Sunday, June 1, 2014

Video DownloadHelper Codes and Names

Video DownloadHelper Codes and Names For downloading flash videos from Youtube and other streaming sites, my tool of choice is usually the Firefox plugin called "Video DownloadHelper" - it works great when I need it, is very minimal when I don't, and seems to just always work. The one issue though, is that it has a somewhat bizarre naming scheme for how different download options appear for Youtube (for example, HQ36 and HQ5 - what do these mean?).

This annoyed me enough that I made a handy cheat sheet for myself, both in picture form, and as a table. They are posted below, and all the information comes directly from the preferences for Video DownloadHelper (right click on icon -> "preferences" -> "capture" tab on top -> "YouTube" tab below "capture" tab).
Video DownloadHelper Codes and Names
Now in HTML table form:
Type Format Video Audio Name
[HQ18] MP4 360x270 / 480x360 Stereo Medium
[HQ38] MP4 4096x3072 Stereo 4K
[HQ37] MP4 1920x1080 Stereo 1080p
[HQ22] MP4 1280x720 Stereo 720p
[HQ35] FLV 854x480 Stereo 480p
[HQ34] FLV 640x360 Stereo 360p
[HQ6] FLV 360x270 Mono HQ6
[HQ5] FLV 320x240 Mono HQ5
[HQ17] 3GP 176x144 Stereo Mobile
[HQ13] 3GP 176x144 Mono HQ13
[HQ82] MP4 480x360 Stereo HQ82
[HQ83] MP4 360x240 Stereo HQ83
[HQ84] MP4 960x720 Stereo HQ84
[HQ85] MP4 720x540 Stereo HQ85
[HQ36] 3GP 360x240 Stereo HQ36
[HQ37] MP4 1920x1080 Stereo 1080p
[HQ38] MP4 4096x3072 Stereo 4K
[HQ43] WEBM 640x360 Stereo WebM360p
[HQ44] WEBM 854x480 Stereo WebM480p
[HQ45] WEBM 1280x720 Stereo WebM720p
[HQ46] WEBM 1440x1080 Stereo WebM1080p
Yes, I am aware that for some reason a few of the names are repeated - again this information is directly from the plugin, so it is not my mistake.

Another way to make the plugin a little easier to use it change the "Display HQ prefix" setting. Here is what a sample Youtube download menu looks like before changing it.
Video DownloadHelper Youtube Menu before changing setting

Next, I change the "Display HQ prefix" setting to "[Np WxH]". This tells the plugin to display the name of the type and then the dimensions.
Changing the Video DownloadHelper Display HQ Prefix setting

Finally, here is what it looks like now, after changing the setting:
Video DownloadHelper Youtube Menu after changing setting

Hope this post helped someone! If you have information to add that could help others, feel free to leave it below in the comments!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Android HDMI Sticks List and Comparisons (Media Players)

It used to be that a "media center" was a 50 pound box in the corner of your entertainment room, with more dials and buttons than a NASA control panel. Now, the new rage is "Android HDMI sticks" or "Android HDMI boxes" (sometimes even called "Android Mini PCs"), which can be acquired for as little as around $30, take up no more space than an Altoids mints tin, can play any video format, stream Netflix and other services, and can even run games and applications. My parents recently asked me to find them a good one to buy, and when I started looking around, I was amazed at the massive number of different models that exist and how confusing it was to figure out the differences between brands and devices. To help, I made a massive spread sheet with all the different models I could find, and included specifications, URLs, and prices. It helped me pick one that fit our needs, and hopefully it can help you too! The spreadsheet is embedded below, and by default is sorted by price, from cheapest to most expensive.

Dual Core A9 = this is really a 1.6 GHz dual-core RK3066 (with integrated Mali-400 GPU). This is what most of the sticks are using, unless they are using a quad core

ROM = this is memory on the stick that is used (and I am oversimplifying here) to store files and applications. The more ROM the stick has, the more videos you can download and keep on the stick instead of streaming, and the more applications you should be able to install.

RAM = this is memory on the stick that is used (and I am again oversimplifying here) really only for the operating system of the stick, not for storing files. RAM  is correlated with performance, but not necessarily speed, so the more RAM the stick has really means the more apps you can have running at one time, or certain apps might work better (if they are RAM intensive), and there is less likely to be stuttering video / dropped frames.

Flash = To my knowledge, every one of these sticks supports flash, but you it might require some expertise to get it installed. Some of the sticks however, come with it pre-installed. See the "notes" column in the spreadsheet.

Prime = Whether the product is eligible for Amazon Prime or not. Prime is a great service from Amazon that enables you to get free 2-day shipping on most items for a low yearly cost (you also get free streaming TV shows and select Kindle titles). I can't say enough nice things about it, and if you want to learn more, you can check it out here. Items that are prime eligible have free 2-day shipping for prime members, and free standard shipping for everyone else. Most of the Android sticks are prime, and the ones that are not still usually have free shipping.

General Overview: Most of the devices are very similar, in that they have the same processor and amount of memory. The main differences seem to be in RAM, quality of the device (is there enough heat dissipation?), and more specifically, how good the WIFI reception is. Pay close attention to reviews, but at the same time, realize that sometimes people are trying to compare something that they paid $50 for, to competing products that cost over $300.

Disclaimer: Prices were fetched on 5/31/2014. They are subject to change. I will try to update them once in a while, but I am also very lazy.

If you find a stick on your own that is not in my list, feel free to leave a comment or email me, and I will add it to the list so others can see it.

Tags: Android HDMI Sticks List, Android Sticks Comparison, Best Android HDMI sticks, Android boxes list, Android boxes comparisons, Android mini PC list