How to encode movies to play on your Galaxy Tab 10.1

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1's beautiful 1,280x800-pixel screen is great for watching movies. If your movie isn't already in one of the supported formats or it's still on a DVD, you'll need to encode/re-encode it first. We'll show you how.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1's beautiful 1,280x800-pixel screen is great for watching movies. The Honeycomb tablet supports WMV9, WMV7, WMV8, H.264, MPEG4, Xvid, DivX, H.263, and VP8 video codecs. If your movie isn't already in one of the supported formats or it's still on a DVD, you'll need to encode/re-encode it first. Here's how:

Step 1: Download and install HandBrake.

Step 2: Click on the Source button, and select your movie. For DVDs, select "Folder" then select the "VIDEO_TS" folder from your DVD drive. HandBrake does not rip or decrypt DVDs, so you may need use your favorite DVD software to rip your DVD first.

Select source movie
Screenshot by Ed Rhee

Step 3: Make sure that the container is set to "MP4 File" and that the check box next to Large file size is checked. In the "Picture" tab, make sure that Anamorphic is set to "Loose" and that Modulus is set at "16." For standard definition movies, the Width: setting is "720." For high-definition movies, change the width to "1280."

Picture settings
Screenshot by Ed Rhee

Step 4: In the "Video" tab, the video codec should be "H.264 (x264)" and Framerate (FPS) should be "Same as source." For Quality, select "Constant Quality" at "RF:20." For HD movies, use the slider to move the quality to "RF:22."

Video settings
Screenshot by Ed Rhee

Step 5: In the "Audio" tab, choose "Stereo" for Mixdown and make sure that Samplerate is at "48" and Bitrate is at "160."

Audio settings
Screenshot by Ed Rhee

Step 6: In the "Advanced" tab, choose the following settings in the Encoding and Analysis sections:

  • Reference Frames: 4
  • Maximum B-Frames: 0
  • CABAC Entropy Coding: unchecked
  • 8x8 Transform: unchecked
  • Weighted P-Frames: unchecked
  • Motion Estimation Method: Default (Hexagon)
  • Subpixel ME & Mode Decision: 7: RD in all frames

Advanced settings
Screenshot by Ed Rhee

Step 7: If you have QuickTime or the VLC media player installed, you can click the Preview button to see what the encoded video will look like. If you're happy with it, click the Start button to begin encoding your movie.

Step 8: Once the encoding task completes, plug your Galaxy Tab 10.1 into your computer using the USB data cable, then copy the file to /Root/Movies. In theory, the movie should show up in the Gallery app but we couldn't get it to appear consistently. Instead, we used the My Files app to go directly to the file location and launch it from there.

There, now you know how to get movies onto your Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 so you can watch them on that gorgeous screen! Keep in mind that some of the settings can be tweaked to improve the video quality but it's a balance between quality and size. Using the settings we suggested, a 74MB QuickTime file encoded to a 22MB MP4 file and a 90-minute DVD encoded to about a 1.2GB MP4 file. If you run out of internal storage, consider getting the Galaxy Tab USB adapter, which allows you to use attach an external USB flash drive. Enjoy the show!

 

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