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Old 10-16-2009, 08:55 AM
ethanreedy ethanreedy is offline
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Conversion/Compression Problems

I am a recent convert from BeyondTV (used for past 3 years). I am only recording OTA channels with STV. The recording is happening without a problem. I can play back the recorded MPEG2 shows on my local machine with no problem. However, I need to convert the recordings both to save space and to make them easier to transmit across my LAN and use on low power machines.

The problem I have is that shows from some channels (ABC and CBS, but apparently not NBC, PBS, and FOX) don't compress properly when I use MPEG4 High or Good (not deinterlaced). The video is fine, but the audio sounds soft, muffled, and like it has been dropped several octaves. It sounds like it has been slowed down a lot, but I can tell that it is still tracking with the video. The problem is in the converted file because I've tried it on different machines and players. It is possible that this isn't related to the channel, but is coincidental. This is a serious WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) issue because it means that The Biggest Loser won't play properly when she's trying to exercise!

Is this likely a codec problem? Which one should I install? Can I edit the default set of conversion profiles? I tried converting an ABC show on the PSP setting, and it worked fine, but of course it was pixelated.

I've tried digging through the forums, and the only option I see that would help would be using something like Handbrake, but I can't find info on how to set it up to work automatically. I am technically competent, but by no means a programmer.

Thanks for your help,

Ethan Reedy
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Old 10-16-2009, 11:14 AM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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never seen any issue like this. The conversion is done with ffmpeg, which uses all it's own codecs, so nothing to change there, really. My first question though, is, why do you have to convert them? Are you keeping them around long enough for the space to matter? Also, a 100Mbit lan should more than be able to handle the 19Mbps max OTA recordings.

Also, regarding low powered machines, HD MPEG2 is probably just as easy, if not easier, to decode than SD MPEG4.
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Old 10-16-2009, 03:57 PM
ethanreedy ethanreedy is offline
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As far as the need goes, I don't have tons of money for new drives. I just bought 1TB, but after a very short time I already have 166GB used. I tend to load stuff up, then keep it for awhile, especially to get me through the summer. Second, I like to take stuff with me to work where I can watch it during lunch. My office frowns on video streaming at work. I can't store many shows on a memory stick when they are 8GB each.

Finally, my older machines can't handle the full HD MPEG2 that comes from the digital OTA channels, but they can handle reduced file sizes. I have everything on a wired GB LAN, so that isn't the problem. The lowest power machine I'm using is a single-core 2.2Ghz, 512MB RAM machine with Dell onboard graphics. When I try to play the MPEG2 video -- from any channel -- they will play the audio, black-screen video, and STV becomes almost non-responsive. Video that has been converted plays with no problem. I could never play the full MPEG2 with BeyondTV either.
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Old 01-05-2010, 08:22 AM
m2cupcar m2cupcar is offline
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I've got the same issue. I can convert an ABC hidef (comcast/qam) recording to any mpeg4 setting successfully, but anything from PBS hidef (comcast/qam) sent to any of the mpeg4 settings fails immediately. IF I send the PBS file to a DVD setting it compresses successfully.
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