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Best Video Format

Discussion in 'HDR-FOX T2 Freeview Recorder' started by dan888, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. dan888

    dan888 Member


    I've just been playing around with an 8GB USB stick to test playing music, video and view pics.

    I tried both MP4 and VOB, they both just played amazingly.

    There was a slight diff in the sound levels but, ho hum...

    Anyway with the MP4 I could pause, fast skip, FF and RW
    With the VOB I could only pause?

    Q1: Is this normal?

    Q2: If I decide to go with MP4 what is the best format/parameters to use when transposing to MP4?

    I have used a couple of utilities before;
    VLC (old school command line)

    And was wondering what other people experience was.


  2. dan888

    dan888 Member

    This is the VLC command line I am using currently;

    cvlc input-file.vob --sout='#transcode{vcodec=h264,vb=1024,fps=25,width=1280,height=720,acodec=aac,ab=192,channels=2,deinterlace,audio-sync,hq}:standard{access=file,mux=mp4,dst=output-file.mp4}' vlc://quit

    This seems to give a fairly good trade off between quality and file size (on my pc anyway, just going to test again on TV)
    Video = H264 - 25 fps @ 1024 bit rate (1280 x 720 = 720p HD?)
    Audio = AAC - 2 channel @ 192K

  3. dan888

    dan888 Member

    Hmm that didn't look too good on the TV so I'm re-testing with a 2048k Video Bit Rate
  4. Black Hole

    Black Hole May contain traces of nut

    You're way ahead of me. Interested in the use of VLC for transcoding though: do you think it would take a .TS from a radio recording and output a standard audio file of some sort? VLC will play the .TS as an audio stream.
  5. dan888

    dan888 Member

    I rekon it would if it can play it, where can I get a .TS file to test?
  6. dan888

    dan888 Member

    Ok my test @ video bit rate 2048 was still a little rough. Would be fine for my little boys films but the opening 5 mins of Quantum of Solace looked jumpy.

    Maybe I'll try 4096 next but fear the file size will be huge!
  7. Black Hole

    Black Hole May contain traces of nut

    Just set your Humax to record a half-hour programme (lots of good stuff to choose from on Radio4 Extra), then use the Opt+ menu to copy it from the Media browser onto a FAT32 USB stick to walk to your PC. There will be three files, the only one of importance being the big .TS. The copy is MANDATORY (can't just FTP it out) because it needs decrypting in the process.

    I find VLC plays the audio from the .TS fine. If you can tell me a command line that rips the audio I will be delighted, especially if it does it faster than real-time. Even better if it doesn't actually transcode and just seperates the audio stream from the package.
  8. Sam Widges

    Sam Widges Active Member

    I normally use ffmpeg for audio extraction, but if you are intent on using vlc, then try this

    cvlc "<ts file>" --play-and-exit --sout='#transcode{acodec=mp3,ab=192}:duplicate{dst=std{access=file,mux=raw,dst="<destination file.mp3>"},select=novideo}'
  9. Black Hole

    Black Hole May contain traces of nut

    Intent? Not necessarily, but if I already have something installed which can do the job adequately, why look for something else?

    Thanks for the info.
  10. Black Hole

    Black Hole May contain traces of nut

    Umm... I rather assumed that with VLC installed I would find a cvlc.exe in it's program folder (1.0.5). Do I need a newer version? If not, how do I run cvlc on a command line (yes, I can open a command window in a working directory!)?
  11. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

    You don't need the command line to test VLC's file conversion capability. Pull down the file menu and choose convert/save.
  12. Sam Widges

    Sam Widges Active Member

    OK, it worked fine on Linux this morning, but it's not trivial to convert to Windows. Try this:

    "c:\Program Files (x86)\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe" -I dummy "<source file.ts>" --sout=#transcode{acodec=mp3,ab=192}:duplicate{dst=std{access=file,mux=raw,dst=<dest file.mpg>},select=novideo}
    If that works, you should then be able to turn off the debug window using
    "c:\Program Files (x86)\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe" -I dummy --dummy-quiet "<source file.ts>" --sout=#transcode{acodec=mp3,ab=192}:duplicate{dst=std{access=file,mux=raw,dst=<dest file.mpg>},select=novideo}
    Please bear in mind that I'm running a 64-bit Windows system and the path to VLC might well be different.

    Edit: Strangely, the output file is a lot bigger in Windows that the one I got from Linux, but it plays OK which is the most important thing.
  13. dan888

    dan888 Member

    Hmm perhaps CVLC is just a Linux command line thing then? Perhaps in Windoze you just use the normal VLC.EXE but pass in parameters as per above?
  14. Sam Widges

    Sam Widges Active Member

    Cvlc isn't on my Windows system which is why I needed to rejig the parameters a bit.
  15. dan888

    dan888 Member

    OK, so I've been playing around with VLC (command line) some more, trying to convert a VOB into MP4 to watch on my Humax but the picture is choppy! Viewing on my friends TV which has a USB input all works beautifully.

    Any advice on format would be gratefully received.

    The latest try was 720 x 576 which was the native CD resolution, 2048 video bitrate, 25 fps and useing the deinterlace option.

    Just going to try;
    720 x 576 which was the native CD resolution, 1024 video bitrate, 25 fps with the de-interlace option.
    720 x 576 which was the native CD resolution, 1024 video bitrate, 25 fps without the de-interlace option.

  16. Owen Smith

    Owen Smith Active Member

    I've used Handbrake very succesfully to create .mkv files with H.264 video (3000 kbps) and AAC audio (160kbps) with very good results. I've left the frame rate, resolution and interlace settings preserved at whatever they were in the source file (HDR Fox T2 can de-interlace and scale perfectly well). The resulting .mkv files play fine on the Humax with rewind/ffwd and seem smooth to me.
  17. dan888

    dan888 Member

    Hmm still choppy will give Owen's suggestions a try.
  18. oijonesey

    oijonesey Hummy.tv SEO Guru

    I've used VLC to convert DVD files to ts files (H264 +AAC) which is one of the predefined options in the Convert screen and they play brilliantly on the Hummy with all the trick play stuff working. I settled on this format after looking at what the Humax records to in the first place and looking for a format as close to that as I could. Admittedly they don't get any smaller than the original VOB's (and I know there are cleverer people than me who have found ways of "remuxing" and stuff) but I'm not too bothered about file sizes when it comes to a really easy conversion process with just a few clicks. I did try Handbrake on my Vista laptop and didn't find much success but perhaps I never found the right settings? Having said that I am trying to play my converted files over the network from a NAS DLNA device so some formats don't seem to work that way rather than playing straight off a USB where it seems the Hummy can play a wider variety of files.

    Owen I'd be interested to see what file size ytour source video was and then what your chosen converted format got it to. Cheers.

  19. Owen Smith

    Owen Smith Active Member

    I'm not playing from a NAS, so many things don't work on the HDR Fox T2 when streaming over DLNA eg. it can't play .mkv files at all. I FTP the converted files onto the HDR Fox T2.

    The converted file size is about the same, that's actually what I was aiming for. I set the AAC bit rate to maximum (160kbps is the max in Handbrake for AAC) and then kept increasing the video bit rate until I couldn't see any re-encoding artefacts. This was about 80% of the original MPEG2 file size, at which point I decided to give it some margin for error or files that are harder to encode and I pushed the video bit rate up until it came out about the same size as the original MPEG2.

    Remember that you're transcoding here, so more bit rate is required that if we'd had the original uncompressed video and were converting that to H.264. There are already MPEG2 artefacts in the video, and the H.264 encoder has to encode those as well as the real video.

    Like you I picked H.264 + AAC because they are the native codecs when the HDR Fox T2 is playing Freeview HD content. I've also found that H.264 plus DD5.1 (AC3) works well, I use this if the original video has 5.1 surround sound and I don't want to re-encode the audio.
    oijonesey likes this.