVo. Yes, this will violate TiVo's warranty. Step-by-step instructions are available in the TiVo Network Hack How-To Guide.
  • MPEG-2 player. Windows Media Player or WinAmp won't cut it. I recommend a shareware DVD player such as PowerDVD or WinDVD which will allow you to fast forward through the commercials easily. For the fiscally challenged, there is a free, open-source MPEG-2 player called VideoLAN.
  • DVD burner, burning software, and DVD recordable media. You can easily find a DVD burner for less than $100 and recordable DVD's for less than $1 per disc. I would suggest buying a multi-format drive capable of recording in both DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW. You never know when you are going to run across a DVD player or DVD-ROM that recognizes only one format or another. Most retail drives will come with software...usually Nero or Easy CD. In this example, I'm going to use Nero. Finally, I highly recommend you use rewritable discs (RW). Otherwise, you may burn a few coasters before you get it right.

Obviously, I think the TiVo Network Hack How-To Guide is an excellent resource. This guide starts up exactly where the network how-to leaves off. If you meet the requirements, let's get started...

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Last updated May 30 , 2004