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Old 04-11-2013, 06:23 AM   #1
NotNowChief
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Question FiOS mpeg-4 Conversion

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?
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:38 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotNowChief View Post
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?
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.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:50 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotNowChief View Post
For FiOS NYC area customers
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.

Quote:
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?
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.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:06 AM   #4
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Thanks for all the info guys. I hope you're right about the Comedy.TV!
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:56 AM   #5
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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
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:38 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the info guys. I hope you're right about the Comedy.TV!
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
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post
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
Does this mean my original Series 3 and my HD TiVo will NOT be able to get these channels once they are switched?
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:28 PM   #8
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Does this mean my original Series 3 and my HD TiVo will NOT be able to get these channels once they are switched?
Yes.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:28 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:52 AM   #10
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Let us know if you see any picture quality differences before and after the changeover.
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:17 PM   #11
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You can transfer it, but only the sound plays.
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.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:40 PM   #12
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Nothing converted here yet.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:54 AM   #13
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I don't see any change either with the three channels I checked this morning in VHO4.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:20 AM   #14
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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.
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Old 04-16-2013, 04:30 PM   #15
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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?
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:08 PM   #16
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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?
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.
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:39 PM   #17
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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.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:19 AM   #18
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First, I started getting cablecard activation notices on all channels above 900 a LONG LONG time ago on my S3.
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.
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:43 AM   #19
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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.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:45 AM   #20
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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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcbrine View Post
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.

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Old 05-14-2013, 08:36 AM   #21
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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.
really??!!. I signed up for it a few weeks ago at half price. Free would be much better.
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:37 AM   #22
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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.
Both the SD and HD versions changed sometime last year. That was when I paired my cable cards so I would not have any issue receiving them.
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:51 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Distortedloop View Post
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.

I have a Premier 4-tuner but haven't activated it yet.

So much for tech support that actually knows what's going on.
A verizon tech getting it wrong? NO, say it ain't so!

Right now 899-90-whatever for HBO are coming in just fine on my TivoHD. No switch here yet for FIOS on HBO. But I do think the Cars.TV and some other channels might be as they come up black, but I don't get the missing signal or other station errors.
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:50 PM   #24
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But I do think the Cars.TV and some other channels might be as they come up black, but I don't get the missing signal or other station errors.
I'm not seeing that here (Laurel, MD).
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:21 AM   #25
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The .TV channels have finally been converted. The others, not.

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r285...e-.TV-channels

(I should also mention that the .TV channels have had proper guide data on TiVo (such as it is) for a while now.)
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