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Old 04-27-2014, 11:31 AM   #1
Papagenox
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Major problems with sound sync using kmttg

Hi all, I hope this is the right forum to post this in, but it's driving me nuts.

The strange part is that the problem is completely intermittent. Some shows come through fine, others (like Mad Men's current season, and Mr Selfridge) hardly at all. No problem with the video. And yes, I have QS fix checked.

Boxes checked: decrypt, QS fix and encode, and the encoder is Handbrake television: mkv container, same res h.264 video, aac audio

I'm using a Windows 7 Ultimate machine with an i5 2500k processor and 8 GB RAM, so I don't think I lack for horsepower (especially if I'm not doing anything else on the machine at the time).

Any ideas? Thanks,

Mystified in Portland
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:53 PM   #2
christheman
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Originally Posted by Papagenox View Post
Hi all, I hope this is the right forum to post this in, but it's driving me nuts.

The strange part is that the problem is completely intermittent. Some shows come through fine, others (like Mad Men's current season, and Mr Selfridge) hardly at all. No problem with the video. And yes, I have QS fix checked.

Boxes checked: decrypt, QS fix and encode, and the encoder is Handbrake television: mkv container, same res h.264 video, aac audio

I'm using a Windows 7 Ultimate machine with an i5 2500k processor and 8 GB RAM, so I don't think I lack for horsepower (especially if I'm not doing anything else on the machine at the time).

Any ideas? Thanks,

Mystified in Portland

A few more details might help. Cable? Analog or digital?
Does entire video clip get delayed about the same, or is the beginning aligned? Are you editing it first in any way, cutting commercials?

This happens to me too and I have found no real solutions, other than to re-align in VideoRedo. Good programs to complement VRD that I have used are MPEG2Repair and TS Doctor.

I have been experimenting with an alternate computer setup, side by side with the Tivo, for about a month now. Whenever I get synch problems, it is always the Tivo. Every single time. So I do not blame my crappy cable service, although I used to. (They completely suck for other reasons)

Looking into it further, the Tivo produces MPEG2 files, whereas my other setup produces H264 files. No intermediate MPEG2, other than the incoming MPEG2 data stream from the cable co. After years of monkeying around with things, I think MPEG2 files are probably prone to this.

Last edited by christheman : 04-28-2014 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:49 AM   #3
Papagenox
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Thanks for the reply, christheman.

It's a Tivo Premiere with Comcast digital cable. The shows themselves play fine on the Tivo, and other shows (TURN, for example) transfer over my wireless LAN (n) just fine as well.

I tried to transfer over last Sunday's episode of Mad Men and there was basically just a little bit of sound at the beginning and then just silence when I played back the .mpg file using VLC Media Player. I clicked around in the file to see if there was any sound but nothing. I wonder if I should transfer it over more slowly. I never had this problem when transferring over wireless G.
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:54 AM   #4
christheman
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Originally Posted by Papagenox View Post
Thanks for the reply, christheman.

It's a Tivo Premiere with Comcast digital cable. The shows themselves play fine on the Tivo, and other shows (TURN, for example) transfer over my wireless LAN (n) just fine as well.

I tried to transfer over last Sunday's episode of Mad Men and there was basically just a little bit of sound at the beginning and then just silence when I played back the .mpg file using VLC Media Player. I clicked around in the file to see if there was any sound but nothing. I wonder if I should transfer it over more slowly. I never had this problem when transferring over wireless G.
Okay, well that sounds like yet another problem. In my opinion, the wireless connection might be dropping packets. I am not sure that the Tivo To Go transfer can recover dropped packets. You could eliminate a variable by using a home network switch (not a hub) and direct hard-wire (Cat-5) to both your computer and Tivo. Then see if there is any difference with these types of problems. I was transferring files via Wi-Fi across my house, and reduced errors as well as picking up speed by directly connecting it.
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Old 04-28-2014, 02:45 AM   #5
Papagenox
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Okay, well that sounds like yet another problem. In my opinion, the wireless connection might be dropping packets. I am not sure that the Tivo To Go transfer can recover dropped packets. You could eliminate a variable by using a home network switch (not a hub) and direct hard-wire (Cat-5) to both your computer and Tivo. Then see if there is any difference with these types of problems. I was transferring files via Wi-Fi across my house, and reduced errors as well as picking up speed by directly connecting it.
Alas, that's not really practical, as my PC (a desktop) is in my room upstairs and the TiVo and TV are downstairs, on opposite ends of the house. So unless I get one of those ethernet through electrical wiring setups I'm out of luck. Also, it doesn't explain why other shows come through flawlessly. I'm wondering if it has to do with maybe the TiVo being busy recording some "TiVo suggestion" at the time of transfer (and if so, how to stop it from recording such things at a critical moment).

I hasten to add that I think it's very possible that the wireless is a factor. However, what's struck me when I've tried to transfer a show episode more than once is that the sound seems to go out of sync at precisely the same moments across attempts. I tried an episode of Masterpiece's Mr Selfridge a couple or three times a couple of weeks back (my folks had missed an episode) and ended up resorting to Usenet.

Last edited by Papagenox : 04-28-2014 at 03:01 AM.
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:51 AM   #6
christheman
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Alas, that's not really practical, as my PC (a desktop) is in my room upstairs and the TiVo and TV are downstairs, on opposite ends of the house. So unless I get one of those ethernet through electrical wiring setups I'm out of luck. Also, it doesn't explain why other shows come through flawlessly. I'm wondering if it has to do with maybe the TiVo being busy recording some "TiVo suggestion" at the time of transfer (and if so, how to stop it from recording such things at a critical moment).

I hasten to add that I think it's very possible that the wireless is a factor. However, what's struck me when I've tried to transfer a show episode more than once is that the sound seems to go out of sync at precisely the same moments across attempts. I tried an episode of Masterpiece's Mr Selfridge a couple or three times a couple of weeks back (my folks had missed an episode) and ended up resorting to Usenet.
My going from Wireless G to wired cleared up some of the transfer issues for me, but didn't completely solve it. I went from having various dropouts and synch issues to just synch issues. This was evidenced by "temporal reference" errors as indicated by the Videoredo logs. They usually occurred in clusters of 5 to 30 errors within the time frame of a few seconds. That was enough to offset the audio from that point forward. I'd say about half of all files had none of these errors, the rest had maybe a handful of clusters of such errors, in maybe a few different locations in the movie. These are generally repairable by running QSF more than once, or by downloading and running MPEG2Repair after QSF, that will clean up any remaining errors of that type.

The files without these batches of "temporal" errors generally had no timing issue, unless the entire file was uniformly offset. That brings me to the other type of A/V offset, which is a uniform offset. This, in my opinion, is due to the structure of the MPEG2 file itself, and just how it happens to land on the Tivo HDD when it is being generated. There is no combination or sequence of events I could come up with that would avoid this problem. Best thing to do there is just align in Videoredo. This type of error can also by caused by editing files to remove commercials.

I would not want to use anything that goes through the AC house wiring, except for AC as it just sounds like a bad idea from an electronics standpoint. Many years ago I remember "TV antennas" on the market which were nothing more than an AC plug on one end, and 300-ohm flat-wire antenna connection on the other end. This was produced before round 75-ohm antenna wire was in wide use on TV sets. As I recall, the flat antenna wire was connected inside this box to the Neutral and Hot spades with one or two capacitors (no ground spades at the time). Yikes.

It does seem feasible though that Wireless N might give you more issues than Wireless G, depending on your neighboring interferences. N travels a greater distance, and that works both ways.

As for one recording being interrupted when another begins or ends, I suspected but was never convinced of this myself. There were plenty of instances where it could have happened but just didn't. It might still happen and it could very well be a Tivo instability.

The transfer errors you are experiencing with repeated transfer attempts just sound like MGEG2 problems on the Tivo itself, as I mentioned above.

Last edited by christheman : 04-28-2014 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:08 PM   #7
mattack
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You're running it through so many other transcoding steps, you shouldn't blame kmttg! The file after kmttg downloads it is the "raw" recording (only decrypted, but not reencoded).
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:14 AM   #8
Papagenox
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I wonder if setting the Windows 7 PC "Power options" profile to High Performance makes any difference. Just yesterday I transferred and encoded the latest episode of Cosmos and had no issues with the resulting recording with "High Performance" set.

In fact, all of the Cosmos episodes have come through with no problem, but I don't know that I've had that option on. It almost makes me paranoid that the content providers, the cable company and TiVo are collaborating to make shows only play on the first device they're recorded on somehow, but only with certain shows.
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:18 PM   #9
christheman
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I wonder if setting the Windows 7 PC "Power options" profile to High Performance makes any difference. Just yesterday I transferred and encoded the latest episode of Cosmos and had no issues with the resulting recording with "High Performance" set.
I don't think so. l highly doubt that it is relevant to the accurate encoding of MPEG2 and H.264 files. Since it is under Power Settings, it might have an effect on how fast the computer is allowed to run, in exchange for how much power it is allowed to draw. A slower CPU should still follow the same instructions and produce the same results in the same manner.

Quote:
In fact, all of the Cosmos episodes have come through with no problem, but I don't know that I've had that option on. It almost makes me paranoid that the content providers, the cable company and TiVo are collaborating to make shows only play on the first device they're recorded on somehow, but only with certain shows.
As far as I know those copy flags only exist at the channel level, but I could be wrong. I haven't paid much attention to those. CableLabs is basically a cabal, and Tivo is just trying to survive, maybe even prosper if it is meant to be.
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:23 PM   #10
christheman
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You're running it through so many other transcoding steps, you shouldn't blame kmttg! The file after kmttg downloads it is the "raw" recording (only decrypted, but not reencoded).
True. KMTTG is mainly just initiating the other programs and processes which will perform those tasks. It also provides a hell of a useful interface for the user!!
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:38 PM   #11
Papagenox
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All right, here's some new info: I re-downloaded Mad Men S07E02 from my TiVo, and the raw decrypted .mpg file seemed to play more or less fine. I let QSfix do its thing, and the result is a file whose video freezes very soon into it (playing it back with VLC Media Player) and I only get a little blip of sound that repeats every few seconds. So the problem appears to be with whatever subprogram is doing the QS fix. Maybe I should re-install the whole shebang. What program does the QS fix part?
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Old 05-03-2014, 08:58 AM   #12
mlippert
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Originally Posted by Papagenox View Post
All right, here's some new info: I re-downloaded Mad Men S07E02 from my TiVo, and the raw decrypted .mpg file seemed to play more or less fine. I let QSfix do its thing, and the result is a file whose video freezes very soon into it (playing it back with VLC Media Player) and I only get a little blip of sound that repeats every few seconds. So the problem appears to be with whatever subprogram is doing the QS fix. Maybe I should re-install the whole shebang. What program does the QS fix part?
I think you should consider buying VideoReDo http://www.videoredo.com/en/index.htm

I've seen others in the kmttg thread mention recoding issues and it's been recommended that they try VideoReDo and it has succeeded in fixing their problem. I own it myself and have been happy with it. I believe that the author of kmttg also uses it. I think they offer a trial period so you can test it and see if it solves your problems.
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Old 05-03-2014, 01:07 PM   #13
christheman
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All right, here's some new info: I re-downloaded Mad Men S07E02 from my TiVo, and the raw decrypted .mpg file seemed to play more or less fine. I let QSfix do its thing, and the result is a file whose video freezes very soon into it (playing it back with VLC Media Player) and I only get a little blip of sound that repeats every few seconds. So the problem appears to be with whatever subprogram is doing the QS fix. Maybe I should re-install the whole shebang. What program does the QS fix part?
Agree about VidoeRedo. Some people get by just fine with the included free convertors. Others seem to have some issues. I have personally found it to be more robust than the free convertors. For your purposes, you can completely substitute VideoRedo for them in KMTTG.
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Old 05-04-2014, 04:37 PM   #14
Papagenox
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Agree about VidoeRedo. Some people get by just fine with the included free convertors. Others seem to have some issues. I have personally found it to be more robust than the free convertors. For your purposes, you can completely substitute VideoRedo for them in KMTTG.
Would the basic version work for my purposes?
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:13 PM   #15
Papagenox
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OK, this gets "curiouser and curiouser" as they say. I tried Video ReDo and it's a dream, but it costs 50 bucks, so if I can help it I want to avoid buying it, although obviously it has some neat capabilities like video editing and such.

I have an older version of kmttg installed with the tools that came with it last year, so I downloaded and decrypted a file (the Daily Show) with the current version, but then fired up the previous version (v0p9r) and, through the files menu, told it to do the qsfix on a copy of the decrypted .mpg file (one which the newer version of kmttg had mangled horribly) and voilą, zero problems using the older version. Not only that but it's much quicker doing the QSFix. There's definitely something wrong with the ffmpeg version included with the latest kmttg.

I'm going to keep experimenting to confirm or debunk that conclusion.

Last edited by Papagenox : 05-06-2014 at 01:53 AM.
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