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Convert Video files for playing on tv

Last week, I had a problem for wich I needed to convert video files. I don’t know much about encoding videofiles, but since I work with computers, I’m the designated guy to fix this (for free) and I’m supposed to know everything computer related.

Play a Video on tv from a harddrive, sure thing! what could possibly go wrong?

I wanted to play a movie from a USB harddrive on my TV. So, I connected the cable, turned on the tv and accessed the file. It started playing, but I didn’t hear any sound. I tried some other files and they all had the same problem. Great image, but no sound.

A fancy tv which can’t play audio from a .mp4 file. I couldn’t believe it. So, I did what I do best, fix the problem. First, I went to a pure audio file and played that. The music came out beautifully. I now knew that my tv can play sounds from my harddrive.

I then turned to the web for answers, and after a little research I found that my television was unable to play audio with high bitrates. The presented solution is to lower the audiobitrate: suggested was 128kb/sec. When I checked my files, it showed that they had a bitrate of 265kb/sec.

To do this, I need to convert video files to a different format and so I need a video converter program. I found a very good one. It’s good because it works, and it’s very good because it’s completely free.

Format Factory

Format Factory is a multifunctional converter that’s able to convert all types of video, audio and image files.

The install comes with some unwanted software, so be carefull before you click next.

FormatFactory - convert video files

How does it work
  1. Select to which filetype you want to convert. (So if you want .mp4 files, click on that)
  2. Next you’ll get a pop-up screen in which you can add files
  3. In the same pop-up screen you set the options and requirements of the new file (this is where you change the audio bitrate)
  4. click OK, and then click START

Your video files are now converting to the new filetype.

One word of caution: FormatFactory converts your files as fast as possible, this means it doesn’t throttle your cpu usage. Expect it to use 100% of your cpu when you do this. Every process uses 1 core. For example, my pc has 4 cores, so it’s converting 4 files at the same time.

Filenames on your tv

I like to give my files long describing names, so that it’s easy to see what they represent. This works on a computer where I can see the full name. Unfortunately, my tv only shows 10 characters per file, this had the consequence that I had to guess filenames based on the position they had on the tv-screen.

For Example: Let’s say you copied one of your cd onto you harddrive for personal use. All the filenames are like this: “VeryLongBandName_songname”.  On the computer, no problem. On the tv: “VeryLongBan…”

So, I renamed everything to fit the lenght of my pc. I removed the bandname, since I use it in the foldername and so on…

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