Big Screen with a PSP

One of the new features of the 2000 series of the PSP is that you can now purchase an AV cable which allows you to watch video or view photographs through your TV (or through a projector if it has composite video inputs).

I recently got hold of a cable, it is available through Amazon, but initially I tried at my local Sony centre (well the PSP is a Sony product and it’s an AV cable and the store has lots of big tellies) well no luck there. Nor at Dixons (well dot Curry Digital’ish aren’t they called) in the end I tried Game and found one on the bottom shelf nearly hidden away.

At £12.99 it’s not expensive, but it’s not cheap either, but it does work very well. You can get cheaper ones at Amazon.

Initially I tried the cable with one of those small portable Toshiba LED projectors and though I couldn’t get any audio it worked much better than I thought it was going to.

The I tried a normal projector and that worked fine.

I used it to view video and image as well as play audio.

One concern I did have was that there was a warning on the packaging that the PSP could only output in NTSC format only and of course here in the UK we use PAL, so when I got home I connected it to my TV, which is an older Sony CRT model and it worked really really well.

I couldn’t get it to display any games though.

PSP

Overall I was impressed with the cable and the quality of the output.

Full Resolution Video on your PSP

If you have a PSP with firmware 3.30 or later you can now (much more easily) play full screen h.264 video.

Prior to firmware 3.30 adding video to a PSP was a bit hit and miss.

When I first got a PSP I was very disappointed with the quality of the video I encoded for it using either EyeTV or Toast, more so when I compared it to the demo video I had on the demo UMD disk which came with it.

It wasn’t for some time that I didn’t realise that the PSP did not support full resolution video from a Memory Stick.

You also had to convert the video to a specific MP4 format and importantly change the name to something unfamiliar like M4V01011 and then find the obscure \MP_ROOT\100MNV01\ folder. You were restricted to a 368 x 208 resolution. If you wanted a thumbnail you had to create a jpg file and then rename it as .thm all quite complicated though there were quite a few tools that allowed you to do this quickly and easily (I used Toast quite a bit). One problem was working out what video files were what (easy on the PSP, more complex on a computer).

With the release of firmware 3.30 this changed.

Encoding full resolution h.264 video for the PSP is now possible, this means that you can use the full 480 x 272 resolution and the excellent quality and compression of h.264.

However when I started to encode video for a PSP with firmware 3.30 I did initially have a few problems.

I tried to encode some full resolution video using VisualHub and the in-built settings and then some settings from a forum. However in both instances the video would not play on the PSP.

I initially thought it was maybe because at the time I was using the trial version of VisualHub (which has a two minute limit). However using the default low res settings it encoded and played fine.

I even formatted the Memory Stick wondering if that would solve it, it didn’t.

So I encoded the video in the original pre 3.30 firmware specificiations. As I copied over the video to the \MP_ROOT\100MNV01\ folder when I noticed a Video folder in the root of the Memory Stick.

So I copied the full resolution video over to this video folder, and guess what, yes full resolution h.264 video on my PSP.

PSP

Really impressed with the quality.

Really impressed with VisualHub.

So if you have firmware 3.30 or later ensure that you use the PSP to format the memory stick and then you will have a video folder into which you can copy the video files without having to worry about any naming conventions and be able to have full resolution high quality video.

GPS for the PSP

Interested to read that you can use GPS with your PSP.

So as well as browsing the net, watching video, looking at photographs and listening to audio, you can now use your PSP to find out where you are and where you need to go.

You know one day they’re going to makes games for this excellent device.