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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. dwgsp

    dwgsp New Member

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    Aug 27, 2005
    Perinton, NY
    Ok, let me try to give a better explanation. The Big Ten Network streams college basketball games, using flash. I would like to use HME/VLC to re-stream these to my Tivo HD. Currently I can not get this to work (I can re-stream other things, like NASA TV). Here's an example URL for a basketball game:

    http://video.bigtennetwork.com/video/play/246_drake_at_wisc?videos=archive

    I tried entering this URL directly into VLC 0.8.6 and it didn't work. I looked at the release notes to the most current version of VLC, and it looks like they have added more support for flash in versions newer than 0.8.6.

    I am wondering of anyone has gotten HME/VLC to work with the newest version of VLC. Alternatively, do anyone know how to get the current version to work with this URL?

    Thanks!
    /Don
     
  2. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    Nor does it work in 0.9.4. Nor would I expect it to, since that's an HTML page.
     
  3. kurt711

    kurt711 New Member

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    Feb 29, 2008
    Awesome app william. I like this better than pytivo to serve up my tech podcasts i download with podpuppy. I was wondering if you had any plans for supporting ffmpeg for encoding as well. I understand vlc/online content thing but would be awesome to stream xvid, wmv shows and movies reencoded in mpeg2. Finally I can have something like TVersity for tivo. Once again great job and no worries if it can't be done...I'll stick with your other work in pytivo. Thanks.
     
  4. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    You're welcome. :) But, you haven't really explained why you want ffmpeg. You can stream all formats through VLC (although you may miss the first couple of seconds). Also, as far as WMV, I suspect that you'll be able to pass it through without reencoding once you get TiVo software version 11 (and I update the extensions list). In the meantime, VLC will handle it.

    I'm actually pretty unhappy with VLC right now, since they broke MPEG encoding in the 0.9.x series, and they don't seem to care. That does have me looking at alternatives. Still, VLC is something that ffmpeg couldn't easily replace. In addition to handling streaming on its own -- both as a client, and as a server -- it provides it in a nice, neat, end-user-oriented package, that's easy to install for users on all three major platforms (Linux/Mac/Win). Contrast this with ffmpeg, which is only available through SVN, or from third-party packagers. This is arguably the biggest hassle with pyTivo.

    I'd probably support MEncoder (which can at least act as a streaming client) before ffmpeg.
     
  5. kurt711

    kurt711 New Member

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    Feb 29, 2008
    Thanks for replying. The reason I was asking about ffmpeg is audio, especially ac3 5.1. I have several movies encoded in xvid or h.264 with ac3 5.1 audio. I use TVersity(uses ffmpeg) to stream to xbox and pytivo(also uses ffmpeg) and it works great on both. I'm trying to minimize the complexity on server(trying to keep one encoder) and wanting 5.1 audio. I tried video streamer and it only passes 2 channels of audio and didn't see any way to change that.

    VLC is great but oh so complicated. I used to use VLC to capture streams from HDHomeRun but gave up on it after couple of weeks.

    Mencoder will work. It will pass ac3 audio and it will work for me. once again thank you for all you efforts in promoting HME. Only wish Tivo would give up and enable upnp or dlna.
     
  6. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    Ah. I don't have 5.1 equipment, so I can't check this. There's no number of channels set in HME/VLC, but it uses MPEG audio, which I'm thinking is limited to stereo. So, if you changed the ACODEC line in hmevlc/vlc.py from

    ACODEC = 'mpga'

    to

    ACODEC = 'a52'

    that might solve your problem. (Not tested.) You probably would want to up the audio bitrate from the default, too -- for that you'd have to edit PARAMS. (It will be a config.ini setting in the next version.)

    Edit: a52 tests OK, though of course I still can't really check 5.1. I'll probably make this the default in the next version, although I'd kinda like to check CPU usage vs. MPEG audio first.
     
  7. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
    Confirmed today (see tivostream thread) that there seems to be a ~1.1GB upper limit for buffer size for video streaming. You will note after the 1.1GB mark or so the connection will drop (Connection reset by peer) and buffer will no longer build up. Very disappointing indeed. :(
     
  8. leenuxg33k

    leenuxg33k New Member

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    Dec 23, 2007
    I'm glad this isn't just me. I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong.

    So how is this supposed to work? Can the HME app drop off some of the data at the beginning of the buffer when it hits the 1.1g limit?
     
  9. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
    In current implementation these HME players are just throwing data over the pipe and letting Tivo handle storing/buffering it. There is no control of the buffer possible via HME as far as I know. Perhaps an ugly workaround is to limit the data streamed to the Tivo to below the 1.1GB limit and once playback reaches that limit to initiate a new transfer, but that's currently only possible with mpeg2 streams and means big pauses at 1GB intervals and loss of buffer buildup. Tivo needs to see the start of .mp4 files for information about the stream so you can't arbitrarily start somewhere else in an .mp4 stream. So I really don't see a viable solution right now for this major drawback.

    It will be interesting to see how the Netflix streaming works as obviously the 1GB limitation cannot be there for that implementation. I'm guessing in light of this drawback either there is no buffer at all for Netflix streaming or there is some way to "ask for bigger buffer". I'm guessing there won't be any buffer at all just as if you play back from Roku box or a Blu Ray player.
     
  10. Dec 1, 2008 #110 of 481
    wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    Looks a little more like TiVo, should fix people's audio complaints, and handles irregular exits better.

    I had hoped to have some resolution of the VLC 0.9.x issues, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. Then I was waiting for 11.0, but who knows when I'll get it; and based on moyekj's findings, I'm leaving WMV in the "needs VLC" category for now. (If you want to try passing it through, you can add it to PASSTHROUGH_EXTS and remove it from TRANSCODE_EXTS in hmevlc/__init__.py. I'll probably make these config.ini-configurable in the future, but not today.)
     
  11. Dec 2, 2008 #111 of 481
    MelSmith

    MelSmith New Member

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    May 10, 2008
    Thanks again wmcbrine for another awesome application. There was just one frustrating thing for me: the Tivo would exit to live TV if the HME stream was paused for too long, which happens a lot to me; so I added a bookmark function that saves the current position whenever I pause the stream or return to the list of files. I have attached the two files I changed for reference.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Dec 2, 2008 #112 of 481
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
    I didn't look at the changes too closely but it appears this implementation will only work if using VLC.
     
  13. Dec 2, 2008 #113 of 481
    MelSmith

    MelSmith New Member

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    May 10, 2008
    That is correct, since HME/VLC Video Streamer uses VLC.
     
  14. Dec 2, 2008 #114 of 481
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
    But you can also bypass VLC completely for mpeg2 and H.264 mpeg4 sources (in fact I believe that's default behavior).
     
  15. Dec 2, 2008 #115 of 481
    MelSmith

    MelSmith New Member

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    May 10, 2008
    Not knowing the HME SDK or Python means this truly is just a hack. :) I will have to learn more, to make this more legitimate.
     
  16. Dec 2, 2008 #116 of 481
    grantsa4

    grantsa4 New Member

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    Jun 14, 2007
    I unzipped the zip file and ran Start.py and the console gets to Registering hmelvc and stops. Is there a problem?

    Should it be getting further?
    Is there anything I need to do.

    Thanks for any help.
     
  17. Dec 3, 2008 #117 of 481
    wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    No, that's what it's supposed to say. You wouldn't see any other output until you entered the app from the TiVo.
     
  18. Dec 3, 2008 #118 of 481
    grantsa4

    grantsa4 New Member

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    Jun 14, 2007
    Thanks - when I tried to go into the Server on the Tivo it went to "Please wait" and nothing happened?
    It eventually times out and brings up a message :

    "An error occurred while running the application. HTTP failure (Http connection error: 0x50005).

    Should it take a while?
    I have no changed the config.ini at all - I just unzipped the program and tried start.py

    I have Python 2.5 installed as well as VLC 0.8.6e
     
  19. Dec 3, 2008 #119 of 481
    wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    Aug 2, 2003
    Did you try again? Once could be a fluke. If you get it repeatedly, then it sounds like a network problem.
     
  20. Dec 3, 2008 #120 of 481
    grantsa4

    grantsa4 New Member

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    Jun 14, 2007
    Yip, still same problem. Any advice on what to check network wise?
     

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