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  1. Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    @JustAmbivalent Have you checked the manuals for your TVs yet to see if they play mts files?

    My old non-smart LG 32LK330 released in 2011 plays TS files but doesn't list the MTS extension as supported. However, I took a look at the manual for a current model "cheap" LG Smart 4K TV (model 49SM8600PUA). The documentation for the Photo and Video app indicates that it plays MTS files. I would not be surprised if there are more new/newish TVs with a built-in media player that plays MTS files.
    Yeah, just today am learning there's a lot more out there than previously found, I think searching on USB MTS file play was the right search for the hardware situation, all along.
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  2. Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Other possible players...

    Again, you may have to rename the files .TS or .M2TS.
    Buts that's alright, very simple and livable, not spending hours reencoding, anyway. Quick fixes are good, don't mind adding new, quick steps, to get around anything.
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  3. Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    @JustAmbivalent Have you checked the manuals for your TVs yet to see if they play mts files?

    My old non-smart LG 32LK330 released in 2011 plays TS files but doesn't list the MTS extension as supported. However, I took a look at the manual for a current model "cheap" LG Smart 4K TV (model 49SM8600PUA). The documentation for the Photo and Video app indicates that it plays MTS files. I would not be surprised if there are more new/newish TVs with a built-in media player that plays MTS files.
    Good point, too. You know what they say, "If all else fails, read the manual."
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  4. Folks, found this on the web, called "The Rundown" on 2020 tuner DVR gadgets. Looks like there's some selection, other than Mediasonic, too. Maybe this would help somebody, as the website was, of course, hawking Amazon wares, but they are available and seem to mainly do the same thing, perhaps one brand better than another on the reliability front? I chased down info on file formats for what are considered the best recorders, and all record to .mts files, nary a normal .mp4 or .mkv among them, but still... can't have everything, anymore just ballpark will do... if you can find the park...

    The Rundown

    Best Overall: Mediasonic HW150PVR Digital Converter Box at Amazon <-- creates, records, .mts files
    "For those looking for a strong feature set on a digital converter at a reasonable price, you canít do any better than this."

    Best Budget: KORAMZI HDTV Digital Converter Box at Amazon
    "Supports outputs ranging from 480 to 1080p quality and a number of different aspect ratios (4:3 and 16:9)."

    Best DVR: IVIEW-3200STB Multi-function Digital Converter Box at Amazon <-- creates, records, .mts files
    "Can support up to 30 scheduled recordings at a single time."

    Runner-Up, Best DVR: ViewTV AT-163 ATSC Digital TV Converter Box at Amazon <-- creates, records, .mts files
    "The most feature-packed DVR-capable digital converter box in our lineup."

    Best Features: Mediasonic HW220STB Digital Converter Box at Walmart
    "A feature-rich digital converter box with some unique settings."

    Best Value: Mediasonic Mediasonic HW130STB at Amazon
    "The robust list of features and low cost make this digital converter a remarkable value."
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  5. Originally Posted by JustAmbivalent View Post
    all record to .mts files, nary a normal .mp4 or .mkv among them
    Because that's what's broadcast. All these boxes are doing is saving what they "download" over the air.

    I'd buy one just to play around with it, but I live a a "radio-free" valley and can't get any OTA TV.

    What is that site with the reviews?
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  6. Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Originally Posted by JustAmbivalent View Post
    all record to .mts files, nary a normal .mp4 or .mkv among them
    Because that's what's broadcast. All these boxes are doing is saving what they "download" over the air.

    I'd buy one just to play around with it, but I live a a "radio-free" valley and can't get any OTA TV.

    What is that site with the reviews?
    That's sort of what I finally began to find obvious, as you're not going to get the processing power, firmware or working memory in any box that cheap, to run any elaborate encoding. (Wouldn't pay for the components.) You run ffmpeg, and it sucks up a pretty high powered laptop, taking forever to complete. But it's not that I wouldn't pay well for a box that did produce something, anything, vanilla, for the common USB video players, like your Micca, universe. It would be worth the price, to have some consumer product, one box, to hookup, insert a USB drive, program it, record to a common file format and be done with it.

    I didn't provide the link, as I didn't want anybody to think I was stealth spamming, driving anybody to a link, which I'm not and wouldn't: it isn't my website. That came from:

    https://www.lifewire.com/best-digital-converter-boxes-3276142

    That's a shame about your signal situation. As mentioned, I find it as good, if not better, than what used to be called basic cable, in more analog days. There are really some great little networks, along with the majors, overall less disgusting content, as a matter of fact, channels with old TV shows, a lot of older movies, or documentary sorts of channels, stuff like that. More diverse content than I need or could use, anyway.
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    jagabo has already suggested a Raspberry Pi, but an alternative along the same lines is to buy a [cheap]refurbed PC for about the same price or a cheap Windows, not Chrome laptop for just over $100 (BestBuy and an AMD one for $119 for the Pre-Black Friday sale a couple of days ago). Add ~$20 to any of those for a wireless keyboard/TV remote and you're set to play just about video file out there except possibly UHD rips.

    By searching and insisting on a media player that works with .MTS, you're painting yourself into a corner. Eliminating this, eliminating that. As you've found out, .MTS isn't a highly supported container outside of PCs.

    As the saying goes: "Work smarter, not harder!"

    Edit: "Penny wise and pound foolish". Sometimes buying "just enough" today costs you more in the future replacing as you buy cheap and end up replacing it. One exception to this rule for me is hard drives. I KNOW they're going to fail, so I buy whatever's cheapest today and planning on replacing (hopefully) before it breaks.
    Last edited by lingyi; 16th Oct 2020 at 18:31.
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  8. For what it's worth... I have a ATSC TS file (mentioned earlier, of unknown origin) and remuxed it with ffmpeg to a new TS file and a new MTS file. The two files were identical. So ffmpeg sees them as the same thing.
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  9. Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
    jagabo has already suggested a Raspberry Pi, but an alternative along the same lines is to buy a check refurbed PC for about the same price or a cheap Windows, not Chrome laptop for just over $100 (BestBuy and an AMD one for $119 for the Pre-Black Friday sale a couple of days ago). Add ~$20 to any of those for a wireless keyboard/TV remote and you're set to play just about video file out there except possibly UHD rips.

    By searching and insisting on a media player that works with .MTS, you're painting yourself into a corner. Eliminating this, eliminating that. As you've found out, .MTS isn't a highly supported container outside of PCs.

    As the saying goes: "Work smarter, not harder!"
    "As the saying goes: "Work smarter, not harder!"

    Then why are you proposing all that crap? LOL!

    Actually, I have a few working laptops, from Win 7 to Win 8 to a couple Win 10, upgraded equipment over the years. I know what could be done, but didn't want to insert a laptop into to the mix. Some people use the word clutter: that's clutter, to me. I demand a nice, neat little box, that hardly can be noticed, no moving parts, a decent sized flash drive fine, begrudgingly an external hard drive, but that quietly does its thing, to whit all I have to do is program it, like any other TV recording device, plug and unplug USB drives, with files that play anywhere, and anything else is just un-American! But you're quite right, the effect of wanting some intelligently designed box for the purpose (that I'd pay for, mind you) has painted me into a corner, probably people thinking I'm beginning to sound like Rain Man, when all I want to do is record People's Court, People's Court, People's Court...

    I tucked away that good advice, if it comes down to the fact this world of such advanced and splendid technology has, in fact, merely gone to the dogs and become an unsightly, kludged-up pain in the rear, that is not the least user friendly and doesn't really function near as well as things did in the late 1980's, and all to watch a lot of current content even more deprecated? Let's put it this way: I just want a freaking solid state VCR, since VHS got scrapped, up to the user friendly standards of a few decades ago, not try to deal with the idiot Nazis that would limit what rooms I can play content in, and without turning my home into a data center. Is that so very hard to understand?
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  10. Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    For what it's worth... I have a ATSC TS file (mentioned earlier, of unknown origin) and remuxed it with ffmpeg to a new TS file and a new MTS file. The two files were identical. So ffmpeg sees them as the same thing.
    Good news! That speaks volumes, puts to bed wondering about a lot of things you read that nobody is addressing on product pages, precisely, but believe you hit the nail on the head to the same questions, pointing out what's coming in over the air just being recorded, which must be unencrypted for these boxes, in the first place. But this opens up the concept anything that speaks to playing TS may be fair game, too. Thanks!
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    Originally Posted by JustAmbivalent View Post

    Then why are you proposing all that crap? LOL!
    Because that "crap" will do a better job of playing back your .MTS files than any dedicated media player. I (and I don't think jagabo) said about anything recording, jut playback. Over the years, I've gone through numerous WDTVs, Seagate Theatre, Roku, Chromecast, Android Box, laptop and now cheap dedicated PCs for my playback needs. No remixing, no reencoding, no worrying about whether it will play the file, it just works. When I used my laptop, I just set the screen to my TV and didn't have to open it other than to troubleshoot it when necessary.

    Anyway, keep on your search for something that only the tiniest portion of the population wants. I'm done. *Plonk!"
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  12. You know, if we're such an advanced, technological civilization, it just beats me how we could be having a gas pain to find a box that will record a lousy mp4 file, then making excuses for what I'm ready to formally put forth must be the handiwork of greedy content Nazis? Are the sheep hypnotized, too?
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  13. Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
    Originally Posted by JustAmbivalent View Post

    Then why are you proposing all that crap? LOL!
    Anyway, keep on your search for something that only the tiniest portion of the population wants. I'm done. *Plonk!"
    Well, America was founded on the rights of the individual, not the masses. I'm taking this to the Supreme Court!

    I know what you're saying, to be serious, and it's not a matter of what can work, even work well. I just think it's silly people should have to do that, but not that the solution is bad, functionally, and I appreciate what you're saying, but it is a kluge, nonetheless. I would also hazard to say there may be more a market than being put forth, too, a market that is, clearly, being suppressed by the content industry. I have seen much about this, also, in my research, encryption universalized to force product monopolies, like an overflowing toilet into the hardware, now, somebody sharp here mentioning how the Chinese don't worry about being sued. I think that really sucks. But, if you enjoy being a serf, with the devil in both your pockets, have at it. It has always been my belief you compete, as opposed to trying to force people to feed, exclusively, at your trough, and the U.S. with a long history of antitrust sentiment considered fairness in business and best for the consumer, I would add.
    Last edited by JustAmbivalent; 16th Oct 2020 at 19:17.
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  14. By the way, as to content, need anybody be reminded that for what amounts to a couple generations, music recordings have been transferred around to tapes or whatever by people, and the industry thrived. VCRs were used for decades, and the industries thrived. Now, you're supposed to pay over $100 a month, to watch your crap recorded content in one room, on one device, like it's criminal to share something with a friend or family, much less share it in another room of your own home? I think the world has gone idiot bonkers, narcissism and paranoid greed taken over. The technology is now like putting a silk hat on a pig, as a result.
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  15. Originally Posted by JustAmbivalent View Post
    By the way, as to content, need anybody be reminded that for what amounts to a couple generations, music recordings have been transferred around to tapes or whatever by people, and the industry thrived. VCRs were used for decades, and the industries thrived. Now, you're supposed to pay over $100 a month, to watch your crap recorded content in one room, on one device, like it's criminal to share something with a friend or family, much less share it in another room of your own home? I think the world has gone idiot bonkers, narcissism and paranoid greed taken over. The technology is now like putting a silk hat on a pig, as a result.
    Digital technology, my friend, is the root cause of all your frustration.

    Back in the analog days, it was much more difficult to eke out a profit with piracy, and virtually impossible for one lone individual to spread a single copy of an album or movie all over the world overnight. The studios didn't care all that much about audio cassette copying because for quite a long time most people vastly preferred to own LPs, or would buy the LP to make a cassette. Then they caught a break: just as cassette copying WAS poised to become a serious threat to profits, the Walkman phenomenon swept the world. Suddenly, the number of people using freebie LP copies on cassette were left in the dust by millions more consumers happily paying for pre-recorded tapes for their shiny new Walkman.

    With analog video, things were a little different: studios were far more antagonistic and pro-active against the spread of casual copies. They got dragged kicking and screaming into Beta/VHS, and hated every single minute of it no matter how much money it made them. Esp at the beginning, Hollywood viewed home video with utter hatred: the concept of not having absolute control over every single existing print of a movie or TV show was completely foreign and terrifying to them. This led to deliberate corruption inserted into the tapes in the guise of "anti copy protection," and all manner of questionable business practices. Eventually they discovered they could just keep exaggerating the dollar amount that they were supposedly "losing to casual copying" to extort and gouge video rental stores with ever-higher pricing every year (toward the end of the VHS era, each individual tape of a movie like "12 Monkeys" wholesaled for an insane $89 a pop). Huge chains like Blockbuster countered by strong-arming the studios into a revenue-sharing deal instead of upfront cash, but most of your neighborhood video stores were stuck paying nearly a C-note for each tape of a hot new release (which is why there were never enough to go around on a Saturday night: the investment required was nuts).

    The big catch with analog formats was noticeable quality loss if you copied: a second generation dupe of a rental VHS looked pretty bad. That put a crimp in demand, at least in first-world countries (wide scale commercial piracy was rampant in second and third world regions, where video quality was secondary to availability). But once the digital DVD supplanted VHS, all hell broke loose, compounded by the proliferation of PCs and internet access. Digital files can be cloned thousands of times over the web in pristine quality with no or minimal generation loss: that became a gigantic threat to Hollywood. It wasn't long before everything digital started pouring onto the web, freely available. Each evolution toward higher definition posed a greater and greater existential threat.

    Bringing us to today. The studios know the genie is out of the bottle and they can never fully prevent files from free web availability. But, they do still try anything they can to stall it or make it more difficult for Average Joe/Jane to do. Which is why convenient, brand name home video recorders with widely-compaible removable media or file types vanished ten years ago when HDTV began fully displacing standard def in the home. Nothing horrifies Paramount or Disney more than the idea of random consumers recording a full HDTV quality transmission to MP4 or MKV for immediate uploading and sharing. Thus our era of sealed-box, encrypted PVRs (in turn being rapidly obliterated by streaming services as we speak: PVRs are for grandparents still using cable service, not self-respecting hipsters who would rather starve than give up Hulu).
    Last edited by orsetto; 16th Oct 2020 at 20:22.
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  16. Originally Posted by JustAmbivalent View Post
    didn't want to insert a laptop into to the mix. Some people use the word clutter: that's clutter, to me. I demand a nice, neat little box
    Intel NUC or Asrock BeeBox.

    https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/boards-kits/nuc.html
    http://www.asrock.com/microsite/Beebox/
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    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    Bringing us to today. The studios know the genie is out of the bottle and they can never fully prevent files from free web availability. But, they do still try anything they can to stall it or make it more difficult for Average Joe/Jane to do. Which is why convenient, brand name home video recorders with widely-compaible removable media or file types vanished ten years ago when HDTV began fully displacing standard def in the home. Nothing horrifies Paramount or Disney more than the idea of random consumers recording a full HDTV quality transmission to MP4 or MKV for immediate uploading and sharing. Thus our era of sealed-box, encrypted PVRs (in turn being rapidly obliterated by streaming services as we speak: PVRs are for grandparents still using cable service, not self-respecting hipsters who would rather starve than give up Hulu).
    I've been mulling creating a thread "Would you buy a movie on media that couldn't be backed up?" which is right along these lines.

    The genie is indeed out of the bottle and the studios have been regretting it ever since the first recording devices were developed. Quality be damned (even to this day with 700MB Blu-Ray "rips" that some claim is nearly as good as the original!). I can "own" it and play it back whenever I want! Woot!

    The majority of regulars probably know how to make perfect or near perfect copies of paid streaming video, but we adhere to the forum rules, Fair Use and stay on the right side of the law. HD TV and ATSC was developed in part to close the analog hole, not just give higher quality (sometimes) digital video to the masses.

    This whole situation reminds me of the joke of the guy who squeezes his supercar between two trees and the next day finds it flipped around with a note saying "When we want it, we'll take it!" If you want to record and playback broadcast TV, there are a myriad of ways to it. However, as you stated, it doesn't have to be easy!
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    Channel Master makes a DVR that I thought about recommending, the Channel Master Stream+. It is an Android TV box with 2 ATSC tuners. It uses the Google Live Channels app (with free guide service covering 14 days) to schedule recordings and can record to an attached USB portable hard drive. The only problem is, I don't know if it is possible to copy recordings from the attached storage drive to a USB flash drive. I know for certain that if a hard drive is set up as DVR storage for the Stream+ it isn't possible to simply eject it, disconnect it from the Stream+, connect it to a computer and copy recordings from it. I haven't been able to find out if it is possible to copy recordings to a USB flash drive attached to a PC via a home network with the DVR drive still connected to the Stream+.
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    According to these reviews, you can, but the drive is formatted in "Unix format", whatever that means. Maybe ext4?

    https://www.amazon.com/ask/questions/asin/B00JGZQ17Q
    Last edited by lingyi; 16th Oct 2020 at 21:31.
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    Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
    According to these reviews, you can, but the drive is formatted in "Unix format", whatever that means. Maybe ext4?

    https://www.amazon.com/ask/questions/asin/B00JGZQ17Q
    That review is for the DVR+. Channel Master has discontinued it. The Stream+ is the replacement model. Unfortunately, there are no listings or reviews on Amazon for the Stream+.
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  21. You can get extX drivers for Windows. When I first set up a NAS it used ex4. I didn't want to use the NAS unless I could easily remove the drives (not RAID) and read them in a Windows computer (planning ahead for when the device died). Since I was able to find an ext4 driver for Windows I was OK.
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    There you go again with those "crap" solutions! J/K!
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    I knew that ext4 drivers could work for the DVR+ because I already ran across that information in my search for info about the Stream+. ...but I'm not sure ext4 drivers will do the trick for transferring files from the the Stream+. For one thing, the Stream+ has Android TV as its OS. Plus, Android TV has the ability to encrypt recordings for DRM purposes.
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    stream + , all recordings are encrypted. you get several files and not only one with video and audio, even you cant joint them. i remember ask to the live channels developer about this in ohter forum , he told me its possible make it unencrypted but this google project its almost abandoned , its very slow changes with only one guy taking care of this.
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    Originally Posted by godai View Post
    stream + , all recordings are encrypted. you get several files and not only one with video and audio, even you cant joint them. i remember ask to the live channels developer about this in ohter forum , he told me its possible make it unencrypted but this google project its almost abandoned , its very slow changes with only one guy taking care of this.
    Thanks. That settles the matter. If someone is using the Live Channels app for recording TV with the Stream+ then the recordings aren't portable. ...which removes the Stream+ from consideration as a solution for JustAmbivalent.

    If there is an Android-compatible TV backend available for Kodi that works with the Stream+ tuners, this combination of software might provide a work-around. ...but I haven't located a an Android-compatible TV backend for Kodi yet.
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by godai View Post
    stream + , all recordings are encrypted. you get several files and not only one with video and audio, even you cant joint them. i remember ask to the live channels developer about this in ohter forum , he told me its possible make it unencrypted but this google project its almost abandoned , its very slow changes with only one guy taking care of this.
    Thanks. That settles the matter. If someone is using the Live Channels app for recording TV with the Stream+ then the recordings aren't portable. ...which removes the Stream+ from consideration as a solution for JustAmbivalent.

    If there is an Android-compatible TV backend available for Kodi that works with the Stream+ tuners, this combination of software might provide a work-around. ...but I haven't located a an Android-compatible TV backend for Kodi yet.
    im being trying with a nas-sinology using Tvheadend with usb tuners or hdhomerun tuners and pvr live add on for live channles everything its some way easy to setup, but channels freeze or lost signal. i guess its something to fix changing settings in tvheadend but i never see way to do it.

    only way to see watchable channels its using vlc on android tv, in my case one shield, i have also stream+.

    i can record. but i cant watch fluidly for what i remember. (i dont sure about quality recordings )

    using this way live channels + pvr live + tvheadend-nas .you can get uncrypted recordings.
    Last edited by godai; 17th Oct 2020 at 11:52.
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    Originally Posted by godai View Post
    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by godai View Post
    stream + , all recordings are encrypted. you get several files and not only one with video and audio, even you cant joint them. i remember ask to the live channels developer about this in ohter forum , he told me its possible make it unencrypted but this google project its almost abandoned , its very slow changes with only one guy taking care of this.
    Thanks. That settles the matter. If someone is using the Live Channels app for recording TV with the Stream+ then the recordings aren't portable. ...which removes the Stream+ from consideration as a solution for JustAmbivalent.

    If there is an Android-compatible TV backend available for Kodi that works with the Stream+ tuners, this combination of software might provide a work-around. ...but I haven't located a an Android-compatible TV backend for Kodi yet.
    im being trying with a nas-sinology using Tvheadend with usb tuners or hdhomerun tuners and pvr live add on for live channles everything its some way easy to setup, but channels freeze or lost signal. i guess its something to fix changing settings in tvheadend but i never see way to do it.

    only way to see watchable channels its using vlc on android tv, in my case one shield, i have also stream+.

    i can record. but i cant watch fluidly for what i remember. (i dont sure about quality recordings )

    using this way live channels + pvr live + tvheadend-nas .you can get uncrypted recordings.
    Well, its a solution but probably not simple enough for someone like JustAmbivalent. He's looking for one easy-to-use reasonably-priced appliance for recording OTA TV that lets him copy recordings to a USB stick and play them anywhere. The Homeworx boxes are probably as close as he's going to get to his goal.
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    Here's a cheap, easy solution. It uses two identical "Set-top boxes" we call them here, probably "PVRs" elsewhere. They connect to the TV via HDMI or Composite.

    This is one of mine:

    Image
    [Attachment 55553 - Click to enlarge]


    and this is it's screen on the TV:

    Image
    [Attachment 55554 - Click to enlarge]


    The three files, the TS, MPG and the MP4 were recorded on my computer. I put them onto the thumbdrive and the Settop box happily played them.

    So, get two: use one to record the show onto a USB stick and then move the USB stick to the other settop box to play. Each box costs about $35US here.

    Of course, if your bedroom TV has a USB port, you can plug the USB stick in there.
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    I already suggested using two identical boxes above. The OP insists the manufacturers should cater to his, "I want what nobody else does media box that plays my .MTS files as is!". Also as discussed, a .MTS file on a PVR/DVR may not be playable on other devices, possibly due to encryption by the box.

    Edit: Two identical boxes won't work, because his mythical media player box must be tiny, along the the lines of a Micca Speck. That identical PVR/DVR box would be *GASP*, almost as big as the laptops he has but refuses to use.
    Last edited by lingyi; 18th Oct 2020 at 02:28.
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    My money is on the OP will find something after two pages of suggestions and his ranting and raving, and gloat about finding a box that no one else wants or cares about.
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