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Old Nov 16, 2006, 6:03 PM   #1
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Hello all... I know this is primarily for cameras, but this is pertaining to one. Heres the scoop... I was trying to figure out how i could play DVD's on my camera (sony- H1) by converting them to MPEG's. I downloaded the trial version of a program that does it and it works, BUT i'm to cheap to buy it so i thought i would just do it manually. I am able to create MPEG's, and they work on the computer, but my only problem is that the camera will not read them. The only problem that i can find is the file extension is .mpg not .MPG. I figure this because the camera recordes images in .MPG and the trial version of the software is also .MPG
So the questions: First of all are mpg and .MPG different? I don't think so, if they are please correct me. Secondly, how can i change .mpg's to .MPG's thanks.
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Old Nov 16, 2006, 11:29 PM   #2
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Hi there,

Modern video formats are far more complex than the file extensions (such as MPG, MPEG, AVI) that designate them.

Video are encoded in CODECs (= Compressor/ DECompressor). The video mode of most consumer digital cameras use a format (codec) called MJPEG - I believe your Sony H1 is one of them (Sony calls their MJPEG codec "VX"). A few newer models of some brands, such as Casio and Sanyo, as well as many lesser brandname hybrid cameras such as Mustek and Aiptek, use a more modern codec of the MPEG-4 family - most commonly MP4, MOV (Apple QuickTime) and DIVX. These MPEG-4 codecs are more efficient, and able to compress the video to smaller sizes while maintaining decent to good quality - eg. 1 GB may only store 3-5 minutes of MJPEG video (Sony claims their VX codec can do about 12 minutes), while 1 GB can store 30-40 minutes of MPEG-4 video of comparable quality and resolution. Some codecs such as MJPEG have many versions, written by different people, some are freeware and some proprietary. They may be interchangeable (ie. video encoded in one version fo the codec can be played by another version) but not always.

Some of these codecs are proprietary and have their own file extension/ designation - eg. MOV/ QT = Apple QuickTime, ASF/ WMV = Microsoft Windows Media. However, other codecs may be used with "old school" Windows video file extensions such as AVI, MPG and MPEG. This is where the confusion arises. Sometimes, as long as any video file extension is used (eg. AVI, MPG), the video will play in the computer as long as the correct codec is installed.

This handy little freeware program tells you what video and audio codecs the video file uses:



I don't have a Sony camera therefore I am not exactly sure about the nature of the video file (I only read about the VX codec from camera review sites). From what I understand, the VX codec of Sony is proprietary - ie. if you encode a video in another MJPEG codec, the Sony camera will not play it. I wonder if you happen to use the trial version of a Sony video editing software (such as Vegas) to do the conversion, making a video file that is compatible with the Sony camera?

Because of this "codec" stuff, it is not a simple matter of "making a MPG file" or "changing the file extension to MPG". You need to find the right codec to encode the video in an editing software. I searched the web for a open source (free) or hacked version of the Sony codec, but all in vain - this is why I believe the Sony codec is proprietary (just like many of Sony's stuff, such as InfoLithium battery, MemoryStick, ALTRAC audio, BetaMax ..... haha!)
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