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Problems not addressed by a guide... [EDIT]

Discussion in 'MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 encoding (AVI to DVD)' started by cwgannon, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. cwgannon

    cwgannon Member

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    Thanks for clicking. I'll do my best to keep this short and to the point, but I fear it will end up quit long. But it is paragraphed and whatnot--with real punctuation and spelling--so I promise reading it will not drive you batty.

    I have 30 xvid AVI files that are about 110 MB each, with 12 minute runtime, at 480x352, with 106 kbps MP3 audio, and 1100-ish kbps for ave. video bit rate.

    I've used the bitrate calculator and it seems as if I can fit all of them onto one DVD-R 4.5 with the same audio and video bit rates without losing any quality.

    The files are meant to be kept separate, so in the end I intend to author the DVD so that each separate video file is accessed from the main menu. Upon the end of the playback of each file, I hope for the DVD to return to a menu I've indicated.

    I have purchased DVD-lab PRO but am still new to the program. I know that if I load multiple video files into the program I am able to configure it to perform as described above.

    But I've yet to figure out how to effectively run a batch with DVD2SVCD using DSRoBa, so converting all 30 files is a tremendous chore. If I were to find a way to join the original xvid AVIs (any tips on a quality joiner?), this problem would be solved. But, I'm not sure if that will complicate the plan I described above.

    That is, if I join all my xvid AVIs into one xvid AVI and convert them with DVD2SVCD using DSRoBA and then import into DVD-lab PRO, will I be able to set some sort of points within the large video file that will tell the DVD to return to an indicated menu? (Think of a DVD that plays a scene from a scene selection menu and then returns itself to the scene selection menu.)

    So, in a nutshell:
    Do I need to leave the files separate so that I can make a menu as I've described (and if that's the case, please offer a recommendation for a batch converter)? Or can I join the files and make the type of menu I'm looking for without having to learn a new conversion program (and if this is the case, please suggest an AVI joiner, and/or a short run-through of the how-to on making the aforementioned menu in DVD-lab)?

    So, I'm really just asking for some guidance here. There are a thousand ways to skin this cat, I'm sure, but I'd appreciate your input and experience.

    Thank you. And cheers for making it this far.
     
  2. cwgannon

    cwgannon Member

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    I figured out how to make the menu I described in DVD-lab PRO, so I guess the only questions I have left are:

    Should I join the files and use DVD2SVCD with CCE or should I leave them separate and use a different converter with better batch capabilities? (Or maybe there's a way I've yet to find to make DVD2SVCD's batch capabilities a bit more user-friendly and a lot less time-consuming?)

    Thanks again.
     
  3. MysticE

    MysticE Active member

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    Well first off you've got 6 hours of video. That's really not going to look very good any way you cut it. You'll have to go to half D1 which is a quality hit in itself. Nero Vision Express won't even allow much more than about 5½ hours with a menu.
    Not true. An Xvid as an AVI can look good at 1100 kb/s, convert that to DVD with a video bitrate of 1100 kb/s and it will look horrible. Nero won't even allow a bitrate lower than 1691 kb/s. To maintain any quality you would need 2 to 3 times (roughly) the Xvid's bitrate, 2200 to 3300 kb/s, for DVD. 3300 kb/s will probably provide as much quality as is possible. You'll have to experiment and run some tests. At the very low bitrates you seem to be aiming for, CCE would be your best shot.

    As far as joining, VirtualDub mp3 Freeze would be your best bet (any of the Vdub's should work), provided the AVI's properties are identical.

    http://www.videohelp.com/tools?tool=Virtualdub_MP3_Freeze

    http://www.divx-digest.com/articles/joinavi.html
     
  4. cwgannon

    cwgannon Member

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    Thank you very much for the explanation of the bitrates. I was under the assumption that I was to use that of the xvid for the dvd. I suppose now, though, that it would be much better for me to aim for fitting this all on, say, three discs? Is there a way to calculate the "optimal" number of discs to use for a project? I've tried the bitrate calculator found at this site, but I don't know what to do with its output of 'calculated bitrate: 1169 kbit/s' and 'DVD max bitrate: 9668 kbit/s.' As far as experimentation, how am I to perform these tests you mention?

    Thanks, as well, for the links to VirtualDub and the guide. I had ran into VirtualDub in the past, but for some stupid reason, I hadn't thought to append over and over again the AVI files I wanted to join. That is, until that guide mentioned it; then I felt like an idiot, but that's good sometimes.

    Thanks once more for good measure. I hope to hear back from you with the answers to my new trivial questions at your convenience.

    (And I've just noticed that my first post has a spelling error in the very same sentence that I state that same post will not have any spelling errors, which is quite a shame, really.)
     
  5. MysticE

    MysticE Active member

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    The bitrate calculator is used to find the bitrate that will fill the blank based on running time. So if you take 15 (half) of your AVI's the running time is 3 hours. The calculator says you need a bitrate of 3159 kb/s (you might have to go a bit less to leave room for your menu). Now if this was an uncompressed original DVD source a bitrate that low would not be advisable as there would be some quality loss. But in your case you are starting with an XVID, it's quality has been locked in (lowered by the Xvid conversion process) already. With Xvids you usually notice this loss in dark scenes (or fast motion scenes) in the form of some blockiness. This is there, locked in, and cannot be corrected/changed by conversion to DVD even if you went with a high bitrate of 8000 kb/s. What you see is what you got.

    So as I said earlier if your Xvid's are 1100 kb/s a 3100 kb/s DVD bitrate should be all that's needed to convert with maximum quality (obviously there has to be some loss due to the re-encoding). You could try a few tests and see.

    It's very refreshing to find someone who is concerned about grammar and punctuation. Someone who takes the time and effort to type a coherent post that is easy to read and understand. To comment on someone's lack of grammar and obvious disdain for those who might try to read it will get you suspended on these forums.
     

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