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    Convert DVDs with Flask Mpeg
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  • Convert DVDs with Mpeg2avi
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  • Using Mpeg2avi
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  • DVD to DivX with Mpeg2avi

    The video encoding speed of Mpeg2avi is much much faster than that of Flask Mpeg. It also gives a slightly smoother playback and picture quality. There are a few downsides of Mpeg2avi, mainly that we have to get the audio and add it to the video separately. This may sound hard but it not too difficult, and, if done correctly, will have just as few synchronization problems as Flask Mpeg. Of course, getting audio separately with Graphedit gives better quality audio. And for reasons of speed and quality Mpeg2avi is my preferred choice. But before you switch you should realize that Mpeg2avi has no DVD .IFO reading ability and almost no way of fixing interlace problems!

    Before I start here are the things you will need:

    DivX ;-) Mpeg-4 Codec 3.1alpha (or greater)

    Fhg Radium MP3 codec
    DanniDin's GUI v0.19
    Mpeg2avi 0.16B35
    Advanced Bitrate Calculator 1.8

    If you haven't installed the Radium MP3 and the Divx codec's you may as well do so now. Remember to run the "run me first" option on the Divx install too or it will not be installed correctly. Don't use the crappy AngelPotion codec, its a bad Mpeg-4 hack, yes, that's right! A hack and not a self made Mpeg-4 codec from the specifications!

    Open the GUI (graphical User Interface) and you are faced with this scary looking beast! Don't worry, I'll take you through everything =). If you look at (A) you will notice there are three buttons. Clicking these swaps between the Mpeg2avi, Ac3Dec and VStrip programs. But first thing we should do is make sure the windows version button (B) is selected. Hopefully this should make it more compatible with Windows long filenames (i.e. by adding quotation marks).

    Next check the box where it says Divx Auto (C). This automatically sets the bitrate you want to encode your Divx with so you don't have to keep putting in the same values for each vob file ;). Set it and press save.

    For getting the best setting you can look at my article: "Best Divx Quality & Bitrate Guide" in the appendix. But in short, use a bitrate calculator to determine the best bitrate to put in here. I'm using the 'Advanced Divx Bitrate Calc! Version 1.5'. It seems to give a more reliable amount and will not usually make a movie larger than you intend.

    Just put the DVD movie length in minuets in the top box. Select the audio bitrate you want to use. Then it will tell you the amount to use for the Low Motion codec! In the picture below the calculator says 581 so you would move the 'Data Rate slider bar to 581 instead of the 750 it is in the above picture. As for keyframes, I tend to use a keyframe every 1 second, but you can use one every 10 seconds to save more memory. Then set the 'Crispiness to 75% and you are done!

    Back to the GUI. The GUI just tells Mpeg2avi what to do so it must know where you put the Mpeg2avi program on your computer. So browse for the location of the actual Mpeg2avi.exe by clicking button (D).

    And select it.



    Mpeg2avi can encode your ripped DVD Vob files in two ways. Firstly, it can select an individual Vob file and encode it. But there are problem with encoding individual Vob files if they are parts of a whole movie. For a detailed explanation of this read my "Key Frames & Delta Frames Explained" section of the appendix.

    Unless you only have one Vob file to encode, you must make a list file. This is easy to do and, in fact, if you used SmartRipper in "movie" mode, then one would have been created for you. To make a list file, open notepad and put the names of the files you want to encode all together in order like this:


    The colours are mine, of course, and the blue parts represent the location of the Vob files and the red parts represents the names of the Vobs you need to encode. You must save this text file with a .lst extension. To do this, just add quotation marks. So if you want to save it as movie.lst you choose > save and call it "movie.lst". Make sure it isn't saved as a something like movie.lst.txt or something like that though.



    Back to the GUI. We can now browse to find the Vob or List file you want to encode from by pressing (E).

    Finally we choose the output location and filename by clicking (F).



    The GUI has an option to load in and save encoding settings - called 'profiles. Many of you will probably be happy to just download a profile and use it. For this purpose I have added a link for you to download them here:

    Popular Profiles

    And here is how you'd load a profile:

    Click on the Profiles icon (G) and up pops some pre-made and tested setting for Divx Choose the profile that you want to use i.e. NTSC or PAL; Anamorphic for Wide Screen 16:9 ratio or 4:3 for Normal TV screen ratio etc., then press Load Profile.

    But I never use profiles and I don't think you need to either. Throughout my guides I have shown you how to configure everything yourselves. The final few settings on Mpeg2avi are no more difficult than anything else, and other peoples profiles do not always give the best settings for your movie anyway.



    This section lets you say how you want the movie resized or cropped. Instead of explaining this here, I have done so in much greater detail in the article "Resizing the Video in Mpeg2avi".


    BITS 'n' BOBS

    This bit below has some pre-defined crop and resizing settings. Just click on them and see what you think - I don't use them.

    The box below just tells you which profile you are using.

    The command line section below just displays what commands the GUI is sending to Mpeg2avi.

    Most of the options below are cosmetic and useless for anything but making the GUI look nice. The Calculator is ok, but confusing so I use another. The Bold text option just turns text bold. You can change the GUI Colours or use a background Picture. The Picture option lets you choose a background picture for the GUI. And the Help doesn't help at all yet =).

    The "open VOB bitstream at LBA" option won't be needed unless there is lots of green or pink garbage at the start of your Vob file. Choosing a new Logical Block Address (LBA) basically jumps 2048 bytes forward to allows you to skip by the garbage. If Mpeg2avi cannot find a system header it will automatically scan to the next LBA until one is found.

    Below the LBA option is the Frames Range option. This will allow you skip to a frame in the movie. To do this put the frame number in the 'Start' box. (25 frames make 1 second for PAL and 23.976 or 29.970 make 1 second for NTSC). Putting a number in the 'End' box tells Mpeg2avi what frame to stop encoding.



    Set the framerate you wish to encode your movie with. PAL will almost always use - f2 25.000 fps except some DVD specials. NTSC will use either -f5 23.976 or -f6 29.970 or even -f3 24.000 fps depending on the movie; but most of the time, I am told, it will be -f5 23.976 fps for NTSC.



    This option is designed to handle interlace problems. For a detailed explanation of this problem read my article: "Video Formats: NTSC & PAL / Telecine". Most PAL DVDs don't have interlace problems except in the specials section. So far I haven't managed to solve this interlace problem. The Mpeg2avi ivtc text files recomends using the -s4 setting to telecine NTSC movies, so try that and see what happens. If thats no good you'll have to Flask Mpeg the movie. If you don't have interlace problems at all just turn this option OFF.



    Because Mpeg2avi is designed to output to all kinds of codec's it allows options to tell it what format to give them. For Divx it should always be -o8 YV12.



    Just choose Hi Quality.



    Inverse Discrete Cosine Transform (iDCT) determines the accuracy of how certain aspects of an mpeg file are converted back into its original image. Since we are going to recompress and probably shrink the Divx anyway, it is probably the best compromise between speed and image quality to use -r2 (16-bit MMX Chen iDCT). Anything else is overkill and in fact this is the most bug free option anyway.



    Finally press the Create my AVI button!

    A window like the one below will appear and the movie will encode.

    That's it! =) The next step is to extract the audio from the DVD and multiplex to your DivX.

    Duplication of links or content is strictly prohibited. (C) NICKY PAGE 2000