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Old 9 Feb 2005, 05:34 PM   #1
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Default better quality DVD->VCD or DVD->352 x 240/288?

Hi,

i encoded a DVD either to VCD (1150kbps) and also reduced screen resulution to VCD style t.m. 352 x 240(for PAL 288) but with higher average bitrate of 2000kbps of the same film. When watching on TV, it seems that the reduced DVD screen resolution film has
better quality.

Could that be the case? Is 2000kbps a good setting?

greetings
ZZ-Diego

Last edited by ZZ-Diego; 9 Feb 2005 at 05:48 PM
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Old 9 Feb 2005, 06:16 PM   #2
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I find it hard to understand your post. What did you do exactly? and what's your question?
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Old 9 Feb 2005, 06:35 PM   #3
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As long as you have the ability to view the video on your TV, of course the higher bitrate (even up to the bitrate of the original DVD) will yield a better quality image...
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Old 10 Feb 2005, 02:50 AM   #4
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Hi there,

the idea behind all this was to find out the best VCD encoder and to do an experiement with DVD resolutions.

This is what i did:
I used Nero Reloaded, TMPGenc Express and some other programs to encode a digital shortfilm to VCD.

Because of a hint, i read somewhere, that increasing average bitrate would increase quality, i thought that this also could be a way to get a VCD like file size with digital sound compatibility but higher quality.

So for VCD the bitrate is roughly 1100kbps, i reduced the film resolution equaly to VCD resolution but with higher bitrate 2000kbps. I compared all the films encoded:
TMPGenc XPress delivered the best VCD quality within VCD standard.

Surprisingly the DVD film with much lower resolution 250x280 but 200kbps seemed to be still much better like encoded films to VCD even though it wasn┤t compressed compared to VCD standard encoding.

But there was something strange about the quality:
The text in the ending seemed to better in that TMPGenc encoded film but the screenpicture (the film itself) was better in the resolution reduced DVD film.

So i started wondering which quality was better now. So do you have an idea to this?

greetings
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Old 10 Feb 2005, 03:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
to find out the best VCD encoder
Try Canopus Procoder, Mainconcept Mpeg Encoder, CCE...
Quote:
experiement with DVD resolutions
There are 3 NTSC resolutions that are dvd compliant, and 3 PAL ones.
Full D1, Half D1, and 1/4 D1.
Full is 720x480, Half D1 is just that, 352x480. 1/4 D1 is half again, or 352x240. (these are all NTSC aspects, adjust for PAL).
If your source is 352x240, then encoding to mpeg-2 at the same aspect, will usually result in a higher quality dvd, because there is no resizing done. Some authoring applications will NOT accept anything but full D1, and this is a fault, not a feature. Your mileage may vary.
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Old 12 Feb 2005, 08:07 PM   #6
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I'm not sure if this applies, but I think you should see this thread:

http://forum.digital-digest.com/show...ghlight=matrix

I've had better luck, and better quality with VCD. I've made SVCD's with up to 2600kbps that looked like ****!

I still make NON-standard VCD's at 1550kbps that turn out great! Nearly as good as the original DVD!

Go figure. I just don't see any advantage using mpeg2 svcd format. I have better results making VCD's(mpeg1) with a higher bitrate than standard. I burn them using nero, and all 3 of my DVD/VCD/MP3 home theatre players can play my non-standard video cd's just fine, and they look nearly as good as the DVD!

Of course, there is a price to pay. With my non-standard VCD's I can't fit more than 45 minutes or so, on a single 700mb CD.

With standard VCD bitrate I can fit 1 hour + 19 minutes on a 700mb CD.

Last edited by DrinkOrDie; 12 Feb 2005 at 08:23 PM
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Old 13 Feb 2005, 12:26 AM   #7
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Hi DorD,

thank you but i am not sure to understand that thread...
Quote:
Originally posted by DrinkOrDie
http://forum.digital-digest.com/show...ghlight=matrix
...thats far to much over my head i must say.....


I still make NON-standard VCD's at 1550kbps that turn out great! Nearly as good as the original DVD!

yeah, i thought of that too, but i was afraid of the incompatibility with modern standalone DVD player, thats why i was searching for another solution....


Go figure. I just don't see any advantage using mpeg2 svcd format.

Sorry, y┤got me wrong...i was just talking about reducing the DVD (vob) resolution to VCD-specs, cause this resolution is compatible to all DVD players out there but is still a vob file format. So i am not converting it to SVCD or other formats. Just to have better quality, i increased the average bitrate to 2000, which turns to be much better compared to VCD. IMPORTANT: You have to use 4:3 aspect ratio!

The new film-vob file has 1.6Gigbytes and includes AC3 stereo, so you can easily but 3 films on one DVD with greater picture (more fluently scrolling) and digital sound.

[b]
I have better results making VCD's(mpeg1) with a higher bitrate than standard. I burn them using nero, and all 3 of my DVD/VCD/MP3 home theatre players can play my non-standard video cd's just fine, and they look nearly as good as the DVD!
[b]
okay, thanks for this info. Would be very interesting in comparing also this format with the reduced vob, maybe we could go into deeper discussions later on? It turned out to be for me the way to have best quality to reduce DVD resolution not to encode it again , cause that also a loss of quality isn┤t it? Well, i am doing another test with your setting recommendations -thanx-

Btw. so you think its no problem to play non-standard resolutions on DVD player? I am quite disconcerted and afraid one day it won┤t play no more....

greetings
ZZ-Diego

Last edited by ZZ-Diego; 13 Feb 2005 at 12:33 AM
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Old 14 Feb 2005, 04:40 PM   #8
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I made a non-standard VCD. VCD standard specs are 352X240 resolution(NTSC) 1150Kbps video 224kbps audio but what I did was go outside the standard and raised the bitrate of the mpeg1 video to 1550 or higher, lowered the audio bitrate to 128kbps. Both my home DVD players had no problem with this Non standard VCD and it looks better than a standard VCD but the disk holds fewer minutes.

I tried making a VCD with a different resolution (336x256) It played, but part of the picture was missing at the bottom(black bar).

I didn't realize what you were doing. I'm not sure I do now. I understand why you would want to encode at a higher bitrate for quality reasons, but Why are you reducing the resolution of your VOB files?

Anyway, good luck with what you're doing. I hope you learn from it and find what you're looking for.

Last edited by DrinkOrDie; 14 Feb 2005 at 04:46 PM
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Old 14 Feb 2005, 08:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrinkOrDie
I tried making a VCD with a different resolution (336x256) It played, but part of the picture was missing at the bottom(black bar).

I didn't realize what you were doing. I'm not sure I do now. I understand why you would want to encode at a higher bitrate for quality reasons, but Why are you reducing the resolution of your VOB files?
Hi,

use TMPGenc and choose a vob of a to encode. Do a transcoding again to DVD but with 4:3 aspect ratio and reduce to 352 x 240 NTSC or 352 x 288 PAL resolution. The outcome quality film seems to have higher quality than a encoded VCD film but with approx. the same filesize but with less encoding time (10% less needed time) !! So the benefits are quite forward:

- less encoding time compared to VCD
- 5.1 support
- approx. same filesize (15%higher) compared to VCD
!also depends if you reduce 5.1 audio bitrate to
192kbps!
- higher average bitrate and though standard support


Last edited by ZZ-Diego; 14 Feb 2005 at 08:22 PM
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Old 15 Feb 2005, 04:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
I still make NON-standard VCD's at 1550kbps that turn out great! Nearly as good as the original DVD!
yeah, i thought of that too, but i was afraid of the incompatibility with modern standalone DVD player, thats why i was searching for another solution....
VCD is just a name. It is actually 352x240(288) @ 1150kbps. When you say "non-standard" VCD, all you're creating is an mpeg-1 with a non-VCD-standard bitrate.
Most players can play mpeg-1, no matter the bitrate, AND 352x240(288) IS dvd compliant (called 1/4 D1).
Quote:
Go figure. I just don't see any advantage using mpeg2 svcd format.
There probably isn't any advantage.
Why?
Because converting a source to 480x480 (svcd) format means something has to be resized. Any time you resize the frame, you are resizing the pixels. If you resize from a rectangle to a square, something get's sqashed, or stretched. You lose quality (in most cases).

Do not confuse VCD with mpeg-1. Yes, a VCD does contain an mpeg-1 stream, but ONLY at 1150kbps.
What you're making is a simple mpeg-1, which you can do at any bitrate you want. Produce it at a dvd compliant aspect ratio, and it will play on most players with no problems, and decent quality.
By the same token, you can encode to an mpeg-2 at the same aspect (352x240/288) and be even more dvd compliant (1/4 D1).
The encoding time diminshes because you're using VBR, not CBR.

Quote:
I tried making a VCD with a different resolution (336x256)
Of course you're going to get a black bar. This is a non-standard VCD aspect ratio, and the encoder has given you the black bar to make up for the rest of the screen. Alternatively, you can have it full screen, but lose portions of the sides. Depends on how you encode it.

A .vob is just a container for the mpeg, sliced into 1 gig chunks. It only contains what you encoded and authored. Encode wrong, author wrong, and it plays wrong.
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Old 15 Feb 2005, 05:09 AM   #11
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Hi Reboot,

really important answers! Thank you very much for help and guiding through this traps and gaps.

Please let me ask you two more questions, okay?

a) so do you agree that the quality by reducing the resolution of a DVD to 1/4 D1 gives more quality than encoding same source to VCD?

b) how can i reduce the bitrate of a 5.1 (AC3) from 448kbps to 192kbps but keeping 5.1? That should safe me arround 200mb....i suggest....

sincerely
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Old 15 Feb 2005, 09:47 AM   #12
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a) This depends on source. If the source is avi at 352x240, then enlarging it will probably ruin quality. Of course bitrate can have a huge impact here as well. I usually encode as close to source aspect as possible, which works extremely well with downloaded junk.
VCD is limited to 1150kbps. Usually not near enough for decent quality on a dvd. Mpeg-1 can be any bitrate, but is not dvd compliant (in the strictest sense).
Mpeg-2 at 352x240/288 (1/4 D1) is completely dvd compliant, even though some authoring applications tell you otherwise (this is one of tmpgenc's dvd author program's biggest faults).
Resizing to SVCD (480x480) means you need to resize the pixels horizontally and vertically, but not equaly amounts both directions, to get the output for TV.
Resizing to DVD 720x480 is better, but you're still taking 352 pixels and stretching it to 720 pixels that contain the same amount of digital information. Quality can be lost, depending on the encoder used, the bitrate used, search precision, DC precision mode, rate control mode, GOP size/configuration (I, B, and P pictures/spoilage) and about 6 or 7 million other little things.
So your basic question answer would be yes. 1/4 D1 mpeg-2 will be better quality than VCD, because of bitrate.

b) Belight (the gui for besweet) has the option for transcoding to a lower bitrate your DD5.1 (and making it AC3 at the same time if the source is mp2 or LPCM), and seems to work great for DVD audio.
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Old 16 Feb 2005, 03:19 PM   #13
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Hey, thanks for clearing that up reboot. Alot of good info you gave out there. Explains much.

I took a nice looking Xvid (ripped from DVD) that was 720 X 480 and encoded it using tmpegenc to make a SVCD (mpeg2) and used a slightly higher bitrate than the AVI. Came out nearly lossless as far as quality goes... Perfect!

You explained why, very well. TKS.

I didn't know all players would play mpeg-1. I just meant I had to burn the disk as a VCD, even though it was non-compliant.

To make VCD's from DVD, When ripping to the HD, I use Xvid (high bitrate) to encode an intermediate AVI file, encoding at close to 352X240 keeping the aspect ratio (NTSC). I noticed the final VCD looks much better than using a higher resolution AVI for input into tmpegenc. My DVD ripper does an excellent job of resizing. The 352X240 AVI file looks nearly as good as the DVD, even at full screen.

I guess I'll be ripping DVD's to 720 X 480 for making SVCD's, or should I use something less than 720 lines vertical, keeping the aspect ratio. Hmm.. more experimentation ahead.

Not quite ready to move onto DVD writing. Another year or so, waiting for media prices to come down some more. Anyway, I'm sure all I've learned will come in handy when that time comes, I hope.

Ahh, nevermind all that resizing questions. Found this great calculator that helps very much:

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

Last edited by DrinkOrDie; 16 Feb 2005 at 04:32 PM
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Old 16 Feb 2005, 09:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrinkOrDie
I guess I'll be ripping DVD's to 720 X 480 for making SVCD's, or should I use something less than 720 lines vertical, keeping the aspect ratio. Hmm.. more experimentation ahead.

Hi DorD,

related to 1/4 D1:
Well it encountered to be best to encode DVD->1/4 D1 with "TMPGenc" and not "TMPGenc express" anymore cause there┤s a tremondous quality difference between those two and plus TMPGenc is much faster....90min conversion with TMPGenc roughly 2-1/2h while with TMPGenc express there┤s need of 3-1/4h!

Funny...both softwares seem to come from same source code, but the algorythm is so totaly different...


concerning your SVCD line question:
So you want to increase vertical resolution from 480-> 720? Of course SVCD vs VCD gains more quality but because i never used it or encoded anything to it, i can┤t help you in that belongings, sorry . But i would recommend staying within the resolution standard ratio
....only modifying bitrate and using different programs to figure best results...so that means making SVCD with 1/2D1 , 1/4D1 resolutions....

Thank you for this calculator link .


btw.: anybody has experiences with mausau┤s Nero AC3 freeware plugin? What do i have to set up, if i only want to reduce an 5.1 with 448kbps to 224kbps?
http://neroplugins.cd-rw.org/images/nxmyac3.jpg
(http://neroplugins.cd-rw.org/)
It seems it only can recode to AC3 stereo

@reboot: thanx for Belight hint, i┤ll also try that and compare both outcomes. Do you encounter any low sounds using Besweet/Belight?

greetings
ZZ-Diego

Last edited by ZZ-Diego; 16 Feb 2005 at 09:35 PM
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Old 22 Feb 2005, 06:21 PM   #15
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"Thank you for this calculator link "

Your welcome!

I found it quite useful. I hope you do too.

And Thank YOU for input in this thread. You have given me some new ideas to work with.

Last edited by DrinkOrDie; 22 Feb 2005 at 06:23 PM
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