So you picked up a nice Barnes and Noble NOOKcolor tablet, and figured that with such a nice screen, it would be great for watching movies on it. Unfortunately, there are not that many options to actually obtain movies for it. Barnes and Noble currently doesn’t offer any movies for it, so aside from watching videos from YouTube, or wait for new-release movies through Netflix, which only works when you have an internet connection, you are stuck. Digital Copies you get with some DVDs either do not work, or are streaming-only, movies purchased/rented through Apple iTunes and Amazon also don’t work due to the DRM on them, so how can you maximize the use of your Barnes and Noble NOOKcolor for movies and TV shows?
This guide will show you how you can put your own movies (DVD, AVI, MKV etc) onto your NOOKcolor so that you can watch them when- and where-ever.
eBook versions of this guide (with additional information) can be downloaded for free from here:
the guide is available in ePub, Mobi and PDF format, so you can even read the guide on your NOOKcolor if you want to.
What do you need:
* Your Barnes and Noble NOOKcolor. While you don’t need it for the actual process, of course if you want to watch a movie on it, you need to be able to put the movie onto it.
* The USB connection cable for your NOOKcolor.
* Windows-based PC in order to be able to run Video Catalyst 4. Video Catalyst 4 is currently only available for computers and laptops running Microsoft Windows. It works on Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8, on 32bit as well as 64bit systems. Currently there is no Apple Mac or Linux version available of Video Catalyst 4.
* DVD drive for if you want to convert DVDs or a Bluray drive if you want to convert Blurays, or access to your video file collection if you want to convert AVI, MKV, M2TS etc.
* Conversion software. There is a large variety of different tools available for this. You can do it the free way, with applications such as Handbrake and Freemake, or go with one of the many overpriced applications that are found all over the internet, but for this guide I am using Video Catalyst 4, one of the most popular conversion applications for phones and tablets due to how easy it works (1 click conversions), the support provided to you when you need it (quick, hand-typed and detailed) and the very affordable pricing (on sale for $9.95, less than the price of 2 DVDs in the sales-bin at the grocery store).
Note: To use Video Catalyst 4 with Blurays, extra software is needed. For DVDs and video files, it works without the need of anything else. Video Catalyst 4 even includes its own codecs, so it is capable of converting video files you might not even be able to play on your computer.
* Movies or TV shows. Of course you need videos that you want to watch on your Barnes and Noble NOOKcolor. So-called “Digital Copies”, the video files you get with some DVD and Bluray purchases (“Free Digital Copy Included” on the case), iTunes purchased/rented movies, and movie files obtained from other online services like Amazon Prime, Blockbuster have a special DRM on them that prevents them from being played on your NOOKcolor, and also prevents them from being converted. If you use these services to actually get a DVD sent to you, those can be converted though.
5-Step Quick Guide:
Step 1: Download and install Video Catalyst 4 on your computer.
Step 2: Start Video Catalyst 4 and select the Barnes and Noble NOOKcolor profile.
Step 3: Insert your DVD or drag your video files over onto Video Catalyst 4.
Step 4: Tap Go to start the conversion process.
Step 5. Connect your NOOKcolor to your computer and copy the file over.
Once completed, use the Library to play your video files (the My Media app is somewhat particular on where the file is stored on your NOOK). To get there, just go to Library, My Stuff, My Files.
Step 1: Getting things setup:
* To be able to convert your movies for your NOOKcolor, you will need to install the conversion software on your computer, in this guide, Video Catalyst 4.
If you purchased Video Catalyst 4, you should receive an order confirmation with the download link by email within a matter of minutes. If you purchased and have not received your order confirmation, it is possible, based on the settings of your email spam filter, that the confirmation email was marked as spam/junk mail, and it will likely be located in your spam/junkmail folder.
Find your downloaded Video Catalyst 4 ZIP file. Usually Windows stores downloaded files in your “Downloads” folder, but depending on if you or someone else changed the location, or what web browser (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer) you used to download, it could be located on your desktop or in your Documents folder.
The trial version file name is dc4.0tr.zip:
The retail version file name is dc4.0rt.zip
Now simply double-left-click on the downloaded file to open it:
If you are experiencing complications with the downloaded file (partial download, corrupted, no files in the zip file etc), please make sure no download accelerator applications or toolbars are running that would affect the download. If you do not know how to turn those off, please download and install a web browser such as Mozilla Firefox (link), and use that to download the Video Catalyst 4 installer.
Both the trial version and the retail version are provided as a ZIP file. Since Windows XP, Microsoft has included support for ZIP files in Windows itself, so unless your computer is running Windows 2000, your computer should be able to open the installer without any complications.
However, if you, or someone else installed a trial version of a ZIP application such as WinRAR or WinZIP, it is possible your trial version of this application has expired, forcing you to purchase their product. If you run into this, simply uninstall the WinZip or WinRAR trial application from your computer, so Windows will use it’s own ZIP functionality. Alternatively, you can download and install the free 7ZIP application (link) which supports ZIP files as well.
If the ZIP file opens normally, you should see a dc4…. file and the pdf version of the Video Catalyst 4 Manual. The manual is something you can look through at a later time, however, this guide covers most of what you need to know, so I’ll continue with simply installing Video Catalyst 4.
To install it, just doubleclick on the dc4… file.
If you see the above message, just tap “Run” to have it extract and start the installer:
If you are using Windows Vista, WIndows 7 or Windows 8, you might see the above message. Just tap Yes here.
Now just click through the installer like you would do with any other application installer.
There are no hidden toolbar/spyware/crapware applications hidden in the Video Catalyst 4 installer. It will just install Video Catalyst 4 on your computer, nothing extra that would cause any advertising grief or annoyances.
If, during installation of Video Catalyst 4, you happen to run into an error message similar to this one:
then the installer tries to install Video Catalyst while it is already running on your computer, or a different application, such as backup software is trying to access one of the installer files. If this happens, restart your computer, and run the installer again.
At the end of the installer, remove the 2 checkmarks. The Getting Started will just display a guide similar to this one, but more “generic”, and while it is easy to start Video Catalyst 4 from the installer at this point, this portion of the guide is something you only need to do once, the rest of the guide is something you will do more.
If you happen to get a message similar to this one after the install process is complete:
just click on “This program installed correctly”
Step 2: Using Video Catalyst 4 to convert your movies and TV shows for your NOOKcolor:
Start Video Catalyst 4 by clicking the shortcut on your desktop:
The first time you start Video Catalyst 4, it might take a bit for it to load. Once it is loaded, you are presented with a screen like this:
The manual goes into detail about what and how things work and what they are for, but if you just want to convert your movies and tv shows, there is no need to read up on that.
While Video Catalyst 4 looks really simple, and it works really easy, it actually grows with you if you are getting more and more experienced (and daring) with your conversions).
Often underestimated by the simple look, there are more advanced features and powerful options in Video Catalyst 4 than you will find in most similar conversion tools combined. But, rather than forcing you to deal with them like similar applications do, Video Catalyst 4 handles all of that automatically so you don’t have to.
When you are ready and interested to play with those powerful features and options, they are there for you to play with, and you can control just about every aspect of the conversion process.
For the purpose of this guide, I will not go into those now. The manual, as well as some detailed articles on the tools4movies.com website will give you all the details though.
Use the dropdowns on the left side of Video Catalyst 4 to select Barnes Noble and then NOOKcolor:
There are some additional profiles available for it:
If you are converting DVDs (like most people), just select the NOOKcolor profile. For information about what the others are for, please have a look here: http://www.tools4movies.com/2012/01/dvd-catalyst-device-profiles-fast-hq-hq2-hqx/
One of Video Catalyst 4′s main advantages over similar applications is that it includes profiles for almost all video-capable devices on the planet. In the current version (188.8.131.52 at the time of writing this guide) Video Catalyst 4 includes over 3300 device profiles, so even if you don’t have a NOOKcolor, likely your phone/tablet/ipad is likely listed. If not, just let us know.
With your Barnes and Noble NOOKcolor profile selected, insert your DVD (The Muppets in this example):
(If you see something different, please scroll down a bit in this guide to the troubleshooting section)
Now just tap the Go button to start the process:
This can take a while, depending on the speed of your computer.
On most computers, the conversion runs about twice as fast as it takes to actually watch the movie, so a 2 hour movie will take about 1 hour or so. but if you are using a powerful Quad-Core computer the conversion can go quite a bit faster. Using a high-end laptop, the conversion can run as fast as 8x realtime, so a 2 hour movie converts in 15 minutes or so. If you are using an older computer, or a netbook, the conversion can take a little bit longer though.
(If you are running into complications with the conversion, please scroll down to the troubleshooting section a little lower in this guide)
After the conversion is complete, Video Catalyst will ask you to connect your NOOKcolor.
You can use the build-in file-transfer part of Video Catalyst to copy your movie over, which is really easy to use, but personally I prefer to do it by hand, because removing your videos from your NOOKcolor works similar to this.
If you tap Cancel when Video Catalyst asks for your NOOK, it will open up the video folder where it put your movie:
Now connect your Barnes and Noble NOOKcolor to your computer, and it should appear on the side:
(If your NOOKcolor does not appear in “My Computer” please scroll down to the troubleshooting section in this guide)
Your NOOKcolor appears as “MyNOOK”, if you have a memorycard (recommended because the NOOKcolor only has 1GB of space available, which is barely enough for 1 movie!) it will show up with a similar icon underneath it.
Then simply drag your video file over to where you want it. Left-click and hold on your movie file, and then move your mouse to the memory location and let go of the mouse button.
(if you encounter issues during the file-copy part, please have a look at the troubleshooting section down below)
Once the file is copied over, open the Library on your NOOKcolor. Then on the top right select “My Stuff”, and tap on “My Files”. Find your file in there, and just tap on it to play the movie.
It looks like we did a lot so far, but actually we only did a few steps:
1. We downloaded the Video Catalyst installer from the tools4movies.com website.
2. We installed Video Catalyst 4 on the computer.
3. We started Video Catalyst 4.
4. We selected the Barnes and Noble NOOKcolor profile.
5. We put a DVD in the DVD drive,
6. Tapped Go to start the conversion.
7. Waited for the conversion to complete
8. We then copied the video file over to the NOOKcolor.
Your Next Conversion:
Now with the setup all done, all your future conversions are even easier, because Video Catalyst 4 remembers your settings.
1. start Video Catalyst 4.
2. put a DVD in your DVD drive.
3. Tap Go.
5. Copy video file over.
What happens during the conversion:
The actual movie conversion process takes some time. Many people don’t realize that converting a DVD to play on the Barnes and Noble NOOKcolor is a bit more involved than just copying over the movie from the DVD to the tablet. Conversion tools such as Video Catalyst 4 actually have to do a lot more than that:
* Disc Transfer. Of course you can not just stick a DVD in your NOOKcolor. If only it was that easy. Tablets such as the NOOKcolor don’t have a DVD drive, and while it is possible to connect a DVD drive with some cables and adapters to your tablet, there are no DVD player apps in the Android Market or anywhere else for it, so it will not do you any good.
So, a conversion tool such as Video Catalyst 4 reads the movie (or TV episode) from your DVD, and stores it on your computer in a video file.
* Format Change. Be it from DVD or from video files created using other software applications, one of the main complaints people have with their NOOKcolor (and other tablets/phones/media players) is that you can not just simply copy video files over to it and expect it to play. In order for the NOOKcolor to play your movies and TV shows, the video files need to be “compatible” with it. This is where the actual conversion part comes in. Video Catalyst 4 reads your DVD or video file(s) and then transforms it into a format that is optimized for your NOOKcolor, so that it will play your video without any issues.
* Compression. Many people don’t realize that a movie on DVD takes up about 5-9GB of space. When you copy a movie over to your NOOKcolor of that size, you can only store 4-5 movies or so on a 32GB memory card, and you are out of space. Conversion tools such as Video Catalyst 4 compress movies to a much smaller file-size (1-2GB or so) enabling you to store much more movies on a 32GB memory card (16-20 instead of 5). The compression part is the tricky part for such a conversion tool, because that is what determines the quality of the end result and if the video file created by the conversion tool is actually compatible with your NOOKcolor. Video Catalyst 4 uses all the power your computer has to offer to ensure the files are reasonable in size, while making sure your video file will play perfectly and with the best possible quality on your NOOKcolor.
* Screen size adjustment. While this does not apply for converting DVDs for your NOOKcolor because of a lower screen resolution, if you convert HD movies such as Bluray or MKV files, the conversion process also adjusts the screen size of your movies and TV shows to make it fit properly on your tablet screen. Blurays have a resolution that is a lot higher (1920×1080) than that of your NOOKcolor (1024×600).
For more information on screen size and resolution, please have a look here:
* Border removal. Not all conversion tools actually do this, but Video Catalyst 4 does this automatically. Many movies have black borders added to them to comply with the official DVD standard.
When you convert movies without removing the borders, these borders become part of your video file, reducing the video quality and size.
Video Catalyst 4 automatically removes these black borders:
Which of course greatly enhances your movie viewing experience:
For more information on how black border removal works, or on how to make your movies and TV shows completely full-screen, please have a look at this article:
So while the conversion process might appear as something simple, a lot of things are happening, all at the same time, to make sure that you end up with the best possible video (and audio) quality in a video file perfectly optimized for your NOOKcolor.
How to convert video files with Video Catalyst 4:
Even though Video Catalyst 4 has “DVD” in its name, it can of course convert video files as well. While similar products offer a separate application for converting video files (with an additional charge of course), Video Catalyst 4 converts DVDs and video files from within one application.
If you already used a different application to digitize your own movie collection for use with a HD media player or a Media Center PC of some sorts, you can use those files for your conversion, rather than having to dig out your DVDs again. In fact, converting video files with Video Catalyst 4 is something even easier than DVDs.
Video Catalyst 4 uses a technique we call “Transparent Batch”. If you want to convert movies, you can often only convert one at a time, and after the conversion is complete you need to start over, work yourself through the application with your next movie. Some applications offer a “batch” mode, in which you can queue up multiple conversions before you start the process, so you don’t have to wait for each movie to complete. Once one is done, it will continue with the next.
Video Catalyst 4 goes a step further. It runs all your conversions in batch-mode automatically. No need to set up one video file or TV episode at a time. You just add whatever you want to convert (if you have multiple DVD drives, 100 video files, it doesn’t matter) and with 1 tap on the Go button, it will automatically queue them up and convert all of them for you.
Here is how it works:
Start Video Catalyst 4:
then open “My Computer” and browse to the location of where you have stored your video files. This can be an external USB drive, or a NAS, but make sure that it shows up with a drive letter in My Computer.
Then just select the ones you want, and drag them over onto Video Catalyst 4. You can also drag over the folder, and if there happen to be files in there that are not video files, Video Catalyst 4 will just ignore those and just add the video files only.
After you drag them over, Video Catalyst 4 will scan the files, and then display the ones it found:
You can add as many files as you want. 1, 10, 100, 1000, it doesn’t matter. And when you have all your files in Video Catalyst 4′s list, just tap the Go button, and all your video files, DVDs, ISO’s etc will be converted for your Barnes and Noble NOOKcolor, one at a time.
Note: Video Catalyst 4 can only convert video files that are not protected with any form of DRM. Video files such as ISO, MKV, AVI work fine, but movies and TV shows downloaded through iTunes or Amazon Prime, or so-called “Digital Copies” you get with some DVD and Bluray combo packs or something similar use a form of DRM to prevent them from being used on non-authorized devices, and this also prevents them from being converted to a different format.
How to convert Bluray with Video Catalyst 4:
As mentioned earlier, Video Catalyst 4 is also capable of converting Bluray, however, in order for this to work, you will need additional software to “help” Video Catalyst 4 with the conversion.
for more information on how this works, please have a look here:
Cover images for your movies:
Unfortunately, Android devices such as your Barnes and Noble NOOKcolor do not display cover-images for video files. The build-in Gallery app, which is what is usually used for playing video files, simply ignores “album art” cover-images, and there is no way to have it display custom images or even file names for your movies in its main view. You can select a movie and tap on the info-icon to get the file-name, but to do this when you are looking for that one movie or episode you want to watch is a bit tedious.
Because a lot of people would like to use cover-images for their movies to make it easier to find them and nicer to look at, we created an Android application called MovieGallery to do just that.
For more information on MovieGallery, please have a look here:
MovieGallery is available in the Barnes and Noble Appstore (link):
General fix for your Barnes and Noble NOOKcolor:
This might seem obvious, but it is often forgotten and/or ignored. Regardless of what complications you might experience with your NOOKcolor, the one thing that fixes the most of them is to simply turn off your tablet completely (not just the screen) by holding the power-button, and then turn it back on.
General fix for Video Catalyst 4 related issues:
Video Catalyst 4 has a lot of options to adjust (if you enable Power User mode) and if you are running into complications and are not sure if you changed something, a reset of Video Catalyst 4 will often fix the issues you are experiencing.
* Make sure Video Catalyst is not running. While not needed, a restart of your computer will not hurt.
* Click on “START” > “RUN” (or hold down the windows-key on your keyboard and tap the “R” key)
(if your keyboard has 2 Windows-keys, holding down one is enough)
* In the run dialog, type in:
and click OK
*delete the “Video Catalyst 4″ folder there.
This will reset Video Catalyst to it’s defaults, and will take care of most possible issues.
In general, there are 4 tricks that will fix any complication you might encounter with a DVD.
1. Safe-mode conversion. This (often) fixes issues for when the conversion starts and after the 5-step scan, the conversion crashes.
Enable Power User, then in the DVD tab in Global Settings, turn off “Fast mode” and enable “Standard access”. The conversions will run slower.
2. Scan engine change. This (often) fixes issues that when you tap Go and there is no 5-step, it just opens the video folder right away, and this fixes things like missing episodes on (older) TV DVDs.
Enable Power User, then in the Engines tab in Global Settings, switch the scan engine for DVDs to “Boosterpack”. Then restart Video Catalyst to have it scan the DVD again.
3. Conversion engine change. This (often) fixes issues of partial conversions. If the conversion starts and it runs for a few minutes and then stops/crashes.
Enable Power User, then in the Engines tab in Global Settings, switch the conversion engine for DVDs to “Original”
4. If you start Video Catalyst, and have it scan a DVD, and it shows something like this:
you have a DVD with a fake-track system on it. For some new-release movies, to make things a bit tricky for conversion tools such as Video Catalyst, movie studios include a bunch of fake tracks on the DVD. To determine which track is the correct one, please have a look this article for Footloose 2011: http://www.tools4movies.com/2012/03/footloose-2011-dvd/
Even if your movie is different, the process of using something like Windows Media Player to determine the correct track is the same. Of course the title number you will find for your DVD is likely different, but the rest is the same.
Problem DVD List
If you run into other complications with DVDs, such as failed conversions, partial conversions, no conversions, please check and see if the DVD you are experiencing complications with is listed here:
The above link contains a list of DVDs (and some Blurays) that either were reported as being tricky or ones we ran into ourselves, along with solutions on how to convert them. Most movies and TV shows (including ones mentioned in the list) convert without complications though.
*File transfer doesn’t finish completely, stops early etc.
If you are copying your files over, and your computer keeps losing connection while copying the files over, there is likely an issue with the USB connection on your computer. If your computer has USB3, try switching the USB cable to a different USB port, preferably a USB2 port.
Video playback issues.
Check and make sure that the video files you have play on your computer using something like VLC (link) or Apple Quicktime (link). If you are using Windows 7 or Windows 8, you can also test-play the created video files in Windows Media Player, however, you might notice sync-issues with your video files. This is not an issue with the video file itself.
If you are using a memory card to play your video files, and you are experiencing playback issues, try copying the files Video Catalyst 4 created from your computer to internal memory instead. (do not use something like Astro or ES file explorer to copy the video from memorycard to internal memory) If you ordered a memory card from eBay or something similar, it is possible you paid for a fake memory card. You can find more information on that here:
eBook versions of this guide (with additional information) can be downloaded for free from here:
the guide is available in ePub, Mobi and PDF format, so you can even read the guide on your NOOKcolor if you want to.