This post shows you how to configure the Apple iMovie09 movie creation software to export a movie that you can play in High Def (HD – 1920 x 1080) on your Samsung television

The newer (~2010) Samsung LCD and LED televisions have the ability to play music, photos and video from a directly attached USB devices.  This allows people to store photos, music and videos on a USB key or USB hard drives and then attach to the TV for playback.  As well, many people now have cameras and cellular phones that record video in High Definition (HD).  This means you can easily play your home made HD video in HD on your TV.

On a recent business trip to India, I took lots of photos and video.  Using iMovie09, I created a nice travel video showcasing all the places I visited.  It had a mix of still photos, HD video, regular definition video (SD) and music.   India is a beautiful country,  so I really really wanted to show the movie in HD.  I don’t have a Blu-Ray disc burner, so my only option is to export the movie from iMovie onto my 8gig USB key and then plug the USB key into the Samsung TV for playback.

Here are the steps:

  • Construct your movie using iMovie.
  • Use the settings shown in the image below:

In the Samsung TV user manual, there is a table titled “Supported Video Formats”.  This is an excellent table (thank you Samsung).  It lists the various movie formats, resolution, frame rate, bit rate and audio codecs supported.

For 1920 x 1080 resolutions with HD encoding (25Mbps), Samsung supports the following formats:

  • AVI (H.264 BP/MP/HP)
  • WMV (Windows Media Video v9)
  • MP4 (H.264 BP/MP/HP)

I created some 15second movies in each format.  The Samsung TV only recognized the MP4 format.

NOTE #1 – Issue with iMovie 09 and error code 2125

My video was only 34 minutes long.  I have 200Gig free on my hard drive.   It took iMovie 2 hours to render my movie.  After two hours, the rendering failed throwing an iMovie error 2125.

To fix this problem, I had to remove the CHAPTER MARKER I had put at the beginning of the movie.  It turns out there is a bug in the software:  you cannot have chapter markers in the first few seconds of the movie, otherwise QuickTime will fail the render.

I removed that marker and re-rendered the movie, it worked.

NOTE #2 – High Definition Movie File Size

With the bit rate set to 25Mbps, you are pushing 25Mbits  or 3.2 Mbytes per second into the TV to display your movie in high def.  This works out to ~200 Mbytes per minute of data.

My movie was 34 minutes long, so 34 x 200 Mbytes = 6.6 Gbytes of data.  However, there is some data compression, so my actual file size was:

  • 4.2 gigabytes for 34 minutes of high def video.

This file size easily fits on a 8gig USB key.  If you’re planning to show your 2 hour HD movie at your friends house, you’ll need a 16gig or 24gig USB key or external hard drive.  So filesize is something to keep mind.