Putting videos on PSP, iPod, Smartphones, PDAs, PMPs, Handhelds

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Put video on PSP


Using the Neuros OSD to put video on the Sony PSP:

With the Neuros OSD, you will be able to record all types of videos that will playback directly on your PSP: TV shows, DVDs, home movies, video game sequences, etc...


You will need: A Sony PSP, a Neuros OSD, a MemoryStick Pro/Duo (512MB+ recommended), and an analog video source, a USB cable (optional).


How does it work? Connect the Neuros OSD to your video source (DVD player, PlayStation, XBox 360, Cable Box, or any device with RCA or S-Video output), connect the PSP to the Neuros OSD USB port, or insert a Memory Stick Duo or Pro Duo in the Neuros OSD multicard slot, and navigate to the Record menu on the on-screen display. Choose playback device of "PSP", and you are all set. Files are saved in the standard MP4 Video format optimized for direct playback on PSP. Once the recording is done, remove the USB cable or pop the Memory Stick in the PSP and enjoy the show!

  1. Set up the Neuros OSD to record. Connect the unit to an analog video output (AV In), and connect the OSD output to a video input on your TV if you'd like to watch what you're recording.
  2. Use the remote to navigate to the Neuros OSD Main Menu, select Record and PSP for the playback device. All the settings are already optimized for the PSP. To start recording, hit the record button on the remote.
  3. Once the recording is finished, remove the USB cable or take the MS card out of the multicard slot. Move it to the MS slot on the PSP and power on the PSP. On the PSP, navigate to the video folder and open your video.
  • This should take you about 3 minutes, not including recording time.

Using the Neuros MPEG4 Recorder 2 to put video on PSP:

The Neuros MPEG4 Recorder 2 and 2+ work like a digital VCR for the PSP. With these products, you will be able to record live TV, your favorite TV shows or movies, and even make copies of your favorite DVDs in a format optimized for playback on the PSP. With the Neuros Video Recorder 2, you no longer have to buy pricey UMD movies or go through lengthy, confusing conversion with your PC software.

How does it work? Connect Recorder 2 to your video source (DVD player, PS2 and Xbox360, Cable Box, or anything with an RCA or S-Video output), insert a Memory Stick Duo or Pro Duo in the recorder, and simply hit record. Files are saved in the standard MP4 Video format optimized for direct playback on the PSP. Once the recording is done, pop the Memory Stick in the PSP and enjoy the show!


You will need: A Sony PSP, a Neuros MPEG4 Recorder 2, a MemoryStick Pro/Duo (512MB+ recommended), and an analog video source.


  1. Set up the R2 to record. Connect the unit to an analog video output (AV In), and connect the R2 output to a video input on your TV if you'd like to watch what you're recording.
  2. Use the remote to navigate to the Quality settings menu and choose your resolution and quality setting. The quality is a matter of taste and amount of storage available. For the PSP, the QVGA or WQVGA resolutions are recommended. To start recording, hit the record button on the remote.
  3. Once the recording is finished, power off the R2 and remove the MS card. Move it to the MS slot on the PSP and power on the PSP. On the PSP, navigate to the video folder and open your video.
  • This should take you about 3 minutes, not including recording time.

how to set up the Recorder


About UMD:

Watching videos on the PSP with a UMD disc is actually quite simple, and in fact needs little explanation. You simply place the disc into the PSP and play it. On the other hand, you can't record your own UMD discs. Due to this limitation we provide general information about the UMD format, and sources of UMD content, rather than instructions here.

UMD is a proprietary optical disc format developed by Sony used to contain games, movies, and audio. The capacity is 1.8 GB and it has a relatively small size of 65mm x 64mm. Unfortunately, there are no players for UMD other than the PSP, and viewing options are limited ot the PSP itself, or a small array of third-party devices which allow PSP video to be viewed on a TV. Furthermore, neither blank UMD media or writers are sold, and due to the encryption of the format, there is no legal way to make copies of your UMD discs. Understandably, UMD is superceded in popularity by other video options.


Using video conversion software to put video on PSP:

There are quite a few choices for converting any digital videos you already own to the PSP format. Some cost money, like Sony's official Image Converter 2, Xilisoft, while others are free, like PSP Video 9, ffMpegX, 3GP Converter, and others. This software is most appropriate for users who already have a collection of digital videos that they would like to convert for personal use on the PSP.

There are some shortcomings to converting your own video. Generally, converter software is relatively slow, and can often take longer than the movie itself to complete a conversion. This is because the software needs to completely decode and then re-encode the video, using a pair of codecs. A computer is required, and the software can not digitize new videos, it can only move content between formats, meaning there is less choice about what to watch on your PSP. Also, it's sometimes necessary to download and install additional codecs, adding to the time and complexity involved in using these applications. That said, within their limitations, you may find these programs useful.

Each software has a unique procedure for converting and putting video on PSP, but they have some key aspects in common. Here is a short rundown:

  • To take a video you already own in digital format and convert it to the PSP format
    • Download and install the software
    • Run the software
    • If necessary, select the PSP preset
    • Load the video file you'd like to convert
    • Run the conversion
    • The software should handle naming of the file
    • Connect your PSP via USB or move the file to your Memory Stick manually, making sure to use the correct folder

This summary applies to the software we've covered here, but of course, each has it's own procedure. Check the articles to learn more.


Links:


Put video on the iPod

mp4,m4v or mov

iPod and iPhone

  • Summary:

The advent of the iPod Video spurred an explosion of ways to put video on the device. Generally, the options fall into 'easy' and 'hard' categories. Some are easier than others, but the Neuros OSD and falls squarely into the 'easy' camp, bridging the gap between flexibility and usability. Below are summaries of some methods you can use to put video on your iPod or iPhone, along with links to full descriptions and external resources. Generally the most involved steps are in the process of encoding the video. Once a suitable video is encoded, it's necessary to transfer the file onto the iPod or iPhone itself, a task which usually falls to iTunes.


Using the Neuros OSD to put video on the iPod or iPhone:

With the Neuros OSD, you will be able to record all types of videos that will playback directly on your iPod classic, iPod nano, iPod video, or iPhone: TV shows, DVDs, home movies, video game sequences, etc...


You will need: An iPod or iPhone device, a Neuros OSD, and an analog video source, a flash memory card (optional).

The Neuros OSD works like a digital VCR for the iPod/iPhone. With the Neuros OSD, you will be able to record Live TV, your favorite TV shows and movies and even make copies of your favorite DVDs in a format optimized for the video iPod. No longer pay a fee to download an episode of Lost, or spent hours converting videos. You will finally be able to watch any TV shows, news or even movies during commutes or lunch breaks.

Here's how it works.

  1. Set up the Neuros OSD to record. Connect the unit to an analog video output (AV In), and connect the Neuros OSD output to a video input on your TV if you'd like to watch what you're recording.
  2. Use the remote to navigate to the Neuros OSD Main Menu, select Record. Following the on-screen prompts, select iPod for the playback device. The remaining settings are optimized for the iPod or iPhone. To start recording, hit the record button on the remote.
  3. Once the recording is finished, remove the USB cable. The recorded video will be under Video/Movies on your iPod or iPhone.
   * This should take you about 3 minutes, not including recording time.

Note: While you may be able to synch directly your iPod by plugging it into your OSD's USB port, this is not recommended. iPod users have reported that newer versions of iTunes may overwrite your iTunes database of files not added through iTunes. Therefore, it is recommended that you record all videos to a portable storage device or over the network to your computer, then import the videos through iTunes. Syncing directly to your iPhone does not work at all, as Apple has not opened the iPhone to allow it to act as a USB hard drive.

Using the Neuros Video Recorder 2

The Neuros MPEG4 Recorder 2 works like a digital VCR for the iPod. With Neuros Video Recorder, you will be able to record Live TV, your favorite TV shows and movies and even make copies of your favorite DVDs in a format optimized for the video iPod. No longer pay a fee to download an episode of Lost, or spent hours converting videos. You will finally be able to watch any TV shows, news or even movies during commutes or lunch breaks.

How does it work? Neuros Recorder 2 is set up like a VCR. Connect the Recorder 2 to any video source (Cable or Satellite receiver, DVR like TiVo, DVD, etc...) and you are ready to go. Video files are saved on memory cards (CF, SD, Memory Stick) in the standard MP4 format optimized for direct playback on the video iPod. Once your recording is done, remove the memory card and transfer the video to iTunes (if your PC does not have a memory slot, you will need a card reader). Connect you iPod, sync it with iTunes and enjoy the show! The quality of videos on the highest recording setting is comparable to videos downloaded from iTunes.


Using Quicktime Pro

QuickTime Pro is the 'official' video conversion software for the iPod, and it is simple, but it costs money and offers little control over the output format. To use QuickTime Pro for your conversions, simply load the video file, and select File > Export > Movie to iPod, then move it to iTunes. QuickTime Pro is known to be somewhat slower and to offer fewer options than some free alternatives discussed here.


Using other conversion software to put video on the iPod:

Due to the ubiquity of the Video iPod, there are many options available. Many developers have created commercial solutions, and many others have created free ones. Generally the software works in a similar way:

  • Download and install the converter program
  • Run the program and select your file and output directory
  • Select the appropriate iPod output setting, which is often a preset, but if none is available, choose settings within the iPod's capability.
  • When you've chosen an appropriate (and functional) output format, run the conversion, and go get a snack.
  • When it's done, you can import the file into iTunes and sync it to your iPod.
  • Disconnect the iPod and enjoy your video.

Keep in mind that some video conversion software is not specifically designed for the iPod, and may give unpredictable results. It may take a little tweaking with certain settings to get your video to actually play on the iPod. However, it seems that the software we listed here is reliable.


Links:


Put video on Smartphones

Smartphones

  • Summary:

The release of advanced smartphones such as the Apple iPhone, LG Voyager, Palm Treo, and BlackBerry Pearl, Curve and 8800 series models shows the robustness of smartphones as a viable platform for video-watching. Unfortunately, solutions for putting video content on these devices haven't always developed as fast as the phones themselves. Right now the options for watching video on these devices is similar:

    • Simple solutions such as the Neuros OSD and Neuros Recorder 2/2+
    • Expensive, limited mobile video download services like Verizon VCast or Sprint Power Vision.
    • Limited PC-based solutions such as Apple iTunes
    • Software video conversion on your PC

What follows is a short description of some of the options involved in putting video on your mobile or Smartphone.


Neuros OSD and Neuros Recorder 2/2+

The Neuros OSD and Recorder 2 and Recorder 2+ can compress video into 3GP format, at QVGA and QCIF resolutions, which are the most commonly supported resolutions among mobile and Smartphones. Most devices that run Windows Media Player 10 or Realplayer Mobile Edition should work. Phones that accept Mini-SD , MS-PRO/DUO CF cards are at a particular advantage, because the Neuros OSD and Recorder 2/2+ will record directly to this media, eliminating the need for a card reader or transfer via PC. The big advantages here are that conversion headaches are avoided and the scope of content is unlimited. It's simple to do:

  • Put the memory card into the Neuros OSD or Recorder 2 and select the appropriate video format (QVGA or QCIF, using a smartphone codec). Note that few smartphones will be able to playback files recorded on the QVGA 30 frames per second setting with the installed media player.
  • Record the content to the memory card by hitting Record on the Neuros OSD or Recorder 2 remote
  • Move the memory card to your smartphone
  • Watch the video



Mobile video download services:

These are the offerings from big cellular service providers, such as Verizon, Sprint and Cingular. They serve up their content, usually through a 3G network, directly to your phone. In return, they tend to charge a substantial monthly fee and often an additional fee per download, depending on the type of content. The advantage to this type of service is that the video downloads are integral to your phone service, making them imminently accessible. The downside is that content is often very limited, and the cost is substantial.


Software converters:

There are some software converters for smartphones on the market, including 3GP Converter and Nokia Multimedia Converter. If you have a Blackberry, the Blackberry Video Converter may work for you as well. Generally, mobile phones are able to play 3GP files and MPEG-4 files. Some newer models will even play Real Video files and WMV formats. These devices, however, differ in the bitrates they can handle, the audio codecs and bitrates they support, and the formats that will and will not play on the phone. So, when using a software conversion solution, it's up to the user to determine what's necessary and appropriate to the purpose.



PDAs


Video formats for Portables Overview

With an exhaustive list of display resolutions, video formats, hardware and software tools, finding the best option to put video content onto your portables is not easy. It goes without saying that we think the ease of use and versatility of our very own Neuros Recorder makes it a great candidate, but don't take our word for it. The information below will help you make the best choice based on your needs. In this set of short how-to articles, we compiled a list of various popular tools used to put video and movies onto the PSP, iPod, Smartphones, PDAs, PMPs, and other portable devices. As we add to the articles here, we invite users to add their own information and articles to make this a more useful resource. Neuros Homepage

Display Resolutions: XGA, VGA, QVGA, WQVGA, QCIF Display resolutions come in all formats and flavors. From XVGA for you big screen HDTV, to the old IBM VGA standard (640x480), to the now popular QVGA (320x240) for portables like the PSP, ipod video and smartphones. Mobile phones with a screen size of less than 2 inches usually use the even smaller QCIF (176x120) display standard. The numbers in parenthesis correspond to the number of horizontal and vertical pixels respectively. A higher number of pixels means a higher resolution, but also goes hand to hand with a bigger file size. Thus the popularity of the QVGA format for portables video players which offers the best compromized between video quality for playback on a small screen and file size.

Digital video formats The MPEG video formats are replacing the NTSC (Pal or Secam) analog signal used by traditional CRT-based televisions. Digital signal are compressed using codecs (software modules) to limit the size of the data for storage or streaming, and offer a better audio and video quality than analog signals. In the digital world, the original data (audio and video in our case) is compressed with no or limited loss of quality. Most digital channels are currently using the MPEG-2 format for TV broacasting. MPEG-2 is also the coding format used for DVDs and DVRs like TiVo. Portables with video playback capability mostly use the MPEG-4 (MP4) format. MP4 files have the advantage of being smaller than MPEG-2 files with a limited loss of quality.

Video Quality The quality of a video depends on 3 major parameters:

  • The Resolution (QVGA 340x240 for most handhelds)
  • The Bit Rate (Mbit/s), a measure of the amount of information content in a video stream (1 Mbit/s for VHS, 5 Mbit/s for DVD, 15 Mbit/s for HDTV).
  • The Frame rate : Number of Frames per seconds (fps). As a reference, the analog NTSC standard uses 30 fps, PAL 25fps and new HDTV can have a frame rate as high as 60fps.

The higher any of these parameters, the bigger the size of the digital file.

What is MPEG-4 (MP4)? MP4 is a multimedia container format. This means that an .MP4 files contains media information (like audio and video information) in a format that facilitate management, streaming and playback. MP4 was defined by the ISO as, in the MPEG-4 standard (ISO 14496-14), containing some of a set of audio and video types, including:

Other known multimedia containers include AVI, ASF and 3GP to name a few commonly used for portable devices.

MP4 video formats: MPEG-4 SP/ASP, MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 and    
MPEG-2, MPEG-1.

MP4 audio formats: Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), and MP3, MP2, MP1, CELP, TwinVQ ,  
SAOL, ALS.

The format can also include subtitles and still images.

The MP4 format is usually encoded with MP4 video and AAC or MP3 audio. Depending on the application, the type of MP4 video can vary. For example, Apple iTunes uses H.264 and AAC. Many individuals choose free MP4-ASP and MP3 codecs to encode their own videos. You will see a variety of codecs in use, but most players will handle this.

What can play these MP4 files? Since the introduction of the MP4 standard, many programs as well as hardware devices have been developed for the purpose of MP4 playback. Among software, you'll find Realplayer, Quicktime, Mplayer, Videolan, and TCPMP. In the hardware arena, things may seem even more prolific: the PSP, iPod, many PMPs, many Smartphones, and even Mobile phones can play various types of MP4 video. The difference here is that many hardware devices are more limited in their acceptance of variations in the MP4 format. For example, the iPod will only play SP or AVC encoded videos of certain resolutions, but Mplayer can handle just about anything you throw at it.

What is AVI? AVI stands for Audio Video Interleaved and was introduced by Microsoft in 1992. considered outadted by some, the format remains popular due to its compatibility with the ubiquitous Windows Media Player.

What is ASF? ASF stands for Advanced Systems Formats introduced by Microsoft in the mid-90s. The most common audio and video files included in an ASF container are windows media audio (wma) and windows media video (wmv), but audio and video content compressed with a wide variety of codecs can also be stred in an ASF file provided that the corresponding decoders are included in Windows Media Player.

What is 3GP? 3G stands for "Third Generation". The 3GP format is named after the "Third Generation Partnership Project", which formed an agreement about a video standard to be used on mobile phones. The 3GP2 format is likewise named after the "Third Generation Partnership Project 2". The relevant aspects of these specifications here are the audio and video formats used. (note: 3GP is used on GSM networks, while 3GP2 is used on CDMA networks. For more on this topic, see this link.)

.3GP: Video: MPEG-4, H.263, Audio: AAC, AMR
.3G2  Video: MPEG-4, H.263, Audio: AAC, AMR, QCELP

As you can see, the formats use roughly equivalent types of streams. Standard Mpeg-4 video, AAC or AMR audio, but the 3G2 format can also incorporate QCELP, which is a low-bitrate codec used for voice, originally developed for actual calls over CDMA. For more about the format itself, see this link. Generally, phones on CDMA networks (Verizon, Sprint) will use 3G2 files, where phones on GSM networks (T-mobile, Cingular) will use 3GP files.

A nice feature of the 3GP/3G2 format is that many aspects of the file are standardized - only certain resolutions, bitrates, and audio streams are allowed, meaning support for a given video will be wide among different models, since conflicts between the file and phone's decoder are less likely.



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Legal Considerations

  • Summary:

It's worth investigating your legal rights and responsibilities when it comes to digital video, as it's become a hot legislative topic in recent years. Most uses of content for personal use are legal as one might expect, but sharing content or breaking any kind of copy protection is illegal. See some of the links below to read up and make sure you're in the clear.

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