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196 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 88316 13-Aug-2011 12:28
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OK, so here is the situation: I have been working on getting my PC to record the Freeview DVB-T channels so I can then play them back on my PS3 in the living room. After much hurdles and internet research and installing and un-installing about a million PVR's/transcoders/muxers/demuxers/encoders/decoders finally managed to get a working system, it is set up as follows:


DELL PC with Core 2 Quad processor and Windows7 64bit
Hauppage HVR-1200 DVB-T tuner card.

Recordings are made using NPVR (formerly GB-PVR) in .TS format  and I use EPG collector to extract the listings information from the DVB broadcast and so the EPG is workng great - No problems there.

The recordings are streamed to the PS3 with P3 Media Server (PS3MS) which uses DLNA and this works brilliantly for all other media. The netork is cabled not wireless.

For a full rundown on how I set this up see http://freeview2ps3.blogspot.com/

Now the first hurdle to overcome here was the audio format of the freeview broadcasts, these are in HE-AAC which the PS3 does not like, PS3MS does an admirable job at trying to trascode this for you but the result is either no audio at all, or audio that is way out of sync and the fast forward and sceen seeking on the PS3 do not work.
So the only way around this was to transcode the files before streaming them, which I did as per this forum post:    http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=83&topicid=55394 thanks to the author of that one.
If you want to see the batch file i created to automate this, see the blog above. 

What this does is basically transcode the audio to AC3 without touching the video, so the process is very fast, the files are then playable with full functionality on the PS3, I am unsure as to weather there is further transcoding going on behind the scenes by PS3MS when the files are streamed (I have a feeling they are but don't know how to find out).

 This seems to be a great system untill you come to playback the transcoded files, which although they seem to work great at first the PS3 does a very strange thing, and this is the crux of my problem:

After a while there will be some loud static for a half a second and then the video plays back at 2x speed! This is not consistent and does not happen at the same point in the recording every time. Sometimes it happens more and sometimes less, there does not seem to be any reason for it. It can be fixed by stopping the playback and starting it again, the file then plays back normally until the next bout of static but what a pain in the but, having to do that.

I thought maybe the PS3 was overheating (not unheard of) so I cleaned the air filters and moved it to a cooler location, still does it.

No other files types do this.

I really don't want to have to transcode the video as this takes so much time and CPU resourses.

I tried copying a file to the PS3 before playback, ie so it was not streamed - Still does it. 

Does anybody have any clue what might be going on here? PLEASE HELP.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 505987 13-Aug-2011 14:47
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It sounds like there a packet errors/dropouts in your TS stream. The various scripts that are around that transcode the audio to AAC-LE (I have transcoded to DD also) are not forgiving of this since they are not trying to keep the audio/video in sync.

As a test you could re-encode one of the files using Handbrake (shouldn't take long with your quad core) and see how that plays. HB handles dropped frames etc and produces an error free output file. If that works okay, then you have found the problem which is probably intermittent signal strength.

I record using gbpvr also and playback using a Popcorn Hour. The A200 (and A210) can handle the HE-AAC audio. Occasionally during playback it freezes momentarity, the picture might break up and pixelate badly and other video nasties. But the playback then picks up since the Popcorn is able to retain sync between the video and audio. But dollars to doughnuts if I try to transcode the audio in those files, I will get playback issues.

As a way to check this try playing back the original TS files using VLC and see if there are dropouts in the original video stream. VLC can playback content with HE-AAC audio.

Of course if you really want the PS3 to be the playback device for your Freeview content spend $160 or so and get PlayTV :-)  That works fine and handles the HE-AAC audio. But I have read that it is missing the guide for TV3 because of some licensing issues.




System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


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https://plus.google.com/+laurencechiu

 

 




196 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 506035 13-Aug-2011 17:00
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Thanks so much for your advice.

I had considered dropped packets as a cause for this, I had discounted that theory becuase the playback errors do not accur at the same point in playback consistantly. Am I wrong in my thinking on this?

I will give your suggestions a try, I downloaded handbrake at some point during my quest to solve this problem anyway :) I also have a couple of things to recify in the aerial wiring that may improve reception too.

Will let you know how I go. 

Chris    



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Master Geek
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Reply # 506272 14-Aug-2011 14:49
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Re-encoded with Handbrake, the resulting file plays back fine on VLC but not on the PS3, I therefore must conclude that the file is being transcoded poorly during streaming by PS3MS.

The Original recorded file plays back with no problems on VLC media Player as does the file that has undergone theVLC HE-AAC to AC3 conversion, in fact just about all the files playback fine on the computer, whatever media player I use. I have also downloaded a DVB-T signal strength meter and I have pretty much %100 signal strength and quality on all channels so I don't think that dropped packets are causing this.

One thing I have tried is using a MPEG-PS encapsulation instead of MPEG-TS, this seems to have made an improvement. I have no idea why this should be, as far as I can ascertain the only difference between TS and PS is the TS can hold multiple video and audio streams. But as I said above the problem is intermittent and unpredictable so it may just be a fluke so far that it seems to have made an improvement.

Will keep you up to date, in the mean time would still be keen to hear from anyone who can shed some further light on this.

Chris    

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  Reply # 506353 14-Aug-2011 18:04
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http://www.cypheros.de/tsdoctor_e.html

This program works wonders on TS files. Cleans them up so they play really well on the PS3 through PS3 Media Server.
It's not free, but it's worth it IMO.
They have a demo/trial, give it a try to see if it helps with your issue.

The PS3 is actually very well equipped to play TS files natively, the only problem is with the pesky HE-AAC audio component.

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  Reply # 506410 14-Aug-2011 19:51
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The annoying thing is the PS3 can playback .ts files with AAC-HE audio but only if you install PlayTV. Then it decodes the audio both in real time (live view) or later playback in the PlayTV application.

It just can't play back those files using the XMB.

Similarly the PS3 cannot playback .ts files with audio that contain a DTS audio track using XMB. But put that audio into a AVCHD container and either burn to a DVD as UDF 2.5 or copy to a FAT32 formatted USB drive as a AVCHD folder than the PS3 can play the content even if it has Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD Master audio.

I tried to do the same with AAC-HE audio tracks from Freeview but tsmuxer, the tool most people use to edit or ts files or create AVCHD folder just didn't like the audio format and rejected it.




System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


My Google+ page 

 

 

 

https://plus.google.com/+laurencechiu

 

 




196 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 514669 31-Aug-2011 19:57
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So I was never able to get a final resolution to this.

I have come close, the files will now only drop the audio rather than playing loud static and then playing back at 2x speed. Not much of an improvement because I still have to stop and start the playback to fix the problem, but it does only happen maybe only once per hour of video, a lot less then before.

To get to this stage requires a two step process, first the files are passed through TS-Doctor (thanks to dontpanic42 for that) and then the audio is transcoded to AC3 but with PS encapsulation rather than TS. Both VLC and TS-Doctor support command line so this I have been able to automate this process.

I have recently noticed that TV1 and TV2 in addition to TV3 are now all broadcasting an AC3 audio track in the transport stream, presumably so that they can broadcast Doly Digital 5.1 where available. My question is this - Why should I have to transcode the HE-AAC audio track to AC3 when there is an existing AC3 audio track in the transport stream? One posible answer is that for one reason or another the PS3 only recognises the first audio track (the HE-AAC one) and asumes it is the only one and therefore does not play back the audio??? If this is the case then is there a way to remux, discarding the HE-AAC track and leaving only the existing AC3 track? In this way I would not have to tanscode at all and that.... just might.... solve my problem.

To Ichiu7 - It seems clear that Sony have deliberatly not allowed the XMB to playback HE-AAC unless you have bought PlayTV knowing full well that users then essentially have to pay up or not be able to play HE-AAC recordings. Another example of Sony's aggresive greedy corporate tactics which put their profits before their customers hapiness (reference the root kit scandal). They have essentially purposely hadicapped their hardware to force people to pay them to upgrade, that REALLY annoys me. Another example - I just upgraded to the latest system software and POOF! TVNZ ondemand gone, no warning, no explanation, just gone. B@rstards.

Spleen vented.

Chris    

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  Reply # 514672 31-Aug-2011 20:04
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cgreenwood: If this is the case then is there a way to remux, discarding the HE-AAC track and leaving only the existing AC3 track?


You can specify in TS Doctor to discard this HE-AAC audio stream during the stream processing, and to only include the AC3 audio stream.

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  Reply # 514677 31-Aug-2011 20:12
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cgreenwood: Another example - I just upgraded to the latest system software and POOF! TVNZ ondemand gone, no warning, no explanation, just gone.


It should still be there, it is under TV/Video Services --> My Channels

BTW, TS Doctor has the ability to convert the format as well (I think it has only just been introduced in the latest 1.1.25 beta)
So the resulting .ts file could then be converted to native .mp4 for the PS3. It's only a remuxing process, so it doesn't take too long as it's not transcoding. But the PS3 should play the resulting .ts file natively anyway. That is, of course, only with AC3 audio.

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  Reply # 514691 31-Aug-2011 20:42
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Also tsmuxer will remove the AAC-HE stream - it marks it as invalid.

As for playing AAC streams on the PS3 via XMB - I never tried and only ever do it on the occasion when I record something using PlayTV. The rest of the time I record on a PC and playback on a Popcorn Hour which works fine for me.

As an aside I am enjoying my PS3 as a universal media player since it's the only device I have that can play movies from Netflix, Hulu+ and Vudu which means I don't have to use a PC to watch that content. Nothing box can do that including Roku or Boxee.




System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


My Google+ page 

 

 

 

https://plus.google.com/+laurencechiu

 

 




196 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 514735 31-Aug-2011 21:46
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You can specify in TS Doctor to discard this HE-AAC audio stream during the stream processing, and to only include the AC3 audio stream.



Great! can you tell me how to do this, I have had a good look through the settings and can't find an option for this? Thanks. I am using version 1.1.7
  

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  Reply # 514755 31-Aug-2011 22:17
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cgreenwood:
You can specify in TS Doctor to discard this HE-AAC audio stream during the stream processing, and to only include the AC3 audio stream.


Great! can you tell me how to do this, I have had a good look through the settings and can't find an option for this? Thanks. I am using version 1.1.7


There should be another audio stream entry when processing a file as indicated in red below. Unfortunately the sample file I have doesn't have an AAC audio stream in it any more, but it should appear if you are processing a file with it. All you need to do is click on the speaker icon to get a red cross to discard that stream from the new resulting file.

I'm not entirely sure how you would go about this same process with a script etc, but I'm sure it's possible.

Also, you might have a few more useful features if you chose to allow beta updates. You can enable TSDoctor to check for beta updates by ticking the option in Settings --> Preferences --> Check for beta updates.
I believe this beta update also gives you the TS Format Converter option.

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  Reply # 514765 31-Aug-2011 22:36
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cgreenwood: To Ichiu7 - It seems clear that Sony have deliberatly not allowed the XMB to playback HE-AAC unless you have bought PlayTV knowing full well that users then essentially have to pay up or not be able to play HE-AAC recordings. Another example of Sony's aggresive greedy corporate tactics which put their profits before their customers hapiness (reference the root kit scandal). They have essentially purposely hadicapped their hardware to force people to pay them to upgrade, that REALLY annoys me. Another example - I just upgraded to the latest system software and POOF! TVNZ ondemand gone, no warning, no explanation, just gone.

I think you're being a bit harsh here. The fact is PS3 doesn't play HE-AAC, that's all. There's probably a ton of formats it doesn't play, so what's the big deal?

Play TV on the other hand has to be able to play it or it would not be much use as a TV tuner, so it's built into the software. It's not as if standard PS3 firmeware has HE-AAC ability which is purposely hobbled until activated by a niche piece of hardware/software!

As for your TVNZ On Demand issue, did you check the release notes for the update?

"Due to the increase in video applications being offered on PS3, we are adding a new category on the XMB called TV/Video Services. This category will include video applications such as Netflix, Hulu PLUS, and VUDU.
-You’ll be able to find and download all of the video applications available on PS3 directly from this new XMB category.
-A folder labeled “My Channels” within this category will allow you to easily access your downloaded applications."

You just need to choose TVNZ On Demand from "My Channels" and re-download the shortcut. If you can't see TVNZ On Demand in "My Channels" make dure you're logged into a NZ account I guess for a start? Maybe it needs to confirm region access to different channels.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 514807 1-Sep-2011 08:33
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Thanks dontpanic42, that worked well, the resulting file plays well on the PS3, very appreciated. I will have to do some more testing to see if it resolved my main issue though.

  "Due to the increase in video applications being offered on PS3, we are adding a new category on the XMB called TV/Video Services. This category will include video applications such as Netflix, Hulu PLUS, and VUDU. -You’ll be able to find and download all of the video applications available on PS3 directly from this new XMB category. -A folder labeled “My Channels” within this category will allow you to easily access your downloaded applications."


My XMB does not have this new feature, ergo stilll no TVNZ for me (unless I go through the web browser of course). This seems like an appropriate topic for a new thread, I will start one in the appropriate forum.

  I think you're being a bit harsh here.


Point taken, I was feeling quite annoyed about the whole thing last night and the last thing I wanted to do was ruffle anyones feathers. I still however think that it would be been an easy thing for Sony to allow the XMB to play HE-AAC and stand by what I said about them having aggresive heavy handed profit minded tactics, they have proven themselves in this regard over and over again. That said, the PS3 is a great piece of kit and serves well as a media hub for all my home entertainment needs, so kudos to them for that.

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  Reply # 515167 1-Sep-2011 16:40
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If you haven't sorted it already, there's something stupid like you have to play a game or something before the TVNZ on demand stuff pops back up again after a system update.


Yeah, if sony got off there seats I'm sure they could add the audio support for NZ freeview.  It wouldn't be hard really, as you say they've clearly already got the info from PlayTV/inbuilt TV tuners etc.


The PS3 is often a stickler for things being strictly in their formal correct format.  As such I've often found the odd file it won't play that a $30 DVD player from the supermarket will.

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  Reply # 515193 1-Sep-2011 17:09
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Jaxson:
The PS3 is often a stickler for things being strictly in their formal correct format.  As such I've often found the odd file it won't play that a $30 DVD player from the supermarket will.


When my PS3 Blu-ray drive gave up on me recently, I went out and bought a stand-alone Panasonic DMP-BD75.

First off, it said it wouldn't read NTFS formatted external USB hard drives.... it does.
Secondly, I would say it plays Freeview HD transport streams a lot smoother than the PS3 does. Mainly concerning audio/video sync. It doesn't seem to miss a beat.

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