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Old 04-18-2012, 12:06 AM   #1
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MPEG4 comes to Fios

I just saw this over on AVS Forum -- the first h.264 Fios channels have rolled out, on 1472, 1473 and 1474. These are part of the baseball package, and I'm not subscribed, but I can confirm that my Premiere shows them as h.264 in the diagnostics screen. Someone who subscribes to the MLB package should check them out. May require 20.2.0a. But I'm putting this in the Coffee House instead of the Premiere section in the probably-vain hope that even a Series 3 might pick them up.
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:13 AM   #2
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The COX Phoenix Market has been testing h.264 for a while now.

TiVo's have had no problem turning the channels, even before software version 20. However, there are issues where cox can't properly map the channels to the cable card, and tech support has to map each authorized channel individual. (It was an issues on cox's head end and nothing to do with Tivo).

As long as Fios doesn't have any authorization issues, TiVo's should have no problem what so ever with the h.264 channels.
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:21 AM   #3
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This is good news then. I wish FiOS would switch all their HD channels to MPEG4 to free up space for more HD channels. Plus this would also have the benefit of more recording space on our TiVos as well since H.264 uses less space than MPEG2.
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:26 AM   #4
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So I assume the TiVo is recording these channels in the h.264 format and not converting them back to MPEG2 in some way...

Will this impact the PyTiVo decryption logic?

h.264 is 50% smaller then MPEG2 so this should be really good news if everything works the way it should!
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:19 AM   #5
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So I assume the TiVo is recording these channels in the h.264 format and not converting them back to MPEG2 in some way...

Will this impact the PyTiVo decryption logic?

h.264 is 50% smaller then MPEG2 so this should be really good news if everything works the way it should!
Your Tivo will continue to simply the record the digital feeds as-is. It will most likely be a TS file with H.264 video.

I would suspect that the decryption logic will need to be more inline with the Australian Tivos, but I suspect that is also why William is curious.
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:10 PM   #6
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The COX Phoenix Market has been testing h.264 for a while now.

TiVo's have had no problem turning the channels, even before software version 20. However, there are issues where cox can't properly map the channels to the cable card, and tech support has to map each authorized channel individual. (It was an issues on cox's head end and nothing to do with Tivo).

As long as Fios doesn't have any authorization issues, TiVo's should have no problem what so ever with the h.264 channels.
Where did you get this information? I have not seen a single posting where a Cox customer using a TiVo Premiere was receiving the H.264 channels without the TiVo beta software, which should be rolled into the Spring update. Margret has also confirmed a TiVo software update is needed for the Cox MPEG4 channels.

No one has revealed the actual issue, However, I can say the issue most likely has to due with copy protection where the TiVo software does not match the CCI Byte reported by the CableCARD. TiVo software reports all H.264 channels as 0x00 while the CableCARD is reporting 0x02, which is the correct CCI Byte Cox passes.
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:46 PM   #7
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Where did you get this information? I have not seen a single posting where a Cox customer using a TiVo Premiere was receiving the H.264 channels without the TiVo beta software, which should be rolled into the Spring update. Margret has also confirmed a TiVo software update is needed for the Cox MPEG4 channels.

No one has revealed the actual issue, However, I can say the issue most likely has to due with copy protection where the TiVo software does not match the CCI Byte reported by the CableCARD. TiVo software reports all H.264 channels as 0x00 while the CableCARD is reporting 0x02, which is the correct CCI Byte Cox passes.
honestly sounds like tivo is not tuning the proper channel. 0x00 is less restrictive then 0x02 so that shouldn't stop tivo from recording or displaying. Also if the tivo and the cable system dont properly negotiate the CCI flags withen a fraction of a second the the tivo is supposed to default to (off the top of my head) 0x03 since it's most restrictive. So if there was a problem with flags tivo wouldn't show 0x00. So it must not even be tuning or decoding the stream or something like that.
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:00 PM   #8
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Where did you get this information? I have not seen a single posting where a Cox customer using a TiVo Premiere was receiving the H.264 channels without the TiVo beta software, which should be rolled into the Spring update. Margret has also confirmed a TiVo software update is needed for the Cox MPEG4 channels.

No one has revealed the actual issue, However, I can say the issue most likely has to due with copy protection where the TiVo software does not match the CCI Byte reported by the CableCARD. TiVo software reports all H.264 channels as 0x00 while the CableCARD is reporting 0x02, which is the correct CCI Byte Cox passes.
I read some where, ether here or avs forums. That one one spend like 2 to 4 hours on the phone with tech support and they were able to authorized each channel individually and make them work.

But I only ever saw one post of someone saying they worked and that was a issue, everyone else said they weren't working. So, I dunno if that is true or not.

I also don't know if they had beta software or what the version was, I just know it was before the roll out of 20.x that I read it.
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:55 PM   #9
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my Premiere shows them as h.264 in the diagnostics screen. Someone who subscribes to the MLB package should check them out. May require 20.2.0a. But I'm putting this in the Coffee House instead of the Premiere section in the probably-vain hope that even a Series 3 might pick them up.
How would someone with a TiVo HD even know if those channels are h.264? E.g. I can tune those channels (they don't decrypt since I don't subscribe) but there is nothing on my "Account & System Information / DVR Diagnostics" screen to indicate h.264.

Or do you mean some other "diagnostics screen"? I can tune the channels using "Settings / Channels / Signal Strength - Cable". It reports "Digital signal acquired", but once again no indication if it's h.264.

BTW, the outsourced "programmers" TiVo hires in Elbonia still haven't bothered to fix the long festering bug that locks up the TiVo when entering "DVR Diagnostics", but that's just par for the course. Nothing that a pull-the-power-cord reboot can't fix.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:10 PM   #10
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On the Premiere it's the DVR diagnostics screen. Even though it says I'm not subscribed to the channel, the DVR diagnostics screen will show H.264 for the Video PID for that channel.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:35 PM   #11
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On the Premiere it's the DVR diagnostics screen. Even though it says I'm not subscribed to the channel, the DVR diagnostics screen will show H.264 for the Video PID for that channel.
The TiVo HD isn't as friendly.

Currently:
102 CNBC Video PID: 0x4BB
1474 MLB Video PID: 0x1D11
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:03 PM   #12
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Yes, the indicator (MPEG2 or H.264) is Premiere-only. It's possible that actually tuning the h.264 channels will also be Premiere-only. At this point, I don't know.
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Old 04-21-2012, 01:04 PM   #13
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Are there no Fios customers with the MLB package here? Come on, I wanna know if it works!
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:05 PM   #14
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One thing I know for sure is that the S3/HD units will not be able to support transferring H.264 recordings to a PC via TiVoToGo without an update. The S3/HD units still use the old program stream format for TTG transfers while the Premiere units use the newer transport stream format. The old PS format does not support H.264.* This is actually the main reason TiVo developed the new TS format. When they released TiVo in New Zealand a few years back they had to come up with the TS format because a lot of their channels in NZ use H.264 encoding.

So unless TiVo decides to release an update for the S3/HD platform I would not expect to be able to transfer any H.264 files via TTG even if they can properly tune and record the channels.

One more thing... It's bad form to use MPEG-4 and H.264 interchangeably. While H.264 is technically part of the MPEG-4 specification most people use MPEG-4 to refer to MPEG-4 pt.2, which is the older portion of the spec that DivX and Xvid were based on. H.264 is MPEG-4 pt.10 and is usually referred to as either H.264 or AVC.

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* H.264 can actually be forced into a PS file, but it's non standard and very few programs support it for playback.
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:46 PM   #15
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I don't think most people outside "the scene" ever refer to, or encounter, DivX or Xvid at all. "MPEG-4" is a common term, of the sort that's used by marketers, and you can see it reflected in the ".mp4" file extension. "H.264" is more precise, but it's too much a mouthful for most people, most of the time; too technical.

P.S. What I'm saying is, h.264 is mainstream MPEG-4.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:48 PM   #16
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I don't really understand all this technical stuff but does this mean that AMC will get a better quality feed? I can't even watch the horrible feed that is provided. I have to get all of my AMC shows through BT. Some of the scenes are barely watchable especially when it is a low lit scene.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:57 PM   #17
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I don't really understand all this technical stuff but does this mean that AMC will get a better quality feed? I can't even watch the horrible feed that is provided. I have to get all of my AMC shows through BT. Some of the scenes are barely watchable especially when it is a low lit scene.
The low bitrate is from the source. AMC sends it at a low bitrate.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:41 PM   #18
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I don't think most people outside "the scene" ever refer to, or encounter, DivX or Xvid at all. "MPEG-4" is a common term, of the sort that's used by marketers, and you can see it reflected in the ".mp4" file extension. "H.264" is more precise, but it's too much a mouthful for most people, most of the time; too technical.

P.S. What I'm saying is, h.264 is mainstream MPEG-4.
While the marketers may use it interchangeably, it's still wrong. The term MPEG-4 is used by most people in the industry to refer to MPEG-4 pt.2. We use AVC or H.264 to refer to MPEG-4 pt.10.

Whatever I was just trying to educate people, not chastise anyone.

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Old 04-25-2012, 12:54 PM   #19
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The low bitrate is from the source. AMC sends it at a low bitrate.
I believe his question was will AMC be sending a better feed if they move to H.264. Hopefully, is probably the only answer you will get. Not sure if aadam101 uses Crime Warner Cable or not, but my feed for FX, AMC, SyFy and other cable SD channels is breadboxed and low bitrate. Horrid indeed.

P.S. I agree with Dan203 in regards to MPEG4/H.264 terminology. I ALWAYS think MPEG-4 part2 when people say MPEG-4. And only think of MPEG-4 part10 when folks say H.264/AVC. I was never even a dabbler in XVID. I guess it comes from reading some of the video editing boards.
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Old 04-25-2012, 02:57 PM   #20
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I believe his question was will AMC be sending a better feed if they move to H.264. Hopefully, is probably the only answer you will get. Not sure if aadam101 uses Crime Warner Cable or not, but my feed for FX, AMC, SyFy and other cable SD channels is breadboxed and low bitrate. Horrid indeed.

...
But FiOS switching to MPEG4 ..oops.. H.264 has nothing to do with what bitrate or format that AMC sends their content.

My Algolith Flea really comes in handy from broadcast sources. It does a great job cleaning things up. I wish they never stopped making them.
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:00 PM   #21
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I believe his question was will AMC be sending a better feed if they move to H.264. Hopefully, is probably the only answer you will get. Not sure if aadam101 uses Crime Warner Cable or not, but my feed for FX, AMC, SyFy and other cable SD channels is breadboxed and low bitrate. Horrid indeed.
Like aaronwt said, AMC is not changing the way they send content. Most likely FIOS will be re-encoding the mpeg-2 feed on the fly. So FIOS will not be able to improve the quality but it will just let them save bandwidth for more channels/content. It would break too many things if the networks themselves switched to h.264 at the source. I'm sure some point in the future more networks will do that but I don't see it happening in the near future.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:42 PM   #22
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Verizon is not planning on reencoding anything to MPEG-4, AFAIK. Rather, they already reencode a bunch of channels from h.264 to MPEG-2, and their goal is to stop doing that. I think in the long term most channel providers will switch, but some already have.
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:27 AM   #23
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Verizon is not planning on reencoding anything to MPEG-4, AFAIK. Rather, they already reencode a bunch of channels from h.264 to MPEG-2, and their goal is to stop doing that. I think in the long term most channel providers will switch, but some already have.
Yeah, I was referring to AMC which is still mpeg-2. For now, you see only a few current channels actually sending h.264 from the source compared to mpeg-2. It will slowly change over time but I don't think it will be happening that quickly. I can't imagine any new channels using mpeg-2 however.
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:24 PM   #24
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Not sure if aadam101 uses Crime Warner Cable or not, but my feed for FX, AMC, SyFy and other cable SD channels is breadboxed and low bitrate. Horrid indeed.
I actually have Verizon FIOS. It's a shame that AMC has such great shows and then sends out such a poor quality feed. Walking Dead is especially bad because there are many night time scenes with lots of movement. I have to resort to getting the episodes via bittorrent just so I can get a high quality copy. Then the networks wonder why people steal........
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:48 PM   #25
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They'd better not leave the Series 3 and HD behind in this update. We know those boxes are fully capable of decoding h.264 because of their YouTube support. There will be a LOT of people getting their torches and pitchforks out if they start losing channels for no reason other than marketing.
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:07 PM   #26
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They'd better not leave the Series 3 and HD behind in this update. We know those boxes are fully capable of decoding h.264 because of their YouTube support. There will be a LOT of people getting their torches and pitchforks out if they start losing channels for no reason other than marketing.
I don't think they care about supporting old hardware. Lifetime support is up to them to define when it comes to upgrading the OS/Applications....

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Old 04-26-2012, 05:29 PM   #27
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IIRC, We know that the S3 and TivoHD can handle H.264. Some users push it to their Tivos with pyTivo.

I suppose we'll just have to wait and see what happens.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:12 PM   #28
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So no one ever came forward that had the Baseball package with those MPEG4 channels?
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:41 AM   #29
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If someone wants to pay for it, I'll add it and test. I don't watch baseball, so it is somewhat moot for me.
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:40 AM   #30
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Hopefully some more channels show up with MPEG4 soon.

EDIT: I mean H.264. I'll get it right one day.
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