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Guide Video encoding for use with WiiMC (Original Wii)

Discussion in 'Nintendo Wii / Wii U' started by Zymz, Feb 5, 2015.

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  1. Zymz

    Zymz Member

    Mar 19, 2013
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    I've made posts on here before concerning encoding videos to play (and look good doing it) on older consoles like the Xbox / Wii / PSP, I just seem to have many friends using limited / older consoles that still want to encode the best video they can on them.

    So I've decided to share what I've been using to do this myself and to see if anyone else out there has additional tips or information concerning the subject.

    I currently use VidCoder for encoding my videos, it is a free program for people just getting into video encoding, it's basically a tweaked version of Handbrake with a different GUI that explains most of the settings to the user while they adjust them via mouse-over descriptions, the settings described here were used with VidCoder but you can usually figure out how to duplicate the listed settings in just about any video encoding program.

    For video playback on the Original Nintendo Wii I've been using WiiMC aka Wii Media Center.

    I'll list my main profile settings first then discuss them after so that you more advanced users can optionally continue reading if you want to comment or learn / teach what you have learned.

    For full 16 x 9 aspect ratio videos:

    Max Width: 640
    Max Height: 360
    -Keep Aspect Ratio
    -Anamorphic: None
    -Cropping: Automatic

    For aspect ratios with shorter height like 2.21:1 videos: (the really wide yet slim height videos)

    Max Width: 720
    Max Height: 406
    -Keep Aspect Ratio
    -Anamorphic: None
    -Cropping: Automatic

    These other settings are the same regardless of the resolution you want to use:

    All Off unless you need to do something specific with your video, but I've read that you need Deblocking Off regardless.

    Video Codec: H.264 (x264)
    Constant Framerate: 23.976 (you can use peak framerate and experiment with other framerates)
    Constant Quality: 20 (naturally you can pick a different quality, the lower the number the higher the quality)
    Encoder Settings Basic:
    Profile: Baseline (or High if you want to work with the advanced settings),
    Level: 3
    if you are using the newest Vidcoder you can click "Advanced Tab" after selecting your profile to use the advanced settings, just know the encoding speed slider can muck up several advanced settings if you are trying to be specific. if you don't want to mess with any of this then set the profile to "Baseline" for the highest compatibility, but you'll lose a lot of detail in your video.

    Reference Frames: 3 (I could use some feed-back concerning Ref and B-Frames vs player performance)
    Max B-Frames: 3
    CABAC: Off
    8x8 Transform: Off
    Weighted P-Frames: Off
    *The following can be adjusted for Encoding Speed preference, I use high settings, so the video looks great.
    Pyramidal B-Frames: Normal
    Adaptive B-Frames: Optimal
    Adaptive Direct Mode: Automatic
    Motion Estimation Method: Uneven Multi-Hexagon
    Subpixel Motion Estimation: 10: QPRD in all Frames
    Motion Estimation Range: 16 - 64 (pure speed / quality preference)
    Partition Type: All
    Trellis: Always

    Codec: AAC
    Bitrate: 128 (you can go much higher without too much consequence, I'll usually go between 128 - 384)
    Mixdown: Stereo (why? because I've read it just gets down-mixed to stereo by WiiMC anyway, let me know if you know otherwise. ;} )
    Sample Rate: 44.1 ( you can go higher if you want, this is just a decent stable setting)

    I prefer to use the x264 for video encoding despite recommendations to use Dixv / Xvid, the picture quality vs. compression is simply so much better, and the latest WiiMC can handle it with certain settings.

    I use two different setting profiles for video, for videos that use the full 16 x 9 aspect ratio I only go up to 640 x 360 resolution, the Wii just can't seem to keep up with the frame rate when there is too much action and detail on screen at once when the entire 16 x 9 screen is used in 720 x 406 resolution. (which is what a 16 x 9 aspect will encode to if you are using a 720 x 480 resolution in your profile)

    For all other movies with a slimmer than 16 x 9 aspect ratio, like 2.1:1 etc. you can go up in resolution a bit to the limit of 720 pixels wide, your height should be less than 406 pixels if the ratio is less than 16 x 9.

    I also recommend using the "High" Profile at "Level 3.0" This is a compatibility setting used to limit / enable certain encoding and decoding methods for devices, while WiiMC only in its later versions became able to handle these profiles effectively the Wii itself still cannot handle all the advanced options available from these profiles, so if you want to skip the fine details, you could limit your profile to "Baseline" to get better performance but lose picture quality and compression efficiency. I'd also love it if any other users out there have additional profile and level advice along with supporting arguments to supplement this post as I am still experimenting with my own settings as well.

    If you decided you like learning / fiddling with advanced settings and want to use the High Profile at Level 3 I'd recommend turning off "CABAC", "8x8 Transform" and "Weighted P-Frames". I know for certain CABAC is a newer method for encoding video that requires additional processing power from devices playing the video, and as such using it could cause your videos to stutter during playback if encoded at higher resolutions. I'm not completely certain that 8x8 Transform or Weighted P-Frames requires additional processing power or not and would like feedback from other users that understand what these functions demand from a host program / processor, if it's negligible then these might be used to further improve compression and visual quality. I have in the past used the full advanced high profile with CABAC / 8x8 / Weighted P-frames at 640 x 360 resolutions with only a few high quality videos encountering stutters, so you can use these settings while trying to find the right kind of settings for you.

    WiiMC is mostly compatible with just about any settings you use, it will attempt to play the video regardless of its encoding but the resulting performance will always be limited by the Wii Console itself no matter what you do, unless you are some master hardware engineer with a heavily modified console, in which case this post doesn't even apply to you! ;) otherwise though feel free to experiment and report back your findings.

    One huge issue I am currently dealing with while using WiiMC is it cannot playback videos with a total play length longer than 2 hours... It will attempt to play the video but only the audio accompanied by a horrible frame-rate will be on-screen. This happens regardless of other quality / encoding settings I use, even at a resolution of 480 x 272, the same videos will work if truncated to 2 hours or less or split into multiple video files. I haven't confirmed if this also applies to videos encoded with Divx / Xvid, but I just don't like the quality / file size of such videos. If anyone knows what is up with that or has advice / work arounds to fix it, I'd love to hear them. Otherwise: Good Luck and Happy Encoding!
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
  2. Joke

    Joke Newbie

    Jun 27, 2017
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    Hello...WiiMC...YESSS!!!!! Ok then.Well, while I agree with using h264 over the divx I am currently getting pulled over. First off let me state that I love my wii. But, I don't expect insane quality. I love playing 4 player games with my fam and the games look great(at least most of them). Lets be honest, the wiis limited resolution and playback length plus occasional crash, make it hard to complete with anything with HDMI out(for video). The biggest plus for me is it doesn't have cinevia, like the ps3 and what not. So with that being said and me being honest that I really enjoy older style movies that weren't made to watch in HD I use a computer for movies these days, but really want a nice little mini media player(composite out) to sit by my wii. Anyways with out further ado I will I'll state the handbrake settings i use. And also, thank you so much for such a comprehensive write up.

    Handbrake version:
    1.0.2 on windows 10.

    -> Load video to convert.
    ->Under Presets on right side of gui, I click on universal, then Normal.
    ->Under 'Picture' turn anamorphic to 'none'.
    ->picture size width to 640. I leave 'keep aspect ratio' checked. So the height will vary.
    ->next tab over is 'filter'. if the video im converting is in dvd format with interlace I use the 'Decomb' setting under 'Deinterlace' and leave the default preset as is.
    ->Then under 'video' I leave as is except i change it to slow(but if your computer isn't great this will take a very long time.) And I change quality to an Avg Bitrate of 1000 and do a two pass turbo first pass.
    ->Audio. I do same as you although i do 48 normally, although i'm doing 44.1 on a test im doing following what im writing. AAC Stereo.
    ->Force subtitles if you need em and let er rip. I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter if you have chapters on or off.

    This creates a file that seems stable and has a good balance of quality vs size vs time. And you can save this as a preset with the audio preset as the defaults and load folders to batch convert. Also If video length is an issue, then you can split using avidemux without any re-encoding.
    wad11656 likes this.
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