Team SuperCard has released a BETA of their Video Plug-in exclusively to GBATemp. I have played with the software, tested various formats (some audio, yes -- audio without picture is supported!), and took a few screen shots to hopefully get you all even more excited about this EOS add-on. Please take a moment to read over the hands-on impressions and then post your comments or questions.
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The SuperCard team has released a very private BETA of their SCDS2 Video Player Plug-in to GBATemp for testing and review. The software is currently in the BETA phase of development but feels almost complete and appears close to being ready for a its future release date. As the software is not yet considered ready for the public, this article will contain hands-on impressions only and not extensive file format testing, debugging, etc, as features may still be added, fixed, or changed before the final release.
The plug-in is a true plug-in compiled for the SCDS2 .PLG format. The initial download includes a "_dstwoplug" directory which contains a movie.bmp icon, a movie.ini plug-in directory file, and the movie.plg plug-in file itself. Also bundled with the download is a "_ds2video" directory which contains various language files, a UI (User Interface) theme directory, a font.bin file, and a globalsettings.ini file which stores the software settings. Both directories combined are 11.8 MB in size and include a total of 94 files in 16 folders.
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The interface controls are made up of a clean set of recognizable icons. Without instructions it is very easy to select a file, play it, and make minor adjustments to the interface options. File browsing loads a traditional directory structure tree which can be navigated using a directional pad and button combination. Pressing RIGHT or LEFT will jump down the listing in 6 line increments, allowing for very quick navigation. Pressing A will access a file while B will cancel. X and Y are used to Increase or Decrease the volume. START will load the system settings at any point during file or interface execution.
<div align="center"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/03_scds2_video_player_hands-on_impressions-displayset.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /> <img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/04_scds2_video_player_hands-on_impressions-otherset.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>
The software menu provides options to change the Display (Default Mode, Full Screen, Original Size), Brightness (1-4), and adjust the menu Back Light Time (Always On, 10 Seconds, 20 Seconds, 30 Seconds). Users can also adjust the Play Mode (Once, Always Repeat, Order, Random, Repeat Once), change the Language (English, Chinese, Japanese, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Korean), and alter the CPU Frequency (Auto, Regular).
The software menus are not completely translated. For example, Japanese translates only the user controlled options of the Display Settings menu while other options remain in English. Using the Japanese or Chinese option allows the non-English file characters to appear as normal in the directory listing, while English simply replaces the characters with underscores (IE: ___.MPG, ___ ___.flv). The Display and Other settings menus can be navigated using a combination of the directional pad and buttons or the touch screen controls. However, the Help menu can only be accessed by pressing the information "I"con.
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The Help menu contains user control information, similar to the Acekard R.P.G. firmware Team SuperCard has based the EOS software on. Found on the Help menu are options to navigate to the previous or next "music" file. Something of an undocumented feature which was at least available in the BETA v1.00 software.
All testing was performed using a NDS Lite and a DSi XL. Files were tested using a Japanese branded Kingston 2 GB microSD card and a Kingston 4GB Class-4 microSD card properly formatted with the Panasonic Formatter v18.104.22.168.
Complete name : C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Desktop\KHR sample.mkv
Format : Matroska
File size : 5.76 MiB
Duration : 34s 168ms
Overall bit rate : 1 414 Kbps
Writing application : Lavf52.39.1
Writing library : Lavf52.39.1
ID : 1
Format : MPEG-4 Visual
Format profile : [email protected]
Format settings, BVOP : No
Format settings, QPel : No
Format settings, GMC : No warppoints
Format settings, Matrix : Default (H.263)
Codec ID : V_MPEG4/ISO/ASP
Codec ID/Info : Advanced Simple Profile
Duration : 34s 160ms
Bit rate : 1 258 Kbps
Width : 864 pixels
Height : 480 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 16:9
Frame rate mode : Constant
Frame rate : 25.000 fps
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.121
Stream size : 5.12 MiB (89%)
Writing library : Lavc52.37.0
Language : English
ID : 2
Format : MPEG Audio
Format version : Version 1
Format profile : Layer 2
Codec ID : A_MPEG/L2
Codec ID/Hint : MP2
Duration : 34s 168ms
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 128 Kbps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Sampling rate : 44.1 KHz
Bit depth : 16 bits
Stream size : 534 KiB (9%)
Language : English
All of the above formats worked except for the SWF formatted file. In the case of the SWF formatted file, the file was not recognized by the software which made it impossible to select. AVI and MPG files ranged between small sample size files to larger 2GB encodes. Not all FLV files played back and as I did not encode them I can only speculate that only newer version encodes are supported. All files launched rather quickly and immediately began to playback. Some encodes did make use of automatic dithering on large solid colors (such as background walls), probably due to the down-sampling for the lower NDS resolution. Overall files looked crisper than DPG with far less required dithering. While the argument can be made that a correctly re-mastered sources can result in a DVD-like DPG encodes, the very fact that various tested file formats played back with out the lengthy and creative process that is DPG encoding is a solid advantage.
Tested IMA ADPCM MONO WAV files failed to play, while 16-bit PCM Stereo WAV files played correctly. Tested MP3 files were encoded using the LAME codec in both CBR and VBR bit-rates, both played back correctly.
The .SUB, .SRT, and .ASS subtitle formats were tested and each failed to load with the video. The lack of information on this BETA made it impossible to research how to use any undocumented features. It will remain to be seen if external subtitle files are supported or if they will receive eventual support before the public release date.
Battery consumption was very high during initial testing. I can not specifically comment on battery life as further in-depth testing is required, something that is out of scope for this hands-on impressions post. However, I only experienced around 2 hours of uptime while using the DSi XL and watching back-to-back T.V. episodes on brightness level 3.
<div align="center"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/06_scds2_video_player_hands-on_impressions-video01.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /> <img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/07_scds2_video_player_hands-on_impressions-video02.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /> <img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/08_scds2_video_player_hands-on_impressions-video03.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>
File playback was very nice, smooth, and had few issues. Only 1 or 2 unsupported files or formats were experienced during initial testing. For the most part this plug-in allows for a drag/drop video experience on the SCDS2 that is nothing short of spectacular.
The interface touch-screen buttons contain boundaries which hamper basic video file seeking. When attempting to access the seek area (either clicking or dragging) the buttons above were often executed. Menus are not fully translated and some menus contain uppercase descriptions for one language and lowercase descriptions for others. The two options menus are titled "Display set" and "Other set", it would be nice to see the full word "settings" used. While these complaints are not huge issues, final impressions are all in the details. The brightness level option works on the DS Lite but it does not work all of the time. To hit a setting of 2 I had to go up to 3, down to 1, and then back to 2. Other instances I had to go from 3, to 2, to 1 for the level of 2 to be recognized. File seeking is not entirely accurate either, some seeking files had to go beyond the desired point and then dialed back for the file to continue playback. The best course of action was to pause the file, seek to the desired location, and then resume playback.
When a file is ended an automatic bookmark is made on the microSD card in the same directory as the file. When the file is reloaded the user is prompted with an option to resume playback. This feature behaved as expected and caused no problems. Normal file playback executed after approximately 3 seconds. Files looked better than DPG but still relied on minor dithering to cover up suspected down-sampling issues. Over all it is impossible to beat the drag/drop support, ease of use, simple interface, and the hidden bonus of music playback functionality.
The software appears ready as far as playback is concerned. Minor translation issues, interface button problems, file seeking inconsistencies, a "halp" button, the next button says "previous" and the previous button says "next", and undocumented settings (CPU Frequency) remain issues that can be easily addressed before the public release date. Over all this is the most useful plug-in I have tested for the SCDS2. I found that watching videos on the DS Lite was as enjoyable as watching them on the DSi XL, an experience which was probably influenced by the ease of use and included file type support. The software feels like a challenger for the older Moonshell v1.7 revision, a favorite among Homebrew enthusiasts. SCDS2 has managed to make playback easy and pack in basic functionality without the bloated feeling of video software that does more than it should.
Still pretty lacking on the most important feature everyone is curious about. The compatibility with video codecs. You listed a bunch of formats and said everyone worked.
You also mentioned you tested avi / mpg with small sizes to up to 2GB, but what about the other formats?
You didn't mention anything about MKV, as to how big was the filesize you tested, what codec it was using (since it's only a container) and if its inbuilt subtitle feature worked as intended?
Also, for subtitles, the subtitle file has to be named exactly like the video file for it to work in iPlayer, in which I assume is the same here.
I don't remember if I tried ASS files back then, but I think I did. To see if I could tweak the size / colors etc. But it just defaulted it to the regular size the iPlayer used.
Alot of people (including myself), are probably most curious about MKV. So you saying it actually worked, might end up disappointing many later on unless tested properly.
So if you could download an MKV (any will work from that page) http://www.google.com/search?q=horriblesub (then click the first link)
and post results on how that worked out. Like, did it give like an option to load the subtitles? Did playback actually work? etc.
They're only around 170MB in size, which isn't much compared to the 2GB avi files you've tested.
Now if that actually works, then I'll be sold.
Thanks in advance.
i am unable to download more files, i'm paying for bandwidth right now. i did not plan to do any extensive testing, yet. that will all be saved for the actual review of the final product. below is a link to the very small file i used to test that the .mkv extension would be recognized and if it would play. feel free to download it and run gspot or something on it to see what it actually is. remember this was going to be a divx player only, so testing if other formats loaded was all that was really required of a "hands-on impressions" post.
Thanks for the review, though there's still a lot I'd like to know about this media player
Guess I'll have to test it out myself whenever it will get released to the public.
Also, thanks for testing out my file.
Anyway, the iPlayer can read only .srt sub files (AFAIK), so if the SC2 video player does recognize sub files, you should try a .srt extension.
Since it's a very simple format, I made a file myself for you to test (again, if you don't mind
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The SuperCard team has released a very private
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BETA of their SCDS2 Video Player Plug-in to GBATemp for testing and review.
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The software is currently in the BETA phase of development
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but feels almost complete and appears close to being ready for its future release date.
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the software is not yet considered ready for the public,
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this article will contain hands-on impressions only
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this article will contain hands-on impressions only
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as features may still be added, fixed,
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or changed before the final release.
All you gotta do is copy this to a regular txt file, and then save as XXX.srt when XXX is the name of the video file you're using to test (remember to use the exact same name).
It's only 20 seconds, and I've used part of your review for the text as I couldn't think of anything useful to write