A decent player

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Rod Speed, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    Looking at a player for video media files, mostly captured digital TV files.

    Its not as if I want something that is that unusual, just something with a
    decent user interface that
    does some VERY basic stuff that any decent VCR can do as easily as falling off a
    log. The DVD
    player isnt ideal, but much better than I have seen in any of the media players
    I've tried so far.

    The main lack with the few I have tried is a decent way of skipping over the ads
    on commercial TV.

    WMP doesnt even allow you to fast forward in dvr-ms files and even when it does
    allow fast
    forward, it has little control over the fast forward speed and the max is 5X,
    much too slow.

    Nero Showtime 2 is much better there, you do have a decent set of speeds to fast
    at, but the max is only 32X which is too slow for zapping over the ads and you
    have to select
    the speed every time you use it, much too crude. I cant get the fast reverse to
    show up, tho
    its listed in the config. And it wont play dvr-ms files, you have to convert
    them to mpeg first,
    tho that can be done fast enough so thats not a huge deal.

    MPEG-VCR has a rather elegant user interface where you have a button that sets
    the Fast forward and Fast Reverse speed to one of 3 alts, but you really need a
    more steps and its no real use as a viewer since it doesnt have a fullscreen

    That I'd much prefer is something like the usual slider that you can click on to
    jump down the file, but with an expanded section because on a file that has an
    hour or two of program in it, the ads are only a small part of the total bar.

    It would be even better if there were a few buttons for a timed jump of say 3
    4 mins etc so you could hit the one thats appropriate for the time of day that
    program was broadcast for the ad break time used at that time, and then just
    quickly step back and forward using FF and FR to get to the program material

    Must work with either dvr-ms or mpeg files because anything else is much too
    slow to convert into what it can use. ts files at pinch but they are much

    Surely I cant be the only one who wants a decent user interface ?

    Has the industry really concentrated on stupid skins instead ?

    I'll stop howling now |-(
    Rod Speed, Apr 25, 2005
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  2. Rod Speed

    JustMe Guest

    Use VideoRedo to edit the ads out of the files before you play them. Quick
    and easy and preserves audio sync as well.

    This is also perfect for cleaning up recorded material before burning to
    JustMe, Apr 25, 2005
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  3. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    Too much work, I just want to play them like I would on a VCR.
    I do also burn to DVD and watch it from there, but its just to watch
    it at a better quality than you get with TV out and dont keep the DVDs.

    The most I do is trim the start and end crap off the commercial
    recordings which I record about 10 mins extra at the start and
    often an hour or so extra at the end because the commercials
    hardly ever manage to stick to the program guide times.

    Thats slower than it should be tho, even with fast tools.
    What with the conversion of the dvr-ms files to mpeg,
    trimming with mpeg-vcr and burning to DVD, it takes
    something like 30 mins or so for a 1 hour program segment
    and isnt completely automatic. Damned irritating time.
    Rod Speed, Apr 25, 2005
  4. Rod Speed

    JustMe Guest

    You can save a step if you save on disk as .mpg files. With a little
    practise I can now strip the ads out of a movie length file in 15 minutes or
    less with VideoRedo.

    With ads gone, many programmes that were previously irritating to watch, are
    now much improved. A case in point would be the Inspector Lyndley mysteries.
    Much easier to follow the plot and dialogue.

    You can save another step with a small investment as below.

    You could buy a DVD player like the LG DF8900P ($170) which will play your
    ..mpg files straight off a DVD-R or DVD-RW. Then you need only convert to
    regular DVD format those files which are of special interest or that you
    need to be portable. Note that TMPGenc DVD Author 1.6 will take no more than
    15 to 18 mins to generate a regular DVD file set from .mpg source using a 2
    gig CPU.
    One proviso is that if the .mpg is larger than about 4.2 gig you will need
    extra editing first. For this I use TMPGenc DVD Source Creator and
    just leave it to do its thing overnight. Note that TMPGenc software is,
    IMHO, very tolerant of other software and does not hog the CPU. This is
    important if you are multi-tasking.

    Excuse me rambling on. There may be others who can use this sort of info.
    JustMe, Apr 25, 2005
  5. Rod Speed

    SmakDaddy Guest

    it may sound weird, but i use a modded xbox and xbox media centre to watch
    most stuff i capture onto my pc, its attached to my tv, so i can just watch
    it from there, it can stream across the network, so i dont need to burn
    anything, only problem is updating xbmc itself when new codecs are
    released. i do like how it has an audio offset button though for files
    where the audio has decided to go out of sync.., also you can use the xbox
    remote control to navigate, as well as create playlists and the like. I
    have my xbox going to the computers in the other side of the house via a
    wireless adapter, where all my cds sit in mp3 (or whatever the hell WMC
    copys them as) and i can just queue them all from there...

    anyway, sorry to ramble, just my setup that i'm happy with :)
    SmakDaddy, Apr 25, 2005
  6. Rod Speed

    Darius Guest

    damn fine idea, use it myself.
    One step up tho. I have a sd capture card. Capture and edit out the ads with
    ulead, convert to xvid/divx, then send it to the 160gig hdd in the xbox, and
    wirelessly like you. Xbox is two rooms away plugged into the widescreen
    All is good, crystal clear and cheaper than a pvr setup. I can retrieve the
    movies and convert them to dvd for burning if I want. And I'm my nephews
    favourite uncle when they visit "you may be 40 but you're kinda cool coz
    you have an xbox and games for us to play"
    Darius, Apr 25, 2005
  7. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    That isnt viable, its 4:3 format.
    Not interested in spending 15 mins of my time doing that.

    At least with the dvr-ms to mpg conversion and the
    burning to DVD its happening with me just initiating
    it and I can do something else while it happens.
    Yeah, no argument there. I've been watching The Wire and The
    Shield without ads, downloaded off the net. Much more salubrious.
    That's what I'm doing already.
    Yep, and I dont in fact bother doing that at all. Someone else
    I know wants The Wire and The Shield too and since they are
    on dialup still, it makes sense to post them DVDs, and since
    their current Panasonic DVD/VCR combo wont play those
    DVDs which have an entire season of mpgs on each one,
    I suggested they get a DVD player that will play those
    DVDs rather than fart around putting them all into DVD
    format. Its only $80 for the one that Aldi flogs.
    Sure, but the total time is now getting up to about the
    same time as the running time of the TV program, no thanks.
    Yeah, that's another weirdity. I was using Roxio EMC 7 Creator
    Classic and with it you didnt have to bother, just burn say an 8GB
    mpg file to DVD and have it auto just tell you to insert the second
    DVD when required. Those played fine in my NeuNeo DV380 DVD
    player, but now Roxio EMC 7.5 Creator Classic refuses to burn
    them with the defaul UDF Joliet Bridge format for the DVD. Its
    still happy to burn and split them with the UDF No Bridge format
    for the DVD but the DVD player wont play those.
    Urk. MPG-VCR will split them much quicker than that and
    there are auto splitters around too, havent tried the speed
    of those tho. Doesnt require any real horsepower to chop
    an mpg into say 4.2GB pieces and it probably wouldnt be
    too hard to completely automate the conversion of the dvr-ms
    into mpg, auto split, then burn with the user only initiating the
    process and it should take say 15 mins per hour of recorded
    material, all with no human intervention.

    Still more time than watching it on TV out with
    something decent for a player to zap over the ads.

    I found last night that the Nero ShowTime 2 isnt too bad if you
    click on the slider to jump forward 3 mins or so and then fast
    forward over the remains of the ad break. Not as elegant as
    say a couple of buttons for a 3 min and 4 min jump forward tho.
    I dont, I use a dedicated HTPC.
    Yeah, its surprisingly little discussed. The rambling is welcome.
    Rod Speed, Apr 25, 2005
  8. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    Nope, I've been considering this approach.
    How do you find the image quality on a big widescreen TV ?

    I find that the TV out on the PC is noticeably worse
    quality than burnt to DVD. Mostly just fringing colors
    on fine detail edges. Thats with a cheap Radeon 7000
    chipset card which I havent tried tweaking yet tho.

    And what is the story on the player in the xbox on that skipping ads ?
    But you never said what its like for ad zapping |-(
    Rod Speed, Apr 25, 2005
  9. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    Not necessarily cheaper than an older PC tho. I'm currently
    using the 900MHz test system for that, works fine.
    I just got a DVD player that is happy to play what I write unconverted.
    Dont forget they may well be picking your nursing home |-)
    Rod Speed, Apr 25, 2005
  10. Rod Speed

    Darius Guest

    Now that would be nice to have, I was considering buying the same for
    another room.
    What brand/model? Any problems?
    Darius, Apr 25, 2005
  11. Rod Speed

    JustMe Guest

    If you use a Hauppauge MediaMVP to play off your network to the TV, it has
    a (programmable via remote control) skip function that can be set in 30
    second increments. This is neat for skipping ads as you watch.

    Just another way of skinning the cat!!
    JustMe, Apr 26, 2005
  12. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    OK, thanks, I'll give it a go.

    Had DVRview suggested by the author in the DBA Owners forum.
    A rather elegant viewer that plays all the formats I use except mpg
    and which has a number of preprogrammed skips and you can
    change the skip time by editing the registry entrys.

    Not perfect tho, it doesnt have any support for dual monitor TV
    out, tho it does work fine in clone mode, but the screen format
    mode change only changes the monitor display, not the TV out
    display and while ABC, SBS and Prime fill the widescreen TV
    with the unchangeable mode, Win doesnt for some reason,
    it has small vertical bars on either side of the image. Needless
    to say I actually need the ads skip on Win more than Prime.
    I use a wire brush on the angle grinder for that myself.
    Rod Speed, Apr 26, 2005
  13. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    That appears to be hardware tho
    Rod Speed, Apr 26, 2005
  14. Rod Speed

    SmakDaddy Guest

    oops! ad zapping isnt too hard, you can use the >I button to skip about 30
    seconds, or the >> button to play at 2x (or doubles in speed every time you
    press it), i dont know why, but it doesnt like to decode some codecs while
    playing at faster than normal speed, so you cant see whats elapsed. i try
    to remember those combinations and just not use them
    SmakDaddy, Apr 26, 2005
  15. Rod Speed

    JustMe Guest

    Sorry. I didn't make that clear. It is a fairly economical widget that
    appears on the various auctions from time to time (NTSC or Pal). The concept
    is neat as long as you are prepared to watch mpeg2 for your viewing. As with
    much Hauppauge hardware, the software is not the best and has been steadily
    worked on since the launch. I would have to say that the software has gone
    ahead on the "two steps forward, one step back" schedule and seems to be
    getting there, but slowly.

    Forum here http://www.shspvr.com/forum/
    JustMe, Apr 26, 2005
  16. Rod Speed

    JustMe Guest

    You may also wish to take a look at ZoomPlayer. This has a skip function
    that is mouse wheel operated, after having been selected by the wheel down

    All in all, this is probably the most configurable player I have ever seen.
    It seems to be capable of almost anything you can sensibly use in a video
    player and includes support for a very wide range of formats including some


    Perhaps this will fit the bill for you.
    JustMe, Apr 26, 2005
  17. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    Thats worse than with Nero Showtime 2 where you can at least
    select 32X directly and its too slow, and much worse than with
    DVRview where you can set the skip times to whatever you like, say
    have 3 mins and 4 mins skip for ads and then back up by whatever
    you like in smaller steps to get to the start of the program again.
    I'd rather have the time skips that DVRview has.
    Rod Speed, Apr 26, 2005
  18. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    Interesting approach. Main problem is that while you can very
    conveniently jump forward in 120 sec steps, which is quite good
    for ads, you cant skip back in much smaller steps very easily to
    get to the program segment start after a particular ad break.
    Yeah, cant argue with that.
    Doesnt play dvr-ms files tho with the pro.
    Dunno, unless I can configure the mouse wheel to just have
    big and small steps and switch between them with a wheel
    click, it doesnt look like it on a very superficial look.

    Might be possible to setup the keys for that tho.
    Rod Speed, Apr 26, 2005
  19. Rod Speed

    Jeff Rife Guest

    Rod Speed () wrote in alt.video.digital-tv:
    MPEG can handle 4:3 just fine. It actually can handle any aspect ratio
    at all, but not all decoders/players can deal with arbitrary aspect ratios.
    Jeff Rife, Apr 29, 2005
  20. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    Yes, the problem is that I dont want 4:3
    I was commenting on the format of the mpg files.
    Rod Speed, Apr 29, 2005
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