Simple Nexus 7 mod enables 720p video recording


Disappointed that your front-facing Nexus 7 camera only captures images in low, VGA resolution? Cast your sad feelings aside, because it’s relatively simple to enable high-definition, 720p support on the Google(s GOOG) tablet. The hardware was always capable, but is limited by software; specifically, it lacks a few lines of code that enables a higher-quality video capture profile.

I found the steps at the always helpful XDA Developers site by way of Liliputing. While the fix is easy, you’ll need to have root access to your Nexus 7 in order to modify the media_profiles.xml file. Out of the box, this file only has a profile for 640 x 480 video capture, even though the 1.3 megapixel is far more capable: A 1280 x 720 image, for example, is only 0.92 megapixels. Nvidia’s Tegra 3(s nvda) is also plenty powerful enough to handle high-definition video capture.

Once you make the modification, you should have much higher-quality video capture from the Nexus 7 camera. Here’s a sample after the change; be sure to watch in 720p mode. A capture of the same scene before the changes can be seen here for comparison.

It’s rather unfortunate that the Nexus 7 doesn’t have a rear-facing camera because even with this software tweak, you’re limited to the front camera. But I’ll likely still make the change on my own Nexus 7 even though I don’t use it to capture video. The tweak will come in handy for my daily video chats on the small slate.



Just a shame you have to root before you can do this, kinda makes it not so simple! I wonder if Google could patch this in with the next Android update.


You linked to the wrong video – “the sample after the change” should be the 720p video, but this is the 480p video. Fortunately it is easy to find the 720p since there is a link in the video description.

Kevin C. Tofel

The sample after the change is embedded here in the post, although you do have to view it at 720p. The link takes you to the 480p video as intended, no?

Comments are closed.