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Thread: MPEG Decoders + Mux Filters for the TVWalker, PX-M402U and other GO7007SB devices

  1. #1
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    MPEG Decoders + Mux Filters for the TVWalker, PX-M402U and other GO7007SB devices

    Sub has given me some great help for the TV Walker which AFAIK, isn't covered specifically in the WIKI docs, but is spread around the forum posts, so I'd like to make a small contribution, mainly for the Lifeview TVWalker Mini, most of which (I believe) also applies to the PX-M402U and other GO7007SB devices.

    If this isn't helpful, no worries, folks can still trawl the forums. If anyone wants to correct/change it before (IF) it gets wiki'd please feel free. I am very new to all this. It's just an idea to put it all in one place.


    The TVWalker and other GO7007SB devices.

    <Sub notes> Nearly all the discussions you read on muxes on the GB-PVR forums (since the beginning of 2005) relate to BDA support. You get the occasional post about muxes in relation to GO7007SB devices, but this is pretty rare. Very few GB-PVR users are actually using these GO7007SB devices, whereas BDA users are pretty common now. To do a recording with the GO7007SB devices, it needs a couple of software components which are installed with the software supplied with these devices. The LifeView TVWalker ships with TVR, from which GB-PVR uses the HT audio encoder and mux.

    The Plextor devices ship with Intervideo WinDVD Creator, from which GB-PVR uses the Intervideo audio encoder and mux. (whilst this is the general rule, if it doesn't find the HT ones, it'll look for the Intervideo ones.) Even though they offer MPEG4, these devices aren't that great compared to the Hauppauge devices, which do everything in hardware. <end of Subs note>.

    The following is gleaned from these posts:

    http://forum.gbpvr.com/forums/showth...WinDVD+Creator
    http://forum.gbpvr.com/forums/showth...WinDVD+Creator
    http://forum.gbpvr.com/forums/showth...WinDVD+Creator
    http://forum.gbpvr.com/forums/showth...WinDVD+Creator
    http://forum.gbpvr.com/forums/showth...WinDVD+Creator
    http://forum.gbpvr.com/forums/showth...WinDVD+Creator
    http://forum.gbpvr.com/forums/showth...WinDVD+Creator

    MPEG2 Decoders and Muxes for Dummies (or what should I install to get my TVWalker running with GBPVR?)

    Very simply put, the decoder is used for VIEWING and the Mux Filter is used for RECORDING.

    A. MPEG DECODERS

    i. A TV Card or USB Device has a Tuner which feeds the input signal to the (Hardware) MPEG2 (can also be DivX or MPEG4) encoder. For this encoded video/audio stream to be played back by GBPVR on your PC or television you need an MPEG2 (or DivX/MPEG4) DECODER to be able to "read" this video stream. MPEG2 decoders that generally work with GBPVR are covered quite well here in the WIKI, http://gbpvr.com/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Config/Playback and appear to be generic to all cards. Find one of those, or more and install it.

    Note that GBPVR only supports Devices with HARDWARE Encoders, although there are plugins for SOFTWARE Encoders.

    ii. The SVideo / Composite inputs are like bypasses that feed a signal directly to the MPEG2 encoder. You STILL need a DECODER!

    iii. Cards that "capture" Digital Video Broadcasts (DVB) do NOT need an MPEG2 encoder, as the DVB broadcasts are already encoded as MPEG2. You STILL need a DECODER!

    iv. Most of the Decoders in the http://gbpvr.com/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Config/Playback wiki entry will work. However the best one depends on your Hardware. Try them out, one at a time.

    v. The default MPEG2 Decoder can be viewed easily by installing Microsoft's DECCHECK, at least in WinXP. You can even use this utility to change the Windows XP default (which is also the GBPVR default if no defined codec is chosen) using the WinXP DECChecker. See http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/d...displaylang=en

    B. MUXERS:
    1. What is a Mux Filter? Mux is short "multiplex". It takes "Multiple" Input Data Streams e.g. Audio, Video and "joins" them together to make one output, which is your recording. See http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-multiplexer.htm? and http://www.xdsl.com/xdsl/glossary.shtml#M

    MUXERS for The Lifeview TVWalker Mini:

    i. The TVWalker uses the HTMpgMux.ax installed with the TVR Software as the Muxer. You can ALSO install WinDVD CREATOR which will install another compatible Mux. The Trial Version will work fine. Muxers that are used are Tuner Card or rather chip specific. The Cyberlink PowerDVD or Intervideo's WinDVD or Showshifter Muxers that work on BDA Devices will NOT work with the TV Walker, so don't think if its OK in the Muxchecker for the BDA devices it will work!

    The current MuxChecker utility is only really relevant to BDA digital devices. It also only checks for muxes that are used by the BDA support, namely the Cyberlink/Intervideo/Showshifter muxes. It wont actually show the HT mux in this list since this wont be used by the BDA devices.

    This specific mux performs a slightly different task, and for this specific need GB-PVR only looks for the muxes that are supplied with the GO7007SB devices (InterVideo and HT).

    ii. All the current HTMpgMux.ax files from TVR 2.27, 2.28 and 2.29.4 are version 1.0.0.1 and all are the same file size.

    iii. IF HTMPGMux gives you an error, just de-register it and it will default to the WinDVD CREATOR Mux. (To be confirmed).

    Q. Why do GO7007SB devices need a different Mux Filter to the BDA Devices. What's wrong with the WDM Drivers?

    A. The PX-M402U and other GO7007SB devices do have WDM drivers, and in fact GB-PVR uses them. Having WDM drivers does not mean it'll magically start working with all sorts of applications. The applications still need to be written in such a way that they can understand the type of information produced by the WDM drivers (in this case DivX/MPEG1/2/4 not YUV as used by the WDM drivers of many of the older software encoder cards).

    The only reason GB-PVR requires WinDVD Creator to be installed, is because the hardware on the GO7007SB devices produce PCM audio, which is less than desirable and not compatible with the MPEG standard. These WinDVD Creator components are used to "on-the-fly-encode" the audio to MPEG1 Layer II audio, and to mux it back into the MPEG file. There are alternatives to the WinDVD components, as some of the GO7007SB ship with different software which performs the same task. For example, the LifeView TVWalker ships with the HT components."

    Q. If I can't use the BDA Muxchecker how do I check what Mux Filter is installed?
    A. Download a Filter Manager.

    a. DirectShow Filter Manager from http://www.softella.com (Simple to use)
    b. Filmerit http://paul.glagla.free.fr/index_en.htm (Good, finds broken Filters and can Fix them).
    c. Sherlock http://www.updatexp.com (Good, finds broken Filters, but can't delete).
    d. Radlights Filter Manager. http://www.radlight.org/products/fi...nager/index.php (More complicated).

    Q. If someone says "register (or unregister) a filter, what does that mean, what do I do?
    A. Follow these guidelines:

    To Register a Filter manually e.g. HTMPgMux.ax , in Windows choose start, run and type regsvr32 <PATH> HTMPgMux.ax
    To UNRegister a Filter manually e.g. HTMPgMux.ax , in Windows choose start, run and type regsvr32 /u <PATH> HTMPgMux.ax

    IF the Mux FIle is already IN C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32, you do not need to type the <PATH>. Do NOT Type the "<>" brackets!

    See also http://www.free-codecs.com/guides/H...nd_AX_files.htm
    If you're uncomfortable typing the above line try http://www.free-codecs.com/download/RegShell.htm

    For more on Codecs and checking them see http://nolanparty.com/mediaportal.so...ic.php?p=31132

    Cheers,

    k.
    Last edited by jksmurf; 2005-08-19 at 03:41 AM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jksmurf
    If this isn't helpful, no worries, folks can still trawl the forums. If anyone wants to correct/change it before (IF) it gets wiki'd please feel free. I am very new to all this. It's just an idea to put it all in one place.
    This was a really good summary!!
    I'd put it in the manual section and link it from (at least) Manual/CaptureCards and Config/Playback


    I'll help you out putting it up on the wiki if you want to.

    /blader_se

  3. #3
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    Thanks Blader,

    It's mostly cut and paste stuff, but one thing I am used to is writing FAQs.

    I used to write most of them for motorbike site at http://faq.f650.com until a wife and young children got the better of me :-) . I have now found a new habit, GBPVR ....

    I know it's pretty simplistic stuff, but perhaps that is what is needed at this juncture, and if it helps GBPVR grow out of its technical-influenced user base into more mainstream acceptability and if it helps take a load off sub, then all the better.

    If you could put it in the wiki, that would be great. Massage it as you wish!

    Cheers

    Kristian

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    Come on Bikes are a lot more exciting though

  5. #5
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    full ack
    AMD 1600mHz, 512 M RAM, 20+160 GB drive, Hauppauge PVR-350 + PVR-150 + PVR-150MCE, Win XP Pro SP3, using software decoding.


    There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.

    There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

    (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe)

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    A couple of other items (from a LifeView Walker Ultra user). If you are recording to an AVI and are have the MP3 setting set to true, then it will record an MP3 Audio stream instead of the default MPEG2 audio stream. It will use the Microsoft supplied MP3 encoder, but there is one issue. GBPVR doesn't communicate correctly with the MP3 encoder to set the bitrate. It tries to set it but the MP3 encoder doesn't accept the value and defaults to 320 (instead of a more ideal and compatible 128). The audio encodes fine, you can have some problems though when trying to play these files on other devices besides a PC.

    Personally, I record everything in MPEG-4 format, and MP3 audio. Half the file sizes of the MPEG-2 stuff and still the same quality.

    As for sub comments about hardware encoding....My system uses less than 3% CPU usage while encoding to MPEG-4 using the DIVX5 interface. I can use the computer and still record without slow down. The LifeView still does the vast majority of encoding in Hardware from what I can tell.

  7. #7
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    GBPVR doesn't communicate correctly with the MP3 encoder to set the bitrate. It tries to set it but the MP3 encoder doesn't accept the value and defaults to 320 (instead of a more ideal and compatible 128). The audio encodes fine, you can have some problems though when trying to play these files on other devices besides a PC.
    Actually that blurs the lines between two different issues.

    1/ The LiveView TV Walker driver refuse to set the PCM audio bitrate, so GB-PVR just leaves it on the default. This doesnt happen with any other GO7007SB devices I've tried, just the TV Walker. There is something quirky with their version of the GO7007SB drivers, which seems to be much older than the Plextor drivers.

    2/ If you use MP3 audio, you are stuck with the default MP3 encoder bitrate, as GB-PVR doesnt attempt to set it (I dont know how to do this).

  8. #8
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    Sub, I'm sure you know about the Win Lame 3 project. I know you tried in the past to get Lame as the MP3 encoder but ran into some problems. Anyway this link might be of some help, or at least a resource that you can ask some questions to. Personally, I'd like to eliminate the dependency on the Microsoft MP3 encoder just because other applications tend to override the quartz.dll default reference.

    http://winlame.sourceforge.net/

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by herbs
    Come on Bikes are a lot more exciting though
    LOL oh, don't get me wrong, I still ride to work every day, and so does my wife on her bike ... just don't do the FAQs any more :-)

    k.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingArgyle
    Sub, I'm sure you know about the Win Lame 3 project. I know you tried in the past to get Lame as the MP3 encoder but ran into some problems. Anyway this link might be of some help, or at least a resource that you can ask some questions to. Personally, I'd like to eliminate the dependency on the Microsoft MP3 encoder just because other applications tend to override the quartz.dll default reference.

    http://winlame.sourceforge.net/
    The next release will enable you to use the (recently updated) LAME encoder filter from http://www.elecard.com/ftp/pub/direc...lame_dshow.zip and specifiy the sample rate and bitrate.

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