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Old November 28th, 2009, 11:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default windows media center to Droid h264

I wanted to share my method of converting my windows 7 media center TV recordings to h264 for the Droid. This may work for Vista, but assumes that you have the media pack, so your files are .wtv files (not dvr-ms).

I use MCEBuddy 2.0 Beta 11. This is a small service to convert the wtv to mp4. I Edited the mcebuddymencoder.conf file and change the H264 mencoder settings to this.

Code:
[H264MP4]
profile-desc="H.264 MP4"
vf=pullup,softskip,pp=fd,scale=720:-10,hqdn3d,harddup
lavdopts=threads=2
ovc=x264=yes 
ofps=24
x264encopts=nocabac:level_idc=30:bframes=0:bitrate=512:vbv_maxrate=960:vbv_bufsize=2000:threads=auto:global_header
oac=faac=yes
faacopts=br=96:raw=yes:mpeg=4:object=2
of=lavf
lavfopts=format=mp4
sws=9
I tried lots of settings, but this one worked ok, you may want to tweak the bitrate settings to your desired quality/size.

Note!: You shouldn't have to edit the MCEBuddy.conf file since the default MaxWidth is supposed to be 720, which happens to be the maximum hres that the Droid will play correctly. However even if you manually add MaxWidth=720, it will not limit to 720. You can fix this my setting the MaxHeight appropriately. Add these lines to the end of mcebuddy.conf

Code:
MaxWidth=720
MaxHeight=200
This may just be a bug, and will be fixed in later Betas of MCEBuddy. Hopefully this helps people. Let me know if I am doing something wrong, I am not really a video encoding expert.

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Old November 29th, 2009, 03:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Ive been using dvd catalyst 3, which with the published work around on their site- just add some downloaded files to the root file- will convert windows media center dvr-ms files to mp4 no problem. Its also a great conversion program in general and costs just $10. Presets for Droid.
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Old November 29th, 2009, 07:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the tip. I know people have had a lot of luck with handbrake as well. These GUI programs are great for simplicity. I believe they are basically just front ends to mencoder, but they hide some of the complexity of it. I wanted to share my actual mencoder settings, as there doesn't seem to be much information about specific h264 settings for the Droid. When you search the web there are a lot of people saying select this or that preset in some GUI program, with no mention of the hundreds of different ways you can encode an h264 video. I guess that is why Dvd Catalyst 3 charges $10!

The real point of my post was to show an automatic way to convert media center recordings to Droid. As the program is recording MCEBuddy automatically extracts an mpg from the .wtv file. As soon as a program finishes recording MCEBuddy kicks off a conversion process. It also can automatically remove commercials (it has settings for comskip and showanalyzer). I can have them backed up on my NAS and automatically sync with my Droid with minimal involvement.

A lot of people seem to be using dvrmstoolbox to do something similar (it handles wtv automatically now), but I haven't tried it.
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Old November 29th, 2009, 04:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aapocketz View Post

Note!: You shouldn't have to edit the MCEBuddy.conf file since the default MaxWidth is supposed to be 720, which happens to be the maximum hres that the Droid will play correctly.

I convert all my HDTV recordings to 852x480 for use on my Droid and it plays them without any issues.
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Old November 29th, 2009, 04:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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So, once you've done the conversion, how do you play them on the droid? Are you copying the files to the SD card to play, or are you streaming them from media center? I'm curious, cuz I was wondering if there was a way to hook up to a media center server from the droid.

Thanks,
Joe
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Old November 29th, 2009, 05:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mihalich View Post
So, once you've done the conversion, how do you play them on the droid? Are you copying the files to the SD card to play, or are you streaming them from media center? I'm curious, cuz I was wondering if there was a way to hook up to a media center server from the droid.

Thanks,
Joe

I generally copy mine to the SD card. I have a Windos Home Server as well and stream from it occasionally. The problem is the profile I use is geared more for quality so there are occasional hiccups unless im using wifi instead of 3G.
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Old November 29th, 2009, 05:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krichek View Post
I convert all my HDTV recordings to 852x480 for use on my Droid and it plays them without any issues.
Interesting. I saw forum posts where others say the same thing. Whenever I went over 720 hres the movies would look corrupt and lock up my droid and I had to pull the battery. I noticed the native video camera takes movies in 720 width so I figured it was some limit. What settings do you use?

This is all kinda annoying considering I had an archos that could play just about anything, and run for hours and that was years ago. I blame apple for lowering the bar
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Old November 29th, 2009, 06:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aapocketz View Post
Interesting. I saw forum posts where others say the same thing. Whenever I went over 720 hres the movies would look corrupt and lock up my droid and I had to pull the battery. I noticed the native video camera takes movies in 720 width so I figured it was some limit. What settings do you use?

This is all kinda annoying considering I had an archos that could play just about anything, and run for hours and that was years ago. I blame apple for lowering the bar

I'll try and upload a small sample later so others can see but my settings are:

852x480, H264/AAC, I use a video bitrate between 1056kbs and 1296kbs depending on the source/material. Audio bitrate is usually 64kbs 2 channel stereo.
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Old November 29th, 2009, 06:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krichek View Post
I'll try and upload a small sample later so others can see but my settings are:

852x480, H264/AAC, I use a video bitrate between 1056kbs and 1296kbs depending on the source/material. Audio bitrate is usually 64kbs 2 channel stereo.
Thanks I will check it out. I never really tried bitrates that high, since I was trying to keep the file size down. The video on my player still looks pretty good around 512. I had variable bitrate set in my above mencoder settings, but sometimes the Droid locks up with that, so I removed it.
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Old November 29th, 2009, 06:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Here is a small clip, roughly 38MB in size. You'll need to select the file and "open as video" to play it (I use nswPlayer).

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Old December 27th, 2009, 11:00 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Unhappy please help. no luck with conversions

hey folks, this is my first post to anything ever so please forgive. I just installed mcebuddy 1.0.9. i've beeen reading all these posts and other forums and for the life of me i cannot convert/play a wtv or dvr-ms file on the droid. there is always an error. what i wanna do is have a program (mcebuddy?) that can remove commercials from my media center recordings and convert them to a droid compatibile format, with the best possible resolution. What am i doing wrong? i've tried handbrake, gb-pvr, all this crap. I don't think it should be this hard. please help! i have windows 7 64-bit. I am able to succsefully play an "uptest" file that i downloaded and it played beatuifully. i only really care about converting/playing dvr-ms and wtv files. please please help.
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Old December 27th, 2009, 11:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
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The Droid will only play h264 (.mp4) files (act 1 can play wmvs though). You must convert your videos to this format to play them. There are lots of threads about video conversion on this site if you search.

to automate things you can try my method of using MCEBuddy 2.0. if you want to just convert a .wtv file, you can right click in explorer and convert to dvr-ms format. You can then use DVRMStoolbox to convert to mp4, there are lots of guides online to do this.
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Old December 27th, 2009, 11:15 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Also, I forgot to mention there is another way to do conversion, if you have a windows home server I believe now it has ability to convert recorded TV shows from a media center computer. I am not sure how this works, since I do not own one. I hear that the HP mediasmart WHS are really good though.

As an aside I would consider buying windows home server if it had a media center backend built into it, so all my recordings and shows would be stored on it, and I could view them on any media center extender. Also it would be nice if windows7 could act as a media center extender.
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Old December 27th, 2009, 04:32 PM   #14 (permalink)
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i tried your method about a week and a half ago and it was a disaster. i don't consider myself a novice, but after i installed mcebuddy version 2.0, i had no software to load. i tried editing the .conf file, but wasn't exactly sure which program to use to edit it. i tried notepad on windows, but i'm not quite sure it worked. and then itried to do a repair/reinstall, but i got an error. then i got excited about version 1.0.9 and installed it and it weemed to work smoothly, but when i tried to play a video on the droid i got an error and had to reboot the droid. i'm racking my brain to figure it out. i've drmtoolsbox, but really didnt have a clure where to start. is it really supposed to be this hard. i really payed attention to aapocketz posts, but i wan;t sure which programs i could used to edit the conf file. should i try to edit the .conf file in 1.0.9? sorry for the ong thread, i've been at this for over a month and am frustrated by no streamlined easy method, especially when all of the programs have a builtin conversion for iphone.
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Old December 27th, 2009, 04:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Yeah, you can edit the config file with notepad. I am not sure why you thought downgrading from 2 to version 1 would get it to work. I am not sure what else advice to give.

If you can get a program to work that has built in conversions for the iphone, that should work for the droid as well so just use that.
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Old December 27th, 2009, 04:50 PM   #16 (permalink)
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just another tip, for those that may not be aware of it. If you have an ATI 4600 or 4800 series GPU, the AVIVO video converter I just downloaded, and it appears to support .wtv files to mp4 conversion with a very simple interface.

When I ran it it was using all my CPU power so not sure how much it was using my Radeon 4870, but an hour long HD video took about 20-30 minutes to convert which isn't bad. This may be the fastest way to convert videos if it is using the GPU. Ill have to do more testing.

ATi avivo video converter is available here for for free if you use an ATI card - http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/windows/avivo/Pages/avivovista-download.aspx though they make you answer a few questions before downloading. Or use this link http://game.amd.com/us-en/drivers_catalyst.aspx and select video card drivers > optional downloads.
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Old December 28th, 2009, 07:13 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Hey. finally got some video to work with setting the mcebuddy ver 1.0.9 to iphone and 6th generation. now the "problem" is the resolution is not maxed to the "droid" resolution of 720 x 480. The iphone setting is like 633 x somthing. is there anyway i can fine tune the resolution to give me the best possible resolution to take advantage of the droid? i did try the mcebuddy beta version as previously posted, but like i said before it did not work properly and wasn't exactly sure how to manipulate it. i tried notepad to edit the setting as suggested, but the sceen just flashed and i am not sure i used the proper app to edit the *.conf file. any thoughts??
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Old December 20th, 2010, 10:18 AM   #18 (permalink)
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The original post asks about mencoder parameters - most GUI utilities are front ends for mencoder or something similar. Here's a Linux script I put together that calls mencoder directly:

Code:
#!/bin/bash
# Helps handling filenames with spaces
#IFS=`printf '\n\t'`

## Set up parameters for encoding

# If you're skipping frames, increase FPS. If duplicating, decrease FPS.
# Usual values are 24000/1001 (23.976), 24, 25 (PAL), 30000/1001 (29.97), 30.
#OFPS="-ofps 24"
#OFPS="-ofps 30"
#OFPS="-ofps 24000/1001"
OFPS="-ofps 30000/1001"

# Aspect ratio of video
ASPECT=16:9
# Height of the output video (default for Droid: 480)
SCALEH=480

# Width of the output video (default for Droid: 848) Yes, the screen's bigger than 848,
# but 854 isn't divisible by 16.
SCALEW=848

# Log file name
TEMP_FILE_DIR=`mktemp -d`

# This is the key parameter we gotta have from the user.
# Spaces in the output file name are probably not a good idea.
if [ -n "$1" ]; then
  NEWNAME=$1
else
  echo Output file name not specified, aborting!
  echo "Usage: " $0 " output-name input-video"
  exit 0
fi

# Do the actual encoding (2 passes)
nice -n 10 /usr/bin/mencoder $2 \
-o /dev/null -passlogfile ${TEMP_FILE_DIR}/pass.log -vf softskip,dsize=${ASPECT},scale=${SCALEW}:${SCALEH}:0,harddup -sws 10 -channels 2 -oac faac -faacopts mpeg=4:object=2:br=128 ${OFPS} -ovc x264 -x264encopts pass=1:bitrate=1000:turbo=2:me=umh:me_range=16:dct_decimate:nointerlaced:no8x8dct:nofast_pskip:trellis=0:partitions=p8x8,i4x4:mixed_refs:keyint=240:keyint_min=24:psy_rd=0.8,0.0:frameref=1:bframes=0:b_adapt=0:noweight_b:direct_pred=none:subq=8:chroma_me:nocabac:aq_mode=1:deblock:vbv_maxrate=1500:vbv_bufsize=1000:level_idc=30:threads=auto:ssim:psnr:weightp=0

nice -n 10 /usr/bin/mencoder $2 \
-o ${TEMP_FILE_DIR}/${NEWNAME}.avi -passlogfile ${TEMP_FILE_DIR}/pass.log -vf softskip,dsize=${ASPECT},scale=${SCALEW}:${SCALEH}:0,harddup -sws 10 -af lavcresample=48000:16:1 -srate 48000 -channels 2 -oac faac -faacopts mpeg=4:object=2:br=128 ${OFPS} -ovc x264 -x264encopts pass=2:bitrate=1000:me=umh:me_range=16:dct_decimate:nointerlaced:no8x8dct:nofast_pskip:trellis=0:partitions=p8x8,i4x4:mixed_refs:keyint=240:keyint_min=24:psy_rd=0.8,0.0:frameref=1:bframes=0:b_adapt=0:noweight_b:direct_pred=none:subq=8:chroma_me:nocabac:aq_mode=1:deblock:vbv_maxrate=1500:vbv_bufsize=1000:level_idc=30:threads=auto:ssim:psnr:weightp=0


# Extract the video and sound from the .avi
/usr/bin/mencoder ${TEMP_FILE_DIR}/${NEWNAME}.avi -nosound -ovc copy -of rawvideo -o ${TEMP_FILE_DIR}/h264_video.h264

/usr/bin/MP4Box -aviraw audio ${TEMP_FILE_DIR}/${NEWNAME}.avi -out ${TEMP_FILE_DIR}/aac.raw
mv -f ${TEMP_FILE_DIR}/aac_audio.raw ${TEMP_FILE_DIR}/aac_audio.aac

# Package the video and sound into the .mp4
/usr/bin/mplayer ${TEMP_FILE_DIR}/${NEWNAME}.avi -noconfig all -loop 1 -identify -nosound -vo null -nocache -frames 1 2>/dev/null | grep '^ID_VIDEO_FPS' | tail -n 1 | awk -F= '{print $2}' > ${TEMP_FILE_DIR}/mp4fps

/usr/bin/MP4Box -fps $(cat ${TEMP_FILE_DIR}/mp4fps) -tmp ${TEMP_FILE_DIR} -add ${TEMP_FILE_DIR}/h264_video.h264  -add ${TEMP_FILE_DIR}/aac_audio.aac#audio:name="LC-AAC Stereo"   -itags name="${NEWNAME}":comment="Tagged on $(date)"   -ipod -mpeg4 -new "${NEWNAME}.mp4"

# Clean up the intermediate stuff
rm -rf ${TEMP_FILE_DIR}
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Old July 29th, 2011, 12:15 AM   #19 (permalink)
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great topic, it helps a lot
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Old December 13th, 2011, 04:11 AM   #20 (permalink)
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thanks for sharing, it really helps, but i wonder is there some media player which can play wtv on android
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Old July 10th, 2012, 09:32 PM   #21 (permalink)
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how nice if the windows media center video is compatible with all portable devices and media player, looking forward to it
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