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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:33 am 
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Aloha Folks,

I've started this topic in response to an off topic post by someone in the "Comic Books on the 7HT - Request" topic.

When I got to testing video play I was pleased that the two bundled videos on the 7HT are that same as the ones bundled on the 5IT. They played beautifully, and looked much nicer on the 7 inch screen.

So, I copied a bunch of videos (7 or 8) from my 5IT to my 7HT. One .mkv and the rest .avi. All played well on the 5IT and none played on the 7HT! BUMMER TIME MAN!!!.

I've got free Handbrake and paid Wondershare format converters on my WinVista Box. The bundled videos have the same number of bytes on both the 5IT and 7HT I then used MediaInfo to find they have the same characteristics. Great!!!

But neither bundled videos is 720p and that's what I wanted for my 720p home videos. I started from the originals of the home video which my 5IT plays when converted and the converted videos wouldn't play on my 7HT.

My first fiddling produced .mkv files which looked fine using VLC on my PC and my 5IT, and looked awful on the 7HT - Artifacts galore. I finally got acceptable .mkv files on my 7HT.

My only test file so far is a 6 minute video of a friend in Florida which I took using a Lumix FZ28:
    - Original file: Friend.mov - 1G size - 720p
    - Awful .mkv file: Friend_2500.mkv - 35M size - 720p
    - Ok .mkv file: Friend_53PC.mkv - 100M size - 720p

I have further testing to do before I feel comfortable making recommendations. After some discussion here I'd like to start a Wiki page: Archos 7HT Playing Videos - What Formats do/don't work?.

On the 5IT Forum the MediaInfo program is the standard we've used for sharing characteristics of some working and not working videos. These are long reports and take up a lot of space in a forum discussion. But sometimes those reports are the best we can do. Sometimes an Archos Staffer requested someone upload a "bad" video to Archos. And sometimes a poster would give us a link to a "small" portion of a "bad" video so we could try it on our own 5ITs.

All these options are available to us with the 7HT forum.

As I've mentioned I have further testing and don't feel comfortable making recommendations yet. But I will post the MediaInfo report on my working .mkv file if enough of you request it.

Allen

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 2:20 am 
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what dimension/kbps rate are you using as a good compromise for video watching on the Archos 7HT?

I have just got back from a road trip (of course with my Archos 7HT!!) and I found that supporting higher definition movies such as 640X472 @ 1500Kbps looks great however my battery run time takes a toll. Watching a 2hr film is good however I am left about a total run time before the Archos 7HT blacks out of about 2.5 - 3hrs.
When I do mixed use, (web, games, small video clips <5min and music) I can get roughly 6+ hrs from the tablet.

I had tested various sizes/rates based on what I have in my video library and will post up what worked (for me atleast) to this topic soon.

As a disclaimer, I tend to favor MP4/M4V - works across the board with the kind of setup I have. MP4 H.264. These look great on TV but are still portable.
MPEG-4/640x480/15000kbps Stereo/128kbps
MPEG-4/640x320/2500kbps Stereo/128kbps
MPEG-4/720x384/2500kbps Stereo/128kbps
For my setup:
I tend to rip my DVD's at a reasonable quality that looks pretty good (subjective) on a TV screen but yet small enough to take with me on the road. I try to avoid re-converting movie rips, or down convert from the original unless there is a good reason for it.
The setup I have is a NAS to house my video library, which gets streamed to two other PCs and a video streamer tied to my TV for home use.

Two reasons that support me well using those types of formats are giving up some quality for portability. I travel quite a bit and previously, my primary use for watching video was an IPOD with a IPOD video player. Now my old player died on me and it was time to replace. My decision after a few months of research was the Archos 7HT. This tablet is smaller more versatile and "allegedly" can handle run times as long or longer than other portable players in the market. I found the tablet very compelling because of its versatility, Android OS for flexibility, and its size really wow-ed me. Basically an all in one package with a few more bells and whistles that give me joy!


I guess ultimately my question is, would the run times given this kind of video file type is typical for the Archos 7HT? Also not sure if any portable player given the screen size of 10 inches or less would really benefit playing 720P (1280×720) the Archos 7HT native screen res is 800x480 pixels.

any comments are surely appreciated

Thanks in advance


jam78ilc

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:40 am 
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The wiki page for the 7HT says that with paid plugin, the system supports MPEG-2, WMV HD (720p), and VOB.

This would be ideal for me. However, I don't think this is correct, at least not yet. I went to the Archos Plugin store, but they want a product key, and I can't find one for the 7HT.

Anyone have similar problems or know the status of this?

In the meantime, I guess I'll convert some of my VOBs. Any recommendations on the best format to convert to, and a program for said conversion?

Thanks -- Bob


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:36 am 
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rbroders wrote:
The wiki page for the 7HT says that with paid plugin, the system supports MPEG-2, WMV HD (720p), and VOB.

This would be ideal for me. However, I don't think this is correct, at least not yet. I went to the Archos Plugin store, but they want a product key, and I can't find one for the 7HT.

Anyone have similar problems or know the status of this?

In the meantime, I guess I'll convert some of my VOBs. Any recommendations on the best format to convert to, and a program for said conversion?

Thanks -- Bob

Aloha Bob,

There are no plugins for the 7HT. I put the disclaimer in Bold Red Letters at top of the 7HT's home wiki page when I created it. You found one reason why the disclaimer. I used the 5IT's home wiki page as a starting point. Every now and then I update the 7HT's home wiki page. But there's only so much of me to go around.

pmarin has helped some on our home wiki page. You can, too, just register for our wiki with the same name "rbroders" (or one close) and help us out.

As to Formats, I'm still working on it myself. I just created the Archos 7HT Video Formats wiki page. Nothing there yet, but you could help there. The first thing I'd add would be the Official Archos specs and disclaimers from their web site.

Allen

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:49 am 
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I figured it was just a copying error. Do you think Archos won't have Plugins for the 7HT? I thought it was odd that the 7HT doesn't have a product key but the "Archos 5 with android does".

--Bob


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:59 am 
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Since Archos didn't develop the media player software on the A7 HT in-house, I doubt they will be developing plug-ins for it. Just my best guess, mind you.

Michael


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:26 am 
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Okay, after some testing, I belive the H.264 codec with an Average Bit Rate of 2000kbps produces the best results. Using 2500kbps *should* work better, but I noticed a number of decode glitches with this format on the 7HT (though the video looked great using VLC on my notebook). I assume it was due to instantaneous temporary data rates exceeding the capabilities of the 7HT. I also tried the MPEG4 codec, which was very fast for compression, but the results showed more visual defects than the h.264 formats.

FYI, the two videos which were shipped with the H7T use the MPEG4 codec with the XVID analysis mode. Unfortunately my compressor XviD4PSP 6.0 crashes when using the XVID mode for now

--Bob


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:00 pm 
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I found the 7HT to be a bit jerky when playing a 720p MKV file. Then I used Handbrake to resize to roughly 800 x 400 (keeping aspect ratio) with Apple TV legacy presets and changing only bitrate to 1500 (large file support is checked). This keeps the resized MKV under 2 gig (for a 1.5 to 2 hour movie). The resized MKV plays fine on the PC via VLC. However, its gets pixelated at various times during playback on the 7HT. Anyone with the same experience or a better set of settings for Handbrake or other programs?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:15 pm 
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9394888 wrote:
Anyone with the same experience or a better set of settings for Handbrake or other programs?

The blockiness might be caused by weightp, it was not supported by any Rockchip player I tested.

Try adding weightp=0 to the advanced H264 options in Handbrake. (use a colon to separate it from the previous command)

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:41 pm 
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that did the trick. tx. may i ask what program and setting you use personally to encode for 800x400?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:18 pm 
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9394888 wrote:
that did the trick. tx.

You're welcome, glad to hear it worked.

Quote:
may i ask what program and setting you use personally to encode for 800x400?

What you're using (Handbrake) should be fine.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:23 pm 
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Hello, I've been reading the forums but only lurking since my A7HT arrived a week or so ago. I too would like this thread to become a wiki entry but it seems to have grown cold.

One of my primary uses for the A7HT was as a movie viewer (for trips, etc), so I wanted to fit as many titles on my 8G uSD card as possible while keeping "adequate" (not necessarily great) quality (since the 7" screen is only 800x480).

HandBrake seems to be the recommended choice after the DVD contents were copied to disk. I thought I read somewhere that either the Regular/Normal preset or the Apple/Iphone preset would work on the A7HT (both create an H.264 MP4/M4V file), so I first tried the Regular/Normal preset. After experiencing/fixing the "weightp" problem (thank you very much for identifying this, v_c), I found that, although the resulting .m4v files seemed to play fine, if I used the slider (or a bookmark) to reposition the video, the audio went out of sync and the video became jumpy.

So then I tried the Apple/Iphone preset and now both viewing and repositioning seem to work fine. My subsequent tweaking to this preset (now obviously saved under a different name) was to specify
  • "Anamorphic=Strict" (Picture tab)
  • "Constant Quality=50%" (Video tab)
  • "DRC=2" (Audio tab)
  • ":weightp=0" at the end of the options (Advanced tab)

Note: DRC is Dynamic Range Compression and seems to help the sound, but HandBrake 0.9.4 does not save the value with the preset, so it must be respecified every time the preset is loaded (if you want to use it).

I believe "Strict" tells HandBrake to create an anamorphic (smaller) result file, so the "Screen Display Format" button (diagonal with two arrowheads) must be pressed once after starting the video to expand it back to full-screen.

One more thing - if the source video is "wider" than 16:9, HandBrake will try to crop the top and bottom of the video. Although the resulting file plays fine in VLC Media Player, the A7HT player gets confused and vertically stretches the video back to 16:9. Therefore, if you notice (on the Picture tab) that HandBrake has cropped more than one or two pixels from the top/bottom, select "Custom" and set the Top/Bottom crop back to zeros.

Ok. I now have a bunch of .m4v files copied to my 8G uSD card that play quite well but require only about 300-400 MB per hour of video (MediaInfo says the videos play at 500-600 Kbps).

As an aside question to you all, since even a 2000 kb/s video requires less than 1 MB/sec, would a Class-2 uSD card (2 MB/sec?) play these videos well? It would certainly cost less than my current Class-6 card...

Larry


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:00 pm 
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Class 2 cards are plenty fast enough for the maximum video bitrate of the A7 HT.

Michael


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:47 am 
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I got my 7 HT last week while on a trip to France. I got access to a PC and downloaded a movie clip from my camera, Samsung HZ35W. I recorded in 1280x720 HD. The format is MPEG4, H.264 codec.......it won't play on the 7 HT....the first frame displays and I get the sound. Any suggestions? Thanks.....


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:57 am 
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Aloha dgerb,

Welcome to the "What the Frack Video Club"? I'm still testing...for far too long.

Allen

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:13 am 
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dgerb wrote:
I got my 7 HT last week while on a trip to France. I got access to a PC and downloaded a movie clip from my camera, Samsung HZ35W. I recorded in 1280x720 HD. The format is MPEG4, H.264 codec.......it won't play on the 7 HT....the first frame displays and I get the sound. Any suggestions? Thanks.....


At a guess, I'd say it's probably not simple profile and it's probably got too high a bitrate. (You can always use the Mediainfo app for your PC to check the file for yourself).

Use Handbrake to transcode it down using the settings mentioned here on this thread and you should have a watchable copy for your A7 HT.

Michael


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:18 am 
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I'll bet the data rate is too high. The 7HT only supports 2.5Mbps. If the data rate goes beyond that, you get tearing and other nasty artifacts...

--Bob

P.S. I'm using XviD4PSP 6.0 from Winnydows, and I really like it. It can anylize your source and tell you the details (including data rate). It can also recompress. I created an Archos7 profile which uses h.264 at 2Mbps and it seems to work quite well.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:02 pm 
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So, I assume that there is no software one could install on the 7 HT to play videos straight from the camera.

I was hoping there was, since I don't always have access to a PC on the road to reprocess the video file.

However.....thanks for the help....


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:37 pm 
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The problem is the hardware of the unit is not powerful enough to decode your file. Perhaps you can look at the A5 IT instead, as it's a lot more powerful. Still, you should test one of these videos on that or any device before you buy it, as even the A5 IT can't run complex profile 720p h264 at too high a bitrate.

Michael


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:56 pm 
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Can you change settings on the camera to record at a lower bitrate? It would actually give you more minutes of recording time anyway. Most cameras have a quality setting for such things.


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