HP Video Converter

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The HP Video Converter is designed to transcode or convert the videos that are stored on the users server into a format that is more compatible with a wide range of mobile and in home devices. The objective is to end up with a system that is more simple, easier to use, and as broadly compatible as possible.

The Video Converter is a feature that was delivered in the 2.5 Software Update for the EX485 and EX487 MediaSmart Servers. It has not been made available by HP for use on the EX470 and EX475 MediaSmart Servers.

Technical Details

The Video Converter uses the Arcsoft Transcode Engine to convert the files from their native input to the resulting MPEG-4 video files using an H.264 video codec and AAC stereo audio codec. Two output files can be configured, a full resolution (HQ) and mobile resolution (MQ).

Full resolution retains the original screen resolution and outputs a file of the new format. HQ videos retain their original bit rate, though frame rate is fixed at 24 frames per second, and audio is encoded at 192 kbit.

Mobile resolution creates a 320x240 pixel video that is much smaller and suitable for remote media streaming. MQ videos are encoded at a 256 kbit video rate at 18 frames per second, with a 96kbit audio rate.

File Types

Here is a set of tables from the MediaSmart Server documentation that lists both the Supported and Unsupported video formats.

File types.jpg

Troubleshooting and Debugging

One of the more common complaints about the HP Video Converter is the lack of detailed information when a video conversion fails. Some messages are logged in the Application Event Viewer logs on the server under the Service Name "HPTransMon", however they seem to only consist of "Starting" and "Completed" messages with no useful debug information.

The Conversion history is stored on the server in C:\Program Files\Hewlett-Packard\HP MediaSmart Server\data\JobCache.xml, and contains the information that is displayed when the user selects the "Show All Converted Videos" checkbox on the main HP Video Converter status page. This xml file contains a status code which shows the results of the conversion process. The status code is an integer between 0 and 4, and corresponds to the following error messages.

HP Video Converter Error Codes
Value Code Message
0 NO_ERROR Success
1 PROTECTED The DVD was protected
2 SOURCE_NOT_FOUND The source video could not be found
3 INTERNAL_ERROR Internal error. See event log for details
4 COPY_ERROR Failed to copy temp conversion file to final location

Clearing the Conversion History

A frequently requested topic[1] is how to remove the history from the display in the Video Converted tab. The Converter history is stored in the JobCache.xml file, however simply deleting the xml file does not work as it will be re-created by the Converter service. In order to fully remove the Converter history, perform the following steps.

  1. Log on to the server via Remote Desktop
  2. Stop the HP Transcoding Service via the Services control panel
  3. Delete the JobCache.xml, it's location is listed above
  4. Move all converted files from the "Converted Videos" share to the Videos share
  5. Start the HP Transcoding Service via the Services control panel

This should remove all entries from the Conversion history.

Adding Support for more video formats

It is possible to increase the number of supported video formats that the Video Converter will be able to transcode. This is accomplished by installing additional codecs to the server. The following instructions were provided by forum member "BigKahuna" from the MediaSmartServer.net forums[2].

NOTE: Do not attempt this unless you are comfortable with Remote Desktop and tinkering with your server.

  • Log on to the server via Remote Desktop
  • Download a set of additional DirectShow filters. Lite is one recommended package, and there are others such as ffdshow and CCCP. One method is to download the codec pack on to the local computer, copy the installer to the server Software share, log on to the server via Remote Desktop, copy the file to the Desktop, right-click the file and select Properties, then Unblock. It should now be possible to double-click and run the installer.


  • Run through the codec installation process, configuring settings as needed. For the K Lite pack, it is possible to accept all the defaults without any additional configuration. More experienced users can tweak settings if they so desire. Note that the converter will try to load any needed DirectShow filters for the videos, using typical DirectShow filter and codec navigation. (NOTE: If klite finds an invalid filter, let it remove this item).

Dvrms filter error.jpg

  • Bring up the Windows Services tool, and find the service called "HP Transcoding Service".
  • Change the logon for this service to the "Administrator" account. This is required due to some of the newly installed codecs get installed in the user space (as opposed to a system wide codec). Changing the service to run as Administrator will allow it to read all the files it needs to load all of the new filters.


You can now attempt to re-convert any files that previously failed.

Improving Quality of Mobile Videos

There are quality settings for the conversion of videos into the mobile resolution format, and these are configured in the Windows Registry of the server. It is possible to improve the quality of the encoded mobile videos by altering these settings. However, please note that a higher quality video will result in a larger file that requires more bandwidth to stream effectively. The following instructions were provided by forum member "BigKahuna" from the MediaSmartServer.net forums[3].

NOTE: Do not attempt this unless you are comfortable with Remote Desktop, Regedit, and the Windows Registry.

  • Log on to the server via Remote Desktop
  • Open Regedit, and navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Hewlett-Packard\HP MediaSmart Server\Transcoder\mq

  • The two settings of primary interest are the VideoBitRate and VideoFrameRate. These default to 256 and 18 respectively, changing them to 512 and 24 will produce a higher bitrate and more smoothly playing video, however the file will be larger and require more bandwidth to stream with pauses or stutters. Be sure to set the values as decimal, and not Hex.


  • Restart the Transcoding Service after making the changes
  • Re-convert any files

In the event of unrecoverable edits or deletions to the keys, the following node can be completely deleted and default entries will be set up when the Transcoding Service is restarted. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Hewlett-Packard\HP MediaSmart Server\Transcoder

Adding Support for New File Types

In addition to the settings above for improved visual quality, it is also possible to add new file types to the supported list. By default, .mts files are not supported which is a disappointment to owners of the popular AVCHD camcorders. However, a simple registry change can enable the Video Converter to recognize these files and attempt to convert them. Note that you will almost definitely need to add additional codecs as described in a previous section of this article in order to be able to convert the new file types.

NOTE: Do not attempt this unless you are comfortable with Remote Desktop, Regedit, and the Windows Registry.

  • Log on to the server via Remote Desktop
  • Open Regedit, and navigate to the following keys:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Hewlett-Packard\HP MediaSmart Server\Transcoder\hq

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Hewlett-Packard\HP MediaSmart Server\Transcoder\mq

  • Edit the "SourceExtensions" key under both HQ and MQ keys and append the new file type to the end of the list.


  • Restart the Transcoding Service after making the changes, and you should see your .mts files appear.


  1. http://www.mediasmartserver.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4258
  2. http://www.mediasmartserver.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4103
  3. http://www.mediasmartserver.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4105