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Please rank thes video formats ....... best quality - worst quality

This discussion thread has 13 messages.

#1
I am nubie so please point me in the right direction if this is answered (in an easy to understand table) somewhere else :-)

I have ripped my DVDs and now I need to convert them to different file formats so that I can view them on various equipment.

My Media Player understands:

- MPEG1
- MPEG2
- MPEG4
- XviD
- WMV
- H.264 (MPEG4 AVC)

My phone understands:

- 3GPP formats (H.263)
- Flash Video
- H.264/AVC
- MPEG-4
- RealVideo 7,8,9/10
- WMV 9

Can you please rank these video formats from best to worst quality.

(the only common format between my phone and media player is MPEG-4 if this is the 'best' woohoo, if not, what is the difference between the best and MPEG-4 .... is it worth me saving one copy for the Media player and another for the phone?)

((I would probably use itunes to watch films on my laptop))

Thanks in advance :-)
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#2
Let's see if I can help you out here...

For your media player:

MPEG-4, MPEG-2, and MPEG-1 are all compression standards. You can think of them as sort of like... blueprints or guidelines. Of the three, MPEG-4 is arguably the best.

You should read more about it here: http://www.afterdawn.com/glossary/terms/mpeg-4.cfm

H.264 is a codec written to the MPEG-4 Part 10 standard, whereas Xvid is written to the Part 2 standard... or so the glossary tells me. What this basically means is that H.264 is more advanced, as it was developed with HD video in mind. (It can handle standard video just fine, too.)

Another quick read: http://www.afterdawn.com/glossary/terms/mpeg_4_part_10.cfm

MPEG-2 is what DVD videos are encoded to, and MPEG-1 is what VCDs are encoded to, I believe. WMV... well, not many people use WMV, but it's also capable of producing results similar to Xvid.

So basically, this is what I'd say is best:

- H.264 (best for HD)
- Xvid (all-around good)
- WMV (...eh)
- MPEG-2 (DVD stuff)
- MPEG-1 (VCD stuff)


For your phone, though, they're more or less all going to be the same, since the resolution is so low. If you take your files from your media player and resize them, then you'll lose quality, anyway.

Still, here's my take again:

- 3GP (it can contain H.264 video)
- RealVideo (...eh)
- WMV (...also eh)
- Flash (only if you absolutely have to)


For simplicity's sake, I suggest you encode your videos to H264. You'll have a batch of H264 videos for your media player, which you can downsize while losing as little quality as possible (since you're using the same standard and not going from H264 to WMV or so) to play on your phone.

Hope that helps a bit.
#3
Thank you so much for that detailed and clear reply .... now the obvious question .... which (free) application is the best for converting my DVD files into MPEG4 Part10 AVC/H.264 ?

Thanks in advance :-)
#4
Well, the only program I know of off the top of my head is MeGUI, but that one uses very complicated AviSynth scripts to deal with the video (you can't just load the video into it), so I wouldn't recommend that unless you want me to help you step by step.

First off, though, do you just want the main movie of your DVD? Or do you want subtitles, multiple audio, the works? (It'll be much easier if you pick just the main movie.)
#5
Well, the only program I know of off the top of my head is MeGUI, but that one uses very complicated AviSynth scripts to deal with the video (you can't just load the video into it), so I wouldn't recommend that unless you want me to help you step by step.

" First off, though, do you just want the main movie of your DVD? Or do you want subtitles, multiple audio, the works? (It'll be much easier if you pick just the main movie.) "

I think that I am only really interested in the main movie - sure it would be good to have all the 'directors other cut', 'alternative endings' and 'the making of ...' but really I am content with just having the main movie.

So, for speed and ease just the main movie is fine ...

... however it would be good to have the works (i.e. 'directors commentry', 'sub titles' and 'bonus stuff') so I will have a play with MeGUI sometime and ask you when I get stuck :-_
#6
Just had a look at MeGUI, yeah, if you know of an application with a big fat 'convert' button that autoruns the whole process then great, however and bit of hand holding to kick start me through MeGUI doesn't look out of my reach

Thanks.
Christoher
#7
Alright, well... first off, you'll have to fix up your DVD folders. Did you rip them to folders? (VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS?) Or did you rip them to an ISO? (The disc image?)

Either way, I think you can open them up in DVD Shrink and choose to re-save the video as one big VOB file that we can work with. (If you open up the VIDEO_TS folder or the ISO, you'll notice that the videos are all split into 1GB chunks. In DVD Shrink, there's an option to output the movie as one big file.)

Anyway, do that first with one of your movies and let me know how it works out.
#8
....Did you rip them to folders? (VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS?) Or did you rip them to an ISO? (The disc image?)

I ripped them to folders


....open them up in DVD Shrink and choose to re-save the video as one big VOB file that we can work with.


OK, I will do that this evening, but I have used DVD Shrink in the past and not had any problems with it . What is the next step ?

PS> This sounds like I am not doing this the most efficient way ...
- rip DVD using 'DVDFab', THEN convert to VOP using 'DVD Shrink' - should I simply rip to a single VOP first off ? Is there an option to do this in DVDFab ?
#9
Thanks KajNrig for you help.....

OK, I have used used DVD Shrink to create a 'single' VOB file, I clicked clicking on backup after turning the option 'split VOB files into 1GB chunks' off and I have ended up with the following files :

VIDEO_TS.BUP (12KB)
VIDEO_TS.IFO (12KB)
VIDEO_TS (46KB)
VTS_01_0.BUP (76KB)
VTS_01_0.IFO (76KB)
VTS_01_1 (3,907,026KB)


What's the next step ?
#10
Originally posted by Snuker:
should I simply rip to a single VOP first off ? Is there an option to do this in DVDFab ?
Y'know, I honestly don't know. But what you're doing is fine for now, because DVD Shrink doesn't have a fully built-in copy protection remover. You might be able to rip older DVDs, but newer ones have a bit more advanced copy protection which it wouldn't be able to overcome. (Or at least I don't think so. I have yet to try it. S'pose now's a good a time as any to rip Quantum of Solace...)

So yeah, ripping with DVDFab and then stitching together with DVD Shrink is fine.

Originally posted by Snuker:
What's the next step ?
Okay, well... Do you have Avisynth installed? It's the primary "input" that MeGUI uses. What it is is a command-line program that can "mask" videos as .avi videos, so you can open it up in programs like Windows Media Player and VLC and stuff. You can also do cool stuff like resize videos, merge two videos together (they both become transparent and overlap), and a whole bunch of really awesome stuff. But anyway.

Install the latest version of Avisynth (but only if you have XP... I think it has issues on Vista right now... might want to Google "avisynth vista" if you have issues getting it to work) and open up Notepad.

In Notepad, write the following:

LoadPlugin("C:/...path.../MPEGdecoder.dll")
mpeg2source("C:/...path.../your vob.vob")

Go to "Save As," and save it with the extension ".avs" (so something like "my movie.avs").

Go to MeGUI, update everything, and then in the "Avisynth Script" section, find your .avs file. When you load it up, you should get a preview of your video. Check it out; if there's anything weird about it, then let me know.

The next thing to do is to select an encoder profile in the "Encoder settings" tab. There are a lot of "x264" options, and those are the ones you want. The one I use is the "Standalone PS3Xbox360" selection, mostly because, as you can guess, I do my encoding to play on my PS3. This is where you have freedom of choice. Choose whichever one looks the best to you. You can look at the settings of the profile by clicking on "Config," but 99% of the numbers and stats there are just gibberish to me. I just nod and say "yes."

Anyway, after you choose an encoder setting, you can change the file format to whatever you want. I usually do either "MKV" or "RAWAVC", but for you, since you're going to be resizing it later, you might want to stick with "MP4" or "MKV."

Hit "Enqueue," and then go to the "Queue" tab. You should see one or two (or three) jobs, depending on which profile you chose. Usually it'll be two. Anyway, go ahead and click "Start" and take a break, drink some cream soda, maybe a root beer, make some sushi, eat said sushi, come back, and you should have a newly-encoded MP4/MKV file. Open it up in VLC or MPC or WMP and see if it works.

...and I just realized that that's a LOOOONG process. If you have any problems anywhere along the way, let me know. I'll try to help.
#11
Dang ! Fallen down at an early hurdle !

I have written the notepad file (*.avs) and tried to find the path for the MPEGdecoder.dll.


I have DVDdecrypter, DVDfab and NextDVDripper installed on my laptop but after a search of my drives there is not a MPEGdecoded.dll file on the disk - where do I get this file ?
#12
Excellent !

I did a search for 'MPEGdecoder.dll' and downloaded the first one I came across and it didn't work :-(

Then I searched for MPEGdecoder Avisynth and came to this site (http://nic.dnsalias.com/MPEGDecoder.html) where there was a specific MPEGdecoder for version 2.5 so I downloaded it.

Then MeGUI failed at the word Mpeg2source so I followed the manual to type this instead :

LoadPlugin("C:\Users\Christopher\Documents\mpegdecoder.dll")
mpegsource("C:\Users\Christopher\Documents\SkyTest\SkyTest-DVDshrink\VIDEO_TS\VTS_01_1.VOB")
ConvertToYV12()


and it worked, the programme ran :)

The only thing is now is that it is silent :-(
I think it is something to do with DVDShrink so will will investigate!
#13
No, it has nothing to do with DVD Shrink. I should've mentioned that. MeGUI will only process the video. You'll have to extract the audio from the vob (google "extract audio from vob" or something) manually and reinsert it into the video.

Hope that helps. Sorry 'bout that.
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