Why doesn't the Premiere record in Mpeg4??

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by WebHobbit, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. Oct 27, 2010 #1 of 115
    WebHobbit

    WebHobbit Hairy Little Mutant

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    I know we are still waiting for TiVo to fix all the bugs with the Premiere but I have always wondered why did they continue with Mpeg2 when they designed the Premiere?

    Was there ever an official explanation? Mpeg2 is getting pretty ancient now and sure isn't very efficient for HD. Is the hardware up to the task? Is this something that could "One Day" come via software then we would all gain 2-3 times the recording capacity? Or will this not happen until the TiVo 5th generation box?
     
  2. Oct 27, 2010 #2 of 115
    kturcotte

    kturcotte Active Member

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    The problem is, for most people, that would require converting the incoming signal, since almost all cable companies still use MPEG-2.
     
  3. Oct 27, 2010 #3 of 115
    CuriousMark

    CuriousMark Forum Denizen

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    Because the premiere does not do the encoding. It simply copies what comes down the cable to the hard drive. Cable systems have not started a transition to MPEG-4 yet. When they do, I suspect the Premiere will be up to playing the MPEG-4 content back if the cable companies decide to use a format it supports.
     
  4. Oct 27, 2010 #4 of 115
    WebHobbit

    WebHobbit Hairy Little Mutant

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    OK, that makes sense.
     
  5. Oct 27, 2010 #5 of 115
    crxssi

    crxssi Veteran TiVo User

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    The TiVo HD/Premiere doesn't "record" digital TV. It simply stores the original digital stream on the hard drive and that stream is (almost always) Mpeg2. It is not at all feasible to try and transcode to something else like H.264.... with hardware like the TiVo, it would take several days per hour to process.

    Now, if you are more correctly asking if the TiVo Premiere can store and playback incoming H.264 from cable sources.... well... I don't know. I don't think any cable company does that. And all OTA is MPEG2 video.
     
  6. Oct 27, 2010 #6 of 115
    CuriousMark

    CuriousMark Forum Denizen

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    If I recall correctly, Netflix is MPEG-4 and it plays that, so if cable were to send down the same format, the DVR would be able to play it after a minor software update. Don't worry though, cable doesn't seem to be moving very fast in that direction.
     
  7. Oct 27, 2010 #7 of 115
    crxssi

    crxssi Veteran TiVo User

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    Nope, they would much rather make life much more annoying with SDV.
     
  8. Oct 28, 2010 #8 of 115
    txporter

    txporter One sec, almost done

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    The Premieres (and really TivoHDs as well) can play back H.264 video very well. There are many of us that have been pushing H.264 streams back to our tivos for about a year now. I thought I read that some of the Australian content was H.264, so there may be some proof of concept of storing a H.264 encoded stream (although I could be mis-remembering the Australian content stuff). At any rate, the Tivo shouldn't care how the video is encoded when it is writing to disk. The problems would come during playback.
     
  9. Jan 2, 2012 #9 of 115
    gamo62

    gamo62 Member

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    Well, it appears that Cincinnati Bell Fioptics is converting to MPEG4. I had issues with the newly added channels, because THEY were transmitted in MPEG4. The channels would not come in unless the encryption was removed. Since they were incorrectly assigned, they hve reverted to MPEG2 for the time being.

    The problem is that when it does convert over, there is going to be an encryption issue. I am using a Cisco PKM800 cable card. Hope that they can get this addressed.
     
  10. Jan 2, 2012 #10 of 115
    wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

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    I'm not sure if all the necessary standards have been developed for the deployment of h.264 over QAM in the U.S., or if they have, whether they've been implemented in current TiVo software. But it works in New Zealand, yes (with standard TiVo HD hardware, AFAIK, but their own software version -- 11.3).
     
  11. Jan 2, 2012 #11 of 115
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
  12. Jan 2, 2012 #12 of 115
    JosephB

    JosephB Member

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    Satellite is quickly moving to MPEG-4 (all DirecTV and Dish network HD programming is MPEG4, and they are now even putting non-profit SD programming on MPEG-4 and some SD locals).

    Cable is a little different in that they have a LOT of legacy support still built into their system (think about how many analog systems are out there). Plus, there are dozens of cable companies (medium size and larger) and they're not even uniform across their companies much less cable as an industry.

    I think, though, that they're getting close to a pretty big jump all of a sudden. With DOCSIS 3 and 100mbit internet packages, they need to free up a lot of bandwidth, not to mention the push for HD, on demand, and "start over" type services. The only holdup is a) support for analog customers and b) replacing all of their equipment in the field. Analog support is slowly going away, it's just a matter of dealing with customer pushback when it happens. It will happen, though. The main problem however is that if they want to migrate to h.264, they will have to replace ALL of their own equipment.

    With corporations sitting on mountains of cash, they may be getting close to the point of investing in that, though. When they do, I expect all of the mish-mash of stuff to kind of work itself out. You'll see systems completely dump analog, put everything on h.264, invest crazy in SDV, and maybe even drop SD simulcast. Drop analog and go straight HD only, and provide SD customers equipment that can downconvert.
     
  13. Jan 30, 2012 #13 of 115
    CoxInPHX

    CoxInPHX COX Communications

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    Cox Arizona is having problems with "Authorizing" these MPEG4 (H.264) channels on TiVo Premieres. I have yet to find any TiVo Premiere owner that has them Authorized yet.

    There is one report from a Ceton InfiniTV4 that got them Authorized on his first attempt.
     
  14. Jan 30, 2012 #14 of 115
    TooMuchTime

    TooMuchTime New Member

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    This discussion is very strange. About 2 years ago, when speaking to TiVo support, I was told that all HD programming was recorded in MPEG-4. Well, actually anything recorded as best quality.

    Guess I wasn't told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
     
  15. Jan 31, 2012 #15 of 115
    gconnery

    gconnery Member

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    Tivo HDs/Premieres/Elites record the video in whatever format the cable company sends the video out as. In most cases with live TV on cable or FiOS that is MPEG-2. The major reason of course is that cable systems have distributed cable STBs that don't support MPEG-4.

    However, with 3D channels for example Comcast has used MPEG-4 (h.264) and requires you to get one of the newer STBs that support both MPEG-4 and MPEG-2 if you want to watch one of these channels.
     
  16. Jan 31, 2012 #16 of 115
    crxssi

    crxssi Veteran TiVo User

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    Technically (to me anyway), the Premiere doesn't "record" anything that is digital. It simply stores it. It is not like the old analog days where it would "tune" into a station and digitize and THEN store it. Guess it is semantics, but it helps people to understand that the TiVo usually just grabbing what is available and placing it on the hard drive.

    And also over-the-air, freely broadcast, ATSC, too.

    I am pretty sure the Premiere can also store and playback H.264 encoded video, but it has to be at very specific settings. At the time the Premiere was being designed, there were few, if any, standards for pushing anything across cable that was not MPEG 2 (and NOTHING for over-the-air). There are lots of signaling issues and such that would have to be worked out, but I think the Premiere has support for accelerated playback of H.264, so it is theoretically possible for TiVo to add support for such systems in the future, through software updates.
     
  17. Jan 31, 2012 #17 of 115
    Mike Pfeifer

    Mike Pfeifer What?

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    I can't even imagine the headache it would be for Comcast (or any cable co) to completely switch over to a new (different) format system wide. What a disaster that would be.
     
  18. Jan 31, 2012 #18 of 115
    rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

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    It will not be a disaster once they deploy mpeg-4 capable boxes to the entire market. Many cable companies have been deploying these boxes for the last couple of years. Once they get to a point where the boxes that aren't capable are such a small percentage, then they can replace those boxes and be ready. Of course dealing with a cable company and their legacy equipment means this is going to take a long time.

    In fact, many markets are seeing mpeg-4 already for some sports packages (NHL Center Ice, etc). Over the next few years, it will not be that shocking to see more and more packages moving to mpeg-4. I don't think you will see mass switches to mpeg-4 at first, but more likely slow conversions so they can sample the issues that come up.
     
  19. Feb 1, 2012 #19 of 115
    zowwie85

    zowwie85 New Member

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    Well, count me in (or out, as it were) to the no H.264 channel authorizations on my two Premieres. I'm getting the runaround from Cox about it - FCC complaint filed.

    Going to get a SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime tomorrow and retire my TiVo HD - be interesting to see if those H.264 channels pop right up on that thing or what.
     
  20. Mar 8, 2013 #20 of 115
    Mike-Wolf

    Mike-Wolf New Member

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    Well according to what I've read online, Verizon FiOS is already rolling out MPEG4 switchovers. http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r28071533-Channels-changing-to-MPEG4-
     

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