No HD MP4 Video on A500
I bought the A500 last week and have played around with it to test out all of the capabilities. I had hoped to be able to watch recorded HD video in MP4 format, but mine only seems to be able to play SD, notHD. I have tried both the clear.fi player and the nemo player. The videos I have tried are created using a Hauppauge HD DVR h.264 encoder in MP4 format. I have tried from microsd card as well as from the native memory. Nothing seems to work. Has anyone else had more success with this? Thanks.
05-03-2011 12:48 PM
Is this what you used to record? Because if so, it says it records AVCHD. And that might not work on the tablet. I have a SONY cam which also records in AVCHD (either 1080i MTS or 720p MP4). I did not have the time to try them on the tablet yet to see whether they are playable without conversion. Well, I know the 1080i will not work, but I will have to try the 720p MP4 version.
What you can do is search around the forum (or on the marketplace). They recommend other players that can play other video formats as well.
That is the one. It will output three different video formats, M2TS, MP2, and MP4. I was able to make MP4 recordings with it in standard definition (480p), and they worked fine. Just the Hi Def recordings wont play. So, it doesn't appear to be the recording format.
Originally Posted by pentool
I will do a test on mine when I get home, because I know it would be nice if I could dump my recordings from the camera to the tablet without any conversion.
Im pretty sure the tablet doesnt have 1080i/p play back, but that would be addressed in a Q2 update.
Of course it does not. Even if it did, I would not dump a 1080i/p video onto the tablet since that would take up HUGE amount of space. I don't see any reason to play 17-18Mbps video on a small tablet. I'd just convert that down to 720p anyway.
So this is what I found. I also cannot play my AVCHD MP4 files directly from the Sony camera.
In the manual, on p58, the following lists the acceptable codecs: H.264 BP, H.264 MP, H.264 HP, MPEG-4 SP, H.263.
As this list shows, it makes a big difference which profile and level version the video has. Some profile and level combinations simply do not play on devices. Profiles and level versions refer to data rate and frame sizes. You can find more info about them on Wikipedia. Some portions of the doc is somewhat technical in nature, but if you scroll down to the LEVELS section, there's that big gray chart. It shows what kind of restrictions certain profiles have (base, main, high, etc).
Most compression programs do not tell you about the video profile and levels, so all you will see is that my video is MP4 (or MPEG-4, H264, what have you) and the manual says the device can play it, yet it doesn't play. Well, that's why. Because even though the file container itself if MP4, but there are more intricacies about the video detail which you cannot see. If you download this little MediaInfo program, it will show you more information about a specific media file then you ever need.
I tried using the free Handbreak program and also Staxrip (also free) to convert the videos to playable formats. I think Handbrake would do the trick.
Personally I prefer Adobe's Media Encoder (which comes with Creative Suite) because it allows me to set profiles and levels directly in the encoder.
However, even after encoding the movies, they played quite choppy. I had to install a 3rd party player (mobo player + codec pack) in order to play the video smooth.
(On the side note I just want to mention that I don't know why people like mobo player so much. It does play the videos smooth, and I do like the fact the you can adjust the volume and screen brightness by swiping your finger on the left and right side of the screen, however, the UI is just terrible.)
That's great info. Thanks. Using the HD PVR to record mp4 seems to be hir-or-miss. I have made a few more recordings with different audio settings and bit rates. I have been able to get some to play with Mobo, with soft decoding and some not. Clear.fi and nemo seem unable to do that, though. Even when I get them to play, the video and audio are out of sync. So, I think I will stick with 480p for now. It doesn't quite fill the screen, but it works and plays smoothly and in sync. Thanks for the links and the heads up on creative suite. I will give those a try at some point.
So, I converted some videos to a lower bit rate (2 MBps), and the players seem to be able to at least play them. The problem is that they are still very choppy. The sound works fine, but the video only seems to play about 2-3 frames per second. I have tried "soft decoding" with MOBO player, but that causes the video to lag severly, though it is smooth. The audio plays well, but the video looks like it is slow motion and continually gets farther and farther behind the audio. The Handbrake program seems to be custom made for Apple products, Staxrip must be a Linux program, and MediaInfo wont work at all on my Windows 7 machine. Does anyone have any other thoughts?
I'm having similar issues. It's really frustrating as one of the reasons I wanted a tablet was to be able to watch videos on a larger screen. I can't believe the stock player is so utterly useless. Eagerly awaiting a work around here, and praying for a soon to come Q2 update that promised 1080 vid.