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Reading .avi files off a USB Hardrive

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

I'm thinking of buying a dvdo green, but was wondering if it is possible to get it to read .avi files stored on a USB hard drive?
If not, what else could i do to send these files to the DvDO to process?

thanks
post #2 of 36
The Edge Green doesn't have a USB input (its for firmware only) to do what you're looking for. You'll need a transport of some kind, typically a blu-ray player that has a USB input and enough power to run an external hard drive, and the requisite file support. They're pretty easy to find (especially ones that can play .avi). Then you'd need to connect the transport to the edge green via HDMI to use its processing.

You might consider getting a player like an Oppo that can do the processing in addition with playing the media. It may not have the finer controls of the Edge, but you may not need them depending upon you're setup and what you're looking to achieve.
Edited by Greg1981 - 1/14/13 at 4:26pm
post #3 of 36
Thread Starter 
greg,

Thanks very much.
I actually have been looking for a blu-ray player that can do that,
there is the sony 790, panny 500 and oppo103, of all of these only the oppo literature says it can read .avi files from its usb input. However the sony or the panny don't specifically say they can read .avi's. They have lots of other formats listed but not .avi.

thanks
post #4 of 36
Also, remember that AVI is only a "container." The player will also need to be able to read the video and audio formats within the container. The Panny and the Sony can play certain very specific formats while the Oppo is probably the closest thing to a universal player that will read almost anything. That said, look very carefully at Oppo's detailed codec support prior to pulling the trigger. In addition, the unofficial FAQ has a list of known codecs. Also, Oppo's customer service is stellar so if you know the codecs within your AVI files a quick email to them should elicit a fast response.
Edited by bluechunks - 1/14/13 at 4:36pm
post #5 of 36
Thread Starter 
Blue chunks,

Thanks.
What I have are minidv camcorder tapes which I dowloaded to a computer and made .avi uncompressed video files using adobe premiere.
That's what i want to be able to play. These are SD files and what i want to do is upconvert them using the dvdo green.

what do you think?

thanks
post #6 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman123 View Post

what do you think?
It all depends upon the specific video codec used for the "uncompressed" video. FWIW, the Oppo has stellar video processing so you would not even need the Edge green with the Oppo.
post #7 of 36
Thread Starter 
Bluechunks,

Thanks, yes I know the oppo is great for processing, but I've received other opinions that say, the ABT upscales 480 to 1080 with better definition, sharpness and detail.
It lacks the latest noise reduction techniques, but is better for DVD upscaling.

I actually wasn't planning on getting both the oppo and dvdo, but i need a way to read and get .avi files to the dvdo.

thanks
post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman123 View Post

Thanks, yes I know the oppo is great for processing, but I've received other opinions that say, the ABT upscales 480 to 1080 with better definition, sharpness and detail.
It lacks the latest noise reduction techniques, but is better for DVD upscaling.
Um...yeah, about that.....

I have the original Edge and it has been retired and is now sitting in a box. I also had the earlier Oppo BDP-83 (with same the ABT processor as the Edge) as well as the earlier DVDO VP-50 video processor. I stand by my statement: IMHO, if you get the 103 you won't need the Edge. wink.gif

BUT....if you must get an Edge then another option is a stand-alone media player such as almost any Dune, Kdlinks HD700, WD TV LIve, etc., as all of these are essentially the chipset(s) from Blu Ray players without a disc unit. The key will be finding one that will play your files.
post #9 of 36
Thread Starter 
Blue chunks,

thanks. I was thinking of the oppo alone at first but have a few concerns.
Do you find the oppo upscaler sharp and detailed? I ran a few dvd's through it at the store a few days back, and they looked great, but looked a little too smooth.

Now i've never seen the abt in action, but another guy was saying the abt chip has a more aggressive upsacler, than the Qdeo in the oppo and so it looks sharper. I actually prefer that than an overly smooth image. How is the sharpness of the dvdo?

Has this not been your experience?

Ok, the stand alone media player is a good option. Do you know if they do any upscaling or just output native? Of course I'd be looking for one that outputs native since i want the dvdo to do the scaling.

Also the other reason i'm thinking dvdo, is that i also want to be able to hook up my minidv camcorder directly to the unit and play and have the dvdo upconvert. I don't have all my tapes digitized yet. So i want both options of being able to play the avi files and also to hook the camcorder directly. oppo won't be able to do this right?

thanks
post #10 of 36
Thread Starter 
P.S

I forgot to mention, i also need to scale my OTA antenna 720p and 480i signal to 1080p, because my tv scaler sucks.

Also would you consider selling you dvdo?

thanks
post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman123 View Post

Do you find the oppo upscaler sharp and detailed? I ran a few dvd's through it at the store a few days back, and they looked great, but looked a little too smooth.
Unlike the earlier Oppo units, the 103 only uses the Qdeo processor for noise-reduction and scaling to 4K. All the de-interlacing (the key 1st step) and 1080p scaling is done using the native dual-core Mediatek chipset in the Oppo. Since the Qdeo is only connected to HDMI output 1, one can easily bypass the Qdeo by using HDMI output 2. On the Oppo forum you will find very experienced video enthusiasts that are doing exactly that because they don't care for the Qdeo. That said, it is not a black-and-white issue, IMHO. Both look excellent and it's a matter of preference rather than one being "better." I'm pretty picky and I'm thrilled with the HDMI 1 output of the Oppo with the processing set at the defaults.

The 103 will accept HDMI input for processing, but it does not have the versatility of the Edge with multiple input formats.
post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman123 View Post

Also would you consider selling you dvdo?
It's not something I've really considered lately, but I would be open. PM if you are interested once you have completed your research.
post #13 of 36
Thread Starter 
Ahh great info bluechunks,

I'll go and demo the oppo on hdmi2 vs the dvdo green tonight at my local magnolia.

Thanks for all the great info!

Will let you know how it went.
post #14 of 36
Thread Starter 
Are there media players that have native output?
post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman123 View Post

Are there media players that have native output?
Yes. I'd suggest taking a look over that sub-forum for specifics.
post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman123 View Post

I'll go and demo the oppo on hdmi2 vs the dvdo green tonight at my local magnolia.
Would it be possible for you take one of your smaller AVI files on a thumb drive to test on the Oppo to see if it will even play? For me, that is the bigger issue here as the video output of the Oppo can be dialed-in to your desired preference.
post #17 of 36
Thread Starter 
Blue hunks

Yes I'm going to take an avi with me on a USB drive.

However the other issue is still how connect my camcorder directly to the oppo.

My camcorder has composite, FireWire, and svideo outputs.
If I could figure that out then the oppo would be nice.

Thanks
post #18 of 36
Thread Starter 
Opps sorry I meant blue chunks
post #19 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman123 View Post

However the other issue is still how connect my camcorder directly to the oppo.

My camcorder has composite, FireWire, and svideo outputs.
If I could figure that out then the oppo would be nice.
You would need a s-video to HDMI converter to connect the camcorder to the Oppo. Obviously the Edge has a s-video input already. (Monoprice has one, as an example.) Advantage: Edge.

BUT....in either case you are converting the digital video to analog and then back to digital with either unit. If image quality is so paramount, I think you would be better off editing the video digitally in your computer (after connecting the camcorder via firewire) and then mastering it in an appropriate format. The whole discussion of ABT vs Qdeo vs Mediatek is minor, IMHO, compared to the potential issues with the digital-analog-digital process.
post #20 of 36
Thread Starter 
bluechunks

good point about the digital - analog - digital. I didn't think about that. But how much quality would you lose with that?

I actually saw the monoprice svideo to hdmi converter, unfortunately it only outputs 720p. (no native output). I don't want it upconverting so this is not really an option. I've been searching all over for an composite to hdmi that outputs native, but haven't found one yet.
But i did see a svideo to vga converter, then a vga to hdmi that dosent upscale! - Lots of connections but maybee it can be done.

Also, the mividv is only one of the inputs i want upscaled.
I still need SD DVD and 480i and 720p OTA antenna signals also upscaled, so I would still like to see the diff between ABT, Mediatek and Qdeo.

thanks
post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman123 View Post

good point about the digital - analog - digital. I didn't think about that. But how much quality would you lose with that?
IMHO, you would lose far more detail there than the so-called differences between your (all excellent) video processor options. You would also want to use s-video rather than composite if able. As a hierarchy of quality: HDMI > component > s-video > composite.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman123 View Post

I still need SD DVD and 480i and 720p OTA antenna signals also upscaled, so I would still like to see the diff between ABT, Mediatek and Qdeo.
Well then you would need an external ATSC tuner that outputs native. Not a lot of options there for stand-alone tuners, but a TiVo could fit also the bill since it will record OTA and output native via HDMI.

I'm suspicious, however, that your TV is not as bad as you think it is. The "poor" 720p could easily be explained by the quality of the encoder that your local station is using (yes, there are vast differences) and/or the quality of the OTA signal and/or the quality of the processor of your Blu Ray player when downscaling to 720p. Also, and I'm assuming you have done this, verify that the firmware of your TV is current. I have an earlier 65vt25 and it does fine scaling 720p so I'd be mildly surprised if Panasonic went backward (granted, stranger things have happened.)

In addition, I think you might be asking slightly the wrong question in reference to the ABT/Qdeo/Mediatek issue. I'm doubtful that 99% of typical folks could tell the difference during normal viewing at normal distances. A connoisseur, on the other hand, can tell the difference by "pixel peeping" test patterns close up or playing back a very specific video that is well known to the individual. The situation would be a little different if we were talking about projecting on a 120" screen where minor differences would be more easily apparent. But even with that, the simple matter of the fact is the MediaTek (in the 103) and the ABT (Edge) are both excellent. It's not a night-and-day difference when compared to each other, but rather when compared to less capable processors. And even then, one user might prefer the MediaTek/Qdeo for it's block noise reduction while another might prefer the ABT for fine details. But there's also no such thing as a free lunch and one achilles heel, for example, of the ABT's detail retention is the minor "ringing" when scaling 480i to 1080p. It's not a terrible issue on a TV, but it can become more objectionable on a large screen. It's a matter of preferences.

Rather, I think better question is: what are the options for video processing that works best for me (inputs, output, ease of use, budget, etc..) that uses a quality processor?

As an aside, what really caused me to retire my Edge was a new AVR. I bought a Yamaha RX-A2010 that uses the HQV Vida 1900 video processor which made the Edge superfluous for my needs. There is more than one way to skin a cat.
Edited by bluechunks - 1/15/13 at 11:14am
post #22 of 36
Thread Starter 
blue chunks,

Thanks again for the information. I didn't realize i would lose that much more detail in the digital analog digital conversion. So i'll make an effort to convert all my tapes now to .avi files. It's just that i have a lot of them and not enough time, so it's easier to just hook up the camcorder. But i should probably do it anyway for backup.

second, it appears panasonic might actually have gone backwards on the 720p issue this year. I've talked to several other forum members who say that the 2012 50 series displays a bad 720p. One member returned his tv. (I have the 65GT50 in case i handn't mentioned it)
My OTA is good, and I have an very strong signal. It's possible the stations could be using bad encoding, but not likely the problem, because ALL 720p stations have look bad And ALL 1080 stations look great. I could even post pictures here if you want.
The other thing i just did was bought a Kworld standalone tuner from frys and have my OTA antenna cable split, with one going to the TV directly and the other going to the kworld tuner. The kworld is then hooked up to the TV via hdmi2. Now I can clearly see, even with this cheap standalone tuner that i get a much sharper picture on all the 720p stations! The blockiness is gone and fine detail is back!
However this particular tuner affects colors so I won't keep it. So while i get a sharper picture on 720p, the coloSr are off from what i have the tv calibrated to. If i can recalibrate the colors I might keep the tuner, otherwise i'll have to get a new one. But i bought it just to see the diff between my tv tuner, and it definelty make a difference in sharpness! (So, my theory is still that the panny this year has a bad scaler)

I also have photography as a hobby and shoot 4x5 (large format). I'm obsessive about detail and sharpness! In photography, I've played around with all sorts of upscaling algorithim's and can see differences between them. So this just carries over into my video habits as well. Even at normal viewing distance I can clearly see the bad 720p on my display. And can see the increase in sharpness even using the cheap kworld tuner.

As for budget both solutions are roughly the same price give or take a 100 or so. So that is not a concern.

I have heard about the ringing issue from another person about the ABT chip. But he said it actually looks good. I don't know what ringing is so i don't know if i would find it bad. I'd have to see for myself i guess.
I also know the DvDo dosen't have block noise reduction, but again I can't say for sure if i would find that bad or not. I'd have to see.

finally I actually have explored the AVR route as well, and have read widely differing opinions on the HQV vida 1900 chip!
One member in another forum did a test of Vida vs, qdeo and oppo 83. His vida was in an onkyo NR809 which both the vida and the qdeo chips.
He also compared it to oppo 83 and his conclusion was that vida was better than qdeo, and as good or better than abt in the oppo 83.
So actually i started thinking i'll go that route, until I communicated with another member who test video processers extensivley
His opinion was that the HQV scaling is not quite as sharp or detailed as ABT.

So I started investigating dvdo option. And this is where i am now! (Phew!). Sorry for the long story.

thanks
post #23 of 36
IMHO, comparing the HQV Vida to the ABT results in a tie. (I have both on hand.)

The HQV Vida has better noise reduction (block and mosquito) while the ABT might have ever so slightly better detail retention during 480i-to-1080p scaling accompanied by very slight ringing on high-contrast edges. Pick your poison. The key thing both get right is de-interlacing. It's the de-interlacing that usually screws everything up when processing 480i or 1080i because it must be done first and if it's not done correctly nothing else can save the day. My first 1080p LCD TV (Sony XBR2) was so bad at 1080i de-interlacing that it's what lead me down the path of video processors. One thing to consider: the current ABT chips are only HDMI 1.3 so the Edge can only pass 3D (not process) if that is a consideration. I purchased the Yamaha for non-video reasons, including a killer sale price that I was really lucky to receive, and it was only later when I had some time to play that I pulled the Edge since I really didn't think it was doing anything for me that that was not otherwise being done by the HQV when I compared them back to back using the Spears & Munsil and HQV test Bly Rays.

FWIW, my hobby is also photography and I did not take the digital plunge until I was satisfied with full frame DSLRs to go with my fast lenses. I spend lots of time in Lightroom, Photoshop, DxO Optics Pro, etc., so yes, I've been known to compulsively peep at pixels. wink.gif

FWIW, here's an absolute worst case example of "ringing":



This is a 240p signal from an older game machine scaled all the way up to 1080p. Note the artifacting that is visible above and below the text. This is not what the Edge normally looks like with real world content, but if you get a very high contrast edge and walk up to your TV looking for it you can often find it. Most complaints come from folks using very large screens where it it more obvious due to size, while folks watching TVs (even 65") at normal distances will not be disturbed by --or even notice-- it.
Edited by bluechunks - 1/15/13 at 1:23pm
post #24 of 36
Thread Starter 
great thanks for the example.

So now should I be considering onkyo 809? It has the vida 1900 chip.
post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman123 View Post

great thanks for the example.

So now should I be considering onkyo 809? It has the vida 1900 chip.
Perhaps. Or not.

I only posted the photo so you could understand the concept of ring scaling. FWIW, I was quite pleased with both of my DVDO units and I was not looking to replace the Edge when I bought the new AVR. I thought the complaints were overblown and really did not significantly affect me with a 65" screen---and yes, I peered into the screen up close. YMMV.

If you do start looking at AVR options, you will have LOTS of choices. Some things to consider (in no particular order):
  • - Is the processor implemented correctly? It sounds silly, but OEMs have managed to program various video processors incorrectly over the years in ways that actually intruded errors in processing, color space, etc..
  • What processor options have been "unlocked" by the OEM? Download a manual and see what specific VP features the user can control, in addition to on/off (and some don't even do that)
  • What are the user experiences? Check out the AVS threads.
  • What inputs are fed to the video processor and then out via HDMI? Not all AVRs feed every input through the video processor, and this is more common on the lower priced units. Once again, most manuals will provide a "matrix".
  • What other features does the AVR provide? We've been focused on video performance, but AVRs are really amplifiers with fancy decoders and switches attached. How good is the rest of the unit?

IMHO, the answers to the above questions are more important than the actual VP once you are looking at the HQV or ABT processors. A properly implemented "X" is always better than a poorly implemented "Y" even if "Y" is the "better" unit...on paper. FWIW, I like the Qdeo as a secondary processor (like in the Oppo or some Onkyo AVRs) but, IMHO, its de-interlacing performance is not up to standard set by the HQV or ABT solutions (this is also the reason why, I suspect, Oppo and Onkyo use two processors.)
post #26 of 36
Thread Starter 
Wow,

Thanks for a very thoughtful list.
I'll ponder it over.
post #27 of 36
Thread Starter 
Bluechunks,

I have an update for you.

I went to my local magnolia to compare oppo to dvdo.

So here are my initial findings. I plan on going back several times to make sure.

Playing a SD DVD I made from my minidv tapes:
Oppo hdmi1 vs hdmi2 - almost no difference.
Oppo hdmi2 vs dvdo edge green - very minor if any advantage to dvdo

Playing Professional SD DVD of spiderman2:
Oppo hdmi1 vs hdmi2 - almost no difference
Oppo hdmi2 vs dvdo - not a lot, but definetly noticible diff in extra detail and smoothness - The smoothness was not expected in the dvdo, but it looks nice, - extra detail plus a smoother (more artifact free) picture.

Then i hooked my camcorder directly to dvdo through composite - and picture looked a lot smoother than the DVD that I had made, but no additional detail. However I don't think I saw any lost detail (BUt i need to confirm this).

Then I came home and played the SD DVD (my minidv tape) on my older panny blu-ray player and really it wasn't that much different than oppo, but not as good as dvdo.

I did not have time to test blu-ray disc quality.

Now for play the .avi files:
I took took the raw uncompressed file that adobe premier captures and put it on a usb stick. Unfortunately oppo could not read it! (that sucks)

I did not have any way to hook it to dvdo at all.

So now my biggest concern is how to get my minidv footage onto the oppo or dvdo (without composite connection - through hdmi)
It seems all the codecs that oppo support are all compression codecs. I'd rather not compress the video.

Or for the dvdo I'd have to find a media player that will play the uncompressed footage, and also have native output to hdmi!

I've searched again and can't seem to locate a media player with native output?- ANy suggestions?

thanks very much
post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman123 View Post

Or for the dvdo I'd have to find a media player that will play the uncompressed footage, and also have native output to hdmi!

I've searched again and can't seem to locate a media player with native output?- ANy suggestions?
Sadly, I think this is the Achilles Heel of the entire project. I don't know offhand of any Media Player that will do that but the folks over in the Media Player sub-forum might have some ideas.

The uncompressed codec (as used by Adobe in the AVI container) is possibly native DV, no? I think we need to identify the exact codec in your AVI files, other than just "uncompressed", before a real search can begin.
post #29 of 36
Thread Starter 
bluechunks,

I just found a media player called Dune. their spec say it can output any resolution. It's didn't specifically say 480i

"Video output flexibility: output video in any resolution and format (from SD to 1080p, 24p/PAL/NTSC)". - This is from their website.

I'd be happy if they even allowed a fixed 480i setting instead of native. I don't mind changing the setting each time if i have to.
However the base player is not avaliable through amazon, or best buy etc. It looks like it retails through stores in some states only called 'micro center'
Do you know anything about these?

I tried searching for the codec info last night in my abobe manual but it was not listed. I'll have to do more digging.

The other thing i was able to do however, was to connect my laptop monitor output to the tv and use it as a monitor. Had to fiddle quit a bit with resolutions etc, but it did work.
Then when i played my uncompressed footage directly it looked very good! I'm not sure if it upscaled or not, but it looked a lot better than the tv output with the camcorder hooked up directly.

But i would still like to get it through a media player type setup.
post #30 of 36
The Dune units have a very good reputation. (I have not used one personally.) The question remains: can a Dune, or any other unit, actually play your AVI files with the video codec used?
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