Using StreamBaby Application to Stream MP4/M4V Files to Tivo 3 HD (with No Conversion)


This how-to lesson describes how to view MP4/M4V (Quicktime/Apple formatted) movies on your Tivo 3 HD and above (including Tivo Premiere) with no conversion needed and without the need to buy the Tivo Desktop Plus software.

Download “StreamBaby” Application

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A great program that has been made is called “StreamBaby”. This program allows you to stream MP4/M4V files to your Tivo 3 HD. You can get it at: http://code.google.com/p/streambaby/

Click on the “Downloads” tab in order to select the file to download. You’ll install this on the PC that you want to stream movies from.

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Click on the zip file to download. Then extract this file somewhere that you can keep it.

Editing the Configuration File

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Once the program has been extracted, doubleclick on the file “streambaby.ini”. We’ll need to edit some settings in this configuration file before we start the program.

Adding Your Video Location

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Type in the path where you want to share your videos from. In my example above, I keep my videos under: D:\Shares\Videos\My Tivo Recordings

Your path may be different than this, so be sure to enter it correctly.

Install Java

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The StreamBaby application uses Java to run, so you’ll need to make sure that Java is installed on the PC that you are sharing your videos from. To install Java, open up Internet Explorer and go to: http://www.java.com

Click on the blue button that says “Free Java Download”.

If you know you already have Java installed, then you can skip this step.

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Next click on the “Free Java Download” button to start the actual Java installation program download. Go ahead and run this program to install Java.

Starting the StreamBaby Application

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Now, doubleclick on the file called “streambaby.bat” to start the StreamBaby application.

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The first time that it loads, you will see a screen similar to the one above. Once the StreamBaby application is started, you should see a message that it is “Ready and Listening” as shown in the screenshot (1). DON’T CLOSE THIS WINDOW as this exits the program. To keep StreamBaby running, you’ll need to Minimize the window (2).

Testing it Out

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Now, let’s give it a test. I have a M4V file located in my directory that I specified in the configuration file. Now let’s go to the Tivo and see if we can watch it.

Onto the Tivo HD

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Now, on your Tivo, go to Tivo Central and choose the “Music, Photos, & Showcases” option.

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Scroll down a couple of pages and you should see “Stream, Baby, Stream” listing, which you should choose.

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Accept Tivo’s Privacy policy by pressing the green Thumbs Up button 3 times and then press the Enter button (this is a one time step).

Browsing Videos

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Now, you will see a top level folder that you can select. If you setup more than one folder in the configuration file, then you will see those here.

Selecting Movie File

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There is our test M4V file, which is the movie “I Am Legend”. Press the “Select” button to choose your movie.

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A “Please Wait” screen will be shown briefly.

Playing the Video

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Then, you can select the “Play” option to begin the movie streaming.

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Here’s a screenshot of the beginning of the movie playing from the Tivo HD.

Preview Past Stream Buffer

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A really cool feature with StreamBaby is that if you need to Fast Forward to a place that isn’t streamed yet, it will give you a static preview window (much like the Netflix integration on the Tivo) to help you find the location that you would like to go to. Then when you press the “Play” button, it will start streaming from that location.

Hope this has helped you! It works great so far in my experience!

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