.TMF File Extension

TiVo Video Recording Archive

Developer TiVo
1.0  |  2 Votes

What is a TMF file?

A TMF file is a .TAR archive (tarball) that contains multiple files created by various TiVo DVR devices, which includes TiVo Series 1, 2, and 2.5 and DirecTV TiVo Series 1 and 2. It stores one or more TiVo .TY video files and an .XML metadata file that contains information about the recording. TMF files are typically used for archiving content onto a computer that was recorded on a TiVo device or for transferring content from one TiVo device to another.

More Information

The TY files stored in a TMF file contain "chunks" of MPEG-2-compressed video and audio data. The XML metadata file is used by TiVo to help organize the recorded content on the TiVo DVR device. Examples of metadata in the XML file include the TV show or movie title, a description of the recording, and the date the content was recorded.

You will most likely only encounter a TMF file if you own an older TiVo DVR device and are transferring recorded content from the device using the MFS_FTP server program included with the device. When doing this, the program combines the various chunks of video and audio data into multiple TY files, along with the XML metadata file and packages them in a tarball.

NOTE: TiVo recordings are also commonly saved as .TIVO files.

How to open a TMF file

TMF files are uncommon since they are no longer used by TiVo DVR devices to store recordings, and the devices that used them were released back in the 2000s. Because the files are rare, there are few programs that support the format.

Unfortunately, there is no program currently available that can outright play a TMF file. However, you may be able to extract the TY video files from the TMF archive with a program that supports TAR archives, such as 7-Zip (Windows) or Apple Archive Utility (macOS), then play the TY video files in a media player, such as Microsoft Windows Media Player (Windows) or VLC media player (multiplatform), that supports the format. You can also convert the TY video files to a more common video format with FFmpeg. Then, you can open the converted files with a media player.

NOTE: Many TiVo devices encrypt video recordings for copyright purposes. If the TMF file is encrypted it cannot be played back or converted by a computer program. The file can only be transferred back to the TiVo device to be played.

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Programs that open TMF files

Retro-Sonic 3D Model

Developer Christian "Taxman" Whitehead
1.0  |  1 Vote

A TMF file may also be a 3D model used in the fan game Retro-Sonic 3D. It contains binary data used to show an in-game character, level, or object. TMF files cannot be opened outside Retro-Sonic 3D.

More Information

Retro-Sonic 3D is a Sonic the Hedgehog fan game developed by Christian "Taxman" Whitehead. In the (quite glitchy) game, players can run around a 3D course as Sonic the Hedgehog.

The 3D model files Retro-Sonic 3D uses to show Sonic, the game's single course, and the game's in-game objects (such as rings and springs) are saved as TMF files. These files can be found in sub-folders within Retro-Sonic 3D's Data folder.

How to open a TMF file

Because Retro-Sonic 3D's TMF files are saved in a unique, fan-developed format, no known 3D modeling programs can open them. If you want to view the data a TMF file contains, you will have to play Retro-Sonic 3D.

Programs that open or reference TMF files


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