Convert HD shows (tivo recordings) to play in iTunes – I have an iMac running Leopard. I want to pull HD shows off my Tivo HD and convert them to a format that I can use in iTunes so I can either put them on my new iPad or watch on my new Apple TV 3. I believe I need to convert them to the .mp4 format. I know that I don’t want to loose any resolution since I recorded them in HD.

The answer is absolutely Possible. As we all know, the TiVo digital recorder saves video files in its own proprietary format and most recorded HD shows are 1080i HD videos. Since Apple supports 1080p now on iTunes, the new iPad, and Apple TV 3 now, things turn to be a piece of cake for us to get TiVo files to iTunes with original HD quality. Along with some help from a third-party software, you can easily convert TiVo to iTunes compatible formats (e.g. H.264/MPEG-4) which also works with iPad 3, new Apple TV, iPhone 4s and more iOS deivces.

Although the TiVo Desktop software for the Mac (supplied by TiVo) does not allow user to transfer TiVo recordings to Mac, there are a number of TiVo converting programs which all work in a similar fashion and many of them are free of cost. The combination of free Application TiVoDecode Manager, SeasonPassGetter gives you some of the features for taking content from your TiVo, moves it over to your computer, and automatically adds it to iTunes. However, the quality of the result videos is poor and converting speed is so slow yet the output for apple devices are terrible.

So you’ll need to add an intermediate step. The software you’ll need is Pavtube’s Video Converter for Mac (recommended), a professional Mac TiVo to iTunes Converter.

The program packs perfect support for TiVo recordings as well as HD footages, Flash videos, General Video, QuickTime video(*.mov), etc. With the application, you can easily convert TiVo HD shows to iTunes compatible formats without quality loss for smoothly enjoying with Apple TV 3, iPad/iPad 3, new iPad 3, iPhone 4S and other iOS devices. Follow the steps below to transfer TiVo recordings to iTunes with original HD quality under Mac.

Before sync TiVo files to iTunes via Mac, you may have to do some work in advance, I mean you’ll need to fix tow things:

1. Transfer shows from TiVo box to your Mac

2. Convert TiVo to iTunes friendly format (e.g. H.264 MP4)

Part I: The way Transferring TiVo recordings to Mac

Transferring TiVo recordings to Mac is not that easy and straight-forward as to PC. As mentioned above, the TiVo Desktop software for the Mac (supplied by TiVo) does not allow user to transfer TiVo recordings to Mac, here I take some help from the freeware TiVoDecode Manager. Run the app, enter your TiVo’s IP address in the TiVo IP Address box. Next click the Prefs button in the lower-right corner. Fill in the Media Access Key. A list of shows on your TiVo will appear in the Now Playing list. Select the show and click Add Show To Queue. The selected show now appears in the Download Queue list. Click Download Location to select where you want to save it.

PS: The app allows you to convert TiVo shows to MPEG-4 video for iPod. Of course you can play these TiVo shows with QuickTime Player. However the picture is horrible. So in order to get the best HD quality for iTunes, check out the part below:

Part II: Convert TiVo to iTunes with quality lossless

Step 1: Launch the TiVo to iTunes Converter for Mac, Click on the “Option” button, switch to TiVo tab, and enter your Media Access Key. Click “OK” to confirm.

Step 2: Drag and drop the *.tivo files to the software.

Step 3: Click on the pull down menu of “Format” and then tap “iPad”, the preset “iPad 3 Full HD Video(*.mp4)” is recommended to you. The profile is speically designed for new iPad 3 and also works for iTunes with full-hd 1080p effect.

Tips: For streaming TiVo with Apple TV 3, you can changed the setting from the new default iPad 3 Full HD profile to 8000 bitrate.

Step 4: Start the process by converting TiVo to iTunes H.264 MP4 on Mac.

So there you have it. After the conversion completes, you can transfer the result TiVo videos to iTunes Movie Library. Now you can view recorded TiVo shows on iTunes or stream them to play with new iPad 3, Apple TV, iPod, iPhone 4s and more. Enjoy!

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