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Help Video playback


Android Expert
May 9, 2011
I just got a Xoom today and yes, it was a Christmas present. Sadly, my experience so far has been a little dispiriting.

I have been trying for more than an hour to play videos with no real success. I loaded some HD videos (1080p about 1.8GB for an hour long TV programme) onto my class 10 SDHC card but they didn't do anything useful at all. The videos came out green, very blocky and stuttering so badly that even if they weren't green and blocky, they still would have been completely unwatchable.

I wondered whether this was because they were simply too large so I tried a much smaller video (176MB for a 25 min TV episode) and copied it onto the internal memory (itself a process fraught with difficulty and numerous crashes and reboots) but it was barely any better. I then discovered that hardware acceleration was not turned on by default so I turned it on and it made a big difference. Both my videos are now playable but the full HD video still stutters.

I have tried the default video player as well as MoboPlayer, VPlayer and mVideoPlayer but give or take a missing codec or two, they are all pretty much the same.

Is the Xoom capable of full HD playback? If so, what am I doing wrong?

PS I have now tested the same HD video on my Galaxy S2 and my wife's iPad 2. It plays flawlessly on the iPad and pretty well on the S2. It's a little disappointing to find my phone plays videos better than my tablet but I can't help feeling that the Xoom should be able to do this and I'm missing something.
Having poked about more I realise that I misunderstood which decoder I was using.

The very poor results (green, blocky, stuttering) were with the hardware decoder.

The decent picture but slight stuttering was with the software decoder.

The software decoder ought not to be better, so does anyone know why the hardware decoder (if there actually is one) is not working properly so I have to fall back to the inadequate software decoder?
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This has turned out to be a lotus49 only thread but since I can at least answer my original question, I thought I would post so that anyone else in the same position can benefit.

Unfortunately, the short answer appears to be that no, the Xoom cannot just play random HD content with good results. It is possible to play HD content but it is likely to require converting into a Xoom friendly format.

I am told by the author of DVD Catalyst (a well-regarded and cheap tool that can do this conversion but not very usefully from my perspective, only on a Windows computer) that the target codec should be H.264/AVC for best results.

He also gave me some other pointers but I didn't understand them. I know almost nothing about video/audio codecs and nor do I wish to. So far, in almost 30 years of computing, I have never needed to know about codecs and I have no inclination to start learning about video encoding now. I have come to the disappointing conclusion that using the Xoom as an HD video playback device is a non-starter for me. I wanted something I could just copy videos onto and watch immediately; sadly the Xoom appears not be able to do this as well as my phone let alone an iPad :-(.
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