HR10 Transcode MPEG4 to MPEG2 in Software

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by trausch, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. Aug 6, 2007 #1 of 14

    trausch New Member

    Jan 8, 2004
    Question: Is it possible for an HR10-250 to save the MPEG4 stream to the hard drive and then transcode it to MPEG2 in software? In other words, using existing hardware can I season pass an MPEG4 stream and have the box translate it to an MPEG2 stream for play back?

    Oh yeah, by possible I mean theoretically since I know that the box currently can't do it.
  2. Aug 6, 2007 #2 of 14

    ebonovic has gone his way...

    Jul 24, 2001
    No it is not...

    From an MPEG point of view.... it has no chipset, to decode the MPEG-4... so that includes even the chipset to convert it to something else.


    Even if it could... it's tuners can not see the 99 and 103 SAT, and receive the Ka bands either.
  3. Aug 6, 2007 #3 of 14

    trausch New Member

    Jan 8, 2004
    I don't understand. The TIVO is just a linux box and the MPEG4 stream is just a stream of bits. Can't Tivo write some software to convert an MPEG4 file into an MPEG 2 file? This way I can play it on my box.
  4. Aug 6, 2007 #4 of 14

    nrc Cracker Soul

    Nov 17, 1999
    Living in a...
    The CPU in a TiVo unit (or most CE devices) doesn't have anough horsepower to decode or encode MPEG2 or MPEG4 at anywhere close to realtime speeds. They use custom chips to offload that task. The chip in the HR10 cannot handle MPEG4.
  5. Aug 6, 2007 #5 of 14

    cramer Member

    Aug 14, 2000
    Sure. In pure theory, it can run what ever code someone builds for it. However, it's tiny sub-100MHz processor cannot hope to do it in the time people would be willing to wait. It has plenty to do without the burden of transcoding.
  6. Aug 6, 2007 #6 of 14

    TyroneShoes HD evangelist

    Sep 6, 2004
    For example, my 4-year old aging PowerBook has only a 867 MHz processor (and it's still pretty speedy for most things) but it takes it about 20 minutes to transcode 3 minutes of MPEG-2 to MPEG-4, and that's SD MPEG-4. A sub-100 MHz proc would probably take a couple hours to transcode that much HD video. Real-time is completely out of the question without a dedicated chipset, and Tivo would never even go there if there were the slightest delay in playback.
  7. Aug 6, 2007 #7 of 14

    Ereth Unemployed Bum

    Jun 16, 2000
    Well, the more important point is that the HR10-250 isn't capable of receiving the stream from the new satellites, because it can't see the Ka/Ku bands that they use.

    So even if you WERE willing to wait 2 days for it to transcode an episode of your favorite show, it couldn't receive it off the satellite in the first place.
  8. Aug 7, 2007 #8 of 14

    tadrow New Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    The processor in the HR10 can barely bring up the menu within 15 seconds, I'm not sure how it could be expected to have the horsepower to transcode video in real-time. Encoding HD video is an incredibly processor intensive process to do in software.
  9. Aug 7, 2007 #9 of 14

    TyroneShoes HD evangelist

    Sep 6, 2004
    Is that really the important point? I'm going to vote not, seeing as how Ka is just the frequency band, and frequencies are very easily converted.

    Theoretically, you could connect a HR10 to a properly-aimed SlimLine and with the simple addition of a $20 converter, get the LNBF output back to L-band, which the HR10 definitely sees. Assuming the HR10 had the decoding capability (which IS the important point) and the guide mapping was done, the modulation is still DVB, so it would be very simple to make a HR10 (with M4 decoding) work on the new HD channels.

    Getting the signal into the box at the proper frequency, demodulating it to M4, and writing it to/reading it from the HDD is the easy part. But you just won't find M4 decoding inside the HR10, so I think that might actually be the important point.
  10. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    How about a USB co-processor dongle? You pipe MPEG4 into it, it outputs MPEG2.
  11. wolflord11

    wolflord11 Lord of Darkness

    Jan 16, 2007
    Why can people just not realise that the HR10's are nearing the end of their useful life as a HD unit.

    Yes we all love our Tivo Powered Units, but there comes a time when technology moves on...... and its about time people moved on to.

    The HR10's cannot even see the Sats needed for the New HD Mpeg4 Channels. So instead of wasting Money and time coming up with ideas to be able to trancode the stream from Mpeg4 to Mpeg2, you first have to work out a way to even "see" the New Sats.

    Then even if you could see them, you are going to have to sit around for Hours at a time transcoding the Program, AND you cannot watch live TV on the unit.

    Why dont some people get an old 100MHz CPU Computer, and see how long it takes to transcode an Mpeg4 to Mpeg2..... I am willing to bet you will give up once you realise how long it will take.

    Technology moves on..... its about time the HR10's are put to retirement. Yes I know I am going to be cast into the pits of damnation for saying it, but its the truth!
  12. TyroneShoes

    TyroneShoes HD evangelist

    Sep 6, 2004
    I hardly think anyone here is in denial of the shelf life of the HR10. But that doesn't mean they can't be useful for another few years, at least as a OTA recorder. If DTV doesn't boat-anchor them when the Tivo agreement runs out, I'll bet many will provide reliable OTA recording long after the HR20 is replaced with whatever POS DTV dreams up next. THAT, is actually the truth.

    Three years is a lifetime for most PVRs. Are there a lot of 3-year-old PVRs out there other than the HR10? Not really. Most have either failed or become obsoleted by better models. The HR10 is good enough to find ways to keep it running, especially since there is no practical upgrade path that is either as good or as reliable.

    The fact that folks question whether the HR10 can be made to do what it wasn't ever designed for is a testament to how good it really is, and to those owners' desperation at not seeing a viable alternative. It's not that we don't see the handwriting on the wall. Don't mistake desperation for the inability to grasp reality.
  13. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    Columbia, MD
    That is how I am already using mine. It has become unreliable for satellite recording since I took one input away (dual tuner bug I documented elsewhere) but both tuners can still be used for OTA HD recording, so life is good. OTA HD primarily on HR10, the 100 "other" HD channels coming on HR20.
  14. TyroneShoes

    TyroneShoes HD evangelist

    Sep 6, 2004
    Here's an interesting example of how long conversion to M4 takes. In this case, we're talking SD-resolution DV using an external hardware chipset. Notice that even with the work offloaded to a dedicated chip, it still takes over 11 minutes to convert a 10-minute SD clip on a fast Mac. IOW, not capable of real time. You can see how impractical real-time HD would be. Maybe in a year or two.

    Cool device, tho :)

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