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FiOS mpeg-4 Conversion

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by NotNowChief, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. NotNowChief

    NotNowChief Addicted to TiVo

    300
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    Mar 29, 2012
    New York...
    For FiOS NYC area customers, April 15th is the day of the first wave of mpeg-4 channel conversions, according to the letter I received in the mail. The one FiOS set-top box I have in the house needs to be exchanged for a new one.

    With regards to the mpeg-4 on my TiVos, I know that the Series 3 boxes cannot handle it. Among the first wave of channels being changed over on 4/15 is Comedy Central HD.

    If I record an mpeg-4 show on my S4, can I transfer it (not stream, obviously) to one of my S3s to watch, or is the broadcasted encoding still a factor?
     
  2. tatergator1

    tatergator1 Active Member

    1,523
    6
    Mar 27, 2008
    Columbus, Ohio
    From what I understand, you could likely transfer it, but playback is unlikely. I believe some who have tested pushing mpeg-4 files to an S3 reported they could hear the audio, but that the video was not displayed. The S3 hardware can handle mpeg-4, but the software is not properly coded for viewing.
     
  3. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

    10,364
    22
    Aug 2, 2003
    Not just them -- I think it's everywhere. However, IIRC, the letter says "on or after" that day. Also, Comedy Central wasn't on my list. I doubt it's on yours, either -- I suspect you're thinking of it because you saw "Comedy.TV", one of the infamous Byron Allen channels (guide data-less on the TiVo), which are all changing.

    You can transfer it, but only the sound plays.

    There are a number of H.264 channels on already if you want to test this -- 598 (beIN), 1570 and the other "UTIL" channels, and some sports package channels.
     
  4. NotNowChief

    NotNowChief Addicted to TiVo

    300
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    Mar 29, 2012
    New York...
    Thanks for all the info guys. I hope you're right about the Comedy.TV!
     
  5. jhilla

    jhilla Guest

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    May 13, 2011
    Your best line of defense is to install Pytivo - it can convert and transfer about anything you throw at it making TiVo place nice. Best of all it's free and easy to setup. Below is the link to the wiki - download page. The product has been around since Tivo Series 2.

    http://pytivo.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/PyTivo
     
  6. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    19,173
    21
    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    Comedy.TV is on the list of channels being converted to H.264. I just hope they start converting even more channels to H.264. Plus any they add I hope use H.264 as well. I did notice one of the HD channels they added at the end of March, BeIN Sports, was in H.264.

    Here is the list of channels on FiOS that are going to be switched from MPEG2 to H.264

    ES.TV 558
    HBO Family 906
    ESPN Goal Line/Buzzer Beater 571
    HBO Family (West) 907
    Tennis Channel 592
    HBO Latino 912
    World Fishing Network 597
    HBO Latino West 913
    Cars.TV 599
    MoreMax (West) 923
    Pets.TV 633
    Action Max 924
    MyDestination.TV 674
    Thriller Max 926
    Recipe.TV 676
    W Max 928
    Comedy.TV 695
    At Max 929
    MGM HD 744
    ESPN 3D 1002
     
  7. dbenrosen

    dbenrosen New Member

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    Sep 20, 2003
    New Jersey
    Does this mean my original Series 3 and my HD TiVo will NOT be able to get these channels once they are switched?
     
  8. tatergator1

    tatergator1 Active Member

    1,523
    6
    Mar 27, 2008
    Columbus, Ohio
    Yes.
     
  9. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

    10,364
    22
    Aug 2, 2003
    To make the list a little clearer:

    Sports
    -------
    571 ESPN Goal Line/Buzzer Beater
    592 Tennis Channel
    597 World Fishing Network
    1002 ESPN 3D

    .TV (listed as "LOOR558" etc. on TiVo)
    -------------------------------------------
    558 ES.TV
    599 Cars.TV
    633 Pets.TV
    674 MyDestination.TV
    676 Recipe.TV
    695 Comedy.TV

    Non-premium movies
    ------------------------
    744 MGM HD

    Premium movies
    -------------------
    906 HBO Family
    907 HBO Family (West)
    912 HBO Latino
    913 HBO Latino West
    923 MoreMax (West)
    924 Action Max
    926 Thriller Max
    928 W Max
    929 At Max

    It's worth noting that most of these channels either can't be transferred anyway due to the CCI flag (HBO/Cinemax), or have no guide data on the TiVo and are thus unlikely to be recorded (.TV, 571, and sometimes 1002). Of course this is, as you say, just the first wave.
     
  10. Mike-Wolf

    Mike-Wolf New Member

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    Feb 25, 2013
    Let us know if you see any picture quality differences before and after the changeover.
     
  11. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    Aug 2, 2003
    BTW, I tried transferring one of these recordings (i.e. made from an H.264 Fios channel on a Premiere, and transferred to a Series 3) from the S3 to a second Premiere, where it played fine. So then I tried downloading it from the S3 to my Mac as a transport stream, but that got only the audio.

    Finally, for completeness, I downloaded the transport stream from the original Premiere, and pushed it to the S3. As expected, it plays fine that way (having been remuxed to an MP4 by pyTivo), except for being slightly out of sync and losing the captions.
     
  12. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

    10,364
    22
    Aug 2, 2003
    Nothing converted here yet.
     
  13. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    19,173
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    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    I don't see any change either with the three channels I checked this morning in VHO4.
     
  14. LouB

    LouB Member

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    Jan 8, 2009
    Hmmm.... I just moved to FiOS in Smithtown 2 weeks ago so I was not notified for the change to these channels.

    Good thing I upgraded my main Tivo to a P4...

    Once my other HD runs out of free service months I will move that to a Mini.
     
  15. am95

    am95 New Member

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    Jun 2, 2012
    Didn't realize I already had a h.264 channel (598) available to experiment with using my S3. I wanted to see if I could perhaps record and transfer to my PC from knowing it wouldn't actually play through the TiVO but unfortunately it didn't work. I take it there is no way around this?
     
  16. Mike-Wolf

    Mike-Wolf New Member

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    Feb 25, 2013
    Really don't think there is aside from upgrading to an S4. Another reason for the promotions TiVo has been running with Verizon FiOS customers.
     
  17. Distortedloop

    Distortedloop Member

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    Dec 5, 2007
    San...
    What confuses me with all this are two things.

    First, I started getting cablecard activation notices on all channels above 900 a LONG LONG time ago on my S3. Long before this supposed change in format for the HBO and Max channels. I'm talking 6 months, maybe. It was in the backroom, which is rarely used, so I never pursued fixing it.

    Second, if the S3 hardware isn't capable of decoding the new format, why do I get a few seconds of the picture and audio when I change to one of those channels before the activation screen comes up?

    If I'm going to have to get a new TiVo to get HBO in that room, I might as well just rent a DVR from FIOS, no up-front purchase fee, and the monthly rent is similar to TiVo's month-by-month plan on the S3 I have.
     
  18. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

    10,364
    22
    Aug 2, 2003
    It's not "all channels above 900", it's HBO and Cinemax. If you go up further, you'll find channels (e.g. Music Choice) that don't have the problem.

    As noted, the change to H.264 has not happened yet, and would/will only affect some of the HBO and Cinemax channels if it had/does. Rather, what you're seeing is that these channels have had their CCI flag set to 2 (copy once), instead of 0 (copy freely), and your CableCards aren't properly paired. This is a common situation, since Verizon didn't used to pair them, as a matter of policy. When all channels were set to CCI = 0, that was no problem; but for reasons unclear, CCI = 2 requires pairing.

    If your cards were paired, you'd be able to record HBO and Cinemax, but you couldn't transfer the recordings via MRV or TTG. That's the actual purpose of setting CCI = 2, which was done at HBO's demand.
     
  19. wkearney99

    wkearney99 Bill Kearney

    1,919
    3
    Dec 5, 2003
    Bethesda,...
    Meanwhile Verizon has been giving HBO away free, around here anyway, until July. Still won't encourage me to pay for it though, there's not enough on there that I can't get elsewhere, later or frankly don't care about at all.
     
  20. Distortedloop

    Distortedloop Member

    85
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    Dec 5, 2007
    San...
    Okay, let me rephrase it, the only channels above 900 worth having (HBOs & Cinemax). ;-)

    I called FIOS support over this before posting here. They're the ones who told me that the format change had happened about 4 weeks ago. They're the ones who said there was nothing wrong with my cards, and it was the TiVo S3's inability to decode the new format that was the problem. They allegedly reset the cards and then had me reboot, that wasn't pairing it seems.

    I came here because it sounded like BS, and I guess you're showing it was.

    I just re-enabled the HBO/Max channels down in the SD range on that TiVO, and they're showing the same activation required. That doesn't fit with their explanation that it's an HD format change the TiVo can't handle.

    So much for tech support that actually knows what's going on.

     

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