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Thread: H.264 Video from MPEG-II on a Series III

  1. #1
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    H.264 Video from MPEG-II on a Series III

    I posted this overon the "other" TiVo forum, but haven't had a lot of luck, so I'm trying here. Since the Series III TiVos are now supporting streaming H.264 video content, the next step is to convert my video library to MPEG-IV. I'm having some problems getting a playable MP4 / H.264 stream, however. I can get a great looking conversion with about a 40% space savings using the following:

    Code:
    ffmpeg -i filename.mpg -b38810 -acodec copy filename.mp4
    but ffmpeg warns about the file not being playable, and although Nero will play the file, it won't play audio. The TiVo rejects it entirely. I've tried various permutations of the -ac switch, but it usually just croaks saying the codec is unsupported. Most of the material is 5.1 Dolby, originally recorded on the Tivo. How do I get this to convert to a TiVo-friendly h.264 format with 5.1 audio? Or any audio at all, for that matter. Virtually everything I try gives me:

    Code:
    Unsupported codec for output stream #0.1
    or else if I use the copy tag:

    Code:
    Warning, using MS style audio codec tag, the file may be unplayable!
    The few things which don't cause ffmpeg to croak totally result in a file either without audio at all, or that the TiVo won't play, or both. According to William McBrine, what he has gotten to play is h.264 video, AAC audio, in a Quicktime (MOV) wrapper, but I can't figure out how to get ffmpeg to produce that.
    Last edited by lrhorer; 08-29-2008 at 06:15 PM.
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  2. #2
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    ffmpeg -i MOVIE0001.mpg -acodec libfaac -vcodec libx264 out.mov encodes for me without error. I haven't tried to transfer or play the result.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie View Post
    ffmpeg -i MOVIE0001.mpg -acodec libfaac -vcodec libx264 out.mov encodes for me without error. I haven't tried to transfer or play the result.
    When I try this, it gives me "Unknown codec" for both libfaac and libx264.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by lrhorer View Post
    When I try this, it gives me "Unknown codec" for both libfaac and libx264.
    recompile ffmpeg or find a different binary to use.

  5. #5
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    From where? I'm using the latest Deb package for ffmpeg on an AMD 64, whihc also supposedly has the latest codec library for this platform.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by lrhorer View Post
    From where? I'm using the latest Deb package for ffmpeg on an AMD 64, whihc also supposedly has the latest codec library for this platform.
    source is here. recompile with the options you want/need. precompiled binaries won't necessarily include support for all codecs/libs.

  7. #7
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    OK, I don't mean to be dense, but there are lots of sources there. More specifically, there are a ton of source code files for various aspects of ffmpeg in various directories. There is no tarball, and no way to select a group of files or directories to download. Surely I don't need to download every file in every directory, do I? There are literally hundreds.
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  8. #8
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    svn

    Code:
    svn checkout svn://svn.mplayerhq.hu/ffmpeg/trunk ffmpeg
    will grab all of the latest source.

    or you could use
    Code:
    svn checkout -r <rev #> svn://svn.mplayerhq.hu/ffmpeg/trunk ffmpeg
    to checkout a specific revision.
    Last edited by jt1134; 08-30-2008 at 01:30 AM.

  9. #9
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    I'm using the latest build from the livna repository for fedora:

    ffmpeg-libs-0.4.9-0.41.20071011.lvn8
    ffmpeg-0.4.9-0.42.20071121.lvn8

  10. #10
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    I finally got ffmpeg, libx264, and libfaac to build, but for some reason the libx264 doesn't like my version of yasm, and I had to disable asm compilation. When I try to use the libx264 codec, I get a segmentation fault.

    There may be a more fundamental issue however. One of the participants on the "other" forum has an apparently fully working version of ffmpeg,and he couldn't get it to create an mp4 file which the TiVo would take, either, so he took a known working mp4 file and ran it through "ffmpeg -vcodec copy -acodec copy", and the resulting file will not play on the TiVo. He looked at the miscreant file using Gspot, and it's missing a timestamp and a header. It's possible ffmpeg may not be able to create TiVo compatible mp4 files.
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  11. #11
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    I found ripbot264 over at hardforums

    I was battling the same problem from a different angle. I wanted to stream my Nero Recode produce mp4s to the S3 using Bill McBrines HMEVLC streaming app. The S3 always said "Streaming Error", although it could see all the files it couldn't play any of them.

    I found a couple of problems. The worst one was that every one of my mp4s would need to be redone using ripbot264. The reason was 2-fold. The headers for the mp4 are placed at the end of the file by Nero and must be at the top in order to stream to S3. Second problem was that I left the audio set to "Automatic" in Nero Recode, which was HE (2.0 or 5.1, depending on source). The S3 will NOT play AAC HE audio (it screeches real bad).

    I came across a fairly fix for this when I started my investigation into trancoding BD to .mp4 h.264 for the Tivo. That's where I found Ripbot264. Google for it. It uses FFdshow for its codec sources, TSmuxer and Haali Media splitter. EVODemux is optional for HDDVD.

    It is my understanding (I can be wrong if my source was wrong) that the TivoHD has AAC-HE support, whereas the S3 only has AAC-LC. I know for a fact AAC-LC 2 channels works very well on S3, but I have had mixed results with AAC-LC 5.1. That has had me looking for a way to use h.264 for video and get AC3 5.1 for audio packaged into .mp4 files. Not an easy thing to do, I guess. Fortunately, ripbot works rather well and the x264 codec is purported to be of excellent quality. Problem I now face is that I can't have 5.1 audio for both the S3 and the PC. HTH

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