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what's the best (&/or fastest) avi to mpeg2 encoder?

Discussion in 'MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 encoding (AVI to DVD)' started by ahuizotl, May 1, 2005.

  1. ahuizotl

    ahuizotl Member

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    Hi! so far, i've tried tmpgenc express 2.0, nero vision express 3.0, cce, & ulead video toolbox 2.0. But i have yet to encounter the one program that really answers to my needs.

    my problem with cce sp 2.67 is that it converts the video into two separate files (audio and video) and i'll never know if the video and audio is in sync or not. Or am i doing something wrong? Aside from that, there's always a problem with audio. Something to do with 8192 Hz or something.

    With tmpgenc express... it doesn't recognized the audio whenever i add an xvid file. and it encodes way slower than nero although it seems to have better quality output.

    Nero, in the meantime, is much faster than tmpgenc. but at the expense of quality. It has more pixelated outputs. But it's easier to put together two or more parts of a video together to make one seamless video here. And, whenever i encode an xvid file, there's a green line on the output.

    Ulead, is sooooo rigid. you have to encode the whole thing. you can't edit anything.

    So, my question is: am i missing out on some terrific, fantastic encoding program? what's the best and/or fastest encoder you've used?
     
  2. shiroh

    shiroh Guest

    i really like QuEnc
    HCEnc is still early in development stages. i less so i only use it for test.
    freeEnc, only testing.
    all three are based on libavcodec
    and all 3 are free

    try media player classic.
    you can load both audio and video file.
     
  3. rebootjim

    rebootjim Active member

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    Speed and quality: Canopus Procoder, Mainconcept mpeg encoder, CCE.
    Everything else is either slow, or crappy.
    Tmpgenc Xpress is an oxymoron, there's nothing Xpress about it. It's dead slow, period.
    NVE3 is a very poor encoder, although not bad for (S)VCD only.

    What you're missing out on, is the idea of doing audio and video separately (a must for VBR MP3).
    Tmpgenc doesn't recognize it.
    Ulead, Nero ,et al, can't get it in sync.

    Use CCE with avisynth for great quality.
    Author with a proper authoring program, not one of those all-in-one things. Yes, they have their place, and can do some good video, with some source files, some of the time.
     
  4. ahuizotl

    ahuizotl Member

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    shiroh and rebootjim, thanks for the replies!

    rebootjim,

    haha.. you're right about tmpgenc! it takes 3x longer to encode anything!!

    i just tried mainconcept, and i'm pretty satisfied with the speed and quality, except for one thing. With other programs, whenever i encode a 16:9 video to 4:3, it automatically crops the sides so that the video doesn't get distorted. but so far, with mainconcept, it prefers to squeeze the video so that everything in it looks stretched. Is there anything i should tweak to stop the program from doing that?

    also, if i encode the video and audio separately, how do i check if it's in sync?
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2005
  5. rebootjim

    rebootjim Active member

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    In Mainconcept, look in the crop and resize section. You can set it however you want, just like tmpgenc.
    If audio is done corrrectly, you don't need to check sync. It's crappy downloaded junk that goes out of sync, not (or shouldn't be) captured/recorded stuff you did.
     
  6. 72morgan

    72morgan Regular member

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    ahuizotl

    How about: Roxio Easy Media Creator 7.5 ????

    Here is an excerpt from PCMAG`s review :

    [bold]Internet movie fans will love the suite's DivX-to-DVD wizard, which is specifically designed to convert DivX video files into menu-less DVD-Video discs that can play in most any set-top player. During our hands-on evaluation, we were knocked out by its near real-time performance on our 3.2-GHz test bed—roughly four times the speed of some popular freeware transcoders—and its ability to convert even the trickiest DivX and XviD content to MPEG-2 format without significant loss of audio sync.[/bold]

    Here is the link to the complete review :

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1781693,00.asp
     
  7. rebootjim

    rebootjim Active member

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    72Morgan. I have an xvid here, with VBR mp3 audio.
    I'll send it to you, and YOU can use Roxio to see how well it supposedly does with the audio sync.
    No thanks :) Roxio is no better, nor worse, than any other of the "one-click-wonders", when dealing with these types of files.
    Their claim is misleading.
    The bonus is, you get yet another out of sync dvd, with no menu...whoopee!
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2005
  8. TANSTAF1

    TANSTAF1 Member

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    I just got a camcorder (Panasonic GS250) so now I am trying out capturing, converting, and encoding etc. programs. I have only been at it two days, but it's been frustrating. It's hard to believe there is not yet a one stop shopping program that does it all.

    I have an ATI AIW 9600. How are the ATI programs? I didn't see them mentioned and I didn't think to try them yet.
     
  9. rick5446

    rick5446 Guest

    I use the ATI all Wonder 9000 Pro.I find it's capture ability & quality quite good.Of course I always set everything to the highest capture quality as possible.Of coures u have to have a lot of gigs to do this.An average 2hr video can take up to 5 Gigs of harddrive,and almost that amount again to turn it into a DVD that u can watch on your TV
     
  10. rebootjim

    rebootjim Active member

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    TANSTAF1. There are 1 stop (one-click-wonder) programs that'll do what you want. However, the quality can be questionable, the audio may not stay in sync, or the aspect ratio can get messed up (things in the video are stretched vertically, or squished horizontally).

    It would help to know WHAT software you're currently using, so we may recommend others.
     
  11. TANSTAF1

    TANSTAF1 Member

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    I started with Nero, but that didn't capture the entire tape for some reason. So I switched to MotionDV Studio which captured the 1 hr. mini-DV to an AVI file. So then I tried Nero, but I didn't have the MPEG2 license. So I switched to TMPGEnc. Initially in an attempt to tweak the settings I did something so it said it was to big to fit on the selected CDR. So I tried setting it for a 74 min CDR and burning to an 80 (as I did not have nay 90s on hand) with VCDEasy. So then I tried CinemaCraft Basic. That only encoded a few minutes. So I reinstalled TMPGEnc and cut about 5 minutes out and set it up according to a tutorial and it burned to a 733MB file. I burned that with EasyVCD but the resulting SVCD won't play in WMP on several different PCs. (Nero Showtime said something about needing an MPEG2 license again to play it.) So I am giving up on SVCD for now and I am now going to try just a DVD.
     
  12. rebootjim

    rebootjim Active member

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    1 hour of high quality DV will give a very nice DVD.
    Just use the wizard in tmpgenc.
    You could try capturing with WinDV, although it shouldn't matter, providing you're not doing any compression during capture.
    The cam should just copy the video to your computer, via the software, not encode anything.
     
  13. 72morgan

    72morgan Regular member

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    rebootjim

    I guess it depends on what you want to do, in order to decide what program to use. So far for me no one program does it all. There are tradeoffs and pluss`s and minus`s with all of them.
    I want to download Dr Who and watch it with my wife on my TV. Converting from PAL and Divx to NTSC and DVD, has given me the the most audio sync problems. Downloading from another site an avi that uses Divx for compression results in at worst momentary / occasional pauses
    I have used VSO DivxToDVD, AVI to DVD has worked. DiVX to DVD results have been spotty, some audio in sync others not.
    Nero Vision Express converts Divx to DVD with in sync audio, with momentary pauses through out the picture. 4 0r 5 in a 45 minute show and some with out of sync audio.
    Ulead DVD Movie Factory 4 works very well on editng commercials out of TV shows that I burn with my TIVO. Burn onto a DVD-Rw, and take it upstairs to my computer. Take 2 episodes that are on my hard drive and burn them onto 1 disc, and 1 segment has audio and the 2nd oepisode has NONE !!!
    Ulead converts a 360 mb file into a 1.7 gb DVD[ 1 to 6 ratio], Roxio Easy Media Creator 7.5 converted a 232 mb Dr Who episode into a 748 mb DVD[ 1 to 3 ratio]. That is probably why it is "supposedly" faster.
    Who can afford to buy all these programs , and then mix and match... So I have to agree with you: "Yes, they have their place, and can do some good video, with some source files, some of the time."


     
    Last edited: May 4, 2005
  14. rebootjim

    rebootjim Active member

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    Good post!
    One thing that beginners seem to totally miss, is the variety of source material, both audio and video.
    Just because a file says "avi" doesn't mean anything. Same with DivX (which is an avi anyhow).
    If all source files were exactly the same, then any id10t with VSO could make DVD's.
    Because there are so many variables in sources, the tools needed to get a respectable finished product, can be many.
    Most beginners don't want to learn how to use virtualdub, how to frameserve, what settings and encoder to use, what to author with, and what to burn with. They just want a "one-click-wonder" that will do all their thinking for them.
    Unfortunately, there is no magical solution, and the companies like DVDSanta, will keep selling junk software, to unsuspecting beginners, and smiling all the way to the bank.
    I firmly believe in FREE software. I hate having to pay, however, there's a trade off. Usually free has little support (the same could be said about some of the expensive payware too!).
    I could take (just about) any source material, and output a respectable DVD, using only freeware. It'll take me at least twice as long, and far more trial and error, but it can be done.
    In order to save time (and grey hair), we all have to (or should) purchase some good software.
    No, you don't need Scenarist, Pinnacle, DLP, nor thousands of other expensive bits of software, but one area I will NOT skimp on, is my encoder. It's the single most important piece of software in anyone's video-to-dvd arsenal, and well worth paying a good price, for a good encoder.
    Beyond that, everything else could be done for free.
     
  15. TANSTAF1

    TANSTAF1 Member

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    Well I finally got a working DVD. I also got a CD that works on 2 PC's by opening the drive as a device (i.e., it does not autorun) but does not work on others. I don't remember exactly whether it was to be a VCD or SVCD but probably the later and the 2 on which it works have MPEG2. Which brings me to gripe #1. Why do both MPEG1 and MPEG2 have the same file extender?

    Gripe #2 is about the amount of time it took for TMPGEnc to encode the files for DVD. I started it yesterday before noon. It was still at 54% when I left the office at about 7 pm. Fortunately it finished overnight.

    I was doing this on a 2 ghz laptop with an ATI 9000 video chip and a 7200 rpm hard drive (although the AVI file was on a USB2 external).

    Does encoding always take this long, or is it TMPGEnc? If the later, does that encode so much better that the extra time is worth it? How long do others take? What if I just want to make a VCD. Is TMPGEnc still worth it if it takes all night to do?
     
  16. rebootjim

    rebootjim Active member

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    Because the formats are governed by the MPEG bunch...In reality, mpeg-1's are .mpg and mpeg-2's are .mpeg, but this isn't always so.
    Tmpgenc is notoriously slow!!! Just about every other encoder out there is faster, but the cheap ones don't give you the options (generally). If you want speed and quality, get Mainconcept ($99) or Canopus Procoder Express ($59). CCE is also fast, but it's GUI (to be blunt) is a piece of shit. If it had a more intuitive GUI, then CCE Basic (~$59) would also be OK.

    There are setting changes you can do in tmpgenc to speed it up.
    First, use a bitrate calculator, then set tmpgenc for "CQ-VBR" instead of 2 pass vbr. This cuts the time in half.
    Set Motion Search Precision to Motion Search Estimate (fast) and this will cut it down by another third.
    Have the source file on one hard drive, and encode/save to a second hard drive, and you can knock another little bit off.
    Don't use ANY filters or resizing in tmpgenc. Do everything in virtualdub, and frameserve it....MUCH faster.

    IMHO tmpgenc has it's place. It's a decent enough encoder, it's just way overdue for a total code rewrite.
    BTW, tmpgenc xpress 3 is NOT any faster, nor is tmpgenc dvd source creator.

    If the source file is high quality, already edited, filtered, whatever, then VSO Divx to DVD does a splendid job, and fast. Reauthor in DVDLab Pro for menus and chapters, etc.
    If the source needs editing, filtering, whatever, do it ALL in virtualdub (or vdubmod) and frameserve.

    I rarely use tmpgenc for anything. Sure, there's the odd thing I need to do, using a custom template, but I can duplicate my settings in Canopus Procoder 2 or Mainconcept usually.
    When frameserving, I always use Mainconcept. It's one pass quality is comparable to tmpgenc's 2 pass, and it will (or should) encode at roughly 1.7x realtime (2 hour movie in 1 hour 15 minutes or so), on a 2ghz machine.
    Canopus is comparable.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2005
  17. TANSTAF1

    TANSTAF1 Member

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    Obviously I did not optimize things for the laptop. I may not even have set the priorities under the options drop down. I decided to make a mpg1 file tonight on my desktop at home using the same AVI file (so I could make a VDC) and it took only 50 minutes and that was before reading the helpful tips here - which I shall try next time to make this even faster. My desktop is only a AMD 64 2800+ so it is not that much faster than the laptop's 2 ghz PM-4. Both have about the same aount of memory 640MB versus 512. Does the video card make a difference? I have the ATI 9000 mobile in the laptop and an AIW 9600 in the desktop. (I remember one program said not to use a large preview screen.)
     
  18. TANSTAF1

    TANSTAF1 Member

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    rebootjim,

    A lot of what you say I do not yet understand or why I need to do it (frameserving, bitrate calculating, motion search, etc.).

    I am over the hurdle of the amount of TMPGEnc encoding time as an hour is reasonably acceptable.

    What are the things one should look for to determine the quality of the encoding? That is, if I encode the same raw, unmodified AVI file (transferred over IE1394 from my camcorder) with TMPGEnc at either its default settings (or once I learn what you're talking about) with the optimum bitrate, VBR, and motion search settings - how will that compare to a file encoded by MainConcept or Canopus Procoder 2 (with their optimum settings) and what do I look for to tell the difference? Does one program do a better job of keeping audio in sync?

    Am I correct in assuming the same settings for any program will apply (once I have learned what the optimum ones should be) regardless of what I have recorded on my camcorder? Or, for instance, does a lot of motion in the recording affect what the motion search setting should be?

    Does one program do better encoding for DVD versus VCD or SVCD (or some other widely accepted universal storage or playback format (DivX?)).



     
  19. ahuizotl

    ahuizotl Member

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    rebootjim,

    Will setting the Motion Search Precision to Low affect the quality of the encoded video?

    Also, there are times when i've managed to encode a video to mpeg, but then i realize that i forgot to edit the ending (e.g. removing the credits or logos at the end of the video) SO that means, i'd have to re-encode the video. In NVE, it would be no sweat. Just edit it out and re-encode it. It'll take around 6 mins. But in tmpgenc, it'll re-encode it all over again, which means that it'll take another 2 or 3 hours!! Which is so frustrating!!! I don't see the point of it taking too long, because the video being encoded has the same settings! Am i doing something wrong? or is this really the way tmpgenc works?

     
  20. Xsilver

    Xsilver Regular member

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    Every one has mentioned pretty much all the same programs. I have tried almost everyone to date and have now stuck with this DivxToDVD by VSO-Software. I think the software is free and i downloaded it for my bro and it was a direct download from the net.

    Nero - Too slow
    Main concept - buggy , medium speed ,average quality
    TMPGEnc - slower than a old lady that has lost her walking frame walking up an icy hill

    VSO DivxToDVD is v good quality and the speedis around 1.20-1.35 of normal speed i have found that it takes around 50 mins for 90 minute film conversion. It converts them into a Video TS folder with VOB files in. Then its just a case of making a DVD Video in Nero and replacing the Video TS folder with the one you just made
     

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