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14 April 2010 @ 10:40 am
Not-Quite-Gates and Other Miscellania  
Nearly got a new front gate yesterday! Our old one got nicked a few years ago - we went away for a long weekend and came home and there was no gate. And we've been vaguely thinking about replacing it for ages but not really getting round to it. Ed spotted a likely looking one in a skip near his place though, and brought it round to see if it would fit. Nice gate, but too small :( I'd thought gates came in standard sort of widths to be honest, but clearly there's more different sizes than that :/ Ah well, so nearly nearly fixed! Not sure what Ed's doing with the gate now, mind you. Back in the skip if he can't find a taker for it I guess ;)

In other sorting out news J had had the brainwave that maybe why we couldn't archive HD programmes off the magic box (OK, the PVR but magic box is a better name ;) ) was because the filesystem of the USB stick couldn't cope with the filesize (VFAT tops out at 4Gb files). So he formatted one as ext3 and lo & behold we could indeed copy files off. Can't seem to play the files on the computer, but have no problem copying them back onto the magic box and playing them there, or even playing them off the USB stick. So in future I think our plan is to get a decent size harddrive & hook it up to the magic box as secondary storage for stuff we want to keep a bit longer than just watch-once. Like The Frankinsense Trail, which it looks like they don't want to sell us (but that hasn't stopped them putting copy-off-once copy protection on it, which seems cheeky to me given we can't get a DVD or Bluray of it coz they haven't made one). Freed up 8% of the magic box just moving off the three episodes of that that we'd kept, so that's quite handy. Most stuff on there is watch-once though, just recorded for time shifting purposes.

And I typed up another 3 days worth of J's egypt diary - 5 down, 8 to go. But some of the longer entries are yet to come. Still, progress was made.

Had chinese takeaway for dinner, coz J had a sudden desire for chicken chow mein. Sadly the chinese up the road, which was only ever average with one good dish seems to've gone a little bit downhill. It was OK still, but I think we need to find somewhere else as our default chinese. Not that we should be having takeaways that often ;)
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Current Mood: busybusy
Current Music: Various "Dreamboats & Petticoats (CD2)"
Hapi vace! Hapi vace!keirf on April 14th, 2010 10:56 am (UTC)
File format is probably .trp or .ts , which is a transport stream for MPEG4 files. If you want to watch them on anything else you need to converted them to MPEG2. I've not managed this yet mainly because I haven't had time, but I've read that there is a program called VideoRedo that handles this. However, YMMV.
Hapi vace! Hapi vace!keirf on April 14th, 2010 11:03 am (UTC)
Got the contained files formats the wrong way round. Further digging suggests that a piece of open source software that can help is Handbrake, at http://handbrake.fr/downloads.php

The other software I mentioned in the previous comment is commercial.
Margaretpling on April 14th, 2010 12:21 pm (UTC)
Ooh, thanks that looks interesting - not just for this, but also I have some video I took of my nephew that I've been having trouble* getting from the format the camera takes it (AVCHD lite or something like that) in to something more universally playable (I "foolishly" didn't take it off the camera with the proprietary software so it doesn't seem to want to convert it for me either and anyway the proprietary software only converts if it's burning to DVD and Windows decided to hate my DVD burner around the same time).

*Admitedly, some large chunk of the "trouble" is down to not having put much effort into it yet ;)

Edited at 2010-04-14 12:22 pm (UTC)
Hapi vace! Hapi vace!keirf on April 14th, 2010 01:10 pm (UTC)
I've spent stupid amounts of time converting footage from video cameras (mpeg2) to DVD (vob), uploads for family (wmv), the kid's video playing teddies (amv), my PSP (mp4 with mpg audio) and my Zune (mp4 with AAC audio), and so on. It's all confusing and contrary, and extremely arbitrary. And the conversion times are all slow. But that's video for you.
Johnjarel on April 14th, 2010 02:58 pm (UTC)
The main files are .ts (and there's a few other associated smaller files, for the magic box's benefit).

I think we can usually play them directly using VLC, although it's been a while since I did. That wasn't working for the files we transferred yesterday though - it played the first 10 seconds or so then ground to a halt. We're weren't sure if the files were corrupt in some way, encrypted in some way (they're from BBC HD), or just too much for the player to handle directly. Copying them back to the magic box seemed to work ok, so that would seem to rule out corruption.

We'll definitely have to have a poke at Handbrake, as that sounds handy (for the video from our camera), thanks.