DivX -vs- WinMedia 9

vbimport

#1

Well, it’s time to add some more fuel to the fire in the great DivX vs WinMedia9 debate!

Iv’e just finished creating a WinMedia9 file of Star Wars II ‘Attack of the Clones’. And the results, in my opinion, are ‘regretably’ better than DivX - and was very unexpected!

My goal was put the entire film (all 137mins of it), onto a std 700MB CD, just to see how good it would look and sound!

The finished file info is as follows:-
File Format: WinMedia 9
Image Size: 720 x 576
Frame Rate: 25fps
Audio: 64kbps VBR (2Ch 16bit@48kHz) 2pass
Video: 615kbps VBR (Pal) 2pass
File Size: 680MB (696,803KB)

Ripping Info:-
DVD Decrypter: Stream processing ‘2Ch audio’ selected.
VOBedit (v0.6): Used to separate video (to a raw .m2v) and
audio streams.
WM9 Encoder: Used to separately encode the audio
WM9 Encoder: Used to separately encode the video
WM Stream Editor: Used to mux the Audio & video together.

The above was not without it’s problems. The main one being time. It took around 12 hours to encode just the video - And this is with a 2.8GHz P4!
It also takes around 10mins for the WinMedia9 encoder to acknowledge that the video has been imported into it’s software!

As we all know, creating a 2pass DivX file would not have taken as long. However the end result looks and sounds quite amazing. When viewed on either a PC monitor or TV screen.

The ultimate goal would be to ‘lift’ the movies 6Ch (Dolby Digital)audio output and convert this into WinMedia 9’s 6Ch format as well. But that’s for another long day!

I’m waiting for the abuse to start coming…

Processor/RAM P4 2.8Ghz / 512MB DDR
O/S WinXP Home (SP1)
DVD ROM Pioneer DVD-117 (Region Free)
DVD+R/RW Burner NEC ND-1000A
Audio (Onboard) SiS RealTek AC97
Video ATI 9000 (with TV out)


#2

I can only assume by the total lack of replies that you all agree that the WinMedia9 codec is better than DivX.

Shame really!


#3

Yeh windows 9 is good,i seen how good it was when i downloaded a trailer of halo in that format it looked really nice.


#4

My guess is that by better you mean blockless. However, this is with a loss of detail. Some people (like me) can’t stand WM9, since it uses forced preprocessing of the image, blurring it a lot, even at high bitrates.


#5

How did you get WME9 to ‘see’ the VOB files? I can’t get mine to open the VOB files for encoding.


#6

With respect to SirDavidGuy.

I would like to see how good you could make a copy of the same film (using an encoder of your choice) finishing with a total file size of just 680MB. And supprising as it may seem there really is no more apparent loss in detail than you would get if you used say, DivX and there’s no motion blur that I can see.

The big ‘clone’ battle scene that commences at 1:46:25 pays testament to that notion!

Now, I’ve tried several DivX comp tests using Vidomi. I’ve used all the different permutations of the programme (ie all 1pass and 2pass modes) but they just don’t compare with WM9 (at less than 5MB per min…) assuming you can even get your software to encode accurately to 680MB - which was my target rate. Hell, I’ll even let you go as high as 702MB.
But remember the film must be able to fit onto a standard 80min CD. Not one of those fancy 99min jobbies!

I’m just as upset as anybody else about this revelation, as I have a file server full of movies I’ve ripped to DivX. I even purchased an Sigma Xcard so I could watch them on my TV and pump the audio thru’ my DSS amp.

Anyway, I’ve encoded two more films since Star Wars II. Goldmember (90min 2.35:1) and Men In Black I (94min 1.85:1) using a higher video bitrate of 955kbps and the results are even better. And they still fit onto a 80min/702MB CD.


Encoding Info
Now, for all those people out there who would like to give this a bash ‘mchargue’ I’m speaking to you… please remember this process takes a - long - long - time.

However, I have found out how to make some short cuts. But why not try encoding (as I did) a short film or a chapter of a DVD first?

Now, I’ve got to assume you all know how to use your ripping software and the WM9 encoder. Or I’ll be here all year!

Use DVD Decrypter (v3.1.5.0) or similar to rip your DVD. I use DVD Decrypter because it’s so flexible: -
01: Use the ‘Stream Processing’ option and select Demux.
02: Under the ‘Tools’ tab, select ‘Settings’.
03: Select the ‘File Mode’ tab and in the ‘Options’, ‘File Splitting’ box select ‘None’.
04: Select the ‘IFO Mode’ tab and in the ‘Options’, ‘File Splitting’ box select ‘None’.
05: Select the ‘ISO Mode’ tab and in the ‘Options’, ‘File Splitting’ box select ‘None’.
06: Press the ‘Decrypt’ button.

When finished you should have just 4no files in a folder. The ones you want are the ‘Audio’ and ‘Video’ files.

The ‘Audio’ file will have a .vob file extension. You can rename this extention to .ac3 if you like and force the file to play with the WinMedia9 player or most other DVD software players for that matter.

The ‘Video’ file will have a .m2v file extention. If you rename this extention to .mpg the WinMedia9 player will play it (without audio ofcourse) and the WinMedia9 encoder software will see it.

– In my earlier experiments I used VOBedit to achieve the above but this step is not necessary now –

Now fire up the WinMedia9 Encoder: -
If the software opens up with a ‘Show new session’ dialog box. Get rid of it/close it down.

To encode the ‘Video’: -
01: Click on the ‘Properties’ tab.
02: Under the ‘Sources’ tab go to the ‘Source from:’ section and select ‘Both device and file’ option.
03: Uncheck the ‘Audio’ option.
04: In the ‘Video’ option click on the tab key and ‘Browse for File…’
If you’ve renamed the file extention to .mpg you should see it, with no problems.
If you’ve left it as a .m2v you’ll have to select ‘All files (.)’ in the ‘Files of type:’ option box.

NOW, DEPENDING ON HOW BIG (IN MEGABYTES/GIGABYTES) YOUR VIDEO FILE IS THE WINMEDIA9 ENCODER COULD TAKE A LONG TIME TO INPUT IT. ON MY SYSTEM WITH IT’S 2.8GHz PROCESSOR IT TAKES ABOUT FIVE MINS TO INPUT A 90 MIN VIDEO FILE AND COMPLETE THIS STAGE. IF YOU PERFORM ANY OTHER ACTION ON YOUR PC DURING THIS STAGE THE SOFTWARE WILL CRASH!!!

05: Click the ‘Output’ tab. Uncheck the ‘Pull from encoder (etc)’ box
06: Put a tick in the ‘Encode to file’ box and click ‘Browse’. Give your proposed new file a name etc.
07: Click on the ‘Compression’ tab and in the ‘Destination:’ box click ‘Edit…’
08: A ‘Custom Encoding Settings’ box will now appear.
09: Under the ‘General’ tab, go to the ‘Media types’ box.
10: Make sure the ‘Video’ box is the only one that’s ticked. Under the ‘Mode’ box down arrow, select ‘Bit rate VBR’
11: Click on the tab to the right of the ’ General’ tab - It should say ‘300Kbps’
12: In the ‘Video size’ section put a tick in the ‘Same as video input’ box
13: In the ‘Frame rate’ box it should default to the same as your input video file
14: In the ‘Video bit rate (average):’ box. Type in your required bit rate.

If you want to really test WM9 try a low bit rate such as 615K

15: Click OK

There should be no need to select any further tabs, such as ‘Video Size’, ‘Attributes’, ‘Processing’ etc.

16: Select the green ‘Start Encoding’ button.

NOW AGAIN, PLEASE REMEMBER, IT MAY TAKE A LONG TIME BEFORE THE ENCODING BEGINS. AS IT TAKES THE WINMEDIA9 ENCODER A LONG TIME TO EVEN INPUT THE FILE AND WHEN THE SOFTWARE DOES START TO ENCODE.

EVEN WITH MY SYSTEM: -
THE FIRST PASS (OF A 94 MIN VIDEO) TAKES APPROX 2 HOURS 19 MINS AND
THE SECOND PASS OF THE SAME TAKES AN INCREDIBLE 6 HOURS 51 MINS… SO THAT’S OVER 9 HOURS IN TOTAL!

The good news is, when it comes to encoding the audio it’s a hell of alot quicker.
And then it’s just a matter of muxing (or as Microsoft would put it ‘Steaming’) the ‘Audio’ and ‘Video’ files together.

But that’s another story…