1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Converting avi/wmv VIDEO files to MPEG2

Discussion in 'Other video questions' started by glenpinn, Sep 11, 2004.

  1. glenpinn

    glenpinn Guest

    hi there.
    just a quick question???
    what is the best software (free and retail) to convert any video format to MPEG2.
    i have a lot of AVI vids, and some WMV as well on my pc, and i currently use arcsoft SHOWBIZ to edit and or re-encode all my vids to MPEG2 ready to copy to dvd-r disc using nero 6.
    the problem with showbiz is that it can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hrs to re-encode a 1 hour avi/wmv vid to mpeg2, and im thinking maybe its not a very good quality encoder because of this time frame.
    it does a reasonable edit job, and i now have nero 6 on my pc, but was told the mpeg2 encoder on that isnt very good either.

    hope someone can help, as im sick of using seperate programs to do different video capture/editing/encoding/backups/burning etc

    cheers.....GLEN
     
  2. Jeanc1

    Jeanc1 Guest

  3. turkey

    turkey Regular member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    hey glen,
    just a word of warning to you: programs like Nero Vision and DVDsanta are undoughtedly easier to use, in fact they are a bit brainless, and that is exactly the problem. with these programs, what you gain in ease of use you WILL sacrifice in quality of the end product. both programs have horrible mpeg encoders...

    however, i do understand your frustration with having to juggle between so many differnt programs in order to get the job done. unfortunatly, there are all kinds of on-going politics and licencing issues that are preventing the integration of the process into a single high quality, easy to use platform.

    although, i can recommend that you try out the Mainconcept MPEG Encoder 1.4.2. i have found it to be excellent at intregrating capturing and encoding; the two most important steps for maintaining high quality.
     
  4. glenpinn

    glenpinn Guest

    hi there.
    thanks for the replies, turkey, u backed up what ive been reading about nero 6 having a crappy mpeg2 encoder.
    i wanted to use nero6 to do everything, including dv capture using mpeg2, but if its mpeg2 encoder is crappy, then no point using the nero capture either.
    i prefer to capture dv tapes in mpeg2 cos it saves me the extra time in captureing in avi then re-encoding to mpeg2, so now i need a good quality mpeg2 capture program as well.
    BTW, i just downloaded the trial version of TMPGEnc 3.0 Xpress to try out. i read its a very powerful and high quality program for encoding and it also edits as well, which makes it a great package to encode/edit any video format to mpeg2, im just about to encode a 90min 352x576 divx video to 720x576 mpeg2 and it says its going to take a bit over 7 hrs to do it, does that seem right ??? as last nite i encoded the same size video using the TMPGEnc 2.5 shareware trial version and it only took 3 hrs, why is this the case ????
    im going to cont using dvd shrink to backup dvd movies, its the best i used so far, and if TMPGEnc 3.0 xpress is ok, ill buy the full version to use as an mpg2 encoder/editor.
    all i need now is a top quality mpeg2 capture program, i currently use sonic MyDVD which came with my liteon dvd burner, but im guessing its also has not got a very good quality mpeg2 encoder just like nero.
    if u have any other suggestions, im very happy to accept them.....thanks.....GLEN
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2004
  5. eventual

    eventual Guest

    I wonder what makes an encoder crappy? Is it that it takes a while to encode a video? Or is it that the resulting 4Mb/s mpeg is looking like trash? I think that's what makes an encoder valuable. If it can make a 4mb/s file look acceptable and smooth, with little pixelation, then I'd say that's a good encoder. The speed is secondary. You're right. If you can capture to mpeg, it's at 1:1. If you rework that mpeg and recompress it (not rerender it) it's less than 2:1 here. If I make changes and rerender it it's about 3:1. But I never see 6:1 ratios or worse. Even main concept is faster than that, usually about 2:1. And it's muxing the audio.
     
  6. LinCathy

    LinCathy Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2004
  7. glenpinn

    glenpinn Guest

    thx lincathy.
    i just downloaded WinAVI 5.8 convert trial, ill give it a go tonite, its about half the price (us$29) of TMPGEnc 3.0 Xpress (us$58) but thatys probably cos its not a video editor as well, like TMPGEnc is, but i guess they might be pretty close in mpeg2 encoding quality.
    i just wish i can find a program (under us$100) that will capture dv/analog video to good quality mpeg2 as well as being an mpeg2 encoder and a video editor.
    i think ill just stick with sonic MyDVD program to capture my dv/analog vids to mpeg2, although im not too sure how good the quality is, but this program isnt an encoder or an editor, it just captures in mpeg2 only, and burns to dvd.
    ive been told TMPGEnc is one of the best encoders on the market, but when i tried to convert an avi file to mpeg2, it does 2 passes which means it takes about 7 hrs to encode a 90min avi video instead of 3 to 3.5 hrs.
    ill have to see if it will do it in 1 pass for longer videos.
    thanks again for your help everyone, totally appreciated (from australia)....GLEN
     
  8. turkey

    turkey Regular member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    glen,
    i think that it may be that you are holding to a slight misconception here. if you are capturing to mpeg2 then the file does not require any further encodeing. the fact is, an mpeg2 file is already fully encoded...

    now if you need to do mpeg2 editing then check out a program called "Womble Mpeg Video Wizard 2003". it is a native mpeg2 editor that can add transitions and effects to the file and will only re-encode the parts that have changed so it takes only minutes to render compared to hours with other video editors. i don't know of any other programs that have this kind of functionality.

    and again i must suggest you look at Mainconcept Mpeg Encoder, it captures most any format, including mpeg2 and does a damn fine job of it. MME will also do a fine job encoding any AVI files you have, although i think it is normal to expect 1 hour of video will take 2 hours to encode. anything more then a 2:1 ratio is a bit much...
     
  9. glenpinn

    glenpinn Guest

    hi turkey.
    thanks for your input, but no missconception here, maybe u got the impression i was capturing my vids in mpeg2 then want to re-encode them to mpeg2.
    sorry bout that, i did say b4 that i capture my dv/analog vids to my pc in mpeg2 using sonic MyDVD, so those are already in mpeg2 format ready to either edit and/or copy/burn to dvd-r disc.
    my problem is i need a good mpeg2 encoder/editor to edit and re-encode a heap of wmv/avi-divx vids that i have collected, so i can copy/burn them to dvd as well.
    i download lots of video clips and most come in low res 352x576 or 320x480 avi-divx or wmv format, and these are the vids i need to re-encode, not my original captured mpeg2 vids, hell, that would be a dumb thing to put myself thru (lol)
    as i mentioned b4, im not sure if the mpeg2 encoder with sonic MyDVD is very good quality, thats why im looking for a program that does mpeg2 capture/editing/mpeg2 encoding.
    i have just finished encoding a 20min 352x576 avi video using TMPGEnc 3.0 Xpress (trial) and it works great. i did a single pass that took about 50min to encode, and i did a 2 pass on the video and it took about 100min to encode, and didnt see any real difference in quality like it says it will (not to my eyes anyway)
    TMPGEnc 3.0 is also an editor, and for us$58 is good value ($80 here in aust) so at the moment, TMPGE is the easiest encoder i have tried (nearly as easy as dvd shrink to use) and if main concept isnt an editor/encoder, then i think ill go for it.
    im going to try MAIN CONCEPT 1.4.2 like u suggested, but where do i get a trial from, and is it an edit and/or capture as well.
    im also going to try WinAVI Video Convert 5.8, but thats us$29 but is only an encoder, so ill spend the extra to get TMPGEnc 3.0 which does both.
    if u have any thoughts about an mpeg2 capture program with a good quality mpeg2 encoder, i would appreciate it, maybe u havent heard of, or used sonic MyDVD (it came with my liteon dvd burner)
    BTW, i dont bother creating dvd projects anymore using facy templates/menus etc, waste of space/time and energy, i simply copy the existing mpeg2 video directly to my ritek GO-4 dvd-r discs using nero express and they play on my set top dvd player on tv.

    thanks again everyone, much appreciated.....GLEN
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2004
  10. glenpinn

    glenpinn Guest

    SEE NEXT POST
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2004
  11. glenpinn

    glenpinn Guest

    POST-NOTE
    TMPGEnc is an editor as well, but doesnt do transitions/menus/special effects, just does video editing but thats not a problem for me, im not interested in all that stuff, i only want to get the main video to dvd to playback on my tv.

    turkey, i did try womble once and it wasnt to my liking i dont think, but ill have another look to refresh my memory.

    TMPGEnc 3.0 Xpress is looking good at the moment tho for what i need as an mpeg2 encoder/editor.....GLEN
     
  12. turkey

    turkey Regular member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    you can get a trial of MME here:
    http://www.mainconcept.com/downloads.shtml

    and like i've said twice already, MME 1.4.2 will capture to AVI or mpeg2 or anything else, and it has the absolute best mpeg2 encoder for less then $100. [bold]**this statement has been retracted in a later post.**[/bold] i think it only costs $60 usd. Tmpgenc is a very good encoder but it is also very very slow. you could use MME to capture, Tmpgenc 3.0 Xpress to edit (although you could use any editor you like), then MME to encode. that way you only have to deal with two separate programs and you will still have some of the best quality video to boot!
    _X_X_X_X_X_[small]i like to eat turkey...[/small]
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2004
  13. glenpinn

    glenpinn Guest

    hi turkey.
    thanks again m8, i just downloaded the trial of MainConcept MPEG Converter 1.4.2 and will give it a run shortly.
    i also downloaded some info on the product to read, and from what i can gather, its does dv/analog video capture in MPEG, it encodes AVI and QUICKTIME to MPEG1/2, and it can split video files and/or join multiple files together, which is what i need.
    in your first reply, u mentioned capture and encoding, but not an editor ability to join or split files as well, thats why i was heading towards TMPGEnc 3.0 Xpress because of the editing bit.
    when it says it only encodes AVI and Quicktime files to MPEG, does that mean it doesnt support ANY OTHER FILE to MPEG, as TMPGE will convert any vid file to any vid file.
    i also checked out the price, its us$149 (au$237) to buy the full version, but if it does what it says, would be worth it i guess.
    also noticed it does a 2 PASS encode, which is a bit time consuming, but ill see if it has an option for a single pass encode as well (maybe your thoughts about this would be helpful)
    anyway, ill give it a go, see how it goes.
    thanks again m8.....GLEN
     
  14. turkey

    turkey Regular member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    oh whoops...
    ...so then, MME has the absolute best mpeg2 encoder for less then $150. ;) [bold]**this statement has been retracted in a later post.**[/bold]

    a couple of things:
    MME certainly does have a one pass mode setting, and has both CBR and VBR. VBR being the better of the two under most circumstances. it has lots of other advanced encoding settings too (most of which i don't bother with, but they are there anyway).

    most of the good mpeg encoders will come with merging and splitting functions as well as batch encoding. i did not know that merging and splitting was what you meant by "editing"...

    i have not tried encoding formats other then AVI and DV AVI with MME, so i can't tell you if you will have trouble with that. if you do, let me know i and can help you find a way to get around it.

    have a good one.
    _X_X_X_X_X_[small]i like to eat turkey...[/small]
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2004
  15. glenpinn

    glenpinn Guest

    hi turkey.
    lol, yeah, i use the term "editing" very loosly i think, for me, to edit a video means simply to split a video into parts to either get rid of stuff or to shorten a long video into seperate parts, or to merge 2 or mor short clips together to make 1 single video.
    i used to use a few programs that would also do all the fancy editing and add menus, transitions etc, but it was a lot of hassle for nothing, i just want to watch the basic video on my tv, thats why i just capture an mpeg2 video, or encode other vids to mpeg2, then just copy the file to a dvd-r disc using nero express and i let my set top dvd player run the video with its own default menu list.

    as i said b4, at the moment i use sonic MyDVD to capture all my dv/analog vids to my pc in either high resolution 720x576 mpeg2 @ 60mb/min, or 352x576 mpeg2 @ 30mb/min, i then import the mpeg2 video to arcsoft SHOWBIZ to edit, either cut the video, fuse multiple vids or to add text, transitions, menus etc, and its a nice little program for doing it all (SHOWBIZ also encodes from any video format to any other format as well, bit like TMPGEnc)
    sonic MyDVD doesnt edit or re-encode other video formats unless u create a dvd project using other video formats to burn directly to dvd, it only captures in mpeg2 and creates dvd projects and burns them to dvd. SHOWBIZ is packed with MyDVD as the video editor, thats why i use it at the moment.

    this is why im seeking other software now because im thinking that a program like MyDVD which comes packaged with a dvd burner cant be that powerful, especially the mpeg2 encoder in either MyDVD or SHOWBIZ, and the mpeg2 encoder in SHOWBIZ runs at about 3:1 ratio for a single pass, and about 6:1 ratio on a 2 pass encode (bit slow u thinking) and ive considered what u say about a good encoder should do a single pass in about 2:1 ratio, and 2 pass in about 4:1 ratio (similar results from TMPGEnc)
    i havent had time to try Main Concept, will let u know later how it goes ok, im curious to see if it will encode all video formats like TMPGE and my SHOWBIZ program, if it only does AVI and QUICKTIME then im going to pass cos i need something that will accept all vid formats to encode to mpeg2, maybe that might be its downfall, ill wait and see.
    again turkey, i thank u for your help and advice, but dont be dissapointed if i end up with TMPGEnc 3.0, simply cos of its edit and ability to import any vid format, i can still use MyDVD to capture in mpeg2, but i need to find out how good the mpeg2 encoder is on both the MyDVD and SHOWBIS programs b4 i go any further.
    is there a way of telling the quality of an mpeg2 encoder in software when the capture program automatically captures in mpeg2 to your h/drive as in the case of MyDVD, to look at the end product, it looks great visually, so how can u tell an encoders quality other than by looking at it, for me as long as it looks nice on playback, its ok by me, im not a professional, this is only for my home videos and vids i d/load from the web
    thanks again m8, ill let u know how it goes.....GLEN
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2004
  16. glenpinn

    glenpinn Guest

    hi turkey.

    just did a trial of MainConcept mpeg encoder :)
    (MME states that its free trial will only allow up to 5 min encoding time on vids, well i did a complete 77min video no probs and got the small watermark in the corner like it said)

    makes arcsoft SHOWZIZ look like a turtle, and out performed TMPGEnc 3.0 by about 30-40% on encoding times.

    ok, heres what i got from both programs, encoding a 75min 352x576 avi video to 720x576 mpeg2 video with a single pass encode.

    1. TMPGEnc 3.0 took 155min with a file size of 3.3gb (44mb/min)
    2. MME 1.4.2 took 90min but only had a file size of 2.4gb (32mb/min)

    both vids look identical on playback, so why would one be smaller than the other, im sure all the settings were the same or similar on both programs.

    can faster encode speed reduce the finished file size, cot the MME file ended up with 30% less in file size than TMPGE.

    i didnt try the file splitter on MME yet, but i dont think u can join 2 or more clips together like TMPGE can, so it loses in that department, and i can assume the capture part is good tho.

    there are lots of PRO's and cons about both it seems, and $ for $ for what each offers i think they r both equal.

    MME (us$149) is faster, has dv/analog capture, but only encodes AVI and quicktime formats to MPEG

    TMPGE 3.0 (us$58) has better video merging/splitting option, has video preview screen while encoding, and will encode almost all video file format to any other file format which is a big bonus in my view.

    because i already have an MPEG2 capture program (MyDVD) i would lean towards getting TMPGEnc 3.0 Xpress and save the $$$$ but if MyDVD has a crappy mpeg encoder, then id go for MME, mainly for speed and capture options only, the rest id go with TMPGE.

    because im not doing this video work professionally, im not fussed with having to have 2nd best quality or slightly slower encode times, i have to get what suits my real needs at this time.

    turkey, ill await your reply m8 and thanks.....GLEN






     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2004
  17. turkey

    turkey Regular member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    hey i'm just glad you are willing to put in the time and effort to find what works best for you. most folks ask for advice and then complain when it's not what they want to hear..... the knowledge and experience you gain from going through a process like this is invaluable.

    and i hope you don't get the impression that i think Tmpgenc is a "bad" prog. it is a great prog, i use both Tmpgenc and MME all the time, just for different purposes. MME simply has a more efficient encoding algorithm which is why it is faster and has smaller files sizes. this is also why MME cost $149 and not $58 like Tmpgenc.

    like you said, lots of pros and cons...
     
  18. glenpinn

    glenpinn Guest

    thx turkey.
    yeah i want to try them all and see for myself b4 i buy.

    i did another encode with MME last nite, i cant believe the difference this time compared to TMPGE.

    i did a 120min ntsc 720x480 divx video (1.4mb)
    i tried it using LCPM audio and the file would end up 4.8gb (too big for a dvd-r) so i tried using LAYER 2 audio and it kept it to 3.7gb, and the end result was great, still only took 4.5 hrs to encode.

    i tried the same job on TMPGE using same settings, and the output time was going to take 23 hrs, i got 45 minutes into the encode and it had only got to the 2 minute point (55mb) on the video, so i stopped it.
    maybe thpge has a problem encoding an ntsc to mpeg pal.

    turkey, 1 more thing, if MME has smaller file size than TMPGE, does that make it any less quality, cos i have done 90min vids on TMPG using LCPM audio, and they are 4.1gb, but that 120min video encoded with MME was only 3.7gb using layer 2 audio (or 4.7gb using LCPM audio)

    should i always use LCPM audio where possible and only reduce it to LAYER 2 to lower the file size to under 4.2gb to get it on a dvd-r disc.
    is there much difference between the 2 aidio formats.

    BTW, MME trial is supposed to only allow 5 minute max encode on videos under the trial use, but i have now done a 90 min and a 120 min without restriction, xcept for the small watermark in the corner, ill see how many more i can do b4 something happens, it doesnt say anything about a time restriction on the trial either. im happy

    thx again m8, i owe u a fosters.....GLEN
     
  19. turkey

    turkey Regular member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    ok, smaller file sizes do not mean lower quality, this has to do with what i was saying before about the efficiency of the algorithm used by the encoder. the MME encoder is efficient enough to maintain high quality while compressing the file into smaller sizes.

    and now that we are talking about efficient encoders, i might have to retract the claim that i made earlier about MME being the "absolute best" encoder. in fact, the algorithm used in a program called Cinema Craft Encoder SP (CCE SP) has got to be the single most efficient mpeg encoder on the mainstream market to date. the CCE SP version costs $2000 usd, however, there is a CCE Basic version that is available for about $60. the basic version is still incredibly fast and is capable of very small sizes, even better then MME. i only mention it now because before you were looking to do several different things with a single program, and CCE only does one thing; it encodes mpeg 1/2. MME does a bunch of other stuff, including capturing, which is what i use it for the most.

    now conserning audio:
    LPCM is an uncompressed format for audio exactly like the .wav format. the difference is that LPCM is supposed to be DVD compliant. but because it is uncompressed audio it will consume large amounts of disk space. this is why you saw a difference in file size when you encoded the same file only using different audio formats. the mpeg1 "layer 2" audio format for mpeg2 videos had been the industry standard up until the "Dolby Digital AC3" format came along. MME does not encode AC3 audio (Tmpgenc 3.0 does AC3) but it does do nice layer 2 and layer 2 is a perfectly good format for what you are doing.

    have a good one...
     
  20. glenpinn

    glenpinn Guest

    HI TURKEY.
    we should be doing this via email or private messages by now (lol)
    i think out of all the times ive been asking questions on afterdawn you have given me the best advice and it all makes sense each time.
    lots of people here are very impatient, i want the best i can get for the lowest cost, and it appears that MME and TMPGEnc 3.0 are 2 of the best, certainly MME is the fastest encoder by far.
    im amazed at how MME can encode into smaller files than even TMPGE, now im goint to re-encode all my vids with MME.
    im going to continue using the trial version, i have done 6 full 90min+ vids so far with no problems and im not bothered by the watermark in the corner, its only small.
    im also going to use the LPCM audio where possible, but if i need to squeeze a file down under 4.2 gb, ill use the LAYER 2.
    thanks again turkey, been great listening to your advice, im a slow learner, but im all the more wealthy for your help.
    BTW, i was worried MME didnt do other video formats apart from AVI and QUICKTIME, but i wasnt sure what quicktime files were anyway. i have just done 2 WMV videos on MME, and went good as well.

    thanks again for your help, ill post u a private message next time i think.....GLEN
     

Share This Page