Transfered HD recordings - Inconsistant sound.


Traveler 34122
I recorded Space Shuttle: The Last Flight on BBC HD last week and also a similar programme about the Shuttle on Channel 4 HD last night. Both recordings are recorded in HiDef.

As I have the customised firmware, auto-unprotect and a couple of other packages installed, I copied both HiDef recordings to the virtual drive and then, via the Web Interface, copied them both to my PC via my network.

Here is the problem: The Channel 4 HD recording plays without a problem with either sound or picture, just as I would have expected. However, the BBC HD recording plays the BBC HD ident (just before the programme proper starts) with both picture AND sound but when the actual programme starts I have picture but NO sound at all.

I am using VLC v1.1.11 (the latest at time of writing).

If I try and play either recording in WMP I get picture on both but no sound on either.

Do you have a solution or explanation. Its weird to me that the BBC HD ident plays OK but not the programme itself!

Running Windows7 64bit.
Does VLC show more than one audio track available (right click - audio - audio track)?

You say you "via the Web Interface, copied them both to my PC via my network". Do you mean that you used samba? If so, what is the file size? If it is 2GB or near as dammit, you probably didn't copy the whole of the file. The version of samba that is currently in the modified firmware seems to have a filesize limit of 2GB. VLC does not cope well with incomplete files. Try ftp instead.
No, I don't have samba installed. When I said the Web Interface I meant using the 'Browse Media Files' tab from within the Web Interface. The file size (on my PC) of the recording that has problem sound is 3,525,420KB and the one that plays without a problem is 5,906,496KB. So you see its the smaller file that is causing the problem.

I haven't checked VLC yet. But I have not altered any settings from when I played the 'good' recording to the 'bad' recording.

Do the BBC 'mess about' with their encoding?
I have found a solution, thanks to your pointer. When playing the video with no sound in VLC, I right click in the video, select audio, then click disable and then re-enable the sound. As if by magic, the sound turns on!

I suspect that you will experience this feature on all the HD channels at times with VLC ..... it seems to have difficulty when the main program sound and the lead in introductions in the case of the BBC or the adverts in the case of the rest have different audio types.
Thanks. Now I know the work around in VLC it's not really a problem.

For the record it plays OK in Video ReDo no problem.
Thought I would give Splash Pro Ex a try. I have never heard if it before until I read users here have tried it. It really seems very good. It plays all the transferred HiDef recordings from my Hummy without a hitch. This may all be in my mind, but I actually think that both the picture quality and sound are sharper too (compared to VLC).

The program utilises GPU hardware acceleration. As a a small and unscientific experiment, I played a recording first with Splash and then with VLC and monitored CPU usage.
Running VLC the CPU load was about 5% and pretty consistent. With Splash, after an initial 4%, it went to 0% and pretty much stayed there. Very pleased with it, as you might gather!
Splash Pro has to use the CPU on my clunky old system, but I can confirm that utilisation is significantly less than VLC - about on a par with Media Player Classic Home Cinema or Pot Player. I agree about the subjective quality of the playback - it's actually very similar to playing the file on the Hummy. In comparison, VLC is more clinical, less rich, with less detail in the shadows.

So far as sharpness goes, I've always thought that VLC has the best sharpening of any player I've used, though as usual, VLC's labyrinthine UI makes it difficult to use. Splash Pro's detail enhancement feature is as good as VLC's sharpening - and that's a real compliment. However, it does mean that the Pro version at $20 is a must if it's to replace VLC as my standard player. I would also add that Splash has by far the simplest and friendliest interface of any player I've used. I've always wondered why media players have to be such a obstacle course to use.

Negatives: Splash doesn't handle noisy low-brightness low contrast pictures very well. For that, Pot Player's combination of sharpening with gradual noise reduction takes the prize. This is not a problem with Hummy files - only with poorly encoded web stuff.
Hi there,

I am also seeing the inconsistent sound problem in VLC - will try the other player you mention. However - I'm also seeing it when transcoding a hidef .ts to another format using handbrake on linux. after the first initial bit of sound, the converted file goes silent - although video is present. Does anyone have a workaround to allow conversion of hidef .ts to other formats - I'm using mkv at present.

I've been running some tests...
File: BBC HD 'Town with Nicholas Crane' ep.1. Decrypted. File comprises a few seconds of introduction (BBC announcer) followed by the programme.

Initial results with 4 media players (all Windows):
- VLC: plays the introduction correctly. No sound on the main programme.
- Splash: plays both the introduction and the programme correctly.
- PotPlayer: Plays the video: no sound on programme.
- MPC Home Cinema: fails with error.

Next I removed the introduction and saved only a couple of minutes from the start of the main programme. First, I did this with VideoReDo and saved as a .ts file as earlier tests have shown that other h264 options do not work using a Humax source file.
- VLC: now plays video and sound correctly.
- Splash: plays correctly.
- PotPlayer: video OK, no sound.
- MPC Home Cinema: fails.

I made a second edited file, similar to the last one, but this time using Freemake and saving as a .mkv file. Editing h264 with Freemake is extremely difficult on my hardware.
- VLC: video and sound correct.
- Splash: video and sound correct.
- PotPlayer: video and sound correct.
- MPC Home Cinema: video and sound correct.

My conclusion is that at least one cause of sound problems is that the audio stream changes when the announcements end and the programme begins. Alone of the players I tested, Splash copes with this change. When the announcements are removed, all the players are capable of correctly identifying and playing the audio stream in the main programme, provided the file has been saved as a .mkv. However, the version of VRD I am using does not yet do this properly: it can only save successfully in .ts format and two out of four players cannot handle this properly.

Sadly, Freemake's editor is so sluggish (on my hardware) that it cannot be considered for regular use. VRD does not currently save edited Humax files as anything other than .ts. VLC can play these files with sound - hooray - but VRD costs £60 - boo! Even more sadly, VLC, the only player I have found that gets on with the Humax media server (in Linux), cannot handle at least some unedited Humax files with mixed audio streams.

Now if only the BYTs at Mirillis would add DLNA capability to Splash Player I'd be a very happy bunny.
I agree. Splash Player is a good little find. Thanks to this forum! Never heard of it before coming here. 'Cracking program Gromit!'

I have actually bought the program (Pro Ex) I liked it so much.