Can't play MPEG2 with VLC

I have tried this unsuccessfully on both Manjaro and Arclinux Linux with the VLC media streamer. I can not play MPEG2 videos. There doesn’t appear to be any optional plugins that I’m missing.

This is one of my first test on any Linux Distro to make sure I have the basics working. Currently, if I install the package vlc on any modern Linux It includes everything I need to play MPEG2 videos(ts) files or streams from URLs. But no luck with Manjaro or Archlinux.

However, I recently installed Manjaro on my Raspberry Pi 4 and vlc play MPEG2 just fine on that system.

What am I missing?

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You sure the files are not encrypted?

Would be good to have any errors from VLC when you try playing it. Try running
vlc <videofile>.ts

In Tools menu there is the Messages entry, which tells everything you need to know about what VLC does when playing media files. If there isn’t any message, try changing the verbosity to warnings or debug.

The file is not encrypted. It’s captured from OTA HDHomeRun tuner of a ATSC USA TV program.
console output:
[jim@Manjaro-VM Videos]$ vlc 11701_20210212010000.ts
VLC media player 3.0.12 Vetinari (revision 3.0.12-1-0-gd147bb5e7e)
[0000556e938c3660] main libvlc: Running vlc with the default interface. Use ‘cvlc’ to use vlc without interface.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[00007fc840c132c0] main decoder error: buffer deadlock prevented
[00007fc840c66a00] main decoder error: buffer deadlock prevented
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
[mpeg2video @ 0x7fc834006280] Invali

changing the verbosity on tools → messages I see:

ps warning: this does not look like an MPEG PS stream, continuing anyway
ps warning: garbage at input, trying to resync…
ps warning: found sync code
ps warning: garbage at input, trying to resync…
ps warning: found sync code
ps warning: garbage at input, trying to resync…
ps warning: found sync code
ps warning: garbage at input, trying to resync…
ps warning: found sync code
ps warning: garbage at input, trying to resync…
ps warning: found sync code
ps warning: garbage at input from 12936, trying to resync…
ps warning: found sync code
ps warning: garbage at input from 36515, trying to resync…
ps warning: found sync code
ps warning: garbage at input from 88700, trying to resync…
ps warning: found sync code
ps warning: garbage at input from 132663, trying to resync…
ps warning: found sync code
ps warning: garbage at input from 204320, trying to resync…
ps warning: found sync code
ps warning: garbage at input from 245759, trying to resync…
ps warning: found sync code

I’ve tried this .ts file on VLC in Windows 10, Linux Mint 20, Ubuntu 20.04, and Manjaro on RPI4. It’s not the file. Something’s missing in VLC on Archlinux and Manjaro.

you may need to download and install libdvdread , libdvdcss, libdvdnav, libdvdpsi, libbluray, or similar. The ability to play a DVD with .ts video / audio files is not allowed with VLC player for legal purposes. you can read reference material at videolan website videolan dot org
another open source player is mpv media player available in Add / Remove Software app (pamac-manager). works with samples I have downloaded.

All those lib’s you mentioned are already installed. This mpeg file(ts) is not from a DVD it’s from OTA Television.
Your suggestion of mpv player was good. mpv can play my .ts file with original quality. I was hoping that maybe the install of mpv would include the missing library that vlc needed, but vlc will still not play the file.

This is odd that only Manjaro and Archlinux’s package for VLC can’t play mpeg2, but mpv can. It still sounds like a packaging bug since all the other Linux distros default VLC install play mpeg2 files.

I just downloaded an mpeg2 example and it plays fine with VLC on Arch.

Got it from here: Sample Mpeg2 Video file - Easiest Video Editor Converter

both mpv and vlc will play the sample video that you referenced. But it’s not interlaced OTA ATSC TV format. I tried to post a link to a sample video that is the type of file I’m having issues with, but the forum would not let me. I’ll try again today to see if it will let me today.

This might be a long shot, but on Manjaro to be able to play a bluray through makemkv with vlc i had to install
Aribb24

Vlc need this to play a bluray but it might be releated?

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So did you try (successfully) with mpv? There should be a way to link library functionality from mpv to vlc player. Where can I get an OTA sample file? Is this the same as a DVR (digital video recorder) output file? I am able to run VLC and view old .ts files from purchased movies (dvd) and from camcorder (raw) files. I have never captured Over the Air digital television files. Perhaps the console you are using has settings for output selections?

aribb24 was the key. Once that was installed I could play streamed or a file that was MPEG2 OTA

Thanks, very much.

Your welcome, it was worth a shot.

@devs Maybe aribb24 can be added to vlc as dependecy (or optional)?

The reason I think it needs to be a dependency is that vlc in installed by default in Manjaro. So you get no warning as to why it will not play one of the most used format every invented and still used by every TV station in the USA. Users coming from Windows, Ubuntu, etc. all will not know what is missing the same as me.

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