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Old 02-26-2009, 11:53 PM   #211
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Originally Posted by NA9D View Post
Yoav

That encode was done with iTivo, but I'm not sure how. All my other iTivo encodes show up fine. So not sure what happened with that one...
If I understand you right, iTiVo made the 60fps video for sure, but that's the only one that seems to be 60.. all the others were 29.97?

I guess we need to figure out if there was somehting unique/special about the source movie that iTiVo encoded (the flags to mencoder do not specify a new framerate, so I'd guess that the source was 60fps... except broadcast TV doesn't do 60fps -- so I'm at a loss for now..)
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Old 02-27-2009, 03:39 AM   #212
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59.94 fps is standard for 720p. So yeah, broadcast TV does it.
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Old 02-27-2009, 03:48 AM   #213
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59.94 fps is standard for 720p. So yeah, broadcast TV does it.
Whoa I thought 720p was 30fps (progressive, but 30fps anyways).

Ok, well we now know how he got the file then . He must have downloaded from a channel broadcasting in 720p. I'm gonna assume that the 60 fps is not a bug then...
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Old 02-27-2009, 05:46 AM   #214
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Just in case anyone was going to try this, mkv2vob does not remux mkv files to mp4 files (in fact, it really only renames the resulting mpg to mp4). I've looked around for other good solutions for remuxing a mkv to mp4, but have yet to find one. Please let me know if you anybody else has any success...

I got megui to work. mp4 muxer under tools menu. Unfortunatly the output shows the ac3 audio as stereo not 5.1 like the original and MPC will not play the file as is. It did transfer to the tivo. But has aspect ratio and folderization problems.
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Old 02-27-2009, 06:00 AM   #215
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OK. I've got a push successfully going now! Thanks for the help.

My main Tivo is not starting pushes for some reason. I think I know why but I can't say for sure...
Dunno....
I also cannot say for sure but if your problem that you cannot talk about is anything similar to my problem that I could not talk about,

changing mind.tivo.com to stagingmind.tivo.com in the file mind.py may fix you up for now. Or not.
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Old 02-27-2009, 07:02 AM   #216
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If I understand you right, iTiVo made the 60fps video for sure, but that's the only one that seems to be 60.. all the others were 29.97?
I was going to make that comment that wmcbrine made that 720p is at 60 fps, but he beat me to it. Most progressive formats (480p, 720p, 1080p) are at 60fps. The only exception really are some movies encoded at the original 24 fps (Vudu does this with their 1080p movies for example). But no one uses 24 fps in broadcast. Keep in mind that the 30 fps for 480i and 1080i is really two interlaced frames so it still really is 60 fps...

Anyhow, it must have been recorded from an HD channel but I'm not sure why I would have recorded a cartoon from an HD source! And what's odd is that none of my other HD content is showing up this way...Most channels use 1080i and not 720p. Guess I'll have to record a definite 720p show and see. I think ABC uses 720p and PBS. I forget but it's not hard to find out.
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Old 02-27-2009, 07:16 AM   #217
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ABC and Fox are 720p. Also ESPN, National Geographic and DirecTV 101. PBS is 1080i at the network level, but some affiliates moved to 720p so they could squeeze more subchannels in. There's also a 1080i ABC affiliate out there.
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Old 02-27-2009, 07:51 AM   #218
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ABC and Fox are 720p. Also ESPN, National Geographic and DirecTV 101. PBS is 1080i at the network level, but some affiliates moved to 720p so they could squeeze more subchannels in. There's also a 1080i ABC affiliate out there.
I'm downloading an episode of Sarah Connor Chronicles now using iTivo. We'll see what we get!
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:40 AM   #219
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I attempted to push a mp4 last night with AC3 audio and it forced a transcode. Not sure what the issue is there, but since I only listen in stereo, it's no biggie to convert the audio to 2ch AAC.

I am also fairly certain that pushing mp4 to my Tivos (well, I have only pushed to one of them) is somehow killing its ability to connect to the tivo servers for the service connection (even when not pushing video). Has anyone else seen this? I will check more into this over the weekend.

I am still seeing green blocky artifacts in the first ~5s of every video uploaded, XVID4PSP created, Handbrake w/ Web optimized and Handbrake w/o Web optimized. Am I the only one seeing this?

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Old 02-27-2009, 09:49 AM   #220
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I am still seeing green blocky artifacts in the first ~5s of every video uploaded, XVID4PSP created, Handbrake w/ Web optimized and Handbrake w/o Web optimized. Am I the only one seeing this?
I see this quite often when streaming, etc. On my Roku Photobridge it would happen fairly frequently when doing FF/RW through files.

I think it's just that all the different patterns on the file get out of sync initially (not sure how to describe it better than that) and then it gets figured out and assembled correctly...
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:54 AM   #221
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I encoded to mp4+h.264+ac3 a 720p mpeg2 episode of Lost and sure enough both the source mpeg2 and destination mpeg4 are 59.94 fps and it streams and pushes fine to Tivo.
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:03 AM   #222
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I encoded to mp4+h.264+ac3 a 720p mpeg2 episode of Lost and sure enough both the source mpeg2 and destination mpeg4 are 59.94 fps and it streams and pushes fine to Tivo.
What is the command you use to encode the mpeg2 to mp4+h.264+ac3 if I may ask?
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:53 AM   #223
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What is the command you use to encode the mpeg2 to mp4+h.264+ac3 if I may ask?
ffmpeg -y -i "inputFile.mpg" -vcodec libx264 -coder 0 -level 41 -r 29.97 -sameq -g 300 -bufsize 14745k -b 5000k -maxrate 16000k -bug "+autodetect+ms" -me epzs -trellis 2 -mbd 1 -acodec copy -f mp4 "outputFile.mp4"

(P.S. You may want to remove the -r 29.97 option to use same frame rate as source and adjust the -b 5000k option for size vs. quality tradeoff)
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:20 AM   #224
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Is there any way to make it possible for a pull to bring in a mp4 file without a transcode? I know my wife would prefer this...and I would too if the pushes are what are causing my Tivo's service connection calls to fail.

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Old 02-27-2009, 12:46 PM   #225
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I am also fairly certain that pushing mp4 to my Tivos (well, I have only pushed to one of them) is somehow killing its ability to connect to the tivo servers for the service connection (even when not pushing video). Has anyone else seen this?
Absolutely not.
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Old 02-28-2009, 11:49 PM   #226
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All in all, ffmpeg's mp4 muxing isn't very reliable right now. I tested all this with an ffmpeg SVN snapshot from last night.
If you have success transcoding mkv to mp4 using ffmpeg, I would love to hear it. I'm having the same issues with the latest builds of x264 and ffmpeg.
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:45 PM   #227
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A big downside to mpeg4 encodings natively on the Tivo is that FF/REW don't seem to work very well, especially FFx1.

This post seems to sum up pretty nicely why FF/REW with mpeg4 is not very good compared to mpeg2:
http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.ph...10#post1999410

In my small list of h.264 encodings there are some that FF better than others, but so far any h.264 clips I have produced with either ffmpeg or handbrake are not good for FFx1. I did some experimentation with ffmpeg altering GOP size from 30-300 range and reference frames from 1-6 range, etc. but they didn't really seem to have much effect.

If anyone here has h.264 encoding recipe that works well for FFx1 please post.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that wmv files with VC-1 video and WMA9 audio work pretty well with FFx1 when streaming natively to Tivos. (streambaby doesn't yet support native streaming of those files but I added that in tivostream a while back. There is a way to get streambaby to stream those natively if someone is interested)
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Old 03-02-2009, 03:40 PM   #228
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There are a few different things that determine whether or not to place an I-frame (key frame) in h.264. One of them is the min/max keyint value (like GOP). The recommendations that I have seen is to use fps for min and 10xfps for max. That would give you key frames every 1 to 10s. The other thing that can add a key frame is scene cut. This is a function in h.264 (x.264) that attempts to determine when there is a scene change and will add a key frame. The number set determines sensitivity to a scene change. See this post for a decent summary of x.264 settings. So, it is possible that your videos that seek better have more scene changes and therefore more key frames.

My understanding of reference frames is that they are used to determine if the scene is static or moving and will allow better compression if you use a larger number. I don't think they should affect seeking (although I guess they could since I would expect that a higher number would require more processing power to decode).

Finally, here are couple of posts, one on mencoder settings and the other from doom9 forum about blu-ray. The mencoder post does say that keyint does affect seeking behavior. And the doom9 post lists the blu-ray values of -keyint as 24 and --min-keyint as 2. Based on that, it looks possible that in order to improve seeking in blu-ray they went with an extremely low value for min/max keyint. I don't have blu-ray, so I don't know what FF/RW is like, but I think we should be able to try some encodes with similar values to see if seeking is improved.

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Old 03-02-2009, 04:06 PM   #229
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x264 -> ffmpeg mappings can be found here:
http://ffmpeg.x264.googlepages.com/mapping

So x264->ffmpeg mappings for settings you mentioned would be:
--keyint maps to -g
--min-keyint maps to -keyint_min

I already experimented alot with -g argument (I tried as low as 12) as I mentioned in my post above and that alone didn't seem to help. I also adjusted -refs (reference frames) from 1-6 range and it didn't seem to help either. I really expected that combination of decreasing GOP size and increasing reference frames should have helped, but it didn't.
I don't see how -keyint_min is going to help but it's worth a try.

I suppose there is a risk that if you try and optimize too much for improved FF performance you may well end up sacrificing much of the efficiency/space savings compared to mpeg2.

I don't know offhand if there is a utility for viewing GOP structure of H.264 encodings but that sounds like it would be useful. (I think VideoRedo has such a utility for mpeg2 but not sure if it will work for mpeg4).
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Old 03-02-2009, 04:16 PM   #230
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I think you can use MediaInfo to get the information that you are looking for.

I am not sure what the -keyint_min defaults to in ffmpeg, but I would guess that it could limit how low you could go with your -g setting (-keyint). And frankly, I guess I really don't know how often key frames are set in MPEG2? I assumed they are more often than H.264...but I never checked.

I will play around with some of these when I get a chance. Let me know if you find anything interesting. It is always possible that the seeking on the tivo is limited by the hardware decoding power, but it does sound like this is an overall problem with h.264.

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Old 03-02-2009, 04:30 PM   #231
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Thanks. For mpeg2 GOP size is typically pretty small (I think 18 frames/GOP is max for NTSC) and there is 1 I frame per GOP. I think a typical structure is something like: IBBPBBPBBPBB

According to the x264->ffmpeg reference I posted above looks like GOP size for h.264 encodings are typically much larger than that (250 is given as default).

To be honest though a lot of this is over my head and I don't really understand much about it which is why I post here in the hopes with others with a lot more understanding would be better suited to experiment and/or post here.
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Old 03-02-2009, 04:42 PM   #232
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To be honest though a lot of this is over my head and I don't really understand much about it which is why I post here in the hopes with others with a lot more understanding would be better suited to experiment and/or post here.
Yeah, I am hacking my way through this. Trying to learn some as I go. At least it is relatively easy to test this now that I can push things up to the tivo as mp4. If I get a chance, I will run some test cases tonight.

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Old 03-03-2009, 12:59 AM   #233
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Thanks. For mpeg2 GOP size is typically pretty small (I think 18 frames/GOP is max for NTSC) and there is 1 I frame per GOP.
18 frames is max for an NTSC DVD, but the actual max for an MPEG-2 program stream is 1024 frames. It's very common for streams from DSS or digital cable to have really long GOPs (i.e. 30-50 frames). They do this because it increases compression and for a realtime playback system it doesn't effect quality too much. Although it does effect features like FF/RW, which is why on a S3 or DirecTiVo, which records the bitstream directly, some channels seem to FF/RW smoother then others.

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According to the x264->ffmpeg reference I posted above looks like GOP size for h.264 encodings are typically much larger than that (250 is given as default).
H.264 videos do typically have longer GOPs in general, but most encoding programs try to keep to around 50 frames max so that features like seeking and FF/RW are more practical. The longer the GOP the harder it is too seek and the harder it is to create smooth, usable, FF/RW functionality.

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Old 03-03-2009, 02:35 AM   #234
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Thanks for your input Dan.

I experimented tonight again with GOP size and reference frames and got no improvement at all (-keyint_min=2 didn't have any noticeable impact either). The source clip is a recording from Tivo: a short 1 min 480i mpeg2 with Video CBR of 3Kbps and 29.97 fps. That clip has smooth FF/REW in mpeg2 format but various h.264 ffmpeg encodes with low GOP size and several reference frames failed to yield a good smooth FF/REW. No better with Handbrake and x264 encoder either. Could well be from that kind of source it's not possible to get a workable h.264.

The following h.264 encoding on the other hand behaves pretty nicely with FF (not very good with REW)
systm--0063--dolby--hd.h264.mp4 so I know the Tivo h.264 decoder is able to do smooth FF. The key specs according to MediaInfo on this are:
L3.1 AVC1 (H.264), 720p, 2 reference frames, 2Kbps CBR, 24 fps
MediaInfo doesn't give any other information on GOP structure AFAIK.

I also tried an mpeg2 720p clip (also from Tivo) as a starting point but had no better luck getting a smooth FF h.264 encoding from it either using ffmpeg.

From either of the 2 mpeg2 sources above on the other hand if I use Microsoft Media Encoder 9 or Microsoft Expression Encoder 2 (Silverlight encoder) to generate a wmv encoding (VC-1 AP video with wma9 audio) the result is a nice smooth FF in both cases when streaming to Tivo (REW is choppy as expected).

So not sure what else to try at this point. It's not a huge deal to me as I don't use FFx1 that much but still it bothers me and would be nice to get to the bottom of this.
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Old 03-03-2009, 07:20 AM   #235
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I took a 10min clip at the beginning of Empire Strikes Back and encoded it 3 different ways in handbrake: my default profile (see P.S.), changed keyint to 24 (from 240) and keyint-min to 2 (from 24), and another with keyint=2/keyint-min=2 + no Pframe skip/DCT decimate. In all case, FFx1 looks fine. FFx2 (whatever speed of 2nd FF press) looks choppy in clip #1, but DOES look smoother in clips #2 & #3. I am not sure I can tell a difference between #2 and #3 though. It looks like each of those changes added another ~10% to the file size.

In MediaInfo, if you move to one of the other views (anything other than Basic), you will see what the encoding setting are for the mp4 that you are looking (at least I do with Handbrake).

Jason

P.S. Default profile (pulled from MediaInfo, text view):
Code:
cabac=1 / ref=3 / deblock=1:0:0 / analyse=0x3:0x133 / me=umh / subme=9 / psy_rd=1.0:0.0 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=16 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=0 / 8x8dct=1 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=6 / nr=0 / decimate=1 / mbaff=0 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=1 / b_adapt=1 / b_bias=0 / direct=3 / wpredb=1 / keyint=240 / keyint_min=24 / scenecut=40(pre) / rc=crf / crf=17.9 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=10 / qpmax=51 / qpstep=4 / ip_ratio=1.40 / pb_ratio=1.30 / aq=1:1.00

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Old 03-03-2009, 09:12 AM   #236
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One question though, should I be able to watch a mp4 file that is being pushed up while it is actually being pushed? I was pushing 10min clips and wasn't able to view until they were finished. Was wondering if that is what I should expect or maybe just because they were short?
Ok, to answer my own question: The mp4 pushes seem to load in 10-15min chunks. The short clips were...shorter than that, so I was not able to watch as they loaded. If I push a longer video, then I can start watching after the first block of time is transferred up.

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Old 03-03-2009, 10:00 AM   #237
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I took a 10min clip at the beginning of Empire Strikes Back and encoded it 3 different ways in handbrake: my default profile (see P.S.), changed keyint to 24 (from 240) and keyint-min to 2 (from 24), and another with keyint=2/keyint-min=2 + no Pframe skip/DCT decimate. In all case, FFx1 looks fine. FFx2 (whatever speed of 2nd FF press) looks choppy in clip #1, but DOES look smoother in clips #2 & #3. I am not sure I can tell a difference between #2 and #3 though. It looks like each of those changes added another ~10% to the file size.

In MediaInfo, if you move to one of the other views (anything other than Basic), you will see what the encoding setting are for the mp4 that you are looking (at least I do with Handbrake).

Jason

P.S. Default profile (pulled from MediaInfo, text view):
Code:
cabac=1 / ref=3 / deblock=1:0:0 / analyse=0x3:0x133 / me=umh / subme=9 / psy_rd=1.0:0.0 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=16 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=0 / 8x8dct=1 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=6 / nr=0 / decimate=1 / mbaff=0 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=1 / b_adapt=1 / b_bias=0 / direct=3 / wpredb=1 / keyint=240 / keyint_min=24 / scenecut=40(pre) / rc=crf / crf=17.9 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=10 / qpmax=51 / qpstep=4 / ip_ratio=1.40 / pb_ratio=1.30 / aq=1:1.00
Thanks for the info. I'll have to try encoding from a DVD source to see if that's the difference. As Dan mentioned DVD sources have short GOP structure so are probably a better source candidate to begin with. Can you try the same profile on a Tivo SD recording to see how FFx1 looks? In my case FFx1 is not really choppy, but it doesn't appear to be any faster than normal play speed.
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Old 03-03-2009, 11:02 AM   #238
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S3 H.264 decoder not as good as THD/HDXL

BINGO! I just discovered that it is indeed the S3 H.264 decoder that seems to be the issue. When I play my same H.264 test clips on a Tivo HD unit FFx1 works pretty well. In comparison when playing on my S3s FFx1 doesn't really work at all - it's basically same as play speed.
So while I'm sure encoding parameters make a difference to some degree the basic problem is that S3 H.264 decoder is just not up to par with the Tivo HD H.264 decoder.

This holds true for S3 VC-1 decoder vs THD VC-1 decoder as well as there are Netflix streams that play fine on THD units but don't work properly on S3 units.
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Old 03-03-2009, 11:27 AM   #239
txporter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moyekj View Post
BINGO! I just discovered that it is indeed the S3 H.264 decoder that seems to be the issue.
That is an interesting data point. Hopefully that is something that Tivo is aware of and can fix with software.

Jason
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:44 PM   #240
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That is very strange.

FYI: The length of the GOPs in the source MPEG-2 file should not effect the output H.264 file in anyway. The encoder has to decode the source file to raw video frames before reencoding, so the structure of the source file never comes into play. However the framerate and whether or not the source is interlaced can effect the output file. So those are the things you should probably look at when trying to figure out why one file works OK and another does not.

Dan
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