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Old Feb 8, 2006, 10:56 PM   #11
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caelum:

I also experimented with putting home clips as MP4 into the Xacti.

I captured a TV clip (recorded on VCR) and used xilisoft MP4 converter to make MP4 file ("MP4 - MPEG4 video"). I tested various components (video screen res, video bitrate, audio sampling frequency, audio bitrate) when I convert the parent file to MP4.

Result:

320 X 240 res works fine because it is supported by the Sanyo (TV-S or WEB-HQ settings). This is sufficient for the little LCD screen (640 X 480 example of yours can also be rendered to play on the LCD but a bit wasteful of flash memory and possibly causes jerks because the rendering slows the processer).

The Xacti only accepts standard screen resolutions - 640 X 480, 320 X 240 and 186 X 144 pixels.

Framerate must be 29.97 and 14.985 fps to comply with the equivalent screen res of the Xacti movies. (You need to read the detailed specifications in the manual, or read the actual video file info with software like GSpot, to see that they are in fact NOT "30 fps" and "15 fps" - the settings must be exact!)

The audio frequency must be set to 48000 Hz and "stereo".

The video and audio bitrate must be "constant" ("CBR" or "ABR").

However, I find that you can set your bitrate lower than the standard settings - eg. "TV-S" setting has 320 X 240 pixels at 640 kbps, but you can set your clip at a lower video bitrate (xilisoft only has step settings - the next ones down are 512 and 256 kbps) and the Xacti can still play. As long as the bitrate is not above the standard setting (ie. >640 kbps for 320 X 240 res) otherwise it will not play (shows on the LCD as a "?" file). The same applies to the audio bitrate (anything lower than the standard 192 kbps works).

You can easily squeeze several hours of movie into a 1 GB card, if you set it to 320 X 240, 29.97 fps, and 250-300 kbps video bitrate, to get decent picture on the little LCD screen. Lowering the audio to 96-128 kbps is more than enough for the pathetic little speakers (more like tweeters!), and it can shave a few kilobytes of memory. Making 176 X 144 / 14.985 movies saves even more memory: it is quite viewable on the LCD but it will get choppy with motion (I haven't tried).

Well, pity the video playtime will be limited by the one-hour battery life!
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Old Feb 9, 2006, 1:04 AM   #12
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great job blindsight, good info. I was thinking it could be used toplayback movies on TVs without needing to burn a DVD. It could be plugged in so nobattery limitations. And believe it or not all of the grand-parents (including my spouse'sparents) in our family don't have DVD players, this would be a great way to bring home movies to their TVs.
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Old Feb 9, 2006, 6:19 AM   #13
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Caelum & blindsight,

Really appreciate your inputs on this. AsI said I dont have access to aC5 ( it was a friend who was asking the orig question) so couldnt do any tests.I'll pass on all the info. SoI guess that if he converts his MP3's into .MP4 files (with black video) at a low but C5 compatible video bit rate, using QT Pro,that shouldbe the best way for him. I assume QTPro can take in MP3's or WAV files? Thanks again guys.
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Old Feb 9, 2006, 10:04 AM   #14
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exbeebeng:

You don't have to make a "blank" video with only soundtrack to play a song, you can just convert the song into M4A.

I have also tried converting some songs from MP3 into MP4, using dBPowerAMP with two plugins - "AAC" (to convert MP3 to AAC) and "AAC to MP4" (to make the sound file container compliant with MPEG-4), then change file extension from "MP4" to "M4A".

Again set to the standard settings, except you can encode in a lower bitrate and the Xacti can still play. You may have to re-encode the songs to 48000 Hz sampling frequency and "constant bitrate" ("CBR" or "ABR") to make them compliant with the Xacti.

Remember, just like the videos, the sound files must have a standard "Sanyo" name:

SAND000_.M4A (capital letters)

However, I doubt if there is any value to play songs on the Xacti - it does not have headphone socket, and its tiny speakers are weak and rather useless. To watch videos on the Xacti, you have to turn the speaker up full, maybe also boosting the volume of the soundtrack before you re-encode to AAC.

caelum:

If you want to use the Xacti as portable video player (ie. to watch DVD on the road using the little LCD screen), 320X240 / 640 will suffice. However, if you want to use the Xacti as a mobile video player (to play on TV), I think you'd better encode the video to the highest setting (640X480 / 3M or at least 2M) - it will probably be OK with standard TV, but it may struggle with HDTV: afterall if you are re-encoding DVDs into the Xacti, the original DVD quality is much higher than videos produced by the Xacti, and the scenes may be more complicated and fast, and I can't quarantee the Xacti can handle them smoothly.

One more thing: at one time when I re-encode clips at "maximum" video bitrate (3 Mbps), the Xacti would hang at some very complex scenes. I guess even when the video bitrate setting is "3Mbps", it is never constant but averages around 3M - in very complex and fasting moving scenes, the codec requires very high bitrate to render the movement, therefore increasing the bitrate for that particular segment of the movie significantly. This may go beyond the ability of the Xacti and it hangs.

I guess if you watch a lot of action movies, and you find that the Xacti hangs too often, you should consider reducing the encoding bitrate to around 2500 kbps (or about 2.5 Mbps)

This is all fun stuff to do, but I probably won't re-encode movies to watch with the Xacti on the road.
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Old Feb 9, 2006, 11:05 AM   #15
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Thanks blindsight, yeah it's I guess it's not all very practical. But I was thinking for movies, they are generally letterboxed, soalthough youwould encode at 640x480, you would be padding the letterboxing with black bars which take little data to compress. Therefore most of the used bit-rate would go to the 640x360 image within the black bars.

For the Xacti hanging on complex scenes, are you using MPEG-4 advanced simple profile (ASP) to encode or MPEG-4 simple profile (SP) only?

No earphone plug ? That sucks.
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Old Feb 9, 2006, 12:33 PM   #16
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Hi blindsight, Onec more I really appreciate your help in all this. I'll pass on your latest comenst to my friend. I do feel a little frustrated as I dont have one of these and soI am unable to do the tests myself.

I am surprised like Caelum that there isnt any headphone socket. I believe my friend is taking the audio from the dedicated S-AV cable into a pair of headphones and he says the sound is good. He is in the theatre and has a good ear so I would trust his opinion.

Thanks again.
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Old Feb 9, 2006, 1:48 PM   #17
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caelum:

The xilisoft MP4 converter is a "press-button" type converter, which is not as advanced and tweakable as QTPro. I am glad it allows some selection of bitrates, screen size etc. but as for the type of MP4 codec it uses, I dunno. As long as it works on the Xacti.

Pity video codec readers like GSpot or AVICodec are PC utilities, and they do not read Apple (MP4 or QT) file info (AVICodec reads RM info though). However, I think I see it somewhere someone said the MP4 used in Sanyo is "simple profile" (not "advanced", meaning an older codec than ASP??)

When I say "the Xacti hangs", I mean only when it comes to the complex scene - anything before that plays AOK. This is also different from the situation when you encode the whole video in the non-standard video and audio settings, when the Xacti would not start playing or even recognize the file at all. This is why I suspect the Xacti hardware cannot handle the momentary high bitrate during the complex scenes, and not the codec itself.

RE: "NO headphone plug" - as I said, unlike the Samsung Miniket sportscam, Mustek or other hybrid cams, which market music player ability, the Xacti is more like the average digital cameras: it is designed to play back sound only from the video clips, therefore the sound hardware is minimal (ie. poor speaker, no headphone).
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Old Feb 9, 2006, 3:59 PM   #18
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blindsight wrote:
Quote:
[...] it is designed to play back sound only from the video clips [...]
But it has a voice recording feature!:G (I know you know this, I just couldn't help myself. :-))
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Old Feb 21, 2006, 2:36 AM   #19
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I just finished editing my daughter's footages from my C6. Working with about 200 mp4 files and pics, all I can say is, WOW, the mp4 sure did slow down Vegas Video a lot. And the wife's laptop isn't even a slow poke either.

Time to reconsider using Ulead or mp42avi conversion. :O
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Old Jun 16, 2006, 12:14 AM   #20
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Hi everyone

Sorry for bringing up old stuff. :?
But i just got my C6 and i've just spent a lot of time trying to workout which sizes/bitrates work with the C6 and with my PDA.

Been using VLC (VideoLan Client) to do all the encoding* (encoding string follows later)

Here's are what i found out:

Sanyo Xacti C6 Playback formats:
Video(MPEG4 in MP4 container):

640x480 @ 29.97 fps 64-192kbps Audio = OK!
640x480 @ 14.985 fps 64-192kbps Audio = OK!
320x240 @ 29.97 fps 64-192kbps Audio = OK!
320x240 @ 14.985 fps 64-192kbps Audio = OK!
176x144 @ 29.97 fps 64-192kbps Audio = OK!
176x144 @ 14.985 fps 64-192kbps Audio = OK!

Also tried video bitrates all the way from 128kbps to 12mbps in 640x480 which worked without hitch
Using single channel audio(mono) for video also works just fine, but unfortunatly using any samplerate OTHER than 48000Hz is unsupported

As long as you stick to the standard resolution & frame rates there dosn't seem to be a problem mixing and matching.

I'll post audio only results when i get that thoroughly tested

VLC Encoding String:

vlc someclip.avi :sout=#transcode{vcodec=mp4v,vb=2048,width=640,hei ght=480,fps=29.97,acodec=mp4a,ab=192,channels=2,sa mplerate=48000}:duplicate{dst=std{access=file,mux= mp4,dst="SANY9999.MP4"}}

Makes a 2mbps [email protected] video w/ 2 channel [email protected] out of "someclip.avi".
Note though that the "somefile.avi" can be ANY file format(aduio & video) which VLC supports(which is rather a lot :-))

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