Using VideoDownloadHelper I notice that all the streams from a particular site have an issue with the video subtly stuttering/jerking. If I re-encode the video through handbrake the issue is gone. It's not visible in the live video, just the downloaded file.
Is this a common problem and any insight into what is actually causing this?
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You don't say which format you download these videos in. Presumably its .ts if its a hls stream (?).
By their nature, ts files are designed to be thrown at you piecemeal off a webserver so even though they can actually be replayed in your favourite media player they aren't designed to do this.
And you have more or less answered your own question. By re encoding the ts in Handbrake - presumably to mkv or mp4 - you will remove the dead spots and empty voids that a raw captured ts file contains.
However, unless you are trying to reduce filesize for some reason, a complete re encode is unnecessary. Simply drag and drop the ts file into MkvtoolNix and click 'Multiplex' and this will 'demux" the raw ts into an mkv in seconds without the need for any long winded re encoding. And will play back smoothly in your media player.
VLC Media Player
If you are happier with the CLI this can be achieved many ways too. Ffmpeg is excellent for this.
ffmpeg -i input.ts -c copy output.mkv
Do you know something that would work for MPEG-4p10/AVC/H.264 files downloaded via hls? I cannot find a solution apart from re-encoding for the stuttering and frame drop issue when using videodownloadhelper to HLS download these files. I was hoping mkvtoolnix was my golden ticket but I didn't get it to work (I was also hoping my files were .ts!). Any suggestions apart from re-encoding these? Thanks in advance!
There is no golden ticket for dropped frames/stuttering due to buffering and stream lag issues etc.
And you don't say whether you are downloading Live streams or static VODs. If you are getting stream-lag and stuttering whilst downloading VODs then you need to be looking at other factors such as saving the ts to a separate drive other than your System drive, ISP issues, router issues etc. You should be able to get a clean, uninterrupted download of any fixed (static) VOD in ts format and successfully demux to Mkv in mkvtoolnix or Mkv/Mp4 with ffmpeg. (Or to Mp4 in Mp4box GUI.)
No app in the world will 'cure' a Live captured video (in any format) of dropped and problematic frames. The capture (normally ts for hls) - whether OBS or VLC 'recorded' or downloaded via Streamlink, Yt-dl or ffmpeg etc has to be consistent for mkvtoolnix, or similar apps to work with.
You could try something like VideoReDo suite - not free - and review the timeline of the video frame by frame and remove dead/problematic frames (in the same way you would remove commercial breaks) but its long winded. Once saved, this would, of course, allow for a smoother playback but would have dropped frames.
* What app are you using to download your MPEG-4p10/AVC/H.264 files ? Maybe there is a setting to change that will download the file in ts format ?
Last edited by codehound; 14th May 2020 at 06:42.
Thanks for the reply! They are VODs but they won't demux in mkvtoolnix. If I re-encode them they play great, but for hundreds of hours, that is not feasible unless I get an encoding machine. I didn't know about the potential drive/isp/router issues and am not sure how to investigate further if that is my issue - I've tried on a few different machines and have the same pattern of dropped frames.
I'm using videodownloadhelper (paid) but don't see any settings to just keep the ts.
I'm trying to download videos from the digitalconcerthall. There is a free playlist here https://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/playlist/10 (I'd recommend the last video in the list, "Interview - Dawn of a new Era...." as it's the shortest) if you are up for trying it out. It asks for registration but you can just put in random stuff and immediately access the playlist. It's been my white whale for a few years now and I jump at the chance someone much more knowledgeable than me taking a look.
Its easily downloadable with a Streamlink basic command. I don't know if your able to use the CLI and this app ? And the files ARE ts files : ) Notice the segments in the Network traffic ?
[Attachment 53309 - Click to enlarge]
I did a Filter URL for mpd but straightaway a 'master.m3u8' popped up telling us that the best quality available is 1080p. So with a simple Streamlink syntax I was able to download the 10 min Raw ts in 26 seconds.
Here's the raw ts
Here's the demuxed Mkv (after mkvtoolnix'ing)
Note the difference in filesize now the empty voids are removed.
Here's the streamlink syntax to download the raw ts:
streamlink "https://world-vod.dchdns.net/hlss/dch/52428-5/,h264_LOW_THREE,h264_LOW_TWO,h264_LOW_ONE,h264_MED IUM_TWO,h264_MEDIUM_ONE,h264_HIGH,h264_VERY_HIGH_O NE,.mp4.urlset/master.m3u8" best -o anyname.ts
[Attachment 53310 - Click to enlarge]
If you want an Mp4 here it is via CLI with ffmpeg and the command, in 5 seconds:
ffmpeg -i dch.ts -c copy dch.mp4
Similarly for Mkv with ffmpeg (instead of MkvToolNix)
ffmpeg -i dch.ts -c copy dch.mkv
Ffmpeg for Windows
VLC Media Player
Last edited by codehound; 14th May 2020 at 15:14.
Fantastic, thank you! I will look into this and let you know if I can't figure it out. Thank you so much!!
Streamlink tutorials all over here and the net (youtube) too. If you cant figure it out post back and I'll post more basic/detailed instructions my friend.
To grab the master m3u8 with Edge browser:
Click F12 key on keyboard for the DevTools
Make sure VOD is playing
Click the Network tab at top of DevTools box (and also the little green arrow if no traffic is showing)
Locate and Left click on the entry at 1
RIGHT click on the entry at 2 and select 'copy value'
[Attachment 53313 - Click to enlarge]
Last edited by codehound; 14th May 2020 at 14:33.
I did it! At first my directory was set to system32 and I couldn't find the output. But when opening cmd within another folder, it worked beautifully. (and I can set the output wherever I want - doh!) My next challenge is figuring out how to automate the link finding and downloading for those many videos. I don't need a solution right now, but if you would recommend a direction to look, I'd really appreciate it!
Add streamlink.exe, ffmpeg.exe and youtube-dl.exe to your Windows path environment table, then you can 'call' them from anywhere.
I don't know about automating an m3u8 finder for an entire website ?! Way beyond my scope, my friend. Unless someone else on here knows different - looks like you have a lot of manual work to do ; )
Another easy-to-use CLI app called youtube-dl can download entire playlists, so if there are playlists on that site....?
Last edited by codehound; 14th May 2020 at 15:20.