LVD-2001 and hi-res xvid

vbimport

#1

I’ve got an LVD-2001 and it doesn’t seem to be able to play some hi-res xvid videos. The picture immediately breaks up then freezes, then the sound stops a few seconds afterwards, but the timer LED still counts up. I’ve tried it in PAL and NTSC, and even progressive (my TV can’t show that anyway, but I can still hear that there’s no sound).

mplayer -identify tells me this about one such file:

ID_FILENAME=/cdrom/24.501.hr.hdtv.ac3.5.1.xvid-nbs.avi
ID_DEMUXER=avi
ID_VIDEO_FORMAT=XVID
ID_VIDEO_BITRATE=1935080
ID_VIDEO_WIDTH=960
ID_VIDEO_HEIGHT=544
ID_VIDEO_FPS=23.976
ID_VIDEO_ASPECT=0.0000
ID_AUDIO_CODEC=a52
ID_AUDIO_FORMAT=8192
ID_AUDIO_BITRATE=384000
ID_AUDIO_RATE=48000
ID_AUDIO_NCH=2
ID_LENGTH=2488.82

Is this resolution of MPEG 4 just too much for the EM8500 chip to handle?


#2

Going by the specifications of that video file you have, unfortunately it exceeds that of the Sigma EM8500 chip. That chip is designed to handle MPEG4 encoded with the Advanced Simple Profile at up to Level 5. This has a resolution limit of 720x576, however the clip you are trying to play has a resolution of 960x544, which means you will need a device with a chip capable of handling High Definition MPEG4 content in order to play this. In fact, many DVD players will not even attempt to play a video file that goes outside of the player’s specification.


#3

Thanks for the info; I suspected the res was too high, but I couldn’t find the EM8500’s specs. I usually watch these on a PC with a widescreen monitor, so the hi-res versions are a bonus, but we wanted to be able to watch them at my sister’s (the LiteOn player isn’t really mine). Better get recoding I suppose.


#4

I have that unit.

I have found that sometimes, it needs to be unplugged and left alone for a while. Mine seem to heat up and get stuck.

Also, do not know what ID_AUDIO_FORMAT=8192 is. For compatibility’s sake with this unit, I will use MP3 CBR formats all of the time because they always seem to work.

I also have re-encoded any Xvid to Vanilla Divx and that combined with the MP3 CBR format, seems to work very reliably for me.

I have found some heat issues, especially with RW DVDs.

In between videos, even if they are on the same DVD, I will always turn the unit off and on and let it reset itself.

I also wonder if your sister’s unit has the last driver that was and will be put out by Lite-On for that unit. IF not, that could cause grief with MPE4.

The last driver made the 2001 and the 2002 identical internally and made a l.ot of improvements on the DivX side.

I will be looking at a newer MPEG4 support unit. I t hink the Lite-on 2001 is a classic unit and was well ahead of its time, with its feature set and price for te time. One of the first that played MPE4 that was not a fortune. Heck, it even had a flash card reader.

Any recommendations for another unit would be great. I wonder if anyone has used the LG units.


#5

I’ve noticed the discs get warm but not really had any overheating problems.

I forgot to mention I downloaded a firmware image a few days ago and flashed it.

According to the filename the audio format is AC3 which is quite common in DVDs but when I tried a recoded AVI at a lower resolution with the original audio stream simply copied the player said it was an unsupported video/audio format. I’ll try again tomorrow with the audio converted to MP3.

Apparently the EM8500 chip has been superseded. To make me bother replacing this unit I’d want one that can handle MPEG 4 at least up to 1280x720 with AC3 audio at a reasonable price.

For my own use I’ll stick to a PC for the foreseeable future because nothing else I know can play MPEG 4 and record DVB to HD (and let me copy it off over a network to edit out the adverts and burn to disc) all in one box, let alone allow me to set recording timers over the Internet etc.


#6

realh,

What are you using to re-encode ?
Yes, absolutely, AC3 is used in DVDs, especially for multiple tracks. IT would be my choice if I was going to watch the video on my PC, but not for my stand alone DVD players.
when there are multiple tracks.
But, I am only referring to making compressed video worl on the Lite-on 2001.
This is what I would do, due to my experience with encoding compressed video for the LVD-2001 for a long time. This isn’t about advising about what is best, advice on products to use for yourself, etc. I firmly believe that there is not a “best” way to do anything, but to do what works for us.
I don’t know how much bother you want to put into this. This is what I have found, after lots of coasters and experimenting. I have had the LVD-2001 from when it was just released. It did fulfill my dream of seeing compressed video being played on a stand alone DVD player and playing it well. As Divx has improved with version 6, the output also has improved, so much that I can hardly tell the difference.
BUT …the key to make it work is simplicity. No menus or anything fancy.

  1. I would re-encode to the latest version of Divx, I think 6.2.1 is just out.

  2. Download the lastest Divx and install.

  3. I would take the original source file that you have and load it into the latest Virtualdub.

  4. I have AC3Filter installed as well as XviD-1.0.3-20122004 installed as well.

  5. I would say to load the xvid source into Vdub. Probably the AC3 is in a VBR format
    you might see a warning from Vdub about the audio.

  6. I like to click on File Information and sometimes I do a print screen on it so I can
    refer to it later. I like to see what the original audio settings were and on the video
    settings I usually like to stay with the source. If it is PAL, I leave it as PAL, if NTSC
    I leave that as well. That is one of the wonderful things about the LVD-2001. At
    the time there were few DVD players that could handle the PAL to NTSC TV as
    smoothly as the 2001 could.

  7. First, I would select [B]Audio[/B], then [B]Full Processing Mode[/B]. Sometimes I
    also go to [B]Conversion[/B] and click on [B]High Quality[/B] as well as change
    the audio to [B]16 bit. [/B]. Since hearing can be an issue for me, I might also
    go to [B]Volume [/B]and change that “ruler” to 115 %.

  8. I’m now back at the [B]File [/B] menu and I click on [B]Save Wav[/B]. It seems to
    take from 1.5 to 6 minutes for the .wav file to be created.

  9. Now what I do is set up a job and let Vdub go. I will do a 2 pass just for fun.

  10. I wonder what the File Information said on what your resolution is from your
    original.

  11. I now go to [B]Audio[/B] and select [B]No audio.[/B]. No reason to waste more
    time than needed on a two pass.

  12. Then I go to [B]Video[/B]. I select [B]Fast recompress[/B].

  13. Then in [B]Video[/B], I select [B]Compress[/B]. The Compress menu comes up
    and I choose my method of compression.

  14. Since I just upgraded my version of Divx, I select [B]Divx 6.2.1 Codec(1 logical
    CPU)[/B] Then I select [B]Configure[/B].

  15. [B]Home theatre Profile [/B]is selected and I leave it. I leave [B]Home Presets unchecked,[/B] only because I haven’t setup any Presets yet. This is new to 6.2.1.

  16. [B]In rate Control, I select Multipass,1st Pass. [/B] For [B]bitrate[/B], sometimes I have used
    the calculator, other times re-look at the File Information and make the [B]Bitrate[/B] a little bigger than the original. I don’t care very much about the size of
    output. I do care about the quality of it though.

  17. Then on the top tabs, I click on [B]Codec[/B]
    
  18.  I make [B]Encoding Mode Balanced.[/B] More is a waste of time.
    
  19.  Then I go th the [B]Video [/B]tab on top and click on it.
    
  20.   Almost always, I change nothing on this screen. I make sure that 
       [B]Keep Resolution[/B] is checked. I figure the closest to the source I
       am, the better the output will be. BUT ... in your case, depending on what
       Idub said on the File Information, I might make changes to the resolution. I
       never had to. So you might check [B]Custom resize[/B] and reduce the 
       resolution manually or [B]Source Aspect.[/B]. When my original had the 
       typical limitation for NTSC 720 x 480 or for PAL 720 x 576, and I checked 
       [B]Keep Reesolution[/B], the Divx video would come out excellent. You might
       need to lower this. I also do not know the type of TV set your sister has. 
       I have a Panasonic 16' 9" type flat screen that is connected to my LVD-2001
       via the three component cables for video. 
    
  21.   I click on [B]OK[/B] a couple of times and I am out of the [B]Config [/B]screens. Then I go to [B]Video [/B]on more time, just to make sure that I still have [B]Fast Recompress[/B] selected. 
    
  22. One quick peak to make sure that my [B]Audio [/B] has [B]No Audio [/B]selected.

  23. Then to the [B]File [/B]menu. There I select [B]Save As AVI[/B]. Give the
    file a name I will easily remember and [B]my extension will be either AVI or DIVX.[/B] Makes no Difference.

  24. BEFORE I ever click on okay, I check the box that says [B]Don’t run this job now;add it to Job Control so I can run it in batch mode.
    [/B][U]

  25. That job is added, now I am ready to load the second run.

  26. I will return to [B]Video and Compression[/B], [B]Configure[/B] (Vdub
    should remember that you selected Divx last time, so that you can click
     on Configure)
    
  27. Change [B]Rate Control Mode to Multipass, Nth Pass[/B].
    
  28.  I click on the [B]Codec [/B]tab on top. Then I change [B]Encoding Mode to
      Better Quality.[/B]  Then click on [B]Okay [/B]and I am out of the Divx area.
    
  29.  I return to [B]Audio[/B] and go to [B]Full Processing Mode.[/B]. 
    
  30.  I click on [B]Wav Audio[/B]. Then I go to a browse screen where I select the
      .WAV file I created from my source audio file. 
    
  31.  While still in [B]Audio[/B], I then go to [B]Compression[/B].  
    
  32.   I have LAME 3.97b2 installed, so I make sure that I have a check in
       [B]ALL Formats[/B] and I click on [B]LAME MP3.[/B].
    
  33.   My selection now depends on the quality of the original source audio file.  
       Usually I will [B]ALWAYS select a CBR [/B] format and almost always my 
       source file is at [B]48000 Hz[/B], so I will select that, the LVD 2001 has no problems that I have experienced with 48000 Hz. I always select [B]stereo[/B].
       I will select a bitrate somewhere between 128 CBR to 224 CBR. For me what
       I select depends on the qualirty of the original source audio. But for some, 
       the size of the final file is important and audio quality is not so important.
    
  34.   I'm essentially done. I go back to the [B]File [/B]menu. Then I select [B]Save    as AVI[/B]. When the browse menu comes up, [B]I use the same exact file name as I 
        used for the first pass. [/B]. Make sure that the box is checked for
        [B]Don't run this job now; add it .....[/B]
    
  35.   I then enter [B]Job Control [/B] where I should see two little jobs waiting
       for me. 
    
  36.    I click on [B]Start[/B] and the jobs should start happening. Then [B]OK[/B]

#7

Thanks for all the info, but I prefer to stick to Linux where possible, and I use mencoder. One good reason for using Linux is that I’ve got an AMD64 and I heard that video encoding benefits more than most software if it’s compiled for 64-bit. My Athlon 3000+ is managing to do this recoding at 2-3x real time, not bad. I’m not bothering to do 2 passes.

Anyway, mencoder has its own MPEG library called ffmpeg and the fourcc for its MPEG4 codec is FMP4, so that’s probably what the LiteOn player has a problem with. I’ve changed the fourcc to DX50 (DivX 5), which should be enough to make the player realise it can play this format after all. I’ve used lame with a CBR of 192 for the audio, but now I’ve found out about the fourcc, I could probably preserve the original AC3.


#8

realh,
I don’t blame you at all for staying with Linux. I really would like to get a PC in the future and install Linux on it and see how it goes. I have had more than enough dealling with Microsoft and the Windows environment. I am happy to say that besides the dreaded Windoz, I use very, very few Microsoft products, codecs, etc.
I also am a AMD person. I have used AMD chips for years and can never understand why people pay more for chips the cost more, get hotter, are slower and take more to maintain. I am running a AMD XP 2800 Barton chip. I would very much like to go to a AMD 64, but I would need a new motherboard, which I am shopping for. Unfortunately, I am running a ATI AIW 9600 XT graphics card, which works great for me, but so few of the newer motherboards that use AMD64 and have newer features have a AGP port anymore. The cost of another graphics card is pretty high these days and it is something that I do not desire. I am not a gamer.

The point of my long set of instructions was simply to let you know what works consistantly for me, for playing MPEG4 or specificically Divx encoded videos on my LiteOn LVD 2001. I am impressed that it plays at all. One of the problems getting something like the LVd 2001, which was a early innovator, is that they tend to get obsolete quickly. Lite-on stopped with more firmware for it quite a while ago. But, I have received more than my monies worth with it.
I also have a Philips 642 in my family room for stand alone compressed video.
That unit really lowered the price for a workable stand alone DVD player that supports MPEG4 stand alone playing. I think I paid $44 for it initially at target.

I think your change should work fine. I have found that the use of MP3 CBR mode for stand alone compressed video has done more to increase my success rate than anything else. After a while, reliability becomes the most important item in encoding decisions.
With Divx 5, I used to select the fourcc.

I also used to use more tools in the past. Divx has greatly improved the encoding speed, options and quality considerably when it got to 6.1. I am encoding as I am writing this, using virtualdub to call Divx 6.2.1. There was a patch release just today for 6.2.1. The Divxlabs people reacted within 24 hours when some of the people found a bug that made encoding slower in some situations. The patch has cleared that up.
The quality is so much better than before and the encoding is faster.
The two pass does make a difference, although I am not advising you to do it. Since I learned about loading the passes in a job using vdub, I don’t have to hang around waiting for one pass to complete. The first pass also is much shorter since I tell Vdub to do video only and use the faster “Balanced” mode. It just is making a file to see where the encoding might need more or less care. Then in the second pass, I tell Divx to increase the quality and add the audio. I have not had the issues that I used to have with synching the video as in the past , since doing the conservative 1. Create .WAV file, then Compress the WaV to MP3 CBR.
I have a 2.1 amplified stereo set from Cambridge Stereo connected to my TV anyway. I am not a gamer and still bery much like 2.1 audio. It must be my age. But the Cambridge stuff does a really fine job of handling playing 5.1 output.

I am looking to get another stand alone unit that would allow me to take advantage of some more features in video and audio. Like menus, etc.

Thanks mi amigo for sharing your knowledge with me.

I also am starting to have some fun with playing some video on my Palm PDA (Tungsten T3). There is an excellent open source player that, so far, plays all the Divx files I have tried and played them well. It also plays me OGG audio music very well on my PDA. I have a 2gb SD card on it. I can tell you that a Ipuss, is NOT in my future.

Jon


#9

You could dual boot Linux on your current PC if you can spare the disc space.

I much prefer AMD to Intel at the moment too for the same reasons. I heard that although future Intel CPUs may appear more powerful on paper than AMD’s, AMD have a much better bus for multiprocessors etc. And Intel are still trying to block adoption of 64-bit by heavily marketing the Duos.

Changing the fourcc seems to have done the trick for the LiteOn, even with the file that I kept the AC3 audio in - which is just as well, because mencoder couldn’t convert the audio in it for some reason, even though mplayer had no problems playing it, and they have the same code base.

I don’t know how ffmpeg compares with DivX 6, but I’m quite impressed with the quality of my conversions, especially considering I only did one pass and they’ve mostly come out with a smaller file size than similar videos I’ve downloaded (300MB cf 350MB). I did notice that typical size/quality improved a lot at some point in P2P videos. Most films look fine at 700MB now whereas before I’d always look for a 2CD set at least. IIRC I’m still using a “release” mplayer/mencoder which is quite old now; the developers recommend using CVS instead, so I should do that, but I don’t know why they don’t just make a new release.