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.

  • Have you tried VLC? videolan.org/vlc/index.html
    – Daniel
    Jan 3, 2016 at 18:23
  • You mentioned you wanted to remux, not re-encode if possible. Are you sure VLC is only remuxing?
    – llogan
    Jan 3, 2016 at 18:48
  • @LordNeckbeard Good point! How can I be sure?
    – lacton
    Jan 3, 2016 at 18:49
  • I'm not familiar with VLC for converting, but I added an answer using ffmpeg.
    – llogan
    Jan 3, 2016 at 19:11
  • VLC will convert anything to anything with outstanding losslessness. Basically you're limited by the format you chose.
    – Daniel
    Jan 4, 2016 at 0:53

3 Answers 3


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.

  • 1
    If you wish to encode a lossless MP4 file, add either -qp 0 or -crf 0, as mentioned on the FFMpeg wiki page: trac.ffmpeg.org/wiki/Encode/H.264 Jan 4, 2016 at 1:04
  • 3
    @SuperSluether Lossless makes huge files. By "lossless" I believe lacton meant "remuxing".
    – llogan
    Jan 4, 2016 at 1:54
  • 2
    @lacton Try muxing into matroska: ffmpeg -i 10MB.ts -c copy output.mkv. You will get error: Error parsing AAC extradata, unable to determine samplerate. That is why my MKV example re-encoded the audio. Also see #4472: AAC copy from stream without encoding fails and lavf/mkv: Fix AAC remuxing. However, none of this may apply to your large, untruncated input file and it may work as expected.
    – llogan
    Jan 4, 2016 at 23:01
  • 1
    @LordNeckbeard I confirm I get the "Error parsing AAC extradata" message even with the full file. There is definitely something fishy going on with the audio stream. When playing the video with VLC, it detects 2 different audio streams, labelled Track 1 and Track 2. One is the normal audio stream, the other is a commentary audio stream. Somehow the broadcaster managed to squeeze two audio streams into one...?
    – lacton
    Jan 5, 2016 at 7:39
  • 1
    @LordNeckbeard ffmpeg -i input -c:v copy -c:a aac output.mkv worked perfectly. The video was remuxed, and the audio sounds as good as the original, without the slight corruption I got when converting with VLC.
    – lacton
    Jan 5, 2016 at 7:41

VideoLAN (VLC - http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html) will easily convert just about anything into anything.

Give it a shot. It runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X, and has a very user-friendly interface.

  • Now that I've used VLC for video conversion, I would recommend it. Thank you for this suggestion. For my .ts file, it almost worked. The video looked perfect, but the audio was somehow slightly corrupted. It might be caused by something quite exotic in the audio stream of my video. I edited the original question to include this.
    – lacton
    Jan 5, 2016 at 7:35
  • Yeah, it might work better if you use a different subcontainer for the audio inside the mp4. Perhaps RAW.
    – Daniel
    Jan 5, 2016 at 15:38

As a complement to the other answer by @llogan - as a stream copy is preferable anyway:

I have been using for a long time some commands to extract audio without changing the name of the files, which can be adapted to those presented here, in order to have them integrated into file managers' context menus.

So, for "demuxing and muxing" without changing the name of the file use:

ffmpeg -i "$0" -map 0 -c copy "${0%%.*}".mkv

I have added that to Thunar's custom actions and to FileManager Actions Configuration tool (Nautilus, Nemo, Caja, PCManFM), like so:

sh -c 'ffmpeg -i "$0" -map 0 -c copy "${0%%.*}".mkv' %f

while restricting it to "*.ts" in Thunar and video/mp2t in FileManager Actions.

As for GUI applications, there are some that can process without transcoding, by copying streams into a different container like mkv or mp4.

I use MKVToolNix (output only mkv) and dmMediaConverter (mkv, mp4 and any format supported by ffmpeg).

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