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Old 08-02-2013, 05:59 PM   #1
bradleys
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Convert media collection from Mpeg2 to smaller format

I have a number of movies in my archive all in an Mpeg2 format. Of course that leaves the file size very large. Two questions:

1) What is the best format with a smaller footprint keeping the best quality? Mpg4?

2) what is the best way to convert the files in batch?
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:08 PM   #2
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1) H.264, aka AVC, MPEG-4 Part 10. You need to be clear here because there are actually 2 MPEG-4 codecs. MPEG-4 part 2 is more commonly called just MPEG-4. It's the older codec that DivX, Xvid and WMV9 were based on. It is not very good. H.264 is typically labeled as either H.264 or AVC in most encoders, so make sure to use that instead.

2) Handbrake is free and offers a batch mode. One thing to be careful of though is that by default it uses a variable frame rate for encoding. This can cause problems with some programs and players. I recommend you set it up to use a constant frame rate to maximize compatibility.

Of course VideoReDo also does H.264 encoding and has a batch manager. But unless you need to edit as well it's probably over kill.
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:14 PM   #3
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Thanks Dan

I can go out and put another drive in my server, but of I can get these archives a little smaller - they will be easier to deal with.

I may try to do a directory this weekend.
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:21 PM   #4
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Keep in mind that even with a fast PC these things are going to take like 1/2 real time, so it's going to be quite a project if you have a lot of movies. Also if these are DVD rips you should make sure to convert one that has forced subtitles and ensure you don't lose them in the conversion. I think HB handles that, but you should double check before you convert a bunch of movies.
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:31 PM   #5
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Video Redo is an fantastic product, but I would not use it for this job.

For this job I would definitely try handbrake before anything else. Definitely.

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Old 08-03-2013, 08:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan203 View Post
Keep in mind that even with a fast PC these things are going to take like 1/2 real time, so it's going to be quite a project if you have a lot of movies. Also if these are DVD rips you should make sure to convert one that has forced subtitles and ensure you don't lose them in the conversion. I think HB handles that, but you should double check before you convert a bunch of movies.
And ....
You will be lucky, and have to finesse your h.264 encoding parameters quite a bit, to reduce file size by 2X while maintaining picture quality. Considering how cheap disk storage is now, consider just buying more.

One potential advantage of h.264 files applies only to transferring files back to a Series 3 TiVo (not to the later models). True HD mpeg2 files, which have bitrates greater than 10 Mbps, cannot transfer at real time rates while the mpeg4 versions (lower bitrate) can.
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:06 PM   #7
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Thanks for the explanations folks. It helps novices such as me also.

One other question.

For someone who has recorded some stuff of a Series2 TiVo in SD (480x480) is there a way to convert that content using HandBrake into mp4 format (widescreen), with bars top and bottom?

Understand, I am not trying to make SD content into HD content... NO, I know that's impossible. I just want to present it better than what Handbrake does with it.

If you know what settings to use, I'd appreciate it. I have some old Soccer games, Football games and some Nova episodes I'd like to save in this way, rather than go looking for them and re-download.

Thanks.
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:11 PM   #8
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For that you'll need a program capable of cropping as those black bars are actually in the source. I'm not sure is Handbrake has cropping, but I know VideoReDo does. If you only need to do it to a few videos we offer a 15 day trial. You could use it real quick for free to convert these few video.
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
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For that you'll need a program capable of cropping as those black bars are actually in the source. I'm not sure is Handbrake has cropping, but I know VideoReDo does. If you only need to do it to a few videos we offer a 15 day trial. You could use it real quick for free to convert these few video.
No, I have bought a copy of VideoRedo TVSuite 4. Will that do? Is there a tutorial somewhere I could go get acquainted?
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:33 PM   #10
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When saving the file click the Options button in the Save dialog. In the Options dialog there is a Cropping & Resizing section. Just use that to crop out the black bars then set the aspect to 16:9. The resulting file will be like an anamorphic DVD where it's stretched to fill your TV without the bars.
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
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When saving the file click the Options button in the Save dialog. In the Options dialog there is a Cropping & Resizing section. Just use that to crop out the black bars then set the aspect to 16:9. The resulting file will be like an anamorphic DVD where it's stretched to fill your TV without the bars.
Thanks man. I'll do that on the next file and see how it looks.
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:47 PM   #12
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If you have any trouble let me know.
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