Nokia N800 Tablet PDA

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Revision as of 02:07, 30 April 2007 by Chrismcnally (talk | contribs)

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The Nokia N800 Internet Tablet is a powerful Linux handheld computer capable of playing transcoded movies and TV shows on its beautiful 4.1" 800x480 screen. It has a stand and speakers for two people to watch at once, or you can plug in headphones. You can shrink a one hour program into 180 - 250 meg and it looks great. You can fit about 4 hours of content on a 2 gig SD card, and the N800 holds two cards.

The purpose of this HOWTO is to lead you toward setting up MythTV to automatcially transcode and copy programs overnight to an SD card so you can watch on the train or bus in the morning. It's a lot lighter and more portable than a laptop, has a larger and nicer screen than an ipod, and because it's Linux, open source developers are porting and writing new Linux apps for it.


Get Latest Image from Nokia

You need to have the latest image from Nokia to have a stable media player. You can use the Windows software provided to install the image or follow these easy Linux instructions:

Manually Transcoding

Manually, you can use mencoder to transcode the files. This command does a little cropping so that the entire screen is filled with the show, and the bitrate produces a very small file but is still very clear for watching.

mencoder -oac mp3lame -lameopts abr:br=64 -af volnorm -ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:dark_mask=0.15:autoaspect:vbitrate=512:trell=yes:v4mv=yes:vpass=1 -vf crop=720:402:0:20,scale=400:240 -idx -ffourcc DIVX -ofps 29.97 -o /videos/pda/crop_0_20.avi /myth/2028_20070429190000.mpg

I record all my SD shows at 720x480. Using this scale and crop I lose a little of the bottom and top but the video plays full screen and still looks great.

Test other Options

There is a very helpful cross platform graphical Java program you can run to test preset mencoder settings. It has presets, but also you can control video and audio bit rate and more with sliders and buttons. It will handle a batch of conversions at once, and there is an option produce 30 second clips only so you can quickly view different settings and compare them.

I pulled most of the mencoder command out of the logging output of this program. It has an install for windows and jar and shell script for Linux. There is also a MAC OS X version.

This site has all the info you need to know about video encoding for the N800