Nook Color Video Player Guide – How to Setup Movies

Nook Color Videos

I’ve been experimenting with the video player that comes with the Nook Color (no hack required) and have found a quick way to set up movies and videos to watch on the Nook Color without a lot of complicated steps.

This method outlined below isn’t by any means the only way to set up videos for the Nook Color, but is the way that I’ve found works effectively and is easy to set up. The videos run smooth and look great.

The first thing you are going to need for this method is a free video software program called Handbrake.

Here are the steps I use with Handbrake to set up my movies (you may need another software program such as DVD Shrink to burn your DVDs to your hard-drive).

  • Open Handbrake.
  • In the upper left, click source to add your video file or folder.
  • Once the file is added, it’s a good idea to run some test chapters instead of doing the whole movie. Select a chapter or two to test.
  • Set the destination of the file.
  • Make sure the container says MP4 File.
  • In the “Picture” tab, set Anamorphic to None.
  • Hit the “Video” tab and set the video codec to MPEG-4 (FFmpeg).
  • Set the “Target Size” of the video to determine the quality. Rough scale do 5-20MBs per minute of video length. Do 5MB per minute for lower quality and 20MB for fairly high (obviously you can go higher or lower if you want). I’ve been using about 10MB per minute, meaning you would set the target size at 1200MB for a 2 hour movie, 300MB for every half hour.
  • Once you’ve finished with the settings, hit “Play” and your computer will go to work (for some reason I often have to change the file path for this to work).

That’s it. Once your computer finishes putting your file together you can add it to the Nook Color’s video folder on the memory card or internal memory.

Of course you can experiment with the settings of Handbrake even further to customize your videos. This is just the quickest way that I’ve found that works.

According to the manual the Nook Color can play these video formats: 3GP, 3G2, MP4, M4V, and OGG. And supports MPEG-4 Simple Profile up to 854×480, H.263 up to 352×288, and H.264 Baseline profile up to 854×480.

If you’ve come across any better settings using Handbrake or know of another program for converting movies to watch on the Nook Color, please feel free to share.

24 Responses to “Nook Color Video Player Guide – How to Setup Movies”

  1. nathan
    what do you recommend best? The IQ 701 or the nook color. Because now Im between those two. If the IQ is upping its price to 180 is closer to the Nook therefore I may buy the Nook if its better, What I;m concern is about the battery. When the warranty is gone after a year and the battery is failing, am I going to throw the device away, whereas the IQ has two year warranty and with the speculation of more thing to come…

    • That’s a tough choice but I’d choose the hacked nook color because of the better screen quality and crisper text, faster processor, and smooth video and game play. The only real downside when comparing them is the battery like you said. The IQ’s is user replaceable and so far I haven’t heard of a solution for replacing the nook’s battery. The nook’s battery should last a few hundred charge cycles though, so I’m not too worried about it.

  2. Nathan
    I was on the nook color discusssion board and several people had tried dvd catalyst 4 and were very happy with the result. I went ahead and bought it and it has a setting for the nook color. The quality of the video was very good to excelent.

  3. Tried using Handbrake and found the best settings for me were the same as your except I had to use the “universal” preset (size: 854×480, anamorphic: none, video codec: MPEG-4, Target Size with no visible loss was 2 gigs for 4.6 gig 720p mkv movie [toy story 3 – 1h46m]).

    Thanks for all the great info.

  4. For a couple years I have used CuCuSoft for shrinking movies for my iPod Touch with great results (over 50 movies stored on my 32GB Touch). I have now again been successfully backing up my own DVDs for my wonderful NookColor. You have the option of what size to convert to, and I save a slightly larger file than what I used for the Touch of about 450-500MB which produces a bright crisp movie when played on NC. I start by saving them to a Nook file on my computer hard drive and then copy them to my 16GB micro-SD card, which has the capacity for about 30+ movies, while in the Nook. I can add or delete on the card as desired,and can keep a limitless supply of movies in my hard-drive to watch on the NC. If I can do it, anybody can.

  5. I downloaded handbrake to nook color but when I try to open it says no file to open download?.

  6. As a Nook Color user, I think Foxreal Video Convert ( ) is also a good choice. It can convert all format videos to Nook Color with the optimized format (MP4, H.264, 854×480). Moreover, it supports CUDA acceleration to help u convert video with 500% faster conversion. U can try it, good luck!

  7. I just received a nook color and when I try to play youtube videos l get a message stating I need to update my flashplayer. Is it possible to play youtube vids directly to my nook?

  8. You can if you go to the mobile YouTube site, I think (it’s been awhile since I had a stock Nook Color; I have the YouTube player installed on my hacked NC). Regardless, once B&N updates to 2.2 soon, Flash will be supported.

  9. There’s a shortcut on the web browser to the youtube mobile site. You can stream youtube videos from there, but they don’t look very good. Looking forward to 2.2 as well as the official nook app store. No word on when that’s happening, though.

  10. towards the end I would get

    [00:28:47] work: average encoding speed for job is 231.032394 fps
    [00:28:47] sync: got 64836 frames, 64762 expected
    [00:28:47] mpeg2 done: 64836 frames
    [00:28:47] render: lost time: 0 (0 frames)
    [00:28:47] render: gained time: 0 (0 frames) (0 not accounted for)

    …and handbrake will just sit there and does nothing. Any suggestions?

  11. The simplest method I have found is to open the movie with quicktime 7, then export using movie to Iphone option, that’s it!

  12. My nook color will not play the mp4 movies I have downloaded to it. I used cytalyst 4 to convert it to the correct format, but still cannot get it to play. Any suggestions?

  13. How do I change the universal preset on handbrake? Many of you suggest to put it on preset universal 854 X 430. I can’t go any higher than 720. I have also followed the rest of the steps but the downloaded movies on my nc are all jumbled up.
    Any ideas?

  14. You can’t use a higher resolution than the original video. I do something similar with handbrake, but I use a straight up 512 bitrate, instead of the target size option. I get 400-600mb size files. 768 bit rate would increase the file sizes about 50%.

  15. You need to wait for it to say Encoding Finished at the bottom of the main Handbrake window. I don’t know why there isn’t some sort of completion bar, but it does finish. Give it about 15 minutes or so.

    “[00:28:47] render: gained time: 0 (0 frames) (0 not accounted for)

    …and handbrake will just sit there and does nothing. Any suggestions?”

  16. Nathan..thank you for your insight about adding a video to a color nook…it worked for me. attention to dragging it over to the SD card…mine read NO NAME. However also appearing was the nook color icon. attention people that you drag your formatted video over to the correct location.

  17. Hi, I’ve put up a list of settings on XDA that are primarily meant for Handbrake users but you can use across the board.

    It’s a rather long post, so I’ll link the original thread and try to summarize as best I can.


    Summary: MP4 (warning adding chapter markers or soft subs will cause this to change to M4V), ipod G5 support enabled. Anamorphic: loose, modulus: 16, Width: 854. Codec: H.264 (use base level only!). Choice of avg bitrate 1500 kbps (1 pass is comparable to 2pass) or constant RF=20; subjectively to me the former is better quality for high-action scenes. RF=20 setting is 1/2 the file size. Sound: AAC, stereo, 44.1Mhz, 160kbps (128kbps = lower quality, saves space). If subs exist, burn in to avoid MP4 -> M4V issue. Leave chapter markers unchecked for same reason.

    File size is ~12MB/sec for 1500kbps avg bitrate (300MB file for a 25min episode, and 1.44GB for a 2 hour movie) and ~6MB/sec for RF=20 (150MB for 25min episode, 720MB for 2 hr movie). You can always fiddle with bitrate to lower the size, but as I’m picky and have a 16GB uSD card, I like this relatively quality setting. YMMV. 🙂

  18. I can’t get this to work. I have purchased multiple movies with Blu-Ray, DVD, and Digital Copy. I was successful in getting the digital copy installed on my computer (unlocking with the code that comes with it).

    Copying the digital version of the movie to my Nook doesn’t work. The movie does play on my computer.

    I have HandBrake installed so I tried to use some of the settings listed here to convert the files but the digital copies on my computer produce an error when I set them as the source in HandBrake.

    I discovered that if I put the DVD version in my DVD player, HandBrake will read the file with no errors but I have tried the settings you all have suggested here and none of the resulting videos will play on my computer or my Nook. They are all garbled.

    Any ideas as to what I am doing wrong?

    I believe I am being legal by purchasing the digital versions to play on my Nook. Is this true?

    Gotta run tornadic storms moving in.

  19. Gageha: It could be the format that you converted to, I had the same problem. I was converting to a MP4HD version, which will not work in Nook Color. Try converting to MP4 AVC format – that one works. I was very frustrated, but kept trying new ways and found one that I got to work.
    I use the converter thru Amerisoft,( it is the converter for around $60. After you download the software to your computer:
    Click on the Amerisoft icon from your desktop.
    Insert disc into dvd drive, then click file; Load DVD Rom;
    Click on common download then click OK
    Change profile to : MP4 Video (AVC)
    Change to Low Quality / small
    Change output location to where-ever you want it sent – I send to a G: location which is my Sandisk micro SD card
    Click convert
    It will take almost as long to convert as it does for the movie to play in its entirety.
    Once it is done converting, you are done. Remove your SD card, insert into your Nook Color and you to your files, touch the Memory Card link (on Nook) and find your movie.
    Your movie should play now.
    I am no expert and have no technology expertise, so if this does not work for you, unfortunately I cannot answer any questions.
    I hope this helps anyone looking for ways to get your movies on your Nook Color… Good luck.

  20. Just use AnyVideoConverter … free download, no need to pay for any other converters. Very simple to use.

    1. Click on Video to Convert, select video
    2. Check Frame size of video
    3. Select mp4 profile
    4. Select x264 video setting and frame size to original if under 800, otherwise select a size under 800
    5. Set video bit rate (768 is adequate on small screens – 1000 is DVD quality)
    6. Set desired audio setting
    7. Click Convert
    8. Go away for a few hours and it’s done.

  21. I downloaded Handbrake, use the above settings and had no problems.

  22. Best way to watch movies on Nook Color.

    1, If you have lots of video and wanna watch them on the Nook Color, you need take up the space is small video, I recommend you to set resolution “352×288”, video bitrate 1200kbps. Then the converted video is smaller, you can transfer more videos into nook color for playback, but these video are not have high quality.

    2, If you watch the video quality compared to high, I recommend you to set resolution “854×480”, video bitrate 2500kbps. The videos looks like 720P video on Nook Color. But the videos are large, and you only can put a few of video to your Nook Color, maybe you need some SD Cards.