5 Tips to Get Your Movies Fit for Asus Transformer Prime Playback

My job requires international travel and I always watch movies on fight, with my 10.1-inch Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201. The Prime's big screen, quad-core processor and long battery life make it a perfect gadget for watching HD movies even Full-HD movies. Personally I think the device does a good job playing movies and gives sharp and vivid image. I was surprised by the fact that so many guys are having problems with movie playback when hanging around the forum and decided to share what I learnt with green hands. Hope this helps.

The 1st Tip: Better Put Asus Transformer Prime friendly videos to the device. The Prime plays various kinds of videos, but this does not mean it can play everything you throw at it. Let's see the Transformer Prime supported file types: 

Video: 3gp, mp4, wmv, mkv (Codec: MPEG4, H.263, H.264, XviD).
Audio: MP3, AAC, FLAC, WMA, WAV, OGG, MIDI

We don’t see VOB or MPG format here, which means the stock player does not play them.

The 2nd Tip: With a powerful third-party media player you can play more videos, e.g. the above mentioned vob and mpg videos. There are various android optimized universal video players. Recommended media players:

Rock Player (FEEWARE)
MoboPlayer (FEEWARE)
QQ Player (FEEWARE)

The 3rd Tip: Don't put copy-protected contents onto the Asus Prime Tablet. Movies purchased from online video stores (e.g. iTunes, Amazon) are restricted to specific computers and devices only. Unfortunately the Android devices have not get a license to play DRM contents which means Asus Transformer Prime is not granted to play DRM-protected videos. To have the device play these movie purchases, get yourself a DRM removal tool first (e.g.ChewTune).

The 4th Tip: Compress/convert your HD videos when necessary. By necessary I mean when the Asus Tablet pops up an error message saying unsupported file or plays video in slow motion.

Before long I owned Asus Transformer Prime, I noticed the Prime delivers smooth and clear 1080p video, but some 1080p contents still tend to run very slow on the device. Lower resolutions run pretty well. When it comes to some 1080p .mkv and avi videos, the playing speed slows down. I tried several other media players and finally realized it has to do with the hardware itself, seems like the device can not handle very high bitrate properly. After down-scale bitrate to 4mpbs the videos plays just fine.

The 5th and last Tip: The best settings for converting videos to Asus Transformer Prime depends. I’ve seen people asking for the “optimal settings” 3 or 4 times elsewhere, and am trying to answer this question. It is said that H.264 codec gives best quality at smallest file size, but I don’t see much difference between H.264 and MPEG-4. I tried to encoded an HD .mkv video to .mp4 with H.264 and MPEG-4 and find both play fine. DivX .avi videos look great too. I think the image quality is more related to video bitrate. When video bit rate is set higher, the converted video looks sharper. Here I put some test videos with settings for evaluation.

(click the links to play or download the sample videos )

These sample videos source a recent release Blu-ray “Thor”, I created them with a trial version of Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate (SHAREWARE), so there’s a watermark on the screen. Personally I think Sample 2 balance file size and video quality best. 

Money saving boundles:

ByteCopy($42) + Video Converter Ultimate($65) = Only $79.9, Save $27.1 
Video Converter Ultimate($65) + Vidpie($29) = Only $74.9, Save $19.1
Video Converter Ultimate($65) + DVD Creater($35) = Only $64.9, Save $35.1