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Save last streamed programme

#1
I'm very much the amateur here with only the sketchiest understanding of the technicalities so please be patient.
I've been enjoying the documentary series, "The Vietnam War" on BBC4 and recording it on the Hummy but for some reason Episode 10 didn't record so I thought I'd watch it on the i-Player and then save it. I checked the i-Player was set to HD and after watching I saved it using the "Save last streamed programme" feature.
Now I'm puzzled, because the object of all this is to burn the series onto a couple of Bluray discs for future watching. My PC software tells me that all the episodes saved as "ts" files have 1080 lines but the mp4 file is only 576.
Is this a limitation of the mp4 format, can I get around this or have I missed something?
Any advice is gratefully received - thanks.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#2
The iPlayer portal app has a quality setting, the higher quality only being suitable for decent broadband connections. You can get around that by pausing playback as soon as it starts and letting the buffer accumulate as slowly as it likes.
 
OP
OP
dragnil
#3
The iPlayer portal app has a quality setting, the higher quality only being suitable for decent broadband connections. You can get around that by pausing playback as soon as it starts and letting the buffer accumulate as slowly as it likes.
Thanks, BH, but we've got fibre BB connection so I'd be surprised if it's a download buffering problem - or am i just showing my ignorance here?
 
OP
OP
dragnil
#7
I was wondering about that IIRC the i-Player used weasel words like the "best we can provide". Is there a way of finding what quality is actually provided in the iPlayer?
 
OP
OP
dragnil
#9
Thanks for your patience BH, what would that offer over my present copying from Hummy to PC? Obviously it skips a step in the copying but is there any other benefit?
 
OP
OP
dragnil
#10
Just been reading the get-iplayer wiki and it seems that the best available is 1280 x 720 so, perhaps, it's not possible to get HD from the i-player.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#11
720 counts as HiDef.

I mainly use get-iplayer for grabbing radio (not available via the TV Portal) and it automatically converts to MP3 (for the car). As far as video is concerned, CF is convenient if you don't want the HDR-FOX for something else at the time, but with limited control (as you have discovered) and it is a pain if the 'FOX keeps crashing.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
dragnil
#12
Thanks for all that - I've demonstrated my ignorance quite well I think. I'll have a look at get-iplayer because I too save radio bits for the car and it might well help here. The saving grace here is that most of the Vietnam series was old material and I doubt if my episode 10 is really looking any worse than episode 9.
Discs are now burned and filed with other stuff that might be worth watching again. Thanks again.
David
 
#13
...I'll have a look at get-iplayer ...
As an alternative to get_iplayer, if you have the Customised Firmware (and that is where we are) you can install youtube-dl, which is currently capable of downloading iPlayer content, on the HD/HDR-Fox T2 itself.

You need to be happy with telnet and Unix shell to use youtube-dl like this. get_iplayer has a web interface that would make it easier to use on the HDx-Fox, but also endless dependencies that make its installation more of a term project.

To set up youtube-dl, first make sure you have these CF packages installed (using WebIf>Package Management or the opkg utility):
  • ffmpeg
  • wget
  • python.
Connect to the HDx-Fox by telnet and download the package:

Code:
# wget https://yt-dl.org/downloads/latest/youtube-dl -O /mod/lib/youtube-dl

Set up the youtube-dl command:

Code:
# echo 'alias youtube-dl="python /mod/lib/youtube-dl"'>>~/.env

Set up the youtube-dl defaults:
  • use ffmpeg instead of avconv:
Code:
# mkdir -p ~/.config/youtube-dl
# echo '--prefer-ffmpeg'>~/.config/youtube-dl/config
  • set the save location (adapt the path according to HD vs HDR and your personal preference; adapt the filename template according to your preference - see 'man youtube-dl' section 'OUTPUT TEMPLATE' online):
Code:
# echo '-o "/media/drive1/My Video/%(title)s.%(ext)s"'>>~/.config/youtube-dl/config
  • if you don't want best available quality, you can eg limit the total bit rate to 1900kbit/s (again see 'man youtube-dl' section 'FORMAT SELECTION' online):
Code:
# echo '-f "best[tbr<1900]"'>>~/.config/youtube-dl/config
Obviously avoid any format option that might force re-encoding the video stream.

Reconnect the telnet session and finally you can run the program. Options specified on the command line override the defaults in the config file. Find the programme URL online, copy and paste into the command. Eg, with a topical programme:

Code:
# youtube-dl https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09ptgt9/australian-open-tennis-2018-day-11-highlights
Make a cup of tea|dry martini|whatever while the tiny CPU struggles through the Python code. Then you should see some output like this:

Code:
[bbc.co.uk] b09ptgt9: Downloading video page
... [~20 lines snipped]
[download] Destination: /media/drive1/My Video/Australian Open Tennis, 2018, Day 11 Highlights.mp4
and eventually:

Code:
[download] 100% of 760.46MiB in 17:12
[ffmpeg] Fixing malformed AAC bitstream in "/media/drive1/My Video/Australian Open Tennis, 2018, Day 11 Highlights.mp4"
HTH
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#15
It appears necessity is the mother of invention yet again, there being no convenient way to grab iPlayer content on the HD-FOX (unless you boot it into HDR Mode, something I haven't managed to achieve - not that I have tried very hard).

I presume this youtube-dl mechanism can be used anywhere with Internet access and a Python interpreter - Windows, Linux, RPi...
 

Luke

Well-Knwοn Мember
#16
Now I'm puzzled, because the object of all this is to burn the series onto a couple of Bluray discs for future watching. My PC software tells me that all the episodes saved as "ts" files have 1080 lines but the mp4 file is only 576.
Is this a limitation of the mp4 format, can I get around this or have I missed something?
In May 2016 the "HD" iPlayer files normally available on the HDR-FOX T2 changed from
1280x720, 25 fps
to
960x540, 50 fps.
On some programmes the 1st is a larger file, and on others the 2nd is the larger file. When I have compared they have always been about the same order of magnitude.

I have not noticed an iPlayer 576 file and so downloaded the same programme as you through an HDR-FOX T2 . On that download some of the newer footage and old HD photos that the programme included, appear to be a lot better than the definition available through freeview on BBC ONE SD (which tends to have better SD quality compared to many other freeview channels). The MP4 download file being 960x540 50 fps helps to account for that.

I'm puzzled how you have ended up with a 576 MP4.
 
#17
I presume this youtube-dl mechanism can be used anywhere with Internet access and a Python interpreter - Windows, Linux, RPi...
I think your presumption is right. It certainly works on a couple of Linux laptops. Though as I have both HD and HDR, the mother of invention was more "because it's there".

Users have to rely on the yt-dl dev community keeping the scraping code up to date (since there are many other downloading targets apart from BBC and YT). You can just repeat the wget command that I showed to update the program.

As far as our platform is concerned Python is at 2.7.1 which is antique for 2.7, or there would be a better installation and update process. That would be a problem if yt-dl moved to Python 3 only but currently 2.6, 2.7 and 3.2+ are supported. One big plus for yt-dl is that it includes a DASH+HLS downloader, which aren't easy to find (except in PHP :~(().
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#18
Ah! I skimmed your (very few) past posts to see if you are HD-FOX restricted, and came to the (incorrect) conclusion that you were.
 

Ezra Pound

Well-Known Member
#19
I'm wondering if youtube-dl could be made into a Custom FirmWare package, it is likely to get used by a far greater percentage of users it it was and if (when) iplayer stops working on the HDR-Fox T2 due to registration requirements it may be our only option
 

MontysEvilTwin

Well-Known Member
#20
On get_iPlayer the best stream seems to be 1280 x 720 (@50 fps). There are full HD streams. If you have Sky you can download from iPlayer in HD (1920 x 1080) and when I was looking at Kodi on RPi a couple of years ago an unofficial iPlayer app (downloadable from one of the main Kodi repositories) had access to full HD streams (hosted by Akmai and Limelight), though this app only streamed programmes, there was no downloading.
 
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