Since the time I posted the above conversion process, it seems like the BBC made some changes to its transport stream of BBC HD that breaks video encoders, at least with the TS file recordings DVBViewer produces. I have a feeling it’s a change BBC made, as recordings from Luxe HD still re-encode fine. I haven’t tried recordings from any other HD channel yet.
For example, if I try to use the above process with a BBC HD recording TS file from DVBViewer, I now end up with choppy video. The original command-line method I used involving mencoder no longer works. Other freeware transcoders such as WinFF and Avidemux 2.5 also result in choppy or broken video. Pretty much every commerical encoder I tried also results in problems, e.g. wrong fields being interlaced with Corel VideoStudio, wrong video speed in DVDFab, AV sync issues in TMPGEnc, etc.
After various experiments with various freeware encoding utilities, I finally encountered one successful way of re-encoding the video. The catch is that it involves a buggy alpha release of Avidemux 2.6 and two encoding stages, as Avidemux 2.6 is the only utility I’ve come across that properly handles these TS files.
If you really need to be able to convert a BBC HD TS file to another format, such as for a set-top player that can’t play TS or AVC/H264 video, here’s the process that current works for me, at least for BBC HD recordings made by DVBViewer:
You’ll need the following software (all freeware):
[li]Avidemux 2.6 alpha base & SVN builds (here)[/li][li]7-zip to extract the 7z archives (here)[/li][li]Avidemux 2.5 (here) or your preferred video encoding tool.[/li][/ol]
What we basically want to do is convert the video in the TS file to another format, so that it can be converted to your preferred format using Avidemux 2.5 or another encoder. At this time fo writing, Avidemux 2.6 alpha has very few encoding formats and does not even include a deinterlace filter. Simply copying or raw-dumping the video stream into another file format does not work either, as the problem is in the H264 video encoding itself. Also, with regular SVN updates, this process may break later on. I tested this using build r5537.
[li]Use 7-zip to extract the Avidemux 2.6 base file into a folder. Then extract the SVN file into that same folder, replacing any existing files.[/li][li]Start the file “avidemux3_qt4” (double-click it) to launch Avidemux 2.6 alpha.[/li][li]Open the TS recording.[/li][li]If you have a huge hard disk with ~120GB of free space per hour of video, select “(FF)HuffUV” for the video-drop down and skip the next two steps. [/li][li]For the Video-drop down, select “Mpeg4 ASP (ff)”. [/li][li]Click “Configure”, set the Quantizer to 2 and click ‘OK’.[/li][li]Ensure the “Audio” drop-down is set to “Copy” and “Format” drop-down is set to “AVI”. At this time of writing, only the “AVI” output format works in this alpha release.[/li][li]Click the “Save” icon and specify a name for this temporary encoding.[/li][/ol]
If you select the HuffUV format for step 4, this gives a lossless and quicker encoding for this first stage, which will also result in better quality and faster encoding for the next encoding stage.
Now use your preferred video encoder (e.g. Avidemux 2.5, WinFF, etc.) to encode the resulting file into your preferred video format. Note that some encoders will detect this with the wrong aspect ratio or as progressive video, so if you can manually specify the options, be sure to set the aspect ratio as “16:9” (or 1.78) and to deinterlace the video. Once the conversion is complete, you can delete this temporary video file.
Here’s the process I use in Avidemux 2.5 to convert the video to 720p XviD HD with 192kbps MP3 audio:
[li]Click ‘Open’ and select the video encoding created from Avidemux 2.6 alpha.[/li][li]For the Video drop-down, select “MPEG-4 ASP (Xvid)”[/li][li]Click the “Configure” button and set the quantiser to ‘4’ (my preferred balance between quality & size.)[/li][li]Tick “Predefined Aspect Ratio” and select “64:45 (PAL 16:9)”[/li][li]In the “Motion” tab, set both drop-downs to “Medium” (slower encoding, but better quality.)[/li][li]In the “Frame” tab, set Max Consecutive B-frames to 1 or 2 and “Packed Bitstream”. One of my media players gives choppy video if not using packed bitstream with 2 B-frames.[/li][li]Click ‘OK’ then click the ‘Filters’ button.[/li][li]Go into “Interlacing” on the left and double-click the “Deinterlace” filter. I use the default requested vaules.[/li][li]Go into “Transform” on the left and double-click “MPlayer resize”.[/li][li]Remove “Lock Aspect Ratio” tick and set the width to “1280” and height to “720”[/li][li]For the resize method drop-down, select “Bicubic”.[/li][li]Click ‘OK’, then ‘Close’.[/li][li]For the “Audio” drop-down, select “MP3 (lame)”, then click ‘Configure’.[/li][li]Set the Bitrate to 192 and click ‘OK’.[/li][li]Ensure the format is “AVI” and click ‘Save’.[/li][/ol]
After the video encodes, check a few places to ensure the audio and video are in sync.
I have re-opened this thread.
[B]Note: [/B]With the large number of spammers posting their conversion “guides” everywhere to advertise their software, any such suspect posts made here will be [U]deleted[/U].