TiVo Video Recording File
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What is a TY file?
A TY file is a video file recorded by a TiVo DVR device. It contains video and audio data compressed using MPEG-2 compression and may include copyright protection if copyright is enabled on the device when recording the video. TY files are primarily used to save TV shows and movies recorded from a broadcast to watch at a later time.
The TY format is made up of "chunks" of data. These chunks consist of multiplexed, or combined, MPEG-2 encoded video and audio data.
You will most likely only encounter a TY 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 TiVo device. When doing this, the program combines the various chunks of data into one large binary TY file.
You may also receive a show or movie recording saved in a TY file from someone who owns a TiVo DVR device. The person may have extracted the recording for archival purposes or to play it on a computer.
TY files do not store metadata for describing the TV show or movie. Examples of metadata include the date the content was recorded, the title of the TV show or movie, and a description of the content. TiVo recordings that do contain metadata are saved with a .ty+ file extension by the MFS_FTP program included with the TiVo device.
NOTE: TiVo recordings are also saved as .TIVO files.
How to open a TY file
TY files are rare since they are no longer used by TiVo DVR devices to store recordings. They were primarily created by TiVo devices released in the 2000s. Also, the files cannot be played back or converted if they are copyright-protected.
If a TY file are not encrypted for copyright protection, you can play it with several media players, including the multiplatform VLC media player and MPlayer programs. You can also convert TY files to a more common video format with FFmpeg if they are not copyright-protected.