Thursday, February 16, 2006

Multimedia Off-topic

Well, another day has gone by. Now I get to go home and work on my multimedia hobby as of late. I recently acquired a TiVo on eBay for $35 bucks Series 2 with a 80 hrs of storage. After receiving the TiVo I discovered why it was so cheap: the modem was dead. If you don't know, TiVo requires to be setup through a phone line of all things, so it was impossible to setup the TiVo, until I discovered some "walk-troughs" (aka hacks) over at the TivoCommunity.com web site. It took a little doing but soon enough I had my TiVo hooked up to my computer through the serial port and the TiVo got on the Internet that way.

With the updates out of the way and the new TiVo OS version 7 (I think) I was able to put a Netgear wireless USB connector on it and now TiVo is on the network 24x7. After some more configuring I had the TivoToGo setup and now I could download all of my favorite shows to the PC (Stargate, La Femme Nikita, Futurama, and others). All of these downloaded as DRM protected MPEG2 files (TiVo Files) and with the commercials which were fully expected.

Long story short, I found this little cool program on the Internet (for 50 bucks) that does an awesome job of removing 90% of commercials from your MPEG2 files (including TiVo files if you install TiVo Desktop). It took about 5 minutes to learn and it allows to batch any number of MPEG files you need. Previously I had been using Nero 7 to manually remove the commercials but that simply took way too much time. Now, with VIDEOREDO I am able to process something like 10 TiVo files in less than 30 minutes and leave it be to batch processing so they become MPEG2 files. Once this process is done, I use AutoGK to convert everything to DivX and archive it on my server for later viewing. Its an absolutely addicting hobby, I had to go out and buy a SATA RAID 5 card and 4 300GB Maxtor SATA drives for a total of 850GB of safe storage for my videos and other things, such as the zillion number of pictures and MPEGS we record with my Cybershot. All in all, a worth while investment.

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