DVR .mpg files sometimes not playable by Mac QuickTime Player

Support for and discussion of the HDHomeRun Premium TV service
Phil.S
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:24 pm

DVR .mpg files sometimes not playable by Mac QuickTime Player

Postby Phil.S » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:42 am

Sometimes the .mpg recordings created by the HDHomerun DVR are not playable by the Mac QuickTime Player and the file Preview is not created. I am using the HDHomeRun CONNECT Quatro and Mac HDHomerun 20180817 which is running on a 2012 2.5 GHz Mac Mini with 16 GB RAM. I have seen this with different versions of the Mac OS from El Capitan to Mojave Beta and different versions of the Mac HDHomerun program. Such recordings are still playable by the Mac HDHomerun program or app as well as other programs such as VLC. The QuickTime unplayable recordings have occurred for both the OTA and the Premium channels. What is causing the inconsistency in the encoding and creation of the .mpg files? Changes in the way the source is encoded? Or the behavior of the HDHomerun Record program?

foxbat121
Posts: 1570
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:48 pm

Re: DVR .mpg files sometimes not playable by Mac QuickTime Player

Postby foxbat121 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:52 am

The encoding is actually happening at the broadcasting station. The compressed transport stream transmits to you and HDHR DVR simply saves the transport data as is.

Phil.S
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:24 pm

Re: DVR .mpg files sometimes not playable by Mac QuickTime Player

Postby Phil.S » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:05 pm

Most of the .mpg files that I find don't play in QuickTime Player are the Premium channels for which SiliconDust is determining the encoding. That an occasional OTA or broadcast station that does it's own encoding also does not play in QuickTime Player suggests to me that both the encoding and the HDHomerun Record program contribute to creating .mpg files that don't play in QuickTime Player. Some Premium channels more consistently failed to have QuickTime playable files starting at the beginning of September, suggesting an encoding issue since the HDHomerun Record program is still the 20180817 version.

Phil.S
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:24 pm

Re: DVR .mpg files sometimes not playable by Mac QuickTime Player

Postby Phil.S » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:59 am

The Premium channels for which SiliconDust changed the encoding in early September are now almost all unplayable by the Mac QuickTime Player and the file Preview is not created. These .mpg video files were created by HDHomerun Record 20180817 on the Mac. I have used diagnostic tools such as MediaInfo from http://mediaarea.net/en/MediaInfo to verify encoding settings which are MPEG-TS and h264. This contrasts to the OTA channels which are MPEG-TS mpeg2video and are mostly playable by Quicktime. Tools such as FFmpeg from http://ffmpeg.org show many encoding errors in these files, which may include:

PES packet size mismatch
Number of bands (70) exceeds limit (40).
Error while decoding stream #0:1: Invalid data found when processing input
Sample rate index in program config element does not match the sample rate index configured by the container.

The Mac QuickTime Player can handle some of these errors, but apparently not errors in the sample rate index. Attempting to play the same files using the built-in video player in Windows 10, I find that it can handle some errors but not others and the playable files may be different than on the Mac. The Homerun HD program and VLC both can play the files since, I assume, they ignore more encoding errors than Quicktime or Windows 10.

Please update the HDHomerun Record program on the Mac and the video encoding so that the .mpg files are playable by the Mac QuickTime Player.

jasonl
Silicondust
Posts: 12878
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:23 pm

Re: DVR .mpg files sometimes not playable by Mac QuickTime Player

Postby jasonl » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:25 pm

A change to how the video is muxed on the Premium TV channels is being put into place now. Please make a test recording on a national channel like ESPN or CNN and check to see if it still has the same issue (others are still in the process of being rolled out).

Phil.S
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:24 pm

Re: DVR .mpg files sometimes not playable by Mac QuickTime Player

Postby Phil.S » Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:52 pm

I have now tested three additional shows on ESPN (NFL Live 20030807 [20180914-1730].mpg, First Take 20070507 [20180914-1400].mpg, SportsCenter With Scott Van Pelt 20170206 [20180914-0400].mpg) again using the DVR HDHomerun Record 20180817 on the Mac. None of the resulting .mpg files in the HDHomerun folder are playable by Quicktime. FFmpeg from http://ffmpeg.org shows similar encoding errors in these files as my previous post. I have also recorded many shows on AMC, CNBC, Fox News Channel, History Channel, Cartoon Network, Hallmark, National Geographic and SyFy and almost none of the .mpg files have been playable by Quicktime since the beginning of September. As before, the Homerun HD program and VLC both can play all the files.

I am interested if anyone else has found Quicktime unplayable .mpg files on the Mac when recording with the DVR. I have not tested recording using other platforms. If everyone else can play the .mpg files with Quicktime, perhaps there is something wrong with my hardware. It’s also possible that the encoding errors are the reason some of the people using other DVR software are having trouble, the other software may not be able to play/record the transport stream containing encoding errors.

nickk
Silicondust
Posts: 14897
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 9:39 am

Re: DVR .mpg files sometimes not playable by Mac QuickTime Player

Postby nickk » Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:58 pm

We have reproduced the problem with QuickTime and we are investigating.

Nick

nickk
Silicondust
Posts: 14897
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 9:39 am

Re: DVR .mpg files sometimes not playable by Mac QuickTime Player

Postby nickk » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:25 am

We have things working with QuickTime now... transcode upgrade will roll out overnight.

Nick

nateb
Silicondust
Posts: 280
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:22 pm

Re: DVR .mpg files sometimes not playable by Mac QuickTime Player

Postby nateb » Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:26 pm

Thanks for bringing this to our attention, btw. Was really helpful for testing.

Phil.S
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:24 pm

Re: DVR .mpg files sometimes not playable by Mac QuickTime Player

Postby Phil.S » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:25 pm

Thanks to the SiliconDust staff for all the work in getting the DVR recorded files to work with Quicktime. I’ve done some spot tests and found that Fast Money Halftime Report 20100216 [20180917-1600].mpg on CNBC, Futurama S01E03 19990406 [20180917-1705].mpg on Comedy Central and Walking the Dog 20170101 [20180917-2000].mpg on Hallmark all played with Quicktime. The Five 20180917 [20180917-2100].mpg (still recording) is the first program today on the Fox New Channel that I have seen work with Quicktime. I’ll continue testing different channels and report back as the transcode upgrade rollout continues.

Phil.S
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:24 pm

Re: DVR .mpg files sometimes not playable by Mac QuickTime Player

Postby Phil.S » Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:16 am

I’ve done more testing over the last week and found that most of the Premium channel programs that I recorded using the HDHomerun Record 20180817 DVR on the Mac work with Quicktime. There are still a few .mpg files that don’t play using Quicktime such as Fear the Walking Dead S01E02 20150830 [20180926-1007].mpg on AMC while the episode recorded immediately after did play with Quicktime. A couple of programs from the Cartoon Network did not play while others did. Similarly from the Fox News Channel most played in Quicktime while a few did not. So, great progress has been made, but some more work remains.

A less important, but probably related issue, is that some of the .mpg files that do play in Quicktime don’t generate file icons showing the preview, perhaps due to encoding errors that Quicktime can handle but the icon generating function can’t.

All of the Premium channel files that I’ve checked are h264 encoding. I understand that h265 (HEVC) is being tested. Please note that only Mac High Sierra and Mojave natively (built-in Quicktime) support h265 (HEVC). A switch to this format will mean that Macs with El Capitan and Sierra will only be able to play these files with 3rd party programs, which, while not a show stopper, is somewhat inconvenient.


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