I am thinking of buying WinAvi, but would like to know if you guys know of a better encoder. I am not so much interested with menu creation, my main concern is the output quality.
What source format are you converting from?
Is the output format going to be used for DVD-Video? or for watching on PC?
AVI to DVD
Best encoder available is most probably Cinema Craft Encoder (CCE), SP version is very expensive (US$ 1,950.00!) but a basic version suitable for consumers costs US$ 58.00
There are other alternatives, both commercial (TMPEG, Canopus) and freeware (QuEnc, etc)
A comparison test of various encoders from AVI to DVD-compatible format.
A freeware tool like ‘The FilmMachine’ may be suitable as it’s designed for less experienced users or those who don’t need to customise output so much. It can make use of CCE/Canopus or QuEnc for the encoding.