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TedKillian 07-14-2011 12:57 PM

Trouble Using My New Aaxa M1 LED Projector with My MacBook Pro
 
Hello there! Just yesterday (7/13/11) I received my new Aaxa M1 Ultimate micro LED projector and have been trying to get it to work, as advertised, playing video filed from the SD card memory. This function is the main reason I chose the M1 and it is disappointing to not have it work. The projector powers up and screen comes on with the menu picture bright and crisp and all of that. And the buttons to navigate the menu (both on the housing and the remote) all seem to work just fine - so far so good. But I have not been able to get it to play any video files so far.

First of all, I should mention that the computer I am using to make my video files is a recent issue MacBook Pro. I have tried to create various MP4 video files according to the spec in the M1 manual and those I create simply refuse to play in the device. I keep getting a "Not Support!" alert message. I have also been using a 2GB thumb drive to transfer these MP4s to the SD card memory on the projector. My computer has a SD card slot and it reads the card itself just fine. But files I place on it directly from the Mac and then insert into the M1 are unrecognized for some unknown reason - the M1 menu says "no file."

However, as an experiment, I transfered an MP3 music file to the SD card via the thumb drive and the MP3 music file plays just fine. My guess is that I am not getting the specs for the MP4s exactly right somehow. I have tried and repeatedly converted half a dozen copies of the same file in various pixel dimensions and sample rates that should (according to the manual) be within playable parameters. But each time it is no dice,with the same resulting "Not Support!" alert message.

Another thing I have tried (because the manual says you can) is try to hook up the computer to the M1 via a USB cable (one is supplied with the projector for this purpose). But the Mac doesn't recognize the projector's memory as an external storage device (the same way it would if it were a camera or other hardware.

All of these problems are significant disappointments. But the most onerous of them the the unit's inability so far to be able to play any of the video files I've given it. There is still the VGA cable to try (as a last ditch) where I could conceivably play the video on the Mac and simply use the projector and a normal output device to mimic what's onscreen. But I am frustrated.

Any clues or help anyone can provide me would be much appreciated.:|

chscag 07-14-2011 08:25 PM

I just went on their web site and looked over the FAQs for the model you have. According to their FAQ instruction for hooking it up to a Mac, you should be using the VGA cable. I didn't go very far in reading all the instructions but I suggest if you haven't already done so that you take a look for yourself. Here is the LINK Let us know how it turns out.

And, Welcome to the Mac Forums.

chas_m 07-15-2011 02:38 AM

It could be that the filename needs to be in the DOS convention (eight letters, no spaces, three letter extension, e.g. MOVIE1.MP4) for the projector to "understand" it. Also, make sure the card is still formatted FAT32 and don't change the formatting.

TedKillian 07-15-2011 11:02 AM

That could very well be part of it. One never knows about naming conventions. However, I just tried experimentally renaming a couple of short MP4 and AVI clips and tried them and it still did not work.

Also, unfortunately, I **did** reformat the SD card. On about the 2nd or 3rd time I stuck it in the Mac's card slot it failed to be recognized (an alert saying that it was damaged and suggesting repair appeared). Blithely I obeyed. Using the Disk Utility on the Mac I erased and reformatted it to MS DOS FAT (it didn't mention the 32 in the options).

The disk seems to work in both M1 and Mac. The little projector has the capability to play MP3 audio in addition to movies. I **was** able to place an MP3 file on the card and play that in the projector just fine. So, I don't think the card format is a problem (unless you could tell me why otherwise).

The specific problem is that it refuses to play any of the movies that I have fed it so far. I have tried MP4s and AVIs in a couple of different codecs (even ones that squashed the picture quality down to rubbish) and still no joy.

I have very little experience with video. I am just getting started. I had no idea there were so many different codecs out there - MP4s that are encoded in slightly different ways (hidden under the hood) that look identical to the untrained eye. Apparently this little unit has very particular tastes.

I am still looking and hoping for an answer. Keep the advice coming, please.

Thanks!

chas_m 07-15-2011 05:55 PM

The reason you are getting the warning about failing to be recognized is because you are not properly ejecting the card. For the Mac, you MUST drag the card to the "trash" (which becomes an eject button) or right-click and choose "eject" **BEFORE** you disconnect the card from the machine, or you get directory damage and, eventually, an unreadable card.

The projector likely has its own procedure for this but I wouldn't know what that is.

As for video codecs, yes it's a nightmare isn't it? You can put the blame squarely on Microsoft for that one -- between them changing their minds about their own preferred codecs over the years, the inevitable change and improvements in video codecs and their policy of letting any Tom **** or Harry foist another video codec on the masses, there are now (literally) hundreds of them out there.

Apparently this projector is quite finicky on what it will accept. If you can quote the relevant specs from its manual, we might be able to offer more assistance.

TedKillian 07-15-2011 07:01 PM

No, not really. I am ejecting it just as you said (dragging to the trash). I am a long-time Mac user. I am on this forum because a google search for discussions of my kind of specific hardware question turned up with a link here.:D

As for the codec specs for the Aaxa M1 Ultimate X they are as follows:

SUPPORTED FORMATS:
AVI, RMVB, RM, MP4, DAT, MPG, MPEG

CODECS SUPPORTED:
*MPEG-4: DivX-4, DivX-5, DivX-6, XviD, H.263+
*RV: RealVideo-3, RealVideo-4
*MPEG2/1
*MP3:
*RA: Cooker/AAC
*LC AAC,HE AAC,MP2,PCM,AC3
*AVI (MPEG-4/MJPEG + MP3/LC AAC/HE AAC/MP2/PCM/AC3)
*MP4 (MPEG-4 + MP3/LC AAC/HE AAC/MP2/PCM/AC3) Max. bit-rate: 4 Mbps
*RMVB/RM (RV + RA) Max. bit-rate: 2 Mbps
*DAT(MPEG1+AC3/MP2) Max. bit-rate: 6Mbps
*MPG/MPEG(MPEG2/1+AC3/MP2) Max. bit-rate: 4 Mbps

MAXIMUM RESOLUTIONS:
*AVI, MP4 720*480@30fps, Max. bit-rate 2 Mbps 1280*720@30fps, Max. bit-rate 4 Mbps
*RMVB/RM 720*480@30fps, Max. bit-rate 500 Kbps 1280*720@30fps, Max. bit-rate 800 Kbps
*DAT, MPG/MPEG 720*480@30fps

If anyone can help, that'd be just great.

This whole world of video is a mystery to me.

Thanks!

chas_m 07-16-2011 05:19 AM

Thanks for that info! Can you tell us anything about the source video you're wanting to convert so that it will play on this projector?

TedKillian 07-16-2011 04:27 PM

My source material is mostly QuickTime .MOV files. I have a bunch of short looping graphical clips and some royalty-free vintage "historical" footage I bought from an online distributor. They are nearly all mostly NTSC broadcast quality. I'm just trying to find the right software to downsample them to a codec that's compatible with the Aaxa M1. So far I found a freeware program that (if I can remember to set all the settings correctly) will yield me something that works. I have converted one small clip and have it running now. My next step will be to try to tackle something larger than a loop of 30 seconds. Also, I did find that the 8-character naming convention was necessary too. The projector choked on files that had the right codec but too long of a filename (something I think they should have addressed in the manual). Thanks for the help and suggestions. I tried a couple of different programs to do the conversions, HandBrake (which came highly recommended) and MPEG Streamclip (which one of the distributors recommended). HandBrake was great for doing some of the fine tuning, but ultimately wouldnt produce a file that worked in the projector. So the winner was MPEG treamclip, which is simpler and less capable in terms of changes you can make - but, doggone it, makes a file that works!I think I am on the road at last.

chas_m 07-16-2011 11:19 PM

This sort of job would right up VisualHub's alley, sadly it was discontinued. You might take a look at a video conversion program that will let you save presets, such as iFFMPEG ($10) or Permute ($15).

es_3000 08-04-2011 07:02 PM

Any solution?
 
Hi TedKillian,
I was having a similar problem with my Optoma PK301 a few months ago, but I solved it after a few hours by exporting in various formats from Adobe AfterEffects. With this AAXA M1 I have tried .mp4 at 30fps and 720x480 resolution as the manual suggests with no success. I have tried several exporting options for a couple days now and haven't been able to do it. Did you ever solve the problem? How?
Thanks a lot.
- ES

es_3000 08-04-2011 08:26 PM

Solution
 
Hi TedKillian,
I downloaded this free video encoder
Free Video Converter for Mac OS X converts video to any formats
and exported as .avi, which the M1 was happy to play off of the memory card.
However I still prefer my smaller, lighter Optoma PK 301 - much more expensive and also finicky with video formats - but so small and so light.
- ES

chas_m 08-04-2011 11:23 PM

Glad you found a solution. I should mention that the reason the MP4s aren't working for you guys is because the preferred Mac codec for MP4 is the (superior) h.264 rather than the (older) h.263 specified in the manual.

Along with the programs I previously mentioned, the magnificent and free MPEG Streamclip will pretty easily convert your clips to XviD and AVI, both of which that projector will handle. All you'd do is open the clips in the program, select "Save as MP4" or "Save as AVI" and choose "XviD" from the radio button on the customization pane (no other customization should be necessary).


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