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Watching Movies Copied via USB Through HDMI

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by blafarm, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. blafarm

    blafarm Active Member
    Thread Starter

    Apr 16, 2010
    It's been widely reported that the X can only output video via HDMI that was recorded using it's internal camera. Many have speculated that this is due to the non-implementation of HDCP on the HDMI port. I have found that this is untrue.

    I took some video, compressed it to .3gp (which is Droid's native video codec) in Sorenson Squeeze to 854 x 480 (Droid's screen resolution), copied it into the Droid's Video Gallery and played it out on a 37" HD monitor. It looked ok -- but it was only 480p.

    Then I took the same video, compressed it to .3gp in Sorenson Squeeze to 1280 x 720 (Droid's HDMI output resolution limit), copied it into the Droid's Video Gallery and played it out on the same 37" HD monitor. And it looked very good -- as it was 720p.

    Finally, just for the hell of it, I took the same video, compressed it to .3gp in Sorenson Squeeze to 1920 x 1080, copied it into the Droid's Video Gallery and it would not play out at all. Not a surprise -- as the decoder in the X is known to not handle 1080p.

    The key to success seems to consist of 3 parts:

    1. DO NOT let the Droid convert the video upon import -- when prompted only select "No, Just Copy".

    2. Also, if you are encoding to 1280 x 720 (720p) you must convert to .3gp at a combined bitrate (audio + video) of no higher than 1.5 Mb/s. In my tests, the X could not playback bitrates that were higher that 1.5Mb/s.

    3. Finally, remember that the Droid's SD card file format is FAT32 -- so files cannot not exceed 2GB.

    It is worth noting that Sorenson Squeeze is an expensive compression tool that does multipass encoding. I'm sure there's open source encoding software in the wild that will convert video to .3gp -- but I kinda doubt it will be multipass.

    Regarding runtime, it's worth repeating that I tested 1.5 Mb/s to find out what the upper limit was for external HD viewing. To be honest, the video quality would probably be perceived as quite "watchable" to a number of people 1 Mb/s.

    If I were traveling and wanted to have some movies on hand -- and I WAS NOT sure if I'd ever be jacking-into an external monitor -- I'd go for a MUCH, MUCH lower bitrate and resolution -- especially for display on a 854 x 480 -- 4.3" screen.

    However, if I knew I was going to be largely watching on an external HD monitor -- I'd go for the 1.5Mb/s maximum.

    So, you're probably wondering about the effect of that FAT32 2GB file limit:

    2GB = 17,179,869,184 bits

    At 1.5Mb/s:
    1.5Mb/s = 1,500,000 bits/s
    17,179,869,184 bits divided by 1,500,000 bits = 11,453 Seconds
    11,453 seconds = 190 Minutes
    190 Minutes = 3 Hours 10 Minutes

    And at 1Mb/s:
    1Mb/s = 1,000,000 bits/s
    17,179,869,184 bits divided by 1,000,000 bits = 17,179 Seconds
    17,179 seconds = 286 Minutes
    286 Minutes = 4 Hours 46 Minutes

    So, you can see that from a Feature Film point of view -- the FAT32 2GB limit is not an issue due to Droid's apparent maximum bitrate cap of 1.5Mb/s.

    From a storage volume point of view, I purchased a 32GB Micro SD Card for $99 with the phone. And that 32GB card should be able to store 50 Hours 40 Minutes of video at the highest bitrate of 1.5Mb/s. Which, at an average of 2 hours per Feature Movie, equates to 26 movies.

    Finally, this isn't a "How To" thread -- and I can't provide specific instructions.

    It's just a heads-up about what is possible.


  2. Airmaxx23

    Airmaxx23 Well-Known Member

    Jun 21, 2010
    Isn't the FAT32 limit 4GB? It is for my PS3 external HDD.
  3. blafarm

    blafarm Active Member
    Thread Starter

    Apr 16, 2010
    That is true -- FAT32 as a file system is not limited to 2GB.
    However, it seems Android's implementation limits video files to 2GB.

    To be honest, I have not personally tested the 2GB limit on Android -- I gleaned that from many other threads on the topic.
    However, my point was that even at 1.5Mb/s -- the 2GB limit is not an issue from a Feature Film "running time" point of view.

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