As anyone hardcore media streaming fan can tell you, dealing with transcoding issues can be a real pain in the neck. Formats that work for one machine don’t necessarily play nice with another. A new partnership hopes to make transcoding worries a thing of the past, though: PacketVideo, the maker of TwonkyServer, and Zenverge, an integrated circuit supplier, have joined forces to use Zenverge's hardware-based transcoding to ensure files streamed by TwonkyServer are supported by all DLNA-enabled receiving devices. According to the companies, that’s a world first, folks.
Whether you own an iPod touch, Zune HD, Nintendo DSi, or any number of other portable devices, there's one tool that makes easy work out of ripping DVDs and converting incompatible video files into manageable formats: Handbrake. This wonderful utility has just about everything you could ask for, including robust compatibility, a slick interface, and snappy performance. And if that weren't enough, the developers have chosen to give the program away for free, no strings (or trialware) attached.
We realize we're probably preaching to the choir and there's a good chance you've used Handbrake before, if not frequently. But do you know how to create, backup, and transfer your own custom settings for the Xbox 360, PS3, and other popular media players not included by default? Do you know how to encode a copy protected DVD with the least amount off fuss? We do, and on the following pages, we'll guide you through a series of advanced tips for getting the most out of Handbrake.
Earlier this summer, both Nvidia and ATI hosted press events to unveil their new hardware—and the excitement about GPU-based encoding was palpable. We were promised that our videocards would make Photoshop faster and better and our GPUs would encode video 10 times faster than our CPUs. In fact, someone lacking tech savvy would have left these presentations thinking, "Wow, these GPU things can make common computing tasks run insanely fast, and there are a couple of games that work with them too." Of course, as is typical, the truly big promises (like 10x faster video encodes) were off in the future, when the software was "ready."
Well, the software's nearly ready. Elemental's Badaboom uses Nvidia's CUDA interface to do lots of the grunt work of DVD ripping by using the GPU instead of your musty old CPU. I've been in the Lab for the last few days putting this app through the ringer. Our test bed for this challenge is an Intel Q6600 quad core, running at a stock 2.4GHz, with 4GB of memory and a GeForce GTX 280 reference board.
Chances are you own at least one high tech, handheld gadget, whether it be an iPod, iPhone, PSP, or other device capable of playing back movies. It's also a safe bet to say you probably don't look forward to transcoding your favorite flicks into a compatible format, particularly when dealing with HD content. That's what makes CyberLink's achievement so noteworthy.