Tivo to DIVX

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by bcooper367, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. bcooper367

    bcooper367 New Member

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    I have a bunch of Tivo files that are taking up too much disk space on my computer. I was going to burn a bunch of DVDs, but I thought I'd investigate whether I could convert them to another format such as DIVX. I had this idea after using the AWESOME Tivo-Net utility to stream other videos to Tivo. Thus, I would still be able to watch the shows on Tivo using Tivo-Net.

    I sucessfully converted the files to MPEG2 using DirectShow Dump Utility. WHen I create a DIVX file using DIVX Converter or Pinnacle Studio 10, the file is much smaller, but the audio is out of sync with the video.

    I found two programs that allow a conversion of MPEG2 to DIVX in batch mode- SmartSoft Video Converter and WinAVI Video Converter. Both programs seem to avoid the audio problem. However, the aspect ratio of the output file is different-- at least I think so. Here's what I see...

    I have both programs set to preserve the original aspect ratio. I am using DIVX 6.5 PRO. When I play the new DivX file on the computer, it doesn't "stretch" to the same area of the screen as the MPEG2 file. When I play the MPEG2 file full screen, it takes up the full screen. When I play the DivX file full screen, I get a black border around the video; the actual video does not take up the full screen. I played around with the DIVX Codec settings but with no luck.

    Any help or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Brian
     
  2. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    AVI files do not have an aspect flag like MPEG files, so they always assume that pixels are square. What this means is that when you have a TiVo files which is 480x480 (the resolution used by High and Best) the resulting AVI file will be played back sqare instead of in the 4:3 aspect ratio it was intended to play back in.

    I've never actually used either of those conversion problems you mentioned, but you should check them and see if there is any way to for the output video to be 4:3 aspect ratio. This will change the pixel resolution to 640x480 rather then the original 480x480, but the video should look right when you play it back.

    Dan
     
  3. painkiller

    painkiller Painkiller

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    bcooper367:

    I have been converting a lot of my TTG transfers to DIVX myself.

    While I had used the DIVX converter, I find myself using the Doctor DIVX program instead, for a couple reasons. It lets you (more easily I think) tweak the resolution & process settings and you can get a sense of the output while altering these settings (before encoding).

    Also, for what this is worth to you, I otice that audio/video synch issuess may be one of two problems. Either the edit file you make (trimming ends and/or removing commercials) can be redone (GOP versus frame cut errors cause the out-of-synch condition) to solve the problem ... also the PC may have been "too busy" with other programs which can also cuase the synch loss.

    A quick question to Dan203, concerning the uppermost TIVO resolutions.
    For my Best settings, I notice that I get 544x480 for my saved TTG TIVO files.
    Are you positive that 480x480 is the highest res available?
    Some of the mpeg edit s/w I use tells me this is the resolution for all of my files (unless, of course, I alter them with DIVX).
    I have two Series 2 TIVOs (40GB versions). They are great machines.
     
  4. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    544x480 is only used for TiVos connected to a DSS receiver via S-Video. For TiVos connected to cable, either via a digital box or with straight coax, 480x480 is the higest resolution.

    Dan

    P.S. For the DVD-RW TiVo units High and Best are actually recorded at 720x480 so that's another exception to the rule.
     
  5. bcooper367

    bcooper367 New Member

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    Painkiller thanks for the reply. Quick note on the audio. Neither of those two cases were relevant for me. I did not edit the files. I was not doing anything else on my computer. It's a consistent problem with DIVX Converter and Pinnacle Studio 10 when converting MPEG2 to DIVX.

    The audio mystery continues. ...and not one I'm actively working on solving :)
     
  6. bcooper367

    bcooper367 New Member

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    Dan, Thanks for the reply. I did adjust the output settings in the DIVX PRO codec to 640x480 and didn't see much difference. Obviously something is not right. Either the application is ignoring the settings or the Codec settings are ineffective. I'll play around with it some more and see if can figure it out. I will post an update to this thread.

    Your message was helpful. I didn't realize the Tivo files were 480x480 square. You also confirmed that I was on the right track with the aspect ratio.
     
  7. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    I've encoded TiVo-freed mpeg2's to DivX using DrDivX with no audio or aspect ratio problems. My latest was a 2hr 45min movie which I served back to my TiVo with Tivo.Net -- worked beautifully. However, that doesn't mean I might not have a problem with the next file I do.

    I think pixel aspect ratio (PAR) is at the root of the aspect ratio problem. Don't remember if the Dr has a control for that or not. Here is some discussion of AR that might help your general understanding. It also gives a link to a tool that you can use to vary PAR. (I haven't tried it for that purpose BTW.)

    My recommendation for the audio sync problems is to run the video through VideoReDo's Quick Stream Fix (very fast). You can free-trial it for 15 days. And you can edit out commercials, convert between TiVo and mpeg2, etc.

    Consider encoding to XviD, which is quite competitive with DivX. For this there are many tools but two I have used are gui4ffmpeg and autoMKV. Both are free and easily found in the tools section of www.videohelp.com. Although AutoMKV can be a chore to get installed and going, I know it has explicit control for PAR in AVI files.
     
  8. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Could be the decoder in those programs. Not all MPEG decodes adhere to the videos aspect ratio, so it's possible that they are decoding the video as if it were square before it's ever encoded as DivX. If that's the case then it wouldn't matter how you had DivX setup because the video would already be the improper aspect ratio.

    Try XMPEG. I've had good sucess with it in the past.

    Dan
     
  9. bcooper367

    bcooper367 New Member

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    Interesting. When I originally adjusted the DIVX Codec settings, I didn't see much difference. Playing a little further, I found the following:

    Resize to 640 x 480 and Output Pixel Aspect Ratio to NTSC 4:3. This resulted in a DIVX with 480x480 dimensions (seen via file properties). I didn't see the desired behavior when playing the file in Windows or streaming via Tivo-Net back to the Tivo. Both times, I had the black border around the image.

    Resize to 640 x 480 but keep Output Pixel Aspect Ratio at Square 1:1. This resulted in a DIVX with 480x480 dimensions (seen via file properties). However, I did experience the desired behavior. The file played in Windows full-screen without the black border. Streaming via Tivo-Net back to Tivo also played full screen without the black border.

    I'm not sure why I achieved the desired behavior. Output PAR at Square 1:1 is counter intuitive to me. Also, the file property dimensions do not seem right. However, I'm glad I have the desired playing behavior.
     
  10. bcooper367

    bcooper367 New Member

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    OK. I tried some of the other tools / tips mentioned here.

    As for the audio out-of-sync using DIVX Converter and Studio 10, I tried VideoReDo's QuickStream Fix as dlfl recommends above. The result was that the audio was actual MORE out-of-sync when using Studio 10 on the VideoReDo output file. DIVX converter WOULD NOT convert the output file; the resulting error was "cannot encode files with variable frame rates."

    For the audio playing full screen on PC and streaming back to Tivo using using Tivo-Net, I tried XMPEG without much luck. I was able to use it to display video correctly, but I couldn't output the file to a DIVX AVI. (I'm not sure I'm using XMPEG correctly, and I didn't take much to play with it).

    The only solution that worked was to change the DIVX Codec settings to "Resize to 640 x 480" and keep "Output Pixel Aspect Ratio" at Square 1:1. This resulted in a DIVX with 480x480 dimensions (seen via file properties). However, I did experience the desired behavior. The file played in Windows full-screen without the black border. Streaming via Tivo-Net back to Tivo also played full screen without the black border.

    Thanks for all the help. I hope my summary is useful to other users.
     
  11. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    I hope your good fortune continues! But this ended as a big mystery -- I hate that!

    If you are interested, I would like to do some detective work on this. My first step would be: load one of the problem TiVo files (not the mpeg from DSD) into VideoReDo, hit control-L, and elect to save the file information to a text file, then post the information here.

    Next, if you haven't already tried this: Load the TiVo file into VideoReDo and save it as an mpeg2 file (i.e., still bypassing the use of DSD.) For test purposes you can save a small clip to save processing time if desired. Then convert this to DivX.

    BTW, where does Pinnacle Studio 10 get in the act here? I don't see what you need it for, or is it another way to do the mpeg-to-Divx conversion?

    As a last resort, consider uploading a small clip (1 min) to a file transfer site. I will download. I have DrDivX, DivX converter, Pinnacle Studio 10. This may only make sense if your audio synch problem is a "constant offset", i.e., is the same thoroughout the video, rather than getting worse through the video. (If it isn't constant, a small clip won't be a good test.)

    I'll understand if you don't want to bother with this.
     
  12. bcooper367

    bcooper367 New Member

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    @dlfl

    Sure. I'm up for some detective work. It might take me a few days to get to it. Should I contact you via this thread when I'm ready?
     
  13. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    No problem, in fact I will be out of town until Friday evening (23 Mar).

    Post results on this thread or if you decide to upload something send me a private message to make arrangements. I will be able to get on the forum while I'm gone -- just won't be able to do anything with a file.
     
  14. Hash

    Hash CMD-82 ECM

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    I have been dealing with the sync problem for a few years now. I had always assumed it was due to my having DirecTiVo - and that the MPEG stream was "poisoned" by Dave. I have developed ways of dealing with it - hard ways. After reading your post, I did a little checking on both SmartSoft and WinAVI, and found that they both created an AVI with no time sync issues. However, they both bring issues of their own to the table....

    WinAVI is amazingly, mind-numbing fast. FAST. A 1 hour show will render in about 15 minutes on my system. However, it produces a video stream ridden with artifacts and inconsistencies. The output is so bad that XviD will not even accept it 1/2 the time. WinAVI also "pads" the top and bottom of the output file to "force" a 4:3 aspect ratio. This padding is counter to you goal of reducing file size - it can add as much as 33% to the size of the output file.

    PROS:
    WinAVI allows a fair amount of control of the output settings - both Video and Audio.
    With batch mode, you might be able to get it to produce an acceptable XviD file directly.

    CONS:
    Lack of Quality and Consistency
    Wasteful padding to force 4:3 aspect.


    As fast as WinAVI is - SmartSoft is as incredibly slow. That same 1 hour show takes nearly 9 hours to render with identical settings as used in WinAVI. However, output quality is fantastic - with artifacting and interlacing only created by the compression codec and its settings - which in my case, were none! (I use the PIC Video codec for editing - something I do a lot of.)

    PROS:
    High quality output.
    No wasteful padding

    CONS:
    S-L-O-W !
    No control at all on audio output.

    IMHO, neither program offers a usable resize method. This is not important to me, as I use VirtualDubMod to edit commercials and resize on the fly - once I have a synced AVI file to work with.

    With respect to your concerns on hard drive space; you may want to check out VirtualDub (virtualdub.org), or its illegitimate 1/2 brother, VirtualDubMod (sourceforge.net/projects/virtualdubmod). The latter allows MPEG-2, AC3 and a few other "unsupported" formats. There is also an unreleased version of VDubMod (1.6.0.0) that supports 6 channel audio ACM.

    VirtualDub(Mod) is one of the best programs available for resizing video, editing commercials and cropping film. Editing commercials out of a Network TV show will quickly reduce the output size by 25%. Cropping a typical Standard Definition show presented in letterbox will reduce the output file size another 25%. That's about 44% off of the original output file size - with no additional loss in quality.

    For example: With the above scenario, I usually produce a 44 minute XviD AVI in 470 x 272 resolution. It has a Video VBR of 900 and an audio CBR of 192Kb MP3. That file is usually 330-350MB in size and looks nearly as good as the original MPEG-2 source file. With a little tweaking on contrast and chroma - I can sometimes make it look better than the source.​

    VDub(Mod) UI is very stark and utilitarian - but, make no mistake, it's much more capable than any of the other Video Editing that cost far... well, that cost money.

    You may also want to give XviD serious consideration. It's considerably better than DivX - particularly in handling high-speed scene changes. Its overall compression is better as well - consistently giving higher quality video at higher compression rates. However, it requires 2 passes to realize this improvement. This could be facilitated by using batch mode.

    If you guys start uploading files, I'd be happy to upload a 2-3 minute sample for you to see what I'm talking about.

    Hash
     
  15. nhammack

    nhammack Tivo Addict

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    I'd like to jump on board as well with this topic since I too have experienced the mystery of the out-of-sync audio. I have a sample video on youTube but I can't post the URL yet. It's a small example of a news recording I did and the audio was off about a half a second towards the end. It you want to see it head to youTube and search for the user: nhammack - The video is: "Christmas Lights House News Report".

    I too like bcooper367 have been using the DirectShow Dump Utility to convert to mpeg and then using Pinnacle Studio 10. However unlike most of you I can't say I've played around too much with Dr. DivX, SmartSoft, & Xvid.

    I've just recently purchased a JVC DRMV7S (DVD/VHS Combo Machine) and the little sucker won't let me record strait from the TiVo when I save to VCR using the DVD record function. The little evil DVD record function says I can't record copyrighted material. I find it funny because like TTG, I'm just trying to save a program to view at a later time which is why I'm only using DVD+RW's in the first place. Sorry I didn't mean to get off topic. I guess I'll just have to transfer my programs via TiVo-To-Go first.
     
  16. nhammack

    nhammack Tivo Addict

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    Since I'm able to post URLs now, here's that video I was talking about.
     
  17. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Got that video (Christmas Lights). Looks like there is a constant audio delay of about one second. Just as an experiment I wrote an AviSynth script (AVS) to correct the delay and then used the AVS as input to the command line Windows Media Encoder (WME) script utility, which produced a .wmv file with corrected audio.

    I was also able to source the AVS into DrDivX and get a good DivX encoding.

    If you want one or both files just pick a file transfer site and let me know either by post or PM.

    I assume you could use VirtualDubMod to correct the audio sync and create a different output format (e.g., Xvid).

    If this had been an mpeg2 file (e.g., converted from a TiVo file) VideoReDo could have been used to correct the audio sync with whatever constant offset was desired before encoding to WMV or DivX etc.
     
  18. Hash

    Hash CMD-82 ECM

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    Yes. It is a setting under Audio Interleaving called "Skew Correction". However, my issue is never linear (or constant) - unless it is a very short clip (<15 minutes). The audio is desynced at random times by random amounts throughout the A/V stream. This is ONLY apparent after the file has been edited - and shows up regardless if it cut/spliced in MPEG (TMPGEnc) or converted to AVI, even without editing. My way of dealing the issue has been to stuff frames or to segment audio.

    BTW, VDub will encode to any WDM compressor you have installed.



    Again, my issue is never a constant offset or consistent period

    Hash
    ____________
     
  19. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    You appear to be much more experienced than me at this so I hope these suggestions aren't insulting:

    For Mpeg2 (and TiVo) videos (only) VideoReDo also does automatic frame-by-frame audio sync correction as described in the "Stream Parameters" section of their online docs.. You can control the modes and parameters used in the automatic process (as described). The constant operator-selected audio adjustment I mentioned in my earlier post is a separate feature.

    You can free-trial VideoReDo for 15 days uncrippled -- you just have to register for the free trial key. (Otherwise output length is limited to 15 mins.)

    For AVI files with VBR mp3 audio, have you tried this AviSynth function:
    I have no idea whether either of these will work for your applications but it would be interesting to find out.
     
  20. Hash

    Hash CMD-82 ECM

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    Not at all. I have been doing computer based video editing since about mid 1998 - but, it's a learning process. Additionally, I'm not likely to try new things when I have a good working system. VDub has been just that. I started with Adobe Premier in '98 and VDub simply blew it out of the water. I've looked at every new version of Premier, and it just seems to get worse. I still use Premier for special effects - but, only in post production.

    The only way I'm going to find new solutions to issues is to be absolutely forced to do so on my own, or hear about it in someone else's discussion.

    I downloaded the program and will eventually try it (perhaps). My single biggest desire is to be able to just edit the existing MPEG2 stream for content (remove commercials) without regard to I-Frames - and without re-encoding the entire stream. I realize this would require a re-encode of each cut GOP - I just don't want to re-do the whole file. As of this writing, I have yet to be able to find an editor that will do "I" independent cut and splicing and keep the A/V synced.

    Because I want to have the ability to easily burn a working standard DVD from these files - and I'm not encumbered by hard drive space, I actually prefer to archive in DVD compliant MPEG2. ALL of my non-TiVo sourced videos are stored as MPEG2.

    Hash
     

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