media player pc

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 18:54
ThreadID: 66606 Views:1456 Replies:2 FollowUps:4
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Ok I know not exactly 4x4 related but could be seen as such because I want to play some capture files of old film travel footage.

I know there are media players around, just the basics though.

I want to build or buy best value for money. So after advice on which way to go.

Want a system to play back on the tv, all types of media files. Eg dvd, avi, mpeg, mps, divx etc, etc, etc. There are so many codex around now. For example I have captured some analogue tapes of trips. These are over 25gig for an hour and a half. When rendered they pixelate badly. Best bet is to play them as raw but the file size is huge.

I don't know all the latest technology so I'm sure someone can point me in the right direction and include options I hadn't thought of. Want to try and keep it cheaper than the brought media players.
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Reply By: psproule - Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 21:01

Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 21:01
25 gig an hour sounds like DV50 compression. You can compress a lot harder than that and still retain reasonable quality. H.264 in the right bit rate will give stunning results with small file sizes but takes a lot of horsepower to compress. Youtube are using it embedded in Flash for their HD content. for an example have a look at our stockton or simpson videos at and remember to click on "watch in HD". MPEG4 is probably the next best solution.

There are all sorts of media storage / player boxes out there now. We use a system called Knoppmyth (software running on a Linux distro running on PC hardware) which combines a TV PVR, media library( music, video & stills), DVD Player & burner, Web Browser, Internet radio, Internet TV, Internet phone, game console and weather station. Cost me about $600 to build and a whole lot of hacking time but well worth it in the end. Not for the feint of heart though.

AnswerID: 352811

Follow Up By: Austravel - Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 21:14

Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 21:14
Thanks Pat but isn't that level of compression only good for smaller play back like youtube. If you played the same file to a tv wouldn't it be grainy and pixelated?

Any chance you can give me a lot more detail on your system? Or some sites on how to build similar systems.
FollowupID: 620975

Follow Up By: psproule - Sunday, Mar 08, 2009 at 06:27

Sunday, Mar 08, 2009 at 06:27
If you keep the frame size as 720x576 (for standard definition 4:3 aspect), and the bit rate up to a reasonable level then H.264 is fine. It just isnt a good codec if you later want to edit the footage. It is meant as a delivery codec.

Google MythTV or Knoppmyth for the system I use, or HTPC (Home Theatre PC) for generic ones.

FollowupID: 621029

Follow Up By: Austravel - Sunday, Mar 08, 2009 at 12:12

Sunday, Mar 08, 2009 at 12:12
Thanks Pat for the extra info. I'm still trying to get my head around this area. Know bits but there are large holes in my knowledge. Ie I've hacked my way around pinnacle etc and get it to work but don't know enough about the basics eg bit rates, best codecs, etc, etc. Any sites you can direct me to for a beginners run down on all things to do with this field??

I use pinnacle to capture analogue film (personal movies) as an avi. I edit then rendered the file to a dvd format. File size started at around 30gig and once rendered fits on a standard dvd. Like I said though it's a poor quality. I tried editing and saving as a file (avi) but still having trouble which I'll look at today. Any suggestions??

From Glenn's post it looks like Super and Avisynth allows for editing using H.264 as the compression algorithm.

FollowupID: 621086

Reply By: That Troopy Bloke (SA) - Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 21:44

Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 21:44
I have taken the simple approach and gone for the WD HD TV.
Just plug in a usb drive, and away you go.
Less than $200, and a 1 terrabyte external hard drive can be had for less than $200 as well.
Plays most file types and includes software to convert files to the correct format if it won't play (such as FLV)....although I generally use Super

AnswerID: 352828

Follow Up By: Austravel - Sunday, Mar 08, 2009 at 12:18

Sunday, Mar 08, 2009 at 12:18
Simple and cheap is what I'm after. Just using a normal CRT tv at present and will stick with it for a while.

Can you correct me if I'm wrong. I gather you use the WD HD TV player to play all media file types to the tv. If the format isn't supported you would then convert using Super. Is this right?

Have you found the unit can handle most standard external hard drives?

Have you found any dramas, limitations etc?

If you look at my reply to Pat above you'll see I want to play larger files rather than compress and lose quality, unless of Super does it without loss of quality. Want to also play dvds compressed using all the different formats, music from ipod, photos etc, etc.
FollowupID: 621087

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