Official Tablo thread - Page 10 - AVS Forum
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post #271 of 692 Old 04-14-2014, 08:18 AM
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Snowcat,

 

When you say you are impressed with its ability to keep up with sports.   Is it good or as good as OTA HDTV?   I expect the picture to be just as good a my Verizon DVR,  which for local sports is perfect.

 

-MM13

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post #272 of 692 Old 04-14-2014, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphawave7 View Post

PLEASE reconsider the 'Connect' feature to allow simple username/password access rather than hardware IP/MAC address. U/P works fine for banks/credit cards/Netflix/Amazon/SimpleTV/Roku,etc. etc. It's a supercilious encumbrance to your goal of viewing ubiquity, to require me to 'pair' my devices with a Tablo...I have multiple homes/cabin, travel frequently, and visit friends often, who already have plenty of hardware/Roku's/etc. but I couldn't access my home service in these locations on their established devices due to this limitation.

Yeah, this is the only thing keep me from buying at this point. I travel too frequently and flip devices too frequently. Not to mention some of the devices are use are workstations that I wouldn't be relocating for purposes of pairing. :/


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post #273 of 692 Old 04-14-2014, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattman13 View Post

Snowcat,

When you say you are impressed with its ability to keep up with sports.   Is it good or as good as OTA HDTV?   I expect the picture to be just as good a my Verizon DVR,  which for local sports is perfect.

-MM13

From watching just those two events, I couldn't tell a difference between it and OTA, whereas I can definitely tell a difference between a WatchESPN sporting event and a satellite event. The real test for me will be when football comes back in the fall.

The only caveat I have about watching sports on the Tablo/Roku combination is that it does introduce a noticeable delay to the broadcast (I would guess about 10 seconds). I like to post on my Titans forum after any good play, and that delay is quite long (I likely would read about the play before I see it). I may just record the game on the Tablo and watch it on OTA, switching back if I need to rewind something.
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post #274 of 692 Old 04-14-2014, 08:59 AM
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Snowcat,

 

Good to hear.   I have gotten to the point that I watch the Eagles (Philly) at least a 1/2 hour behind so that I can fast forward between plays and commercials.   Reliable physical button on a remote skip forward and back are important.   Also,  video skip.   Skipping doesn't do me any good if I can't see where I am.

 

-MM13

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post #275 of 692 Old 04-14-2014, 11:33 AM
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Skipping is implemented differently on each platform right now.

Roku: 10 second skip forward by hitting right arrow, 10 second skip backward by hitting the left arrow. You do have to hit the OK or play button to continue. Can be used on both recordings and live TV.

iPad: 30 second skip forward and 20 second skip back via buttons on the interface. Can be used on both recordings and live TV. After a skip either way,it starts playing again on its own.

Android Tablet app: 30 second skip forward and 20 second skip back, but only for recordings (not live TV). If you pause on the app during live TV, all you can do is play back from that point.

Chromecast (via Android Tablet app): no skip, rewind, or pause.

Web app (Chrome): Using the keyboard, right arrow is 30 second skip forward, left arrow is 20 second skip back (both live Tv and recordings).

I don't know anything about the AppleTV implementation.


None of them have a preview after you skip or rewind. However, since you know the time difference of each one, it isn't hard to just skip ahead and then skip back if you went too far.
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post #276 of 692 Old 04-14-2014, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattman13 View Post

When you say you are impressed with its ability to keep up with sports.   Is it good or as good as OTA HDTV?   I expect the picture to be just as good a my Verizon DVR,  which for local sports is perfect.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TabloTV View Post

We use our hardware to transcode the video to a lower bit rate to avoid stuttering for out-of-home streaming (othewise known as Tablo Connect). 

It seems like they transcode (and downrez) everything for the lowest common denominator.. streaming over the internet to a device located outside your home? At least that's the way it appears to me.

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post #277 of 692 Old 04-14-2014, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post


It seems like they transcode (and downrez) everything for the lowest common denominator.. streaming over the internet to a device located outside your home? At least that's the way it appears to me.

Let me clarify your confusion. When you set up your Tablo, you tell it the resolution you want to record. Your choices are 1080p (uses 10 Mbps), 720p (uses 5 Mbps), or 480p (uses 2 Mbps). The data is transcoded to H.264 format from the original MPEG2 format. When you watch live tv or watch a recording on your home network, it is at that resolution and played back at full bandwidth needed.

The Tablo also has the ability to stream to a remote device that has been synched to your Tablo at least once. This is called Tablo Connect. With the current software, you have to select a speed at which you want to stream at (which is where the downrezzing comes from). If you select full resolution (and have the upload rate to support it), then it doesn't use a tuner and plays back just like you were on your home network. If you select anything else, it uses a tuner to downrez the live tv/recorded show stream to the level you set it and then streams it to your remote device.

So basically a show could be shown at 720p at 5 Mbps on your home network and also shown at 720p at 1 or 2 Mbps on a remote network.
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post #278 of 692 Old 04-14-2014, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowcat View Post

Let me clarify your confusion. When you set up your Tablo, you tell it the resolution you want to record. Your choices are 1080p (uses 10 Mbps).....

But what confuses me (and would concern me if I chose to buy one of these) is that the OTA signal from my local CBS station is ~17.8 Mbps, and the resulting file size is about 7.5GB for a one hour long recording. This of course is a 1080i broadcast and includes 5.1 audio. Whatever the Tablo records and plays back for me is obviously much "less" than the original broadcast that my antenna receives. Do I see that difference? That can be hard to tell for sure, because it's probably similar to the bit rate and image quality I get from Cable. In my location, the bitrate when I tune and record a show from Cable is always less (about 1/3 to 1/2 less) than the exact same show recorded OTA. I can hardly ever see that difference in a static image, but when there is motion involved the OTA (higher bitrate) image is always superior. Sometimes far superior. That is what concerns me about the Tablo "throwing away" OTA bitrate instead of recording the transport stream unmolested.

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post #279 of 692 Old 04-14-2014, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post


Whatever the Tablo records and plays back for me is obviously much "less" than the original broadcast that my antenna receives.


I'm not sure you can make this leap. Since they are using a different codec. A more efficient one from my understanding...


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post #280 of 692 Old 04-15-2014, 05:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post


I'm not sure you can make this leap. Since they are using a different codec. A more efficient one from my understanding...

I'm not sure either. But the fact remains that the original unmolested transport stream is lost and can never be recovered.

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post #281 of 692 Old 04-15-2014, 06:46 AM
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A failed to record list would be nice. It is relatively easy to connect to the networks to get a failed recording. (looking at you The Mentalist) if I know about it. don't want to get lost in the shuffle.
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post #282 of 692 Old 04-15-2014, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post

I'm not sure either. But the fact remains that the original unmolested transport stream is lost and can never be recovered.
MPEG-2 is lossy, so you're already not getting the "original" transport stream.
H.264 could be lossless, depending on the CRF used. Though I'm sure in Tablo's case it's not lossless (nor does it need to be, anything with a low enough CRF will look as good as lossless and be factors smaller in size).

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post #283 of 692 Old 04-15-2014, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowcat View Post


I don't know anything about the AppleTV implementation.


 

 

As far as Apple TV control there are two ways after you start the AirPlay stream:

 

1.  You can use the Apple TV remote to fast forward, play/pause, rewind.   You are doing this blind as there are not preview pictures as you scan. 

 

2.  You can use the iPad for 30 second skip / 20 second rewind, and play/pause.  You also have the ability to use the scrub feature by moving the play back indicator across the timeline.

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post #284 of 692 Old 04-15-2014, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post

I'm not sure either. But the fact remains that the original unmolested transport stream is lost and can never be recovered.

Yes-Information in the original broadcast TS is lost forever when the stream is transcoded on the fly to another lossy codec, and then in turn when streaming outside the home, there is a second lossy transcode to lower resolution/bitrate.

This could easily be avoided if the device saved the original MPEG2 TS while simultaneously transcoding to the selected h.264 "profile". Then when streaming outside the home, it could use the original source MPEG2 TS run through its tuners and transcoded to whatever profle is required depending on the users upload speeds and this would avoid the second generational loss. It should be relatively simple for them to implement too.
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post #285 of 692 Old 04-15-2014, 09:13 AM
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The tablo sends its signals through your in-home network through your router.  Each TV must be attached to a Roku 3 (for example).  The Tablo is downloaded as a channel onto your Roku(s).  Each TV is connected with a wire only to the Roku.  The Roku communicates with the Tablo wirelessly through your in-home network.

 

For example.  I have our Tablo connected directly to our indoor HDTV antenna where the Tablo receives the OTA signals.  Our Tablo is also connected directly with a wire to my router (get a better signal when connected wired.)  The only wired output from the Tablo is to your in-home network through a CAT-5 cable.  It can be connected to your in-home network wirelessly but I recommend you connected it wired directly to your router.  In our home, we have a large screen TV located near our router.  The only thing connected by a wire to the large screen TV is the Roku 3.  (HDMI cable from back of Roku to HDMI in back of TV)  The Roku that controls this TV is also connected by CAT-5 cable to back of my network router.  You access the Roku 3 through the selection of the correct TV input.  You move through the channels on the Roku (like netflix, etc.) and select the Tablo icon.  The rest is gravy.

 

Now for another HDTV I have in another location:  No antenna is connected at all.  Just the Roku 3 connected to the back of the TV with an HDMI cable.  This Roku 3 communicates wirelessly through my in-home network to the Tablo where I can watch either Live TV or Recorded TV or netflix, etc.

 

Hope this helps.

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post #286 of 692 Old 04-15-2014, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd View Post

Yes-Information in the original broadcast TS is lost forever when the stream is transcoded on the fly to another lossy codec, and then in turn when streaming outside the home, there is a second lossy transcode to lower resolution/bitrate.

This could easily be avoided if the device saved the original MPEG2 TS while simultaneously transcoding to the selected h.264 "profile". Then when streaming outside the home, it could use the original source MPEG2 TS run through its tuners and transcoded to whatever profle is required depending on the users upload speeds and this would avoid the second generational loss. It should be relatively simple for them to implement too.

Wouldn't that increase the storage requirements by more than double? Is there any OTA DVR that does this currently, store both a MPEG2 and MPEG4/h.264 version of a show?

This product is designed to take an OTA recording and stream it to as many devices as possible. The recordings needs to be a good compromise of size and quality. If the quality is bad, then no one will watch it. If the file size is too big, then it limits wi-fi playback and the number of shows that can be recorded.

This is just not the DVR for people that want lossless recordings of OTA shows to be shown in the highest quality on a single TV. But if you want a high quality stream that can be shown on almost any device in or outside of your home, this is an excellent choice.
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post #287 of 692 Old 04-15-2014, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowcat View Post

Wouldn't that increase the storage requirements by more than double?

Umm, no. I don't think that qz3fwd is suggesting that they save both streams. Simply save the original as was broadcast by the OTA station. Then transcode on the fly upon playback, suited to the destination device. They're obviously transcoding on the fly now to save the h.264 file. Simply change when you transcode. Save the best file possible, for the future. Once you lose it, it's gone forever.

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post #288 of 692 Old 04-15-2014, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post

Umm, no. I don't think that qz3fwd is suggesting that they save both streams. Simply save the original as was broadcast by the OTA station. Then transcode on the fly upon playback, suited to the destination device. They're obviously transcoding on the fly now to save the h.264 file. Simply change when you transcode. Save the best file possible, for the future. Once you lose it, it's gone forever.

Didn't tablo state that transcoding requires a tuner, so if you're at home and wanting to watch on the Roku (which Tablo also stated requires(?) h.264), you'd be using one of your tuners to watch a recorded show.

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post #289 of 692 Old 04-15-2014, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post

Umm, no. I don't think that qz3fwd is suggesting that they save both streams. Simply save the original as was broadcast by the OTA station. Then transcode on the fly upon playback, suited to the destination device. They're obviously transcoding on the fly now to save the h.264 file. Simply change when you transcode. Save the best file possible, for the future. Once you lose it, it's gone forever.
The transcoded h264 file will be smaller (even at 10mbps) than the original mpeg2 OTA transmission...so saving the original absolutely would increase the storage requirement. I don't understand why you would want to mess with the mpeg2 stream. The vast majority of potential clients don't play well (if at all) with mpeg2. Take Roku, for example...it won't play a mpeg2 natively. Now, if this had an HDMI-out that you could directly connect to the TV, then saving the mpeg2 would have value...but having everything being streamed to h264-based clients via IP makes mpeg2 unnecessary, IMO.

I think the quality lost via multiple transcodes to the lower-bitrates is minimal. The primary driver of lost quality is the low-bitrate...not the multiple transcodes.
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post #290 of 692 Old 04-15-2014, 11:02 AM
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^^^
Certainly it would be larger. But Snowcat said "increase the storage requirements by more than double". I don't believe that would be the case. More like 40% - 60% larger.
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I think the quality lost via multiple transcodes to the lower-bitrates is minimal. The primary driver of lost quality is the low-bitrate...not the multiple transcodes.

I learned long ago not to edit a jpeg (photo) file many times. Each time you load and save the file it re-compresses.. and visible quality is lost.

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post #291 of 692 Old 04-15-2014, 11:08 AM
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I would imagine the constraint on recording the native HD OTA signal would be the USB interface.   Transcoding the signal before it hits the USB interface would eliminate that constraint.   NOTE:  I have not attempted to do the math see if it is an actual constraint.

 

I am assuming the device is using USB2 not USB3?

 

-MM13

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post #292 of 692 Old 04-15-2014, 11:16 AM
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I would imagine the constraint on recording the native HD OTA signal would be the USB interface.

 

With WMC (using USB 2.0) you can easily do four native recordings and several playbacks concurrently.


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post #293 of 692 Old 04-15-2014, 11:28 AM
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It all comes down to compatibility among clients. H.264 is supported by all of then, while MPEG2 is not.

H.264 also is more compact, so it is better for streaming and for disk space, while the quality is just about the same.
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post #294 of 692 Old 04-15-2014, 08:14 PM
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Tablo is design for the new generation (devices and peoples).
I saw my son watching movies on his cell phone, I would never want to do that.

Everybody I know know has a tablet and a cell phone, and I beleive this is what they are targetting and this is why AC3 bypas was not implemented at the beginning and also HDMI will not become an option.

There are other PVR that do that, so you just want to find a niche.

I am waiting for the 4 tuners to come out, but I certainly hope that the fact it has no AC3 bypass (so far) is not a limitation of their design.
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post #295 of 692 Old 04-15-2014, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post

^^^
Certainly it would be larger. But Snowcat said "increase the storage requirements by more than double". I don't believe that would be the case. More like 40% - 60% larger.
I learned long ago not to edit a jpeg (photo) file many times. Each time you load and save the file it re-compresses.. and visible quality is lost.
Not to get argumentative...but the typical OTA mpeg2 stream IS more than double the 5mb/sec transcode setting that Tablo recommends. The OTAs in my area are 11-14mbps.

Again, I don't think the multiple-transcodes are a major issue. If you store everything in mpeg2, then you'll have to real-time transcode whenever you watch a recording...thus occupying a "tuner" (which more importantly is occupying the corresponding transcoding engine). In your recommended system, you could only stream to two devices simultaneously (either live or recorded) because that is the transcoding capability. Having everything transcoded up-front enables recordings to be streamed with minimal overhead...which provides more streaming capacity at peak times (5 simultaneous is what they advertise, if I remember correctly).
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post #296 of 692 Old 04-16-2014, 05:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakotah View Post

Not to get argumentative...but the typical OTA mpeg2 stream IS more than double the 5mb/sec transcode setting that Tablo recommends. The OTAs in my area are 11-14mbps.

Again, I don't think the multiple-transcodes are a major issue. If you store everything in mpeg2, then you'll have to real-time transcode whenever you watch a recording...thus occupying a "tuner" (which more importantly is occupying the corresponding transcoding engine). In your recommended system, you could only stream to two devices simultaneously (either live or recorded) because that is the transcoding capability. Having everything transcoded up-front enables recordings to be streamed with minimal overhead...which provides more streaming capacity at peak times (5 simultaneous is what they advertise, if I remember correctly).

Maybe I'm totally confused about how the Tablo works, but I thought that it transcoded "differently" to match the capabilities of the display device? So that it could provide its "best" output signal to a big-screen super display, and a bare-bones signal a cellphone. So unless the Tablo is always saving the bare-bones (lowest quality) video to disk, it must be transcoding (and using a tuner) every time it plays back to a device? Otherwise it would always be sending the lowest quality signal to every device, regardless of the capability of the device?

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post #297 of 692 Old 04-16-2014, 06:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post

So unless the Tablo is always saving the bare-bones (lowest quality) video to disk, it must be transcoding (and using a tuner) every time it plays back to a device? 

 

I think viewing only requires a tuner if the stream is of lessor (and or different?) quality than the recording itself. This is why they recommend the 720p setting (5Mbps) for recordings. Although SD streaming would still require a tuner. As such if you are streaming at 1080p (10Mbps) a tuner isn't required if it was recorded at that setting. I simply wish a tuner wasn't required and the hardware handled it elsewhere.

 

A search should turn up a related post from them.


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post #298 of 692 Old 04-16-2014, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post

Maybe I'm totally confused about how the Tablo works, but I thought that it transcoded "differently" to match the capabilities of the display device? So that it could provide its "best" output signal to a big-screen super display, and a bare-bones signal a cellphone. So unless the Tablo is always saving the bare-bones (lowest quality) video to disk, it must be transcoding (and using a tuner) every time it plays back to a device? Otherwise it would always be sending the lowest quality signal to every device, regardless of the capability of the device?

When on your home network, the Tablo streams at the quality set in the settings sections (1080p, 720p, or 480p). It sends that level to every device, whether it is a cell phone or a Roku on a 90" TV. It uses a tuner while showing live tv or making a recording, since it is transcoding the original MPEG2 signal at that time.

When playing back a recording on your internal network, it just plays the original transcoded file. It can stream recordings (and live TV) to up to 6 devices at the same time if the Tablo is hooked up by ethernet (and just 3 if on wi-fi only).

Now if you want to watch live TV or a recording on a remote network on a paired device, then unless the remote setting is at "full", it will transcode the stream again to a lower bitrate, and use a seperate tuner. What I have found in playing around with it is that each device can have a different bitrate setting. So I can say to use a 4 Mbps stream on my iPad, but use a 1 Mbps on my iPhone. Eventually, the product will have a autosensing setting to make it easier.

I do think that if you are watching a live TV channel remotely, it just transcodes directly at the remote bitrate.
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post #299 of 692 Old 04-16-2014, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post

Umm, no. I don't think that qz3fwd is suggesting that they save both streams. Simply save the original as was broadcast by the OTA station. Then transcode on the fly upon playback, suited to the destination device. They're obviously transcoding on the fly now to save the h.264 file. Simply change when you transcode. Save the best file possible, for the future. Once you lose it, it's gone forever.

In fact I am proposing they save the original TS while simultaneously transcoding on the fly to the selected profile.
Hard drive space is so cheap and huge capacity drives are commonly avaliable. Saving both would probably be 150% more expensive space wise.

Imagine the possibilities. The device could scan for commerical breaks when idle in the original MPEG2TS and then much more easily edit out (export) the commercial free version losslessly except at non I Frame cut points. Editing is much easier in MPEG2 than H.264. Once the new commercial free title is successfully exported, the original could be deleted, then the device could take the commercial free version and transcode while idle time is avaliable to the selected profile, replacing the previous transcoded h.264 file.

There are many other possibilities....
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post #300 of 692 Old 04-16-2014, 09:29 AM
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The device could scan for commerical breaks when idle in the original MPEG2TS and then much more easily edit out (export) the commercial free version losslessly except at non I Frame cut points. Editing is much easier in MPEG2 than H.264. Once the new commercial free title is successfully exported, the original could be deleted, then the device could take the commercial free version and transcode while idle time is avaliable to the selected profile, replacing the previous transcoded h.264 file.

 

Far too much overhead and risk. Much better is how WMC's app handles the process. You set whether you want commercial skip scanning while recording and up to the number of scans (say one to four based on your tuners and PC's horsepower) or either you want it to scan after the recording is completed. You don't export a commercial free copy for two reasons. Rather you simply create a file flagging the commercials start and stopping times - during playback the file controls what's streamed. There is also an option to turn off the feature if it becomes too much work correcting what it screws up (one button on the remote turns it on and off).

 

This way you don't have the overhead of creating a new file and if the process guesses incorrectly you can fast forward or rewind and still catch what you would have missed. And you would miss quite a bit from my experience. It's more art than science.

 

This process takes horsepower and based on its chips it might not viable at all and even more so a good portion of the time it will guess incorrectly and you'll find yourself rewinding. That is if you figure out you just missed the last minutes of a show coming out of a break. With one show I only realized it because I knew it existed from watching the show for years.


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