29 Replies Latest reply on Aug 1, 2009 10:57 AM by AndreiTarr

    Importing .ts files from cable box

    AndreiTarr Level 1

      I've read up a lot on the following problem elsewhere, but wanted to come straight here after not having a lot of luck.

       

      I have .ts files of 720p HD video that I captured from a motorola cable box with CapDVHS. They play just fine on my computer, no apparent problems anywhere, with audio or anything.

       

      I've read up on muxing/demuxing and have tried countless variations of trying to import them into Premiere/Encore/AME after sending them through various programs and I have yet to completely succeed. USUALLY, the problem is that the audio begins to get out of sink over the course of the 2 hour file, maybe by a couple of seconds at the end(at the beginning it is fine), but other times AME has produced m2v files that cut out with 30 minutes to go and are just black video for the remainder and there are others.

       

      So, what I want to know is, if you were me and you had my files and you wanted to import them into Premiere/Encore, etc. What would you do? What are your steps for success? Anyone have any experience with this type of file and Adobe software?

       

      I'd like to be able to edit the video and produce Blu-rays from these files...

        • 1. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          I'd get a video camera and shoot the material I want myself, not ripping from a cable box. If you want to continue on this road, use Nero, Cyberlink or any other consumer software, including Notepad. Be aware of the legal limitations however.

          • 2. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
            AndreiTarr Level 1

            I'm not a pirate, just a guy who likes to archive football games from his favorite team and I do shoot plenty of my own stuff and I thank Adobe for helping me with that and they thank me for my money.

             

            But I don't think handling video of all types is too much to ask.

            • 3. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
              Harm Millaard Level 7
              But I don't think handling video of all types is too much to ask.

               

              If you want a bloated program that is highly unstable, full of bugs and leaves a 150+ GB footprint, no. Luckily Adobe chose not to go that route and kept to what they are supposed to be good in and even then there are bugs, instabilities and things to be improved.

               

              It is utterly ridiculous to expect a 'pro' editor to be able to handle all kinds of consumer and non-suitable material. There is freeware/shareware for that.

               

              When you go to the butcher for a nice steak, do you expect him to repair the soles of your shoes as well, since he uses cows in his trade? And do you expect him to also sell shoe laces?

               

              A jack-of-all-trades is the last thing we are waiting for.

              • 4. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                DGAVCIndex

                AviSynth

                VirtualDub

                Lagarith

                 

                1. Use DGAVCIndex to demux the audio stream(s) and make a frame index of the video stream.
                2. Create an .avs script that has one line in it:
                  • AVCSource("FrameIndexOfMyCableBoxTSFile.dga")
                3. Load the .avs script file into VirtualDub and save as a Lagarith .avi file.
                4. Import the demuxed audio stream and the Lagarith .avi file into Pr and edit away.

                 

                -Jeff

                • 5. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                  Nice simple workflow Jeff. Hope it gets the OP to editing the game films.

                   

                  Thanks,

                   

                  Hunt

                   

                  [Edit] PS for similar, with a client's wife's cooking show TV programs, I just hooked the DVR up to my A-D unit, and did a straight Capture using it's software to DV-AVI. These edited fine and the difference in the TV feed and the output DVD were very acceptable. No device control between the software and the DVR, but hey, with the remote in one hand and the mouse in the other, very little extra footage was Captured.

                  • 6. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                    Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                    Hunt,

                     

                    Thanks.  It works on my .m2ts files when I know what the audio and video

                    codecs are.  I hope it works on his .ts files.  It's all going to depend

                    on what codec his capturing program used to create the .ts files.

                     

                    The workflow is simple, but it will take a little bit of time in the

                    Quick Start guides and help files for DGAVCIndex and VirtualDub to get

                    the exact steps required in each program.

                     

                    -Jeff

                    • 7. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                      Jim_Simon Level 8

                      So, what I want to know is, if you were me and you had my files and you wanted to import them into Premiere/Encore, etc. What would you do?

                       

                      I'd probably use other software.  Premiere tends to like pro media from pro cameras.

                      • 8. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                        AndreiTarr Level 1

                        Well, I tired Jeff's solution above and my .avi is in "slow motion"...

                         

                        Any idea why?

                         

                        I noticed the frame rate while exporting was 16 or so instead of 60, and I tried to change the frame rate under video, but that did not seem to have any effect.

                        • 9. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                          Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                          So it comes down to info about the source .ts file.  Frame rate?  Codec used (most likely H.264)?  The log file (not the .dga file) created by DGAVCIndex should have some useful info about the frame rate and codec.

                           

                          The frame rate reported in VirtualDub during export is the speed at which VDub is processing the video, not the intended or actual playback rate.  But that's me only guessing at what you saw and where you saw it because you sort of glossed over that part.

                           

                          -Jeff

                          • 10. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                            AndreiTarr Level 1

                            Yes, I didn't assume that frame rate meant much, but I thought I'd mention it...Also perhaps of note, the final .avi plays at the same speed as it appears as it is encoding, if that helps at all.

                             

                            Here is the info from the log:

                             

                            Stream Type: Transport [188]
                            Profile: main@high
                            Frame Size: 1280x720
                            Display Size: 1280x720
                            Aspect Ratio: 16:9 [3]
                            Frame Rate: 59.940060 fps
                            Video Type: NTSC

                             

                            Also, I deviated from your rules slightly I am using DGMPGDec because DGA wouldn't load my video and I figured it was because it was mpeg based...That may be completely wrong. So I then used "MPEG2Source" as my avisynth script...which also may be completely wrong...

                            • 11. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                              AndreiTarr Level 1

                              Also, for those that have mentioned other programs I've also tried using Cyberlink PowerProducer 4 which came with my Burner to burn these files to Blu-Ray and it also does not seem to like them much, I can't get it to finish importing...

                              • 12. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                                Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                                Since the codec in the .ts file is MPEG2, you made a good choice (the

                                only choice!) switching to DGMPEGDec.  The source statement in your

                                script is appropriate as well.

                                 

                                After you load the .avs script file into VirtualDub, go to File>File

                                Information and make sure the frame size, frame rate and number of

                                frames match what DGMPEGDec logged.

                                 

                                Instead of exporting to .avi right away, try just playing the file in

                                VirtualDub.  Then, after you export, try playing it in WMP.  How do

                                those frame rates compare?

                                 

                                -Jeff

                                • 13. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                                  AndreiTarr Level 1

                                  The frame size and frame rate read the same, however I don't have a number of frames in my DGMPEGDC log...

                                   

                                  And when I play the video in VirtualDub it plays fine...

                                   

                                  Man, so many difficulties...I've been working on this for days (not 24 hours days) and I don't know how much more I can do it.

                                  • 14. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                                    AndreiTarr Level 1

                                    Also, I never actually even brought files into premiere. I did simply play them with WMP and they were slow.

                                    • 15. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                                      Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                                      In the DGMPEGDec log file, the coded# and playback# represent the number

                                      of frames.

                                       

                                      Since it plays fine in VDub before you export, it is the export that is

                                      likely messing things up.  Here's what I do:

                                       

                                         1. Go to the Video menu.  Select Fast Recompress.

                                         2. Got to the Video menu again.  Select Compression.

                                         3. In the dialog box that opens, select Lagarith from the codec list.

                                         4. Click the Configure button.  Do you have a multi-core processor?

                                            If so, check Use Multithreading.  In the Mode drop-down list,

                                            select YUY2 and click OK.  Click OK again.

                                         5. Go to the File menu and choose Save As AVI...

                                       

                                      You should be good to go.

                                       

                                      This stuff is not easy.  The encoding schemes, file structures, varying

                                      decoder quality, application design and the occasional lame attempt at

                                      copy protection all conspire against the end user.  Most users aren't

                                      pirating copyrighted material; they just want to buy or record one time

                                      only, and then watch it when they want, on the device(s) that they

                                      want.  Unfortunately, taking HD material and converting to SD or smaller

                                      involves lots of computing power, and for the most part, lots of

                                      different computer programs.  And there's lots of places in the workflow

                                      to make errors that will be genuinely fatal to the end result.

                                       

                                      -Jeff

                                      • 16. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                                        AndreiTarr Level 1

                                        The coded and playback fields are blank...

                                         

                                        I will try this and let you know, thanks for the help. I do have a multi-core processor.

                                        • 17. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                                          AndreiTarr Level 1

                                          Still slow-mo, but faster than it used to be. A faster speed...

                                          • 18. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                                            Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                                            I'm running out of ideas.

                                             

                                            1. Try exporting from VirtualDub as Uncompressed instead of Lagarith.  Does that help?
                                            2. Load your Lags .avi from VirtualDub into a program called GSpot.  Please post a screenshot of the GSpot window here.

                                             

                                            -Jeff

                                            • 19. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                                              the_wine_snob Level 9

                                              I would think that this FPS issue could be handled along the way in Jeff's suggested workflow. If not, and G-Spot will tell you what you are dealing with, I use a conversion program, DigitalMedia Converter, to go NTSC to PAL and PAL to NTSC a lot. On the files that I am given (all sorts of CODEC's), it has worked fine with Frame Rate conversions. It would be one more step, but might be worth it. Still, there has got to be a way to address this issue in the current workflow - IMHO.

                                               

                                              Good luck,

                                               

                                              Hunt

                                              • 20. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                                                AndreiTarr Level 1

                                                GSpot.jpg

                                                 

                                                Here is the screenshot.

                                                 

                                                The Uncompressed video played correctly, speed wise, but the colors were all negative (black was white, white was black).

                                                 

                                                I do find it interesting that the frame rate when encoding seems to signify what the final frame rate is. With the uncompressed it was around 60, which is the actual frame rate and it ended up smooth and other times it has varied and the slower it was, the slower the video turned out. (When reading 14 or so, it was very slow...)

                                                • 21. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                                                  Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                                                  GSpot indicates that VirtualDub created a proper Lagarith 720p60 .avi file.  The error is in your playback chain.  Whatever program or programs you are using to view the exported file, they are smurfing the playback.

                                                   

                                                  Anything that could mess up DirectShow, like Codec packs for example, is the likely culprit.

                                                   

                                                  For essentially bullet-proof playback, I use the KMPlayer here.  Many folks use Media Player Classic.  Windows Media Player is very susceptible to bad codecs and corrupted filters.

                                                   

                                                  -Jeff

                                                  • 22. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                                                    AndreiTarr Level 1

                                                    Well it appears that you are right. WMP was choppy, VLC wouldn't even play it, but after bringing it into premiere and rendering it (it had a yellow bar) it played smoothly...

                                                     

                                                    Now I'll need to do the entire file to see if my audio matches up with it perfectly.

                                                     

                                                    Another question, video and audio of this type, after this process (the .avi and .ac3 files), can they be brought directly into Encore to burn from (after transcoding) or is Premiere needed to export a more suitable file?

                                                     

                                                    Thank you very much for all your help.

                                                    • 23. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                                                      Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                      AVI needs to be transcoded, AC3 will pass through.

                                                      • 24. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                                                        Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                                                        Harm is correct, but the good news is that all of that can be done in

                                                        Encore.

                                                         

                                                        You're welcome.

                                                         

                                                        -Jeff

                                                        • 25. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                                                          AndreiTarr Level 1

                                                          Thanks to both of you. I thought it should be fine, but I didn't know if there was a final step that I might miss.

                                                           

                                                          I assume I continue to use the MPEG-2 codec at this point rather that H.264?

                                                          • 26. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                                                            Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                            For DVD there is no alternative to MPEG2-DVD. That is the only format allowed.

                                                            • 27. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                                                              Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                                                              H.264 takes longer to transcode, but produces better quality than MPEG2

                                                              at similar bit rates.  That's even more important when sports videos are

                                                              involved.  As always, test a short segment and compare for yourself. 

                                                              And if burning to BD, make sure to use an RE disc to avoid wasting a

                                                              blank disc.

                                                               

                                                              -Jeff

                                                              • 28. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                                                                AndreiTarr Level 1

                                                                Thanks for the advice, I'll test everything and Blu-ray is my final output.

                                                                 

                                                                I find it a little shocking how huge of a file this process is producing, it says it is turning my 12GB original file into a 150GB file.

                                                                 

                                                                WOW!

                                                                • 29. Re: Importing .ts files from cable box
                                                                  AndreiTarr Level 1

                                                                  I finally had success using the above methods, but now I have a new problem.

                                                                   

                                                                  I now have some SD video, captured the same way, it is 544x480.

                                                                   

                                                                  I tried using the same steps as I did for the HD video, but I have yet to succeed. The closest I got was a outputted DVD where the motion was really choppy - and had a somewhat "interlaced" look...

                                                                   

                                                                  Is there an obvious reason why the HD process would not work for this SD, 4:3 video? Anyone know?

                                                                   

                                                                  Also on a related topic, I had a file that mixed HD and SD and that seemed to really throw everything off. Is there something I should be doing to "normalize" this file or something, for example if the SD part was what I really cared about and didn't care what the HD looked like?