Video Conversion for the Zune HD

videosNormally, I used my Zune 80 for watching TV Show recordings that are converted from DVR-MS format (from Vista Media Center on my PC) to WMV file format for my Zune. Because the screen resolution for the Zune 80 is 320 x 240, that is the resolution that I convert to for the WMV files. Because my new Zune HD has a screen resolution of 480 x 272, the Zune HD player needs to stretch or extrapolate the pixels from the 32ox240 image up to 480×272 size. Now, the viewed images still look reasonable on my Zune HD, but I know they can be sharper if I use a higher resolution. So what settings work best, while still keeping the WMV file size down to a reasonable size?

Yesterday I took one of my TV show recordings that had a resolution of 720 x 480 and converted it to these parameters:

Resolution: 720 x 480
Video bit rate: 700 kbps, 30 fps
Audio bit rate: 128 kbps
Length: 42 minutes
File size: 254 MB

The video playback on my Zune HD looked pretty good, and there was no video tearing (that’s when objects in the video are moving around rapidly and you see distortions due to the motion). In comparison, one of my older converted WMV files has the following attributes:

Resolution: 320 x 240
Video bit rate: 700 kbps, 30 fps
Audio bit rate: 128 kbps
Length: 44 minutes
File size: 227 MB

So in this case the higher resolution file was about 12% larger in size, which isn’t too bad considering you’re getting a higher quality picture. In fact, at 720 x 480 I should be able to playback this video on a normal TV screen and it should look pretty good.  So for now, I’m adjusting my video profile for my conversion software to use the 720 x 480 resolution for playback on my Zune HD.

And BTW, I’m still using DVRMSToolbox with the DVRMStoWMVHD program to do my video conversions.

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4 thoughts on “Video Conversion for the Zune HD

  1. rob says:

    What about 720p conversion settings and proper conversion programs ?

  2. zunetips says:

    rob: I don’t know the settings for 720p. I don’t currently have the proper dock to display such output, so I haven’t explored that option.

  3. Ignacio says:

    I have quite a few videos that I plan to download to my very new ZuneHD – Does anyone know if there is a way to set Categories for the videos? For example, I have a collection of 30 videos under “Listening To Music Videos”, other collection of financial videos under “Financial Markets”, etc. and I would like to keep all the videos in separate categories in my Zune HD.
    Any ideas? Thanks in advance

  4. zunetips says:

    Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to create custom categories for your videos on the Zune HD or any Zune. On my Zune HD I only see “TV”, “Movies”, and “Other”.

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