A novices review

vbimport

#1

Well as the title says, heres what I found on the whole “my DVD apps better than yours” front. I did this out of sheer curiosity, from an unbiased point of view, as my research opened my eyes up a little too. See what you think. :wink: Feedback is most appreciated. :iagree: And yes I do have better things to do with my time. (I couldnt help it though)


#2

Nice, short review.

Although I don’t have a lot experience with encoding etc, I still have a small point that you could adjust.

In the overviews with: Bitrate Peak, Average, Quantization Peak, Average you could tell what’s better, higher numbers or lower, just for the newbies.


#3

Thanks Namoh, adjustment in progress.:slight_smile:
From what I researched , quantization is the ability to be compressed. A low number = the better result. Meaning for example if x has a q factor of 2.20 and y has a factor of 3.80, x will be easier and more fluid to compress further. As for Bitrate, peak really means nothing, it might peak at that point for a nanosecond for the whole movie. Average says it all, when a bitrate average is higher the picture is smoother and more consistent so its higher quality, as more data is their to be processed. In the case of my experiment though the differences in average bitrate were negligable, unoticable to the human eye. Which was kinda what I was hoping for.


#4

:iagree: :iagree: :iagree:


#5

Well it’s a nice review and quite easy to read!

Personally I’d change a few things though:

  • mention how the quantization table has to be read
  • mention the difference between full disc or movie only modes
  • mention the possibility to leave audio tracks off to save space
  • mention CBR and VBR

I guess this all could be put in a few lines of text (half a page or so) but it will give a complete view over the transcoding subjec; great stuff for DVD newbies. It’s just my personal opinion btw…


#6

The processing time for Shrink/Recode is much longer in this test because you use DEEP ANALYSIS. In NORMAL DEFAULT mode, Recode is much quicker than Shrink and CloneDVD, at least with my 600 MHz PIII. A faster PC will only yield better result. I believe you should rerun the test, with and without DEEP ANALYSIS for Shrink and Recode.

I use AnyDVD with Recode in NORMAL processing mode. After a wait of about 3 minutes to analyse the video, one simply select the VIDEO_TS folder, crop out unwanted items, and burn to the DVD (if you have Nero). Basically the same procedures as CloneDVD. The only difference, step-wise, between Recode and CloneDVD is that you have to wait a few minutes for Recode to analyze the movie. Even with the wait, Recode should put in a MUCH shorter transcode time if you don’t select DEEP ANALYSIS/HIGH QUALITY. I’m not sure what you meant when you said that “DVD Copy 3 and Nero Recode are a 2 step process”.

For an average 2 hr movie with 20% compression and only the main title with AC 3/6, Recode takes 29 minutes (including the initial disc analysis). Add another 10 minutes for CloneDVD. Shrink is the slowest with a time of 49 minutes. These resulted were obtained with my 600 MHz PIII running W2K SP1.

By your definition of QUANTIZATION (a lower number = will be easier and more fluid to compress further), the original should have a low number. But shouldn’t a very efficient transcoder remove most of the non-essential stuffs, thus making it harder to compress the file any further (higher number)? As I see it, quantization should not be a variable that affect the picture quality of the remake DVD. It predicts the ease to which the remake DVD can be further compressed. Now if you plan to re-shrink an already compressed copy of the ORIGINAL DVD, then a low quantization number would be beneficial.

I also agree that the AVERAGE BITRATE is the most important number in this “quality” test. The variation between the top four contenders is plus/minus 2.8 percent…well within the noise level of most non-scientific tests. Yup, definitely not visible under normal viewing condition. DVDCopy 3, however, was consistently lower in both tests.

Which software did you use to obtain these numbers? Can you provide a download link so I can retest using my setup?


#7

I believe you should rerun the test, with and without DEEP ANALYSIS for Shrink and Recode.
That I will do.

I use AnyDVD with Recode in NORMAL processing mode.
Never even thought of using Any DVD with Recode.

I’m not sure what you meant when you said that “DVD Copy 3 and Nero Recode are a 2 step process”.
DVD Copy 3 will not work in conjunction with Any DVD, well I couldnt get it too, so DVD Decrypter had to be used first.

Add another 10 minutes for CloneDVD.
Clone DVD was and is always quickest for me, must be system related.

By your definition of QUANTIZATION (a lower number = will be easier and more fluid to compress further), the original should have a low number. But shouldn’t a very efficient transcoder remove most of the non-essential stuffs, thus making it harder to compress the file any further (higher number)? As I see it, quantization should not be a variable that affect the picture quality of the remake DVD. It predicts the ease to which the remake DVD can be further compressed. Now if you plan to re-shrink an already compressed copy of the ORIGINAL DVD, then a low quantization number would be beneficial.
Dont forget in the past we/I used to create VCD’s before DVD’s effectively turning 5-7 gig into 900-1000Mb. So I believe the lower number score, would be turned into a VCD of better quality/bitrate than the higher number score. I’m not sure how to take the Q reading of the original, I dont believe its accurate.

Which software did you use to obtain these numbers? Can you provide a download link so I can retest using my setup?
Its called Bitrate Viewer from this site:http://www.tecoltd.com/bitratev.htm


#8

Great now we have something solid to start on well done it makes a change from the usual my fav is better than your fav posts which usually end up flame wars…
I use 3 of the programs there each for various things and swap them about from time to time just to keep my hand in so to speak…
Some of the results surprise me though especally the speed tests although it was a while back since i timed any progs…


#9

You may want to reload DVDCopy 3. It works with AnyDVD 4.5.7.2. There may be issue with another version of AnyDVD. I tested each program with a CLEAN W2K Pro SP1 partition to minimize software conflict. Have several image files for this type of work.

AnyDVD will also work with Shrink. Actually, it should work with any program that does not come with a built-in decrypter.

I believe the quantization number is IRRELEVANT for DVD-9 to DVD-5 conversion. This number doesn’t add any value to the final picture quality of the DVD-5. Bottomline…all modern transcoders perform equally well, even with the last ranked DVDCopy 3.

The secret to a great picture is to remove as much unwanted materials from the source disc as possible, to reduce the overall compression level on the main video title. Nero Recode is a little harder to use, but it allows the user the most flexibility in terms of editing for maximum “free space”. It is also the quickest when compared to CloneDVD and Shrink.

Thanks for the link…will give Bitrate a whirl.


#10

@Furballi get this I’m somewhat reeling from it. As you suggested I used Shrink and Recode without their Deep Analysis. This is Recodes result: Titanic which was uncompressed BR Peak-7899 and Average 4644, came out as: BR Peak- 6919 and Average- 3602, I ran it 4 times to be sure, but that is a massive increase. Isn’t deep analysis supposed to increase quality? As I thought though without deep analysis, Shrink came out at BR Peak-4167 and Average- 1994. But wait theres more, Scream 3. Recode came out at BR Peak- 6421 and Average- 3658. Shrink came through with the goods at BR Peak- 6428 and Average- 3672. Both with no Deep analysis. All came in under 20mins too.

Great now we have something solid to start on well done it makes a change from the usual my fav is better than your fav posts which usually end up flame wars…
I use 3 of the programs there each for various things and swap them about from time to time just to keep my hand in so to speak…
Some of the results surprise me though especally the speed tests although it was a while back since i timed any progs…
I’m somewhat obsessed now, I’m backing up my Star Wars collection, and I’m using every program I tested, and comparing bitrates, because it seems to be different results for different movies, at this rate it’ll take me a week just to do one.LOL The whole idea of my experiment was to show there is no difference…Help me!:slight_smile:


#11

From your tests, it appears that DEEP ANALYSIS does very little (if anything) to improve picture quality. I run RECODE without DEEP ANALYSIS or HIGH QUALITY. Suggest that you run all future tests at normal speed, without DEEP ANALYSIS for Shrink/Recode and AnyDVD combo.

The time of 20 min is about right for Shrink. Recode was much faster than Shrink and CloneDVD with my setup.

You will get different results with various DVDs. Therefore, pick your favorite dual layer DVD with THX audio and sound. Run two rounds of test. First one is to fully compress the DVD-9 to DVD-5, something that a NOOB would do. Second test is an “advanced test” for the experienced users (same source DVD). With this test, you want to keep ONLY the main movie, English Dolby AC 3/6, and English subtitle. Some programs like Recode and Shrink will allow you to cut out the lead-in/introduction at the beginning of Chapter 1, and credit at the end of the last chapter. Use this option to free up more space for the main movie title. This technique will usually reduce the compression level of the movie by another 2 to 5 percent.

The program that will give you the latitude to remove more unwanted materials should come out on top in the bitrate test. Don’t forget that 20% compression of the ENTIRE MOVIE is much more “damaging” to the final picture than 20% compression of the MAIN TITLE with ENGLISH AC 3/6. For the best possible picture, transcode only what you want to see, and remove all unwanted items. It may take another 5 minutes of tinkering, but you will be rewarded with a “better” picture and faster transcode time.


#12

Just tested DVD2ONE. There is no video/audio preview. Therefore, I have no idea if those last few chapters in the movie that I want to delete contain any relevant information. Like most shrink programs, I cannot crop out the START and END of the main movie to provide more disc space for the final compilation. Noobs will appreciate the simple and often logical interface.

This is a small application with good processing speed. Unfortunately, without video preview, one cannot edit with confidence using this software.


#13

If you like playing with “cropping” then in case you are not familiar, the best free program I know is VobBlanker (http://www.posunplugged.com/jsoto).
You can basically chop to the cell level in the menu :slight_smile:
It takes much much longer to get the backup done, no doubt, so I save this process to the difficult cases, but the level of control is absolute. Very geek oriented program, definately not for newbies or people seeking one click solutions, or until DL media cost under $1 :slight_smile:


#14

Goudo,
Totally agree…my now favourite way of backing up is with Decrypter,Vobblanker,Dvd2one and burn with Copy2dvd. Awesome results everytime.


#15

VB is very good, but not as convenient as Nero Recode. With Recode or Shrink, I can still edit down to a fraction of a second without having to run another application.

I don’t think the latest version of VB includes a shrink tool.


#16

I am not using Nero Recode2, so I cannot comment on it, but in VobBlanker, for exaple, if a single original ripped VOB has 3 separate extras, you can blank 2 and leave the other 1. Impossible with DVD Shrink. Also imposibble with Shrink to crop/chop the menu part of the VOB.

Because VB is so powerfull and hard to use; for “regular” cases where I want to still keep the Menu structure and not just re-author movie only, I just use free program TitleSetBlanker in the following steps

  1. DVD Decrypter to rip in File Mode.
  2. Titlesetblanker to blank the previews and VOB files with extras.
  3. DVD Shrink to clean the audio/subpictures and adjust compression level.
  4. DVD Decrypter to burn the ISO.

#17

I’d include links to each of the software tested as well so if someone stumbles upon a piece of software indicated in this article could be downloaded for trial runs so one can form his/her own opinions about said software. Me? I’m off to download DVD2One trial now, got me curious. :slight_smile:


#18

I’d include links to each of the software tested as well so if someone stumbles upon a piece of software indicated in this article could be downloaded for trial runs so one can form his/her own opinions about said software.
Without sounding too lazy, I think you’ll find google will suffice.:slight_smile: