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Supported Video formats - Help

Discussion in 'Google TV Hardware Discussion' started by ichversuchte, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. ichversuchte

    ichversuchte New Member

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    Hello,

    I have been struggling for a while trying to convert video files to be compatible with google tv. I have tried tons of different conversions using AVS Video converter. I have tried using Tversity (which didn't work).

    Can anyone share what they use to convert files and what settings they are using.

    Thank you
     
  2. StevenB

    StevenB New Member

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    I guess the first question is what format are you converting to?

    AVI format definitely plays on the GTV. Watched all the seasons of Big Bang Theory on it in AVI. I can't remember what program I used to convert files though since it's been a long while, but I feel like I remember AVS working for me.
     
  3. ichversuchte

    ichversuchte New Member

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    I have gotten some avi's to work also, but i believe that is just the container. Most of my avi's are xvid, what should i convert to them to?

    Brandon
     
  4. Donaldt

    Donaldt New Member

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    You are very astute to be able to know not to confuse file container and codec. It took me a long while to understand the difference. I didn't realize that file support was a two part process before using Google and visiting these forums and the Logitech forums. The application needs to be able to read the file which in this case is the container then it needs to be able to understand the contents through the codec. Codec stands for compression-decompression by the way and is a sort of algorithmic program to translate the information. I have found that Google TV has less of a problem with the various containers compatibility and more of a problem with its limited codec support. I use Format Factory because of the advice of the users here and the technical support forum and most importantly it does not cost anything to use it. The format I translate into is All to MP4 and it defaults the output with AVC1 video and AAC audio. All of the files that I have translated so far work very well with the Google TV so I have not found a need to pay for an application to convert or transcode my files. I have used TVersity before and you have to make sure to setup the profile correctly or you will get random results with compatibility because some files do not work that should and vice versa. Something that people do not tell you is that on the fly transcoding reduces the picture quality and uses up a lot of processing power and that is why I decided to use Format Factory instead or TVersity. Did I mention that it is free?
     
  5. StevenB

    StevenB New Member

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    Donaldt, thanks for the info! That was one thing I never looked into, the differences between container and codec. How long does it take Format Factory to translate an HD video file (MKV format is the norm it seems, but don't know container)?
     
  6. Donaldt

    Donaldt New Member

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    It is okay StevenB for the info to be shared in such a manner. The multimedia files we use to play our videos can be divided into two parts containers and streams. Streams are a linear recording of information. Think of them as a stream of tape like in a video or audio cassette at least I do. Each stream holds a different type of information whether it is audio video or text. These recordings are compressed or decompressed by a software component called a codec which stands for compression-decompression. If the multimedia application does not have compatible codecs to decompress each streams it will not be able to read the the necessary information to display the contents. All of these streams inside a file are organized differently by the type of container used. If the multimedia player does not understand container format described then it cannot differentiate between the different streams inside of the file. This is why compatibility of video files are a two stage process which requires the application to separate the individual streams inside the container then to translate each stream through the correct codec. MKV stands for Matroksa Video and it is a type of video container that can hold multiple streams of various types. It is used on the web by many individuals because it is open source and open standard and apparently is the basis for WebM video files. The container format used commercially for DVD is known as VOB for Blu-Ray it is M2TS. M2TS stands for MPEG-2 Transport Stream and commercial standard stream for Bluray Disc Audio and Video formats or BDAV for short. VOB stands for Video Object and commercial standard stream for Digital Video Disc or DVD for short. Google TV can play MKV because it knows the container format and are not protected like commercial VOB or M2TS files. I think MKV files is popular for video pirates because it is free and insecure. There are eight different video containers that G-TV can support and those are MKV, FLV, MTS, MT2S, TS, AVI, MOV, and MP4 but the video streams compatibility are currently limited to four and are H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, H.263, Divx MPEG-4, and Xvid MPEG-4 and the audio streams are limited by two which are MP3 and AAC. That is why it is confusing when people say a particular video file or container does not play through Google TV. It is usually not the incompatibility of the container but the streams inside. I do not blame them because I was also ignorant of the difference between containers and codecs and the tools to see the difference is not included with any operating system. You need to manually search and download and install special applications to be able to identify the different containers and the streams contained inside of them. I use a program called MediaInfo because it is free and it allows me to right click on a file to open a window that lists the contents the multimedia file. It is a very handy way of troubleshooting why a file does not play on the GTV. I have found that it is usually because of the video stream instead of the video container and not the container itself that so many people report as not being compatible. That is why I use Format Factory to convert the files using the All to MP4 option. I do not know how long it takes to convert a HD video file because I do not have any. The files that I convert use a resolution smaller than 720x480 because that is what my video cameras shoot and I think the smallest resolution for HD files are 1280x720. The conversion process sometimes takes me a little longer or a little less than it takes to watch the video but I have a ten year computer and I think the newer processors can do it much faster. I do not have very much money and I try to make use of all of the free software that I can so that I can have the best experience that I can without spending money and throwing it away in the can.
     
  7. StevenB

    StevenB New Member

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    Donald, thanks for the even better, detailed explanation! Makes perfect sense now. It was easy to follow, though it could've used some newline breaks lol. Either way, I followed!

    Smallest resolution for HD is 1280x720. And besides a lot of HD downloaded content being contained in MKV format, I run into a lot of anime being in MKV as well. It annoys me though because of the way subtitles are stored in MKV. It doesn't show up on my Samsung LED Tv or my Sony 32" GTV. Nor through PlayOn, which uses VLC to play my media!! That last thing is crazy to me, since VLC will show the subtitles on my laptop.

    I'll definitely look into converting an HD video sometime and see how long it takes.
     

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