Watching Media

Most HD Topfields can view external media, i.e. media not recorded from the FTA transmission but rather media files such as AVI, MP4, etc recorded elsewhere and transferred to the PVR under the "Media Player" folder.

The range of files the PVR can play depends on whether it has the required codecs to play those media. Some testing by other users has shown that the range of playable files is quite limited.

As more is discovered that information will be listed here.

Formats

.MOV

Video files with .mov extensions are typically quicktime formatted mpeg4 video. While Topfields may understand mpeg4, they do not necessarily understand the .mov container format.
Testing in a trf 7170, a 1080i video file from a Canon digital camera can be simply renamed by changing the extension from .mov to .mp4 (the Topfield UI itself does not allow this, but it can be done for example through the ftp client). This shows the video, but not the audio.

The solution to creating a valid mp4 file is to copy/remux the video and convert the audio from uncompressed pcm to aac.
For example, the options with ffmpeg (using WinFF) are

-vcodec copy -acodec libvo_aacenc  -b:a 192k

.MKV

An MKV file is a Matroska file. Matroska is an open source container format. It is an alternative to the popular AVI and MP4 formats and it also surpasses them in many areas.

MKV files contain video and audio streams (may also contain subtitles). The streams are likely compressed and have been produced with an encoder. In order to play these streams a codec is required. Codec, as a word is an abbreviation of Coder / Decoder. The video stream located in the MKV file has been "coded" by the source and now it must be "decoded" by the end user who wishes to play it. The Topfield PVR contains several video and audio codecs but not all possible codecs, therefore some MKV files may not play successfully.

If the MKV file does not play, trying "cleaning" the file with the mkclean program available here. This seems to fix most issues.

If the file still does not play, read further… An issue was found with how Topfield processes MKV files1.

It was originally thought that the issue where many MKV files would not play was because of header compression. It appears it is not mkv header compression after all, but the version of matroska libraries used in the toppy to playback mkv files.
A user has found after about 8 hours of compiling all major versions of mkvmerge and supporting libraries, there is a compatible version for the topfield 2460. They are:

  • mkvmerge v3.0.0 ('Hang up your Hang-Ups') which means it needs the following libraries:
  • libebml v0.7.7 + libmatroska v0.8.1

Using a mkvmerge binary linked with these version of matroska libraries, MKVs can be played without issue.

Many thought it was header compression. But header compression was turned on in later versions of libmatroska. And because later versions means later than v3.0.0, it was assumed it was a header compression issue. It's not.
eg. An mkv written with this program/libraries:

  • mkvmerge v5.8.0 ('No Sleep / Pillow')
  • libebml v1.2.3 + libmatroska v1.3.0

(which does not have header compression) will not work. A quick 66 second remux with mkvmerge v3.0.0, and it will play.
PS. v3.0.1 of mkvmerge may also work, but has not been tested

Update
Some MKV files have a slightly different header format that a Toppy can't tolerate. If you go here there's a small Windows app that will alter the header back to an MKV that a Toppy accepts. Just leave mkclean.exe on your Windows desktop, then drag and drop the offending file onto it. A terminal will pop up and run a quick 3 part process leaving a Toppy acceptable version with the prefix 'clean …' in the same folder as the original.

Thanks to Wing Nut for this information.

.MP4

If an MP4 won't play, then try the following advice from DTV: Download here

I have also noticed the same thing when playing ABC iview MP4 downloads, which also don't work on the media player without a recode as well.

I use remux which works well. I originally found it here
http://stream-recorder.com/forum/showpost.php?p=23659&postcount=364

The link to download is dead now but I have uploaded it here 4.2MB
https://fp.io/4bmmd86d/

Just unzip it to a folder called Remux, copy the problem .mp4 into the Remux folder, then click and drag the .mp4 onto remux.bat. A DOS window will open up and remux the file in a few seconds. Delete the old .mp4.
Should now play

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