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  1. Member
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    Hi all,
    For years I have been capturing and authoring VHS and other tape formats for clients on DVD. I'd like to phase out DVDs completely and offer mp4s on jump drives.

    For those who already do this, do you have any compatibilty issues with playback on tv sets or computers using the usb port? I don't have issues with my set but I can't speak for others.
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  2. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    It all depends on your output capture file, Encoding from different sources requires different settings, Some capture DV, some capture lossless AVI ...etc. But once the file is encoded to a legal format such as h.264 you shouldn't have problems with modern playback platforms.
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    Ok, thanks for the info.

    What about the file system? I'd like there to be no issues for MAC users.
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  4. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Brainiac View Post
    Ok, thanks for the info.

    What about the file system? I'd like there to be no issues for MAC users.
    MACs are generally able to read from Windows file systems such as NTFS and FAT32, but most TVs and stand alone players can only read FAT32. So I'd say you pretty much have to go with FAT32.

    The problem is FAT32 has a maximum file size limit of 4 GiB, so larger videos would have to be split across multiple files/parts.


    One thing that can definitely cause issues is read rate vs. video bitrate.
    If a USB thumb drive cannot keep up with the video bitrate, playback will stall. Many thumb drives still have quite bad transfer rates so you would have to find a reasonable upper bitrate limit for spikes which suits the lowest common denominator among the used thumb drives or use hard disks only.
    Last edited by Skiller; 26th May 2021 at 11:46.
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  5. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Encoded SD videos will not have a data transfer problem even on USB 2.0, SD lossless, HD and 4K may. I believe he is asking about file format compatibility for encoded files.
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  6. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    Encoded SD videos will not have a data transfer problem even on USB 2.0, SD lossless, HD and 4K may.
    The USB 2.0 interface by itself is not a potential bottleneck, correct, but it's the USB thumb drives themselves with waaaay lower and inconsistent transfer rates than what their designated standard (USB 2.0/3.0) would suggest. For this task you need fast thumb drives, it's not like any will do.



    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    I believe he is asking about file format compatibility for encoded files.
    I would suggest AVC High Level 3.1 without B-Pyramide and no more than 3 B-Frames; AAC audio in an MP4 container.

    Edit: Video bobbed to 60p but not resized.
    Last edited by Skiller; 26th May 2021 at 19:43.
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  7. Member
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    Lots of issues with playback on Smart TVs. https://www.videohelp.com/search?siteurl=forum.videohelp.com&q=video+won%27t+play+on+TV

    The issue isn't USB or SD cards, it's that the built-in media players on most TVs is cheap and very limited in compatibility, both video and audio. There are some suggestions for settings that may work for a number of sets, but not at all universal.

    I suggest encoding with H264, placing it inside an MKV and advise customers that it will likely play on their Blu-Ray player, but no guarantee of compatibility with the built-in media player on their TV. Way too many varies of what a TV will and won't play.

    Assuming you're capturing SD analog or DV video, a DVD is fine as far as quality. Another factor is that flash drives and SD cards can be accidently overwritten, especially by unknowing users who see the extra space and decide to use it. Ahhh...memories of when videotapes were $15-20. I used to use every possible spare minute for short subjects. Lots of Oops!

    IMO, you're opening yourself up to a lot of complaints. Offer both so at least you can say the customer had an choice.

    Edit: Another reason not to only offer flash media is the formatting of the drive can be another obstacle to compatibility. NTFS, HFS and APFS may not be supported by the TV or Blu-Ray player. ExFAT may be slightly more compatible, but FAT32 is probably the most compatible format. But this means you have a 4GB file limit. This applies to audio players in cars also.
    Last edited by lingyi; 26th May 2021 at 22:48.
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  8. Member
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    But this means you have a 4GB file limit.
    A >4gb MP4 home video would bore people to tears, methinks. You could easily split up the material into meaningfully-named chunks of less than 4gb.
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