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DLNA TV capable of HD playback without custom firmware?

Discussion in 'HDR-FOX T2 Freeview Recorder' started by Andy Herbert, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. Andy Herbert

    Andy Herbert Member

    Hi everyone. I'm seriously considering the purchase of an HDR-Fox T2 and have read quite a bit on the forums and Wiki so far about what can and can't be done with the out-of-the box unit.

    One thing which I don't think has been touched on too much (or at very least I can't find the posts!) is the possibility of using 'smart' TVs as the DLNA client, effectively negating the need to purchase an HD-Fox T2 accompanying box for the second TV. I have two questions relating to this which I'd really appreciate people's thoughts on:

    1) Has anyone had any joy streaming HD recorded content directly to a TV with DLNA client capabilities without customising the firmware of the HDR-Fox T2?

    2) Can anyone confirm whether there are any limitations when it comes to streaming content to another device via the DLNA server? Specifically, are you still able to record and/or view content on the main box itself whilst another device is streaming an existing recording?

    The main reason for these questions (which may negate their needing answering) is that, whilst I am very interested in putting the great customised firmware on as soon as I get a box, I'm anxious on two counts:

    i) If I had to roll it back to send the unit for repairs, I presume I'd lose all my previous recordings?

    ii) I understand that if Humax push an update over-the-air, that the box would automatically install this and I'd then have to re-customise the firmware in order to access my recordings.

    Whilst neither of these are major factors for me, they could be limiting factors for the rest of the household if the system was found to have updated itself over night and I wasn't immediately available to re-customise.

    Thanks in advance to any and all who are able to help answer my questions...

  2. Black Hole

    Black Hole Theloniuos Abbot

    Let me address the second part first:

    In no way does the custom software affect the Humax's ability to access its recordings. It does not modify the normal day-to-day operation in any way at all, the custom software provides methods to access and interact with the file system via a web browser interface, but that is all. Decrypting the recorded content does not render the file unplayable by the standard Humax firmware - it is the standard Humax firmware that plays it regardless of the custom software.

    The reason you would lose your recordings if you sent the unit back for warranty replacement is exactly that: replacement. If the same unit came back after repair it might have been fitted with a new hard drive, or it might be a totally different unit. While you can back up StDef recordings decrypted without the custom software, HiDef is a different matter. Backing up HiDef requires either Foxy, or custom software, or the files will be encrypted and only playable on the original box.

    In the event of an OTA update, all recordings will remain playable, but the custom software will be broken until an updated custom firmware is rolled out. We have a custom software utility which disables the OTA push, but in any case one can roll the firmware back to previous and carry on as normal.

    The custom software forum QUICK START GUIDE (click) might be of interest.

    Regarding the ability of a TV able to stream from the Humax, I personally have found the results disappointing and I don't bother, and I have not seen reports of anyone else having more success. In general the TV clients are not able to cope with the .ts files the Humax records (StDef), they only play with break-up. The situation is worse with HiDef, as the Humax server refuses to stream to a client that does not have the right certificates, which as far as we know means another Humax only. This can be circumvented using the custom software, but I am not aware of any TV able to play the HiDef files at all. Personally I use an HD-FOX as a streaming client, but even that has its problems because of a bug which limits streamed playback to 4GB* (but there are work-arounds).

    If you have a client which can handle the Humax file format (on a PC that includes XBMC), it does not require the custom software in order to stream the recording (but, as noted above, the options are restricted to StDef).

    Finally, yes the Humax is capable of recording two HiDef channels, playing back a HiDef recording, and streaming another recording all at the same time.

    * Update: as of firmware release 1.02.27 the 4GB bug has been dealt with, but it brings other problems! See HERE (click)
    Aidan and af123 like this.
  3. af123

    af123 Administrator Staff Member

    I've never read of anyone having success with streaming to a TV. I've personally tried with modern Sony and Panasonic sets and although they can see the files on the Humax they won't play them.

    The Humax should stream HD content to any device that can negotiate HDCP with it. We haven't found one that will do it yet though!
  4. Andy Herbert

    Andy Herbert Member

    Many both for that - it's certainly cleared a few misconceptions up and helped me convince my better-half that I'm not going to prevent her from watching things she's recorded ;)

    Assuming I'm able to find a client which does stream (either via an HD-Fox or customised firmware) is anyone able to comment on whether doing so prevents any of the normal functions from happening on the main unit itself? I ask as I was tempted to buy a Panasonic recorder which also has a DLNA server but stopped when I found out that streaming to a client prevents any recordings from happening on the box itself(!).
  5. af123

    af123 Administrator Staff Member

    In general, no, normal operation of the box is unaffected when streaming.

    There is something niggling at the back of my mind though, I'm sure there are instances when the media server turns itself off while something else is happening.. anyone?
  6. Black Hole

    Black Hole Theloniuos Abbot

    TV Portal takes over completely and kills the server.
    af123 likes this.
  7. af123

    af123 Administrator Staff Member

    That's it!
  8. jsrobo

    jsrobo Member

    I'm was going to buy a new Samsung Smart TV anybody know if this works as a DLNA client for the HDR-Fox T2
  9. Andy Herbert

    Andy Herbert Member

    jsrobo - did you get a Samsung in the end? Neither of my Sony TVs will play anything from the built-in DLNA server or the customised MediaTomb software. I'm seriously considering throwing-in the towel and purchasing the HD-FoxT2 purely as a player for the second TV :(
  10. Black Hole

    Black Hole Theloniuos Abbot

    That's what I do, but it is still hampered by the 4GB bug. If you install the custom firmware (and various utilities with it), you will be able to convert the native .ts files to .mpg files very quickly - and they might play via DLNA on your TV.
  11. Andy Herbert

    Andy Herbert Member

    Thanks for that - unfortunately I tried that last night (first un-encrypting an SD entry, then converting to MPEG using the WebIf package). Sadly, neither option resulted in a file which can be played on the Sony.

    What I have found is a site detailing how to re-encode the Hummy's .ts files as .ps files which the Sony should play, however I'd appreciate someone's input on how to action this (I presume via Putty) as I'm still cutting my teeth on it all.

    The command is (from: http://www.homecinemabanter.com/showthread.php?t=68908):
    ffmpeg -map 0.0:0.0 -map 0.1:0.1 -map 0.2:0.2 -i Test.ts -target pal-dvd -vcodec copy -acodec copy Test.mpeg -acodec copy -newaudio

    Where I'm currently struggling is knowing where/how to run this command and how to specify the paths for the input (Test.ts)/output (Test.mpeg) files
  12. jsrobo

    jsrobo Member

    I haven't so far, but still think I will (currently waiting for Xmas like prices to comeback). What I did find out was that most video formats (most importantly for me mkv) will play directly from a portable ext harddrive plugged into the Samsung TV's usb 3.0 port (even 3-D). I currently run mkv's thru tsMuxer and play them via the hummy's usb port. I also have another problem in that I run XP on an old laptop, needs a new one with win7. But currently I'm quite happy with my setup. I can play shared videos off my downstairs laptop on my upstairs Hummy/TV or just plug my WD Passport external harddrive into the Hummy, either ways vidoes play perfectly.
  13. Black Hole

    Black Hole Theloniuos Abbot

    That looks like a possible addition to the WebIF media browser options - which would make things easy for you. However, first you need to test whether a hosted .ps file would be made available by the DLNA server - try copying one into My Video and see what happens.
  14. Ezra Pound

    Ezra Pound Well-Known Member

    You would need to install the Custom/Modified Firmware, This will give you Telnet on the Humax, You would need a Telnet program for your P.C. like Putty (Link HERE) and you would then need to instal ffmpg (Notes Here) from the Web Interface Graphical User Interface
  15. Teacup9095

    Teacup9095 New Member

    I have got the Humax to stream recordings to my Sony, by mount the Media Disk on my Server and using Serviio to present it to the Sony, works a treat.

    Sorry is is via the Custom Firmware.
  16. Andy Herbert

    Andy Herbert Member

    Thanks Ezra - I'm fully up to speed in terms of this, however it's actually getting the ffmpeg command to work which I've been struggling with. From what I can tell, the command I posted earlier isn't valid for the input files/format which my files are in. I've been reading through the ffmpeg user-guide (yawn!) and have established a few changes which needed to be made, but I'm struggling with error codes from ffmpeg itself so, unless anyone else on the forms here has some experience, I'm going to have to move to the ffmpeg forums to see if I can move this on a bit.
  17. Teacup9095

    Teacup9095 New Member

    This was a solution posted on the Serviio forum. Have to say I haven't tried it as I found another work around as previously posted

    ffmpeg.exe -i "INPUTFILE" -y -threads 2 -vcodec mpeg2video -sameq -r 25 -g 15 -copyts -acodec ac3 -ab 192k -ar 48000 -ac 2 -map 0:0 -map 0:1 -sn -f mpegts "OUTPUT.ts"

    Link to posting
  18. af123

    af123 Administrator Staff Member

    The Humax doesn't have enough CPU power to practically transcode formats like that. I ran the command for two minutes and it had processed the first 10 seconds of my recording. If you ran it elsewhere with the Humax NFS mounted then it could be a practical solution - I'll try that on my Mac actually.
  19. af123

    af123 Administrator Staff Member

    Having converted a (decrypted) test recording using the command Teacup9095 posted and putting it back onto the Humax then restarting the media server to force the file to be indexed, my Panasonic TV can stream it from the Humax media server. It got the aspect ratio wrong but otherwise it was ok!
  20. Andy Herbert

    Andy Herbert Member

    Thanks for that, it certainly looks promising; unfortunately it thought about it for a while then came up with the error message "Could not find codec parameters" - I think there's a bit more digging for me to do on the Servio and ffmpeg forums!