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Add 1080p and Surround Sound (Dolby Digital 5.1) Support

It would be nice if I could record in the highest quality available, especially with 5.1 audio which is more important to me than 1080p. If the higher quality recording was available I wouldn't need my TiVo anymore.

36 comments

  • 0
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    David S.

    Do you have a PC with a supported GPU fast enough to transcode 1080p? I expect most PlayOn users are relying on their CPU to do the transcoding instead. While many and perhaps most subscribers will have CPUs fast enough, are their CPUs still fast enough when they have other apps running? I know my Core i5-2500k (quad-core 3.3GHz) spikes at or near 100% when I'm recording 720p with other apps open.

    As to the surround sound, streaming services don't seem to offer that via web browsers. I couldn't find an official statement from Amazon or Hulu, but Netflix and Vudu state they don't. I read somewhere that Netflix experimented with it briefly but dropped it because it caused a poor experience for the majority of Netflix users who only have stereo speakers (or headphones) for their computers.

    https://help.netflix.com/en/node/14163

    http://vudu.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/25/kw/surround%20sound

  • 4
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    Mike Barylski

    Yes, I do. I have a Haswell CPU (quad-core 4 GHZ) and an NVidia 980. I'm currently recording now and my CPU is at 10%. I've got hardware acceleration enabled, so maybe that's helping keep the CPU down.

    Interesting that Netflix abandoned it, but I asked many of the providers a long time ago and a good portion of them (maybe 50%) were streaming 1080p and/or surround sound. They didn't always do both, but my point has always been that it should at least be an option. That way users with a CPU and graphics card that can handle it can get the better quality. Same as with 720p now, just much better. :)

  • 6
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    Bucky

    I certainly agree that users should at least have the option to record in this resolution.  Also another good idea would be to refine the resolutions by either removing the upscalling or giving the user the option of disabling/enabling upscalling. The current quality settings are a bit vague and perhaps abit unhelpful.

  • 5
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    Chubbs

    Ditto here. The 720p/stereo limitation is a HUGE drawback. My reason for buying PlayOn was to record to my NAS and playback via Roku through my home theater when I got around to it. Now, the sound (stereo) is TERRIBLE and we cannot hear dialog clearly as it is not presented by the center channel speaker. Unless you support this functionality, the I'll have to search for a new solution.

  • 5
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    BF

    I totally agree with this discussion.  I have the CPU horsepower and play everything back through Apple TV and Denon AVR 5.1 sound system.  I too am actively looking for an alternative solution that offers 1080 and 5.1

  • 2
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    James Thorne

    While the laptop that I currently run Playon on likely might have difficulty with 1080p video, I would immediately upgrade it to what ever was required if Playon provides the capability.

     

    Just as a suggestion, its not actually necessary for the transcoding portion of Playon to run in real time.  Playon could easily just record the incoming data in a 'native' to the app format with the transcoder running in an independent thread to process the video as it can.  This would likely help many of the current installations on lower powered equipment as well.  It would then only be limited by hard drive space and IO capacity, not processor.

  • 2
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    Matt T.

    I also have a powerful enough CPU.  Right now I run the recording in a virtual machine and it runs ~40-50% at 720p.  When I transcode 1080p .ts files into h.264 using Handbrake on the same machine it runs at 70-80%.  Of course that is a VM who's only job is recording/transcoding.  The host the VM runs on is at 15% during the 720p recording so I can do plenty of other things.  I don't remember what the host was running at during 1080p transcoding but I think it was 25-30% maybe.

     

    I have been looking at other options for 1080p recording, but Playon really has some other nice features.  It would be great to also have teh option of higher res recording.

  • 0
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    Mike Barylski

    @Matt T.

    Have you found any other options for 1080p that might be a good alternative? I currently transfer 1080i/p videos from my TiVo, but the drawback is that I can't reliably get rid of the commercials. That's the main reason that I stick with PlayOn at least for sitcoms. For dramas/action shows I just suffer through the "30-second skip" through commercials. I'd much prefer using PlayOn to record everything in Full HD with surround sound and cutting the commercials out.

  • 0
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    Matt T.

    @Mike B.

    No, I do not have a great alternative.  In cases where I want Full HD, I do much as you do (pull from Tivo).  At one time I ran a SiliconDust + CableCard + NextPVR and recorded directly to the computer.  NextPVR had a commercial skipping plugin, but I never tried it.  I stopped doing that when I got a Tivo and moved the CableCard to it.  I have also started looking at things like Audials to record streaming media at higher quality.

    For now I have been living with the 720p of Playon unless, or until, I find a better option.

  • 1
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    Mike Barylski

    @Matt T.

    Wow! Thanks for the tip! I already bought Audials and tested it out with a few shows, mostly Amazon. I'm definitely getting surround sound and 1080p on some shows/movies. It wasn't working at first, but noticed when I moved my saves to a single drive rather than my striped drive the utilization dropped significantly and it was able to record. It definitely needs more testing, but at least for movies I think this might do the trick. One of the weird things I noticed is that I couldn't get Full HD AND 6 channels unless I chose the WMV profile. Not sure why that's the case, but it is working if I save to a WMV.

    Alas, there's no "scheduling" to be found so it's completely manual. Not gonna happen for TV Shows, but for movies I'll definitely use it.

    So, now the obvious question for PlayOn, "Why can't you do 1080p and 5.1 surround? Please, please, PLEASE try." At least as a beta function. It's definitely doable.

  • 2
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    Brian F

    I've quit using PlayOn, as it simply does not produce the quality of recordings, either video or audio, that I expect.  I can stream 4K to my computer, and if I have the hardware, I expect to be able to save the files.  My PC is certainly capable of transcoding 1080p in real time with little problem, and with 150mbps I certainly have the bandwidth.  I paid for the product for a couple months, but found it simply was not worth it, as if I'm going to bother recording, I want something as good as the original stream.  Upgrade your product, and I'll be back.  Otherwise, I'm using some of the other products that aren't quite as easy, but get me good quality.

  • 1
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    Chubbs

    Hey PlayOn! Any update on this request? Is there some reason that you don't write an emulator into the program to make the source think it's streaming to a TV?

  • 3
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    Steve Gayner

    I would like 1080P, as well.

  • 2
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    Ronvp

    Same here, recording 2 channels at 144 kbs with 2 channels is crap. Also, we should have a option to record the native stream. I can transcode it later and with much better options that the Playon settings.. ..

  • 0
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    Nick Harris

    Would love some info on this... 4K tvs are only a few hundred dollars now and encoding / decoding is fairly straight forward these days. This is a must for keeping this software relevant.

  • 2
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    Jon

    Yes, 5.1 support for audio is at the top of my wish list as well.

  • 1
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    Paul Chambers

    Another vote for capturing multichannel audio, when it is available.

    Only supporting stereo audio relegates PlayOn to the bottom of the list for me. Both TiVo/KMTTG and Plex DVR/HDHomeRun methods provide this for TV transmissions.

  • 0
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    Colby

    Another vote on both of these. I have a dual CPU Xeon E5 2670 setup with 192 GB of RAM and a GTX 1080 to help out. I also have gigabit internet so hardware wise I think I am about as set as you can be. I don't see any reason why this shouldn't be available to those who can use it.

  • 0
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    Therosses5

    Let the users decide if they want to try higher resolutions, etc. 720p is so 1990's. If I get a system that can support Ulra-HD, 4k, whatever, then don't stop us.

  • 0
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    Hans Schroeder

    Another vote for me.  I have the hardware.  I just ordered a year sub to PlayOn, but was very disappointed to find out it didn't support 1080p and 5.1.

  • 2
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    Chris Case

    I am currently seeking alternatives.  720 just isn't going to cut it anymore.  Sorry.  I'll let you guys know what I find.

  • 0
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    Therosses5

    I"m not a fan of the cloud subscription model, either.  Prepay instead of payperview sucks.

  • 0
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    Ryan Aldridge

    I would also like to record in 1080p with 5.1 audio.

  • 0
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    Joshua Smerdel

    I would like 1080p and at least 5.1 audio as well.  I don't know of any other options so I will use playon for the time being but once something comes along with 1080p I'll be looking in to it.  

  • 0
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    David S.

    I've looked again and found where Amazon states that they don't support 5.1 surround sound on PC (via web browser): 

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/?nodeId=201460880

    And to clarify about Hulu, as far as I can tell, it doesn't support surround sound on any device.

  • 0
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    Jon Balm

    I am also looking for a solution that offers better video and audio quality than what PlayOn provides.  

  • 1
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    John Hazeldene

    Have just signed up and made my first recording - picture quality is abysmal (sub-VCD!) and it took ages to download (almost real-time) - I have a 40 Mb fibre connection. Is this the best I can expect? Does Playon actually reply to these posts?

    Disappointed to say the least...

  • 0
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    Kevin Zemanek

    PlayOn does record in real-time.  It effectively plays and captures the stream as if you were viewing it in a browser.  So a 60 minute show will take 60 minutes to record.  Regarding quality, do you have the "Enable HD" box checked (on the "General" tab) in the "Settings" console?  This records in 720p I believe.  I find it very adequate when viewed on either a 1080p or 4K television.

  • 0
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    Therosses5

    @John H 720p is the best resolution supported. Its "HD", but it's not very. Since you are recording in realtime the quality can be worse depending on the download speed at the time it's being recorded. So any bottleneck between your hardrive and the location where the source file is stored can cause buffering, pixelation, a failed recording. So the best you will ever get with playon is 720p.

  • 0
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    Philip Eisenlohr

    I second the remarks of all others wishing for 1080p video and 5.1 audio. I bought playOn a day or two ago and am quite disappointed to find out that no surround sound gets recorded. 720p instead of anticipated 1080p is certainly a bummer but not as much a deal-breaker for me than the lack of decent multi-channel audio.

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