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MPEG2 Transport Stream w/ PCM Audio <-?!?!?->

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Michael McIntyreMPEG2 Transport Stream w/ PCM Audio <-?!?!?->
by on May 1, 2012 at 6:40:22 am

New request from an ongoing client (satellite broadcast outlet). Up to now, all HD deliveries have been HDCAM. Recently got asked for digital delivery:

HD MPEG2 transport streams w/ PCM audio
(rest of the specs don't matter here)

Sounds easy enough - it is not. I understand Fox has asked for these before as well as some European vendors. I know it can be done. Somehow.

Short of heavy-duty hardware {Tektronix, Snell & Wilcox, Tandberg maybe}, you'd think this would be a software slam-dunk.

Telestream Episode 6.2.1 notes that, "Not all container formats support all forms of PCM encoding. The selected encoding may be quietly converted into another encoding supported by the selected output format." Quietly converted means selecting MPEG-ts limits audio selections - PCM is not among them. Their GXF preset does wrap MEPG2 and PCM but outputs elementary not transport streams. Trying to pass-through PCM audio within the ts container yields failed encodes w/ "No importer found".

Sorensen Squeeze 8.1 Pro
offers "MPEG-PCM" as an audio option within MPEG2 transport streams but whatever they're wrapping together is not passing QC. PCM is obviously available in Squeeze within other codecs. Squeeze seriously wants to hand-hold users through format constraints.

Adobe Media Encoder 5.5.1 offers either MPEG2 Layer I, MPEG Layer II or Dolby AC3 when multiplexing to TS.

A rather silly (and hopefully unnecessary) workaround might be muxing together separate video / audio streams after encoding.

ffmpegX wants to convert the PCM to anything but PCM.

I've even run LEADTOOLS SDK trying to merge streams in their MPEG Encoder 3. Alas - I'm not a programmer or code whiz. Those development tools are DEEP. Probably ideal if you need to stream something from your unmanned UAV drone.

So - it'd be nice to hear from someone who's actually delivered this specific file format.

I know, I know - it's an odd recipe. Let's not play the "They should be delivering ______" game.

I'm trying to identify a very mission-specific software solution to these requested delivery specs. I'm actually enjoying the challenge of figuring it out.

Thanks in advance - Michael

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