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(MPG4) Sanyo Xacti (all models)
A compact 720p MPEG4 digital media camera recording to SD Card.


 
 
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 12:39 AM   #16
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Hey Mike Lewis - have you tried to play sanyo mp4's on that box yet ?

Chris Taylor
http://www.nerys.com/
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 03:16 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Taylor
Hey Mike Lewis - have you tried to play sanyo mp4's on that box yet ?

Chris Taylor
http://www.nerys.com/
It arrived yesterday. Like a number of people (if you read their support boards) I can't get Pinnacle's Showcenter software to install. It uses the disastrous Microsoft Desktop Sequel Server, total overkill for an app like this. (So does Sony's Vegas, I couldn't get that to install either, for the same reason!)
My installation fails with the Microsoft installer reporting it's got 10 seconds to go.. Tried all the fixes, deleting everything I can find to do with SQL on the PC, but it won't work. This is a nuisance since their own application is the only way to update the firmware in the box. There are a number of other freeware applications that support the box but without any way of firmware updating, I'm playing with one called WIZD.

Without using the PC as server, just plugging in an SD card from the Xacti to the Showcenter via a USB adaptor, it does see and play the raw MP4s. BUT, it reports 'unknown audio codec', so no sound I'm afraid. I don't know whether there is any patch to fix this, and as I've noted, I couldn't download this to the box at present if there was....

Apparently, the Pinnacle solution to the PC software install fail is ....'reinstall windows'.....

The Showcenter, using the freeware Wizd as the server, does display media stuff from my networked PC. Same no-sound issue of course if I use the raw MP4s from the Xacti, but it will play the AVI files produced by MP4CAM2 AVI ok, with sound.

If I copy an AVI file produced by MP4CAM2AVI across to an SD card, this will also play when plugged in to the MediaCenter USB port, with sound.

To use this as a true Networked Media Center will, I think require some perseverence: I don't think it's a box for a non technical PC person. This is why, I guess, Pinnacle/Avid appear to be lukewarm about it. Still... it's fun to play with and try to get right, and the open source servers like WIZD and Simple Media Server are under active development. It does work as a freestanding media player for the formats it understands, and you could, instead of an SD card via an adaptor, plug in a USB hard drive formatted with FAT32 and loaded with the files you want to play. Pity about the inability to download any patches though....
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 08:34 PM   #18
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1. Check the naming conventions on your box. If your computer name has a space in it, or certain unapproved characters, your install will simply fail.
2. When installing MSDE (MS SQL Desktop Edition), a log is created that tells why the install fails. Reading this will often help.
3. If you have a software firewall, it has to be removed prior to install or configured to allow SQL installation and operation before you put SQL in.
4. If you have Norton Antivirus installed, you may have to disable it to install SQL. You can turn it on afterwards.

Those tips should help. Of course, the desktop version of SQL is already discontinued, and given Microsoft's July 6th announcement that MSDE should not be installed on Vista (and won't be made compatible), your new software boasts a short lifespan. I'd return it if I were you.

Adding additional risk to all of this, Microsoft won't be allowing companies to distribute MSDE (desktop sql) after July 2007. This indicates a strong probability of a new revision coming out soon... further contributing to the obsolescence of your recent purchase.
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Old August 24th, 2006, 03:14 AM   #19
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I ended up installing the software on a W2k machine that had no .NET on it, and no previous attempts at installing SQL desktop. Went through with no probs and allowed me to get to the setup menu item where the firmware can be updated. Not a very well written app though, since it doesn't check whether the firmware version is the same as the updated version, or tell you what the original version was. So I now have a box running the most up to date firmware. However it still won't play the raw MP4s ,since the box doesn't understand AAC. Annoying, because the middleware used, which is common to a number of this generation of these systems, does have an AAC option available.

I still think that using a full blown relational database for producing lists of media files is a joke! Now I've checked the firmware I'll go back to Wizd or Simple Media Server.

Thanks for your concern, but I'm not bothered by M$ lack of support and it's unlikely I will ever move to Vista or would buy a machine which only offered it.

The Showcenter does at least mean I don't have to trail power supplies, extra leads and the docking station to the TV to watch the output of the camera. And it does play stuff I've produced from other sources.

The output from the Xacti run through MP4CAM2AVI really does look nice on an HD TV, irrespective of the jaggies issue! Not up to BBCHD quality, but then it's several orders of magnitudes cheaper than the cameras they use.

Incidentally, not unexpectedly, the wireless lan connection from the Showcenter to my router, even tho' 54Mbps, can't cope with the 720p clips and pauses every few seconds. I'm now in the process of hardwiring a connection to the router!

Last edited by Mike Lewis; August 24th, 2006 at 05:13 AM.
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Old August 26th, 2006, 03:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erick Hanoteau
Hello Mike and Chris,

I've tried reading converted MP4 HD1 files with mp4cam2avi into virtualdub but during playback, I get a lot of interferences (small horizontal lines) on the right part of the display only.

Any idea how it comes?

Erick

Maybe thats gonna help ya:

Occasionally, I see thin horizontal strips in the captured video that looks like they came from the last frame???

No one has a rock-solid answer for why these problems occur, but it appears to be caused by contention on the PCI bus, which then prevents the sound card and video capture devices from emptying their buffers in time. This problem is reported more frequently on motherboards that have a VIA chipset, or in systems that have a SoundBlaster Live! sound card. In the former case, try upgrading your VIA 4-in-1 drivers first, and if that is not sufficient, check for a motherboard BIOS update that specifically addresses your problem. As for the Live!, the Creative driver is known to cause problems by lowering the latency timer of the PCI bus. (The result is similar that of making the red lights appear every ten seconds at a four-way intersection.) In that case, try installing the Microsoft drivers instead.

Also, check the websites for the hardware manufacturers to see if they have utilities which may help. For instance, Pinnacle has a PCI adjustment utility for some of their cards.

If you are using RGB24 for your raw capture format, switch to YUY2 to drop your raw datarate by 33% (see below), which may be enough to lower PCI bus load to workable levels.
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Old August 27th, 2006, 04:26 PM   #21
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Just bought Ulead

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Raymond
I'm in a hurry, so I need to be brief. Try Ulead Studio 10 Plus.The Plus version edits and outputs HD. I use it and it edits mp4 with no problem, It then exports HD in either mpeg2 or WMV.Price is 99$.It also supports HD DVD burners (when they arrive) and will work on 64 bit systems as well as 32.

Hey,

If anyone wants to get Ulead videostudio plus 10, contact the ebay seller classicgamebox in australia, he is a Ulead licensed reseller. I just downloaded the full program for $49.95Austrailian ($38US). Works great with mpeg4.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=280019683802
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Old August 28th, 2006, 05:39 AM   #22
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Hi Tup,

What does mean "international shipping" whilst the software can be downloaded? Is this meant for the backup CD if you order it?
Tks

Erick
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Old August 28th, 2006, 11:06 AM   #23
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I didn't pay any shipping, after you pay (I used paypal), he sends you a download link and you download. He gives you 3 items, the main program (133mb), contentpack(300mb), and a bonus pack (100mb). I think he means for the CD with the shipping.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 02:41 AM   #24
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Thanks for the info, I'll buy it and have a try. I already downloaded the manual and it seems like a recommended editing software for beginners.
Do you have any idea why this soft is offered at such a low price? Is it legal? Ulead's price is 99.99 USD I guess.

Comments from other members are welcome.Tks.

Last edited by Erick Hanoteau; August 29th, 2006 at 05:20 AM.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 12:04 PM   #25
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Hello Mike I noticed you bought a Showcenter 200 and had some problems with it.

I want to share my experience with it so you may get some ideas on how to improve your setup.

I agree with you, the server that comes with showcenter is less than perfect.
Also is only Windows, that's why I looked into other options. You know, that showcenter machine is basically an internet browser with great streaming capabilities.

You can use different servers softwares than the standard. Two great options for the the showcenter are:

SwissCenter: http://www.swisscenter.co.uk
Oxylbox: http://www.oxyl.de/

You can install plugins that allows you to:
browse the internet, check weather, look at webcams etc.

I am using Oxylbox, but I have no real objections against swisscenter now (there was a bug when browsing in HD that is fixed now)

In order to play HD1 video in the Showcenter, you need to reencode it or use MP42AVI (I prefer this option since it is very fast)

When I installed it in my PC, the wireless bandwith was not enough for streaming HD1 video (unless you reencode and compress a lot).

------
This maybe be a little bit tricky if you are not comfortable with Linux:


In order to solve the streaming issues, I installed oxylbox in a Linksys NSLU2 fileserver with unslung firmware:
http://www.nslu2-linux.org/
http://www.oxyl.de/wbboard/thread.ph...422ecd6d4ec816

This way I was able to put the NSLU2 right next to the Showcenter for faster streaming.

I am very happy with this setup and I can access all my videos in seconds and they look great in the TV, you cannot see the jaggies at all.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 10:16 PM   #26
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[QUOTE=Erick Hanoteau]Thanks for the info, I'll buy it and have a try. I already downloaded the manual and it seems like a recommended editing software for beginners.
Do you have any idea why this soft is offered at such a low price? Is it legal? Ulead's price is 99.99 USD I guess.

If by "Beginner" you mean "consumer grade", you would be correct. It isn't Vegas Pro or Final Cut Pro. However, for it's price ($99 USD), it's the most bang for the buck. I guess it depends on your needs (are you editing home videos or maybe an industrial video for a business), then it's great. If you're producing a highlight reel of the Summer Olympics, then it's less than what you need. It's also very user friendly as in, it works right the first time. So it's also a quality of life issue. Do I want to finish my video project and have some free time at the end of the day. Or, do I want to knock my brains into a big headache, because my editing software can't do HD easily or at all? P.S.-I've been a professional broadcast engineer for 25 years, 5 of those as a video editor and I'm not embarassed to use this product. It's not what I use at work, but it's perfect for what I do at home.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 12:47 AM   #27
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Well Philip, thanks for your feedback. What you are saying is exactly what I expected to hear. I've had the opportunity to try Vegas and, honestly, I would appreciate if I could master this software and if I could monitor my edited MP4 files with an acceptable preview frame rate which is, unfortunately, not the case.
My goal is to achieve high quality family/holidays video clips with attractive transitions and a very good audio support. I would like to burn high quality DVDís that I can produce out of my HD1 footage or make HD WMV video and read back via PC on my 50Ē Pioneer plasma. In the near future, I would like to be able to burn HD DVDís and get the most of my HD1 extra definition.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 07:21 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Felipe Del Villar
Hello Mike I noticed you bought a Showcenter 200 and had some problems with it.

You can use different servers softwares than the standard. Two great options for the the showcenter are:

In order to play HD1 video in the Showcenter, you need to reencode it or use MP42AVI (I prefer this option since it is very fast)

When I installed it in my PC, the wireless bandwith was not enough for streaming HD1 video (unless you reencode and compress a lot).

------
This maybe be a little bit tricky if you are not comfortable with Linux:


In order to solve the streaming issues, I installed oxylbox in a Linksys NSLU2 fileserver with unslung firmware:
http://www.nslu2-linux.org/
http://www.oxyl.de/wbboard/thread.ph...422ecd6d4ec816

This way I was able to put the NSLU2 right next to the Showcenter for faster streaming.
Thanks Felipe, in fact I only loaded up the original software to be able to check the firmware level. I've tried the servers you've mentioned, in fact I've currently settled on one called Neolink. This is quite fast and will stream my mp4s and VOB videos to the Showcenter without pausing over one 54Mbps wireless link.
As for the last bit... oh dear, sounds very tempting, with the NSLU2 and usb disks being very cheap..... I can see there will be even more boxes and power supplies round my house...
Incidentally the SC200 is down to UKP79.99 at some places in the UK. The current version is non compliant with the lead based solder regulations that came in last month.
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Old September 15th, 2006, 01:33 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Felipe Del Villar
Hello Mike I noticed you bought a Showcenter 200 and had some problems with it.


In order to solve the streaming issues, I installed oxylbox in a Linksys NSLU2 fileserver with unslung firmware:
http://www.nslu2-linux.org/
http://www.oxyl.de/wbboard/thread.ph...422ecd6d4ec816

This way I was able to put the NSLU2 right next to the Showcenter for faster streaming.

I am very happy with this setup and I can access all my videos in seconds and they look great in the TV, you cannot see the jaggies at all.
Following your recommendation I bought myself an NSLU2, and now have it running the unix version of the Oxyl server. I've put the OS and software on a USB memory stick, and I'm using a 300GB USB disk for the videos, mp3s etc.
Astonishing what you can get out of a tiny little box, just like the HD1 really!
I agree that with the camera's output, converted to HD AVI, and then run from the Showcenter to an HD TV, you can't see the jaggies, the results look excellent.
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Old September 15th, 2006, 06:33 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis
Following your recommendation I bought myself an NSLU2, and now have it running the unix version of the Oxyl server. I've put the OS and software on a USB memory stick, and I'm using a 300GB USB disk for the videos, mp3s etc.
Astonishing what you can get out of a tiny little box, just like the HD1 really!
I agree that with the camera's output, converted to HD AVI, and then run from the Showcenter to an HD TV, you can't see the jaggies, the results look excellent.
I am glad you like it, I am really happy with that setup...the next thing I did and took a lot of time was to capture and to encode to XviD all my old VHS and miniDV. I had videos in tape that I was probably never going to watch ... but with the NSLU2/Showcenter I was able to make them easy to access.
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