Has the MPEG2 "Fixed" firmware been released yet?


#21

If you're in the UK then your channels are not in MPEG2 but rather interlaced H264. It seems clear that amazon hasn't fixed the problem in their decoder even though they claimed to, so who knows when their next round of fixes might be available. There is a new issue opened here: https://github.com/amzn/exoplayer-amazon-port/issues/94


#22

That's frustrating, thanks for the update.


#23

@tmm1 Thanks for confirmation I must have got a bit confused with regards to MPEG2 vs Interlaced H264. Out of interest do you know if interlaced H264 would be fixed as part of fixing MPEG2 if it does ever really get fixed?

Thanks for the link to the new topic, will keep watching it, myself and a few others got into a bit of a conversation on the last one which Amazon obviously didn't like. When someone suggested I buy an Apple TV I think that was the nail in the coffin lol

I guess this means for a foreseeable future I have 2 options live with software decoding or shell out £750 and buy an Apple TV 4K for each TV in the house with a view to another £300 in the future when I install the final 2 TV's!

I guess no one will know when the next update will be released, I am beginning to wonder if this isn't actually fixable via firmware and there may be an issue with the actual hardware? I appreciate Amazon are at the hands of the manufacturer and not actually doing the fix themselves, but you would have thought a company like Amazon would have the power to say find a fix in the next 2 weeks or we will be using a different supply for the hardware going forward. They must sell millions of these 4K fire sticks!


#24

@tmm1 You don't by any chance have a link or could post what format each UK channel is streamed in?

I assume they are not all interlaced H264? I am guessing SD and HD use different formats, the info would be beneficial to me as on a smaller tv such as the kitchen TV, it may be better for me to switch the SD versions of channels on that TV if they don't have the same hardware issues?

This way I should be able to switch that stick across to hardware decoding avoiding crashes.... possibly!


#25

You can see the video formats on Channel Lineup via my.hdhomerun.com

Any channel that says "AVC" is using H264. SD channels generally use MPEG2.

It seems the MPEG2 issues have been resolved in the latest firmware but the H264 issues are still pending.


#26

Perfect thanks. I'll check and see which channels are using what and see if sd versions work as a fix on the more basic tvs.

Looks like the community on github may figure out the issue before Amazon / the hardware manufacturer does!


#27

@tmm1 Looking at my HDHomeRun only a couple of the channels actually say anything next to them and its only on the HD channels bar 1 other channel More 4 +1 which says AVC ago. Am I right in assuming all the other channels with nothing next to them will be MPEG2?

The below shows a screenshot of my channels, the full list above and below have nothing next to the channels only these seem to show what format they are being streamed in


#28

I've found the labels in the HDHR channel list to be somewhat unreliable; I think it has to do with how it scans and whether a channel is actually broadcasting when the scan occurs.

Not sure how technical you are but anything broadcast in DVB-T2 in the UK will be in H264 regardless of HD or SD. So all channels on the PSB3, COM7 and COM8 muxes are H264. Everything else is DVB-T and MPEG2. Here is a good site to see what channels are on which muxes: https://www.terrestrialtv.uk/


#29

Thanks for the reply that is really helpful, the main 5 SD channels in the UK are a mix of PSB1 and PSB2 does that mean they with me MPEG2 and should decode ok using FTV Hardware decoding?

Just having a quick scan through the rest of the list essentially every channel we would use on a regular basis whether SD or HD is H264 so this new fix from Amazon has changed nothing for UK users really.

Seems like all it has done is allow us to stream a few SD channels via hardware, not exactly an ideal situation.

I'm gutted I've bought so many of the things based on the fix coming at the end of Q2


#30

Yes the 5 main channels in SD are MPEG2. I'm in the same boat as you since 90% of my Freeview viewing is on the 5 main channels in HD in H264. I moved from the Fire TV to the Nvidia Shield in part because of the former's poor decoding abilities.

The Shield still has problems with decoding, but it they are not insurmountable. Hardware decoding has trouble switching aspect ratios, which mainly happens when watching older 4:3 programmes that go to an ad break that's in 16:9 (you end up with either stretch-o-vision or squish-o-vision). Software decoding doesn't have that issue but it can introduce occasional 'micro-judder' that can be corrected by pausing or skipping back for a few seconds. But I stick with hardware decoding since I don't tend to watch many 4:3 programmes and the micro-judder really irritates me.

It seems there is no streaming box at the moment that decodes perfectly, particularly using hardware decoding. AFAIK, the Apple TV won't hardware decode interlaced video at all. For me the Shield has been the best solution.


#31

Yeah 90% of our live TV viewing is also done on the 5 main HD channels or my little girls HD CeBebies.

Squished ad's wouldn't really bother me, but micro judder would bother me. I have actually had a Shield previously and sold it due to the lack of ITV Hub and All 4, as we don't actually use a DVR we rely on catch up, the FTV providers all 4 major catch up apps perfectly but the Shield was lacking unfortunately.

I wasn't aware the Apple TV 4K didn't do hardware decoding! I assume it just does software decoding that well that hardware decoding isn't an issue as I was lead to believe there was no issues on any streams using an Apple TV for "channels" ?


#32

The Shield now has ITV Hub. Still no All4 though :frowning:

The Apple TV does hardware decode progressive video (720p, 1080p, 4K) but not interlaced (1080i) which rules out Freeview and most other terrestrial TV systems. I still got the micro-judder with software decoding with the Apple TV. I'm starting to wonder if it's something peculiar to UK TV broadcasts and/or the devs not being able to work directly with DVB-T/T2 streams to optimise the decoding.


#33

That's very interesting on the Apple TV I was very close to buying one to test, not a cheap bit of kit to experiment with it it doesn't decode perfectly sounds like I will be no better off than I am with the FTV just a lot less money in the bank!

If Nvidia could get ALL4 would be the ideal device, also wish they did a slightly smaller version as they are hard to hide behind small wall mounted TV's!


#34

My All4 solution is to use the built-in chromecast in the Shield and cast from my phone or laptop. Not ideal but it gets the job done. They really should make a native app though. I bet they will eventually...they took ages to get an app on Apple TV so Android TV is the last major platform left.


#35

Yeah I'm not even starting to go down the cast route with my wife and children. Fingers crossed Nvidia and All 4 can sort an Android app in the not too distant future and then the big 4 apps are all up and running making it the best choice for the UK Market


#36

I've had a bit of a play this evening by disabling all of the HD channels, then turning hardware decoding on. I have tested BBC 1, BBC 2, ITV, 4, 5, ITV 2 and E4 so far none of them have crashed and they all work perfectly!!

I'm not sure if this contradicts what has been said previously regarding H264 vs MPEG2 but everything seems to be working fine at the moment. It's far from ideal as there's a reason we have HD content but at least this is a way around the framerate issues

@tmm1 Do you think it would be possible to choose a specific software / hardware decoder on a channel dependant basis? This way we could have certain channels that use software decoding and other channels that switch to hardware decoding. Is that something you could possibly look at?

Thanks very much


#37

@tmm1 It would be nice if we could set the tuner to decode with hardware but when pressing the menu button on a channel you see a screen like below with the option to put a tick next to force software decoding. This would allow us to specify software decoding on a channel by channel basis

Don't get me wrong this isn't a solution as such but a bit of a work around until Amazon do fix the issue... if they ever do. This way we can use HD for lower frame rate required streams but switch to SD hardware for sports and such where they are currently unwatchable with software decoding and frame rate issues


#38

Just seeing if one of the devs could confirm if a combination of software and hardware is something you would be willing to look at or if it is even possible? The feedback on github does not look like good news for Amazon providing a fix soon, if ever!


#39

Adding a new setting per channel is not feasible.

We may be able to default SD channels to one vs the other, however I suspect that also won't work if you tried to use the Quick Guide to switch channels.