This application will extract the .mpg file that is encased in the .tivo shell. Not "legal" according to TiVo, but it's up to you. :)
I've resorted to using Sonic MyDVD at times, simply because TiVo directly approves of it, and it actually works smoothly. However, if I were to wish to edit out the commercials, etc., I'd use that DirectShow Dump and Vegas. These other programs (Nero Vision Express, Sonic MyDVD) all use a single window of video to find the spot you want to edit to/from, unlike the usual timeline that we're used to from a NLE. So, you're stuck watching a BUNCH of the show, pausing where you want to edit... watching more.. pausing... etc. It's a huge pain. The time needed to extract the .mpg and then edit and re-render with Vegas may be worth it, as you can set it to render and go do some housekeeping.
1) Directshow Dump is very fast in extracting the mpg file from .tivo file. And since i am recording analog TV, I don't see much "legal" stuff in the way. Besides, Tivo approves viewing its recordings on other devices for personal use. I am achieving the same result with a slightly different approach.
2) I've found another piece of software called mpeg2 vcr made by womble, which edit mpg files without re-encode it. I used it to cut the beginning and end of the recording. The kids shows I recorded don't have commercials in the middle, but I assume you could cut off the commercials in the middle too.
3) DVD achitecture is happy to take the resulting file and make the final DVD.
Did you happen to come across any free MPEG cutting utilties, or at least a lot less than $49?
You can try TMPGEnc and use the File -> MPEG Tools section to cut. It is extremely crude, however, and I haven't used it in years. When I last used it, I think it may have had problems with VBR MPEG-2 files. You could try it and let us know.
I've used TMPGEnc for simple cuts and I've also stitched the cuts together again or spliced separate mpg files together and it works fine. There may be a slight problem cutting the exact frame, but you can come very close. I thought the mpg2 was the part that TMPGEnc wouldn't let you use after the trial period. I could be wrong. Anyway I think it's $48. So that's less than $49. These tools are in the "MPEG tools" in the File dropdown.
for simple mpeg cutting and joining (and wmv etc) I use the great utilities from http://www.boilsoft.com , have for years. they've got free trials, check it out.b unlike other so-called splitter utilities, the boilsoft ones cut instantly with no rerendering, so they're fast and efficient.
It's great for trimming unwanted parts out of mpgs, and for stitching together clips, I've used them weekly for years.
For my money VideoReDo, from videoredo.net, is heads above all the others. Frame accurate editing with only the GOP you actually cut on being re-encoded (no reencoding if you cut on an I frame) makes it fast and easy. Mostly no audio synch problems, but it also has an audio synch correcting tool. 30 day free trial and many goodies too numerous to mention. Been using it for over a year with no problems.
My Tivo has an option called, 'Out to VHS'. I simply select this option and the recorded program and export to my analog to digital converter then to my laptop. Basically, its outputs an analog signal of any show I record then I do what I want with it. I go the Tivo unit in Aug of 2005, I'd be surprised if the current units(only 6 months later) couldn't do the same.