TiVo Desktop Plus Alternative


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TiVo Desktop Plus is one of the software which lets you enjoy your music and photos on your TV. Along with that, you can transfer shows from your TiVo DVR to your PC. However, this service was for free earlier and now it’s not. TiVo has stopped the free service and the free version is now available now. So, you better wondering about some other programs like TiVo Desktop Plus to enjoy the similar service. So, here are some of the best TiVo Desktop Plus Alternatives which you can enjoy:


1. TiVo Desktop (free)

It works with your network-connected TiVo box, your Mac, and your PC as well. You can publish all your personal music library to your TiVo box for playback through your TV and home entertainment system. Along with that you can publish your iPhoto albums to your TiVo box for viewing photos and slideshows on your TV

Note: As of June 2013, the free version of TiVo Desktop is discontinued. If you are having or you already have an existing copy of the free version of TiVo Desktop then it will still function normally – nothing has changed. However, New TiVo Desktop customers can purchase Tivo Desktop Plus to take advantage of the full set of Desktop features.


2. cTiVo

If you are a Mac user then cTiVo is a for you, It is a Mac application to download shows from your TiVo (Roamio, Premiere, HD, S3 or S2 devices) and convert them to many popular formats and devices. The goal of cTiVo is just simple, it is extremely simple to set up and use, but very flexible. cTiVo provides you the complete hands-off operation and once you choose or subscribe to your shows, everything else will be automated.

cTiVo is inspired by the great work done on iTiVo but written in Cocoa/Objective C for better performance and compatibility. Current or former users of iTiVo will find a detailed comparison and upgrade path described in iTivo Users.

Some of the Key Features it Gives you are:

  • Auto-discovery of all your TiVos (using Bonjour).
  • Drag/drop and contextual menus for ease of use; submit, reschedule, delete all by dragging the shows.
  • Download queue for batch processing, restored on restart.
  • ‘Subscriptions’ to your regular shows: automatically downloading shows whenever new episodes are available.
  • Even subscribe to “ALL” shows, including suggestions or not
  • Removes commercials from downloaded shows, or just mark for quick skip in player.
  • Extracts closed caption info (adjusted for removal of commercials); adds to MPEG and creates subtitle files.
  • Adds artwork to downloaded shows from TiVo or theTVDB and theMovieDB (as available).
  • Copies shows to iTunes with all data about the show (metadata) transferred as well.
  • Generates metadata appropriate for use by tools such as pyTivo and Plex.

Get cTiVo


3. pyTiVo


pyTivo is both an HMO and GoBack server. Similar to TiVo Desktop, pyTivo loads many standard video compression codecs and outputs mpeg2 (or in some cases, h.264) video to the TiVo. However, pyTivo is able to load many more file types than TiVo Desktop.

Some of the Key features that pyTiVo has are:

  • Output 4:3 or 16:9 and pad your video if needed.
  • Transfer compatible video files without transcoding.
  • Transfer TiVo recordings (.tivo) from computer to TiVo.
  • Display Metadata about your video.
  • Serve Music and Photos through the HMO protocol.
  • Support for Windows, Linux, and Mac.

So, it can be a pretty good TiVo Desktop Plus Alternative which you can use

Get pyTiVo

4. iTiVo

iTiVo WAS a Mac front-end to your Series 2, Series 3, and TiVoHD device.

It will download shows to your Mac, and convert them to many popular formats / devices.
The Features include it includes are:

  • Formats include h.264, mpeg-2, mpeg-1, decrypt-only.
  • Target devices include iPhone, iPod, AppleTV, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PSP, youtube.
  • Automatically perform an ‘iTunes sync’ to your device when the download is completed.
  • Automatically remove commercials from downloaded shows.
  • Generate metadata appropriate for use by tools such as pyTivoX.
  • Create subtitle files (.srt) from the closed caption info.
  • Support for different encoders, including HandBrake, Mencoder, FFmpeg, ElGato Turbo.
  • Full control over encoder options.
  • A download queue for batch processing.
  • Scheduling of when the queue will be processed.
  • Automatic discovery of Tivos using Bonjour.
  • Automatic updates.
  • With appropriate configuration, you can plug in your iPhone to your computer to recharge overnight. In the morning, you will find all your favorite shows from your tivo loaded onto it.

Note:  No longer maintained. And now only works on newer OS releases.

Get iTiVo


kmttg is a Java based program I wrote to facilitate TivoToGo (TTG) transfers that can download, create pyTivo metadata, decrypt, run comskip & comcut (commercial detection and removal), create closed captions files and re-encode multiple shows you select from your Tivos all automatically. The program also has the capability to transfer and process shows automatically from your Tivos based on titles and keywords you setup.

kmttg also has an advanced Remote Control which among many other things allows for Season Pass management, backup/restore, copying, etc. Also now has capability to backup/restore Channels received list and Thumbs ratings.

Some Key Features are:

  • Graphical and/or automated TiVo To Go downloads
  • Automated flow for download, decrypt, commercial cut, encode
  • Advanced TiVo remote control capabilities including Season Passes backup/restore etc.
  • Also now has capabilty to backup/restore channels received and thumbs ratings
  • Slingbox video output capture capability
  • Use AutoSkip functionality for hands free commercial skipping for your TiVos



So, these are some of the TiVo Desktop Plus Alternative which you should try, however some of them are not that good but atleast will work fine.

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