Vimu for Android TV and Fire TV documentation

Vimu Player uses local storage of your device, connected USB devices (FAT, also NTFS on some devices), Windows shares (also known as SMB), WebDAV servers and UPnP/DLNA servers.

Setup is very easy!

 

USB drives

To use Vimu Player with an USB drive simply connect it to your Android TV or Fire TV device. USB drive should have FAT32 filesystem (some units also support NTFS). Your USB drive will appear as a tab.

Notice, that Vimu only displays video/audio files. So, if your directory contains txt, doc, pdf, they will not be displayed.

You can also use SD Card here if your device supports it (like Nvidia Shield or Fire TV gen 2).

UPnP/DLNA

UPnP/DLNA is the most easy way to play content on your Android TV or FIre TV over LAN with Vimu. You should have a compatible server installed on your PC or NAS.
The following servers were tested: Plex Media Server, Kodi/XBMC server, Twonky, TVMOBiLi, tversity, Serviio.

Use discovery service of Vimu Player (Network lookup) to add UPnP/DLNA server. It should find all media servers in your local network. Click on a server you want to add. Then you can bookmark the whole server (just press Bookmark dir button) or navigate to some subdirectory to bookmark it directly. After pressing the bookmark button, you are allowed to set up a name for your bookmark. NOTE: you will NOT see any media files here! You need to create bookmark before playing media files.

 

Windows shares (SMB)

SMB protocol is that makes your Windows computers to share files between each other. Vimu Player is able to see shared directories of your Windows PC and play video files from them.

Depending on your home network configuration, there are two ways to add your SMB share:


 

  • The most simple way is to go Network lookup. There is a chance that your server will appear under SMB header. You will see the Add Windows share dialog. All you need here is to provide the name of the tab (anything really). Also, if your share is password protected, fill username and password fields. In most cases you need to keep SMB2 checkbox selected. Then press OK. Your share should be accessible now by clicking the tab.

  • If you can not see any found Windows shares, things become more complicated. You should determine a hostname of your pc (something like MYPC in Windows) or better the IP address of your PC. Then click Add Windows share manually.... You will see the same dialog described in the way #1. Fill the name of your share and put hostname or IP address of your PC into smb:// field. Again, if your share is password protected, fill username and password.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 
WebDAV servers

WebDAV is configured similar to SMB. To add WebDAV share go to Network lookup and click Add WebDAV server...

When using WebDAV, you should always provide ip/domain address, login and password of your server. Good thing with WebDAV is that you can stream from a server over Internet, not only via your home LAN.

NFS servers

It is a good way to connect to a Linux PC or NAS. You need to provide full path to an exported directory. For example, if your server has address 192.168.1.2 and you have and exported path /home/user/video, then NFS path should be: 192.168.1.2/home/user/video .

NOTE: Vimu will only connect fine to exports with "insecure" option enabled. More info here.

HTTP streams

You can open some types of HTTP streams like HLS video streams and HTTP progressive downloaded streams (from IceStream app, for ex).
To open HTTP URL go to Options->Add network resources and click Open HTTP URL...

 

Audio tracks

Vimu Player supports containers with multiple audio tracks. To change audio track during playback, scroll down to Audio section. Now you can change audio track with left-right keys.

Subtitles

Vimu Player supports two types of subtitles: external SRT files and embedded subtitles.

To play video with external SRT file, you should name it properly. The SRT file should have the same name as your video, but with .srt (lower case) extension. Like, MyMovie.avi and MyMovie.srt.

When Vimu detects some subtitles, it shows pop-up "Subtitles detected". To activate subtitles press "Abc" icon button on the media control panel.

 

Vimu can play Text/SRT, SSA/ASS, DVBSUb, VobSUB, PGS subtitles embedded in various types of containers.

To change subtitle track during playback, scroll down to Audio section. Now you can change subtitle track with left-right keys.

Notes for UPnP/DLNA: MKV subtitles are usually displayed when streaming from an UPnP/DLNA server, if the server do not transcode video stream. External SRT subtitles are not served by all servers. The one that is reported to work with SRT subtitles is Twonky.

 

Covers (posters)

Vimu will try to extract poster from your media files (over SMB and USB). Usually posters could be found in MKV and MP4 files. If it can not do this, it will try to generate thumbnail based on video stream.

 

You can customize poster by adding image files to your movie directories.

To be correctly displayed, your image files should be properly named.  
If you have a video file called MyMovie.avi, its cover should have name MyMovie.jpg.


NOTE: Covers and sheets are not supported for UPnP/DLNA streaming. Vimu will, however, display cover art or thumbnail provided by your server.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Vimu Engine

Vimu Engine is a decoder and playback engine of Vimu Player, that is designed to play most possible media formats and support all popular media containers, codecs and protocols. Engine is specially tuned for the most popular Android TV boxes and TVs and all Fire TV devices. It knows fine, which codecs are supported by your hardware and utilizes the best possible method of decoding.

There are two versions of Vimu Engine currently. The default version is v.2. In most cases, you need to use this version. It's based on the latest version of ExoPlayer. You can also enable tunneling. On some TV devices that can greatly improve performance of UHD video playback. In some rare situations for some old devices or for some files that require software decoder, Legacy v.1 version (based on the legacy ExoPlayer 1) may be used.

You can disable Vimu Engine completely in app's settings. In that case  Android's MediaPlayer object will be used. Changing of audio tracks generally will not be possible.

Display refresh rate and resolution adaptation

Vimu can adapt Display (TV) refresh rate to content's refresh rate on some compatible devices. To check, if your device supports switching of refresh rate, go to Settings -> DIagnostics screen. You will see a list of resolutions, app can switch to. If only one resolution is on the list, this feature is not supported.

If you see more then one refresh rates for one resolution, you are good to go! Enable refresh rate adaptation in Vimu Preferences.

Vimu can also adapt display resolution to content. So, 1080p video will trigger 1080p TV mode, while 2160p video will trigger 2160p.

Vimu Settings

Show bookmark for Internal Storage

This will enable a special bookmark for "SDCard" (internal memory) of your devices. Usually Android TV devices do not use this memory for media storage.

Use Vimu Engine

Allows to disable Vimu Engine (see above). 

Engine version

Selection of Engine version (see above).

HLS/DASH over ExoPlayer2

This allows bypassing Vimu Engine decoder and use pure ExoPlayer for decoding of adaptive streams like HLS and MPEG-DASH. This is the only way to get adaptive resolution playback.

Generate video thumbnails

Thumbnail generation may be disabled is devices performance highly degrades when thumbnails are parsed.

Use Texture video surface

Usually TV and STB units display video content on a special hardware video surface that is drawn separately from Android user interface. That makes possible for 4K devices to display UI in lower 1080p resolution, while keeping video in native 4K.  When Texture mode is enabled, Vimu displays video directly on user interface. Performance of Texture mode is usually much worse. Turning on this function can help in some cases, when aspect ration selection on the device does not work correct or there are some artifacts.

Always use software decoding for video

TV and STB devices always use hardware decoders for smooth video playback. Turning this function on may help Vimu to play some legacy low quality videos (like MS-MPEG4, 3GP, RealVideo, etc) which modern hardware decoders may not support.

Enable surround sound pass-through

This will enable pass-through of compatible audio formats directly to your TV or AV receiver. Not all devices support all pass-through formats.

Pass-through mode

In most cases you'll need to keep it as Auto. It supports most popular surround formats. For some devices using Android 5-6, RAW PCM mode can help to pass basic Dolby and DTS. 

Multichannel PCM

If pass-through is disabled or not compatible with played back audio stream, it's decoded to PCM. If an audio stream has mode then 2 channels, it may be either downmixed to 2 channels (multichannel disabled) or decoded as is (multichannel enabled). Not all Android TV devices may handle Multichannel output.

Extract DCA Core

If media has DTS-HD audio, but your received (or device) can only pass-though DTS, this option will help to extract DTS from DTS-HD bitstream.

Audio Gain

This function will increase or decrease volume of decoded sound.

Enable auto display refresh rate switch

See above about refresh rate switching.

Enable audio display resolution switch

See above about refresh rate switching.

Subtitle charset

In some cases Vimu can not detect character encoding for external SRT subtitle correctly. You can select encoding here.

Preferred audio language

You can select preferred audio language that will be used by default if media has different languages.

Subtitle size

Select default size of text based (SRT, ASS) subtitles from the list.

Subtitle color

Select default color of text based (SRT, ASS) subtitles from the list.

Stream buffer size

Very important option for streaming of high-bitrate media over network. This set up amount of memory in Megabytes, which Vimu can use to preload media. If stream buffer is rather high, network latency and short disconnect problems may not affect playback. However, if maximum value is setup, Vimu may sometimes crash if your device has less than 2Gb of RAM.

Resume by filename only

This option may help to correctly save interrupted position when Vimu is launched from some third-party apps.

 

Hide info bar by default

If this option is enabled, info bar is hidden immediately after media playback starts. When disabled, info bar is kept on screen for a couple of seconds.

Hide info bar after

Timeout in seconds for info bar to be hidden.

Exit player with double press of Back button

Enable this option to avoid spontaneous quit from playback.

Display clock

Enable this option to keep clock on screen during playback.

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