I'm trying to downsample a HD video recorded by TVheadend to SD size using the following command:

avconv -i infile.ts -map 0:v -map 0:a:0 -map 0:a:1 -c copy -c:v mpeg2video -r 25 -qscale:v 2 -s:v 720x576 -f mpeg outfile.mpeg

The output of avconv looks good so far:

Input #0, mpegts, from 'infile.ts':
  Duration: 02:44:44.69, start: 68943.055278, bitrate: 7408 kb/s
  Program 9036 
      service_provider: upc
    Stream #0.0[0x50]: Video: h264 (High), yuv420p, 1280x720 [PAR 1:1 DAR 16:9], 50 fps, 50 tbr, 90k tbn, 100 tbc
    Stream #0.1[0x52](eng): Audio: mp2, 48000 Hz, stereo, s16p, 192 kb/s
    Stream #0.2[0x5b](ger): Audio: ac3, 48000 Hz, 5.1, fltp, 448 kb/s
  No Program
    Stream #0.3[0x6e]: Audio: mp1, 0 channels, s16p
[h264 @ 0x1bd9aa0] Ignoring NAL unit 9 during extradata parsing
[mpeg @ 0x1ab4d60] VBV buffer size not set, muxing may fail
Output #0, mpeg, to 'outfile.mpeg':
    encoder         : Lavf54.20.4
    Stream #0.0: Video: mpeg2video, yuv420p, 720x576 [PAR 64:45 DAR 16:9], q=2-31, 200 kb/s, 90k tbn, 25 tbc
    Stream #0.1(eng): Audio: mp2, 48000 Hz, stereo, 192 kb/s
    Stream #0.2(ger): Audio: ac3, 48000 Hz, 5.1, 448 kb/s
Stream mapping:
  Stream #0:0 -> #0:0 (h264 -> mpeg2video)
  Stream #0:1 -> #0:1 (copy)
  Stream #0:2 -> #0:2 (copy)
Press ctrl-c to stop encoding

And the quality is also good. But when I play it in VLC and try to change the audio channel, I see a increasing list of audio tracks, and only the first one is usable. And also in the Code information I see a list which permanently adds new lines, after a few seconds, I already see 100+ streams of different formats (subtitles, audio of different formats etc): VLC Codec information dialog

Does anyone know where's the mistake?

I would say the container format is messed up due to a bug, but it happens in different versions: I tried using ffmpeg version 2.7.6-0ubuntu0.15.10.1 on ubuntu wily and avconv version 9.18-6:9.18-0ubuntu0.14.04.1 on trusty. on wily, ffmpeg additionally prints Invalid UE golomb code every ~25 frames


Here is a short sequence of the input file for testing: infile.ts

2 Answers 2


Try a simpler command with modern choices:

ffmpeg -i infile.ts -map v -map a -c:a copy -c:v libx264 -crf 18 -s 768x432 outfile.mkv
  • This command didn't include the second audio stream. This was the last command which I used which worked. avconv -i infile.ts -map 0:v -map 0:a:0 -map 0:a:1 -c:a copy -c:v libx264 -crf 18 -s 768x432 outfile.ts or the same with mpeg2video as codec. Personally I prefer mpeg2video because then it has the same format as all the other recordings which I have - Should have, because dvbcut can't handle it... Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 23:35
  • -map v -map a to map all video and audio streams, or -map 0 to map all streams from the first (and only in this case) input file should work too. The shorter the command, the better. I will update my answer. Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 1:47
  • No, I already tried what you wrote in your last command. Problem is the 3rd audio stream which is outside the program which you can see in the question. I guess it is only for padding/alignment of the data. pastebin.com/wSaEckiP Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 22:26

On Xubuntu 16.04 xenial, I tried again and the problems didn't show up anymore.

The final command line is:

quality=3.5  # best between small file and good quality

ffmpeg -i "$infile" -map 0:v -map 0:a:0 -map 0:a:1 -f mpegts -s "$dims" -r 25 -vcodec mpeg2video -qscale:v $quality -acodec copy "$outfile"

The resulting file size is roughly 20% of the original. DVBcut can open and cut it.

I published the full script on gist

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