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Old 11-30-2010, 11:21 AM   #31
bbz_Ghost
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Ok, I'm wondering if someone can test this clip for me. I took a look at that Avatar clip posted earlier in the thread and wow, what a horrible looking clip. The bitrate is sky high, and it's just a bad encode all around, and encodes can be done much better.

Here's a clip I just encoded, the original source is an HD movie trailer (720p) from the upcoming movie Tron. That Avatar clip was 16 seconds long and took 18.1MB - this clip is 2 minutes and 31 seconds long, 720x304 resolution and it's smaller but vastly superior in terms of quality.

You tell me, does it play nice with the Nook Color or not?

Basically I need some guinea pigs to try the encode out and tell me if it works well on the Nook Color. If it turns out to be successful without issues, I'll bump the resolution up a notch to 800 pixels wide, then ask for more reports, then potentially take it to about 848 wide (the max you'll get with HandBrake given the mod 16 requirement for video resolution and the Nook Colors' stated maximum of 854 pixel wide content).

Thanks...

Here's the clip hosted at MediaFire, 17.8MB in size:

http://www.mediafire.com/?oz0baqsy5sli8sf

As for using HandBrake, it's far easier than most of you probably realize, and those guides out there are making it overly complex - there's no need to do anything with the Advanced properties or the command line, honestly.

Edit:
I'm not using the standard public version of HandBrake, 0.9.4, which is quite old now. I'm using a nightly build which offers more features and better encoding quality as well, so it could play into how well or not well the encode above works. It does use 48 kHz sampling for the audio as that's fairly standard - if it chokes on the audio then I can redo it with 44 kHz but these days most everything should be able to play AAC with that sample rate without issues; it's pretty much the standard.

Last edited by bbz_Ghost; 11-30-2010 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:41 AM   #32
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Works great, both audio and video. Looks real nice!

What settings are you using on handbrake? I just downloaded the latest nightly and want to run some tests!
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:52 AM   #33
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I just tried it and that trailer looks fantastic.
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Old 11-30-2010, 12:10 PM   #34
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Looks and sounds great!
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Old 11-30-2010, 12:15 PM   #35
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Most settings work for handbrake, just remember to turn the audio down to 44 or it will be off.
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Old 11-30-2010, 12:32 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exodus1999 View Post
Most settings work for handbrake, just remember to turn the audio down to 44 or it will be off.
The encoding I created above is AAC audio, 128 Kbps bitrate 48 kHz sample rate which is the standard for AAC audio these days (the sampling rate). It's not necessary to alter that as several people just reported the file is playing just fine. Here's a property snapshot of the video file:



Now for more test clips: an 800x336 encode (like I said, that's fairly standard resolution for Android devices), another maxed out at 848 pixels wide so that should be the max that the Nook Color can handle, and a final encode at 1024 just 'cause I want to know what'll happen if you attempt to play it. The last one most likely will not play on the Nook Color based on the stated specs, but try it and let me know what happens, please.

These clips are the same source material, the only difference in the settings between that 720x304 clip earlier is the resolution itself.

Here's the 800x336 encode, MediaFire, 20.7MB:

http://www.mediafire.com/?01lcigu7t8f7z8f

Next, 848x368, same settings the rest of the way through, also hosted at MediaFire, 23.1MB:

http://www.mediafire.com/?h4afcqnxieo9dnv

And the 1024x432 version, which I don't really expect the Nook Color to be able to play at all but, it might surprise us, who knows. MediaFire, 30.4MB:

http://www.mediafire.com/?nodvj1l0n33dd4r

As for the Nightly Builds, there's two components: the actual command line (CLI) app, and the GUI app. If you choose the GUI version, it will install a CLI as well but usually the CLI is a few builds behind from the separate CLI build. I usually update once a week even in spite of the builds coming somewhat more frequently, but how you handle it is up to you (if you choose to use those builds).

Install the GUI, then get the CLI .zip file, extract the contents, then just copy those contents into the main HandBrake folder and overwrite the older version(s) and you'll have the latest you grabbed.

If this works out, I planned to do a somewhat detailed thread on encoding videos for the Nook Color using HandBrake, maybe if people find it useful it can become a resource for those wishing to get more video content onto their devices. The 800x336 one might be the best choice overall since you should easily be able to move it between any devices you have, smartphones, iPod touchs, iPhones, Android tablets, etc - it should play on all of them without issues.

The idea here is to find "the sweet spot" for the best file size to quality tradeoff and also consider that you might only want to do one single encode that you can drop on any of your hardware and have it play back without issue instead of encoding per device which is time consuming and frustrating too.

We'll see what happens. Just for the record, here are the average bitrates of each of these clips, also:

720x304 = 823 Kbps
800x336 = 1024 Kbps
848x368 = 1161 Kbps
1024x432 = 1565 Kbps

One last consideration: there is also the possibility that if the Nook Color does get a fairly easy-to-do root (it's already rooted but it can be a daunting thing for some folks) OR if Barnes & Noble does create an actual marketplace and someone puts up an even better media player, more options could be added later on.

The reason I mention this is because my Wife really wants a Nook Color (so do I to some degree) but she's deaf, so unless I can find a way to get the captions/subtitles to play on the Nook Color then it's just not worth it. The Archos 70 is barely $30 more in cost but the media player on that device can handle the subs exactly as I require/need them to work as I'll explain in a moment, and of course it offers more overall than the Nook Color but with a lower quality lower resolution screen, unfortunately.

I'm going to assume the stock media player on the Nook Color just doesn't offer that functionality but there are other media players on the Android Marketplace that do have that capability, so that's my hope: that if I get one I'll be able to get some videos on there and she can watch them with captions/subs.

And yes, I know that I can burn in the captions/subtitles permanently but, I'm not deaf, and I prefer to disable them as required which is called soft-subs in video encoding terms. The media player reads the subtitle track data stream as basically text and it's just an option to turn on or off.

Anyway, enjoy the videos and let me know what the max seems to be and then I'll work on a guide later. Note: the videos above used an actual HD resolution clip (720p at 1280x544 resolution) as the source material - if you intend to do these kinds of encodings using DVDs that you own, the max resolution you'll get is 720 pixels wide and the height in pixels will vary depending on the aspect ratio of the source material. DVD resolution is 720x480 but with widescreen content that means the infamous "black bars" to fill out the image.

That's the reason I did the 720x304 clip - if you owned Tron: Legacy on DVD (kinda early since it ain't out yet) and you used that as the source, that's what you'd get for the max, 720x304 given the aspect ratio.

HandBrake encodes the raw native resolution of the actual clip meaning it leaves out the black bars so no space is wasted by a bunch of zero bits that aren't necessary in the final encode.

Thanks...

Last edited by bbz_Ghost; 11-30-2010 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 11-30-2010, 12:47 PM   #37
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1024x432 didn't play

The other 2 look and sound great.
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Old 11-30-2010, 12:51 PM   #38
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Ok, so no issues you noted with the 848x368 one? No skipping, audio static, nothing? Played smoothly and all that jazz?
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:00 PM   #39
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Correct, I viewed it several times looking and listening for something out of whack. Nothing! Very impressive. Great for showing off the device. Listened with sensitive headphones.
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:13 PM   #40
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1024x432 didn't play

The other 2 look and sound great.
Same here.
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:23 PM   #41
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Excellent, excellent. Now you can show off the Nook Color and when people say "Oh that's just for reading books" boy can you show them something that'll make 'em want to buy one themselves.

Anyway, here's a few more test clips if you'd care to try 'em. They're all done from HD movie trailers, all encoded to the same spec as the previous 848x368 videos - and again, since the specs for the Nook Color say it's got a max of H.264 Baseline encodings at 854x480, this is the closest you'll get with HandBrake considering the way the math of encoding works out.

I wanted to get something really to show off that IPS screen on the Nook Color so this one should do that fantastically. It's the trailer for Megamind, a recent animated movie from Dreamworks, and it's 2 minutes 29 seconds long, 33.5MB in size:

http://www.mediafire.com/?bgw8i2abi0vk58m

Next is Green Lantern, which has a lot of action and moving sequences (which cause encoding bitrates to spike quite high) so I'm interested in if the Nook Color "chokes" on this one at all. 2 minutes 28 seconds long, 27.2MB in size:

http://www.mediafire.com/?i93spfi8u7c1juh

Let me know how those came out in terms of playback, and I had one more clip I'm doing straight from one of my Harry Potter DVDs but it's still encoding. Probably a non-issue since it's a max of 720 pixels wide anyway as I explained earlier.

But for 720p or 1080p content encoded down to 848 pixels wide, I think the Nook Color can handle it just fine (and I recommend HandBrake over any and all other encoders, just for the record).

Bleh, here's that Harry Potter clip. Again, it's from an original retail DVD so the resolution is obviously lower so the Nook Color won't even break a sweat playing this one. It's 720x304, 8 minutes 40 seconds long, 86.7MB in size:

http://www.mediafire.com/?ai44ir9055891ki

Last edited by bbz_Ghost; 11-30-2010 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:43 PM   #42
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Megamind looks stunning. Green Lantern is smooth.

Can't believe they're only charging $250 for this hardware. Makes everything else look considerably overpriced.
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:46 PM   #43
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Well, yeah, but things change as time goes by, technology improves, that sort of thing. It's still not a full blown Android tablet and even with the rooting it may never get there but, it certainly does seem to be a decent piece of hardware in a really small package. I like the form factor most of all, I suppose.

If the root gets simpler and it really does open the Nook Color up to most any Android app, it's going to really boost sales for B&N big time. Just reading through the rooting thread over at XDA-Developers I've noted over 60 people said they either put one on order just in the past 24 hours or went and picked one up in the same period of time just because of the root being made public.

I know that's just a handful of people overall but, the more the merrier, right?
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Old 11-30-2010, 10:42 PM   #44
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Something must be wrong with the handbrake version (0.9.4) I downloaded, because none of the videos I converted works. Just as a test, I used the Megamind trailer from bbz_Ghost and converted it just to see what happens. Sure enough, it didn't work after conversion (basically untouched). I can't tell what it had changed, but from properties, it doesn't look like anything at all. Could it some setting in my computer?
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:09 PM   #45
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*smacks head*
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