ReplayTV 5K Tools (Revision 4) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 389 Old 10-15-2003, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
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I am very pleased to announce the fourth revision of the ReplayTV 5000 Toolkit.

ReplayTV tools are a collection of command line utilities to work with MPEG-2 streams for the ReplayTV 5000 series Personal Video Recorder.

These tools will allow you to do the following:

* Edit downloaded shows without reencoding; stream them with DVArchive
* Convert RTV files for use with DVD Authoring
* Convert RTV4K MPEGs for streaming to a RTV5K
* Convert MPEG-2 streams and stream to a RTV5K with DVArchive


What's New in Rev 4:


Revised Documentation
RTVEDIT: if no associated ndx is found for the given mpg, create a 5k ndx
EVTDUMP: added -p and -i switches to set program time and ignore time
RTVCONV: added -d switch to write demultiplexed streams (.m2v, .mp2)
RVTCONV: added filtering of RTVEDIT-ed files for DVD authoring


EVTDUMP:

* EVTDUMP switches may be useful for changing detection parameters without recompiling. Specify times in seconds. For example, a 30 minute show may have program segments shorter than the default 5 minutes, use -p180 to set the program time limit to 3 minutes.


RTVEDIT:

* RTVEDIT will now re-build a .ndx corresponding to the original .mpg if no .ndx is found. It will *assume* the mpg is a RTV5K stream. There is no check for this and results on a non-RTV5K stream are unpredictable (read "bad"). An .ndx is required for editing the stream, so once the .ndx is re-generated, you can run RTVEDIT on the fileset as normal.


RTVCONVERT:

* RTVCONVERT can now process an RTVEDIT-ed mpg and produce a stream suitable for DVD authoring. Simply run RTVCONVERT on the output of an RTVEDIT stream and use the resulting stream in your DVD authoring program (tested on MediaChance DVDLab, Sonic Solutions DVDit, Sonic/Daikin Scenarist, Ulead MovieFactory 1.x.).

* If your DVD authoring program accepts demultiplexed streams, use the -d switch to have RTVCONVERT write .m2v and .mp2 files directly.


Binaries are included for Mac OS X, Win32 and Linux. Enjoy!

 

rtvtoolsrev4.zip 144.9775390625k . file
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post #2 of 389 Old 10-15-2003, 11:24 PM
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"suitable for DVD authoring" means your audio should stay in sync. :)
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post #3 of 389 Old 10-16-2003, 11:11 AM
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Beautiful! Thanks to Lee & anon....
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post #4 of 389 Old 10-16-2003, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by agent-x
"suitable for DVD authoring" means your audio should stay in sync. :)
Does this mean no need to buy womble to fix the mpeg? Is this as fast as Womble?

This space for rent.
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post #5 of 389 Old 10-16-2003, 02:25 PM
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You're my boy blue! Uh... I mean... way to go Lee! Especially adding the conversion functionality.

Bob
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post #6 of 389 Old 10-16-2003, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by dyker
Does this mean no need to buy womble to fix the mpeg? Is this as fast as Womble?
Womble should not be necessary.

If you wanted to convert a 60 minute show to a DVD (waste of space I know but bear with me ;) ) you would just need to do the following steps:

1. Download to your PC (time varies)

2. You'll need to create a simple RTVEDIT script even if you aren't trimming the MPEG at all.

Code:
FMyFile.mpg
E
Code:
rtvedit myfile.txt
Even with minor edits and trims it should not take more than 2-3 minutes to process on a 2Ghz machine. (NOTE if you have Write Caching disabled on Windows it'll double the time.)

3. Now all you need to do is run RTVCONVERT on the file RTVEDIT just made. (using the above example it would be MyFile1.mpg).

Code:
rtvconvert myfile1.mpg DVDfile.mpg
If your DVD authoring tool perfers demuxed streams you can specify -d on the command line and rtvconvert will demux it for you.

Code:
rtvconvert -d myfile1.mpg DVDfile.mpg
Either way about 2-3 minutes for this step. As with RTVEDIT, if write caching is disabled on the drive it'll be closer to 5-6.


So the total time for processing the MPG after it's on your PC to when it's in your DVD Authoring application can be as little as 5-6 minutes. (Obviously it depends on the speed of your machine and how long the MPG is)
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post #7 of 389 Old 10-16-2003, 10:36 PM
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I love these tools. Just been keeping quiet waiting for others to talk about it so it's spelled out to me and all I have to do is add it up. I suspect others are doing the same because not much has been said in this thread so far.

In a different thread, some smart-type person showed how to make a little batch file script as an icon. All you have to do is drop a file(a replay mpg in this case) on to the icon and several command line programs are run in sequence making the process a nobrainer. Where did I see that? I might search for it later and post back here or EDIT this post. It seems perfect for these tools (batch files are so easy to reconfigure too).

There's other programs that will wait till a file arrives in a directory and then processes it how ever you have it set up(however you want). I'm eyeing out a way to use all of the above to automate the process from DVArchive transfer scheduling to ripping out the commercials and saving space or sending dvd-ready mpgs to a folder so all is left is to burn them.

I don't like the grammatic structuring of this post, but I'm tired right now; hope it's readable.

I love Lee for being the bringer of all good things. Hope the creator of the program understands how much the work is appreciated. The praise goes unheard from people all over who celebrate the tools quietly in their unmarked and uncounted casas with little grins and smiles. There have been bigger software productions that are more formidable, but these little tools are the ones fueling the revolutionary process. I want to give recognition. Hope I didn't hit too many cheesey notes telling you how I feel. I'd leave it said by the poets, but they never show up.

cow
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post #8 of 389 Old 10-17-2003, 05:24 AM
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Re: rtvconvert for DVD authoring

Is it to say that the output mpeg (assuming no demux)
of rtvconvert on a 5K mpeg can be streamed back to the replaytv as well as be used in DVD authoring tool?
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post #9 of 389 Old 10-17-2003, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lee Thompson
Womble should not be necessary.

WOW!! Thanks!! Wife just asked me about copying off some kid's show that is only airing this weekend to DVD and I was thinking I'd have to crack open the wally. If this all works as billed, are you asking for anything via Paypal?

:cool:

This space for rent.
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post #10 of 389 Old 10-17-2003, 06:52 AM
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Ok, I have been too lazy to try these tools until last night. My compatibility-exchange units are arriving tomorrow, and I want to be able to keep some of my old recordings. I ran rtvedit on my 4k files and converted them to "5k" files. Seems to have worked and the files do stream back to the 5k's using DVArchive. I'm amazed at how quickly this works. The longest it rans was 5 minutes!

The basic procedure (for those who haven't tried it) is to create a text file with the commands shown in one of the readme files. I think it is all of three lines long. Then execute "rtvedit edit.txt" on the command line. Once the files are converted you will need to notify DVArchive that the MPEG is now compatible with the 5k's. Go into DVArchive and select the shows properties. Under the Advanced tab there is a pull-down for configuring the MPEG RTV version.

I did receive a couple of different errors... first was something about an invalid ndx file. It was just ignored and it contued straight on. The second was something about an improper index. It just skips to a valid index and continues converting. So far I have not found any problems in the new MPEG files, but I haven't watched them all the way through yet. Of course, YMMV.

Thanks a lot Lee and 'anonymous' for producing these tools. I suspect 'anonymous' is one of the RTV programmers, but this is only a guess.

Cheers

Except, of course, in paranoid delusions for those that believe.
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post #11 of 389 Old 10-17-2003, 08:07 AM
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Hey, I've never tried these tools and I'm thinking of doing so this weekend -- just a couple of questions first:

Since this tool appears to depend on RTV's detecting commercials, it seems for those that are not detected, you have to go through the video and find the beginning/end times of the commercial segments and put those in the evtdump file manually? If this is the case, my other question is, in order to view the video beforehand (to find the commercials) I have to use VLAN, and since the video is recorded in VBR, the time fluctuates constantly, making it impossible to tell exactly when the commercial segment commences/ends. Any suggestions?

Thanks!


CC
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post #12 of 389 Old 10-17-2003, 08:36 AM
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Well, if you do look closely at the evt dump file, you would notice that all the commercials and more (scene changes) are detected and dumped, it is just that the CA logic didnt identify them as commercial breaks. So all you need to do is flip a few A's into D's :)
Here is how I do it. I run the evtdump on the file and open it in editor. I than run rtvedit and take a note at what points the show was edited (it is also obvious from the evt file, but much easier to see in the output of the edit file (you can also just redirect the output of the editing program to a file and open it for viewing later). For example is the 60 minutes show shows that the edited file is 43 minutes, good chance is nothing needs to be done, and all commercials were detected correctly. If the file is smaller or bigger, I'll open the original video file in WMP or VLAN and drag to the first edit point, than second than so on. I do not need to determine points, I just want to find, where they are approximately. Once I see that any of the points are out of wack, I go to the opened evt.txt file and sure enough, if there is a porblem, that means that there is A in front of that edit point - flip it to D. Try it and you get a hand of it, really the whole process is a lot faster than wombling, cause you dont really have to detect frames and such.
I use far.exe from rarsoft.com instead of the run interface of windows, but maybe somebody will write a gui interface to the tools.

Quote:
Originally posted by Cobalt_Crysalis
Hey, I've never tried these tools and I'm thinking of doing so this weekend -- just a couple of questions first:

Since this tool appears to depend on RTV's detecting commercials, it seems for those that are not detected, you have to go through the video and find the beginning/end times of the commercial segments and put those in the evtdump file manually? If this is the case, my other question is, in order to view the video beforehand (to find the commercials) I have to use VLAN, and since the video is recorded in VBR, the time fluctuates constantly, making it impossible to tell exactly when the commercial segment commences/ends. Any suggestions?

Thanks!


CC
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post #13 of 389 Old 10-17-2003, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by wen-king
Re: rtvconvert for DVD authoring

Is it to say that the output mpeg (assuming no demux)
of rtvconvert on a 5K mpeg can be streamed back to the replaytv as well as be used in DVD authoring tool?
Yes. :)
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post #14 of 389 Old 10-17-2003, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by alyosha
Well, if you do look closely at the evt dump file, you would notice that all the commercials and more (scene changes) are detected and dumped, it is just that the CA logic didnt identify them as commercial breaks. So all you need to do is flip a few A's into D's :)
Here is how I do it. I run the evtdump on the file and open it in editor. I than run rtvedit and take a note at what points the show was edited (it is also obvious from the evt file, but much easier to see in the output of the edit file (you can also just redirect the output of the editing program to a file and open it for viewing later). For example is the 60 minutes show shows that the edited file is 43 minutes, good chance is nothing needs to be done, and all commercials were detected correctly. If the file is smaller or bigger, I'll open the original video file in WMP or VLAN and drag to the first edit point, than second than so on. I do not need to determine points, I just want to find, where they are approximately. Once I see that any of the points are out of wack, I go to the opened evt.txt file and sure enough, if there is a porblem, that means that there is A in front of that edit point - flip it to D. Try it and you get a hand of it, really the whole process is a lot faster than wombling, cause you dont really have to detect frames and such.
I use far.exe from rarsoft.com instead of the run interface of windows, but maybe somebody will write a gui interface to the tools.
Personally, I run evtdump and then modify the result manually using VirtualDub-MPEG2 (VirtualDub with the MPEG2 modification) since it always shows the timestamp in HHH:MM.HSEC.

Note if you use edit times from any external (non EVTDUMP) source you'll want to use rtvedit with the -t1 option. (The NDX's clock is a little different than the MPG's clock.)


Also remember the new additions to evtdump let you tune the commercial detection (-p and -i flags).
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post #15 of 389 Old 10-17-2003, 09:55 AM
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Neat, I have to play with the -p and -i to see if I can create templates for specific shows, and just use them instead of editing evt file.
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post #16 of 389 Old 10-17-2003, 02:14 PM
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I can't get my mplex (linux/unix) to recognize the
output of rtvconvert. In my simple script for making
DVD, mplex is used to add VOB header to mpeg2
file before dvdauthor (linux/unix). Is adding VOB
header perhaps something that can be incorporated
into a future release of rtvconvert?
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post #17 of 389 Old 10-17-2003, 03:33 PM
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Great job.

And, for what it's worth, an 'rtvconvert into regular dvd' not only makes a great input to Ulead DMF2, it also makes the Hauppague MediaMVP a lot happier. MediaMVP can open a directory with dozens of 'rtvconverted' mpg files virtually instantly -- first time, every time.
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post #18 of 389 Old 10-17-2003, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lee Thompson
I am very pleased to announce the fourth revision of the ReplayTV 5000 Toolkit.

RTVCONV: added -d switch to write demultiplexed streams (.m2v, .mp2)
RVTCONV: added filtering of RTVEDIT-ed files for DVD authoring

Binaries are included for Mac OS X, Win32 and Linux. Enjoy!
Um, not trying to nitpick or anything, but is there a separate/different RVTconv utility, as opposed to RTVconv? If there is, I don't see it for any os. Just wondering, thanks. Keep up the great work!

-e

[ ReplayTV 5040 | SlingBox | Orb TV server | Handheld MCE 2005 ]
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post #19 of 389 Old 10-17-2003, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
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RTVCONV is short for RTVCONVERT.
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post #20 of 389 Old 10-17-2003, 06:25 PM
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Lee, couple of questions for you...

1) The -i and -p options that can modify the commercial detection, is this just the way the events are handled or is there acutal reprocessing of the mpeg stream?

2) The cut on rtvconvert... it's limited to cutting on GOP boundries? Or are partial GOPs reconstructed?

Looks cool!

I'm about to use event dump to look at the commercial detection differences between 5.0 and 5.1. I might need to bone up on events quickly, any documentation on the events?

Thanks to you guys!
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post #21 of 389 Old 10-17-2003, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
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1. The former. Just changes the detect parameters.

2. It should work on any I-frame.


There were docs on events but Molehill appears to be offline.
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post #22 of 389 Old 10-18-2003, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by wen-king
I can't get my mplex (linux/unix) to recognize the
output of rtvconvert. In my simple script for making
DVD, mplex is used to add VOB header to mpeg2
file before dvdauthor (linux/unix). Is adding VOB
header perhaps something that can be incorporated
into a future release of rtvconvert?
mplex recognizes the elementary streams just fine. Use -d in rtvconvert to write demuxed streams and use -f 8 or -f 9 in mplex for dvd.

mplex -f 8 -o dvd.mpg rtvprog1.m2v rtvprog1.mp2
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post #23 of 389 Old 10-18-2003, 12:24 PM
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agent-x care to clue me in on what you've done with the audio stream? I'm very curious to see how your findings compare with what I know. I'm sure you know more, I'm very curious. =) The clock values and PTS times always seem wrong, but I haven't figured it out exactly. It's almost like the MPEG system clock isn't running at exactly 90Mhz?? I've been confused by this for a while and never figured out exactly what is going on.



On another note...
Is it possible to evtdump, rtvedit and import that file back into DVA for serving? I've tried to do both of the following and neither worked when imported back into DVA...

evtdump
rtvedit using output from evtdump
import that new file, no luck

evtdump
rtvedit using output form evtdump
rtvconv with output from rtvedit
import
still no luck

both result in the replay hanging and rebooting.
NOTE: I did this at 1:30AM so I might have screwed something up. I tried to follow the read me as best I could.
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post #24 of 389 Old 10-18-2003, 01:20 PM
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Lee,
A guy made a mpg player for hos 4xxx laptop that skips commercials when it gets to them like a replaytv.

He says he can make a 5xxx version if he has some 5xxx documentation on the .evt files.

Here's the link:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=314993

I was hoping you would point him in the right direction

cow
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post #25 of 389 Old 10-18-2003, 03:19 PM
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Jeff D,

I've added a PS demux filter in rtvconvert that acts like a P-STD demuxer which is needed to synchronize elementary streams from MPEG-2 program streams. Just demultiplexing PS alone isn't sufficient, yet this is what most DVD authoring programs will do and they will break end-to-end timing unless the elementary streams are already aligned. DVD players are P-STDs, which is why the raw RTV streams play in sync, but may be out of sync after authoring. You need to have one of these filters somewhere in your path and depending on your system setup and tools, it might be coming from DirectShow or embedded in your encoder or editor. This version of rtvconvert has a simple one built-in.

MPEG-2 system clock is 27MHz. PTS clock is 90KHz. The SCR extensions don't seem to be used in RTV mpegs, so the timing model only relies on a 90KHz clock (which is perfectly fine). I haven't seen this clock drift out of tolerance and am curious what makes you say the "PTS times always seem wrong".

I'm not sure what problem you're having with importing and streaming. I haven't seen any issues other than the known ones. TCP stack settings and back-to-back DVA streaming are known to cause problems, but they're not anything specific to edited/converted streams. You might find some useful information in the DVArchive event log. Also, if you're editing a downloaded show, you don't technically need to re-import the stream - you can just replace the fileset that's already there (rename the originals if you want to keep them) and update the guide entry.
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post #26 of 389 Old 10-18-2003, 07:02 PM
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Are there similar tools for the 4K series, I have 4504 RTV. Please help
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post #27 of 389 Old 10-18-2003, 07:10 PM
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OK, stupid newbie question on these tools. I have a show called "Tiny Planets". I've downloaded it to DVA and extracted the files:
Tiny Planets.mpg
Tiny Planets.ndx
Tiny Planets.evt

I am just not getting the documentation on how to simply process the file so that the audio doesn't get out of sync.

I created a text file called TP.txt which contains the text:
Tiny Planets.mpg
E


I then go to DOS and run:
rtvedit.exe tp.txt.

This process gives me the output:
Target: iny Planets.mpg
New Program Time: 000:00.000
Edit Time: 000:00.172


I look in my directory and low and behold, a 2k file called "iny Planets.mpg" now exists. I'm figuring this is what is supposed to happen, the first character being trimmed off. I'm not sure why the file is so small. I then try to run:
rtvconvert "iny planets.mpg" DVDTinyPlanets.mpg

The resulting DVDTinyPlanets.mpg file is about 2k and unusable.

What am I doing wrong and are there other directions somewhere that are clearer for a newbie like me?

(On a side note, I also tried the process against the "Baby Looney Tunes.mpg" file but when I try to run rtvedit against that file it says that it doesn't recognize the command "B".)

This space for rent.
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post #28 of 389 Old 10-18-2003, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
I created a text file called TP.txt which contains the text:
Tiny Planets.mpg
E
That should be:
Code:
FTiny Planets.mpg
E
The resulting file will be Tiny Planets1.mpg, process that file with rtvconvert for authoring.
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post #29 of 389 Old 10-18-2003, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by agent-x
I've added a PS demux filter in rtvconvert that acts like a P-STD demuxer which is needed to synchronize elementary streams from MPEG-2 program streams. Just demultiplexing PS alone isn't sufficient, yet this is what most DVD authoring programs will do and they will break end-to-end timing unless the elementary streams are already aligned. DVD players are P-STDs, which is why the raw RTV streams play in sync, but may be out of sync after authoring. You need to have one of these filters somewhere in your path and depending on your system setup and tools, it might be coming from DirectShow or embedded in your encoder or editor. This version of rtvconvert has a simple one built-in.
I think I follow, but I know very little about the differences between T-STD and P-STD. What you're saying is the timing relationship between the two streams is lost on a plain ol' split the stream demux. So, it would be best to split the streams with rtvconvert -d to go to dvd source files. Is the only time the rtvconvert demuxer used when using the -d option?

Quote:

MPEG-2 system clock is 27MHz. PTS clock is 90KHz. The SCR extensions don't seem to be used in RTV mpegs, so the timing model only relies on a 90KHz clock (which is perfectly fine). I haven't seen this clock drift out of tolerance and am curious what makes you say the "PTS times always seem wrong".
Right, sorry, as I understand it the PTS clock is derived from the STC.

My comment on the PTS always being wrong is based off several things some of which can be explained by your previous description of the demux process and how the PC can screw with the streams.

Quote:

I'm not sure what problem you're having with importing and streaming. I haven't seen any issues other than the known ones. TCP stack settings and back-to-back DVA streaming are known to cause problems, but they're not anything specific to edited/converted streams. You might find some useful information in the DVArchive event log. Also, if you're editing a downloaded show, you don't technically need to re-import the stream - you can just replace the fileset that's already there (rename the originals if you want to keep them) and update the guide entry.
One of the crazy things I'm trying to use rtvconvert for....
I don't know if you saw that some of us are having problem on the 5k recordings where video freezes for 2-4 seconds on playback. After the video starts back up the audio may go out of sync. I've noticed the part of the stream where the replay freezes has a "good" video and audio stream. Demuxing and remuxing the mpeg the remuxed stream plays fine on the replay but all sync is lost. I'm curious rtvconvert can fix what I suspect is garbage in the source recording. The error output I mentioned earlier gives a file offset, but not a time offset, so I'm having a tough time figuring out if the two are one in the same.

Thanks!
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post #30 of 389 Old 10-19-2003, 09:59 AM
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I've been wanting to use my replay as a DVD server for a while, and now these tools have allowed me to (mostly) do so.

On Linux, I am using transcode and mpeg2enc to transcode the vob into a 480x480 mpeg2 stream using the settings for an SVCD. Mplex then muxes the elementary streams for me, and rtvconvert allows me to import them successfully into DVarchive and stream back to my 5040.

Now for my questions. First, I have not been able to figure out how to create one large mpg from the vobs that will work with rtvconvert. The only settings that seem to work are the ones for SVCD, and this forces mplex to split the output at approx 730 Mb boundaries. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to create one large mpeg that can be converted with rtvconvert?

Here is the transcode command I am using:
transcode -H 10 -a 0 -x vob
-i path/to/vobs -w 2088 -F 5,'-B 180 -S 736 -I 0 -g 9 -G 18 ' --export_asr 3 -b 128 -s 1.419 -V -f 24,1 -
B 0,30,8 -y mpeg2enc,mp2enc -E 48000 --psu_mode --nav_seek /path/to/navlog/created/by/dvdrip --no_split -o
/outputfile/foo

Here is the mux:
mplex -f 4 -V foo.m2v foo.mpa -o foo-%d.mpg

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to create one large mpeg that can be converted with rtvconvert? When I have tried to prevent the splitting, I have ended up with files that rtvconvert would not handle, failing with an invalid stream id message. The svcd settings above are the only ones I've found thus far that appear to set the corrrect stream ID.

Also, if anyone tries to use the above method there is a quirk to getting the files to work correctly. The first file of the series can be rtvconverted and imported directly. The subsequent files must be rtvconverted then rtvedited to make them work. The edit step appears to trim around 250ms from the beginning of the clip, and if it is left out the clip will cause my 5040 to hang and reboot.

Thanks for all the great tools, and as things stand I am already VERY happy with my new ability to stream my DVD's to my replays. If anyone has suggestions on how to improve the above process, or can shed some light on what causes some of the behavior I'm describing, I would be quite grateful.
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