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Old 10-02-2008, 12:59 PM   #61
wmcbrine
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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.
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:44 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ely105 View Post
Does this require VLC to stream or is VLC just for transcoding. Would be great to get this working on a ReadyNAS so that you don't need a PC to stream directly from your NAS box...
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.
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:47 PM   #63
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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.
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.
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:49 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by wmcbrine View Post
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.
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?
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:28 PM   #65
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Ok great. Will it run properly if VLC is not present?
Yes.

Quote:
would/could there be a config flag that could say VLC not present so don't try and use it?
It's handled automatically.
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:31 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcbrine
Is there a new syntax for the command line?
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}}'

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Old 10-02-2008, 04:29 PM   #67
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There are a few changes to the command line syntax
Where is that documented?
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Old 10-02-2008, 06:14 PM   #68
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Where is that documented?
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.
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Old 10-02-2008, 06:58 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by wmcbrine View Post
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.
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
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Old 10-02-2008, 08:37 PM   #70
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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.
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Old 10-02-2008, 10:00 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by wmcbrine View Post
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.
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?
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Old 10-19-2008, 01:23 PM   #72
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[quote=wmcbrine;6690348]I'm thinking about how to do audio streams. Stay tuned. (The "Compiler did not align" message is standard, BTW. You'll see that on any stream, video or audio.)
QUOTE]

Just checking in to see if you had any more thoughts on streaming an audio only feed. Thanks a bunch.

Mark
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Old 10-19-2008, 03:08 PM   #73
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:18 PM   #74
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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.
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:42 PM   #75
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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.
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Old 10-25-2008, 10:15 PM   #76
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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?]
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:58 AM   #77
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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.
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Old 11-02-2008, 01:20 PM   #78
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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.
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Last edited by wmcbrine : 11-02-2008 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 11-03-2008, 06:51 AM   #79
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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.
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Old 11-03-2008, 02:50 PM   #80
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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
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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Old 11-03-2008, 03:30 PM   #81
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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.
In addition, make sure you have the "Home Applications" enabled under the Music, Photos & More Menu [very bottom].

Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcbrine
... 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.
wmcbrine, it's all good. It certainly isn't a pressing matter... but honestly I'd like any home app to stream subtitles to my Tivo without having to re-encode the video with static subtitles... Like a subtitle "option" just like Closed Captioning is today...

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodtrips
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 will agree with what goodtrips said about audio quality. Comparing pytivo and HME/VLC for just a sample file on my system I find the audio is much different- with the advantage clearly going to pytivo when re-encoding is necessary... maybe the difference is between the encoders...

Could it be a setting in VLC causing it? Probably...
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Old 11-03-2008, 03:55 PM   #82
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wmcbrine, it's all good. It certainly isn't a pressing matter... but honestly I'd like any home app to stream subtitles to my Tivo without having to re-encode the video with static subtitles... Like a subtitle "option" just like Closed Captioning is today...
I don't think you will be able to get away without transcoding although it could be done on the fly. The Tivo does not respond to embedded captions in the streaming media as it does downloaded ones so unless there is a new undiscovered mechanism, hard coded subtitles will be the only path.

When I have used vlc to stream in other circumstances it always seemed to require something like
--sout=#transcode{vcodec=...,soverlay} to make this work.
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Old 11-03-2008, 04:05 PM   #83
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The captions don't have to be embedded. They could be rendered via HME, just like the progress bar, info, etc.

I just had a look at an .srt file, and it seems ridiculously simple. I'm thinking about how to handle it... I can probably refresh it on resource info events.
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Old 11-03-2008, 04:14 PM   #84
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I don't think you will be able to get away without transcoding although it could be done on the fly. The Tivo does not respond to embedded captions in the streaming media as it does downloaded ones so unless there is a new undiscovered mechanism, hard coded subtitles will be the only path.

When I have used vlc to stream in other circumstances it always seemed to require something like
--sout=#transcode{vcodec=...,soverlay} to make this work.
Sorry, I meant "static" subtitles like using a separate application to re-encode the video PRIOR to streaming it with the subtitles permanently overlayed on the video. It would be most beneficial to "decode" a .srt file in the same directory as the .avi/etc on the fly... or something like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcbrine
The captions don't have to be embedded. They could be rendered via HME, just like the progress bar, info, etc.

I just had a look at an .srt file, and it seems ridiculously simple. I'm thinking about how to handle it... I can probably refresh it on resource info events.
Awesome news! Thanks for looking into it!
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Old 11-03-2008, 04:16 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by wmcbrine View Post
The captions don't have to be embedded. They could be rendered via HME, just like the progress bar, info, etc.

I just had a look at an .srt file, and it seems ridiculously simple. I'm thinking about how to handle it... I can probably refresh it on resource info events.
That would be good if it can be done that way.

The only concern I had about this approach when it first came up was with respect to synchronization. People who are used to using captions are sensitive to synchronization issues in the same way people are sensitive to audio/video synchronization issues. Good timings are tightly coupled and I did not know how much feedback you can get about what it actually on the screen right now vs what is in the stream buffer. The learning curve to find out seemed too high for me vs the time I had available when it first came up.
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Old 11-03-2008, 04:32 PM   #86
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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.
That is where I'm looking and no new icon shows up for HME/VLC. I must be having a network issue. I tried rebooting my tivo and shutting off my firewall software. Guess I'll try changing the port.
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Old 11-03-2008, 04:48 PM   #87
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I must be having a network issue.
Sounds like it. Worse comes to worst, if you run HME/VLC on port 80, you can try "Manually add a server..." on the TiVo end.
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Old 11-07-2008, 09:26 AM   #88
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I installed HME/VLC 2.5 last night. I am currently using pyTivo. Since I exclusively watch and then delete, I thought it would be better to stream instead of transfer...

However, in 2 back to back tests (with ripped DVDs), streaming causes tearing, and macroblocking, whereas transfering (and playing in real-time) yields perfect transfers.

Is this expected? It didn't matter if I paused either one to allow it to buffer more or less. If I hit 8 second rewind the same tearing was present each time. My tivos are wired, not wireless. Thoughts?

I also tried tivostream, but I couldn't get that to show up on either of my Tivos...

Thanks.
-Kevin
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Old 11-07-2008, 01:21 PM   #89
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Are you streaming files with names that end in ".mpg" or ".mp4"? If not, they'll be reencoded, so there'll be some quality lost. pyTivo is more sophisticated in how it determines whether or not to reencode -- and when it does, it encodes to MPEG-2. HME/VLC uses MPEG-1.
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:13 PM   #90
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No. In fact I was trying to find a solution that would explicitly *not* require reencoding. These are VOBs ripped from DVDs, renamed to .mpg.

And the quality of the video (when not tearing, or macroblocking) is absolutely DVD quality.

-Kevin
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