Movie lag caused by firmware not converter

In my months of attempting to solve the riddle of sound delay on converted movies I discovered that the sound delay is caused by the firware of the player NOT necessarily the conversion process.  I came to this conclusion based on two things.  1)  If you pull the movies files off of the player and then try to watch them on your computer desktop they play just fine.  2) Movies that I had converted a year ago and watched perfectly on my e260 before had the sound delay when I copied them back on to the player and tried recently.  The only change had been the version of firmware that I was running.

If you are inclined you can confirm this on your own player.  Just use the converter to put some movies on to your player.  Then switch the mode of your player so that you can just drag and drop the movies files off of the player using My Computer or Explorer.  Double click on the movies files on your desktop and watch Quicktime open them and play them perfectly.  If that is not your experience please post it here.  

If we can get enough people to confirm this MAYBE SanDisk will fix their firmware.  Speaking of which, does anyone know how to revert to a previous version of the firmware?  Where can I get previous versions?

Thanks

I think there is very high probability that YOU ARE RIGHT, as the sound delay is probably caused by the firmware of the player, not necessarily the conversion process. I tried what you mentioned and when you copy the movies to the computer and watch them on it, they play without any problems. 

I had the same exact experience as a result.

As you say, “If we can get enough people to confirm this MAYBE SanDisk will fix their firmware.”

Best

yes i got same problem but it can be still with SMC becouse when you copy converted film to your PC and play it, it play good becouse it does not need .thm file…but fuze need .thm to play it… so if SMC convert it bad player will play it bad too… but anyway sansa must fix it, its just bug that made them…

Hrtan, it’s definately firmware on the Fuze.  The problem doesn’t seem to appear for me until I either stop or pause the movie or do a lot of volume changes.  Any time the display volume bar or menu comes up it is all down hill from there.  Notice when watching a video and adjusting the volume that there is a hiccup in the movie every time the bar pops up but not in the audio.  I think this is where the delays get inserted in the movie.  Really frustrating.  By the way, I think the .THM file is only a thumbnail for the videos list, the movie works fine on mine without that file loaded.

Regards

This issue is partially the firmwire but partially also the process. It is nearly impossible to get Perfect sync of audio and video, this thing is most of the time the lag is sooo short you cant tell. With the newer firmwares the lag has increased. If you have a more powerfull prosessor (I run Quad core) you canbasically eliminate the lag because the conversion prossess does not use as much of the processor and the PC can keep up. I do hope that this issue is resolved in the near future.

This isn’t a Sandisk firmware problem, software problem, converter problem, etc.  It is a small device trying to play a big movie.  Ipods also have a lag in full length movies. 

If sandisk could fix the problem, then more people would buy sandisk.

But I don’t know if it can be fixed for these little tiny devices.  Maybe.  That would be nice, I would LOVE it.

If you have a strong or large processor like Conversionbox, then you would be okay (I don’t).

No one ever believes me, but I have NEVER had ANY audio synch problems when using the SMC to convert videos for my e200 Sansas.

Caveats:

I have used the old version SMC (the one that can be downloaded via dialup modem in a reasonable amount of time – I finally managed to get my wife to download the new one (about a hundred megabytes) at her work computer (we live out in the country, no possibility of other-than dialup) but have not yet installed it).

I am also using a very old version of Itunes/Quicktime – I hate the program, I hate the UI, I hate the massive footprint, and I hate the huge download time – but, I understand that it’s used by the SMC to perform the “under the hood” conversion.  I do NOT know if this ancient version is better at synch than the newer versions, but, FWIW, that’s part of my setup.

Finally, I’m using Win2K on a SLOW PIII computer with VERY little RAM.  I realize that “it’s impossible” to run the SMC on Win2K, but seeing as how that’s what I’ve got, I can’t let that be an issue for me. ;)  (Although the SMC can NOT connect to the player, and gives a fairly ominous looking error message, it *does* save the converted files to the hard drive, and I then manually copy them to the player.)

Oh, one last item, apparently a biggie, from what I just discovered – there seems to be a MAJOR difference in V1/V2 video formats – and everything I’ve said above pertains solely to my experience with my V1 Sansas.

I finally managed to get a V2 e260, and the first thing I discovered was that it can NOT play the videos that I used with my V1 players.  So, I presume that the old converter will NOT be usable for the V2 architecture.  And, I don’t know if the *new* converter will drop me into the “I got lag!” camp with everyone else.

Oops, I take that back – it was the *second* thing I discovered.  The *first* thing I discovered is that most of the time, when I hot-swap MicroSD cards (in the V2), it will hang part-way through the database-reindexing.  I have to do the press-and-hold hard-OFF mambo.  Then, when it powers back up, it goes through the database indexing just fine.  I figure it’s a bug in the FW, and from what I read they won’t be fixing any more bugs, so I guess I’ll be doing a lot off power-down/swap-SD/power-up maneuvers.  Unpleasant.

I’ve also *possibly* encountered some oddness with respect to cards that have been kissed by a Sansa Express, which, in a distressingly Mac-like manner, coughs up a bunch of index files that it stamps onto EVERY card that’s inserted.

I did NOT do any exhaustive diagnostics (what with *me* already *being* exhausted), but I did notice that in a couple of instances, cards that would *not* have their contents visible to the e260/v2 would *become* visible – after I deleted the Express flotsam.

I should probably post a separate thread with this stuff…  but, it seemed at least tangentially topical in this one, and I figured there was a decent chance someone who knows more than me (about the V2 world) might see it here, and weigh in with some wisdom.

I’ve done some nosing around the forum tonight, and will do a lot more, to try to get a handle on V2 video conversion issues (i.e., what converter is best, what video format(s) have *native* support in the V2 series (apparently the .MOV type – at least the variety used in the V1 series – does NOT work), and so forth).

I was hoping I’d be able to use a single format that would work on both versions of the e200 players, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen, so, I’d like to focus on proper use of the V2 series, due to the superior flash memory support (SDHC).  (Please, no “Use Rockbox!” suggestions, thanks.  I *do* have Rockbox on ONE of my e260 players, and I used it quite a bit today, in fact, as an ad hoc card viewer – pop in any MicroSD and see what’s on it, very convenient.  But, for regular “EDC” use, I *much* prefer the native Sansa UI, and that’s that.  To each his own, etc.)

I have an e250, an e260, & an e280, which are all V1 and none Rockboxed, although I’m tempted to experiment with the e250 as it would be nice to be able to use the higher capacity SDHC cards since these can only use the 2GB micro cards.  I only recently started experimenting with video and so only have experience with the current firmware.  I have to admit that when I started, I didn’t really know anything and honestly, don’t really know much more now, other than what I’m doing now seems to be working and I no longer am having audio & video sync issues.

I experimented with a few Video converter programs and finally found a free program that works for me, DVDx 2.10, which I use to convert the .IFO file to MPEG1 format.  From the MPEG1 file, I use the SMC Converter to load it to the Sansa e200s.  I didn’t know what I was doing at first and the first two movies that I converted had no sync issues.  One was a 20 minute home video and the second was a 1 hour 20 minute movie.  The next several movies had sync issues, which started in the second 30-minute file.  (For the newbies out there, the SMC converts the file into 30 minute files, which play continuously from the 1st to the 2nd to the 3rd, so the movie plays without interruption even though there are 3 files for a 1 hr 20 minute movie.)  I basically scoured the web for suggestions and ended up changing some of the settings in the DVDx 2.10 program.  What I failed to do before I ran the SMC was to watch the MPEG1 file to make sure that it was in sync.  It turned out that the MPEG1 files weren’t in sync to begin with.  So now before I run the SMC conversion, I always play the MPEG1 file and fast forward to 2/3 into the movie to make sure that the audio is still in sync with the video.

In case anyone is interested, this was one of the guides I used for DVDx 2.10:

http://www.dvd-guides.com/content/view/56/59/

There was a better one that I found later, but unfortunately I don’t have the URL handy.  A couple of DVDx settings suggestions:

  1. In the Input settings Box, for the Output Frame Rate settings drop down, choose 23.976 hz (NTSC).  Some North American DVDs are at the higher rate of 29.97 hz, so if you set it at 23.976, the program will give you a warning message, so change it then to 29.97 hz.

  2. In the Input settings Box, in the MISC settings, for iDCT drop down, choose FPU (best quality).  I read a suggestion on some other site that the sync problem is often because the processing was too fast.  For me, the other settings didn’t result in in-sync movie clips, so best quality worked the best.

  3. In the Ouput settings Box, in the MPEG specifc setting, for the Calculation drop down, choose Normal and for the DCT/iDCT drop down, choose MMX.

These settings result in a somewhat slow conversion time, but it has been worth it to have a sync’d video.   Some of the comments (they are old comments from 2007 and earlier) on the website complain about the quality, but it’s not bad, especially considering that it’s being viewed on a small Sansa screen. 

Admittedly this is a lot of effort to get movies onto the e200 players, but the kids love it that they can watch on the player and personally, I don’t think the screen is too small that I wouldn’t watch.  In fact, I watched Over the Hedge on the player and it was great!  I am very pleased with these players.

It took me a while to figure out how to get videos onto the Sansa, so I hope this might help others…

Message Edited by mscalbear on 02-19-2009 01:49 AM

Is this really the only or best option for getting any AVIs or movie files to convert onto the device and play normally?

Sandisk can’t be this ridiculous can they?

I have the SanDisk Sansa e270 6GB, I got this from buy.com recently. I’ve tried to put 2 avi’s on this and both have been within 5 seconds out of sync. One file was big, one was small, but both did not stay in sync. I’ve reconverted them with nothing else going on my computer to make sure it was not a performance issue.

I have the latest firmware and converter from Sandisk. CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHY THIS IS HAPPENING OR HOW TO TWEAK THIS SO IT WORKS?

Thanks

@thejules2k wrote:

Is this really the only or best option for getting any AVIs or movie files to convert onto the device and play normally?

Sandisk can’t be this ridiculous can they?

 

I have the SanDisk Sansa e270 6GB, I got this from buy.com recently. I’ve tried to put 2 avi’s on this and both have been within 5 seconds out of sync. One file was big, one was small, but both did not stay in sync. I’ve reconverted them with nothing else going on my computer to make sure it was not a performance issue.

 

I have the latest firmware and converter from Sandisk. CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHY THIS IS HAPPENING OR HOW TO TWEAK THIS SO IT WORKS?

Thanks

There are several factors to all of this. Any conversion will produce some lag but it is usually so miniscule you cant tell. Your processor strength, and the power of your video chipset on your mother board play factors as well. The fault is not yours or your computers or SanDisk it is the fault of the process. I dont know about the e270 but on the newer players they are working to eliminate or scale back SMC which is a huge step in the right direction.