I recently tested the following and wanted to share my experience with anyone who might find it useful. I have tested this on laptops, winxp, win7, dell's, hp's and have successfully used Handbrake to convert DVD's for viewing on the Inspire.
First, the obvious thing to do is to convert whatever content you wish to view. I am using MP4 and that seems to work fine. There are many many programs out there that will convert file information to MP4, I'd venture to say that it does not matter how or what program you use so long as you are able to convert the output file to MP4 format. Remember, many DVD's have some kind of protection on them to prevent copying so you'll have to find your own way to remove the mentioned protections. In other words "decrypt the DVD file information to enable copying." A little web searching should turn up programs that will achieve this. I'd like to add that it is perfectly legal to remove the protections of DVDs you own, in order to convert the file information for viewing on another device, like a smartphone.
I'm assuming by now, most everybody has heard of the program "Handbrake." If you do not already have this program, go get it and install, then return for a few simple instructions.1.
Find a program to decrypt the DVD file folder "VIDEO_TS"
- After decrypting the DVD, you have the option of copying the entire folder to your computer, or converting straight from the source. (DVD)
- I, personally, like to copy the entire VIDEO_TS folder to my hard drive so that I can have the information readily available to convert whenever I need to. This does take up a considerable amount of space. The folder ranges from 3G to 8G.2.
After decrypting the DVD, open Handbrake
-In the top left, you'll see the button for "SOURCE," here you will tell the program where the information that is to be converted is located.
-If you have saved the VIDEO_TS folder to your hard drive, you will select "DVD/VIDEO_TS Folder" from the Source button and tell the program where the folder is saved.
-If you are converting straight from the source, select the DVD drive from the Source button to select the DVD that is in your drive. This is located directly underneath the previously mentioned option.
-Once you have selected the source, Handbrake will scan it and fill the top row of boxes with the information is has scanned.3.
Under the "TITLE" button, make sure that the longest time is selected. It might always do this by default, but no harm in double checking.4.
Now, on the right side of Handbrake you'll see a list of "PRESETS," select the "CLASSIC" preset under the "LEGACY" section.5.
Once you have done the above, you'll now need to select where to save the MP4 file that will be transferred to your Inspire. Click the "BROWSE" button to do this.
-Note: if you saved the VIDEO_TS folder to your hard drive, this process is faster if you make the file destination on a different hard drive. Of course, this would require you to have two hard drives connected, but trust me, the process is considerably faster.
-Make sure that the file is being saved as an MP4. You can confirm this by looking at the file destination path listed and seeing the suffix .mp46.
Now, towards the middle of Handbrake, you'll see the different tabs used to set the options. Under "PICTURE" you'll enter the size of the file. The Inspire's screen is an 800x480, but the file cannot be bigger than the source. When selecting the "WIDTH" & "HEIGHT" make the width the same as the source, which is more than likely 720. Make the Height 480.
-make sure the "KEEP ASPECT RATIO" box is unchecked.
-select "NONE" for "ANAMORPHIC"
-under "CROPPING" if "AUTOMATIC" is selected and there are numbers in the "TOP" & "BOTTOM" boxes, this means that the DVD is not full screen, meaning that the movie will not fill the entire Inspire screen. Even if you select "CUSTOM" and change the numbers to zero, the file will stay the same. Out of habit I select Custom and make the numbers zero anyway.7.
Now go to the "VIDEO" tab and select "MPEG-4 (FFmpeg)"8.
I set the "FRAMERATE" to 24 & the "AVG BITRATE" to 1500.
-playing with these options changes the quality and size of the file. If space is an issue, you can set the "TARGET SIZE" to whatever you need.
-If this is the 1st time you are using this technique, I recommend using the settings I use to decide how you'll set them in the future.
-The movie "The Hangover" saved as 1.15G using the above settings.9.
After Framerate & Quality have been set, click the "START" button at the top left next to "SOURCE"10.
After Handbrake has finshed, locate the MP4 file you have created and save it to the MicoSD card. The card will have a folder named "DCIM" with another folder named "MEDIA100". Save it in the latter.NOTES:
I'm pretty sure there are many different setting combinations that will work, but the settings I listed above are what I personally use. This process is close to the same for converting files other than DVDs. If Handbrake can scan the original file, it'll work. The settings will be restricted by the quality & size of the source, so just make the settings match. Also, Handbrake will only be able to work as fast as your CPU allows. In a single core computer, I have seen this process take upwards of 25 minutes. I have a quad core and it usually takes between 8-10 minutes for an average length DVD. Hopefully, this was easy to understand and someone finds it useful, I'm sure you'll let me know if it wasn't!