How to convert your DivX to SVCD

How to backup your AVI(DivX) to SVCD

This is a simple method to produce top quality SVCD's from your top quality AVI(DivX)'s. If the AVI has poor play back quality, then suggest you convert these to VCD instead, see the other Tutorials on how to do this. You can't increase the quality of a poor quality movie by encoding to a better quality format. 

The guide is substantially quicker than using TMPGEnc and the final result has an improved overall quality, for both Video and Audio. While the final SVCD is not as good as a direct DVD to SVCD conversion, if the starting AVI(DivX) has been made properly with a high bit rate, then excellent results can be produced. This procedure uses DVD2SVCD with the aid of Cinema Craft Encoder.

I have converted many AVI's or DivX that have come in various forms. The AVI's Video encoding can be done with DivX 3.x, 4.x, 5.x or Xvid.  The Audio can be MP3, VBR MP3 or AC3.  All are accepted and all convert using this same procedure. Any other forms, I don't know as I haven't encountered them yet. Xvid is becoming more and more popular also and they convert fine also.

This guide is based on using VCDEasy to burn the final MPG files to SVCD (with or without Chapters or Images) or to burn the CUE/BIN files to SVCD if you chose to make them. Nero has too many problems with SVCD creation (great for VCD) so not recommended.

Software you will need:

1.	DivX Codec 5.1.1 or later ( d/l from )
2.	DVD2SVCD 1.2.1 Build 3 or later ( d/l from )
3.	Cinema Craft Encoder 2.50 ONLY ( d/l demo from )
4.	VCDEasy or later ( d/l from )
5.  Xvid Codec may be needed ( d/l from )
You will also need a Computer with:

*	Windows 98, 98SE, ME, 2000 or XP installed.
*	A Pentium III 550mhz or equivalent as a minimum (needed by CCE)
*	At least 128meg memory, 256meg preferred.
*	Hard drive with at least 5 gb FREE space in one partition.
*	A CDR(W) Burner to produce the SVCD and a box of good quality CDR's
*	A sound card and SVCD player to check the finished product.

Tips before we get started:

*	Turn OFF your Screen Saver, it will simply slow the conversion down by hours.
*	Do not run any other program in the background while DVD2SVCD is running, especially if you have a slower computer.
*	Turn the screens colour depth to 16bit colour or better.
*	Re-boot the computer BEFORE you start the conversion.

So you have downloaded the software and checked that you have the right stuff in your computer.  Sounds good, then lets get stuck into it!

[b]Step 1:  Getting Ready.[/b]

1.	Install DivX Codec (and Xvid if needed).
2.	Install CCE.
3.	Install DVD2SVCD and select Avisynth 2.52 when installing.
4.	Install VCDEasy.

[b]Step 2:  Checking the AVI file[/b]

1. Every version of Windows comes with Windows Media Player (WMP), so we will use that to check the file.  You will need version 7 or better installed.

2. If the DivX is on a CD, copy it to your Hard Drive.

3. Run Windows Explorer, locate your DivX file, and RIGHT Click on it.  From the windows that opens, go to Properties, then Summary.  You will now see all the characteristics of the file. Write down the [b]Frame Width and Height[/b] as we may need them later on and note the [b]Data rate[/b]. If data rate is less than 100 kb/s, I would not suggest you continue.  Also if the width is less than 480, I would also suggest you dont continue.  The quality of these AVI's are poor and converting to a SVCD will only yield poor results. Convert these to VCD instead.

4. You can use the Frame width and Frame height (from above) to work out the Aspect ratio of the movie but the simplest is to actually play it full screen.  So play it in WMP, and hit Alt-Enter to get to full screen display. If there are no black bars top or bottom, then its a 4:3 full screen.  On a 15" monitor, if there is about 1 1/4" or 3cm of black bars top and bottom of the screen, then its a 16:9.  If there is about 2" or 5cm of black bars then its a 2.3:1 These 3 variations cover 99% of all movies.

[b]Step 3:  SVCD Conversion.[/b]

1. Run DVD2SVCD.  It may complain it cannot find CCE, so click the [b]Encoder[/b] tab and then browse your HD for CCE (cctsp.exe) depending on where you installed it. This will happen 1st time it is run only.

2. Click the [b]Misc.[/b] tab, then select the Input File Type to be AVI. Then click Default Output folder to select the Output folder where all the files will go.  Leave "Dont Delete any Files" ticked (not important if you dont) as sometimes you can recover an interupted encode, etc. Change DVD2SVD Level to Advanced. Then check the box next to [b]Convert divx3 to divx4 ( can resolve CCE problem)[/b] as it can help converting DivX3 encoded AVI's with no problems. Dont worry if its grayed out, that happens if you dont have Divx 3.11 codec installed but if the AVI plays fine with WMP, then just ignor this step. The Output File Type should be set to SVCD as thats what we are making.

3. Click the [b]Conversion[/b] tab, and load in the AVI file. It will indicate its length and select an Aspect ratio mode and mark the Audio track.  There is no Cut or Trim features here. I do not recommend ticking NTSC to PAL box unless you like jerky movies. DVD2SVCD still has problems with most AVI's setting the correct aspect ratio. It tends to select [b]4:3 (No borders, encoded as 4:3)[/b].  Change this to [b]16:9 (borders added, encoded as 4:3)[/b] if you found it above to be 16:9.  If you found it to be widescreen 2.3:1, there is no option for this (however, the [b]16:9 (borders added, encoded as 4:3)[/b] options works 80% of the time I have found) and has to be set manually.  See [b]Note 1[/b] below.

4. Click on [b]Finalize[/b] Tab, there is nothing in here to change.

5. Click the [b]CDImage[/b] tab. If you don’t want any fancy Chapters or Title pictures, etc, just click [b]Don’t Make Images[/b] and you will end up with 2-3 MPG files ready to burn with Nero. If you do want to include Chapter and/or Title Pictures, then select VCDXBuild.  The default ChangeCD pic is excellent. Enter a CD Label, such as THE_DISH. If you click on Movie info (IMDB), it will extract all the movie data (Directors, actors, etc) and the DVD front picture from for inclusion on the CD if you have an internet connection. Click on [b]Include movie info on CD[/b] to include this info on the CD. For Fixed Chapters, select a number in seconds that you want each chapter point to be set to.  I use 240 (4 min.) so I get about 10-12 per CD.

6. Click the [b]bbMPEG[/b] Tab, there is nothing to change except maybe the CD overlap in Seconds. Change to suit your own preferences.

7. Click the [b]Pulldown[/b] Tab, there is nothing to change or setup in here.  This will run Automatically if a 23.976fps NTSC framerate is found.

8. Click the [b]Audio[/b] Tab. Leave Audio downsample 48 -> 44.1 ticked as this makes a fully compliant SVCD. However, leaving it un-ticked will produce a better quality Audio playback, but if you burn the MPG file with Nero it will say its non-compliant and you will have to turn compliance off. All DVD Players (and now 99% of PC's) can play 48kHz audio. Change Audio Bitrate from the default 192bps if you wish but the higher it is, the lower the Video bitrate is used to fit it onto the CD's. Most DivX have been encoded with low Audio bitrates anyway. The box for Autodetect Azid Gain (2 pass) should be ticked as this with Normalize the audio sound level.

9. Click the [b]Frameserver[/b] tab and select Resize Method to be Bicubic Resize. Make sure Resize is set to SVCD ('cause tha’ts what we are making folks!). At the end of the MPEG2Dec line, click the small [...] button and from the ..\DVD2SVCD\Avisynth2.5 Plugins\MPEG2Dec folder, select MPEG2DEC[b]3[/b].dll if is not already. This can solve some decoding issues and I find it faster as well (only needs to done the first time you run DVD2SVCD).

10. Click the [b]Bitrate[/b] tab to see the number of CD's and their size for the movies length.  Leave these at default initially, just un-select Min Avg if its ticked. DVD2SVCD calculates the bitrate automatically for you to just fit onto your CDR's. But I would suggest you change all the 740 to 800 and use ONLY 80min CDR's.

11. Click the [b]Encoder[/b] tab and make sure Cinema Craft Encoder is selected (and not TMPGEnc or Procoder). Multipass VBR should be set at 3 for best results. Click on the Advanced button and un-select all MPEG2 Video Settings. If you are encoding a small 43min episode to fit to one 80min CD, then I would suggest ticking CBR instead of VBR 3 pass, as encoding time will be dramatically reduced and quality basically the same.  Give it a try and compare.  But if you have a 120min movie and trying to fit to 2 CD's, stay with VBR, or better still change to 3 CD's for a substantial improved quality SVCD.

12. All is now setup and we are ready to begin the encodeing.  If you intend to be doing a few movies, all the setup above needs to be done once and will remain set to the same settings next time you run DVD2SVCD. Next time you will only need to load the AVI in, set folder to save to and change CDImage info.

13. Click the [b]Conversion[/b] tab again and if all is ready, click the GO button ( the one with the green tick). Click Start Conversion then confirm with OK.

14. Go to sleep, work or school as this process may take a long time. On a P700 it can take over 24hrs with a 4pass VBR encode! On an Athlon 1800, most movies convert 3pass VBR in 5-7 hours.

15. When finished you will have in the default folder you selected, about 20-30+ files.  There will be 2-3 MPG files like bbMPEG_Muxed_File00.mpg if you did not make an image.  You will have 2-3 BIN & CUE files like CD_Image_File_CD1.bin if you did.

16. Play them with WinDVD (or your favorite SVCD player software) to check them for lip sync near start and finish of each file and any other problem, like incorrect Aspect ratio.  If your made an Image file, load it into Daemon Tools CD Image and run the MPG file from there.

17. You have now made your first SVCD files and all that's left is to burn them.

[b]Step 4:  Burning.[/b]

1. Run VCDEasy and we need to set it up for your burner. Click on Settings icon then CDRDAO tab. If your burner is not seen or all is greyed out, you must instal an ASPI Layer onto your PC, a good one is ForceASPI 4.60. Locate your CD writer, then select the Write Speed to be 4x maximum for older 8x or 12x burners. Select 8x or 12x for late model 24x burners or 16x for the 48/52x burners. For Force Driver, if your burner is not in the short list, select [b]generic-mmc[/b]. Change the other settings if you wish.  This only needs to be done the first time you run VCDEasy.

2. a) If you made MPG files, run VCDEasy and in Main tab, set VideoCD Type to SVCD 1.0.  Select your CD Writer if it is not selected and then enter a Volume Label. Spaces are automatically entered as an "_" underscore. Now click on Add Files button and load in the bbMPEG_Muxed_File00.mpg file for your first CD.  It will check through the file for SVCD compliance. 

b) You can make your SVCD's more professional by adding Chapters (during playback, allows the use of the >>| key on Remote Control to jump to next section [or Chapter]).  You can also add a Title Picture at the start or Change CD picture at the end, the same as can be done for DVD2SVCD if you chose to make an image file.

c) To add chapters, click Chapters tab and select [b]Create 10 equidistant chapters[/b] and click the OK button next to it. All done. Change the 10 to a number that suits your needs but 10 makes a chapter about every 4 to 6 min. apart.

d) If you want to include Change CD pics, etc. the one that comes with DVD2SVCD is excellent (DefaultChangeCD.bmp). Click on Tools icon and goto MPEG Stills tab.  Load in the Pic file, select MPEG Still type as SVCD and select PAL or NTSC depending on what your burning, and set to High.  Then click Generate button.  Again, you only need to do this once and the resultant MPG file you can now save somewhere on your HD for future use. Back in the Main tab where you loaded the MPG file in, do the same now for the Change CD pic (move to be after the main MPG movie file) and any initial pic file, like the DVD cover your downloaded from, (move it to be before the main MPG movie file). In the Interactivity tab, set the Change CD pic to Wait Infinite.

e) If all is now set up, make sure the small Burn box at top of Main tab page is ticked, then hit the GO button. Sit back and watch your first SVCD disk being burnt.

3. If you made BIN & CUE files, run VCDEasy and select Tools Icon, then CDRDAO Tools tab. In the [b]Burn a CUE or TOC CD Image[/b] window, locate your CUE file, un-tick Simulate (if you don't want to do a test run first - be daring!), put a blank CDR into your burner and hit the Burn button, sit back and watch your first SVCD disk being burnt. 

4. The excitement builds! When the burning is finished, shut down VCDEasy, label the CD with a felt pen and rush to your DVD player to check it out. If all is okay, repeat this for the second or third disks.

5. You can now safely delete all the files created by DVD2SVCD and delete the AVI file as well.

6. Use only good quality scratch resistant CDR's. Some DVD stand alone players will only read from CDRW's, then burn to CDRW's instead. Burning at greater then 4x or 8x speed can also make them unreadable by many players, particularly the latter part of the CD.  Many DVD stand alone units have problems playing SVCD movies altogether, even though the book indicates it can and many will jump and stutter if the bitrate is to high or to low.  These problems are not with the SVCD you just made, they are all related to the brand and model of your DVD Player.  The SVCD's will play fine on a PC however.

NOTE 1. If the AVI your encoding has a widescreen Aspect Ratio of 2.3:1, as we found above, DVD2SVCD does not have this as a setting to automate the encoding and it has to be adjusted manually, though it does get it right sometimes!
a. In the Conversion tab, change the aspect ratio set to 16:9.
b. Click on the Frameserver tab and change the Edit the Avisynth Script file to Edit as part of Video encoding.
c. Now start the conversion as usual.
d. Stay with the encoding and after the Audio has been extracted & converted and just before the actual encoding start, an AviSynth script window will pop up. In here we have to modify the numbers, this example will explain. Once the correct numbers have been entered, the AddBoarders statement added, then hit the Save button and then the OK button. The encoding will now continue as usual and result in the correct aspect ratio for the movie.

eg: Our AVI had dimensions of, say, 512 x 224 ( X x Y ) as found above. This needs to be resized for a SVCD to 480 x 576 for PAL or 480 x 480 for NTSC. But the pixel aspect ratios of a PC monitor and a PAL or NTSC TV are not the same. PC Monitor pixels have a square pixel aspect ratio of 1:1 but pixel aspect ratio for PAL TV is 54:59 and for an NTSC TV is 11:10.

So the correct resizing parameters for our AVI in this example would be:


Calculated height = ((720 / X) x Y) / (54 / 59)
=((720 / 512) x 224) / (54 / 59)
= 344.16

So the correct “Resize” statement in the AviSynth script would be:


where the Calculated height of 344.16 has been rounded to 344 to be divisible by 4 (even better if divisible by 16).

Then we add borders on top and bottom to fill the height up to 576 pixels.

Correct borders = (576 - Calculated height) / 2
= (576 - 344) / 2
= 116

So the correct “AddBorders” statement in the AviSynth script would be:



Calculated height = ((720 / X) x Y) / (11 / 10)
= ((720 / 512) x 224) / (11 / 10)
= 286.36

So the correct “Resize” statement in the AviSynth script would be:


where the Calculated height of 286.36 has been rounded up to 288 to be divisible by 4 (even better if divisible by 16).

Then you have to add borders on top and bottom to fill the height up to 480 pixels.

Correct borders = (480 - Calculated height) / 2
= (480 - 288) / 2
= 96

So the correct “AddBorders” statement in the AviSynth script would be:


NOTE 2. I would strongly suggest not to convert widescreen 2.3:1 aspect ratio AVI’s to 16:9 SVCD’s. You are struggling to maintain SVCD quality from a DivX, and chopping off any part of the pic is only going to make things worse, not better.

If you want to convert AVI’s with DVD2SVCD in Batch mode, see the Note in DVD to SVCD Tutorial but wait until the Audio is fully extracted first (only takes about a min) before you shut DVD2SVCD down. Then shut down BeSweet from the systray.

ChickenMan © 2003 – Updated Nov 03