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Help required with a Digital Projector issue

Dabber 17 235 England
26 Oct 2018 4:31PM
Hopefully someone out there has a better understanding of digital video formats than me.

Basically our granddaughter had seen something called 'Singing Pumpkins' on Youtube which, to be honest, are good.

So I bought a set on line (probably from America), no problem, as they came as a download. They work great on the PC as MP4 files.
The idea is to project the image(s) onto actual pumpkins and their animated faces sing a range of Halloween themed pop songs.

So I bought a cheap and cheerful projector, plugged in the USB memory stick, navigated through the menu to the first file, but as soon as I clicked play the unit shut down,with the message on the image 'no file'and basically froze. Having taken the USB stick out and switched the projector on it projected a still image from, probably the first frame (even though the USB was now unplugged) I thought that being dead cheap I needed a more upmarket one, and with Halloween but days away nipped out and got a £300 Epson. Cut along story short, same thing happened.

However, if I play the MP4 file on my laptop and connect any of the two to the PC with an HDMI it works a treat! I don't want to take the laptop out, so I am desperate to get a solution so that I dion't have to get the laptop out to play via HDMI cable.

It has been suggested that there may be some sort of format anomalies, which is way beyond my knowledge, but there may be someone out there with the knowledge to help. So, can I convert the current MP4 into something that the Epson is compatible with, and/or convert the current file type to something else.

Hopefully I can resolve this before 31st October................thanks for reading


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26 Oct 2018 8:10PM
Just thinking aloud...but surely a projector just blows up and projects whatever the PC/ laptop is seeing on its own screen...therefore said PC/laptop does need a connection (HDMI whatever..) to the projector...or how else does it know quite what to “project”...?

...Or are projectors these days allegedly capable of reading and projecting directly off a memory stick plugged into it somewhere...? If so, you’d think MP4 is a pretty common file format...

No help whatsoever Sad we need someone more knowledgable...

Tianshi_angie 4 2.6k England
26 Oct 2018 8:49PM
Bluetooth connection?
AlexE 2 159 United Kingdom
26 Oct 2018 10:49PM
For converting files try cloud-convert. I've had no problems with them, you do have to sign up but they don't send you any spam. I've had a "similar" problem with playing stuff on a TV from a usb stick and changing the format seemed to work. Good luck.
Dabber 17 235 England
1 Nov 2018 6:10PM
I never resolved this issue with the projector, so I was wondering if anyone out there is using (or can recommend a projector that will definitely show MP4 video files?
Thanks in advance

Chris_L 5 5.2k United Kingdom
1 Nov 2018 11:10PM
MP4 isn't actually a format, it's a container - in the same way as RAR, ZIP, MKV etc can be one file that contain several files. MP4 containers hold video streams, audio streams, subtitles etc in a variety of formats.

That's where the problem lies.

You equipment might me able to handle an MP4 file that contains video encoded with MPEG-4 and stereo audio encoded as mp3 but is unable to play another MP4 that has video encoded in HEVC and surround audio encoded in DTS.

To further complicate matters the video stream within an MP4 might be at a bitrate that is too high for the projector to pull it off USB, decode it and project it but even a modest laptop will manage that. That would explain the first frame showing up and then the thing crashing. A faster USB stick might help but I think you'd be lucky to solve the problem with just that.

Chris_L 5 5.2k United Kingdom
1 Nov 2018 11:19PM
If you Google for Epson projector mp4 bitrates you get a page with this table


I'm not sure which model it relates to but it only supports older codecs and resolutions in MP4 containers and warns underneath about USB speeds.
Dabber 17 235 England
4 Nov 2018 9:46PM
And I thought that the USB was the simple answer to all connectivity problems!
Which, of course, the advertising leads us to believe. So it seems quite likely that whatever MP4 I have on the USB stick it can work (or not) randomly on various projectors?
Thanks for enlightening me.
Dabber 17 235 England
8 Nov 2018 9:03PM
I am still struggling to find a solution...........
Does anyone know if there is a device, perhaps similar to a.'card reader's into which a device (sd, USB or similar) can be plugged in and then HDMI output to the projector.
Ideally I want to use the projector, but without having to use a Laptop.
Thanks (again) for looking.
Chris_L 5 5.2k United Kingdom
9 Nov 2018 1:36AM
This is the kind of thing you want. Their only job is to play media and they tend to play any file you throw at them.
pathrover 4 41 United Kingdom
9 Nov 2018 11:52AM
This seems very complicated (and expensive) to project some amusing videos onto a pumpkinSmile

Wouldn't it be easier just to hollow it out, cut out some face shapes and put a candle inside. That always amuses me.SmileSmile
Dabber 17 235 England
10 Nov 2018 11:09PM
It's not particularly expensive, the projector I used was about £30. My problem was not being able to run it directly from the USB stick. On the night I had to use my laptop connected with an HDMI cable. Hopefully next time it will be simpler if the little unit recommended by Chris L works, I ordered it yesterday. Also, the set up can be used to show slide shows or films.
By the way these animations are brilliant, I haven't seen them around here, we had loads of 'trick or treaters' and you could see the suprise and enjoyment on their faces, both the kids and grown ups. Do a Google search on Singing Pumpkins and view the examples.

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