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Old 05-28-2015, 01:09 PM   #1
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Smile DVR movies at home then take on the road

I was wondering if it is possible to DVR Netflix movies and then take them with me on the road. I was thinking of buying a TIVO for that purpose.
If you could do that I would not need all the satellite equipment ( dish, Directv) in my Airstream. Any ideas?
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Old 05-28-2015, 01:55 PM   #2
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Can you store enough HD movies on a TiVo to make it worth while? My regular DVR only stores about 20 hours at a time. I have over 300 movies and 2000 songs on a 1T portable hard drive.
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Old 05-28-2015, 02:22 PM   #3
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Netflix either streams content or rents DVDs. I can't think of a way to save a streamed movie from them. We also rent their DVDs. I rip some of them to watch at another time via my Apple TV but if going out on the weekend I'll load them on my laptop or iPad and watch via those devices to the AS TV via HDMI.

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Old 05-28-2015, 03:13 PM   #4
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I think DVR files are encrypted to prevent that. I usually purchase DVDs cheap used at Movie Stop and convert them to unencrypted digital files I can take with me.
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Old 05-29-2015, 11:56 AM   #5
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There is a software program called Audials that allows you to record and save a movie that you are watching on your pc. It is advertised as a legal way to copy a movie not sure if it is or not. But other than that I don't know of any other legal way to make a dvd from Netflix. Netflix on TiVo is stream only, no way to copy as far as I know.
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Old 05-29-2015, 11:58 AM   #6
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You cannot store streaming media. It will need a live connection. I tend to download iTunes movies or series on my iPad and bring that along with the HDMI media adapter. Another option is to install an AppleTV (which is what I have done) and you can use it several ways. If there is sufficient bandwidth available, you can use Netflix or Hulu. You can use it to "broadcast" media from your compatible computer or iPad as long as you have them all on a router. I have everything sync'd through my WifiRanger. There are so many options out there that are better than lugging a Tivo!
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Old 05-29-2015, 12:07 PM   #7
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I have over 300 movies and 2000 songs on a 1T portable hard drive.
So how does a person download movies to a hard drive? Format? From where? Do you own all the movies?
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Old 05-29-2015, 12:27 PM   #8
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One word: Slingbox. It allows you to watch anything from your DVR but you need to have an Internet connection wherever you're camping. Some older cable/sat boxes and older TiVos will let you watch DVRd shows without cable plugged in so in theory you can plug it into your RV and watch your DVRd shows. But if you have an Internet connection I really like the Slingbox. I have one and it's great.
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Old 05-29-2015, 04:34 PM   #9
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So how does a person download movies to a hard drive? Format? From where? Do you own all the movies?
You can go to the DVDfab site and download a tool called DVDfab decrypter. They have a paid and a free version. Look under the "products" tab, I think the free stuff is down near the bottom. The site says you are entitled to make a backup of your own DVDs. I cannot speak as to the legality but if it's your DVD I would think it's like making a copy of your cassette tape or CD, even using tools to copy from an LP record to your computer to make a CD.

Once you've created the backup on your hard drive you need to use another tool like Nero Express to create a single, viewable file. You could just rename each of the larger "vob" files to "mpg" and view them, but you have to start them one by one, a real pain.

Once you've created the single, viewable file, you need something to play it with. You can use your laptop to show the movie on the TV, using something like Windows Media Player or the freeware VLC (now completely loaded with spyware, I don't recommend this.) I have something called a 'media player' (check it on Amazon) that will allow you to connect the external drive directly to it and the TV. You use the remote control just like a DVD player. You go through the list of movies on the hard drive, press enter on the one you want to start it.

I know this sounds a little complex but once you have the software installed it's not so bad, it just takes time to copy your movies this way. Once you've built your library you just take the media player and hard drive with you, plug into the TV on the HDMI port (some can still use composite) and you're all set.... I've heard.
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Old 05-29-2015, 05:07 PM   #10
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If you are an Apple Mac user I'd suggest Handbrake (free) or MacX DVD Ripper Pro. They will convert to an viewable file in one pass. Watch on your Mac laptop or iPad if you move them to the movie area on your iPad. iPad can be connected to the TV in your AS via an HDMI adapter. Works like a champ.
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Old 05-29-2015, 06:50 PM   #11
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You can go to the DVDfab site and download a tool called DVDfab decrypter. They have a paid and a free version......
For PC users (rather than Mac, Handbrake is great for Mac), this is a good example where the functionality of the 'paid for' version is worth the cost. With the paid for version of DVDFab you don't have the multiple steps, just drop a DVD/BluRay (of course one you own!) in your PC, open the software and chose the format you want it converted to (and all the resolutions and formats are supported....I normally convert to .mp4 so that I can play on my PC or Apple device), save it on a usb drive/portable disk.

Most modern TVs have a USB port and play directly, but personally, I use a micro format media PC and an 2Tb external drive that syncs to our home network storage whenever the PC is on the home network. Gives me somewhere around 6,000 video files as well as 3,000 music albums (albums not files), when on the road....who needs streaming video!
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Old 05-30-2015, 09:04 AM   #12
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For PC users (rather than Mac, Handbrake is great for Mac), this is a good example where the functionality of the 'paid for' version is worth the cost. With the paid for version of DVDFab you don't have the multiple steps....

Most modern TVs have a USB port and play directly, but personally, I use a micro format media PC and an 2Tb external drive... Gives me somewhere around 6,000 video files as well as 3,000 music albums (albums not files), when on the road....who needs streaming video!
I've tried Handbrake but still like DVDFab better, more frequent updates. I like to backup mine as .iso images so we can see the "extra" stuff on the DVD, select chapters etc. There aren't many players that can play .iso images and TVs aren't one of them.

I already have Nero for editing movies and the price of DVDFab was just too much for saving the extra step. If you were doing your entire library then it's worth the expense but I built mine over several years so now I just have to add a new one here and there. If you're fast (or have multiple PCs), the full version of DVDFab is available for a 30 day trial.

You are 100% right about not needing streaming video. I've got 2 of the 2-TB drives (they back up each other), one for the road and one for home. I have also taken the hard drives out of my old PCs and laptops before turning them into the recycle place. I got a USB to SATA/IDE adapter for about $20 so I can add more movies on them. There isn't as much capacity but it's better than tossing them out. Laptop drives are the best because they're small, easy to carry.
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:18 PM   #13
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Chief,
So you take a laptop with HDMI out and connect the 1T to that ,connect the HDMI to the TV? The new AS have an HDMI input near the bluray player, should work there too, right?
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:25 PM   #14
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Many stand alone DVDs record to a hard drive or directly to a dvd. Also you can transfer recorded shows from the dvr hard drive to DVDs.
Dvr have recording speed/quality settings so that you can record 100's of hours of programs at slp. I do this when we travel for a month or two at a time.
These DVDs are not the TiVo types where you need a subscription
I do my recording over the air from an antenna since I canceled my cable.
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