Channel Issues & Questions

Help & troubleshooting for channels on your Roku device, including adding/removing channels, logging in to, authenticating, or activating a channel, channel-specific playback issues, assistance contacting channel publishers to report issues, and adjusting channel-specific settings.
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atc98092
Level 13

MPEG2 support: patent expires worldwide, almost

Roku, the US patent for the MPEG2 video codec has expired. How about adding this codec support into your stand-alone players now? Your TVs have it, so you already know how to implement it. 
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From TechRepublic post:

With this expiration, manufacturers of devices that are capable of processing MPEG-2 encoded content, such as TVs, DVD players, USB or PCIe-connected TV tuners, and professional production equipment do not need to pay license fees to MPEG LA.

EDIT: Two countries still have active patents, Malaysia and the Philippines. The rest of the world now can encode and decode MPEG2 for free.
Dan
Nvidia Shield, Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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25 Replies
jntaylor1701
Level 7

Re: MPEG2 support: patent expires worldwide, almost

Please add this feature, many of us have begged and even offered to pay to get this.

Why? At least for me, I want to be able to stream OTA or cable TV without the need to encode it.
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beq
Level 8

Re: MPEG2 support: patent expires worldwide, almost

+1

Interesting, would it be possible to add to existing players (from Roku 3 to Ultra)?  More options for USB/LAN playback, possible HDHomeRun app, etc.
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atc98092
Level 13

Re: MPEG2 support: patent expires worldwide, almost

Since it already exists in the Roku TV firmware, I would assume it would be simple to add. But you know what assume stands for!  Smiley LOL
Dan
Nvidia Shield, Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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roberto188
Level 7

Re: MPEG2 support: patent expires worldwide, almost

+1 on this! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! MPEG2 Support!
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Brettface
Level 7

Re: MPEG2 support: patent expires worldwide, almost

I would still love to see this happen!
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RokuDale
Level 8

Re: MPEG2 support: patent expires worldwide, almost

One of RMP's helpscreens has a page showing audio and video codec support. That is official support. Officially supported fiile formats are also indicated.
Rokudale
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speechles
Level 7

Re: MPEG2 support: patent expires worldwide, almost

4640X - Roku Ultra - 8.1.0 build 4145-29

Brightscript Debugger> test5 = { Codec: "mpeg4", Container: "mkv" }
 
Brightscript Debugger>  device = CreateObject("roDeviceInfo") : PrintAnyAA(4,device.CanDecodeVideo(test5))
        updated: codec
        codec: (list of 6)...
          List(0)= hevc
          List(1)= mpeg1
          List(2)= mpeg2
          List(3)= h263
          List(4)= mpeg4 avc
          List(5)= vp9
        result: false

Stand outs are: mpeg1, mpeg2(h262), and h263(mpeg4 part2 aka divx/xvid)

All of these appear to direct play with MKV container.
mpeg1video in mkv, yep. mpeg2video in mkv, yep. mpeg4 part2(divx/xvid) in mkv container rather than avi, yep.

Why does RMP only show H262? Where is the mention of mpeg1 and h263? Make this known. Shout it from the roof tops. This is something that more people need to be aware of... an advantage. take it and run..lol

follow along here:
https://emby.media/community/index.php? ... /?p=616441


...also.. just a tidbit.. it isn't clear which containers these codecs are supported on.. for giggles I even made one up...

Brightscript Debugger> test5 = { Codec: "mpeg4", Container: "ext" }

Brightscript Debugger> device = CreateObject("roDeviceInfo") : PrintAnyAA(4,device.CanDecodeVideo(test5))
        updated: codec
        codec: (list of 6)...
          List(0)= hevc
          List(1)= mpeg1
          List(2)= mpeg2
          List(3)= h263
          List(4)= mpeg4 avc
          List(5)= vp9
        result: false

So it isn't just basing this on container and altering the codec list accordingly, since made up ones produce the same result. Weird right? But make no mistake in mkv the roku has super powers that go beyond mere mortal set top boxes. Please don't tone down these powers.
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atc98092
Level 13

Re: MPEG2 support: patent expires worldwide, almost

RMP only supports a few video containers: MKV, MOV, MP4 and an undocumented TS. My DLNA server transcodes unsupported into the TS container. Using HLS transcoding would be preferable, since it would support trick-play with transcoded files. 
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There’ some additional container and codec information on this page
Dan
Nvidia Shield, Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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speechles
Level 7

Re: MPEG2 support: patent expires worldwide, almost

Perhaps what I am saying here is lost. I am not saying this as a plebian.



https://sdkdocs.roku.com/display/sdkdoc ... playFields
scroll down to videoFormat and see the same image above.

Now to me, this indicates h261, h262, h263, h264, and h265 work on a roku ultra. And in testing, yes they do... nice.

Now the question. Why is Roku Media Player used as what can and cannot play on a roku? When as demonstrated above, using canDecodeVideo() clearly shows what is and what is not supported much more clearly. Roku Media Player does not show support for mpeg1/h261 or mpeg4 part2/h263? Why not is the question?

tl;dr; roku supports mpeg2. as well as mpeg1, mpeg2, and mpeg4 part2. And also mpeg4 part14 aka mp4v if in the mp4 container.
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