The Movie Phone Project!

Yes, this is the project I had been working on… heh.

Anyway, one thing I enjoy doing when out of town is taking movies to watch, especially when on a long and boring flight. In particular, whenever I go on flights for trips involving Mortal Kombat Online, it’s a tradition for me to watch Mortal Kombat on the flight there. Up until recently, I would watch the movies on my laptop. While the screen is great for that, there are two problems: 1) you’re never sure if the battery will last the whole movie, and 2) you’re not given enough room. More than once I feared damaging my laptop on a flight because someone in the seat in front of me leaned back and cut my room down. Obviously, a different tactic was needed.

So, my first idea was to buy a portable DVD player. However, the problem with that is that I would be spending $200+ on a piece of equipment I would only use maybe once every couple of months, if that. That wouldn’t be a very good investment for me. My next thought was to buy a video-capable iPod. I use my iPod every day, so it wouldn’t be like it wouldn’t be used. However… I was loathe to spend $350 to replace a piece of equipment that still worked perfectly well. Then, it suddenly occurred to me that I DID have one item already that was capable of displaying video: my cell phone.

My cell phone is a Cingular 8125, which is really a rebranded HTC Windows Mobile 5.0 device capable of holding extra storage. I did some research, and found the tools I needed: a program called TCPMP (a media player for Windows Mobile), and Auto Gordian Knot, which can convert a DVD to XviD. After reading a tutorial, I tested using the movie Mortal Kombat: I ripped my DVD into a 475 XviD file, which I then copied onto my phone’s 2 GB MiniSD storage card. I then installed TCPMP onto the phone. Did it work? Well, see for yourself… :-)

Mortal Kombat on my Cingular 8125...

The movie itself runs great without any glitches, and there’s enough battery power in the device where watching the movie won’t kill it. I even stopped by Radio Shack on the way home and picked up an adapter that would let me use my headphones on the phone. The sound came through great. :-)

So, all in all, I think I’ve come up with a long-term solution for watching movies in planes. Fortunately I won’t get any hassles out of using this; I’ve already confirmed that these devices are fine on flights so long as you can show they’re in flight mode (all radio transceivers off). It’s the low cost solution to my problem, and it seems to work fine. :-) Now, to decide what OTHER movie I want in here…

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