UMP (Unified Media Platform)

5.1 Playing Videos

 

Playing Videos is one of the main intended uses of the device, and therefore a large number of features are available which relate to this. We will discuss most of the functionality in this section.

 

 

 

To play a video, open the Video Menu from the Main Menu in the OSD. Here you will see a number of options, which are explained below:

 

 

 

-         Video: This leads you to the Video share (/mnt/data/Video) where you can browse through the available files.

 

 

 

-         Downloads: This leads you to the Downloads share (/mnt/data/Downloads) where you can browse through the available files.

 

 

 

-         Recordings: This leads you to the Recordings share (/mnt/data/Recordings) where you can browse through the available files.

 

 

 

-         Network: This leads to the browseable Network.

 

 

 

-         Video Podcast: This uses the ‘video.vpodcast’ Plugin.

 

 

 

-         Youtube: This uses the ‘video.youtube’ Plugin.

 

 

 

When browsing through the various areas of the UMP storage you will find a number of small video files designed for testing purposes and maybe by now, some of your own material.

 

 

 

One of the almost unique functions offered by the UMP is the possibility to generate thumbnails for videos. Note that this function does not work on all types of video. To attempt to generate a thumbnail, highlight a video item in one of the Video Menus and select Create Thumbnail by pressing the corresponding button indicated in the Button Bar. If the function is not directly visible, open the Action Menu for the desired item, and select Create Thumbnail.


 

 

5.1 Playing Videos (continued)

 

 

 

The UMP can not only generate thumbnails for most video files as discussed in the previous section, but can also download video- and/or cover information. The following sources can be used by means of available Plugins:

 

 

 

-         http://www.moviecovers.com/ - MovieCovers.com, an online database of movie covers and artwork

 

 

 

-         http://imdb.com/ - The Internet Movie DataBase, a large database of many productions throughout the video industry

 

 

 

-         http://filmaffinity.com/ - A Spanish website providing information on movies

 

 

 

These functions are represented by the following Plugins, which can be enabled or disabled in the Web Interface under Plugins -> Video:

 

 

 

-         video.moviecovers

 

-         video.imdb

 

-         video.filmaffinity

 

 

 

When watching videos with an aspect ratio that doesn’t match the geometry of the display device, you can optionally let the UMP attempt to correct the aspect ratio automatically by opening the Action Menu and selecting Fill Screen. This function is provided by the ‘video.fillscreen’ Plugin and can therefore also be disabled in the Web Interface.

 

 

 

Note that you can generate a thumbnail, and afterwards download information from IMDB, MovieCovers or FilmAffinity. The Create Thumbnail option is removed from the Action Menu as soon as one exists for the item, and any new information will take the place of the previous data. Thus the only way to have the thumbnail displayed again, instead of the image from one of the three online sources would be to delete that information, however, when information is retrieved that consists of an image and a description, the image can be deleted separately, leaving any previous images (such as the generated thumbnail) to be displayed.

 

 

Another function that makes the UMP stand out in comparison to many other devices is its support for both Subtitles, but also Soundtracks to be played along side a video file. To use this feature add a .srt or .sub file with the identical name as the video file, except for the file extension, to the same folder. Only one subtitle file can be loaded simultaneously. The same applies for soundtracks.

5.2 Playing Videos over the Network

 

Playing Videos over the Network is no different to playing locally stored videos, except for a few logical restrictions. If a share is mounted read only, or the user specified for the connection has no right access to the target volume, re-encoding jobs will not be possible, as the re-encode process attempts to create the output file in the same directory as the source. Due to this limitation, thumbnails cannot be generated and online information cannot be downloaded when the abovementioned restrictions apply.

If a share is mounted with read and write access, the UMP will treat is as a normal disk, with the exception of the caching of files. The UMP Media Cache does NOT index Network shares or removable media. Directory settings can be stored on read only shares, as they are stored locally on the device. This causes a slightly less organized Media Cache at times, but avoids the problem of having to set up your network paths every time they are accessed for instance.

 

Obviously, the device’s capability to play videos over the network depends on the bandwidth available. The following overview will give you a rough indication of what is needed to play some common video formats:

 

Audio Stream

 

Flash Video

32 – 64 kbit/s

XviD/DivX Video

64 – 192 kbit/s

DVD MPEG2

192 – 256 kbit/s

 

Video Stream

 

Flash Video

~300 - 1000 kbit/s

XviD/DivX Video

~1500 - 2500 kbit/s

DVD MPEG2

~10.000 – 12.500 kbit/s

 

 

Note that in common network environments using Ethernet, one can typically calculate the amount of kilobytes per second as a 10-fold multiplication of the amount of kilobits, although officially this would be a factor of 8.

5.3 Playing Videos from Optical Media

 

Data Mode

 

Playing Videos from optical media works very much like playing videos over the network from a source with no write access, as the medium is read only. There are however a few additional functions to assist the usage of VCDs and DVDs for instance.

 

Autoplay is supported for Video data, however some limitations apply. A CD or DVD containing video files should use the ISO9660 filesystem for optimal support, though most types of UDF are supported (not including 2.0 or later).

 

If the disc contains the characteristics of a VCD, autoplay will attempt to play the video file, though it will not automatically prompt for any sequential discs or automatically eject the disc after playback.

 

If a disc is inserted with a single video file, autoplay will attempt to play it.

 

Discs containing multiple video files which appear to share a common name, a listing of the directory will be displayed. When playback is started, a Playlist is created in the background, so all ‘episodes’ will be played sequentially.

 

Note that Video autoplay overrides autoplay of other types of item on a disc such as a movie cover or other types of cover art.

 

 

DVD (Video)

 

If a disc is inserted which contains the typical movie DVD layout (VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS directories in the root directory) it will be treated as such, and the default title will be played automatically if the UMP OSD is in the Main Menu.

 

Note that if you enable both the ‘video.dvdbackup’ and the ‘video.dvdcopy’ plugins you can select to either copy the DVD to the HDD, as a one to one copy, or whether to re-encode the media. If you select to copy the DVD, an icon will be placed in the IdleBar, indicating that the process if still active. When the icon disappears, the DVD should have been copied.

 


 

5.3 Playing Videos from Optical Media (continued)

 

DVD (Video)

 

If you want to re-encode the DVD into another format, to reduce space or to copy to another device or medium, navigate to the CD-DVD […] entry in the Video Menu of the OSD. You should see the optical drive listed with a title behind the drive’s name. Select the item to see the available titles. Generally, one title will be displayed, though some discs have other layouts. Press the blue button on the remote control (UMP-R-1XX) to open the Action Menu and select Backup this DVD Title.

 

The following formats are available, and will be listed when selecting Backup this DVD Title, though you can specify your own settings in the DVD_BACKUP_MENU parameter in the Web Interface under Settings -> DVD:

 

XviD, 700mb

XviD, 700mb, High Quality

XviD, 1400mb

XviD, 1400mb, High Quality

MPEG4, 700mb

MPEG4, 700mb, High Quality

MPEG4, 1400mb

MPEG4, 1400mb, High Quality

h.264, 700mb

h.264, 700mb, High Quality

h.264, 1400mb

h.264, 1400mb, High Quality

 

High Quality indicates a heavier emphasis on the video encoding, while using less space and bandwidth for the audio stream.

 

The recommended setting is ‘XviD, 700mb, High Quality’, although the MPEG4 processing is generally a lot faster.

5.4 Playing Online Videos

 

Playing Online Videos is a commonly desired function which a constantly rising number of similar devices are starting to implement. Because of the diversity of the online video sources, new plugins are constantly being added to increase the functionality of the UMP. Currently, the following sources are supported, and there is generic support for video Podcasts:

 

 

-         http://www.youtube.com – YouTube (category and search)

-         http://www.apple.com/trailers - Apple’s Trailers

-         http://www.cinemovies.frCineMovies Trailers

-         http://wwitv.comWW ITV Internet Televison

 

 

Additionally, there are also the following generic video plugins with which you can load your own URLs:

 

 

-         video.podcast

-         video.linkbrowser

 

 

Note that not all URLs can be parsed correctly, therefore they may only work partially, or in some cases not at all.

 

 

Loading an invalid URL can in some cases cause a crash report screen to be displayed. If this occurs, you can choose to return to the OSD or shut it down and exit to the Desktop Mode. If you choose to return, and you are unable to operate the OSD, press the Start/Stop OSD button to exit to the Desktop Mode (UMP-R-1XX).

5.5 Playing Recorded Videos

 

When you record a TV show it is saved in the Recordings directory by default, though this behavior can be modified. This directory is listed in the VIDEO_ITEMS parameter and in the TV Menu, where it is listed as Recorded Shows instead.

 

You can view recorded videos by accessing either one of the two menu items, the only differences are the context menus presented in the individual sections.

 

The Recorded Shows directory is sorted by date with the default settings.

 

Note that you can preview recordings, if you are using a type of video format that permits opening unfinished output files. The default settings allow you to start viewing a running recording approximately 30 seconds after it has started, although it is recommended to allow roughly 5 minutes in most cases.

 

Warning:

 

If you select an output setting for the recordings that requires a lot of CPU power, playing back the unfinished video can result in damaged video files. The UMP currently does not feature a video healing function.