Converting ReplayTV Files for DVD - Mac OSX

v 1.1
31 jan 2004

send comments to kathy at motogrrl dot com

See also
- WiredPen
- dotParagon
27 October 2009
I came across your "Converting ReplayTV Files for DVD - Mac OSX" page 
through a Google search.  I used to have a ReplayTV and have a lot of 
my old Replay files on a hard drive so was Googling for a solution as 
to how to view or transfer them to DVD (they are unreadable in QuickTime).

I updated to Roxio Popcorn 4 today and much to my surprise it will accept 
the raw Replay files and burn them directly to DVD with no problem.  It 
doesn't even do any transcoding so can burn 6 hours of shows in about 40 min.  
Even has a menu screen setup.  I remember the last time I tried to make a 
ReplayTV DVD it was a nightmare and the soundtrack was out of sync.

I realize your page is almost 6 years old now but thought you would like 
to know in case you want to post an update or are still using your Replay.

Popcorn 4 is also great for capturing streaming web videos.

Ian in Cambridge, MA
This help file is written for Mac OS10.3 and a 5xxx series ReplayTV. This is not the only way to create DVDs from ReplayTV files, but it is one way. And since I have been unable to find a step-by-step guide to this conversion process, I have created one.

The command line toolkit is also available for Win32 and Linux.


You will need the following software:


This help file assumes that you have already installed DVArchive and have succeeded in transferring a Replay file to your Mac.

I found it easiest to place the ReplayTV Tools in the Movie directory. I moved the OSX binaries and the Toolshell to the root level of my (renamed) tools directory.
screenshot - directory

  1. The first thing you should do is to correct the permissions on the binaries.

    Launch terminal. [Use this help file if you are unsure of this step]
    Change directories to the directory where you put the binaries:
    > cd - path to the correct directory -

    Correct permissions (you may copy and paste these commands):
    > chmod a+x evtdump rtvedit rtvconvert
  2. Launch the Replay TV Toolshell. Set the local Replay TV folder (mine has not encoded the full path) and the Tool Kit binaries folder.
    screenshot - toolshell
  3. Delete commercials (optional)
    EVTDUMP creates an edit script that marks perceived commercial breaks. The output is editable; see the documentation that comes with the tools.

    Select the dump tab. Select the .evt file of the Replay show that you wish to edit. Select dump selected file.
    screenshot - dump
  4. Edit the show (required)
    RTVEDIT edits one or more source MPEG-2 files to produce a new MPEG-2 file. Even if you do not wish to remove commercials, you must run this step.

    Select the edit tab. Select the correct dump file from the left column. Select process files. .
    screenshot - edit

    Wait - the time needed to process will depend upon your processor speed and if this is the sole activity being performed by your CPU. My old Pismo (400) powerbook processes a 1-hour show in less than two minutes.

    The new, edited file has the same name as the original Replay file, with the number 1 appended.

    Before converting the file to a DVD friendly format, check to see if you like the edits. Edit the dump file if the times are not correct. For more detail on editing, see the documentation that comes with the tools.
  5. Convert to DVD format (required)
    RTVCONVERT converts any qualifying MPEG-2 file for use with DVD authoring software.

    NOTE: Do not perform RTVCONVERT on a raw ReplayTV file. It must be processed with RTVEDIT (even if no edits are made).

    MPEG-2 files should have the following attributes:
    Resolution: any valid MPEG-2 width, 480+ height
    Framerate: 23.976, 29.97 and 59.94
    Bitrate: 2-8Mpbs CBR/VBR
    Audio: 48KHz @ 112-320kbps, MPEG-1 layer II
    GOP struct: 1 seq per GOP

    Select the convert tab. Decide if you want separate audio-video streams or one stream. Select the edited file for conversion.
    screenshot - convert

    Wait - the time needed to process will depend upon your processor speed and if this is the sole activity being performed by your CPU. My old Pismo (400) powerbook processes a 1-hour show (standard format, commercials deleted) in less than four minutes.
  6. Burn DVD
    Test DVD media in your DVD player before buying it in quantity. [My old Sony DVD player says it will play VideoCDs, so I thought it might be somewhat sophisticated -- I was wrong.]

    screenshot - toast

No Sound!

Sit back and enjoy ... at least that's the goal ... but my old Sony DVD/CD/VCD recorder doesn't "hear" -R or RW media (ie, plays video only). I had initially thought the problem was with the burn -- but I tested on a new G4 PB (mine has sound problems at the moment) and voila! It worked marvelously.

So now I get to buy a new DVD player.

While I was troubleshooting:
Tried Sizzle.
Created a disk image (thanks to whomever suggested this test method on one of the boards) using separate video and audio files. Tried to create disk image from single converted mpg file (combined video and audio). Sizzle failed: "An error occured while (re-)multiplexing. Make sure all program streams have DVD NAV sectors."

Tried Neo
Used Neo to create disc image on the Dell and am playing it as I type. It has sound.

Aside #1: am wondering if Windows hardware/software manufacturers will finally correct CRT gamma -- the movie is exceedingly dark on the PC, compared to the TV or the Pismo.

Aside #2: the older (and slower) Pismo handles full screen output much more smoothly. Odd.

Aside #3: Neo's "authoring" of the disc image was exceedingly slow -- definitely an "overnight" process and not something to implement for converting the volume of SG-1 and Farscape episdoes we have amassed.

Sources - Additional Information

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copyright Kathy E. Gill - 2004