Giving the Nexus 7 HD video recording

As released, the Nexus 7 tablet includes a 1.2 Megapixel front-facing camera. Even though the camera supports taking pictures at a resolution of 1280 x 960, recording video is limited to a paltry 480p resolution. It turns out the inability to record HD 720p video isn’t a hardware limitation; engineers at either Google or Asus simply didn’t bother telling the Nexus 7 how to record in 720p.

[hillbeast] over on the XDA developers forum came up with a very easy fix for this problem that only involves a quick copy and paste job into the media_profiles.xml file.

After the break you can see two videos recorded with [thehillbeast]’s Nexus 7. The first is a 480p video of a bit of shrubbery and a fence, while the second video is the same scene recorded at 720p. A noticable difference in quality, and a neat hack to give the already awesome Nexus 7 some additional capabilities.

480p:

720p:

22 thoughts on “Giving the Nexus 7 HD video recording

    1. So… recording video isn’t about the subject that you’re recording, but about looking cool to any strangers that may be watching?

    2. as opposed to looking like a dork recording with a DSLR or Phone?

      Only dorks record video with things that are not a video camera.

      1. At least the dorks recording video with a DSLR are getting decent-looking footage.

        So what you’re saying is I don’t look like a dork recording video on my camcorder with its lead-acid battery and full-size VHS cassettes? That’s a relief!

    1. I’m not sure they are children. Just that they’re acting as if they are.

      Unfortunately the hack, as nice as it is, doesn’t fix the lack of a rear-facing camera of decent quality. I like the Nexus 7 I’ve been playing with and that’s really my only gripe about the tablet.

      Peace out. It’s not how you look while using your gear, it’s how well you use it.

      1. My gripe is also the lack of a SD card slot, and I’m really disappointed google had to follow the trend of the big manufacturers to pull that stunt.

        Very apple-esque.

  1. I for one appreciate this post. I own a Nexus 7, and will try this. The truth is, while a real video camera is ideal, I don’t carry one in my car all the time. Every once in a while, I’ll send a video message to somebody. Why not up the resolution if it’s possible? I’m sure nobody bought the Nexus 7 to use as their main camera (funny how Asus stripped the rear camera and the TF slot for production, those bastards) but if you already have the tablet why the hell not test its limits?

  2. Chances are they didn’t add 720p recording to protect users from themselves. If 720p is near the limit of its capability, it might interfere with other running apps. Not every app a user might find and load on their tablet is well-written and tolerant of resource starvation. Not all users understand resources, or why bad things might happen when they record video at high resolution while running a dozen other things.

    I too have deliberately removed nice but non-essential features from apps I’ve written, when I think they’ll cause trouble in the wrong hands. Usually I leave a hidden way to access them. When an advanced user contacts me and says “it would be nice if the app could do this”, I can surprise them by saying it can; and explain any caveats knowing they’ll be understood.

      1. My clientele includes a large number of people who, if you tell them to turn off the computer, they turn off the monitor. Who don’t know how to navigate directories, or copy a file to back it up; and if they say they did, they really may not have, or may not be able to figure out where they put the copy. And who certainly shouldn’t be given the ability to apply sweeping changes to their app database, when it may have unintended consequences that require restoring a backup. All from direct experience, and countless hours of tech support.

        So, are you a member of this group, to have gotten so easily offended? Or are you just ignorant of the fact that such people exist?

      2. I don’t think you should cater to the lowest common denominator.
        I also think that even if you happen to serve the senile and need to, you should not advocate that as a standard that makers of technical items like a modern tablet should adopt.

        and I also doubt it’s an issue to record 720p, and even if it interfered with some app for some reason people will notice and not record while using that app.

  3. It’s a $200 tablet. You were expecting HD quality recording? Look at what was previously available at the same price range.

    1. It’s not that anyone expected more. It’s just that some people, includng myself, enjoy tinkering wth our devices amd pushing them to their limits. The first thing I did with my N7 was root it. Know what? It still works great and I’m using it to post this comment.

      I AM ROOT, DAMNIT.

      And if I want to make a 720 video with my tablet, now I can. The Sony Handycam is still in the trunk if I need it. :-)

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