[mythtv-users] SD Programs on HD Channels

Roger Horner roger1818 at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 24 18:09:07 UTC 2011

SD programs on an HD channel are pllar boxed and when watching it on a 4:3 TV it will also get letter-boxed by default (resulting in the program being window boxed) so you need to manually switch to "Full" fill mode.  I would like to have something a bit more automatic.

Optimally, the broadcasters would set the AFD bits and let Myth deal with it, but unfortunately most broadcasters don't set them and even if they did, I am not sure if Myth would use them.

Second best would be to use a playback group, but unfortunately you can't set the default fill mode in a playback group (someone suggested this back in 2007, but I guess no one ever championed it).

The only remaining option I can think of is to transcode SD programs to centre cut them down to 4:3.  While I am at it, I might as well down-convert it to SD and maybe even convert it to a H.264 file to save precious hard drive space.

Mythtranscode doesn't seem to do this, so I guess I will have to use a User Job.and an external transcoder.  I have been looking for documentation on how to do this, but so far haven't found much.  What do I do with the files when I am done to tell Myth to use the new file and safely discard the old one (some scripts seem to edit the database, which I gather isn't recommended)?  Any recommendations on a transcoder (it looks like FFmpeg would work, are there better ones)?

Thanks for your help.


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