[mythtv-users] Mobile Video Player Recommendations (MPEG4)

Nick Rout nick at rout.co.nz
Fri Jan 26 11:29:37 UTC 2007

On Thu, 25 Jan 2007 19:56:43 -0700
Brian Wood <beww at beww.org> wrote:

> On Jan 25, 2007, at 7:21 PM, Kevin Hulse wrote:
> > Hullo,
> >
> >     I am interested in something like the video ipod. However,
> > I am not interested in re-transcoding everything to be
> > compatable with the video ipod. Are there any units like from
> > iriver or archos that are more mythtv friendly. What exactly
> > is the variant of MPEG4 being used by mythtv (since it's not
> > H.264) and are there any portable video players that support
> > it?
> >
> I don't have a lot of time right at the moment but I just wanted to  
> mention one thing: resolution.
> The small players, be they an iPod or an Archos or whatever usually  
> have screens that are not "full resolution". I have a Zaurus that is  
> actually 640x480 but even that is not the 720x480 that is "standard"  
> for SD NTSC video. The small players are more typically 320x220, but  
> I haven't looked at them recently, maybe they are getting better ?
> So to play a video that was made on a Myth system you will either  
> have to have Myth create a file that has sub-optimal resolution for  
> display on a home TV set or reduce the resolution of the Myth file to  
> "fit" on your player.

I don't actually agree with this. I don't have such a device, but I do a bit of research from time to time. I don't believe that the portable devices have any problem playing a resolution that is too big - providing it isn't so big that it runs out of CPU to od the job - but thats not a resolution issue its a CPU issue. In other words a HD stream is unlikely to work, but a typical SD resolution xvid file would look fine. It  will simply be scaled down to fit the screen.

By the 9way I have heard good things about the Creative Zen Vision W which has a 16:9 aspect screen @ 480x272

> I have a GP2X with a 320x240 screen that can play just about any  
> "MPEG4" file that any Linux system can, but of course the resolution  
> is only 320x480, so I have to process the file anyway, and if you're  
> doing that you can do anything else in the process with no real  
> additional effort, assuming a reasonably fast CPU, that you have the  
> codecs required etc.
> I suppose you could record on the Myth system at 640x480, that might  
> not look *too* bad, and a unit like my Zaurus SLC-760 could play  
> them, but those units are rare (they were never sold in the USA) and  
> expensive, and have limited storage as well.
> It really wouldn't be hard to set things up to convert your files,  
> perhaps as a "user job". Using the exact same file on both units is  
> just not practical IMHO, but I'm certainly open to suggestions if I'm  
> wrong here, it certainly wouldn't be the first time :-)
> >      I would like to just "dock" the video player and have
> > it sync overnight with minimal muss and fuss, preferably
> > being able to completely refresh the 20G or so worth of
> > content that could fit on it. So a simple dump/file copy
> > onto the device would be ideal.
> Only if the Myth-created file(s) are of the proper resolution to  
> start with, which means they look lousy on your home TV.
> in other words:
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