1080p Rocks on the Galaxy Tab! (Video Demo and Review)

Updated on 17 October 2010 by

Galaxy Tab plays 1080p

A full video demonstration of video capabilities is embedded further down in this article. Thanks to Techdepot for supporting us with the Galaxy Tab

I admit was a little suspicious of the claims that the Galaxy Tab could play back ‘Full HD’ content but it’s now confirmed. I’ve managed to play back two 1080p H.264 format files. To be honest, 720p is the perfect fit for a device like this, especially as it has no digital video outputs (unconfirmed but ‘settings’ offers only PAL and NTSC as ‘TV-OUT’ options for the docking connector) but if you’re the sort of person that carries around films in 1080p format you’ll be pleased to hear this.

There are caveats though. The first is that I’ve only managed to play back H.264 at 1080p levels. The second is that the Galaxy Tab doesn’t support multi-channel audio. I.e. it can’t mix down to two channels. Finally, I can’t seem to get an MPEG-2 file to play. Those with pure DVD copies (vobs) might want to take note and do some more research on that.

In terms of video file format support I’ve had success with AVI and MKV containers and WMV, H.264, Xvid and Divx encoded video files. AAC and MP3 is supported (2-channel only.) In terms of bitrates, i’ve tested H/264 up to an average 13Mbps which is a very heavy load. The Tab handled it well with no visible dropped frames and no tearing. The screen quality is just amazing!

Imagine this: When sitting on my sofa and holding the Tab about half arms-length from my eyes, it’s the equivalent of a 100cm diagonal screen where my TV is on the other side of the room!

Galaxy Tab Video Playback 1080p

The player software is good and you can adjust screen brightness, (brightness, contrast and saturation is also available in system settings) to suit your preferences. There’s easy access to video size ratio changes, favourites and volume. Fast forwarding and skipping is very quick and there’s a great ‘Mosaic’ preview feature that allows you to preview various parts of a video using snapshots.

The stereo speakers are really good although both are on the base of the device in portrait mode which means that when holding the device in landscape, the speakers are too easy to cover. The supplied headset quality is fine although not super high-quality. Portrait usage doesn’t seem to be supported but you can rotate the device through 180 degrees to put the headset port in a better position.

All in all the experience is excellent and rises way above most Android-based video experiences.

Enjoy the video below and yes, I realise I need to invest in an HD camera ;-)

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35 Comments For This Post

  1. tscotsman says:

    Seems that the files that were not playing with audio seemed to have 6ch. Were all these DTS? Did you try AC3 as thats meant to be compatible along with AAC.

    Just wanted to check so that when I get this I have to convert every file that has multi channel audio to stereo.

  2. tscotsman says:

    Just noticed on your video it was 6CH AAC.

  3. Charbax says:

    Are you testing High Profile High Bitrate h264 1080p? The High Profile thing for h264 mkv is a big deal. Without full High Profile and high bitrate support, the 1080p would be kind of worthless. DTS audio is in probably about 60% of 1080p movies and a good 30-40% of 720p movies that one can find on BitTorrents, when searching for currently most seeded/leeched movies. Archos supports DTS audio. So no DTS audio support is kind of a big deal.

  4. AJ says:

    There you go again with your made up statistics. The Galaxy Tab is world’s better than the gen 8 tablets.

  5. tscotsman says:

    Archos does not support dts never has but I do believe it supports multiple channel aac. As long as the samsung can handle ac3 I will be happy. I kNow that the archos can handle ac3.

  6. Charbax says:

    DTS has been working on Archos for about 6 months through a firmware update.

  7. Tim says:

    Since the Galaxy Tab uses the same chipset as the Galaxy S phones, it’s video capabilities should be pretty good.

    The Galaxy S phones can play many of the 720p anime .mkv’s smoothly which are good stress tests for high profile and high level h.264 video playback. The Archos tablets can’t play them at all and the player just crashes.

  8. Charbax says:

    Anime are good stress tests, they are just weird. Using non standard encoding settings. Archos can have those work as well, they are tweaking decode when decode bugs are reported. It just might be the Korean samsung engineers prioritize niche asian animations higher than mkv video high profile high bitrate with real DTS and AC3 surround sound.

  9. Alpha says:

    They use standard H.264 encode settings. They aren’t using some video standard they made themselves. You should learn more about H.264 and video encoding before making your claims.

    The fact is that the Archos tablets only have partial H.264 support. It’s also fact that the Samsung Galaxy S and likely Galaxy Tab has better H.264 support.

  10. Philip says:

    According to Charbax’s archosfans forum, an Archos employee pretty much confirmed that these videos will never work on the gen 7 and gen 8 Archos tablets.

  11. killua says:

    i will never buy archos again..bought the archos 5 and archos 5 internet tablet, both of them crush alot even with the updates. Theyre laggy as hell. Ill take the samsung galaxy tab even though it doesnt have dts support. Ill just convert it if i have too.

  12. Allen says:

    I can confirm that I have played several 720p .mkv videos on my Galaxy S phone. I’ve also played a few 1080p high profile at level 4.1 .mkv videos perfectly. Some are anime and others are TV/movie Blu-ray rips. My friend’s A5IT played 0% of the anime and 1080p videos.

    These Asian animations aren’t just for a “niche” market. Especially with people watching them all over the world. Most of them are probably for the younger crowd but according to his holiness Steve Jobs, 7 inch tablets are for tweeners anyway, right? These tweeners are probably going to make up a very large portion of the tablet user base so catering to them might be a good idea.

  13. Charbax says:

    Probably not high profile high bitrate h264 1080p in mkv, those files are above 4GB, cant even be stored on samsung. And tweeners dont pay $1500 for their tablets.

  14. Allen says:

    Some of the 720p mkvs were:
    Format profile : High@L4.1
    Bit rate : 9 000 Kbps

    The 1080p mkvs were:
    Format profile : High@L4.1
    Bit rate: 9-12 Mbps

    My Galaxy S phone played them perfectly. Can’t say that for Archos.

  15. Allen says:

    The 1080p tests files were split using mkvmerge.

  16. Ross says:

    Tweeners may not pay $1500 up front but they will pay $300 up front and then $20-$40 monthly for mobile broadband. Some will pay the $600 up front and get no data plan. Anyway, some of my friends’ kids have bought the iPad 3G or WiFi only version with money they saved from part time jobs.

    So stop making misleading statements like these tablets costing $1500 for the hardware.

  17. Charbax says:

    Provide exact Media Info on those 1080p high profile high bitrate videos, otherwise I won’t believe it. Also, 95% of 1080p movies are larger than 4GB, that’s for one not supported on Samsung, then 95% also use DTS audio, that as well is not supported. If you have to re-compress 95% of your 1080p movies it simply is useless. Then it’s only for marketing. I asked about 20 Samsung reps even product managers and engineers at IFA, none of them were even able to give any specifics about exactly which codecs, which resolution/bitrates/complexities are exactly supported.

  18. Ronald says:

    Most of my gadget loving and buying friends watch anime (engineers seem to like it) and wouldn’t be considered part of the tweener category. They’re in their 20s and 30s.

  19. tscotsman says:

    Archos doesnt play DTS just tried it with various files, AC3 is ok, which the Samsung should be able to handle. This taken from Archos own website, notice no support for DTS. Also looked through all the updates that the Archos 5 IT has had no mention of DTS ever being added.

    Audio Playback1 • MP3 CBR & VBR
    • WMA, WMA-Pro 5.1
    • AAC, AAC+ 5.13
    • OGG Vorbis
    • FLAC

    With optional software plug-ins (downloadable on http://www.archos.com):
    • AC3 5.1

  20. Charbax says:

    DTS works on Archos Gen7 and Gen8, end of story. Watch my videos, I show it.

  21. Jez@SammyTablet says:

    Very nice. HD video is one of the things that would attract me to the Tab (or any other capable tablet!).

    Have you tried plugging it into a proper big telly?!

  22. grogeek says:

    Did you know if the iPod cable video output (component) is compatible with the Galaxy Tab ??

  23. Ronald says:

    Can you use something like mediainfo (mediainfo.sourceforge.net) to tell us the specs of the actual 1080p videos you played? There’s more to H.264 than just resolution and bit rate. Thanks!

  24. Kevin says:

    I second this. H.264 videos are more complicated than just resolution and bit rate. H.264 has many settings that can affect a players ability to play a particular video. For example, profile, level, CABAC, number of reference frames, frame rate, motion compensation settings, weighted frames, number of b-frames, key frame interval, and others.

    That’s why the Archos tablets can play a 720p MKV at 3 Mbps but crashes when trying to play a 720p MKV animation that’s 1 Mbps.

  25. grogeek says:

    Well, the IPod cable does’nt work ! I can’t plug-in correctly.

    How can i transfert mkv HD video on my Tab with a FAT32 format ???
    Can I format my Tab with another Format ext3 ? ntfs ?

  26. tscotsman says:

    I thought the tab file format was EXT3, you should be able to just copy across files of any size.

  27. tscotsman says:

    of course you could split the mkv. As you know file size limit on FAT32 is 4gb

  28. grogeek says:

    Tks tscotsman

    But when i’m connect to my May, the filesystem is FAT32 (maybe it’s a hack to mount on OSX ?) i’ll trying this evening with my linux machine

  29. grogeek says:

    May = Mac

  30. grogeek says:

    I’m trying to upload (via FTP) on my TAB.
    it’s in progress, apparently it’s ok

  31. grogeek says:

    nope, error at 4 GO of upload.

  32. Wouter says:

    I hope there is a way to address the sound issue, i.e. the lack of support to play the audio of a video with 5.1 sound. ;( Is this an android (software) issue, of a hardware issue?

  33. tscotsman says:

    Actually got my galaxy tab. Brilliant device so glad i got this instead of the archos. Plays 720p with ac3 perfectly. Also tried some 1080p samples and they play fine. The only.issue is dts and that can be played by other video players, so it appears that it can play more files than the archos. I would advise if you have the money get the tab you wont regret it.

  34. DeviousDog says:

    The problem with Audio channels is not with the device but with the OS. Androids Core Media Formats (http://developer.android.com/guide/appendix/media-formats.html#core) are rather lacking and support of anything other than mono/stereo is just plain stupid. Almost all movies and t.v. shows are produced in surround (6 channels), so unless you wish to re-mux or transcode all your movies wait for the Core Media Formats of the Android OS to be fix. Why cant it mux 6 channels into 2 channels on the fly!!! Apples iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad where able to do this over a year ago.

    It’s a real shame, I returned my device after 2 hours of play. Not interested in re-converting all my video when the device should be able to support more than 2 channels.

    This is what happens when you take an OS for a phone and dump it on a Tablet.. And it now seems that the Galaxy Tab will now not support Android 3.0

  35. chippy says:

    Do we know if android 3 will support multichannel audio?

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