Video File Format

I have had my TakeTV for a couple of days now.  It works great on DivX files but I haven’t had luck with any other format (haven’t tried Xvid).  It does not play video files made by my Archos Gmini, my Canon digital camera or my Canon digital camcorder.  I can run files from all three of these through the DivX converter on my Mac and they work fine but I was hoping to avoid the conversion step.   I have also been unable to find any format (other than DivX) that iMovie can create which will work on the TakeTV.

Has anybody succeeded with file formats other than DivX?

Currently, TakeTV supports MPEG4 using DIVX and XVID formats. You may need to use a converter to get your video files into these formats.

So…I have been trying different formats, and am getting none to work.

So, despite what the docs say, only DIVX and XVID video formats work?

None of the oher MP4 or M4V mpeg-4 formats work?

What about AVI? As AVI is simply a wrapper, and almost any codec can be inside, what acutal codecs are supported?

You mention video convertors - which ones work with Take TV.

So far, I am underwhelmed…

I have all these video files available to me that work fine on other players, even my cell phone, but TakeTV seems to be quite fussy.

Note well: I have downloaded many files from the Fanfare service, and those play fine, as do the ample videos on the device.

I just cannot believe how limited the video support actually is…

Mike

Yeah, it’s a bit disappointing in that regard.  Especially considering I have been seeing ads for the TakeTV on some video podcasts and on at least one the ad says “it’s compatible with most video formats, including DIVX and MPEG 4”.  I don’t consider DIVX and XVID to be “MOST” video formats.  In case you want to hear it the ads are currently playing in the WebbAlert video podcasts (www.webbalert.com).  They are voice-overs from Morgan Webb herself but I’m sure that SanDisk provided her with a script.

I do love the device just wish it was a bit more flexible.

Here is the answer I got from tech support today:

The final shipping specs of the TakeTV supports MPEG-4 in DivX and xVid formats with a maximum resolution of 720x576 and maximum bit rate of 7Mbps.

There was a small number of early production boxes that listed MPEG, AVI, MPG on the boxes and in manual incorrectly giving impression that MP4 and H264 codec would be compatible. We have updated the packaging and manual.

I imagine there will be quite a few people who are surprised.

 

I did download quite a few of the videos from fanfare (free for a short time), but the website is excruciatingly slow.

 

I did go to www.stage6.com and found many, many suitable and compatible DivX video files (the HD ones of course will not play).

 

I also downloaded the DivX encoder from http://www.divx.com. It took several hours to transcode 90 minute MPEG-2 movie to a compatible DivX format for the TakeTV. This on a Core 2 uo PC running Vista; plenty of memory and free space; not sure why it is so slow, as my other transcodes to MPEG-4 are quite fast.

 

My LaCie Silverscreen ( accepts a lot more formats, and is essentially the same: USB drive + power supply + cables – yes, it is an actual HDD inside rather than flash like on the TakeTV. No longer offered int he US, but there is a new variation they offer in Europe, the silverscreen Media Drive.

 

Oh well, it would have been nice if the TakeTV was more flexible.

 

My Zune and iPod are small, portable, and have video out; even better is that they run from battery. Conversion time is a bit faster, too.

 

Mike

I wonder if there is any chance they will be able to upgrade the firmware to support more formats in the future?

Only Sansa would know the answer.

Perhaps there was an intent to provide compatibility with more formats, and a problem was discovered preventing support. Or perhaps the developers simply ran out of time.

What is more surprising is the almost complete lack of information regarding the product on the Sansa website.

It is one thing to consider the purchase of a device based on present stated and delivered capabilities. It is another to make a purchase based on promised future capabilities that may or may not be delivered. Companies should avoid making promises about future capabilities unless they are absolutely certain they can be delivered.

I spent a lot of time googling the TakeTV after making the purchase, and finding that it could not do what had been advertised.

Almost all the information I discovered were reviews that looked only at Fanfare, and the videos that were provided already installed (the two short DivX clips). None of the reviews discussed convertng exisiting videos to the right format; none discussed the videos available at www.stage6.com. So I do fault the trivial reviews that were written about this product. It’s amazing to me that the marketers would spend considerable time and effort promoting TakeTV, and then fail to follow-up when the product is actually delivered.

This board, with a handful of messages seems to be the only extended information available.

Don’t get me wrong - the product does one thing very well - when you get video into the right format into the TakeTV, the viewing experience is very good.

Mike

and also im sure you have pay rights to be able to play back particular formats,which means more $$$. Wonder what the price to pay for something like that is.

Well I’m another one that got Duped by SanDisk on this one. I purchased the 8gb model and immediately tried it out. The included videos looked great so I tried a couple of Fanfare videos (Pen & Teller) again looked great. As for anything else I think I have gotten a total of 1 count them ONE other video to work.

Lessons Learned

  1. If the video uses any kind of DRM bottom line is, it won’t play it.
  2. I had one person at Tech Support tell me that it doesn’t support Mpeg 4 then he realized that he shouldn’t have said that so it makes me wonder.
  3. Aside from that Tech Support wasn’t much support. I even asked if they tried videos from other sites. I got the run around on that question.
  4. Only one AVI worked others from the same source did not.
  5. I tried stripping off the DRM even though the video played on the PC it did not play on the TakeTV
  6. I purchase probably $200 worth of converters and subscriptions to try and get any downloaded video to work. NADA
  7. I have given up and if I’m still in my return for money back window it’s going back. I have already purchased something else.
  8. I tried all that they recommend

Bottom line - Not ready for prime time unless your content with the handfull and I do mean small handfull of shows off of Fanfare. Why not make it compatible with services that already exist??? Why not make it compatible with WMV??

So unless they can promise a Firmware update that will make it more compatible its either going back or becoming an expensive overgrown 8gb Thumbdrive.

Needless to say, I am not a happy camper!!!

i just got mine (2 actually… ones a Christmas present) and so far, i’ve been pretty happy.  the videos i tried all worked… so far so good.

but… there will be a time when i will hit a video with a new, incompatible codec.  this is my suggestion:

make it so the codec can be uploaded on the fly.  it could be on the usb drive, digitally signed by the company (if necessary).  it would also be very nice if i could prep a normal USB external drive to work with the takeTV.  1TB drives are fairly cheap and would be the prime storage location for all my movies (instead of the vast dvd collection)

other then the impending codec problem, i like the form factor and the product worked as advertised.

i’m hoping for more of these types of products