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I have a cable tv settop box capable of recording the MPEG-TS bit stream on to a USB-drive similar to what I can do with EyeTV on my Mac.

Unfortunately I have found that XBMC and VLC are the only OS X tools which can cope with these files, and I would like to have something simple which can convert this into a normal MPEG-PS file compatible with QuickTime for further processing. I am well versed in Terminal.app, and can compile from source.

What should I use for this?

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You can probably compile your own ffmpeg then use:

ffmpeg -i input.ts -vcodec copy -acodec copy output.mpg

http://jungels.net/articles/ffmpeg-howto.html

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    Use Homebrew to make installation even easier. – EmmEff May 9 '12 at 0:24

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