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HME/VLC video streamer, v1.0 -- watch NASA TV, etc.

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by wmcbrine, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. Oct 2, 2008 #61 of 481
    wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    VLC is only needed for a) transcoding, and/or b) handling stream sources other than http. MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 files -- either local or remote -- can be streamed over http without VLC.

    Re: 0.9.x, it's not a question of supporting it. As far as I can tell, VLC is just not doing what it's supposed to do. Is there a new syntax for the command line? Not that I can discover. (Allanon said it wasn't transcoding from the GUI, either.) This was with 0.9.2 -- for all I know, it's already been fixed in 0.9.3. I'll check. Also, for all I know, the problem may be/have been Windows-specific. If it hasn't been fixed, I'll try to get some action on that.
     
  2. Oct 2, 2008 #62 of 481
    CuriousMark

    CuriousMark Forum Denizen

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    If you plan on putting this on a NAS, be aware that you will not want to do any transcoding there. The processor is not up to it.
     
  3. Oct 2, 2008 #63 of 481
    Ely105

    Ely105 New Member

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    Yes, exactly, which is why i was asking if it needed VLC to work. Over at the readynas forums, Mr. Cello got pytivo to work somewhat, but ideally you don't want to run things like ffmpeg, vlc, etc.

    Ideally i'd like it to just be able to stream mpeg2/mpeg4 files.
     
  4. Oct 2, 2008 #64 of 481
    Ely105

    Ely105 New Member

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    Ok great. Will it run properly if VLC is not present? would/could there be a config flag that could say VLC not present so don't try and use it?
     
  5. Oct 2, 2008 #65 of 481
    wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    Yes.

    It's handled automatically.
     
  6. Oct 2, 2008 #66 of 481
    Allanon

    Allanon Member

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    There are a few changes to the command line syntax and I tried using them but still was unable to get it to work. This is what I tried:

    Code:
    PARAMS = '#transcode{vcodec=%(VCODEC)s,vb=%(VBITRATE)d,scale=1,acodec=%(ACODEC)s,ab=128,channels=2}:duplicate{dst=std{access=http,mux=ps,dst=:%(SERVER)d}}'
     
  7. Oct 2, 2008 #67 of 481
    wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    Where is that documented?
     
  8. Oct 2, 2008 #68 of 481
    Allanon

    Allanon Member

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    I used the GUI to get the posted PARAM string and after comparing it to the one in your program I thought the syntax changed but after looking at the documentation it seems the syntax you used it still valid.
     
  9. Oct 2, 2008 #69 of 481
    Ely105

    Ely105 New Member

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    One more noob question. When streaming http sources, is there a particular format for the web page/site for tivo to stream it? I mean if you pointed tivo at a http based directory listing and clicked on a file, would it stream or is that something different? Sorry i'm not familiar with HME spec and what it can/can't do.

    thanks again William
     
  10. Oct 2, 2008 #70 of 481
    wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    No, the TiVo can't parse web pages or directory lists. You'd have to point it directly at an .mpg or .mp4 file.

    For files on your local drive, you just specify the share like so:

    [Movies]
    dir=/your/files/here

    HME/VLC will turn that into menus for you to navigate.
     
  11. Oct 2, 2008 #71 of 481
    Ely105

    Ely105 New Member

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    got it. thanks. I did get it to work with some local files. It looks pretty good on SD files. But alas i tried it on some mkv files that are HD x.264 and AC3, but very few worked, many crashed vlc. Although I can see them fine if i play them in VLC so thats a bit odd. Also the quality of the video is less than stellar, is there ways to tweak the quality setting on vlc when it transcodes?
     
  12. Oct 19, 2008 #72 of 481
    digger69

    digger69 New Member

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  13. Oct 19, 2008 #73 of 481
    wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    You'll be the first to know.
     
  14. Oct 21, 2008 #74 of 481
    PaulS

    PaulS Member

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    Now that the Boxee guys have figured out how to get streaming from Hulu, CBS, Comedy Central, Last.fm, and flickr, is there any chance of HME/VLC being able to reproduce this ? I think there would be a LOT of interest for Hulu access on a TiVo.
     
  15. Oct 21, 2008 #75 of 481
    wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    I'll have to look into what they did. My assumption up til now has been that a UPnP client would be the way to go, in combination with something like PlayOn.
     
  16. Oct 25, 2008 #76 of 481
    phdeez

    phdeez New Member

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    Might be a dumb question.... but any way to get subtitles to stream with files [either with vlc transcoding or not?]
     
  17. Nov 2, 2008 #77 of 481
    goodtrips

    goodtrips New Member

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    wmcbrine, I wanted to get your thoughts on audio quality.

    I've noticed on many different formats, .mpg, .mp4, etc that the audio quality with VLC streamer is significantly lower quality than TivoStreamer, pyTivo, etc. To my untrained ear, it almost sounds like the difference between 22khz to a 44khz file.

    I know other people here have asked about being able to customize the output settings, but wanted to get your thoughts specifically on the audio piece.
     
  18. Nov 2, 2008 #78 of 481
    wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    goodtrips: Are you comparing like with like? The live streams, for instance, have pretty low quality audio from the source.

    tivostreamer doesn't do any reencoding; neither would HME/VLC, for the files that tivostreamer can serve -- so they'd sound identical. If for some reason there's a file that tivodecode is serving and that HME/VLC is reencoding, then a) that's an error, and b) it will necessarily sound worse, since the encoding is lossy. However, that situation should not arise. If they're both passing them without reencoding, and you think you hear a difference, then it's your imagination. (It's reencoding if the VLC output comes up; otherwise not.)

    pyTivo does some elaborate checking of the source (video and audio separately) to see whether it should reencode the stream or pass it through, use higher quality for different TiVos, or use user-supplied settings (that can even be set per-TiVo). That was something I really wanted to get away from. So, right now, the only config.ini-adjustable setting is "vbitrate" (video bitrate). However, you can edit the command-line VLC options in hmevlc/vlc.py (in VCODEC, ACODEC and PARAMS) as you like.

    If you do look at PARAMS, you'll see that the samplerate is indeed 44KHz. :) But the audio bitrate is whatever VLC's default is... so yeah, I haven't really tried to optimize audio quality. I'm willing to add an "abitrate" config.ini option for the next version. But first, I've got to try to get it working with VLC 9.x...

    phdeez: I don't want you to think I'm ignoring you, but I didn't want to answer before I'd researched it... which I still haven't. I know that VLC can display subtitles. I assume it will embed them in the transcoded video, but I'm not sure. It's also possible to display them via HME, but I'd have to study the formats, etc. I think it would be worthwhile, but as a longer-term project.
     
  19. Nov 3, 2008 #79 of 481
    EightPieceBox

    EightPieceBox New Member

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    I haven't been able to get HME/VLC to show up on my Tivo. When I run it, the last line is always Registering: hmevlc

    Any ideas what might be causing this? I am running Vista and Python 2.5 and have no problems with pytivo or tivostream. I can't find any information other than the readme file and this thread. I'm surprised the thread is only 3 pages. It sounds like a nice addition.
     
  20. Nov 3, 2008 #80 of 481
    wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    That's what it should be.

    Note that HME/VLC would appear in the Music, Photos & More menu, not in Now Playing.
     

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