Fooey..play in progress LAN recordings

B.J.

B.J.

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
Yesterday, I tried something that I do all the time with my Roku, but for some reason never tried with the Azbox.
What I do with the Roku, is say I've scheduled my PC to record a program at 8PM-9PM, and I get home at 8:10. I just go to my Roku, and tell it to Play the program, and it will play the program even though it is still recording. Actually, I can generally catch up to real time by skipping through commercials.

Well yesterday, I decided to try this on the Azbox. I locked my Genpix on an HD MPEG4 channel, and started recording it, then after about 2 minutes of recording, I went to the Azbox, into the File Manager page, pulled up the file I was recording, and bingo, the video popped up, beautiful quality, good sound. I was happy.

But then, after about 2 minutes of viewing, the Azbox suddenly popped back to the File Manager view, ie it quit playing the program. I was sitting there trying to figure out why, then I looked at the screen, and noticed that it had the file length listed as the number from when I went into that menu, which was after 2 minutes of starting the recording, even though by now the file size was much bigger. So I tried it again, and this time waited about 5 minutes before going to that directory and starting playing the file. Sure enough, it worked again, and this time it played for 5 minutes before aborting.

I decided that the difference between the Roku and the Azbox is that the Roku must play until it reaches an end-of-file, or perhaps until no more input is received, but the Azbox only plays until the file size at startup is reached.

Too bad, because this has been a very useful feature of the Azbox, and it COULD be a good feature of the Azbox, particularly because the Roku won't play MPEG4 or 4.2.2 files, so I was really hoping that it would do this.

I put in a "Suggestion" post at the Azbox site, but no-one seems interested in the topic, so I'm guessing that this won't get changed. :(

It is pretty neat that the Azbox plays these HD MPEG4 files better than similar MPEG2 files, apparently because the MPEG4 bitrate is lower than an equivalent MPEG2 bitrate.
 
AcWxRadar

AcWxRadar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
4
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
B.J.

I haven't experiemented with much of these specialty features on the AZBox and I never had a box that could do such things before, so I am pretty green on this.

However, from what I gather, you basically want to use the "TIMESHIFT" feature during a "RECORD" session without interfering with (or halting) the recording session itself.

Is this the basic idea of what you were doing with the ROKU?

There probably is a method to do this or at least a way for OpenSat to implement it if not already available.

This would be a very nice feature, indeed! Especially for sports and some movies. You don't always want to wait for the end of the program to be permitted to start watching it from the very beginning.

RADAR
 
zamar23

zamar23

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 5, 2009
1,204
1
Mid West
B.J.

The feature is called "Timeshifting", as Radar pointed, and is usually in high demand in STBs. Its standard on SA Cable boxes. However, there may be hardware limitations to implement it in current AZ configuration, as it can't even record HBR, and this feature requires USB playback and recording processing at the same time thus doubling workload on its USB chipset and bus.

They certainly didn't think that same feature can be "shared" btw 2 independent devices: one records, and another plays back with a delay. I think its easy for them to fix the FW to do it, but because of very low demand I doubt it will be implemented any time soon. Besides playing HBR over LAN is again a limiting factor. People buy AZ to avoid paying or get rid of other similar boxes, not to create a box collection, as marketing research discovered. ;)
 
B.J.

B.J.

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
Radar & ZAMAR

I *THINK* the time shifting function only refers to when you're recording FROM the Azbox onto a USB or internal HD. That's not what I'm trying to do. But even if it was, I've read posts that the time-shifting doesn't work well when you get out to an hour or so of viewing.

But what I'm trying to do, is this:

Using TT3200 or Twinhan 1020a on a PC, using TSREADER, start the saving of a program onto the PC's HD.
Using the Azbox, go into File Manager, and PLAY the file while it's being recorded on the PC.
IE, the Azbox doesn't even know that a recording is in progress, so I don't think that the time shift function would be at all involved. Plus, I don't even have a HD hooked up currently.

Several reasons I like to do it this way, including:
(1) I often want to record Ku, and Azbox is only connected to C-band.
(2) Recording on PC results in just one big file, and I can quickly edit it with VideoReDo without need to transfer it to a PC.
(3) Doing it this way means that the receiving/recording function is done on the PC, freeing up CPU load on the Azbox, so that it is only responsible for playback, which I think will allow it to handle high bitrate streams better.
(4) I want to be able to play video from some satellite channels that the Azbox isn't capable of tuning, but is capable of playing, such as Turbo 8PSK and DCII streams. In fact the transponder I was testing this on was a Turbo 8PSK channel that I couldn't have locked with the Azbox.

My long term goal is to be able to delay NFL football games by 25 seconds to sync up with Sirius radio. I used to be able to do this with the Roku when the games were 4.2.0, but I couldn't do it this year, except when the games were either on OTA ATSC or ESPN. With ESPN/ATSC, I was actually not even recording, I was just doing HTTP streaming, and I could hit the pause on the Roku for 25 seconds, and it would stay in sync. On a couple occasions, I needed to delay feeds that were MPEG4, and my Roku doesn't do MPEG4, so I tried doing the same thing with my PopCornHour, however for some reason, the PCH kept catching up. I guess it's clock wasn't quite accurate enough. I think it worked better when I did the record/remote playback thing, but the sync still wasn't quite as good as with the Roku for some reason.


Anyway, this is a nice feature.
The ROKU can either accept HTTP streaming or playback of 4.2.0 MPEG2 while recording.
The PCH can accept HTTP streaming or playback of SD 4.2.2 and HD MPEG2 or MPEG4, however sync timing is off.
The Azbox potentially would be able to do all modes except the high bitrate HD, and hopefully the high bitrate thing will eventually be fixed.
 
AcWxRadar

AcWxRadar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
4
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
B.J.

OK, I can understand what you are wishing to do here and I think the biggest problem is what you yourself stated:

"IE, the Azbox doesn't even know that a recording is in progress, so I don't think that the time shift function would be at all involved. Plus, I don't even have a HD hooked up currently."

Now that Opensat has added the Streaming video feature, maybe what you are wishing will eventually be something that can be implemented with the AZBox. If it could multi-task and stream a video, record it to a HDD and incorparate the timeshift at the same time, then you could quite possibly do something similar to what you desire in a round about way. Although it does seem rather fancy to me, what you are doing with the ROKU and the PC.

RADAR

P.S. There is something that I would like to be able to do with the AZBox, and that is delay either the video or the audio stream that I receive from the satellite with a variable control adjustment. This isn't like what you are doing in your example, but I would like to sync the audio and video better on some programs. Every once in a while, I find a program where these streams are not synced up properly and it really annoys me. It isn't the way I have my system configured or the satellite feed itself. It seems more to be a problem with either the program that they are uplinking or how they are uplinking it. I will find one program where it is really bad and the next program on the same station will be just fine.
 
B.J.

B.J.

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
P.S. There is something that I would like to be able to do with the AZBox, and that is delay either the video or the audio stream that I receive from the satellite with a variable control adjustment. This isn't like what you are doing in your example, but I would like to sync the audio and video better on some programs. ..

I don't know of a good way to alter the sync of something live when playing through something like the Azbox or Roku. I've done it with analog A/V stuff using 2 TIVOs.

If you record something, and IT has bad sync, then VideoReDo has a way to shift the audio in either direction. I used it once, and it seemed to work, but it took a bit of work.
 
AcWxRadar

AcWxRadar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
4
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
I don't know of a good way to alter the sync of something live when playing through something like the Azbox or Roku. I've done it with analog A/V stuff using 2 TIVOs.

If you record something, and IT has bad sync, then VideoReDo has a way to shift the audio in either direction. I used it once, and it seemed to work, but it took a bit of work.

B.J.

I don't wish to detract from your post and hijack it, so I won't dwell on this issue of mine too long. It was just something that you mentioned that spurred me to bring it up.

I know of a way to do what I desire. If I incorporate a delay line in the video circuit or the audio circuit, then I can match them both up. However, then the delay is permanently in place until you alter the delay line, therefore, not conveniently adjustable.

I only run across a few programs here and there that are this way, so a permanent and fixed delay line would cause more issues than it would fix. The bad sync shows are not any that I would really want to record, but that I would probably watch more if the sync was proper. They are usually older shows on RTN.

Again, I don't want to spend too much time on this subject, it was just a sidebar, so I'll go back to your initial topic. If I learn anything new that can help this, I will let you know, for certain.

RADAR
 

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