Topic: Chumby/Infocast 8 supported video formats

While I've got the little guys in nearly every version and color* ever produced, I've always had trouble hanging onto the 8-inch Chumboids. Somehow they always seem to get repurposed, or zurkified and turned into web radios for technophobic relatives before I have a chance to play with them in their natural state - so, the Infocast 8 I picked up today is something of a new toy for me, and I'm still poking at it & seeing what it can do.  That's basically a long and roundabout way of saying I apparently know a whole hell of a lot less about this device than I thought I did. 

For instance, I don't think I've ever tried to play a video on one before.

Of course, after trying to fill that little hole in my experience, I'm starting to suspect there was a reason I'd never done it. After trying a dozen or three videos in an assortment of formats (all via USB), I think I may be farther from understanding what's supported than when I started.

The specs I've seen quoted most often for the C8 (oddly, I couldn't find anything authoritative on the wiki) say "H.264, MOV, AVI, MJPEG, MPEG-4, MP4, Flash" (although I thought I remembered Duane saying they'd never licensed the MPEG-4 codecs) , and the Infocast claims "AVI, QuickTime, MPEG, MPEG-4, MPEG-4 H.264 and Flash Video".  So far, though, all I've managed to get working are a few (but not all) AVIs and one Xvid MP4 (but only one, and none of the H.265 MP4s I tried). A number of others files would play the first few seconds, and then die - it seems to be hit-or-miss even between files using the same container and codec. I even ran into one file that causes the unit to hang on the initial scan when the flash drive is inserted, requiring a reboot before any other drives can be read. The only thing that looks even vaguely like a pattern is that most of the working videos seem to use mp3 audio.

This initially started out as little more than an idle experiment (or an excuse to put off the things I should be working on), but the few videos that actually played turned out to be far more watchable than I expected. Now I actually want to make it work.

So... can anyone give me a little guidance on guessing in advance what will or won't play? And would it make any difference whether I'm running with the stock Insignia Chumby firmware?


Re: Chumby/Infocast 8 supported video formats

Heya, I'm actually a video engineer specializing in compression/encoding, so if you need any help creating some test sample files, or working through a matrix of test cases to see what really works and really doesn't from a practical perspective in terms of codecs/bitrates/rez/framerates/audio/container format... lemme know!  Cheers, Dan.