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  1. Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    United States
    Search Comp PM
    After much Googling, I'm dieing of information overload.

    I have a bunch of OTA ATSC broadcast (US) files saved by Windows Media Center in .wtv files. Random sampling with VLC Media Info shows they often contain:
    • Type: Audio Codec: A52 Audio (aka AC3) (a52 )
    • Type: Video Codec: MPEG-2 Video (mp2v)
    • subtitles are present when using WMC for playback.
    • I have no idea how much meta-data is actually carried with the media, but WMC can tell me all sorts of things like when it first broadcast, who the actors are, and a episode summary.
    I also have thheadend recording in .ts or .mkv, saving this information:
    • H.264 (MPEG-4 AVC) and MPEG2 video supported.
    • AC-3, AAC and MP2 audio supported.
    • DVB subtitles supported.
    I don't know how much meta-data is available as I'm using the EIT over-the-air program guide which doesn't have much. I will eventually convert to SchedulesDirect.org. It appears that tvheadend keeps meta information in side files, named with random(?) GUID strings.

    I'm asking for recommendations for:
    1. A standard contain file that will hold videos, audio, subtitles, and meta-data. The file will reside on a NAS server and be fetched (SMB/CIFS) by other machines for display, 1) the TV and receiver in my HTS, 2) a Raspberry Pi running Open Elec or Kodi, 3) nVidia Shield, 4) Android tablet.
    2. What video (and audio) format to use inside the container for well compressed files which are still enjoyable at 1080p resolution?
    3. How to make sure subtitles are also carried (not lost). THe oldies have CC line 21, the HD are streams. Can/should I extract the CC21 into streams?
    4. Meta-data. This is very murky; I'm not sure there is any standard "stream" that could also be placed in the container. The XMLTV information seems a reasonable candidate, as there are programs that assemble it and extract from it used by program guides.
    As far as using the meta-data, I assume that I will have have to run something over my library that extracts the meta-data stream and populates a database. All the database work may end up being custom, but I've got to get the meta-data to accompany the program in the container with its audio and video.

    What "standard" should I pick, and copy/transcode my sundry programs into?
    __________________________________________________ _____________

    Some possible got-chas:

    Are there containers/content combinations that seem universal? Are problematic with particular popular streaming boxes (nVidia, Kodi, Android TV) with specific combinations?

    Are there format conversions (or conversion programs) that have problems?

    For example, I read that (at one time, maybe not now) mcebuddy hickuped when there were errors in an OTA signal (airplane flys over) and ffmpeg would drop sound from .wtv, and passing .wtv to .dvr-ms would loose subtitles. Rumor says some converters take longer than the program run time to complete.

    How does .wtv carry meta-data, and if it doesn't, do you know of a way to get it out of WMC and carry it along with the audio, video, and subtitle/captions?

    Please give me your experience, so I don't have to try a zillion things and discover what doesn't work well.
    Last edited by jmthomas; 23rd May 2017 at 23:45. Reason: title truncated
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  2. Member Krispy Kritter's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
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    St Louis, MO USA
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    The program info isn't stored as "metadata" in the file (I don't believe, but it's been awhile since I was reading up about WMC), it's stored by WMC associated with the program id #. So if the metadata is your primary concern, I'd leave the files alone.

    As for conversion, the most common types would be mp4 or mkv depending how they will be used (ie: the player).
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  3. Member
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    San Francisco, California
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    Matroska video (MKV) will do everything you want. Takes just about any codec (you don't need to re-encode; you'll just lose quality) and stores metadata and subtitles.
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  4. Member Krispy Kritter's Avatar
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    St Louis, MO USA
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    On another note, you can store the metadata yourself for use with a front end like Kodi.

    For example: https://www.mediacentermaster.com/

    But again, all the metadata you noted above isn't stored in the actual video file. In the case of the software above (and others like it) it's stored in a separate file.
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