The Official R5000-HD Technical Status Discussion - Page 5 - AVS Forum
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post #121 of 2773 Old 11-16-2004, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Version 1.5 is available for download from the support area. It primarilly addresses the problems with BEV and also brings back SD recording capability for E*. These changes do not affect D* users.

In addition, the IR capture has been eliminated and replaced by stored codes. If you want to use the STB timer to control recordings, just select one of the 2 preset codes and set the STB's VCR code to match.

The capability to manage multiple devices shows up in this version. Up to 4 units (receivers) can be plugged into a single PC and the app can select between them. This feature is in beta and does not yet have the ability to store and switch between multiple profiles (individual settings).

It is recommended that all users update to this version. It is critical for Bell users.

No updates to the PVR.
No changes to the driver.

-R
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post #122 of 2773 Old 11-16-2004, 09:41 PM
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Hi,

I previously used the E*5000 modulator recording by the HiPix. It worked well, and most HBO/Showtime movies saved by HiPix were "compressable", usually about 1.3:1. I save recordings to DDS3 tape, and the compression ratio is important to me to keep from having to use a DDS4 tape (much more expensive).

I now have the New R5000HD system, and the files it makes are NOT really compressable. I read somewhere that we cannot use NullPacket Stripper (to do anything other than splitting the large file) to strip unneeded things out or the HiPix wouldn't play the file.

I'm interested in getting advice on what I can do to the .ts file(s) to allow them to be compressed a bit when I archive them yet still allow them to play on the HiPix.

By the way, I love the R5000HD, although it would have been nice to spend a month or two without knowing the Charlie Ergen MPEG4 sword of Damocles was hanging over my $1k investment.
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post #123 of 2773 Old 11-17-2004, 08:32 AM - Thread Starter
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There has been a number of comments recently over Charlie's (E*) announcemet to eventually switch over to MPEG4 compression. We believe this is a long way off for a number of reasons:


1. When has dish EVER delivered on time? If Charlie says a year, it's probably two. Look how long the 5000 mod lasted before they finally turn it off (2/14/04)... and how long we waited for the 921
2. all of the current HD boxes (6000,811, 921) don't support MPEG-4 and cannot be upgraded.
3. No one has a HD mpeg-4 satellite box. Not even voom. The current voom box uses a Broadcomm HD 7xxx chip which does not support MPEG-4.
4. AFAIK the only HD mpeg-4 chip is the Sigma Designs 86xx chip which is targeted towards the DVD market (Bravo D3, Kiss DP-600).
5. Network quality HD MPEG-4 encoders are going to be extremely expensive. If a broadcast quality Mpeg-2 HD encoder costs $30-50K, MPEG4 HD encoders are probably $50-70K.



Changing a network takes alot of time. The bigger the changes, the longer it takes. For example, the conversion from QPSK to 8PSK, only changed the receiver in the 6000 and the modulator in the network uplink hub. All the other infrastructure remained the same. How long did that take?

For HD mpeg-4, at a minimum, the follwing items would need to change:


* replace all 6000, 811, 921 boxes as they cannot be upgraded.
* purchase HD MPEG-2 -> HD MPEG-4 transcoders. The content providers have no incentive to support MPEG-4.
* replace/upgrade statistical multiplexers to support HD mpeg4
* replace/upgrade HD mpeg-2 Carosell (PPV and other loops) to support HD mpeg4
* upgrade Conditional accesses system to encrypt HD mpeg4 streams.



It's going to take a long time to get all this done. And charlie has never been on time...

There's plenty of life left in the HD mods...

-R
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post #124 of 2773 Old 11-17-2004, 11:54 AM
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Quote:


There's plenty of life left in the HD mods...

Yes, I agree. I didn't mean to touch a nerve with my sword of Damocles comment. It's just that everyone longs for a little finality in the world of HDTV, at least as far as "a few years" goes. I'd still get the mod done, for sure. By the way, I was very impressed with the speed of the R500HD mod turnaround, and how the system works so well. Now if I can just get to the bottom of the .ts compression issue...

Wayne
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post #125 of 2773 Old 11-18-2004, 07:34 AM
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Didn't record...

I grabbed the latest software yesterday and followed its' instructions (remove and plug the usb cable, check the about after the firmware upgrade) and all looked good. I had a recording scheduled for early this morning and it didn't work. The PVR app shows the status of the event as dispatched and the DVR app shows the path and name of the file in the save as box as it should had it recorded but there is no file. Not even a 0k file, nothing. There are no related entries in the log file.

How can I figure out what happened? I don't think I am going to be able to find another showing of what I tried to record.
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post #126 of 2773 Old 11-18-2004, 07:42 AM
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How can I figure out what happened?

I followed the exact same steps as you, and all went well with an overnight recording I scheduled. One thing different; I did a reboot of my computer (for another reason), so maybe that played in. I advise that you reboot, and then do a test PVR recording before you lose anything else you can't reschedule.
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post #127 of 2773 Old 11-18-2004, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by HookedOnTV
Didn't record...

I grabbed the latest software yesterday and followed its' instructions (remove and plug the usb cable, check the about after the firmware upgrade) and all looked good. I had a recording scheduled for early this morning and it didn't work. The PVR app shows the status of the event as dispatched and the DVR app shows the path and name of the file in the save as box as it should had it recorded but there is no file. Not even a 0k file, nothing. There are no related entries in the log file.

How can I figure out what happened? I don't think I am going to be able to find another showing of what I tried to record.

Travis, et al.
Please download the fixed version, 1.5a. It should address this issue. We found that it can sometimes fail to start the recording even though the event fired off successfully and the DVR started. You gave a great clue when you siad that the file save as box was updated. Basically it stopped because of a failure to talk to the STB. It doesn't affect recording though. If this failure ever occurs again there will be a log message. Thanks.

-R
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post #128 of 2773 Old 11-18-2004, 01:33 PM
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1.5a doesn't work. When try to launch the DVR app I get an hour glass for a few seconds then nothing. About 5 seconds later I get two "HD Digital Video Recorder has encountered a problem and needs to close". Never lands in the system tray.
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post #129 of 2773 Old 11-19-2004, 03:32 PM
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After booting all pieces a couple times, unplugging and replugging cables, letting it sit fo a while and forcing a few records I am now back to perfect operation running the latest software. Who knows... now if I can just find the couple episodes I missed...
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post #130 of 2773 Old 11-22-2004, 08:49 PM
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I'm bumping this, hoping to find someone with some insight into how these output files can have so many null packets in them, yet can not be compressed.

I'll grant that many people don't care, but if you store movies on hard drive, and use the WinXP option to compress a hard drive, you could get 25% more movies on a drive if the files would compress properly.

Thanks,
Wayne
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post #131 of 2773 Old 11-23-2004, 12:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by wcohoe
I'm bumping this, hoping to find someone with some insight into how these output files can have so many null packets in them, yet can not be compressed.

I'll grant that many people don't care, but if you store movies on hard drive, and use the WinXP option to compress a hard drive, you could get 25% more movies on a drive if the files would compress properly.

Thanks,
Wayne

Wayne,
Some TS files have very little (5%) null content. Use TSReaderLite to determine exactly what percentage of the file is NULL. Files recoded form D* HBOHD might have as much as 40%. So the compressibility of files varies based on the encoder/source.

I just ran a test using winZip 8.0 on 40days_clip.ts (from B*)

TSReaderLite: 41.75% null packets
Winzip 43% compression.

I even remuxed the stream with 0x00 vs. 0xff in the null packet and I got the same result:
Winzip 43% compression.

So Winzip doesn't seem to care if the streams are padded with 0xff or 0x00.

as to the compressibility of E*5000 recordings vs the R5000, the R5000-HD should be the same. Initially, we even used the E* NUL table (extracted from a E*5000 recording) for padding, the only change we made was correcting the pid number (0x1fef to 0x1fff). Both systems NULL pad with 0xff.

TSreader will tell you how compressible the stream is.

-R
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post #132 of 2773 Old 11-23-2004, 12:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by R5000-HD
Wayne,
Some TS files have very little (5%) null content. Use TSReaderLite to determine exactly what percentage of the file is NULL. Files recoded form D* HBOHD might have as much as 40%. So the compressibility of files varies based on the encoder/source.

I just ran a test using winZip 8.0 on 40days_clip.ts (from B*)

TSReaderLite: 41.75% null packets
Winzip 43% compression.

I even remuxed the stream with 0x00 vs. 0xff in the null packet and I got the same result:
Winzip 43% compression.

So Winzip doesn't seem to care if the streams are padded with 0xff or 0x00.


-R


Hmmm. I will run those tests on one of my E* ts files and see what happens. Thanks for the reply.

Wayne
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post #133 of 2773 Old 11-24-2004, 01:31 AM
 
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I am spending Thanksgiving week with a family relative that has the R5000HD. It's given me a chance to kick the tires without actual purchase.

There are several major issues that I would like comment on. He is on the E* system with all the latest software from your company.

1) Despite all the initial claims of error free recording, the unit errors out and chokes on about 1 in every 8 captures. Of course, it always seems to choke when its a showing of something that cannot be replaced easily - such as Hamlet the other day on SHO or The Amityville Horror. It seems this happens whether you record constant or nullstripping the excess. MPEG2Repair seems to show that the more and more errors occur as time goes forward. What is being done to fix this?

2) The unit seems to get "stuck" on PPV for lack of a better term. If you cap a PPV channel, then the channel appears to blank itself out when the movie ends - and then asks you to buy the next movie once it starts - wanting a yes or no answer. When the R5000 tries to change channels at the next cap time, its stuck on the PPV wanting a yes or no so you miss any and all future captures.

3) If you set up a PPV event, the unit seems to start up to a minute before the event - yet the channel is not open - so it appears the unit errors out for lack of a stream and shuts down.

4) Thus, it appears all PPV has to be done manually - and be quick on the draw as they only open up the channel at :00:00 and quickly start the movie.

5) The PVR does not load a default capture schedule. Thus if you leave for the day and the power glitches for a second thus reseting your computer - the computer comes back up ready to capture - but without a default capture list loaded.

6) Zap2it for some reason times out every 10 or so minutes. Thus when you try to go to another webpage, it asks for a name and password - taking you to the options screen before you can then get to listings.

I have tried to adjust the computer giving zap2it a trusted site url designation and essentially have it opened up on the computer - yet this continues. Considering Auction Software has a place for your name and password that instantly transmits it to eBay when it places a bid, couldn't this be built into the R5000 system so it would always insert it and take you to the listings without the intermediate hassle every few minutes?

7) Several times the capture doesnt start - the app says waiting on drive - and nothing happens. As this is a 3.04 P4 with no other apps running - dedicated to capturing from the R5000HD, this sound very strange. Especially as it ruins your chance at the capture.

I could see someone living with problems 1-6 above. What I cannot see them living with is #7 or #8....the worse problem.

#8 The worse problem - and this is REALLY BAD is now that the R5000 system is in place, the brand new 6000 (this was sent by E* as a warranty replacement several weeks before the mod) seems to loose audio sync the longer it goes.

Within a day or so. there is a lag of audio and picture of several seconds. This lag includes the cap - as well as the on screen output. The only way to clear it is to unplug the STB and plug it back in.

It might just be coincidence, but my relative said they didnt notice this until last weekend when the new software upgrade came out. I don't see how it could be causing the lag in the STB output to the TV as the software is on the CPU - but something clearly is messed up.

It also appears that the new software is causing alot more errors than the older versions - as reported by MPEG2Repair and MPRobe.

What would be causing this as it has made most caps unusable - atleast the ones that actually don't error out and restart the file.

I was very interested in this unit but after test driving for a while, I have major concerns.

#8 is an absolute deal breaker for me.

What is being done to fix these problems?
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post #134 of 2773 Old 11-24-2004, 07:43 AM
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5) The PVR does not load a default capture schedule. Thus if you leave for the day and the power glitches for a second thus reseting your computer - the computer comes back up ready to capture - but without a default capture list loaded.

This is something I would like to see addressed in an upcoming version of this software - unless of course we are going to get the DirectShow mod that will allow interface with SageTV
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post #135 of 2773 Old 11-24-2004, 09:58 AM
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I've got the E* setup and except for a day or two when I experienced some very strange behavior it has worked wonderfully. I've probably recorded around 200GB of programming and it all plays back wonderfully on my Roku's. The only glitches I see are the tiny ones that you see when watching live off the stb.
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post #136 of 2773 Old 11-24-2004, 10:07 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by HookedOnTV
.......... it all plays back wonderfully on my Roku's.

How large are the ts files that you push through the Roku. I use MyHD and push the entire ts file, but also have the Roku, but don't use it for playback of R5000HD captures. I recall, back when I used the Roku when I first got it, that the file sizes couldn't be too large.

Ron
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post #137 of 2773 Old 11-24-2004, 10:55 AM
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I had a problem with errors in the stream, and new (better) USB cables fixed it completely, so I second the suggestion made by MichaelZ. I actually had to replace the USB cable that came with the mod, and use a better extension.

As to sync issues, I have Dish6000 mod also; no audio syncing problems here, except the occasional SHO-HD issue, which definitely comes from the source, not the box.

I also use UPS power on all systems. It is a small investment to make. Not only do you not have power flicker reboot issues, you get great spike protection etc.

Wayne
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post #138 of 2773 Old 11-24-2004, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally posted by HDTVFanAtic
I am spending Thanksgiving week with a family relative that has the R5000HD. It's given me a chance to kick the tires without actual purchase.

There are several major issues that I would like comment on. He is on the E* system with all the latest software from your company.

1) Despite all the initial claims of error free recording, the unit errors out and chokes on about 1 in every 8 captures. Of course, it always seems to choke when its a showing of something that cannot be replaced easily - such as Hamlet the other day on SHO or The Amityville Horror. It seems this happens whether you record constant or nullstripping the excess. MPEG2Repair seems to show that the more and more errors occur as time goes forward. What is being done to fix this?

Wow, what a laundry list! I think you are hanging on to some kind of misplaced theory that we somehow add some sort of cumulative errors to both the recorded stream and into the STB as well.

What I advise you to do is run simultaneous analog VHS recordings along with your captures and compare each glitch point to see if it was in the original stream. Also, if you have the luxury of doing so, make the analog recording from an unmodofied box so that you can also rule out that the R5000-HD is somehow "feeding" these errors back into the data bus.

We do this 'round the clock and we have found that there are numerous errors that are "in the stream", e.g. they are not even due to local reception drop-outs & glitches (as verified through simultaneous captures done on setups in different parts of the country). Either E* has some uplink problems or less likely their multiplexers are occasionaly hicupping.

Analysis with MPEG2Repair is not really appropriate since it looks for errors in the actual MPEG data rather than in the stream structure which is what re-multiplxing is about.

Quote:



2) The unit seems to get "stuck" on PPV for lack of a better term. If you cap a PPV channel, then the channel appears to blank itself out when the movie ends - and then asks you to buy the next movie once it starts - wanting a yes or no answer. When the R5000 tries to change channels at the next cap time, its stuck on the PPV wanting a yes or no so you miss any and all future captures.?

You probably can't schedule PPV events this way. They may have to be recorded manually since there is no way for the R5000 to get feedback from the screen and answer the dialog box.

Quote:



3) If you set up a PPV event, the unit seems to start up to a minute before the event - yet the channel is not open - so it appears the unit errors out for lack of a stream and shuts down?


4) Thus, it appears all PPV has to be done manually - and be quick on the draw as they only open up the channel at :00:00 and quickly start the movie.

A provision can possibly be made for starting PPV events...

Quote:



5) The PVR does not load a default capture schedule. Thus if you leave for the day and the power glitches for a second thus reseting your computer - the computer comes back up ready to capture - but without a default capture list loaded..

What is a "defualt capture list?" You have to save your list to a specific file name and then what you can do is put that name is the command line for the PVR and place that link in the startup folder. That way when the computer re-boots it will automatically run the PVR and load that session. But you do have to save it first (File->Save or Save As).

Quote:



6) Zap2it for some reason times out every 10 or so minutes. Thus when you try to go to another webpage, it asks for a name and password - taking you to the options screen before you can then get to listings.

I have tried to adjust the computer giving zap2it a trusted site url designation and essentially have it opened up on the computer - yet this continues. Considering Auction Software has a place for your name and password that instantly transmits it to eBay when it places a bid, couldn't this be built into the R5000 system so it would always insert it and take you to the listings without the intermediate hassle every few minutes?

See reply by MichaelZ.

Quote:



7) Several times the capture doesnt start - the app says waiting on drive - and nothing happens. As this is a 3.04 P4 with no other apps running - dedicated to capturing from the R5000HD, this sound very strange. Especially as it ruins your chance at the capture.

You would have to supply us with more specifics so we can work with you to try to see why this is happening with your setup...

Quote:



I could see someone living with problems 1-6 above. What I cannot see them living with is #7 or #8....the worse problem.

#8 The worse problem - and this is REALLY BAD is now that the R5000 system is in place, the brand new 6000 (this was sent by E* as a warranty replacement several weeks before the mod) seems to loose audio sync the longer it goes.

Within a day or so. there is a lag of audio and picture of several seconds. This lag includes the cap - as well as the on screen output. The only way to clear it is to unplug the STB and plug it back in.

It might just be coincidence, but my relative said they didnt notice this until last weekend when the new software upgrade came out. I don't see how it could be causing the lag in the STB output to the TV as the software is on the CPU - but something clearly is messed up.

We have seen this happen quite a bit in our tests and it has nothing to do with the R5000-HD or any of the software upgrades. Using our "monitoring" process as described under #1, this is always attributed to a bad glitch in the stream that causes the STB decoder to be thrown off sync. It is not cummulative as you state. Watching the analog VHS, this is a typical scenario: everything is fine, then there is a pretty bad glitch, usually with a long video freeze. After that the audio can be BADLY out-of sync (a few seconds or more) and the video is "jerky". Watching the R5000-HD capture, before and after that glitch point, the sync is fine. So, I don't know how it could be that we feed these errors into the STB but somehow not into the recorded stream???

Quote:



It also appears that the new software is causing alot more errors than the older versions - as reported by MPEG2Repair and MPRobe.

What would be causing this as it has made most caps unusable - atleast the ones that actually don't error out and restart the file.

I was very interested in this unit but after test driving for a while, I have major concerns.

#8 is an absolute deal breaker for me.

As mentioned previously, these tools are not really appropriate for analyzing the quality of the R5000-HD remultiplexing. They will report (and properly so) any errors caused from reception glitches and drop-outs. These are beyond our control and are passed on as is into the final stream.

Sorry to loose you as a customer.

Quote:



What is being done to fix these problems?

As soon as testing is completed we will be introducing a version that will hopefully never "error out" and re-start on bad stream errors. Our user base has indicated a preference for a continuous file containing whatever bad glitching exists rather than multiple parts. This "error resilience" has already been improved in the current version. Thank you.

-R
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post #139 of 2773 Old 11-24-2004, 12:30 PM
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Does Windows Media Center OS combined with the fast processor that they recommend affect the playback of HD? Will the Roku, MYHD Card, and other software become obsolete?
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post #140 of 2773 Old 11-24-2004, 02:16 PM
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Originally posted by Ron Tobin
How large are the ts files that you push through the Roku. I use MyHD and push the entire ts file, but also have the Roku, but don't use it for playback of R5000HD captures. I recall, back when I used the Roku when I first got it, that the file sizes couldn't be too large.

I run the resulting file through HDTVtoMPEG2 cutting the beginning and end off to get only the movie and split in to 1GB chunks.
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post #141 of 2773 Old 11-24-2004, 02:21 PM
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Originally posted by HookedOnTV
I run the resulting file through HDTVtoMPEG2 cutting the beginning and end off to get only the movie and split in to 1GB chunks.

Thanks. I assume you're using Roku's Streamplayer. I'll have to give it a try sometime.

Ron
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post #142 of 2773 Old 11-24-2004, 02:22 PM
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HookedOnTV,

Which version of HDTVtoMPEG2 are you using to edit R5000 files? I am using the 1.09 beta, since there were bugs introduced to the original 1.10 beta, and I am not sure if or when the bugs were ironed out.

Steve
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post #143 of 2773 Old 11-24-2004, 02:23 PM
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Steve:

I'm using 1.11 beta exclusively, and it works just fine for me.

Ron
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post #144 of 2773 Old 11-24-2004, 02:32 PM
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Ron,

What I am primarily concerned about is being able to cleanly split or combine TS files from an original recording. 1.09 can do this for me. If you say that 1.11 works for that purpose, I will cautiously give it a try. Thanks.

Steve
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post #145 of 2773 Old 11-24-2004, 02:45 PM
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Steve:

If 1.09 is doing what you want it to then,...... well you know the expression, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Sounds like you would gain nothing by moving up to 1.11 beta. I had been using 1.10, had issues, but they went away when I upgraded to 1.11. Don't recall how 1.09 performed for me. Perhaps I may have even skipped it.

Ron
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post #146 of 2773 Old 11-24-2004, 03:28 PM
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Ron,

I presume that 1.11 has improved usability features over 1.09 that might warrant giving it a try. Thanks.

Steve
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post #147 of 2773 Old 11-24-2004, 05:21 PM
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Steve:

There's a few enhancements, particularly, it allows selection of PIDs, and in the developer's notes, it says it strips null packets. I record R5000 captures compressed, so they are already stripped.

Ron
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post #148 of 2773 Old 11-24-2004, 05:31 PM
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Ron,

I don't want my R5000 recordings stripped. I am not confident that I could restore the stripped null packets in the event that I use a decoder that requires a constant bit stream.

Steve
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post #149 of 2773 Old 11-24-2004, 05:42 PM
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Steve:

I just emailed you the release notes.

Ron
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post #150 of 2773 Old 11-24-2004, 10:26 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by MichaelZ
I've never had Zap2It ask for a password, except for the first time I used it. Sounds like a cookie issue to me.

Michael,

Precisely how do you accomplish this?

I am registered with zap2it.com also and I while do not have a prohibition to their cookie that I am aware of, it still kicks me out every 7-10 minutes anyway.

Do you know how your cookie or security settings are established to automatically login?

Are you using RoboForm or another USER NAME/PASSWORD manager auto-fill program?

Murray Kerdman
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