Asf to vcd: how to prevent size change?

Hi

I followed the tutorial on this site for converting an .ASF file to a vcd, and although it definitely works, my .ASF file has a small resolution (352 x 240) and it gets too distorted when it is stretched to fit the whole TV. Is there any way to force it to remain the same size (or just get a little bigger) by surrounding it w/ black borders (like on a DVD)? I tried changing the “Video arrange method” setting under the Advanced tab of TMPGEnc to “Center (keep aspect ratio)” but it still blew it up to fit the whole TV screen. I don’t know what else to try.

Any help would be really appreciated.
Thanks!

If you use the DVD2SVCD method, you could try the AddBoarder in the avisynth script before the resize command.

How do I go about doing that? DVD2SVCD doesn’t seem to want to let me load .ASF files. :slight_smile:

Thanks a lot.

You need to run ASFTools first to convert the asf to an AVI (only take a min or so) then load the avi into DVD2SVCD. You really need to read up on the AddBoarder command. Try the AVISYNTH forum at doom9.net

Will there be any quality loss caused by converting from ASF to AVI?

Thanks for all your help!

i don’t know if virtualdub can import asf…but it has a nice filter to add borders, so you can keep the original size

Originally posted by cheesefry
[B]Will there be any quality loss caused by converting from ASF to AVI?

Thanks for all your help! [/B]

It just changes the headers, it does NOT re-encode it so it will be exactly as it as before. You can then use VirtualDUB toa dd the boarders using what
damiandimitri has suggested also.

Sounds good; I’ll give it a try. Thank you both!

hrm. the plot thickens:

ASFTools can’t convert it to AVI by simply modifying the header in this case, because “the ASF file was encoded using WMV2,” and apparently it will have no video in the output! (I tried it anyway, and sure enough, there was no video). It suggested I download the Microsoft Media Encoder 7.1 codec and then use ASFTools to re-encode it first, prior to converting it to an AVI. Anyone know if I’m going to lose quality now? :slight_smile:

Also, I gave virtualdub a shot. Apparently, after version 1.3c, the author removed support for ASF files. I was able to obtain version 1.3c after some searching so I can open ASF files. It, however, is complaining that it “cannot locate a decompressor for the WMV2 format” (even after I installed Microsoft Media Encoder 7.1). Any thoughts by anyone?

Thanks again

The plot thickens alright, let ASFtools re-encode then, and no the quiality should remain about the same. Just try it and compare.

Chapter 6: “Curse you, evil thing!”

Alright, so I let ASFTools re-encode the .ASF file, and then I let it convert it to an AVI. Everything seemed to go well, so then I thought I’d test out the AVI file and play it. Sure enough, no audio AND no video! That, and the time seems to be totally screwed up now. The 1 hour, 40 minute video is now showing a time of about 110 hours.

I tried loading the AVI into virtualdub, and it said, “Couldn’t locate decompressor for format ‘MP43’ (Microsoft High-Speed MPEG-4 v3.” Then I tried loading it in DVD2SVCD, and it babbled on about the frame rate, the video, and the audio encoding. So, this is leading me to believe something has gone terribly wrong. :slight_smile:

The headers that ASFTools is reporting for the new AVI file it created are:

Frame/sec: 5.31389
v.fccHandler: MP43
v.Comprsn.: MP43
a.formatTag: 0x0161

Clearly the frame rate is wildly off. Anyway, what should I do now? :slight_smile:

Thanks again!

i found this on doom9

http://www.doom9.org/Soft21/Editing/VirtualDub14c-asf.zip

perhaps you can try it

Chapter 7: “When does the madness end?!”

VirtualDub wouldn’t load the initial ASF file because it couldn’t find the WMV2 decompressor. After much searching, I learnt that (evil) Microsoft has pretty well ensured I wouldn’t have any luck w/o re-encoding my ASF file. Thus, I had ASFtools re-encode the ASF file and it seemed to go well (and it played), but VirtualDub then couldn’t “locate the MP43 decompressor.” So I searched and searched some more, and 'lo and behold, actually found the damn thing. Then VirtualDub said, “ASF: illegal object fragment flags blah blah blah,” and again refused to load my file.

At this point I got really frustrated and approached a near nervous breakdown. After taking a break to find my calm, I decided to play around with ASFtools’ repair option. I tried just about every combination (including having it adjust the length, because it seems a few bytes were missing), but just couldn’t persuade VirtualDub to give me a bloody break! I then tried all the repair combinations on the original file and then re-encoding it, but VirtualDub seemed impervious to my pathetic attempts.

I then went back to playing with ASFtool’s “convert to AVI” function (just for laughs) and of course still had no luck. It seems rather insistent that my ASF movie should have a framerate of about 5 after converting to AVI. Regardless, VirtualDub didn’t like the AVI file and spit out, “VideoSourceAVI [ICDecompress] error: unspecified error (-100).” I then beat VirtualDub w/ a stick. On a side note, if anyone knows where the author lives… (heh heh heh)

Anyway, it occurred to me that possibly the method I used to save my ASF file off the internet was the culprit (I used a program called “CoCSoft Stream Down”). Although “ASFRecorder” seems to be the favourite in this area, it does not support TCP, and would only mock me with a “403 - Forbidden” message whenever I asked it to save the ASF file.

I have since discovered another program for capturing ASF files off the internet (called “StreamBox VCR 1.0 Beta 3.1”) which I am now going to take out for a spin.

I had another thought on how to tackle this whole problem, and I just thought I’d ask if it would degrade quality: how about using TMPGEnc to create an MPG file, and then playing around w/ VirtualDub to add borders?

Well, if anyone has any more advice or suggestions, please feel free to help. :slight_smile: The whole point in this is that I’m trying to record a graduation ceremony onto a CD for someone as a gift.

Btw, this is all with VirtualDub 1.3c, which was the last one to support ASF files. I tried 1.4c like damiandimitri suggested, but it was babbling on about the same problems.

Thanks again

You seam to have been to hell and back on this one.

Okay,have a look at WinMPG Video Convert v3.1 from http://www.winmpg.com/ as it claims to convert ASF files to AVI or MPEG1 & 2. I have never used it but always worth a try.

Chapter 8: “To hell and back!”

Alright, so I gave “StreamBox VCR 1.0 Beta 3.1” a try, and it seemed to do a decent job of capturing the ASF stream. It’s a rather dated program, though (circa 1999) because Real Networks threatened the company and they stopped supporting it. Thus, its codec was a little old and I ended up with a file about 800 megs, instead of 200 or so like before.

Anyway, of course VirtualDub still didn’t like it. And it still didn’t like it after ASFTools repaired it. And it still didn’t like it after ASFTools re-encoded it. And it still didn’t like it after ASFTools DIVX’ed it. On a side note, it also didn’t like it after “ASF-AVI-RM-WMV Repair” repaired it.

So I thought I would try Winmpg out (hey, what on Earth do I have to lose, except maybe for my SANITY?) Winmpg, for those who don’t already know this, has a ridiculous time limit of 5 minutes. Since the graduation ceremony is 100 minutes long, I didn’t think this was a very feasible solution. :slight_smile: Just to see what kind of luck I would have with it, I thought I would try it out. In case you’re wondering, no, my luck hasn’t changed: it would spit out a rather vague error message and stop very shortly after starting.

I tried using Winmpg w/ both versions of the captured video, and it would continue to report an error. I then tried repairing it over and over w/ ASFTools and that other tool, and again no luck. I also tried re-encoding it w/ ASFTools, but still no luck.

NOW what am I going to do? Well, since apparently I just don’t seem to be able to get through my thick head that there is no way in hell I will ever be able to get a border around my ASF video (guess I’m a slow learner! :P) I’ve resorted back to having TMPGEnc re-encode the ASF file as an MPG file. My plan is to take that MPG file and give it to VirtualDub, and pray that maybe, just MAYBE, it won’t freak out at me again. IF that works, then I’ll finally be able to try adding a border around it. I’m a little worried about quality loss though, especially since the ASF video wasn’t that great of quality to begin with.

Anyone have any additional thoughts? :slight_smile:

Oh, on yet another side note: I noticed that, somewhere along the way, ASFTools spit out some nonsense about detecting 3 or 4 video objects in the movie, along w/ the one audio object. I’ve tried so much that for the life of me I don’t remember when I saw this (it may have been after repairing it, or after re-encoding it, or even after DIVXing it). Anyway, I’m almost certain that somewhere in the tangled mess of error messages I have received from VirtualDub that it made mention of a multiple objects error, or something similar. I’ve just seen so many error messages in so few days that I can’t keep the damned things straight!

Anyway, thanks for everything!

I would not be worring about quality loss at this point of time, any conversion of the file to something else is not happening for you at the moment. All conversions hive some degree of quality loss. But as it stands it could be DVD quality, how cares, you cant convert it, yet!

Absoultely try TMPGEnc, try Panasonic MPEG Encoder, try anything that can actually convert it to a usable format then go from there.

Chapter 9: “A light at the end of the tunnel?”

Alright, so I used TMPGEnc to encode it as an mpeg file, and then I figured out how to add borders using VirtualDub’s resize filter. But now what? I didn’t realize that VirtualDub can’t output mpeg files. Thus, now I have to have it process the stream and re-encode it as an AVI. Then, I guess I’ll have to have TMPGEnc re-re-encode it back to an mpeg? Is this right? Are there any better ways of going about this?

If I’m going about it the right way, then which AVI codec should I choose to maximize quality? Obviously I’m not too worried about file size seeing as I’m going to be going right back to mpeg in order to burn the VCD. Or, should I just burn an SVCD after converting to AVI (using DVD2SVCD)? I think I heard it wasn’t a good idea to burn lower quality movies (like ASF or mpegs) as SVCDs, but I could be wrong.

Thanks a lot!

Yep, that sounds okay. Just use DivX 5.05 and set bitrate to say 1500 which is way above whats needed, that way you get NO loss of quality.

Convert it to VCD, as from what you say, its poor quality anyway and going to SVCD will not improve anything other than make bigger files and increase the chances of it NOT playing on other peoples DVD Players. Stick to VCD for this one.

Alright, well, the above worked and I was able to burn it to VCD (and I tried SVCD as well), but I don’t know how to resize it properly. The original movie is 320 x 240 (but VirtualDub seems insistent that it is actually 352 x 240). Anyway, I thought TV’s size was like 640 x 480, so I thought I would add enough of a border using VirtualDub so that the size would be increased to 512 x 384. Doing so, I thought, would increase the actual movie size a bit (when it was stretched to fill the TV), so that it wouldn’t appear too small on the TV. Of course, I was quite wrong. Apparently, the VCD resolution is 352 x 240, so it (DVD2SVCD using TMPGEnc) took the movie I had made w/ the borders, and made the whole thing really small. Then, when played on TV, it is blown back up, but it looks pretty bad because it was shrunken and then blown back up.

Then I tried SVCD. I looked up the resolution on it, and it said it was 480 x 480. Thus, I added borders using VirtualDub again so that the final size was 480 x 480 (I did this carefully to ensure the size of the actual movie inside the borders was not changed). However, when it was played back on TV, it looked very distorted: the movie was rather squished down.

Does anyone know how exactly I should be resizing this? Again, I just want to add enough borders so that the movie image itself isn’t blown up so much on TV that it is too distorted. I’m hoping to make it a little bigger, but I just don’t want it to fill the whole TV.

Thanks. :slight_smile:

Oh, one more thing: I noticed the audio is out of synch. I’m just really surprised at that, because I was testing the audio all along through the various conversions. It was perfect each time (even after using VirtualDub), up until the very end when I converted it to either VCD or SVCD. Any thoughts?

hrm. can anybody provide any help w/ my little resizing problem?