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Old 12-01-2010, 04:20 AM   #46
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[QUOTE=bbz_Ghost;1245564]I think I'll go ahead and get started on a guide to video encoding for the Nook Color and get it posted, give me a day or two and I'll lay it out with excessive details and lots of pics and the step by step to produce the same quality of the clips I posted earlier. I may even be able to improve on the file sizes (read: make them smaller) without sacrificing too much in terms of quality.

Keep your eyes peeled for the guide in the next 2 days, if not sooner. QUOTE]

Thanks a lot for the clips. They look amazing on my NC. I'll be waiting anxiously for your instructions.
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:57 AM   #47
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I used DVD Decrypter to rip my DVD first and saved all the files into my PC. There are a lot of files and I tried to convert one of the VTS files to MP4 using the nighty GUI handbrake version that I downloaded from the link. The video converts beautifully but the audio is now in Spanish instead of in English. When I played the source VTS file on my PC, it was in English so I am not sure what happened during the process. The video plays great on my NC but too bad I don't understand a word. I am not sure what I did wrong and is there a feature in handbrake that I should set to English instead of Spanish? Please help.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:25 AM   #48
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Thanks bbz_ghost.

I didn't really know what I was doing so I just used handbrake to convert one of the DVD VTS files. I finally figured out the Spanish encoding by trying out each of the options under audio sources and preview them one by one until I got the English language. I read and then followed your instructions to assign the source to the root folder and handbrake found all the chapters automatically and correctly assign the proper channel for English. It is so much easier. Thanks a lot for the help.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:49 AM   #49
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No problem. The reason I mentioned the chapters in the earlier post is that it's easier to learn about HandBrake by selecting just one chapter (change both drop down menus so they match, like 1-1) and encoding just that one chapter which is far shorter than trying to do an entire movie and wasting the time doing the encoding and realizing "Oh crap, I got the wrong audio track" or subtitles, etc.

Do a test encode of a single chapter (I usually look for the shortest one on a disc) and try out the settings, see how it looks, adjust things, etc. Can't learn much without hands on actually doing stuff.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:48 AM   #50
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I have a whole bunch of mp4's I already converted and that play great on my iphone. NONE play on my Nook. I shouldn't have to redo my whole library to get it to work on a Nook. Either it should play all mp4's, like an ipad or iphone, or they should not claim it plays mp4.

This is not my only problem with the nook color. In general this ereader should not have been released until it worked.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:27 AM   #51
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This is a long complicated post so, be forewarned:

mp4 is a container, not a video format.

People need to spend some time learning about what a container is and why it basically means not much of anything in the long run. A container... well, it contains streams of data, and when people think "video" files they're actually audio/video files.

The oldest container is still AVI, which by the very acronym means Audio-Video-Interleave, a Microsoft created format that's nearly 20 years old now. The problem with that container is because of its age it's never been able to support anything more than basic audio and video streams inside it.

Nowadays, that's not enough, so there are a multitude of containers out there: mkv (Matroska), mp4/m4v (the "official" MPEG4 standard container is mp4; m4v is an offshoot that allows for some different aspects), ogg (can be audio, video, or both), mov (QuickTime, fairly old to be honest, almost as old as AVI is), rm/rmvb (Real Media, plain and simple crap to be honest), and a few others.

Think of it this way: say you have a case that can hold CDs or it can hold DVDs. They're both the same size discs, hence the case - aka the container - is pretty much static, but the contents inside the container can be either format, you can store CDs or DVDs, or you can even mix them up and have combinations of both.

That's what a container like mp4/m4v does as well. You can put audio streams (aac, mp3, ogg, wav, etc) and video streams (h.264, Xvid, Divx, MPEG1, MPEG2, AVC, etc) inside, one or the other or the most common type which is both, hence the modern "video file" which again is most accurately an audio/video file.

But, there's other stuff you put inside containers nowadays since they've matured way past what the AVI container is capable of. You can put multiple audio soundtracks inside the container, you can add multiple subtitle tracks in it, custom fonts for those subtitles, multiple language files, and even chapter markers so you can skip chapters in a video file just like you do on the original DVD or Blu-ray. Hell, you can even name the chapters just like they're usually named on the liner notes of DVDs and Blu-rays, and your media players will usually display the chapter names when you jump around the files.

There's a ton of stuff you can do these days.

The one thing you shouldn't do is blame a device for being incompatible with video (again, audio/video) files that you've created designed to be played on another device like an iPhone or iPod touch. There really is no one perfect container for every device, nor is there one perfect format for the audio and video streams that will end up being compatible with everything out there.

That's just not going to happen.

The Nook Color has very specific capabilities that happen to be fairly common, actually, especially for mobile and portable media devices like iPhones, iPod touchs, Archos tablets, etc. That's why learning more about video (ok, last time: audio/video) encoding is a good thing - being less ignorant makes things easier on everyone, especially ourselves.

The preferred video format for the Nook Color is by using h.264 as the encoder and using a profile that encoder follows to create content, known as the Baseline profile. I'd be willing to bet that the poster above probably encoded his files using the High profile that h.264 also supports, but the Nook Color itself doesn't. The Nook Color is quite a capable little video playback device as noted by the clips I've created that I've been told play back flawlessly with no problems at all.

Apple doesn't have some special hold on "mp4" files - I have a handful of "mp4" files on my hard drive right now that no Apple product can play except the actual computers so, that's where the poster above is a bit off-course, laying blame on a container that doesn't deserve it, much less the Nook Color either.

All I can offer is this: if you're not happy with the Nook Color, send it back or return it for a refund or sell it.

I don't even own one yet but I've used one and I got no beef with it. I took a few minutes to find out what the device is capable of playing back according to the specs in the User's Guide, then I created video files that play on it and will play on any iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, HTC HD2, Archos tablets, and even my 6 year old Dell Axim X51v PocketPC without breaking a sweat, with great image quality and great sound too.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with the Nook Color - the issue lies in the format and encoding parameters used to create the videos taking into account that the iPhone and iPod touch and iPad use very different hardware. Apple doesn't do anything that is "standard" except a standard that they define for themselves and their own hardware.

Too many people approach this encoding thing backwards...
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:55 AM   #52
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Quote:
The one thing you shouldn't do is blame a device for being incompatible with video (again, audio/video) files that you've created designed to be played on another device like an iPhone or iPod touch.
I didn't create them specifically to play on a iphone. And they play on all my other devices and computers.

And I will blame the device for being way too fickle about the specs your
mp4's need to be in order to play back. Seems like an excuse for poor software to me.
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:14 AM   #53
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bbz_Ghost, thanks for your insight. I downloaded the most recent nightly build and it converted my movies fine. However, I think my kbps is a bit low, so the movie was quite grainy. I am going to experiment and see where the sweet spot is.
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:04 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btn View Post
I didn't create them specifically to play on a iphone. And they play on all my other devices and computers.

And I will blame the device for being way too fickle about the specs your
mp4's need to be in order to play back. Seems like an excuse for poor software to me.
Well, considering the Nook Color is primarily designed to be an eBook reader and Barnes & Noble basically included video playback capability as almost an afterthought aka "BONUS" I think you're perhaps expecting too much.

Alas, it works just fine. It's capable of playing back h.264 encoded files with Baseline profile streams and that's that. It's called Baseline for a reason - it offers the widest possible compatibility across the broadest possible range of playback devices. iPod touchs, iPads, iPhones, those offer better compatibility with the High profile (and even Simple) in h.264 because those devices are designed for media playback in the first place which the Nook Color isn't.

The fact that it CAN play these videos is remarkable, period. Is there another eBook reader on the market today with a 7" IPS 1024x600 LCD panel and h.264 capable media playback?

Nope.

Lastblade:

Grain is a good thing, believe it or not. If the original source material appeared to have grain that's also a good thing - grain typically means the original footage was shot on film, not video so it is pretty high quality. The fact that you can see grain means the encode is pretty high quality itself.

If by grain you mean pixelation or artifacts in the resulting encode, then yes, that can be a result of too low of a bitrate. HandBrake by default uses the CRF type encoding which is somewhat new and replaces the old 2-pass methodology which, in years past, would do a first pass just scanning the video to find somewhat optimal bitrates to encode each frame of the file, and then use that information to do a second pass with more optimization. Result: encodes took twice as long, literally.

The new CRF system - for Constant Rate Factor - provides near 2-pass results in a single pass. Believe me, the guys that created the x264 encoder that's at the heart of HandBrake have been doing extensive work in video and psychovisual-perception encoding (fancy words that basically mean really complicated mathematical processing) to get the high quality results HandBrake is capable of these days.

Those people have worked on the presets and the CRF settings for a very long time with hundreds of thousands of test encodes so, no offense to anyone but, when it comes to "set it and forget it" encoding, the defaults in HandBrake will give you nearly the best encodes capable for any given source material. You might be able to tweak a few aspects of some particular video types (high motion, low motion, etc) and get some quality improvements but the basic gist of it is the CRF setting of 20 is the defacto standard and you're not going to do much better.

Anyway, whatever source material you have, the CRF 20 setting will offer the best tradeoff in terms of performance (how fast it'll encode) and quality without needing to muck around with settings or the command line stuff on the Advanced tab. As I said, those developers of x264 and HandBrake didn't put in all that time creating those profiles and presets for people to use if they didn't feel they're going to provide the best encodes possible with the simplest path to creating them.

I created those clips I've posted with basically 3 clicks: select the source file/material, choose the preset (and adjust it for a given clip), and start the encode. Can't get much simpler than that.
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:21 PM   #55
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I think the CRF setting wasn't used (blank) when I converted the 2.5hour movie (less than 500 megs). Yes, it was blocky/artifact, not grainy (bad choice of word).
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:05 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbz_Ghost View Post
HandBrake by default uses the CRF type encoding which is somewhat new and replaces the old 2-pass methodology which, in years past, would do a first pass just scanning the video to find somewhat optimal bitrates to encode each frame of the file, and then use that information to do a second pass with more optimization. Result: encodes took twice as long, literally.

The new CRF system - for Constant Rate Factor - provides near 2-pass results in a single pass. Believe me, the guys that created the x264 encoder that's at the heart of HandBrake have been doing extensive work in video and psychovisual-perception encoding (fancy words that basically mean really complicated mathematical processing) to get the high quality results HandBrake is capable of these days.
Thanks! I was wondering if it was worth trying the 2-pass method.
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:33 PM   #57
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Thanks bbz_ghost

I followed all your instructions and converted the entire DVD of "how to train your dragon". Both the video/audio plays flawlessly. The Nook color display is just gorgeous. I stayed up all night doing that and after a bunch of trial and errors and re-reading your post, I finally got it right. I showed off the movie and the video clips to my co-workers today and they all marveled at the exceptional high display quality of the Nook Color.
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:51 PM   #58
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I think this thread should be a Sticky and maybe have the title change to something like
"how to get your MP4 Videos to Play"
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:36 PM   #59
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I have been playing with Handbrake for most of the evening and one thing that I'm just not getting is how I can bump up the resolution. The source is showing as 720 x 480. If I don't change anything I end up with a movie that fills the screen but everything is ever so slightly stretched...it's not a ton but I find it distracting watching the movie this way. If I check Keep Aspect Ratio I no longer have the stretching but the movie is significantly smaller and I have larger black bars.

Part of what is perplexing me is that I had converted a movie for my Android phone which fits the screen very nicely on the Nook. It's possible this was not a wide screen format movie...but I also have 3 other movies I got from another source and they also fill the screen nicely...I suppose it's possible they, too, were not wide screen.

Anyway, if my original movie is only 720 x 480...how are you bumping UP the resolution?
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:31 PM   #60
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Thanks bbz_ghost, exodus1999 and baki no kami,

After a bunch of tries I was able to convert a mp4. As was stated the latest version of handbrake did not work, I needed to use the beta. Also I needed to reboot the nook.
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