How to Convert .ts File to Mainstream Format Losslessly


I have a file that ends in .ts (e.g., here are the first 10 MB). I would like to convert it to a more main stream format (e.g., mp4, MPEG2-PS…), in a lossless way if possible (i.e., remuxing).

I have read the How do I convert .ts files into something useful? question. I tried avidemux with the settings "copy" for the video and audio streams, and the "PS" container format for MPEG. That failed with the error message "Incompatible audio / For DVD, audio must be 48 kHz MP2 (stereo), AC3, DTS or LPCM (stereo)".

I also tried the suggested CLI command.

avconv -i 10MB.ts -vcodec copy -acodec copy 10MB.mpg

The output file has the right video, but no sound, at least when played with VLC. This is quite puzzling, because avconv seems to have correctly detected the audio stream.

Input #0, mpegts, from '10MB.ts':
  Duration: 00:00:06.36, start: 51523.824800, bitrate: 12563 kb/s
  Program 37888 
    Stream #0.0[0x100]: Video: mpeg2video (Main), yuv420p, 1440x1080 [PAR 4:3 DAR 16:9], 20000 kb/s, 29.97 fps, 29.97 tbr, 90k tbn, 59.94 tbc
    Stream #0.1[0x110]: Audio: aac, 0 channels, fltp, 144 kb/s
    Stream #0.2[0x130]: Data: [6][0][0][0] / 0x0006
    Stream #0.3[0x138]: Data: [6][0][0][0] / 0x0006
    Stream #0.4[0x140]: Data: [13][0][0][0] / 0x000D
    Stream #0.5[0x160]: Data: [13][0][0][0] / 0x000D
    Stream #0.6[0x161]: Data: [13][0][0][0] / 0x000D
    Stream #0.7[0x162]: Data: [13][0][0][0] / 0x000D
    Stream #0.8[0x170]: Data: [13][0][0][0] / 0x000D
    Stream #0.9[0x171]: Data: [13][0][0][0] / 0x000D
    Stream #0.10[0x172]: Data: [13][0][0][0] / 0x000D
Output #0, mpeg, to '10MB.mpg':
    encoder         : Lavf54.20.4
    Stream #0.0: Video: mpeg2video, yuv420p, 1440x1080 [PAR 4:3 DAR 16:9], q=2-31, 20000 kb/s, 90k tbn, 90k tbc
Stream mapping:
  Stream #0:0 -> #0:0 (copy)

I also tried the CLI command suggested in the comments of another question.

avconv -i 10MB.ts -c:v copy -c:a libfaac 10MB.mp4

Again, no sound in the output file.

EDIT: I tried VLC as suggested by @Daniel. It was almost perfect. It was fast and user friendly. I just had to click on "Convert / Save", add the input file, select the MP4 profile, configure Video codec and Audio codec to "Keep original video / audio track", choose a destination file, and click on "Start". The video looked perfect, but the audio was somehow slightly corrupted, but it might be caused by something quite exotic in the audio stream of my video.

Best Answer

Matroska (MKV)

This will stream copy (re-mux) all streams:

ffmpeg -i input -map 0 -c copy output.mkv

The -map 0 option is used to include all streams. Otherwise it will use the default stream selection behavior which would only result in one stream per stream type being selected. Since Matroska can handle most arbitrary streams I included -map 0.


This will stream copy (re-mux) all streams:

ffmpeg -i input -map 0 -c copy output.mp4
  • If your inputs formats are not compatible with MP4 you will get an error.
  • Your player/device may not support all arbitrary, less common, or legacy formats even if they are supported by MP4.
  • If in doubt re-encode to H.264 + AAC as shown below.

This will re-encode the video to H.264 and stream copy the audio:

ffmpeg -i input.ts -c:v libx264 -c:a copy output.mp4

The next example will re-encode both video and audio:

ffmpeg -i input.ts -c:v libx264 -c:a aac output.mp4

Lossless H.264 example:

ffmpeg -i input.ts -c:v libx264 -crf 0 -c:a copy output.mp4

Lossless files will be huge.

See FFmpeg Wiki: H.264 for more info.

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