Western Digital TV player

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MAGLINK
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My lovely wife bought me one of these babies for Xmas:http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?driveid=572

£69 from makro and I can now view all my HD IPTV programmes on my LG 37 inch LCD telly.

The quality from apple TV mp4 files is just stunning and far better than the DVD's I have been burning for viewing on the TV.

I can even play the m2t 1080i 50i files from the CF recorder on the Z7 and S270 direct on the TV once they have been copied to a lacie USB rugged drive.

I tried reading the CF direct but it wouldnt load quick enough but as I archive to the lacie rugged drives it is great to see them in HD.

Alan Roberts
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Interesting beasty. Looks like it won't accept any HDCP protected content, but other than that it looks fine.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

mooblie
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It does indeed look interesting. I'll wager nobody here produces "HDCP protected content"!

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Alan Roberts
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Quite so, but it means you can't just copy files from a commercial BD and get it to play.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

SimonMW
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Joined: Nov 16 2004

£69? Its come down a bit. Looks like I'll have to get one.

I love the idea of it as it will make taking a HD edit of something to a location very easy with none of the pitfalls of the silly Blu-Ray.

fuddam
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still 99 quid on amazon. nice price you got there

:)

Bob Aldis
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I am a bit confused about the HDCP issue. I thought that HDCP stopped you from copying to the computer?

I like the look of it though we let our makro account lapse years ago, since costco started up. :(

Bob Aldis

StevenBagley
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An army of acronyms are about to fly...

HDCP is different from the encryption on Bluray and HD-DVD disks. HDCP is just encryption between the player and the display device (and any device inbetween). The disks themselves are encrypted using AACS, which includes a flag (the Image Constraint Token) which specifies whether the player needs an encrypted link to the display (otherwise the output is limited to 960x540). Very few films as yet use the ICT flag.

Interestingly, AACS has support to allow copies of the files to be made to hard disks for playback from there while still protected by DRM, to prevent further copying. This is to provide support for media centre devices where you can 'rip' all your movies onto the hard drive and just select a movie to watch from your remote (aka couch-potato mode :)).

AACS is big and complex, allowing for decryption keys to be revoked should they become common knowledge as happened with the CSS encryption on DVD. (Un)fortunately, AACS has I believe been well and truely broken. However, unlike HDDVD, BD was designed to allow secondary encryption to be implemented on the disks themselves (BD+) which could be disk specific as I understand it. Which as a computer scientist I like, don't build your system to be secure, build your system knowing that it is going to be broken so that you can resecure it later.

To sum up, there are encrypted files on the disks (using AACS, plus optionally BD+), which once decrypted provide the compressed video data etc to be played, this then produces a HD picture stream which is encrypted (using HDCP) and sent out to the display (its connection format agnostic and has been implemented over DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort and several others).

Steven

Chris.
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Gary I was looking at freeing up my PC when I want to watch HD stuff that I've got stored on it. I've seen this elsewhere.

Could you tell me a couple of things.

Does it have an SP-DIF output to send audio to my amp?

What's the user interface like for searching drive content, how does it compare to say Windows Media Centre (if you've seen that)

Does it allow you to stretch your video to fill the screen (I don't like having bars at the top and bottom on some stuff)

MAGLINK
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Joined: Mar 8 2007

It has an optical spdif output for audio,

I find the search engine very good and really simple to use, you can select thumbnail or list view.

Yes it has a fit to screen setting, you can also tell it what size screen you have or select auto.

BTW the £69 at makro was inc vat so they are good for price at the moment.

Alan Roberts
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I checked Makro in Croydon, they'd never heard of it. Amazon say £78+ and up to 2 months delivery. Dabs have it for £77.34, 1-3 days delivery. I've just ordered one (delivery promised Jan 5th).

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Chris.
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Joined: Nov 5 2000

Gary was that Washington Makro?

delphiplasma
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Wow! Lucky you! Fancy finding out how much your Xmas pressies cost!!

It is a very good price.

I see that it does not support protected premium contents such as movies or music from iTunes, Cinema Now, Movielink...etc. It will not decode Dolby Digital beyond two channels (However, who really wants more than 2 channels?).

MAGLINK
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Yes washington makro its also in the latest makro mail:
Just to add you can also play music and view your full res images from your digital stills camera.

Chris.
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Joined: Nov 5 2000

If it's got SP-DIF then you can get your external amp to decode the Dolby Digital.

Looks like it downmixes to stereo for the analogue outputs. I'm super tempted.

Claire
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JGNattrass wrote:
Yes washington makro its also in the latest makro mail.

Hmm, might pop over there..

One thing it has over the PS3 for playing video is that it can take a hard drive formatted in NTSC, PS3 has to be FAT32 which restricts HDV video to 4GB (20mins)

Claire

Bob Aldis
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By a strange coincidence my wife (with a little help from my son) bought me a 500 gb WD passport hard drive which is supposed to be the ideal partner for the WDTV so I am tempted.

I have/had been looking at the Netgear EVA 8000 streamer which is about £130 most places but £390 in Amazon(?) I thought that apart from the obvious it would allow me to stream blu-ray from a built in blu-ray player in a PC (would connect to router, not wireless). I am a bit bemused by the lists of formats that these gadgets play and don't play. Can you see any advantage of the WDTV over the netgear other than price and size?

Bob Aldis

mooblie
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Claire wrote:
....it can take a hard drive formatted in NTSC.....

"NTFS" - but we knew you knew that! :D

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Alan Roberts
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Yep, it has optical sound out as well as analogue on phonos.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Claire
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mooblie wrote:
"NTFS" - but we knew you knew that! :D

Ha ha! BEen on the alcaaholl posssibblee ??

Claire

mooblie
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Claire wrote:
Ha ha! BEen on the alcaaholl posssibblee ??

Can't think why. Is something happening? :)

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Chris.
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Just got back from Makro. The guy said they sold out straight away, but he knew immediately what I was talking about and said they're getting more in (they always say that) but made a point of saying couldn't be sure they'd be the same price

Might just look online, if I pay a tenner more I'm not bothered

Bob Aldis
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Bob Aldis wrote:
I have/had been looking at the Netgear EVA 8000 streamer

I have studied this since posting and it would seem there is an EVA 9000 in the pipeline.
The main problem that I found with the 8000 was that it was limited in the bitrate that it could handle in 1080p Vaying from 3 to 13. Has the WDTV got the same problem and is it a problem?

Bob Aldis

nattt
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Makro eh? That brings back memories!

I'm running an AppleTV, but with the xbmc.org software on it, which plays back pretty much most things. I can now put my DVDs on a network share, and easily watch stuff wherever in the house is an AppleTV (2 locations) or on a laptop, again using the xbmc software.

nattress.com - Filters for FCP & Color
red.com - 5k Digital Cinema

Chris.
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Just got in full of er new year resolutions and can't buy one of these bloody things for love nor money. Play.com reckon 3 to 4 days delivery - but when it's in your basket it's shown as out of stock.

Amazon have two versions, the standalone and the enclosure one (fit internal drive), quoting 1 to 2 months for delivery on the standalone :(

Reading the customer reviews at those sites and it just seems better and better. :(

Trusted Reviews had a great review with a video (sorry didn't bookmark)

This is a informative review here: http://www.crunchgear.com/2008/12/14/review-western-digital-wd-tv-hd-media-player/

The deal breaker for me is the fact it plays files wrapped in Matroska (.MKV) That's not cos I've downloaded the Lord of the Rings or Matrix Trilogy in 1080p from thepiratebay, no siree. I just wouldn't do that. I just like the MKV format for my home videos and no doubt Western Digital recognise that and that's the only reason the WDTV supports MKV files.

Bob Aldis
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Anybody tried the subtitle facility yet? I am shopping around for a louder doorbell at the moment. ;)

Bob Aldis

Bob Aldis
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http://cpc.farnell.com/western-digital/wdavp00be/media-player-wdtv/dp/AV18466

These claim to have it in stock. I am trying to find out about subtitles before jumping. I have read that there can be a problem which may or may not be fixed by now.

I have done quite a bit of looking and nobody is neutral about it. Everybody seems to either love it or hate it.

Bob Aldis

MAGLINK
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New firmware 1.01 just released and this solves certain subtitle problems, also adds new codec playbacks.

That is one powerful thing that even I didnt realise that you can update the firmware via a web download, now once they add flash and other codecs on that is a really powerful sub £100 box.

Chris.
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Bob, thanks for the link, have ordered from CPC, when I get it (hopefully Tuesday) I'll try all my stuff on it and check the subtitles and let you know.

Bob Aldis
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Chris Longley wrote:
Bob, thanks for the link, have ordered from CPC, when I get it (hopefully Tuesday) I'll try all my stuff on it and check the subtitles and let you know.

I will look forward to it. Hope you haven't nicked the last one ;)

Bob Aldis

Chris.
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It turned up today, have only had a chance to play with it tonight. I am pleasantly surprised at how small it is. Very neat.

Only copied a few movies to my external USB drive, WDTV plays them all. It shows subtitles on all the .mkv files. I haven't got any VOB files to test (I'll do that tomorrow)

Currently ploughing through this thread to try to work out how to get the movie cover art to work.

I've bought a hard drive enclosure from eBay that provides both USB and eSata ports (switchable). I plan to put a 1TB SATA drive in that. Then connect the USB to the WDTV, the eSata to my PC, throwing the switch depending whether I want the PC or the WDTV to access the drive (that's the plan anyway).

When I do that, I'll have a hell of a lot more external storage and will have a far more video files going into the WDTV so will be able to do many more testing regarding the subs.

There's a lot of mention of subs in the thread I linked to above. Seems that the first firmware didn't handle them at all well.

Bob Aldis
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Thanks Chris have already ordered as I had since read more good things about it. I ordered from that same link so now wait with a bit more confidence. I already have the recommended hard drive so I suppose I should be loading it up in anticipation.

Bob Aldis

Bob Aldis
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Ps Chris. Did your WDTV already have the new firmware?

Bob Aldis

MAGLINK
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Bob Aldis wrote:
Ps Chris. Did your WDTV already have the new firmware?

If it doesnt it is really easy to update it.

You download the zip file and copy two extracted files onto a usb device, plug it into the WD TV box and it sees that new firmware is available. Update takes about 5 mins.

Chris.
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It came with firmware 1.00.01 (IIRC). I did just what Gary said, dead easy.

Love being able to listen to my digital music and watch my HD videos without the computer on because of the noise the computer makes.

The SP-DIF does pass through PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 to my AV Receiver.

PCM sound goes to the TV via the HDMI at the same time as coming out of the SP-DIF. It doesn't seem to send DTS or Dolby Digital to the TV via HDMI (or perhaps it does but the TV ignores it)

Haven't tested the analogue outputs.

When there's more than one audio track or subtitle track you can cycle through them.

Standard Def DivX looks pretty good upscaled.

It's a great little bit of kit.

Bob Aldis
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Thanks for that. It came today and I exitedly opened it up to try. What I had forgot was that my old Panasonic screen has everything but composite. :( I am waiting for delivery of a new set with HDMI so I will have to wait for that. If it drags on I will take it to my sons house for a try.

Bob Aldis

mooblie
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Firmware update page for WDTV here.

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Chris.
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Bob don't you have one of those little Scart adaptors that give you composite and s-video input, they bundle them with all sorts of gear like games consoles?

Bob Aldis
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I was wondering if I had a composite to scart lead anywhere but I never thought of those little adaptors. I must have more than one somewhere I will have a rummage today. Thanks Chris.

Bob Aldis

Bob Aldis
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That was my first silly mishap with the WDTV. I found an adaptor (think I have got one with every camcorder I have bought) and it works fine.

I put the firmware on a stick and introduced it to the WDTV. It came up with found firmware and then did nothing for at least 10 mins. Any idea how I can check if it is on there. I have looked through the manual and can't find anything.

It doesn't recognise my old AVIs so they will all have to be changed in the media converter. It plays my new HD files (both of them ;) ) alright, but nothing to get exited about until I am all High Deffed up. My usual tactic with new gadgets is to leave the remotes about and encourage visiting children and grandchildren to play with them and then teach me.

I suspect this may be only the first request for help on the WDTV so lets hope even more of you knowledgeable forum members get one.

Bob Aldis

Chris.
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There is a way to see your firmware version. From the Home screen go to the settings menu (icon is cogs and wheels). Then go to System (icon is a WDTV). Then go to About. Mine now says 1.01.02

I got a proper drive rigged up last night. Disappointed that it doesn't play standard DV AVIs. It's no biggie, I have most of them in MPEG-2.

The Arcsoft Media Converter thing is an absolute pile. It doesn't even do a good conversion.

I watched a standard DVD (Vob files) last night. I'm very impressed with the upscaling.

I leave the WDTV set at 1080p 50hz rather than Auto.

Bob Aldis
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And that was my second silly mishap with the WDTV. I first put the firmware onto a really old and unreliable stick 128mb which probably was the trouble the first time then I put it onto the dedicated hard drive but instead of putting the .ver and .bin I put the .ver and the original zipped file. Well I am getting on a bit now.

Should I ask anymore advice on the WDTV in the next week or so, please ignore me as I am probably having another senior moment. Mind after that all help will be welcome.

:)

Bob Aldis

Bob Aldis
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Both posted together Chris. Thanks. Panic over.

Bob Aldis

Chris.
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Bob, from the Home screen, go down to Settings (Cogs icon), then (to the right) System (icon of WDTV), then down to About. That will show your Firmware. Mine is now 1.01.02

I connected a proper HD full of video last night. Disappointed that it doesn't understand DV Codec AVI (Not a biggie as quite easy to convert to MPEG). It also doesn't understand some Quicktime MOV files. I had a play with the Arcsoft Converter. What a pile of crap that is! It did some terrible encoding.

Also last night I watched a DVD (some VOB files) on the WDTV. I was extremely impressed with the quality of the upscaling.

Chris.
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LOL that mixed me right up, I thought I hadn't posted! So I wrote it again! Apologies all.

MAGLINK
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Update on some experimenting I bought one of these USB CF readers of e-bay:http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Integral-USB-Compact-Flash-CF-Memory-Card-Reader-Writer_W0QQitemZ370140976858QQihZ024QQcategoryZ43449QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1742.m153.l1262

It has cured the playback problem I had with another reader.

I can now take the rushes CF card from the S270 and Z7 shot in HDV 1080i 50i and play back the m2t master files direct thru my TV via the WD HD TV box.

Eureka this box just gets better and better and is a must for any S270 / Z7 / Z5 user.

mooblie
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JGNattrass wrote:
It has cured the playback problem I had with another [USB] reader.

Maybe your other USB reader was not USB 2.0?

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Alan Roberts
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Dabs have been sending me emails ,for a week now, telling me that the expected date is moving at a rate of one day per day. Latest possible delivery date is 16th. If it does what I hope it does, it becomes a fundamental part of my training/lecturing kit.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

MAGLINK
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mooblie wrote:
Maybe your other USB reader was not USB 2.0?

I think you may be right there as it was a cheapie multi reader.

One other strange thing is that it prefers slower cards such as the 133x transcend 16gb ones I use on the cameras. I tried to use the sony 8gb 306x ones that I got free with the cameras and it doesnt like them. On that subject the S270 and Z7 also seem to work better with the transcend slower cards than the 306x ones. There is less reading time when powering up with the transcend cards than the sonys.

I also have a nikon D300 stills camera so it is great that I can view all my rushes media direct in full res on the TV for logging.

MAGLINK
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Alan Roberts wrote:
Dabs have been sending me emails ,for a week now, telling me that the expected date is moving at a rate of one day per day. Latest possible delivery date is 16th. If it does what I hope it does, it becomes a fundamental part of my training/lecturing kit.

Yup certainly beats having to lug a laptop around, it is also ideal for film presentations or competitions.

Alan Roberts
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Oh, I'll still have to lug the laptop around, there's no other way to cover the territory I have to. But, the WDTV beast will let me show the differences between coders without having to have the coders there as hardware. I can generate test sequences and code them using the coders in Edius, decode them back to QT or AVI and show the results. That's something I've been waiting to do for ages.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

MAGLINK
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Alan Roberts wrote:
Oh, I'll still have to lug the laptop around, there's no other way to cover the territory I have to. But, the WDTV beast will let me show the differences between coders without having to have the coders there as hardware. I can generate test sequences and code them using the coders in Edius, decode them back to QT or AVI and show the results. That's something I've been waiting to do for ages.

Good application Alan, certainly it plays raw m2t HDV files at 1080i 50i no problem so you can get good resolution out of it.

These are interesting times and the speed that things are happening will have great opportunities for those who can jump on board and use the technology well. There are all sorts of ways of empowering people to create and deliver their ideas in superb quality.

mooblie
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JGNattrass wrote:
...certainly it plays raw m2t HDV files at 1080i 50i no problem so you can get good resolution out of it.

Hmmm, I'm having a problemmette related to this. I can't get a raw HDV file (1080i50 file, captured from tape, transferred to USB 2.0 HDD) to play.

With no filename suffix, the WDTV doesn't even see it as a video file.

When renamed with suffix ".m2t" (or ".m2v" or ".m2ts") WDTV sees it as video, but when told to play it, WDTV gives an "unsupported format" message.

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

MAGLINK
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mooblie wrote:
Hmmm, I'm having a problemmette related to this. I can't get a raw HDV file (1080i50 file, captured from tape, transferred to USB 2.0 HDD) to play.

With no filename suffix, the WDTV doesn't even see it as a video file.

When renamed with suffix ".m2t" (or ".m2v" or ".m2ts") WDTV sees it as video, but when told to play it, WDTV gives an "unsupported format" message.

How are you capturing from tape? I suspect this is the problem.

What I am doing is taking the CF from the camera and plugging it straight into the WDTV via the CF USB reader. The files as recorded on the CF unit are m2t and read directly OK.

mooblie
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JGNattrass wrote:
How are you capturing from tape? I suspect this is the problem.

Firewire, into a Mac+FCP. (HDV tape-only camera!)

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

MAGLINK
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mooblie wrote:
Firewire, into a Mac+FCP. (HDV tape-only camera!)

I think the files will then be .mov quicktime files and I dont think the WDTV can play them directly. The source files on the CF recorder are .m2t so that is why they will play OK.

Alan Roberts
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Can the WDTV box play a full-resolution MPEG2 file? I want to be able to play full 1920x1080 422 through it, with fairly light compression (say 50Mb/s or higher) so that I can show what happens when other compressors have had a go (e.g. HDCAM, DVCPROHD, HDV). I'll be putting test sequences through software coders using Edius, then decoding them back into Edius and exporting to a standard from for playing/demonstration. Clearly, the play format has to be higher than anything I want to demo.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

MAGLINK
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Will have a play around with that type of file Alan and let you know.

mooblie
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Alan Roberts wrote:
Can the WDTV box play a full-resolution MPEG2 file? I want to be able to play full 1920x1080 422 through it, with fairly light compression (say 50Mb/s or higher) so that I can show what happens when other compressors have had a go (e.g. HDCAM, DVCPROHD, HDV). I'll be putting test sequences through software coders using Edius, then decoding them back into Edius and exporting to a standard from for playing/demonstration. Clearly, the play format has to be higher than anything I want to demo.

Haven't tried that combination. A couple of early observations though:

(a) lipsync - files that play perfectly synced on a computer appear to have a small (few frames?) delay in the audio output. This is on ALL the three audio outputs - HDMI, Toslink and analogue phonos (least problem on analogue phonos). Haven't definitely pinned down WHERE this delay is coming from yet.

(b) I originally thought it plays back too slowly - thinking even I could tell from well-known music sounding a fraction lower in pitch (again the files playing back OK on a computer). I though maybe it was cheap QC and wide tolerance crystal selection. However, measuring playback durations with a stopwatch seemed to show it to be correct.

(I wonder if we should start a WDTV thread? - as this thread's title is not very informative!)

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Alan Roberts
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Thanks for the comments chaps. And I reckon it's a good idea to start a new thread on the WDTV. Over to you :)

In't it marvellous what Moderators can do :D

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

mooblie
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Late audio on WD TV ?

The perceived late audio I seem to be getting is bothering me so I investigated further. I have done a quick and dirty measurement (videod on-screen/on-speaker results, captured that, and measured it frame by frame):

WDTV audio coming from phonos is 4 frames/160ms late
WDTV audio coming from HDMI is 5 frames/200ms late
WDTV audio coming from SPDIF is 5 frames/200ms late.

Original source is a specially-generated FCP test clip, transcoded to H.264, which plays in perfect sync on computer.
This is enough to (just) ruin carefully edited fast pieces to music, and show visible lipsync problems on speech. :(

Maybe this issue is restricted to (just) WDTV's H.264 decoding? Worth trying with other filetypes.
It would be useful if someone else could confirm/deny this, with their own independent tests.

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Alan Roberts
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Martin, if you can capture from Freesat, there's a lovely sound sync test sequence in the HD Preview cycle.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

mooblie
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Alan Roberts wrote:
Martin, if you can capture from Freesat.....

If only.... One day.... :(

Actually, I believe my source H.264 file is OK - putting the SAME file I played in the WDTV back on the timeline (and rendering): it still shows perfect sync.
So there is a problem somewhere in the WDTV+Panny Plasma (and/or Yamaha AV Receiver) somewhere.

There is an unofficial "bug list" thread here - a bit unwieldy is scope and size, but nonetheless...

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

MAGLINK
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All my apple TV H264 mp4 files play fine and are in sync, the WDTV is feeding an LG 37in LCD TV via HDMI.

mooblie
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Thanks, Gary. I wonder where my particular problem lies. I'd suspect my H.264 encoding, except that the file itself seems fine when played elsewhere. I'll have to keep investigating.

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

MAGLINK
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mooblie wrote:
Thanks, Gary. I wonder where my particular problem lies. I'd suspect my H.264 encoding, except that the file itself seems fine when played elsewhere. I'll have to keep investigating.

1: Are you going optical out? It may be that the HDMI and the optical are out of sync.

2: Is the picture going direct and the optical via the Yamaha AV receiver? It may be causing the same problem.

3: Are you mixing analogue and digital? i.e. Composite picture out with optical sound?

As I said I am going straight out of the HDMI port for sound and pic to the LG
P.S. I have had problems with out of sync sound on H264 but only when I was trying to upload desktop quality files to our streaming flash server. Never got to the bottom of it and now have to flash encode and wait ages for decoding.

mooblie
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JGNattrass wrote:
1: Are you going optical out? It may be that the HDMI and the optical are out of sync.

Good thought. In an attempt to eliminate potential path differences:

(a): I've taken composite video+analogue phono audio (yellow+red+white - eew!) from WD-TV to the front panel of the Panny Plasma TV. Still getting 5ms audio delay playback from my H.264 file. (And that file still plays in perfect sync on computer, or if put back into NLE and rendered.)

and also (b): the HDMI late audio error was found when comparing HDMI audio and HDMI video - naturally on same TV (same signal path.)

I have deliberately been using fairly low bitrate H.264 @ 5Mbps, in case I was choking a decoder, but I get the same late audio with 1Mbps, 5Mbps or 25Mbps H.264 files.

I will be trying a few more encoding formats to try and track this one down when I've finished the current wedding!

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Bob Aldis
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Alan Roberts wrote:
Martin, if you can capture from Freesat, there's a lovely sound sync test sequence in the HD Preview cycle.

Is that the screen that clicks? I get it on V+ box. How embarrassing, I thought they had lost the signal

Bob Aldis

Alan Roberts
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Horizontal traveling patch, vertical falling bar, flash and click.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

MAGLINK
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Hi Martin have played with the file you sent me and the results are as follows:

1: It plays fine in sync on my macbook pro.

2: When played on the WD TV the sound is like you say out of sync with details as follows:

Stream: blip sync 1m 5Mbps.mov
Path: ~/Downloads/blip sync 1m 5Mbps.mov
Duration: 0:01:00
Data Size: 4.33 MB
Bit Rate: 0.60 Mbps
Video Tracks:
H.264, 1280 × 720, 25 fps, 598 kbps
Audio Tracks:
MPEG-4 Audio stereo, 32 kHz, 7 kbps
Stream Files:
blip sync 1m 5Mbps.mov (4.33 MB)

3: I loaded your file into quicktime and exported it as apple tv mpeg4 and it plays in sync with details as follows:

Stream: blip sync 1m 5Mbps.m4v
Path: ~/Desktop/blip sync 1m 5Mbps.m4v
Duration: 0:01:00
Data Size: 3.94 MB
Bit Rate: 0.55 Mbps
Video Tracks:
H.264, 1280 × 720, 25 fps, 536 kbps
Audio Tracks:
MPEG-4 Audio stereo, 44.1 kHz, 15 kbps
Stream Files:
blip sync 1m 5Mbps.m4v (3.94 MB)

Seems to me that 32k audio at 7kbs is too low to keep sync also the WDTV may not see the .mov ext and prefers .mp4.
I am sure Alan will pipe in now and I can send you the apple tv file if you need it.
Gary

mooblie
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Many thanks, Gary - good find - I'll try the single change of audio from 32kHz to 44.1kHz to see if that changes things.

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Alan Roberts
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Good grief, 7kb/s for sound? S'truth, I'm surprised you can tell what's on the tracks, let alone measure timing differences :D

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

mooblie
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Alan Roberts wrote:
Good grief, 7kb/s for sound? S'truth, I'm surprised you can tell what's on the tracks, let alone measure timing differences :D

Well, it is only a blip of 1kHz tone at -12dB for 40ms, then 960ms silence, repeated. I gave the encoder (Apple's Compressor) the option to take much more bandwidth, but there you go! :) (I'll try and force it to use more bandwidth in my next tests.)

So far, I have repeated my tests with newly encoded files with different audio sample rates - makes a small improvement:

with 32.0 kHz sample rate, audio was 4 frames/160ms late;
with 44.1 kHz sample rate, audio was 3 frames/120ms late;
with 48.0 kHz sample rate, audio was 3 frames/120ms late as well;

Changing the filename from .mov to .m4v made no difference. Am improvement, but still could be better. Thanks everybody, especially Gary!

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Alan Roberts
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It's not the sample rate, 32kHz should be fine, it's the data rate. At 7kb/s you're giving each sample only 7/32=0.21875 bits, that's a compression ratio of 73:1 for 16-bit audio. That's nasty. If you want the audio to be good enough to check timing, I'd be surprised if you could go much below 50kb/s, and 100kb/s would be better.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

mooblie
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Yes, understood. My point was that the audio is mostly silence - which I assume affects (reduces) the measured bandwidth of the actual audio track. I'll try forcing a higher constant audio bandwidth next.

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

mooblie
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JGNattrass wrote:
I loaded your file into quicktime and exported it as apple tv mpeg4 and it plays in sync...

Yes please, can you send me the apple TV mpeg 4 file to try please, Gary. (email a link?). Thanks. I'd like to compare it with the (obviously troublesome!) Compressor-encoded files I'm using.

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Alan Roberts
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Martin, audio's not compressed like that, although it would make sense. It's much the same as video, take a block of data, analyse what's in it, transform into a more efficient mathematical form, then exploit redundancy and transmit the data for the block. Every block is allocated the same number of output pixels, irrespective of input content.

The problem is that the output has a fixed format, so for your 960ms of silence, you just have a stream of zeroes. It's not like RLE (run length encoding) where you state the level and the number of following samples that have that value.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

mooblie
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Alan Roberts wrote:
Martin, audio's not compressed like that, although it would make sense. It's much the same as video, take a block of data, analyse what's in it, transform into a more efficient mathematical form, then exploit redundancy and transmit the data for the block. Every block is allocated the same number of output pixels, irrespective of input content.

The problem is that the output has a fixed format, so for your 960ms of silence, you just have a stream of zeroes. It's not like RLE (run length encoding) where you state the level and the number of following samples that have that value.

OK, then I am confused. I just encoded three different 1min tracks, forcing constant audio bitrate of 64kbps from Apple's Compressor H.264 encoder: one track with silence, one with my 1/24 ratio tone/silence "blips", and one with complex music.

MediaInfo Mac reported they all were indeed encoded at Audio Stream Bitrate (Nominal) of 64.0 Kbps, but also reports:

Silence: Audio Stream Bitrate = 2.6 Kbps
Blips: Audio Stream Bitrate = 7.3 Kbps
Complex Music: Audio Stream Bitrate = 63.1 Kbps

I'm wondering exactly WHAT that is reporting then? Must be audio bandwidth after decompression?

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Alan Roberts
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Dunno, can't help at this stage.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

MAGLINK
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For info here are the specs for the apple tv mp4 files that I have standardised on for use with the WD HD TV:

Stream: Craster.m4v
Path: ~/Movies/INorthEast.tv Apple TV/Craster.m4v
Duration: 0:11:51
Data Size: 428.28 MB
Bit Rate: 5.05 Mbps
Video Tracks:
H.264, 1280 × 720, 25 fps, 4.93 Mbps
Audio Tracks:
MPEG-4 Audio stereo, 44.1 kHz, 116 kbps
Stream Files:
Craster.m4v (428.28 MB)

And the flash files for the IPTV sites:

Stream: Craster.flv
Path: /Volumes/G-RAID-2 Final Cut Studio/INorthEastTV/IPTV Flash encodes/Craster.flv
Duration: 0:11:51
Data Size: 99.53 MB
Bit Rate: 1.17 Mbps
Video Tracks:
On2 VP6, 852 × 480, 25 fps, 1.11 Mbps
Audio Tracks:
MPEG Layer-3 Audio stereo, 22.05 kHz, 64 kbps
Stream Files:
Craster.flv (99.53 MB)

All my files are down converted in quicktime from masters with this spec:

Stream: Craster Pro Res 25p.mov
Path: /Volumes/G-RAID-2 Final Cut Studio/INorthEastTV/IPTV Pro Res Masters/Craster Pro Res 25p.mov
Duration: 0:11:51
Data Size: 8.57 GB
Bit Rate: 103.41 Mbps
Video Tracks:
Apple ProRes 422, 1440 × 1080, 25 fps, 101.87 Mbps
Audio Tracks:
16-bit Little Endian stereo, 48 kHz, 1.54 Mbps
Stream Files:
Craster Pro Res 25p.mov (8.57 GB)

mooblie
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Gary - is that post complete?

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

MAGLINK
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mooblie wrote:
Gary - is that post complete?

Nope slight cock up on the pasting front solved now!

Is this the new trainspotting trend now that its been banned due to terrorist activity?

We can stay at home and bit stream spot!

Chris.
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I'd be happy to test on my WD TV setup if you think it might help.

The TV is a Panasonic connected via HDMI, the amp is a Sony AV amp connected by SPDIF.

If you can get me a link to one of your test files that I can download or we can find a way to transfer between us. If it's massive I can give you my address and you could pop a disc in the post.

mooblie
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Thanks, Chris - you have PM.

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Chris.
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Couldn't sleep, so had a go of this.

On the computer it's fine, if it's out, then maybe a frame. I'd say it was 100% accurate.

That's via SP-DIF from sound card to amp. I use SP-DIF for all my computer sound.

Different story on the WD TV, Panny TV audio (via HDMI) is spot on.

No sound from the amp, but the amp kept locking a signal then immediately losing it. It would flash 32khz (on the blips) then unlocked.

My theory is that the amp worked with the computer as the computer's sound card upsamples to 48 or 96 and the amp was happy, but the WDTV just passed the RAW digital audio to the amp and TV, the TV was fine with the low sample rate, but the amp wasn't.

Something else might be going on, but that's my first impression.

I've thought about digging my little video camera out, recording the TV screen and amp and watching in slow motion. I'm sure the Firewire socket is dodgy on it, which means it's going to be a pain to get footage on to computer to view on a timeline.

mooblie
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Many thanks, Chris. I think I'll create a new test file with 48kHz audio and CBR Audio to eliminate the 32kHz query: up in same directory now.

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

MAGLINK
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mooblie wrote:
Many thanks, Chris. I think I'll create a new test file with 48kHz audio and CBR Audio to eliminate the 32kHz query: up in same directory now.

Like Alan says its not down to sample rate but bit rate, if you look at the flash encoding details that I posted they are at 22.01k and in sync OK with a bit rate of 64kbs.

mooblie
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Yes, thanks, I've taken that point on board too; so I prepared a new file, encoded with a forced audio CBR of 64Kbps - same late audio problem.

So, still looking. It might be a Compressor encoding problem or setting. (But I've tried Quicktime Pro encoding too - same problem.)

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Chris.
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Hi Martin have got the new file.

Odd thing that I didn't mention last night, when I first opened the file on the computer the sync looked out, pressing stop then play again (in Quicktime) fixed it. The same thing happened with this file.

It seems perfectly in sync, I'd rather there was a coloured dot appeared on screen in time to the blips than the effect on the text. I could be wrong, but I feel I'd be able to judge even more accurately.

On the WDTV, in sync as before, however amp still won't lock. It does briefly display 48khz.

Which leads me to believe that your encoder is only encoding the blips not the silence (if that's possible)

The only way to tell would be if you can have a constant background noise, even if it's virtually silent but still some signal there, what do you reckon?

mooblie
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Thanks, Chris. Amazing!:- only this morning I tried a new file with a constant low level music bed as well (and also a moving video PIP) to eliminate any effects of near silent audio and near static video. Great minds think alike eh? :)

I will add colour patches too now and put the new file up in the same directory.

I am beginning to suspect my encoder, Apple's Compressor - but it's probably my settings, not a fault or bug.

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Chris.
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Hi Martin on new file on computer same result as before.

On WD TV this time the amp holds on to the audio and it actually comes out of the speakers.

It comes out of the TV (HDMI) absolutely bang on (the flashing rectangles really help me judge), it lags by a teeny bit coming out of the amp. Maybe two to four frames late, enough just to notice an echo effect when both TV sound and amp sound are turned up at the same time.

Looks like the WD TV feeds the amp ever so slightly late, and that some amps might add an extra delay of their own.

Upside is I don't think you need worry about your encoding, do you?

mooblie
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Many thanks, Chris, that's helpful in pinning down where my problem lies!

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Alan Roberts
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The better tvs should get the sound sync right when fed from HDMI, because it's all under there control. The problem with separate audio is that you then have to find some way to keep it in sync, there need to be adjustable delays in either or both of the audio and video components of the signal. It all gets rather complicated :(

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Bob Aldis
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If Alan thinks its complicated thats a bit scary ;)

Bob Aldis

Alan Roberts
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Just look at Andy Quested's BBC blog about the HD test card and you'll see what I mean :)

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

mooblie
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I assume this is the correct link?

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

StevenBagley
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Alan Roberts wrote:
The better tvs should get the sound sync right when fed from HDMI, because it's all under there control. The problem with separate audio is that you then have to find some way to keep it in sync, there need to be adjustable delays in either or both of the audio and video components of the signal. It all gets rather complicated :(

The other annoying thing is that the delay needs to be variable with input video format. The Panasonic TH-42PZ81 I think delays video by 3 fields, which means that the audio needs to be delays a corresponding 60ms, unless I'm feeding it 60i footage in which case it needs to be delayed 60ms unless I'm watching 1080p material in which case it shouldn't be delayed at all!

It's no wonder that the HDMI spec allows the TV to tell the amp what the delay should be at any point...

Steven

Alan Roberts
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Yes Martin, that's the one. Andy's very good at this game, and he's well trained :D

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

MAGLINK
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For info here are some other comments from another forum mainly with USA users:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-xdcam-ex-cinealta/138881-magic-box-viewing-ex-footage.html