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The MP4 AV Container Format

March 29th, 2012 5 comments

MP4 (or MPEG-4 part 14) is a multimedia container format specified by the Moving Picture Experts Group. It is most commonly used for containing AV streams allowing subtitles, menu and picture data as well.

In my previous posts I have been advocating the conversion of recordings to either the AVI or MKV container format, but I have now seen the light and suggest  all recordings be converted to MP4. Here are the reasons why:

  1. MP4 is better supported by CE devices.
  2. MP4 is better for streaming.
  3. MKV is not supported on Humax boxes.
  4. MKV is a bit of a ‘pirate’ format.

Although the first two points apply over MKV only, AVI are not supported in iTunes, for example, and hence on iOS devices.

You can convert your recordings to MP4 without fuss using AVS Video Convertor – download a trial copy here, and if you like it, purchasing an unlimited license allows you to use all of the other Video and Audio tools, as well.

Categories: Media Formats, Software, Windows Tags:

Windows 7 and the PVR 9200T (USB transfer of recordings)

April 29th, 2011 17 comments

So you are still using the trusty, but old Humax PVR 9200T, and upgraded your computer or bought a laptop running Windows 7. What happens when you want to transfer that one recording off the box and on to the PC?

The blog post will explain what to do!

Well it can be one of two ways; easy or complicated! This all depends if you are running Windows 7 32-bit or 64-bit! Let’s get the easy one out of the way – the 32-bit!

Windows XP
It is highly recommended that if you want to transfer recordings off the 9200T, the OS of choice should be Windows XP. However, as most of you aren’t realy inclined to re-install XP, then consider making your system dual boot, or running XP as a virtual OS. I must admit, these two methods are more complicated than the techniques below!

Windows 7 32-bit
Humax Media eLinker software will happily work on Windows 7 32-bit. Download and install the software, and follow the instructions on how to connect and download the recordings as per usual.

Windows 7 64-bit
Humax Media eLinker will not work on Windows 7 64-bit as the drivers for connection to the 9200T (Humax PVR Mass storage device) is 32-bit and there are no 64-bit drivers to be had.

The good news is that Media Controller GUI will work on Windows 7 64-bit as this uses libusb-win32 drivers which are compatible (and signed) to work on 64-bit Windows 7. All you need to do is download the USB driver from the libusb site or from My Humax Windows Utilities Download Page and run the Install-Wizard to generate and install the drivers.

Installing Media Controller GUI

  1. Use USB A-B cable and connect the 9200T to your PC. Windows 7 will detect the device but will fail to install the driver for it. Right click on ‘My Computer’ and open up the properties and then Device Manager. You should see this:

    No driver for Humax PVR Mass storage

  2. Download and extract the libusb-win32 driver from either of the links given above. You should see inf-wizard in the extracted folder:

    inf-wizard in the extracted folder

  3. Run the inf-wizard.

    Select HUMAX PVR Mass Storage device for USB driver generation

    Confirm device generation

    Once inf is generated, start install by pressing 'Install Now...'

    Windows 7 will pop up warning, but proceed to 'Install this driver software anyway'...

    Driver install might take some time...

  4. Once installation of USB driver has completed, if you still have your Device Manager still open, you should see that the Humax PVR Mass Storage device has the right driver installed:

    libusb driver installed for the Humax PVR mass storage device

  5. Now you can proceed to install Media Contoller GUI (having downloaded it and extracted it).
  6. Start up Media Controller and press the connect button. You should be able to see your recordings in the right hand pane like so:

    Media Controller GUI connected to 9200T

  7. If you go to the menu -> help -> version, you should see that Media Controller GUI is not built with the latest version of Media Controller, but it will work fine:

    Version 1.02 of Media Controller inside the GUI