Converting Videos to the Foxsat HDR Format

(Updated 1 March 2011)

In order to play your own movies through the Foxsat HDR you must first convert them into the required format. Movies in common formats, such as: avi, flv, mov, vob, wmv, etc., must be converted in a two-stage process. In order to do this you must first download two pieces of freeware software, AV2HDR, and Super ©.

AV2HDR
This is the amazing converter created by Raydon and posted in the Foxsat enthusiasts forum, Hummy. What is amazing, is that Raydon created this converter from scratch, and with no specifications for the three files that the Foxsat HDR needs for each movie or programme. The converter needs an input video file in either TS, MTS, M2TS, VOB or MPG containers, but the formats for both the video and audio portions must have certain parameters set, which makes converting video files a hit and miss affair. However, using the procedure below, you should have no problems.

AV2HDR for Windows can be downloaded from here, and at the time of writing the version was v1.5.

Super ©
This is probably the most versatile of all the free video converters, being able to convert almost all video formats, though it may not be the fastest. I scanned the download file with my Avast, AdAware and SpyBot programs for viruses or any kind of adware or malware, and all reported Super © to be clean.

Super © for Windows can be downloaded from here, and at the time of writing the version was v2010.build.38.

Procedure
Once you have downloaded and installed the two converters we are ready to start.

1. Start up your Super ©, and you will get the following GUI -

Super (c) GUI
2. Load your movie (eg MyMovie.avi) into the converter by dragging it directly into the file pane (the grey pane under DROP A VALID MULTIMEDIA FILE HERE), or right-click in the file pane and you will see the following file menu, and select your file after clicking Add Multimedia Files(s).

File Menu
3. Set the following top level parameters:
  1. Output Container: TS (Transp) M2TS (BluRay)
  2. Output Video Codec: MPEG-II
  3. Output Audio Codec: AC3
For the video pane, select the following:
  1. Scale Size:720:576 (this is standard SD recording)
  2. Aspect: 16:9
  3. Frame/Sec 25 (for PAL)
  4. Bitrate: 24000
  5. For the Options, ensure the following are checked: Hi Quality, 48K Audio
For the audio pane, select the following:
  1. Sampling Freq: 48000 selected
  2. Channels: 2
  3. Bitrate: 384
  4. DVD language: default
4. Now right-click the Output pane and from the File Menu select Output File Saving Management. From here you can select where you would like the converted file to be saved. If you want it to be saved in the same folder as the source file, then you can select the first checkbox as a convenient shortcut. Now click SAVE Changes
Output File Location
You can now perform the conversion by clicking the Encode (Active Files) button.

This can take some time, depending on the size of the file and its encoding. For my first conversion, using a 500MB avi file, the conversion took 1 hour, so now is the time to get on with something else.

5. Once the conversion to TS is complete, you can start AV2HDR and you will be presented with the following GUI:

AV2HDR GUI


6. Select the previously converted MyMovie.ts file by clicking on File, Import Video, and navigating to where the file was saved.

7. The selected TS file will then be analysed to ensure it is in the correct format, and some information about the file is displayed. Click on the OK button in the Source Video Information window to close it.



File Info
8. You now have the option of converting the video and saving it to your hard drive or onto a memory stick, or of converting the file and FTPing it directly to the Humax HDR. This procedure will demonstrate the option of  saving the files locally.

[If you want to convert and send the files directly to the Humax HDR via FTP, then you will need the Media & File Server Bundle for the Foxsat HDR. A step-by-step tutorial for installing and setting up the Media and File Server Bundle is available here.]

9. In the main window click on File, Select Output Folder, to select where you want the converted file to be stored.You can now click the GO button to start the conversion process. Again, this will take some time, but usually only a few minutes.

10. Once the conversion is complete you can navigate to where the files were stored, and you will see 3 files. If the movie was called MyMovie, the three files will be:

  • MyMovie_date_time.hmt
  • MyMovie_date_time.nts
  • MyMovie_date_time.ts
where date_time is the date and time (in 24 hour clock format) when the conversion was done.

All three of these files will need to be copied to a USB memory stick. The memory stick can then be inserted into the front USB port of the Foxsat HDR hiding behind the front fascia (gently pull forward from the front top-left corner).

Playing the Movie Directly From the Memory Stick
If you want to keep the Foxsat HD free for recordings you can now play the movie directly from the USB stick. On the remote press Media, then press the Red button (Change Media). If you now keep pressing the Red button the red title box at the top of the file window will toggle between HDD and USB. Choosing USB will show the contents of the memory stick, and you can select the Movie and hit the Play button on the remote.
(My thanks to Graham Thompson of the Hummy Forum for pointing this out to me).

Transferring the Movie to the Foxsat HD
For this you will need to call up the Foxsat File manager function. Press the Media button, then the Opt+ button, and select File Manager. The contents of the USB stick will be in the right-hand pane, so move there and select MyMovie.

After a second or two the Green Copy icon should undim, and you can now copy the file from the USB stick to the Foxsat hard-disk by pressing the Green button on the remote.

This procedure is for a simple avi conversion to an SD format suitable for the Foxsat HDR. If you wish to convert to HD format then check the Help file in AV2HDR for the correct parameters, and if you wish to experiment with any of the Super © converter options then feel free, but please report what works and what doesn't in the Hummy forum so others may benefit.

Rock