TSReader is a Windows program. We wrote it for Windows because this is the most popular operating system by far in the world and has the best hardware support for devices that receive and transmit MPEG-2 transport streams.

That said, the Linux operating system is very popular especially in the video encoder space and all computers from Apple run MacOS which is based on a Linux-like operating system called Darwin. It is possible to run TSReader on Linux/MacOS by using a virtualization program like VMWare, KVM or Parallels, but a full installation of Windows and its associated license is still required.

Wine is an open-source project that adds a compatibility layer that mimics part of the Windows operating and graphics system and allows Windows applications to run like native applications on Linux/MacOS without the need for virtualization software. The majority of Linux installations and all computers that run MacOS run on the x86 computer architecture which is the same as Windows, so Wine doesn't emulate a processor - it just translates the way Windows does things into the way Linux or MacOS do the same. Wine is an acronym for "Wine Is Not an Emulator".

While not perfect, it does do a very good job running TSReader which will be perfectly usable in many circumstances. In this document, we explain how to get TSReader TSReader Professional running on both MacOS and the Ubuntu version of Linux.

Source Module and Forwarder Restrictions

A lot of the source-modules used by TSReader communicate with hardware via Windows drivers. These drivers are not included with Wine so these source-modules are not supported. The same applies to Forwarder modules in TSReader Professional.

If TSReader detects it is running on Wine, it will limit the modules shown when selecting the source to those that are known to work correctly on Wine. TSReader Professional does the same in the Forwarder menu. The following is a list of supported source-modules:

File
MPEG-2 transport stream files
FileContinuous
MPEG-2 transport stream files continuously being written
FileLoop
MPEG-2 tranport streams in loop mode (keeps reading the file from start to finish)
HDHomeRun_8VSB
Silicon Dust's ethernet connected tuner for the ATSC system used in North America
HDHomeRun_DVBC
Silicon Dust's ethernet connected tuner forthe worldwide DVB-C cable standard
HDHomeRun_DVBT
Silicon Dust's ethernet connected tuner forDVB-T and DVB-T2 off-air systems
HDHomeRun_ISDBT
Silicon Dust's ethernet connected tuner for the ISDB-T system used in Japan and South America
HDHomeRun_Prime
Silicon Dust's ethernet connected tuner with CableCard support for encrypted North American cable systems
HDHomeRun_QAM
Silicon Dust's ethernet connected tuner forclear QAM-B used in North America
HRTPMultcast
Harmonic's version of RTP in multicast mode
HRTPUnicast
Harmonic's version of RTP in unicast mode
HTTP
HTTP sources, HTTP live streaming (HLS) and MPEG-DASH support
RTPMulticast
RTP protocol multicast mode
RTPUnicast
RTP protocol unicast mode
SATIP_DVBC
SAT>IP DVB-C network connected tuners
SATIP
SAT>IP DVB-S/DVB-S2 network connected tuners
TCP
MPEG-2 transport stream over TCP/IP connections
UDPMulticast
UDP packets carrying MPEG-2 transport stream multicast
UDPUnicast
UDP packets carrying MPEG-2 transport stream unicast

For TSReader Professional's Forwarder function, the following forwarder modes are supported:

UDP
Either individual programs or the entire transport stream. Output can be UDP, RTP or RTP with SMPTE 2022-4 (null packet removal)
TCP/IP
MPEG-2 transport stream over TCP/IP connections


Turning TSReader into a MacOS application

Download the setup utility for either TSReader or TSReader Professional from our support site. We recommend getting 2.8.50 or later since these versions are Wine-aware. Download the setup utility to the MacOS Downloads folder.

Download Wine and Wine Bottler for MacOS from this location: http://winebottler.kronenberg.org

Once the downloaded DMG file opens, drag both Wine and Wine Bottler to the Applications folder:

wine-bottler-dmg

Now launch the Wine Bottler application and click the Advanced button at the top:

wine-bottler

Click the "select File" button and point to the TSReader setup program. Uncheck "Include Mono" and "Include Gecko" since TSReader doesn't need these. For TSReader Professional, you will want the Profile Browser shown first so set "Runtime Arguments" to "-L".

If you want to play live streams with VLC, in the "Winetricks" area, search for "vlc" and select that. The Wine Bottler screen should now look something like this:

wine-bottler-configured

Now click "Install" and set the output application name to either "TSReader" or "TSReader Pro".Wine Bottler will do its thing which can take a few minutes. If you've selected VLC, you will eventually see the VLC setup program. Click through the prompts but don't select the "Run VLC" option in the last step.

Next, TSReader's setup program will run - click through the setup prompts as usual and again don't check the option to run TSReader.

Following this, you'll be asked which program to run when the MacOS wrapper is run:

wine-bottler-application

Select either TSReader.exe or TSReaderPro.exe depending on which edition of TSReader you are installing.

That's it! Now you'll have a new file in the Downloads folder which is TSReader all ready to run on MacOS:
wine-tsr-application

You can now just launch it just like any other Mac application. The first time it runs, you may see it appear and disappear from the dock - be patient - it will eventually launch. After running the first time, future launches will be much faster. You can now drag and drop this application into the Applications folder and use like any other Mac application.

wine-tsr

Note: If you don't see the TSReader icon correctly, the following steps will fix that:

  • Launch the MacOS terminal - this is in Applications/Utilities
  • Type cd ~/Downloads
  • Type touch TSReader.app or touch "TSReader Pro.app"

Observations running TSReader on Wine with MacOS

Pretty much all of TSReader works correctly. The only major issue we've noticed is that the Closed Caption decoder in TSReader Professional doesn't work. We don't know why at present but will fix this problem if we can figure it out. The fact that it works correctly on Wine running on Ubuntu Linux is a good indication that this isn't our bug.

Installing TSReader on Ubuntu Linux

The Ubuntu version of Linux is very popular and free. Since Wine was originally written as a Linux application, it's even easier to get TSReader running on this operating system.

First launch the Ubuntu Software application from the launcher and search for Wine, then click the Install button:

ubuntu-software

Now download the TSReader setup utility from our support site using Firefox. Get version 2.8.50 or later since that version and later are aware of Wine and will work better than existing versions. Once downloaded, click the Download icon and then the folder icon next to the setup program. This will open the Files application with the TSReader download shown. Right-click the TSReader setup utility and choose "Open With > Wine Windows Program Loader":

ubuntu-setup

After a short delay while Wine configures itself the first time, the TSReader setup program will run as normal. Once that's complete, click the search icon at the top of the launcher and type "TSReader". It will then show the regular TSReader icon. Drag that icon onto the Launcher on the left:

ubuntu-search

That's it! You can now run TSReader just like any other native Ubuntu application. Wine is much better integrated into Ubuntu than on MacOS so for example if you select the option during the install of TSReader, .ts files will automatically open in TSReader.

ubuntu-tsr