Google’s Nexus 7 tablet is a really nice device (see my review), it’s a great size and is very good value for money. The 1280×800 display is very nice and is great for watching videos on so I thought I would see if it could be used to watch Windows Media Center recorded TV on it.
My Windows Media Center system is Freeview HD (DVB-T2) and so I have tested standard def recordings as well as HD recordings.
The nice thing about Android over iOS is that you can just plug in a USB cable to the Media Center machine and copy the files over without having to use an app like iTunes. So to do the tests I copied over an SD recording and a HD recording.
First the SD recording, I recorded a show from ITV4 and copied it to the Nexus 7. Using the the Play Movie app I couldn’t find the WTV file and other video player apps won’t find it either which isn’t surprising as its not a standard video format. So I downloaded VLC player from Google Play which scans for playable video files automatically but that didn’t find it either. To find the file I downloaded a File Manager app from Google Play which worked and I could find the file, selecting Open let me pick an app to watch the video on and I used VLC which played back the SD fine.
Next I tested a HD file, this was recorded from BBC1 HD and was about 4GB in size. I used the same method to playback the video file and opened it in VLC but the video was not watchable, you could just about make out the picture but not watchable at all. So my next test was to convert the file into a better format for the Nexus, so using Handbreak I converted the HD WTV file to mp4 and used the Android HD settings. This reduced the file down from 4gb to about 400mb and played perfectly from VLC and Google Play Video. The bonus with the converted file is that as it’s a standard mp4 file its listed automatically in the video app and VLC so its much easier to play.
I also tested an MKV file, this worked fine in VLC but won’t work in the Google Play video app.
So if you want to watch Windows Media Center files on the Nexus 7 you can with the help of VLC, for HD recordings your going to have to convert them with a tool like Handbreak or WTV Converter.