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Old 5 Jul 2003, 02:25 PM   #1
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Default Compression Woes

Hello all, I just installed an ATI Radeon All-In-Wonder 9700 Pro (mouthfull) on my machine. I'm excited to be able to capture cable tv on my system in order that I can record shows for friends and burn them to CDs for higher qaulity video (and more convenient) than a VHS cassette. I want to use MPEG-2 format as it is compatible with Macs too (have a couple friends on that).

My problem is that while I don't mind having HUGE capture files (wanted to get the best to start out with) and so am recording to my hard drive at DVD qaulity; I can't get the included third-party software bundled with the card (Pinnacle Studio 8) to properly compress the videos.

I figured that I'd use 685MB of a 700MB CD. I'd fit two hours of video on this CD and figured that would give me roughly 5.7MB per minute of bitrate (obviously not all video as audio needs some of that too).

My hopes were shattered when I found that Pinnacle really stinks at efficiently encoding the videos. I need to go upwards of 8MB PER SECOND in order to get quality comparable to that of various downloads I've watched. I noted these DLs only have a bitrate of 86Kb per second (around 5MB per minute) and their qaulity is medium to high.

So the question is: what codec do I need to feasibly do what others have done? I'm amazed that the Pinnacle software would stink so badly at compression but I've checked all options and have come to the conclusion that there must be some codec I need for encoding my massive video captures into something of trimmer size.

Help "junior" here, please.
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Old 5 Jul 2003, 02:52 PM   #2
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Well, if you want a very Trimmer size movie just use DivX codec version 5.05 was great.

If you want a lossless codec then just use Intel Indeo codec version 5 was great.

For a convinience tool converting between MPEG1, MPEG2 and AVI, I suggest to use EOvideo !
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Old 6 Jul 2003, 12:14 AM   #3
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Default GRRRRRRRRR.



The above image simulates the qaulity of video that I've come to expect on various downloads. It's simulated from a DVD still capture I did on the ATI DVD player but you get the idea. The bitrate on these files are around 5MB a MINUTE (not second). Thus a trwo-hour movie file will comfortably fit on a 700MB CD.

I must be missing something very obvious and right under my nose. In Pinnacle studio 8, I'm using the above codecs at the bitrate that I've seen succesfully used (around 86Kbps or 5MB a minute) and these are the results I get:



What am I doing wrong? It must be something obvious or the software (Pinnacle) just plain sucks. Very little instructional documentation with it as well.
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Old 6 Jul 2003, 01:08 AM   #4
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the SVCD standard that I think you are talking about is at 2560Kbits/second most downloaded SVCD is on 1800-2100 Kbits/second, note bits and not Bytes. to fit 2 hour on one 700MB cd-r you will need to use divx (MPEG4), MPEG2 wont work at too low bitrates.

You could fit 1 hour on one cd-r if you use an encoder that can handle 2-pass vbr and if you don't mind occasional artefacts.
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Old 7 Jul 2003, 10:28 AM   #5
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Setarip was right ! Except that you have a HDTV !
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Old 7 Jul 2003, 11:40 AM   #6
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Default Need a step by step guide of some sort.

While I do agree with you that the overall quality wonít be stellar, I must say it should be acceptable. Below is a still capture from ATIís cable TV viewer (graphics card has a coaxial cable box built in):



The dimensions the cable comes in at is 640 x 480 Ė Iím wanting to keep the 4:3 ratio as I donít have a widescreen. As you can see, things are good for the most part.

Frankly, Iím finding ATIís lack of documentation of such complex hardware and software (can capture video in over 40 different codecs and every one of them has extensive options and settings) more than frustrating. The All-In-Wonder 9700 is a magnificent piece of hardware but like I said, lack of instruction is a poor reflection on ATI.

If I do record in the DiVX 5.0.5 codec at 86Kbps and things look like the above messed-up shot of Lord of the Rings. Can anyone point me to a thorough start-to-finish guide for MPEG-4? Thanks for your responses above. I appreciate the effort.
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Old 9 Jul 2003, 01:15 AM   #7
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I think you're right about falco confusing B with b setarip.
and for the record, the correct abbrevation for kiloBytes is kB capital B.
But it's ok, it's a common error, many people do...

Note: it's strange that when oldies in this game speak to each other they couldn't care less if it's capital B or not since both know what they mean. But as soon as they talk with a beginner they tend to assume it's a big deal...
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Old 9 Jul 2003, 08:53 AM   #8
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Well, I checked and windows shows it like this: 86kbps. All small letters. Besides the point anyways as kilobytes would be WAY to low a bitrate.

At any rate, I'm slowly learning the ropes. Yeah, things are pretty straight forward it's just that some people have figure out how to squeeze the most out of their bits. Just looking for advice, that's all. Besides this site, are there any other good sites detailing the ins and outs of MPEG compression (guess MPEG-4 is the way to go as far as efficiency is concerned)?
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Old 9 Jul 2003, 09:55 AM   #9
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What I see:





Scary isn't it? Anyway, I'm still trying to get that huffyuv-2.1.1 to work so I can encode in DiVX. It does well until the last frame and says it can't do the last frame. So close and yet...
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Old 9 Jul 2003, 06:52 PM   #10
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The screenshot seem to only show the bitrate for the audio stream. 127 approx. 128
64 128 192 is fairly common as mp3-bitrates...
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Old 9 Jul 2003, 06:53 PM   #11
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You forgot the S setarip
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Old 10 Jul 2003, 11:13 AM   #12
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Look, debating details is very good and all, but nit-picking never got anyone anywhere.



The above video has fairly good image qaulity and yet is only 75MB in size. Only a half hour long, that's 2.5MB per minute. NOTE the 24kbps. Not 240kbps, but rather 24kbps. So far I haven't been able to match its efficiency concerning bitrate. This site is pretty good, but I'm on the lookout for others that anyone can bring to mind.

BTW, I'm not interested in ripping DVDs, but out of curiousity, for a two hour movie, how big is your final ripped file? I know DVDs can hold 2.4GB of info (maybe more, nowadays)? I'm just trying to fit 2 hours on a 700MB CD.
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Old 11 Jul 2003, 01:57 AM   #13
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I encoded a 1 hour 55 min movie with WMV8 at 720x306 and it came out to 679 mb at great quality. So try capturing Huffyuv video (best quality setting) and PCM video, and encode with Windows Media Encoder 7.1 at apprx. 800k video and 32 k audio. Works goo dwith me.
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Old 11 Jul 2003, 02:37 AM   #14
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42 kbps...
Looks allright, but that was the media information tab from WMP 6.4 or 7 or 9, and since the video part will have variable bitrate it will pick the bitrate for the first fram and display that, especially the WMP above 6.4.

VirtualDub will show you a much better info-tab on the media. Since it will show you the max, min and average bitrate for the video. It's a free tool and one of the best for DivX (if not the best).

if the video had 42kbps from start to finish, I promise you it would certainly look like s...
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Old 16 Jul 2003, 10:40 AM   #15
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Well, thanks everyone for your guidance.

Secondly, have one nagging problem left: my movies stutter very slightly (yet noticibly) every five seconds. I do have DMA enable for my hard drive (7200rpm). I have a P4 2.4GHz, 1 GB RDRAM, little if anything running in the background. What should I do?
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