Hi all... I live in Canada and own a 42LH40 with USB movies enabled (firmware 4.05). I thought I would share some info on limitations and workarounds I've discovered for USB movies.
MPEG4 movies (DivX, H.264 etc.) appear to work at first but suffer from problems including menus becoming "distorted" or corrupted, and audio going out of sync with the video. However MPEG2 movies work much better, even at HD resolutions, except for an aspect ratio problem with 16:9 material, so I've decided to use MPEG2 almost exclusively.
Widescreen MPEG2 movies often get displayed at 3:2 or 4:3 aspect ratio instead of the proper 16:9, as if the LG software can't handle anamorphic formats. In some cases converting the .mpg file from a program stream to a transport stream (.ts file) makes it display properly. One free program which can do this conversion for you is MPEG_Streamclip. However this often doesn't work for movies at the common 720x480 NTSC resolution. The transport stream (.ts file) can also solve a sluggish playback problem found with some .mpg movies.
So when simple conversion to .ts doesn't work I recode the movie to an explicit 16:9 aspect ratio, specifically 848x480 resolution. This is not for the faint of heart however. But the movie plays beautifully and looks great, I have a bunch loaded on 1 TB hard drive connected to my set. The gory detailed steps are below.
- I assume you're starting with a number of VOB files which are the main movie from a DVD, and this is a 16:9 aspect ratio movie. A slight variation on this procedure will also work to recode .avi files to MPEG2 (see below).
- You will need the following free tools: HC Encoder, DGIndex, MPEG_Streamclip, AviSynth, TMPGEnc (free/trial version).
- Create a .d2v file using DGIndex by following instructions in http://www.digital-digest.com/articles/Creating_D2V_Project_page1.html
, also demux desired audio track (normally 0x80).
- Convert demuxed audio (normally AC3) to MP2 using MPEG_Streamclip: Open audio file, File -> Export Audio... Format MP2, Stereo, Sample rate 48 kHz, rate 224. You could try using the AC3 audio directly, but my TV can't seem to handle transport streams (.ts) with AC3 audio so I convert to MP2.
- Create AviSynth file. This is a text file with .avs extension containing two lines:
BicubicResize(848, 480, 0, 0.5)
- The file name should point exactly to the .d2v file created earlier.
- Note that the resize to 848x480 is only needed when starting with a 720x480 anamorphic 16:9 movie. For HD source material or other SD resolutions leave it out, or if necessary calculate what you need to get 16:9. You can also read .avi DivX or H.264 input files by using the AviSource command instead of MPEG2Source.
- Start HC Encoder (HCgui)
- Press the 1st large button to set input file name to the .avs file created above.
- Press the 2nd and 3rd buttons to set output file names.
- Set aspect ratio 16:9, set ave bitrate to 4000 and max to 8000. The resulting file will be about 3 GB for a typical 90 min movie, if you need a smaller file then set a lower ave bitrate.
- Press "make DVD compliant" to enable 3:2 pulldown if needed.
- Press "encode" to start. Output will be a .m2v file.
- Multiplex .m2v video and .mp2 audio using any MPEG2 multiplexer such as TMPGEnc MPEG tools.
- Convert resulting .mpg file to a transport stream using MPEG Streamclip: File -> Convert to TS -> Convert to TS ...
- Play .ts file on TV!