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The HTC Evo 4G
The first 4G phone available for the first 4G network in the states, the HTC Evo 4G, from Android-based smartphone manufacturer HTC, burst onto the scene in June of this year. Boasting not only impressive speeds for downloading and uploading data, but also an HD camcorder and an impressive 4.3 inch screen, promising to make the device a contender in the already crowded arena of all portable video players and recorders, smartphones or otherwise.
If you're looking into getting one, or if you've already got one and you're just learning how to play movies on your HTC Evo 4G, this is the guide for you. There's plenty to know about recording, transferring, and watching movies with the phone, and we're going to break the process down one step at a time, complete with troubleshooting of some of the common issues you might find yourself running into.
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Transferring Movies Between Your PC And The HTC Evo 4G
First of all, if you've got any movies on your PC that you want to watch on your phone, you'll need to make sure they're compatible. We'll delve into that more later in this article, but for now let's talk about transferring them. Once you've got video files that you can view on your phone, you're going to want to have them on your phone. The transfer process is pretty simple, and works in a similar manner to any other USB devices you might have. The first thing you do is plug the USB cable that came with your phone into both your HTC Evo 4G and your PC. From the options that appear on your phone's touch screen, select Disk Drive.
This will mount your phone as a USB device so that your PC recognizes it as file storage, just like mounting a USB flash drive, and your PC will automatically open a folder for that storage, which represents the SD memory card in your phone. You can now drag image, music, or video files from your PC to your phone, allowing you to later view them or listen to them on your phone. Or you can transfer files in the opposite direction to view media you've captured with your phone from your PC later on.
Either way, transferring media files is as simple as mounting the device by selecting Disk Drive, and then dragging them from one location to the other. That's all you need to take that media with you wherever you go.
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Read this for a detailed walkthrough on the steps involved in recording video using your HTC Evo 4G, and in watching video using your phone, either recorded with your phone or transferred from your computer. Additionally, we'll help you to understand the video formats the HTC Evo 4G is compatible with so you can easily troubleshoot - and repair - any playback issues you're having.
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HTC Evo 4G Camera And Video Recorder
The HTC Evo 4G has two cameras: In the rear, the main camera is an 8 megapixel autofocus camera with two LEDs for flash that can also shoot 720p HD video. In the front, there's a more basic 1.3 megapixel camera that's still probably good enough to take pictures of yourself or video chat with someone. Either way, the rear camera is the real prizewinner here, and at 720p, it records better video than anyone would generally expect from a smartphone.
Simply click on the camera program icon in your phone's list of programs, and you're ready to snap pictures. The icons going down the left-hand sidebar will open the various camera options. You can play with these as much as you want, or you can simply point and shoot. After all, the camera does auto-focus, so it will take pictures just fine without any fiddling. Of course, if you want to get more creative, feel free to play around, adding things like greyscale, etc. Otherwise, click on the camera icon in the top left to choose between photo and video, and then select video to start recording.
After that, it's simply point and shoot again to record video. Also, the phone has a retractable kickstand on its back, so you can pop that out and set it down if you want to get in front of the camera. Simply record whatever you want, and the phone will automatically store it in the gallery for you to retrieve later. The phone's HDMI output doesn't hurt either, allowing you to easily watch those 720p videos on something like an LCD TV as long as you've got an HDMI input, which, if you bought your TV this decade, you probably do.
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HTC Evo 4G Movie Player And Compatible Formats
Let's talk a little more about the technical stuff now. If you want to watch videos on your phone the built-in video player supports only the mpeg-4 format for video, and only AAC or MP3 for sound. If you're not getting proper sound or video, it's probably because your file isn't in the proper format. There are plenty of third-party apps designed to play other formats in the marketplace, but honestly, none of them work very well. You're better off just sticking with the format that the phone is designed to play. This way, your videos will look and sound just as good as they're supposed to, actually taking advantage of the robust media playback abilities of your phone.
Obviously, any movies you record with your HTC Evo 4G will already be properly encoded to play on the phone. Some movies you've got on your PC may be in other formats, so you'll need to convert them if you want to enjoy them on the go. The HTC to Evo 4G converter is one of the simplest solutions, as it was obviously designed and tailored for exactly this purpose. It's not free, but it does have a free trial version. If you'd rather work with something else, though, almost any video converter will do the job, so long as you set the output for video and audio to the file formats that the HTC Evo 4G recognizes, as mentioned above.
Unfortunately, video conversion is a slow process, and will take multiple hours for a single movie. This is, without a doubt, the largest downside of using the HTC Evo 4G as a video player. If you don't want to be bothered with conversion, and you're willing to deal with some quality loss, and less than 100% support for certain formats, RockPlayer is probably the best third-party app available for playing other video formats on your HTC Evo 4G phone, and it's only in beta, so it will likely get even better as time goes on. Conversion to the Evo-supported formats is still going to provide the best experience, though.
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Read this for a handy guide to using your PC to watch the videos you've recorded using your HTC Evo 4G, as well as some troubleshooting of a common problem where you get no sound on your PC with HTC Evo movies.
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Watching Your Recorded Movies On Your PC - No Sound On Your HTC Evo Movies?
Watching 720p video on your TV screen is nice, but what if you want to watch those videos on your PC? It's easy enough to transfer the files to your computer, as explained earlier in this article, but if you stop there, you're going to run into some playback issues with the file formats again. These ones are pretty simple, luckily.
The most likely problem you're going to run into is that your video will play fine, but the sound will be completely absent from it. The reason for this is, once again, supported formats. The HTC Evo 4G records video using the SAMR codec for its audio, a proprietary format that only Quicktime uses. Codecs can always be a bit problematic, because there are no adopted standards in digital media.
So, to fix the problem of not getting sound? Easy. Download Quicktime. Because the codec is proprietary, there is no way to get the SAMR codec without downloading Quicktime. If you're not a fan of Quicktime, you can always upload the file to a sharing site like Youtube, but if you want to store and watch the video on your computer locally, you're going to need to either use Quicktime, or use another video/audio conversion program to convert the audio back to a format your PC will more easily recognize. However, for something with a simpler fix that, in this case, does not cause any quality loss, that's probably not worth doing.
I'd suggest taking the easy solution here and downloading Quicktime if you don't already have it on your PC. Then, you can easily watch any video you record on your HTC Evo 4G from your PC without ever worrying about it again,
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The HTC Evo 4G As A Multimedia Device
Ultimately, between its rather incredible camera and its impressive display, the HTC Evo 4G is capable of both video recording and video playback at a level that surpasses almost all of its competition with ease. There are unfortunate issues with supported file formats that lead to an unnecessary hassle in converting files and downloading new programs just to make your phone and your PC be compatible.
The compatibility issues really hold this phone back from being the media powerhouse it could have been, because it's simply more trouble than a lot of people are willing to go to. However, for those that want to put the extra effort in, the technical capabilities of the phone are enormous, and the HTC Evo 4G does stand up as probably the best camera/camcorder in the entire smartphone industry.
If you're willing to put a little extra effort into getting the best portable multimedia experience a smartphone can offer, the HTC Evo 4G definitely shines apart from the rest of the crowd.