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Old 10-08-2004, 07:28 PM   #1
CliePet
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CliePet's VZ90 Review - day 2 "Movies"

Day 2 - Movies Movies and more Movies

This is part 2 ("day 2") of a continuing series discussing the new cool PDA, the CLIE VZ90
See here for part1 http://www.1src.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69411

The VZ90 comes with MP4 support.
This is not as new as it sounds, because most recent CLIEs already support MPEG-4 format packaged in Quick Time format (MQV files)

This article focuses on the movie playing on the VZ90, especially with the brilliant screen.
The bulk of the article applies to the UX50, and TH55 model CLIEs (some hacks required)
Earlier models (like the NX and NZ) are included in the discussion, but the new MP4 and IC2 features do not apply.

-----------
Much of this article is culled and distilled from earlier posts on this BBS, so it may look familiar.
Many thanks to the contributions from 1src member 'Imame'.

DISCLAIMER: The issues of video editing, compression, are varied.
There are many other alternatives, and this article can only barely scratch the surface of video editing and processing tools and processes.

My goals here are getting the richest movie experience on your PDA, with the least amount of your time invested.
High quality video - high bit rates, 320x240 or larger. Source material DVD quality.
Easy to process tools - ie. things that can be done automatically, no manual editing or time wasting transcoding steps

====================================
Movie playing hardware and software - inside the CLIE

Movie file decoding and playing is built into the CLIE system.
The movie playing applications you see (Movie Player, the Media Center version and the brand new FullMoviePlayer) provide the user interface to select the movies and control the volume, seeking and other controls of the movie player. The real work of movie file reading, decoding and playback is done in the system itself.

On the plus side, this means it is easy to write a new player with a new user interface, and playback functionality is relatively standard across similar CLIE models. It is done very efficiently in the lower level system (meaning longer battery life)
On the minus side, the movie formats supported are limited and must be in very specific formats or they won't play with the built-in players. For example you can't add DivX support.

The same kind of relationship exists with AudioPlayer (specific formats required, but very optimized playback and longer battery life compared to 3rd party players that do the decoding themselves)

-----------
The two MPEG-4 formats:
"QT" - Quick Time - .MQV or .MOV = QuickTime packaged MPEG-4 video and audio
"MP4" - .MP4 = MPEG packaged MPEG-4 video and audio

These two formats are very similar. The CLIE support for playing them back is different. The tools for creating them are very different (IC1 or IC2)
NOTE: MPEG-1 playback is supported. The MOV and MP4 options are much better, so I will ignore the MPEG-1 format from now on.

The bit rate of the video is also an important factor.
The most interesting rates for this discussion are 384kbps and 768kbps for video. There are lower rates, and you can create videos that are in-between.

Here are some of the more interesting permutations:

QT 216kbps - 320x240 @ 15fps "Standard"
QT 384kbps - 320x240 @ 15fps "High Quality" [NOTE: best quality of the VR100K video recorder]
QT 768kbps - 320x240 @ 30fps "High Plus Quality"

MP4 192kbps - 320x240 @ 15fps Standard
MP4 384kbps - 320x240 @ 15fps HQ
MP4 768kbps - 320x240 @ 30fps HQ+
MP4 768kbps - 480x320 @ 15fps (or 20fps) TWEEKED "Full Screen"

The QuickTime formats are supported by most models [NX/NZ, TH, UX, NZ] except the largest movies (768kbps). This "High Plus Quality" is officially supported on the UX and VZ only.
There is an older hack http://www.1src.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57855 that allows them to play on the TH55 (don't bother to install if you want to use MP4)

The MP4 formats are officially only supported on the VZ90. For TH and UX owners, Imame has provided the VZ codecs. NOTE: requires recent version of McFile
http://www.1src.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69398 (just the Codecs, Media Center is not needed if you use FullMoviePlayer)
[note: hacks are not officially supported, falls in the light gray area of piracy IMHO]

For NX/NZ owners, enjoy the standard offerings (QT 384kbps at best) and forget about the new MP4 format and IC2, you aren't missing much IMHO. The FullMoviePlayer mentioned below can be used for those movies as well.

====================================
Image Converter 1 or 2?

IC1 - "Image Converter" (version 1 or 1.1) creates QT files (MQV extension).
IC2 - "Image Converter 2" creates MP4 files

The resulting movie output is very similar between the two (remember both are MPEG-4 video/audio, but the encoders are different). Which tool to use will depend on the model of CLIE

For VZ90 owners, you should use Image Converter 2 (IC2, almost exclusively)
For NX/NZ owners, you should use Image Converter 1 (IC1) only

If you have a UX/TH and already have a process with Image Converter 1, then I recommend sticking with it.
If you want to experiment with 480x320 video, or want to try using IC2 for its more tolerant input, then do so (codec hack required)

Image Converter 2 can be found here:
http://www.1src.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69393 (starting from the 3rd post)
The installation process has the same problems when run under English Windows, so do the first part install, then unzip the backup files.
The user interface is in Japanese and a partial english translation is being worked on by jackho (also on that thread)

Other than the user interface and output differences, the newer IC2 is more tolerant of the movie input formats it will import. That can be a significant reason to use it, even if you are using the standard resolutions.

====================================
Other stupid CLIE tricks - 480x320 movies

With the new Image Converter 2, it is relatively easy to compress movies directly ripped from DVD to MP4 files.

The default "High Plus Quality" is 768kbps. The high bit rate is used to give you 30 frames per second (320x240).
When played back full screen, a 320x240 video can be scaled by 4/3 giving a 426x320 display (very common with the regular player - small gaps on either side)

As an alternative, you can use IC2 to create 480x320 video files. They will fill the whole screen, with no scaling. It has twice as many pixel bits as 320x240. It can't play back at 30 frames per second, so you must reduce it to 15 or 20 fps.
These will playback on a VZ90 (or UX/TH with VZ codec hack)

So if you want slightly better full screen movies, at a slightly lower frame rate, I recommend 480x320 encoded video.
To encode the video install one of the .REG files below, restart IC2, and pick the '768kbps' setting. The output .MP4 file will depend on the last .REG file you installed.

NOTE: Playing a 480x320 video with the regular movie player has a few problems. The controls are on the side, so it interfers with the playback. See FMP (Full Movie Player) below.

-----------
REGEDIT settings (for tweeking IC2's 768kbps super-HQ settings)

Samples:
Default: (320x240, 30fps)
+++ Copy the following lines and save them as DEFAULT.REG
Code:
REGEDIT4 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Sony Corporation\Image Converter 2\2.0] "SH_STEREO"=dword:00000002 "SH_AUDIO"=dword:00000080 "SH_VIDEO"=dword:00000300 "SH_FRAMERATE"=dword:00007512 "SH_WIDTH"=dword:00000140 "SH_HEIGHT"=dword:000000f0

Full Screen good for Anime: (480x320, 15fps)
+++ Copy the following lines and save them as FULL_15FPS.REG
Code:
REGEDIT4 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Sony Corporation\Image Converter 2\2.0] "SH_STEREO"=dword:00000002 "SH_AUDIO"=dword:00000080 "SH_VIDEO"=dword:00000300 "SH_FRAMERATE"=dword:00003a89 "SH_WIDTH"=dword:000001e0 "SH_HEIGHT"=dword:00000140 /


Full Screen better for regular movies (480x320, 20fps)
+++ Copy the following lines and save them as FULL_20FPS.REG
Code:
REGEDIT4 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Sony Corporation\Image Converter 2\2.0] "SH_STEREO"=dword:00000002 "SH_AUDIO"=dword:00000080 "SH_VIDEO"=dword:00000300 "SH_FRAMERATE"=dword:00004e0c "SH_WIDTH"=dword:000001e0 "SH_HEIGHT"=dword:00000140


====================================
Image Converter 2 - Input file formats:

The official list of input formats that IC2 will convert to MP4 files:
MPEG1
AVI
GigaPocket (Sony's PVR software/hardware in some VAIOs)
Windows Media Video (WMV)

NOTE: if you have an MPEG2 decoder in your system registered with Windows, IC2 will be able to process MPEG-2 videos directly (no extra transcoding pass needed, see below)
[eg: EleCard MPEG2 player - http://www.elecard.com - free version with imperfect video - or $20 to register]

====================================
DVD direct to MP4 (or MOV) - no transcoding

"Transcoding" is the process of converting one (video) format to another. If you have used a program like TMPGENC or VirtualDub to pre-process your video files before feeding them into IC1, that is an extra transcoding step.
Extra transcoding steps can take a lot of time, eat up disk space for temporary video files, and lower the quality of the final video (decoding and re-encoding video is a 'lossy' process)
The final process of converting the video to MP4 (or QT) format is also a transcoding step. This is a necessary step, but try to avoid extra pre-processing unless you absolutely have to.

Here's one suggestion for converting a DVD movie to a high quality 480x320 MP4 to play on the VZ90 - which looks beatiful.
All the tools are free, except for the MPEG2 decoder (I use the EleCard one, $20 registration)

I use "DVD Decrypter" to rip individual chapters (and stream processing to pick audio track) into separate VOBs. I assume you know how to do that already (if not, play around with DVD Decrypter on your PC). Creates about 4 to 6 GB of VOB files on hard disk [depending on DVD]. These contain the DVD movie with zero quality loss from the original.

SYSTEM CHECK: Run the old Windows Media player MPlayer2 (\WINDOWS\MPLAYER2.EXE). Drag one of the VOB files to the player and see if it plays.
If it doesn't play, you don't have an MPEG2 decoder registered in your PC. If it plays with a funny graphic floating on the screen, that's normal for the free decoder (will go away if you register)

If it plays as you expect (including the proper language track), then rename all the .VOB files to .MPG

Run the appropriate .REG file for the IC2 settings (eg: for 480x320, 20fps for normal movies, 15fps for Anime) -- see above
Run IC2 (after the proper .REG file is used)
Drag all MPG files to the left hand list
Select the "768kpbs" MP4 conversion option
Start the conversion (and go get a coffee or two)
Delete the big VOB/MPG files when done (you don't need them anymore)

When done, you will have the entire movie compressed into MP4 format, in convenient chapter format.

The MP4 files (768kbps) are about 1/7th the size as the original [can fill much of a 1GB memory stick with a single movie - but it looks great]
TIP: if storing 768kbps on a CF card, be sure it is fast enough

====================================
====================================
Full Movie Player - FMP - beta

The standard movie players have controls on the side when the movie is playing.
I wrote a simple player called "Full Movie Player" (FMP) that provides a bare user interface for playing these kinds of videos.
It will play any movie supported for that model CLIE (MPEG-1, QT, and MP4 if supported) as long as the regular movie player can play it (remember the system does all the work in playing the video)

It is essential if you want to try the "480x320" movies as recommended above. FMP can also be used for other size movies, and scaled up to fit the screen (as best it can, with one of 5 scale factors)

Check this page for more details and download info (this is a beta)
http://aibohack.com/clie/fullmovie.htm

The program runs on the VZ90 and UX50 (landscape mode). In the UX50, there is a white border instead of black.
The program also runs on capable portrait mode PDAs, including the NX, NZ and TH series (it probably won't run on any other models).

Known issues:
- the movie display is of filenames only. You can rename the files (but the standard movie player will no longer see them). Future versions of FMP will use the regular movie info (eg: .mai files)
- sometimes you will see lines or bars on the side of the video, try a different scale factor.
- some features are not accessible on the TH-55 (no keyboard), like the volume control.

Enjoy
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Old 10-09-2004, 03:48 AM   #2
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Great day two
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Old 10-09-2004, 04:47 AM   #3
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yay, Cliepet! (btw you are really legendary. your Cliepet moniker comes up as the hero of NX users in clie forums everywhere ) Anyways I have yet to enjoy the pleasure of high-end clie tweaking (i have the practical TJ37) so I really appreciate your posts (vicarious enjoyment).
With the VZ launch, the hankering for a wild pda spending spree has me in its clutches (er, for my budget, wild spending spree would mean upgrading to UX refurb & enjoying keyboard shortcuts to reduce stylus use). I really hope the fact that vz90 is landscape will send a huge ripple effect of cool apps & ideas etc down to the UX !

p.s. nice hmpg! the cute picture of the panda working on itty-bitty laptop computer (the ux50) is great!!!

p.s.p.s. before i saw the aibo robots, i had this vague impression that your cliepet id was a reference to chia pet (those funny-shaped pottery planters) ~ lol :P

Last edited by nausicaa : 10-09-2004 at 04:49 AM. Reason: added emoticons
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Old 10-09-2004, 07:36 AM   #4
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Great Thing!!! It´s working on my TH55!!! The only thing is, that there are white borders (but it is only a beta version )

So great work. Thanks
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Old 10-09-2004, 07:45 AM   #5
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Oh, it was just a question of the converting options. Now I have only a small white border.

I am really happy with "Day 2"
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Old 10-09-2004, 11:32 AM   #6
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well i changed the settings in regedit in image converter 2 SH_FRAMERATE- 19.98, SH_HEIGHT: 320 SH_WIDTH :480. it seems that it crops out the center part of the movie and when i play it on my ux50 , it enrlages it. i dont' get how to convert movies to 320x480 pixels
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Old 10-09-2004, 11:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonyStyle
well i changed the settings in regedit in image converter 2 SH_FRAMERATE- 19.98, SH_HEIGHT: 320 SH_WIDTH :480. it seems that it crops out the center part of the movie and when i play it on my ux50 , it enrlages it. i dont' get how to convert movies to 320x480 pixels


For 480x320 movies, you must use Full Movie Player from CliePet, Media Launcher do not play those movies well.
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Old 10-09-2004, 12:10 PM   #8
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Great review on Day2! Thank you so much Cliepet, & not to forget Imame, & Jackho.
Time for more extensive video testing on my UX50.
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Old 10-09-2004, 01:18 PM   #9
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OMG......thank you..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
be work hard and make a better version!!

i use Mcfile overwrite the AVX codec,but some say fail,anyone help??

i try to play 20fps MP4 movie on TH55....it has little laggy about 4-5 second
but play well on 15fps.when i try to play MQV,it can smooth playback 320x240 HQ+ @30fps with full screen...wow...
MO,how MAX it can play with MPEG-1??
before only work 320x240 @20fps 1150kbs

he's the sample
http://www.atoapple.com/ato/file/M4V00002.MP4

Last edited by ato : 10-09-2004 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 10-09-2004, 02:21 PM   #10
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Wow CliePet!! Your Movie Player works great on my TH55!!! So this means that we have full screen videos without sacrificing precious battery life like with other applications that doesn't use Sony's HHE chip!!

I would also like a black background so that it looks better when watching a video.

Keep up the good job!!
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Old 10-09-2004, 02:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ato
OMG......thank you..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
be work hard and make a better version!!

and i try to use Mcfile overwrite the AVX codec,but some say fail,anyone help??

i try to play 20fps MP4 movie on TH55....it has little laggy about 4-5 second
but play well on 15fps.

he's the sample
http://www.atoapple.com/ato/file/M4V00002.MP4


I modified the first post in this thread:
http://www.1src.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69398

I use Mc File 2.2 beta3, see the post for the adress
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Old 10-09-2004, 03:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmame
I modified the first post in this thread:
http://www.1src.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69398

I use Mc File 2.2 beta3, see the post for the adress


thx imame....i have try new version,but still some file can't overwrite,i already use warm reset to access mcfile only.
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Old 10-09-2004, 07:38 PM   #13
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Thanks cliepet FMP works great. One thing to add in your update of the program, If you dont mind me saying something, But I have about 30 movies already converted in 320x240. See the problem is 4/3 leaves a border that is about the same size as the regular movie player, It just splits the space between the left and the right side. And the Half option is to big because I miss about 1/4 inch of the movie that is off the screen. Can you make a special option in between, or be able to let us customize it to fit properly. I dont Want to sound like I am complaining I love the hack, Been waiting for it for a while.
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Old 10-10-2004, 05:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichieRichDolla
Thanks cliepet FMP works great. One thing to add in your update of the program, If you dont mind me saying something, But I have about 30 movies already converted in 320x240. See the problem is 4/3 leaves a border that is about the same size as the regular movie player, It just splits the space between the left and the right side. And the Half option is to big because I miss about 1/4 inch of the movie that is off the screen. Can you make a special option in between, or be able to let us customize it to fit properly. I dont Want to sound like I am complaining I love the hack, Been waiting for it for a while.


I already asked CliePet, it seems that the DSP can not authorize this...
320x240 is 4/3 ratio, but the screen is actually 480x320, so ratio 3/2...
If you want real fullscreen, I guess you really need 480x320 movies.
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Old 10-10-2004, 08:53 AM   #15
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What can I use to resize the movies I already have. They are in qt format and image converter doesnt reconvert its on formate
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