Originally Posted by mkerdman
I thought that the new Dish 211-R5000HD combo output an MPEG-2 stream (not an MPEG-4 stream) for PC recording as a .TS file, playable on all the old standby hardware and software players.
Am I wrong about that?
Yes and No
The 211-R5000HD records everything in an mpeg2 transport stream (AKA mpeg2 systems or ISO13818-1). mpeg2 transport streams can "carry" a wide variety of content. Examples: mpeg2 video, mpeg4 video, VC-1 video, ac3 audio, mpeg2 audio, AAC/DTS audio, etc.
So what you get depends on what you are recording. If you are tuned to the dish 102 barker channel, you'll get SD mpeg2 video with mpeg2 audio in a mpeg2 transport stream. If you are recording HBOHD or any of the new or old VOOM channels you'll get HD mpeg2 video with ac3 audio in an mpeg2 transport stream.
So here's the rub... Depending on your player, only some of the above examples will be playable. for example, when you record HD locals (except for LA which I think is still mpeg2), the video is mpeg4-10 (AKA h.264). The R5000-HD will record this as mpeg4-10 video (0x1b) and ac3 audio in an mpeg2 transport stream. The resulting transport stream is 100% spec compliant. But it will not play on MyHD or any other mpeg2 only players. Because it is HD mpeg4, it will not play fast enough on software based players (elecard, etc). You need some sort of h.264 hardware acceleration. ATI's X1600 or X1900 cards work nicely. Nvidia's Geforce 6/7GT also have support for hardware h.264 acceleration, but I have not tested it myself.
The bottom line is, the R5000-HD will correctly record both mpeg2 and mpeg4 (h.264) video content. The problem is your pc might not be up to the task of playing it back...