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  1. Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Canada
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    First there may be a more appropriate forum for this post so please feel free to move it if that is the case.

    There is also numerous topics mentioned so if it is better for me to break it up into several posts I can do that just thought it might be better to include everything in one post.

    I used to keep up with technology however the past few years have had some health issues so have fallen behind and would appreciate some assistance with a few different issues.

    I purchased a 60" Samsung 3D Smart TV a couple of years ago and am confused by a few things. First I understand the 4:3 and 16:9 formats so understand when watching an older show that was meant for a 4:3 TV I will have a black strip down each side unless i stretch the video to fill the screen. I also understand that there are some movies that will leave a black strip on the top and bottom as they were for the big screen in a movie theatre which is another format in addition to the two mentioned above but what I don't understand is some newer movies or TV shows still leave a black strip top and bottom, which although much less than a "letterbox" still does not fill the screen. Even more confusing is some movies leave a black box all the way around the picture and this can be from movie channels like TMC or other mainstream movie channels so it doesn't seem to make sense that there would be a black box around the entire picture. If I use the stretch in combination with zoom I can adjust the picture to fill the screen but don't understand what format it could be that would do what I describe or why it would happen. In many cases the width of the black strips are fairly significant.

    The other issue I have relating to the TV is using Samsung's Smart Link. I have two NAS drives that have some of my video on them but there seems to be very little control when playing the video with the Samsung TV. If I use a WD media player or similar product I can pause and rewind etc but it is yet another remote sitting on the coffee table which drives my wife nuts plus one more device that I was trying to eliminate by getting the TV that supposedly had all of these features. There is one exception and that is when playing certain MP4 videos I can pause them and use the left and right arrow keys to move ahead about a minute a time. It is not as convenient as using the rewind and fast forward but they do nothing so the 1 minute jumps are better than nothing but find it odd as it is only some MP4s that I can do that with.

    The other issue pertains to moving movies or other recordings from a DVR to a NAS drive. As it is now I record whatever i want from the DVR to a DVD recorder and then transfer the video onto a DVD-RAM disk or DVD-RW disk and then load it onto my computer and copy it to the NAS drive but it is a very time consuming procedure so wondered if anyone has come up with a way of accessing the content on a DVR so it is useful outside of the DVR itself? Also the procedure I am using loses some quality as the DVD recorder is obviously not HD but although not ideal I can live with the quality loss, this issue is what is the best way to rip the DVD or copy the video onto my computer so it can be copied to the NAS drive? I have TMPGE however when it copies the video to the HD on my computer it is just an mpg and as such takes up much more room than some of the newer formats plus if there are any chapter marks on the original video where perhaps commercials were edited out it breaks those sections or chapters into individual mpg files so for one show you could end up with a dozen individual files making up the video rather that one file that can simply be named whatever the name of the program or movie is. I also have the newer TMPGE however when it copies the video to my hard drive it uses a proprietary format as it's main purpose is to author a DVD so when using it for that purpose the proprietary format is not an issue. I purchased Aimersoft to convert the videos to a newer format however there are several parameters that can be set and many different formats to choose from. I have some videos in avi and some in mp4 which were downloaded from one of the major networks websites and the video quality is acceptable. When I play the video if plays fine and happens to be one of the videos that can be paused or moved ahead and back a minute at a time which is great however I wanted to trim some excess video off of the start and end so did an online search and found the Movie Maker can be used to trim the start and end however it appears that afterwards it wants to re-encode the video and there are numerous parameters that need to be set. After selecting what I thought was the appropriate parameters the resulting video was three times the size of the original so I played the original and used the tools - information function on my TV which provided the resolution as well as numerous other parameters so again used Movie Maker to re-encode it a second time with all of the parameters of the original and while that brought the file size back pretty close to the original the video now had the black box all the way around the video. I hope you understand what I mean by this and if not can post a picture for you. I have no idea why that would happen given the resolution and other parameters were the same as the original

    My TV plays avi and mp4 files just fine however when I converted a video to avi a short time ago I received a message saying "This file format is not supported. Video Codec MSMEG4V3" and it will not play on the TV, in spite of the fact I have numerous other avi files that play fine.

    I think there is likely a simple solution to what I have described above so will summarize what I would like to get out of this post. First I would appreciate knowing why I have the issues with the TV that i do. Second is there an easier way to move video from the DVR to my NAS drives. I am fine for the most part doing what I am now doing just need to know what is the best format to use for putting video on my NAS drives and what is the best program to rip them from the DVDs I use to move the video to my computer from the DVD recorder, and is there any free or at least reasonably inexpensive editors that would allow a person to trim some video without necessitating the re-encoding of the video and if not is there one that if it does have to re-encode the video that will use the exact same parameters as the original instead of having to choose a bunch of parameters only to end up with a video that is unsatisfactory? I believe I did read that handbrake was a good program to do what I am trying to do and had tried it quite some time ago only to find that again there were numerous parameters that needed to be set which is fine if you actually want to change the video in some way but in most cases I want to keep the exact same parameters it is.

    Again I apologize for the length of the post but thought I might as well spell out all of the issues up front so someone doesn't recommend something based on not having all of pertinent information.

    Thanks for spending the time to read this lengthy post and hope I can find a reasonably simply solution to accomplish what I am trying to do or if someone knows of another forum that would be more suited to what I am looking to accomplish would appreciate being advised of that as well.
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  2. Member DB83's Avatar
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    The problem is when you group several issues in one post replies can get lost in the confusion.

    Dealing with the black bars first, movies come in a multitude of aspect ratio and few are exactly 16:9. If they are broadcast correctly and not panned and scanned thee must be some bars.

    One reason why you get bars on all four sides is when a tv station has a broadcast version of a widescreen film that was originally scanned for 4:3 transmission. So you get the left/right bars from the 4:3 and the top/bottom bars from the original widescreen.

    DVRs use proprietory recording formats which means that a PC can not normally read the drive direct. That being said, there is some Linux software that, depending on the format can copy the contents to the PC . If your recording is HD then you really should be capturing that as HD not SD (dvd) quality. There are various units that can do this.

    Finally, unless I missed something since there are too many Q's, avi is not a format but a container. You must check your tv for the codecs it supports and use those in your avi's.
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  3. Originally Posted by jackdup View Post
    but what I don't understand is some newer movies or TV shows still leave a black strip top and bottom, which although much less than a "letterbox" still does not fill the screen.
    'Letterbox' just refers to the black bars above and below. They can come in all kinds of sizes, depending on the aspect ratio of the film. While the majority might be of one size because most films are 2.39:1 these days, they might be larger or smaller depending on the other film aspect ratios.

    Even more confusing is some movies leave a black box all the way around the picture and this can be from movie channels like TMC or other mainstream movie channels
    Although I have never ever seen that on TCM (what is TMC?), I won't go so far as to claim it can't happen. That kind of thing (black all around) most often happens with widescreen movies in a 4:3 DVD (Edit later: or, as DB83 says, films prepared years ago for broadcast on 4:3 televisions). I might guess you have your television set up wrong, since you mention playing around with the aspect settings.

    ...however when I converted a video to avi a short time ago I received a message saying "This file format is not supported. Video Codec MSMEG4V3" and it will not play on the TV, in spite of the fact I have numerous other avi files that play fine.
    When a television says it plays AVI, they usually mean specific kinds of AVI, usually ones with XviD or DivX video. Few will play AVIs containing x264 or h264 video. They might balk at certain kinds of audio as well. AVI is a container and, as such, might contain any number of different kinds of video and/or audio. Only some are supported by your television. Your owner's manual should spell it out for you.

    There was a lot in that post and these are the ones that caught my eye. As DB83 mentioned, there was a lot to digest there.
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  4. WAY too many questions in one post.
    some movies leave a black box all the way around the picture
    That happens when 16:9 content is broadcast in a 4:3 container. Your TVs zoom control may be able to correct some of this, although the picture will be blurry. Nothing you can do about this
    there seems to be very little control when playing the video with the Samsung TV.
    The media controls in most TVs are pathetic. Again, nothing you can do about it except to play your media on some other device that is attached to the TV (that's what I do).

    wondered if anyone has come up with a way of accessing the content on a DVR so it is useful outside of the DVR itself?
    Yes, you buy a capture device that captures the HDMI or component output of your DVR. It will re-encode, so there will be some quality loss. No way around that because the video on the DVR is encrypted so you cannot simply copy the bits on its hard drive. Some DVRs set the copy-protect flag on the HDMI output which means you may have to use the component output of your DVR (that's what I do).

    when I converted a video to avi a short time ago I received a message saying "This file format is not supported.
    Most TVs only support a very limited number of file formats. See my earlier comment about using an external box connected to your TV to play all video files. The ultimate is to connect a laptop to the TV. You can configure a computer to play any video file format.
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