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#321 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 6:38 pm

Shall we start a sticky on what users have had SUCCESS with what video cards?

I'm sure there are many who wish to continue using WMC with Comcast's new policy. It would be greatly helpful to know what works. To keep it simple and efficient, I suggest posts be only what works. Of course, if what works today doesn't later on, posting that is acceptable.
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Post#322 » Wed Nov 16, 2016 4:24 am

Up until today, my Nvidia GTX750 had been looking good. Today, however, I noticed that HBO and other premiums have switched. HBO, Showtime are now blotchy and badly tiled - on the main screen (extenders are black). Other than trying a video driver update, I don't know where to go...
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Post#323 » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:41 pm

dmittrik wrote:
dmittrik wrote:
coolwhip wrote: I just installed the Crimson Edition 16.2.1 Beta that installed the driver with date 2/26/2016 and version 15.301.1902.0 driver on my Windows 7 64bit AMD Radeon HD 6450.
This driver improved H.264 video over the old 13.152.0.0 driver on my system but there is still a lot of frame corruption when playing Protected Content, just not as much as with the older driver. The 13.152.0.0 driver would have trouble playing commercials with simple graphics moving on the screen like the mostly black HBO movie ratings screens. Letterboxed productions like Poltergeist on HBO are unwatchable. Non-Protected content has similar problems but not as pronounced.

Is this starting to look like a GPU problem?


Yes, it is GPU problem. Radeon HD 6450 is weaker then HD 8330. I have turned all post-processing OFF under Video settings in Catalyst control panel. Modern TVs (at least Sony Bravia) are good at filtering of video decoding artifacts.


Upgraded to Crimson Edition 16.9.2 - no issues too. I installed Radeon Software, the full big package. To get high quality SD upscaling - enable "GPU Scaling" and set "Scaling Mode" to "Full", and do the rest stretching in WMC using Zoom. To fix black levels - set pixel format to Wide RGB 12 bit in Desktop settings in CCC, that is hidden in Home->Preferences->Additional Settings.


I played with the GPU and memory clock settings on my HD 6450 to no effect. Both slower and faster settings had no effect on the video. It doesn't look like the HD 6450 is working very hard.
I also noticed that HBO H.264 shows that were recorded in August and September play fine and do not show any of the problems I'm getting now. So it's hard to point my finger at the video card or video driver.
What is clear is that when the problem happens the Corrupt Frame count goes up on the 411Info screen. At the same time I can see what looks like video frames playing out of sequence and short spurts of video looping back and forth between half a dozen frames. Also pixel blocks and sometimes green overlays. Seems like something upstream from the video playback system is corrupting the video. Since the audio is fine I suspect DRM/Playready is not decrypting the video data correctly in some situations. That leaves Comcast, playready and/or cablecard.
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Post#324 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:28 am

Can anyone confirm that the Nvidia GTX750 with latest (or any) drivers can correctly display HBOHD or SHOWTIME HD? Last 2 days am getting some massive smearing and tiling on those channels. Non-protected stuff looks fine. And, Encore HD (also converted to MPEG4) looks fine, nothing like the HBO mess.
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Post#325 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:20 am

Looks like Comcast started switching channels in Houston now. Encore HD and MGM HD are affected on the Xbox 360 extender. A little better than I feared. Sound is fine, picture isn't black but more like a slideshow with occasional seconds of perfect motion. It's actually watchable, but not really enjoyable. Wondering if I upgraded my PC if I could improve it somehow.
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Post#326 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 4:15 am

coolwhip wrote:I played with the GPU and memory clock settings on my HD 6450 to no effect. Both slower and faster settings had no effect on the video. It doesn't look like the HD 6450 is working very hard.
I also noticed that HBO H.264 shows that were recorded in August and September play fine and do not show any of the problems I'm getting now. So it's hard to point my finger at the video card or video driver.
What is clear is that when the problem happens the Corrupt Frame count goes up on the 411Info screen. At the same time I can see what looks like video frames playing out of sequence and short spurts of video looping back and forth between half a dozen frames. Also pixel blocks and sometimes green overlays. Seems like something upstream from the video playback system is corrupting the video. Since the audio is fine I suspect DRM/Playready is not decrypting the video data correctly in some situations. That leaves Comcast, playready and/or cablecard.


WMC is decrypting fine because recorded programs for "bad" channels always have correct thumbnail images in WMC. It is about full resolution playback - GPU, HDCP.
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Post#327 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:28 am

webminster wrote:Can anyone confirm that the Nvidia GTX750 with latest (or any) drivers can correctly display HBOHD or SHOWTIME HD? Last 2 days am getting some massive smearing and tiling on those channels. Non-protected stuff looks fine. And, Encore HD (also converted to MPEG4) looks fine, nothing like the HBO mess.


Unfortunately, I don't subscribe to any premiums. However, I do have at least one copy protected h.264 channel and It plays just fine for me.
Different Nvidia card than you though. One thing I seem to remember is that various driver releases for Nvidia cards break things with regard to to HTPC use
as Nvidia seems to concentrate on gaming when working on their drivers. I myself use quite old drivers on my GT630.
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Post#328 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:45 pm

dmittrik wrote:
coolwhip wrote:I played with the GPU and memory clock settings on my HD 6450 to no effect. Both slower and faster settings had no effect on the video. It doesn't look like the HD 6450 is working very hard.
I also noticed that HBO H.264 shows that were recorded in August and September play fine and do not show any of the problems I'm getting now. So it's hard to point my finger at the video card or video driver.
What is clear is that when the problem happens the Corrupt Frame count goes up on the 411Info screen. At the same time I can see what looks like video frames playing out of sequence and short spurts of video looping back and forth between half a dozen frames. Also pixel blocks and sometimes green overlays. Seems like something upstream from the video playback system is corrupting the video. Since the audio is fine I suspect DRM/Playready is not decrypting the video data correctly in some situations. That leaves Comcast, playready and/or cablecard.


WMC is decrypting fine because recorded programs for "bad" channels always have correct thumbnail images in WMC. It is about full resolution playback - GPU, HDCP.

How do you explain that protected H.264 content that was recorded in September plays just fine on the same hardware?
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Post#329 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:54 pm

If the last channel I was watching was MPEG2, then I switch to an HBO SD channel, I get a watchable encrypted MPEG2 stream.
However if the last channel was MPEG4, and I switch to an HBO SD channel, I get an unwatchable encrypted MPEG4 stream.
Has anyone else noticed this?
I've verified this is happening by recording snippets of the same show on the same channel and getting either MPEG2 or MPEG4 recordings depending on the last channel watched.

I've noticed by checking through my previous recordings that even some unencrypted channels seem to switch between MPEG2 and MPEG4.
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Post#330 » Sat Nov 19, 2016 7:27 am

coolwhip wrote:
dmittrik wrote:
coolwhip wrote:I played with the GPU and memory clock settings on my HD 6450 to no effect. Both slower and faster settings had no effect on the video. It doesn't look like the HD 6450 is working very hard.
I also noticed that HBO H.264 shows that were recorded in August and September play fine and do not show any of the problems I'm getting now. So it's hard to point my finger at the video card or video driver.
What is clear is that when the problem happens the Corrupt Frame count goes up on the 411Info screen. At the same time I can see what looks like video frames playing out of sequence and short spurts of video looping back and forth between half a dozen frames. Also pixel blocks and sometimes green overlays. Seems like something upstream from the video playback system is corrupting the video. Since the audio is fine I suspect DRM/Playready is not decrypting the video data correctly in some situations. That leaves Comcast, playready and/or cablecard.


WMC is decrypting fine because recorded programs for "bad" channels always have correct thumbnail images in WMC. It is about full resolution playback - GPU, HDCP.

How do you explain that protected H.264 content that was recorded in September plays just fine on the same hardware?


New protection flag together with h264. Extenders stopped working probably for the same reason.
Possible protection flags:
0x01 - Copy No More - A copy of the content has already occurred and no more copies are permitted.[2]
0x02 - Copy Once - A recording can be made, but that is it.
0x03 - Copy Never - the content can be recorded and viewed for 90 minutes after transmission, and is not transferable.
0x04 - Content is Copy Once for digital output, but would have Macrovision 7 Day Unlimited restriction applied on the analog outputs. This affects content viewed either on an HDTV with component cabling or on a standard definition TV. It also affects content saved to VCR or DVD when the recorder is connected to an analog output on the DVR.
0x07 - Content is Copy Never for digital content (deleted after 90 minutes) and Macrovision 7 day/24 hour for content recorded from analog channels. Content cannot be transferred via TiVoToGo transfers or MRV, and cannot be saved to VCR or DVD
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Post#331 » Sat Nov 19, 2016 5:12 pm

Good information.
All of the video problems I'm having are H.264 streams with the 0x02 Copy Once flag on. All of the premium channels here have the 0x02 flag on all of the time. This is the original situation that motivated me to start this thread. This flag is easily seen, if you are using a Ceton tuner, by going to the IP address of the tuner with a browser.
On another note, it appears that the H.264 channels, all but local, here are moving from 1080P to 720P. I'm not sure when this started. No more HD channels?
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Post#332 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:56 pm

Our area switched over Nov 11th (Western Connecticut). Only 2-3 channels I've noticed are h.264, and at first they were copy-once. Now, they are copy-freely (with exception to HBO). Having an issue on extenders AND main HTPC. Anytime switching between h.264 and mpeg 2 channels, I get grey or black screen. Have to restart WMC and START with an mpeg 2 stream OR dvr mpeg 2 stream to get it to work again. Is there any fix/solution to this? GFX card is an Nvidia 1070.
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Post#333 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:59 pm

Oh, and I watched a little bit of a channel in h.264.....Looks like 720P (even HBO HD, which I knew IS in 1080i when it was mpeg 2)...

Also, noticed some artifacts and macroblocking, too! Seems like Comcast may be too soon to market with this crap. Was a fan of the picture quality until now. Thought it was supposed to be "enhanced HD", better picture quality my butt.
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Post#334 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:58 pm

I haven't read this entire thread tldr;
But for those having issues with H264 on the Xbox 360 extender.. Did you install this update on the xbox itself? (should be available on the xbox store for free) http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-us/Produ ... f951377aff
Which adds support for unprotected music (AAC format) on your console from Zune or iPod & Lets you play MPEG4 movies on your console.

Maybe the console needs the patch (MPEG4) to play the .H264 successfully?

newfiend~
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Post#335 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:55 pm

newfiend wrote:I haven't read this entire thread tldr;
But for those having issues with H264 on the Xbox 360 extender.. Did you install this update on the xbox itself? (should be available on the xbox store for free) http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-us/Produ ... f951377aff
Which adds support for unprotected music (AAC format) on your console from Zune or iPod & Lets you play MPEG4 movies on your console.

Maybe the console needs the patch (MPEG4) to play the .H264 successfully?

newfiend~

Yes, the xBox 360 needs this patch in order to play H.264 content.
However, the xBox has trouble with H.264 content that is copy protected.
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Post#336 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 9:18 pm

Here in Portland, OR Comcast has converted most of the channels to H.264 @1280X720. For some reason INDIEHD and RETDH are still mpeg2 @1920X1080. Local channels are still mpeg2 at whatever resolution they use OTA.
My HTPC had no problem playing H.264 @1080. All H.264 channels were 1080 after the conversion to H.264. For some reason my HTPC has trouble with H.264 @720 content. I blame my AMD HD6450 for not having enough power to handle the new lower resolution. This seems counter intuitive I know.
The good news is that I am now able to see H.264 protected content on my extenders. (Ceton and xBox 360) However they both struggle to play the protected content with some macro blocking and other display issues.
I do not know what Comcast is up to but lowering resolution seems like a step backwards. Maybe they are getting ready for 4k.
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Post#337 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 9:24 pm

coolwhip wrote:Good information.
All of the video problems I'm having are H.264 streams with the 0x02 Copy Once flag on. All of the premium channels here have the 0x02 flag on all of the time. This is the original situation that motivated me to start this thread. This flag is easily seen, if you are using a Ceton tuner, by going to the IP address of the tuner with a browser.
On another note, it appears that the H.264 channels, all but local, here are moving from 1080P to 720P. I'm not sure when this started. No more HD channels?


Check resolutions on 411 info during the payback - "native" & "display" sizes, on last page. I suspect your display size is less then native size in bad cases. May be it is something similar to old days with component output, when DRM allowed displaying of protected content only at low resolution, assuming you also have problem with HDCP. Make sure your setup is using GPU scaling.
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Post#338 » Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:39 pm

dmittrik wrote:
coolwhip wrote:Good information.
All of the video problems I'm having are H.264 streams with the 0x02 Copy Once flag on. All of the premium channels here have the 0x02 flag on all of the time. This is the original situation that motivated me to start this thread. This flag is easily seen, if you are using a Ceton tuner, by going to the IP address of the tuner with a browser.
On another note, it appears that the H.264 channels, all but local, here are moving from 1080P to 720P. I'm not sure when this started. No more HD channels?


Check resolutions on 411 info during the payback - "native" & "display" sizes, on last page. I suspect your display size is less then native size in bad cases. May be it is something similar to old days with component output, when DRM allowed displaying of protected content only at low resolution, assuming you also have problem with HDCP. Make sure your setup is using GPU scaling.

Tried different resolutions/interlace settings and it made no difference. GPU scaling also has no effect one way or the other. No problem with HDCP. I first ran into HDCP back in the WMC on Windows/XP days.
There seems to be more overhead associated with protected content processing.
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Post#339 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:21 pm

I am having the same issue with my HTPC as some have noted with the black screen with audio on HBO. My HTPC is a NUC with integrated Intel Iris 580 GPU so I don't really have an option to replace the video card as suggested. Everything was working great until the end of last week. I thought I may have broken my system when I upgraded some Intel drivers but then I found this thread. I have since downgraded video and other drivers several different versions trying to resolve. All other channels work and only HBO has the issue as outlined in earlier posts. I went through the thread and saw several posts of different things tried but no resolution. I did contact Comcast and they stated I had a bad cable card. I replaced it and have the same issue. At this point I am out of ideas.
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Post#340 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:49 pm

You are most likely out of luck. You can at least raise a complaint with Intel as they have a problem with protected h.264 content and their integrated GPUs that they have never addressed. Otherwise, the only known workaround is to use a different Video card/GPU.
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