Home Media app, playing SAP instead of Primary Audio (1 Viewer)

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Niv

SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 3, 2018
76
71
Phoenix, AZ
If Dish Tech Support monitors this forum I’m referring to Case ID 765414

I like the ability to have the Hooper 3 skip commercials on NBC & ABC. I know at some point in time skipping happens on CBS & Fox but if it doesn’t do it within a reasonable time frame then why bother. :) My solution on CBS & Fox is to have a Plex Server DVR setup on an over the air antenna (OTA). I can record CBS & Fox with the Plex server removing the commercials like the Hooper but in a timely manner and not just in prime time. I’m able to view the programs on the Home Media app (HHM) built into the Hooper via the Plex server which is a compatible DLNA device.

The Plex server is getting the OTA recording from a SiliconDust HDHomeRun Extended tuner (SDT). It records in .ts file format which the HHM doesn’t recognize so it has to be converted to a .mkv file which the HHM has no problems with. The server is hosted on a Mac computer. I have an automated process which takes the .ts file, converts it into a .mkv file and put it in a media folder accessible to the HHM.

Here is the problem. There seems to be a coding error in the HHM. SDT records all broadcast information (CC, SAP, SS) SAP is a second audio track that can contain a different language or another english track which has an audio description of the action going on in the scene along with the regular program audio. Also it’s in stereo, not SS. HHM is playing the SAP channel instead of the primary audio. If there is only one audio track it will play that track, if there are 2 audio tracks it will play the 2nd instead of the first.

There are no settings for the HHM to select which audio tracks to play. There are Hooper setting which control Hooper viewing & recordings. All the Hooper setting are set to playback primary audio, SAP is turned off. There are no problems with anything coming directly from satellite on the Hooper.

This is a unique problem well above the pay grade of the primary level tech support person. I was hoping to get elevated to the next level but my rep was convinced that with all the Hooper settings set correctly to not pass SAP audio that the problem is with the media server not the Hooper. She begrudgingly submitted a feedback report (ID 765414) which I’m sure no one will look at. Here is why she is wrong:

TV’s: There are 4 TV’s hooked into the Hooper. The main TV is a LG 4K, which is connected to the Hooper via HDML. The other 3 are connected by a dedicated wired network, no Joey’s involved. They get their connection by the component out of the Hooper which is then sent as 720P over Cat 5 (generic term). All TV’s have SAP turned off. None of the TV’s have a SAP problem with OTA signals or from Hooper recorded or live broadcasts. All 4 TV’s are picking up the SAP channel when the Hooper is playing a file by the HHM app. Conclusion, SAP is coming from the HHM app on the Hopper.

Recorded file: Playing the file with VLC media app on the Mac computer which the Plex Server is hosted, you can choose which audio track you want to play. Primary track is English SS. Secondary track is English with scene description in stereo. Both audio tracks are present on the video file that is loaded on the server. I also made a test file which I put music on the secondary audio track. Guess which track the HHM played. I had a music video . . .. Conclusion, the HHM app is playing the SAP track instead of the Primary Audio track.

Plex Server: The LG 4K TV has a built in media player which is more robust than the HHM. It will playback 4K files off the Plex Server, HHM won’t. If I’m watching the main TV I’m going through the built in player. Same network, Same server, Same DLNA type connection. It plays the primary audio not the SAP. My iPhone’s, iPads & AppleTV have the Plex Media app. This is on a different network (WiFi or LTE vs the hardwired network that the Hooper, TV and computer are on) but it’s the same Plex server. Primary audio is played not SAP. Conclusion, only the HHM app on the Hooper is having trouble selecting the Primary Audio track, all other players default to the Primary Audio track.

The HHM has a coding error causing it to default to the SAP track. It should follow the setting of the Hooper. If not that, it should default to the primary audio track. This should be easy to diagnose, it’s not a once in awhile thing. It happens all the time.

I’m not sure if many people are using the HHM, but it was one of the features that brought me to DISH and the Hooper. Prior to that, I’d been with DirecTV forever. The Hooper is superior to the Gene because it is an all in one box with features like the HHM. I’d like for those features to work correctly. A year and a half or so ago the HHM got screwed up in a software update and didn’t work right for about 9 months. (video played as a tiny thumbnail instead of full screen) I hope someone higher up in tech support will see this post and say, “Houston we have a problem” and look into it. It may be just one line of code.

I will come up with work around, like I did the 9 months it was down. It would seem like I shouldn’t have to. Is anyone else noticing this problem?

My back ground. I’ve been involved in all aspects of video production since 1979. From the network level (ABC News) to being a hired gun for the past 20 years or so. (have camera will travel) Half the battle of video production is trouble shooting. There is a coding problem with the Home Media app. (case ID 765414)
 
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Niv

SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 3, 2018
76
71
Phoenix, AZ
The Home Media app is built into the Hooper. It's in both the Hopper 2 & 3. If you hit menu it is the very last icon at the bottom of the list. Except for defaulting to SAP audio it's a great app for watching your video files through the Hopper. It will connect with any DLNA complient device. I'm using a Plex Server which is free. The server is anyway, if you want to use it with the Plex Media app you have to pay for the app. Home Media doesn't have anything to do with Plex Media except to connect to the server. I got a lifetime Plex pass otherwise it's a monthly or annual subscription. Once again you don't need that to use the Home Media player with the server. I got the Plex Pass because of the DVR service it includes, which does everything the Hooper does, program guide, commercial skip . . . except it skips all networks, CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, CW and any IND you have in your area. Also the difference in DISH compressed local and OTA recordings is like the difference between VHS and HD. Particularly if your TV is up converting to 4K.

Oh, server and Hooper have to be on the same network.
 
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HipKat

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Some of you guys are way to technically ahead of me. I'm jealous. The only thing I use Plex for is to stream from the EHD on my computer to my TV
 

sam_gordon

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May 21, 2009
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Audio channels, in addition to numbers, also have a descriptor (English, Spanish, etc). Are both of the channels labeled "English" by any chance? I'm wondering if the HoPper is looking at the description instead of the number and getting confused because they both say "English".
 

Scott Greczkowski

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Ahhh Gotcha, the way I read it you were watching your hopper using your HD Homerun. :)

For some reason my hopper won't play any channels from my HD Homerun. The Home Media feature of the Hopper unfortunately was never well supported, and I have heard a few times they were thinking of removing it, just because DLNA did not improve over time.
 

Niv

SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 3, 2018
76
71
Phoenix, AZ
Hipkat, you should see your Plex Server on the devices tab in the Home Media app if it is on the same network as the Hopper. You could stream from your computer to your TV via the Hopper. Not sure if that would be a lot different but it's nice having everything in one place.

Sam_Gorden I don't see anywhere with in the Home Media app to see different audio tracks let alone names. The VLC app on the computer lists the audio tracks as English and Spanish. On the Spanish track which Home Media is playing, is English with the blow by blow description which is very annoying.

Scott Greczkowski, I'm not playing directly from the HD Homerun, it does show up in the device list but the Hopper doesn't know what to do with it. Homerun is recording the shows via the Plex Server DVR function which also does a decent job of removing the commercials. Not perfect, but not bad. Those recordings go to the Plex Server which the Hopper can see and play via the Home Media app.
 

HipKat

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Hipkat, you should see your Plex Server on the devices tab in the Home Media app if it is on the same network as the Hopper. You could stream from your computer to your TV via the Hopper. Not sure if that would be a lot different but it's nice having everything in one place.

Sam_Gorden I don't see anywhere with in the Home Media app to see different audio tracks let alone names. The VLC app on the computer lists the audio tracks as English and Spanish. On the Spanish track which Home Media is playing, is English with the blow by blow description which is very annoying.

Scott Greczkowski, I'm not playing directly from the HD Homerun, it does show up in the device list but the Hopper doesn't know what to do with it. Homerun is recording the shows via the Plex Server DVR function which also does a decent job of removing the commercials. Not perfect, but not bad. Those recordings go to the Plex Server which the Hopper can see and play via the Home Media app.
Oh yeah, it's on there. I can stream via the Hopper, the app on my LG TV or my Firestick, which is what I usually use, since the Audio seems to be much better
 

Niv

SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 3, 2018
76
71
Phoenix, AZ
The LG player is by far the best. I don't know about the audio because I put all audio through a Bose system which always sounds good. I only use the Hooper on the other TV's. The LG player remembers where you left off, plays a wider range of files, plays the PRIMARY audio track :). It will play my recorded .ts files directly which are stunning on a 4K TV. If your LG is a 4K, it plays 4K files off the Plex Server. I've downloaded a bunch of YouTube 4K scenery files that I play in the background when we have visitors.
 

HipKat

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The LG player is by far the best. I don't know about the audio because I put all audio through a Bose system which always sounds good. I only use the Hooper on the other TV's. The LG player remembers where you left off, plays a wider range of files, plays the PRIMARY audio track :). It will play my recorded .ts files directly which are stunning on a 4K TV. If your LG is a 4K, it plays 4K files off the Plex Server. I've downloaded a bunch of YouTube 4K scenery files that I play in the background when we have visitors.
I Agree. Mine's not a 4K, and I use the Polk system we sell for Audio via optical. Not sure why Audio sounds better through the Firestick, but I noticed it's the same using Firestick for Netflix and Amazon Prime. I've had a few movies where using the LG App, I had to go into the Audio settings and change them to get any sound and I read somewhere that some MKv files don't process audio on LG's?? (It was a while ago)

The one thing I haven't done yet is setup the Plex Cloud, which I need to do since I'm on the road so often
 

Niv

SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 3, 2018
76
71
Phoenix, AZ
I think they discontinued the Plex Cloud. It was limited on who you could link to. I don't remember the details but when I looked into it, it seems that the one service (One drive or something like that) that I had, Plex Cloud wasn't available unless you had their paid service.

I've have no issues with .mkv files and audio. I process all my files with with 48K audio. Netfixs, Media Player, stuff coming directly through the TV is going to the Bose via Optical. Hooper goes through the Bose unit via HTML both video and audio. I have less lip sync problems that way. I was worried about over processing, the Bose up converts to 1080p (it's an older unit) then the LG up converts to 4K. That hasn't been an issue. When I had the Hopper going directly to the LG and to Bose with Optical there were lip sync issues.
 

HipKat

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I think they discontinued the Plex Cloud. It was limited on who you could link to. I don't remember the details but when I looked into it, it seems that the one service (One drive or something like that) that I had, Plex Cloud wasn't available unless you had their paid service.

I've have no issues with .mkv files and audio. I process all my files with with 48K audio. Netfixs, Media Player, stuff coming directly through the TV is going to the Bose via Optical. Hooper goes through the Bose unit via HTML both video and audio. I have less lip sync problems that way. I was worried about over processing, the Bose up converts to 1080p (it's an older unit) then the LG up converts to 4K. That hasn't been an issue. When I had the Hopper going directly to the LG and to Bose with Optical there were lip sync issues.
I pay for Plex. It's only $4.00 a month. Bummer about the cloud. I wanted to take advantage of it, but just never did. BTW, my LG is about 4 years old now, so older drivers, codecs, etc, I'm sure, are the culprit
 
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osu1991

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Sep 4, 2004
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The fire tv devices support more audio codecs than the LG WebOS app, which leads to better sound as the server doesn’t have transcode any audio. Personally I prefer the fire stick and 4K Fire tv over my LG app. I’m not a big fan of the new plex layouts that they’ve moved to on the android mobile, iOS, WebOS, Xbox and Chromecast apps, in addition the Roku is now in testing the new layout too. I don’t like having all my servers and shared servers mixed together.

The dish home media app has been flaky for as long as I can remember trying it. I believe it’s also limited to h264 encoded video and can’t play the newer HEVC video, which I’ve moved to encoding all my personal files in. I tried it for my sisters Hopper 3 recently and the ac3 audio played but anything with HEVC encoded video was just a blank screen. Hence I set up a Plex server for them to use with the plex app built into their Sony tv.
 
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Niv

SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 3, 2018
76
71
Phoenix, AZ
It was the cloud service (One Drive, DropBox, Google Drive????) that you had to be a paid customer, couldn't use with a free account.

I bought a lifetime Plex pass a few months ago when it was on sale. I think it was $79 or something like that. It covers everything that Plex offers. I'm not sure if they have a tier system or if they have just one monthly cost. I got it for the DVR service. The DVR does a pretty good job of cutting out commercials. Not sure how it does it, magic I guess :) Sometimes it gets confused. I hate it when it keeps the damn drug commercials that seem to go on forever describing all the dire possible side effects, which if you survive those your hang nail will be cured.

Right now I'm using it to hop (Dish speak) on CBS and Fox and on ABC & NBC outside of primetime. Classic example is a 4 am ABC News rap up of the overnight news that is recorded every morning. When I'm stretching, getting ready for the morning run I'm able to watch commercial free, not having to interrupt the stretching routine to fast forward. (gees, talk about lazy) Fortunately it doesn't have a SAP track so audio plays back fine on the Hopper. It wasn't till I started recording Primetime that I noticed the problem. CBS in particular is using the SAP track for it's blow by blow audio description, at least in Phoenix. I'm not sure if it's just a local thing. Turn on your SAP track and watch NCIS LA, that was the first program I heard it on during it's season premier. First I'd ever heard of that, always thought the SAP was Spanish, especially here in Phoenix.
 
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Niv

SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 3, 2018
76
71
Phoenix, AZ
I have a very simple Plex Server setup. It's only purpose is to feed the Hooper and LG TV. It's not being shared, doesn't have multiple users etc. I've played with the Plex app on iPhone and iPad but nothing serious. I used to be a road warrior but fortunately I'm not on the road much any more. The Plex app on VIZO TVs sucks big time. It doesn't use the local network it uses the internet. I live in VPN which Plex does not like so the app does not work so the Hooper Home Media Player works here. I've got two VIZO and one Seiki (cheap dumb TV) TVs are connected to the Hooper via a dedicated wired network using cat 5 to HDML boxes.

While the Home Media Player has a limited range of files that it will play with very little control it works for the most part. There was a period of time a year or so ago that the video was playing as a small thumbnail that took them around 9 months to fix. It's been adequate, till the SAP problem. Only time it's playing on the LG TV is when several TVs are watching the same program throughout the house.

The LG Player however has played every file that I've thrown at it including 4K files. Has controls and you can change audio tracks. I can't ask anything more from a media player. Then again everything I do is on the local network might be different if I were doing things remotely.

Here is the media file information on the file that Home Media Player is playing the SAP channel. Spanish is the English audio description track, as designated by the American Council of the Blind.

screenshot_72.png
 

HipKat

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As long as we're on the subject, one issue I'm having with movie downloads that I stream is that I don't get subtitles to play and I usually download them also. Not sure if they should be in the same folder as the video file, or a separate folder, as they are when downloaded. Another thing is I'm OCD about file names. All my media files are consistent. Like music files are named ie. Black Sabbath - War Pigs.mp3.
Same with Movies. Avatar.mkv or Captain America - Civil War.mp4. (On the Plex App it's renamed to Captain America: Civil War) I have tried to rename the .idx and .sub files accordingly and I've left them the original name, in case the meta data points to that particular file. If I turn Subtitles on in the Plex app, I get subs for everything, not the the foreign language lines.

Any ideas on what I'm doing wrong?
 

osu1991

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As long as we're on the subject, one issue I'm having with movie downloads that I stream is that I don't get subtitles to play and I usually download them also. Not sure if they should be in the same folder as the video file, or a separate folder, as they are when downloaded. Another thing is I'm OCD about file names. All my media files are consistent. Like music files are named ie. Black Sabbath - War Pigs.mp3.
Same with Movies. Avatar.mkv or Captain America - Civil War.mp4. (On the Plex App it's renamed to Captain America: Civil War) I have tried to rename the .idx and .sub files accordingly and I've left them the original name, in case the meta data points to that particular file. If I turn Subtitles on in the Plex app, I get subs for everything, not the the foreign language lines.

Any ideas on what I'm doing wrong?

Subtitles should be in same folder as video and named exactly the same as video file or you can use the free program mkvtoolnix and mux the video and subtitle files into a single mkv container.

Depending on what your source is and how you’re ripping the files, there should be a file to extract with just the Non English parts, if you use mkvtoolnix you can set that file as Forced in the metadata when you mux the files together. Then it should play automatically with the video and show as an individually selectable subtitle file
 
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HipKat

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Subtitles should be in same folder as video and named exactly the same as video file or you can use the free program mkvtoolnix and mux the video and subtitle files into a single mkv container.

Depending on what your source is and how you’re ripping the files, there should be a file to extract with just the Non English parts, if you use mkvtoolnix you can set that file as Forced in the metadata when you mux the files together. Then it should play automatically with the video and show as an individually selectable subtitle file
I'll give that a shot, thanks
 

SandFarmer

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Oh yeah, it's on there. I can stream via the Hopper, the app on my LG TV or my Firestick, which is what I usually use, since the Audio seems to be much better
Any audio other that isn't DISH sat fare is far better. Even the apps on the H3 have better audio. If only DISH would set up the level and quality to match, I wouldn't get blasted out with all other audio sources. AND I wouldn't have to crank my AVR for the H3. Which is where the blasting part comes in.

OP:
The SAP issue I had and it happened during file conversion. It was a coding name thing. I started with VLC, but it wasn't clean with conversions. I used PLEX on a Mac and the PLEX app on my TV to playback. The Hoppers have been too flaky with external playback. Even the EHD doesn't always work as it should. It became such a pain that I haven't done it in ages. Also since being an Apple Beta tester, the OS releases would get in the way. And since it's not an iTunes thing, Apple doesn't care.

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