Ceton Echo & Xbox cannot play H.264 protected content

Troubleshoot and discuss the XBOX 360, XBOX One, Linksys, and other extenders.

Re: Ceton Echo & Xbox cannot play H.264 protected content

Post#381 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:53 pm

You are correct. The video card in the host has no bearing on the problem of extenders being unable to play protected h.264. This thread has a mix of problems discussed unfortunately. The Extender problem has no known solution. Inability to play protected h.264 on the hosts using Intel GPUs is what can be addressed by adding in a video card.
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Post#382 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:55 pm

stuartm wrote:This thread has a mix of problems discussed unfortunately. The Extender problem has no known solution.


Yup, I looked, but saw no other thread explicitly tracking the extender problem. Yes many people have been discussing that here too.

Well, I have an extra video card now I guess.

I will still follow, since no matter what, HBO live is dead now and not working. (We just have to use hbogo to watch everything.)
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Post#383 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:18 pm

coolwhip wrote:This doesn't look like an EDID issue.

Plugging the xBox directly into the HDTV nets the same result. That is, H264 plays fine but H264 Protected Content (HBO) displays a black screen with normal audio. My Ceton Echo connects directly to a HDTV via HDMI and has the same problem with H264 Protected Content (HBO).

Indeed, I did have to create and install a driver inf file to override the EDID on the HTPC when I got the receiver a few years ago.


I can now see something when viewing HBO HD on my extenders (xbox 360's). It is h.264 protected. Audio is perfect, but the picture is frozen and if I wait, I can sometimes get a few seconds of perfect audio/video sync, but then it freezes again. This is an improvement over just black screen. Actually, can you check to see if that happens on your setup as well? Thanks!
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Post#384 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:52 am

I'm only running Primes with Win7 WMC, Intel 3000 graphics in laptops, Boston Comcast.

I'm experiencing no problems. Had seen some pixelation, vertical colored lines, even random black screens when going from protected to normal. But now everything seems to be back to normal. Perhaps Comcast got their act together and removed their "tweeks" for the changeover. I may just get away with leaving my perfectly working system alone!

Perhaps your improving situation is related?
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Post#385 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:58 pm

Joining the "same here" group - Albuquerque Comcast. I'm only watching through extenders, and certain channels are displaying the mostly black screen with occasional frame updates (but with fine audio).

The channel footprint seems to be small so far, but - with young kids - the Disney Jr channel is a problem! I don't have HBO.

I'm hoping that the few comments in this thread regarding it eventually returning to working state (Comcast tweaking) end up occurring. Otherwise, as more channels do this I'm likely to finally abandon WMC.
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Post#386 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:15 pm

soapdishbandit wrote:
coolwhip wrote:This doesn't look like an EDID issue.

Plugging the xBox directly into the HDTV nets the same result. That is, H264 plays fine but H264 Protected Content (HBO) displays a black screen with normal audio. My Ceton Echo connects directly to a HDTV via HDMI and has the same problem with H264 Protected Content (HBO).

Indeed, I did have to create and install a driver inf file to override the EDID on the HTPC when I got the receiver a few years ago.


I can now see something when viewing HBO HD on my extenders (xbox 360's). It is h.264 protected. Audio is perfect, but the picture is frozen and if I wait, I can sometimes get a few seconds of perfect audio/video sync, but then it freezes again. This is an improvement over just black screen. Actually, can you check to see if that happens on your setup as well? Thanks!


On your HTPC itself are you running a video card or just native Intel HD 2000-4000? Are you getting protected content on HBO and other HD Premiums or sound only?
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Post#387 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:31 pm

I live in Denver, CO and have Comcast. Thus far, only my HD premium channels are affected by my extenders (Xbox 360s). SD premium channels appear to be unaffected, although, I do seem to be able to view Showtime HD without any issues. One thing that I was gonna try is ensuring that I am running the latest firmware for the 360s, has anyone else tried this? If so, any improvements?

EDIT: On my HTPC, playback is fine, running a AMD X3 with Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti.
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Post#388 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:45 pm

I've got a Linksys extender with the same issue. Frustrating. Comcast Houston. But mine seems to be more widespread. Not just premium channels, simple stuff such as HGTV etc.!
There is a patch for Xbox 360 Elite that allows it to play H.264 content. I installed it on both of my Xboxes, but the one I need it to work on after I install it, it works for a bit then goes back to saying it needs to install the patch. Also frustrating!!
newfiend suggested a complete Xbox reset. I haven't tried the complete reset yet.
If you go to the Xbox marketplace and purchase (for free) the Optional Media Update, this will fix H.264 content on Xbox. But like I said, one Xbox is being belligerent!!
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Post#389 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:34 pm

soapdishbandit wrote:
coolwhip wrote:This doesn't look like an EDID issue.

Plugging the xBox directly into the HDTV nets the same result. That is, H264 plays fine but H264 Protected Content (HBO) displays a black screen with normal audio. My Ceton Echo connects directly to a HDTV via HDMI and has the same problem with H264 Protected Content (HBO).

Indeed, I did have to create and install a driver inf file to override the EDID on the HTPC when I got the receiver a few years ago.


I can now see something when viewing HBO HD on my extenders (xbox 360's). It is h.264 protected. Audio is perfect, but the picture is frozen and if I wait, I can sometimes get a few seconds of perfect audio/video sync, but then it freezes again. This is an improvement over just black screen. Actually, can you check to see if that happens on your setup as well? Thanks!

Yes, that is what happens here too. xBox 360 plays a few seconds then freezes and Ceton either has black screen or pixelated video depending on the channel that was active before switching to a premium channel. Audio and close captioning work fine.
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Post#390 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:20 pm

mmatheny wrote:If you go to the Xbox marketplace and purchase (for free) the Optional Media Update, this will fix H.264 content on Xbox. But like I said, one Xbox is being belligerent!!


I also run multiple xbox 360s and have run into that issue before. It turns out the media update that allows H.264 (non-DRM) content is itself DRMed like a downloadable game. It doesn't work if the account that downloaded the update is not signed in at the time, unless it's the account's one "home xbox" 360. I fixed this by creating new accounts with fake names for each xbox so they can all be the "home xbox" for a user that has downloaded the patch and therefore use it without anyone signed in.
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Post#391 » Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:10 am

I've now gotten caught in the Comcast conversion to MPEG-4 / H.264 for protected content and both of my D-Link DSM-750 WMC extenders show "Video cannot be displayed" for most of the channels that I watch. So I can watch anything on my Win7 PC in my office, but not on my home theater via my extender.

I'm confused as to whether buying an Xbox could be a solution as an extender. Can any of you provide a clear answer?

If not, I guess I have no choice but to move beyond WMC. Should that be TiVo, Xfininity X1 or what?
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Post#392 » Sat Jan 21, 2017 3:21 am

whowasat wrote:I've now gotten caught in the Comcast conversion to MPEG-4 / H.264 for protected content and both of my D-Link DSM-750 WMC extenders show "Video cannot be displayed" for most of the channels that I watch. So I can watch anything on my Win7 PC in my office, but not on my home theater via my extender.

I'm confused as to whether buying an Xbox could be a solution as an extender. Can any of you provide a clear answer?

If not, I guess I have no choice but to move beyond WMC. Should that be TiVo, Xfininity X1 or what?


To my knowledge, only Xbox 360's and Ceton Echo's can decode h.264. Unfortunately, the D-Link extenders won't work with the new h.264 content.

My 3 360 extenders work great! Now with the h.264 change, I have the issue with HBO HD (DRM protected), but everything else works great!
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Post#393 » Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:06 pm

I had a few Linksys DMA2100 extenders that stopped working for most channels when Comcast transitioned to H.264 in my area. After switching them all out for xbox 360s and installing the media update others have talked about they work great for everything but HBO and other premium movie channels. I've removed those from the guide and just use HBO Go and others apps on the 360 to access content for those channels. I now much prefer the 360 because I can access streaming video through the same source as Media Center.
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Post#394 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:33 pm

I'm on an old Dell SFF box, Win7, HDHomerun Prime, Comcast in NJ. The switch to H.264 happened a little while ago. I was using Intel HD2000 via VGA and DisplayPort, but since like everybody else I was getting the blank screen and OK audio, I switched to an old PCIe video card I had lying around. It's an AX5450 by PowerColor, an AMD/Radeon-based card. I'm getting video again, but it's sporadic...it plays fine for a few minutes and then pixelates badly.

I used Windows Update to install the video driver. Do you think installing the PowerColor driver may make it better?
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Post#395 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:46 pm

Look in Device Manager and see if the driver si Microsoft's or AMD's. I don't know what Microsoft installs when you do its update (I NEVER do Microsoft updates, have it discabled).

I would bet it's a MS driver, hence generic. I would definitely look for the dedicated PowerColor driver.

What Dell SFF are you using? Even a Core 2 Duo is plenty for WMC.
Are you running HDMI straight from the card?
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Post#396 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 6:27 pm

Where I am in CT, Comcast has made a mess of things at least on my system (cable card, WMC).Not just on my extender either. In November they began bringing MPEG 4 on the premiums and I can't get any copy once material (sound only) No big deal as I went to the SD channel and watched. I can live with that. lately I could not get any copy once material even on the SD's which I verified are still MPEG 2. Thanks to a poster on this forum, I tried tuning in a local (non copy once material) and then back to the SD channel and it brought it in. I have a sense this is not an MPEG 4 issue, but a copy permissions issue that Comcast has messed up. For what we pay they could do a lot better.
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Post#397 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:09 pm

Yes, same here in Boston. Sometimes the workaround to tune inworks, other times not. Twice for me, I got a BSOD. The tuner froze with multi-colored, vertical lines, made a buzzing sound to the TV . I waited for the dump but next time I won't, just shutdown.

I fear Comcast will convert everything to MPEG4, copy once so it's best to be ready is to have the ability to change video cards.

Don't forget that with the changeover, we also get lower resolution HD - from 1080 to 720. But, of course, that's termed an "upgrade"!

update
===========================================
Right after I sent thie reply I got another BSOD! On my laptop system, I was watching an active recording of ESPN2, fast forwarding and bam! ESPN2 is not copy once so it's an Intel/MPEG4 issue, I'm convinced.
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Post#398 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:36 pm

Not sure in my case as I am having issues tuning at MPEG 2 copy protection SD station. I more suspect that my local Comcast just doesn't have all their digits lined up so to speak. I guess I can try a refresh with them, but I have doubts.
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Post#399 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:17 am

The Intel/MPEG4 problem has been around a long time. Even with non-DRM channels, I have issues with fast fowarding recordings and live buffer: the system will freeze, buzzing sound, BSOD.

I've just setup a new system: Dell 980 SFF, Win7, Asus AMD Radeon HD 5450. So far so good - no real issues. Fast forwarding recordings is a bit choppy at first but smooths out after a bit, on the highest speed; on slower speeds, no issues. Tuning any channels, no issues.

I think I've over the hump.
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Post#400 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:24 am

artm wrote:Look in Device Manager and see if the driver si Microsoft's or AMD's. I don't know what Microsoft installs when you do its update (I NEVER do Microsoft updates, have it discabled).

I would bet it's a MS driver, hence generic. I would definitely look for the dedicated PowerColor driver.

What Dell SFF are you using? Even a Core 2 Duo is plenty for WMC.
Are you running HDMI straight from the card?


I uninstalled the auto update and now I'm running Radeon Catalyst 13.4/12.104-130328a-155980C-ATI. It' not perfect but definitely better.

I'm running a C2D E8400, 3GHz, so I have enough to run HD. The card comes with 3 ports, VGA, HDMI, and DVI. I have an Epson projector with an HDMI port, so I've tried both DVi and HDMI. The DVi is so much clearer -- HDMI almost looks like it's not digital.
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