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Encoding Media Content for your ChromeOS Player

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The following article will assist you with ensuring your media content is encoded properly for your ChromeOS Players to ensure you are adhering to the recent ChromeOS changes to the way individual maximum file size limits are set.

What are these changes?

In January 2017 we discovered a problem with the Chrome application that would prevent media assets from downloading after the total data downloaded reached a total of 1GB. In the event of this happening this either prevented further data from being downloaded until the Chrome device was restarted, however additionally we found that when files were deleted a percentage of the disk space was not being released back by the Chrome operating system and when the storage became full it would result in Signagelive reverting to a pre-activation state.

As a result of these changes, Signagelive had to change how we handled data on the Chrome Players. While this overcame the ChromeOS issue, the trade off was that the application was then only able to handle individual assets up to a certain size. Originally this size was 500mb per file, however recently we have found that there have been further changes to ChromeOS, which have restricted this further.

In October 2017 due to further ChromeOS changes, we have found that the maximum file size the device can handle at a time is 1/5th of the total RAM of the device. We are there making further changes from Monday 30th October 2017 that will restrict customers to only using files that will have a chance of being successful of the ChromeOS devices they have by adhering to this new change and adding an additional 5% buffer.

Why would we need to encode our video files?

Since a recent change in November 2017, the way maximum file sizes for ChromeOS Players is calculated is:

Maximum Indiividual File Size = 1/5th of Overall Device RAM - 5% Buffer.

  • Example: 1937 RAM divided by 5 = 387.4MB - 5% = 368MB
  • Example: 3884 RAM divided by 5 = 776.8MB - 5% = 737MB

There are several good reasons why you should consider encoding your videos:

  • Allows you to reduce the size of your files.
  • Correctly encoded files will optimise player performance and allow for a better content results.
  • Smaller video sizes will mean they are quicker to upload to your signagelive network.
  • Schedules with encoded files will not take as long to download.
  • Schedules with encoded files will not take as much player bandwidth usage.

What are the recommended file formats for each version?

We would recommend you use the file format .MP4 (H.264).

How to encode your Files

  1. Please download and install the MediaCoder application from here.
  2. When you are finished, please click the Start > Programs > MediaCoder from your Start Menu and this will launch the MediaCoder software.
  3. You will now see the MediaCoder application and logo appear. If you need to remove the logo, please just click this with your mouse.
  4. Now that MediaCoder is running, we recommend you do the following:

Using our Encoding Preset Files

To save you time we've created a series of preset files which can be loaded in to MediaCoder will automatically the set the relevant settings. You can use these by downloading them, loading MediaCoder and the using the File Menu to select Load Preset.

The Preset can be found here for your to use.

Video Tab: Click on the Video Tab and set the following settings:
  • Video Quality: 25 CRF
  • Rate Mode: Variable Bitrate
  • Format: H.264
  • Encoder: Auto (Ticked)
  • Source: Auto (Ticked)

 

Video Tab - X264 Tab: On the right hand side tab x264 please ensure the following settings are in place:

  • Profile: Auto
  • Level: Auto
  • Preset: Medium
  • Tune: Normal
  • GOP: 25 ~ 250

 

Audio Tab - Click on the Audio Tab and ensure the following settings are in place:

  • Enabled: Ticked
  • Format: Copy Audio
  • Encoder: Auto Select
  • Source: Auto Select

 

Container Tab - Click on the Container Tab and ensure the following settings are in place:

  • Container: MP4

 

Picture Tab - Click on the Picture Tab and ensure the following settings are in place:

  • Resize: 1920 x 1080 (or if smaller, sized at the size of the Zone it is intended to play in)
  • Frame Rate: 25 to 30 FPS
  • Color Space: I420
  • Aspect Display Ration: Keep Display AR
  • Crop: Disabled
  • Effect: Source Filters

You can now click on the Start encoding button and your files will begin to encode to the location you have set within Mediacoder. Please now wait until your files are completed and then check the size of the newly encoded file on your PC to see if this adheres to ChromeOS Player maximum file size for your particular device.

Once happy, you can now upload your newly encoded files and publish these to your ChromeOS Players.

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