Needed: Tool to get ABR

1 - Does anyone know of a tool to discover the ABR (average bit rate) of a commercial DVD film?
2 - Does ABR depend upon the CODEC? - this is not critical, but it would be helpful to know.

I’m not ripping or recording.
I use CyberDVD to watch DVDs but CyberDVD’s bit rate info is not averaged, so it varies from click to click.
I plan to use ABR in film listings I’m compiling to quantify and demystify the various DVDs of films that have had multiple transfers to DVD. For example:

10 Sophie’s Choice (1982) Aspect: 1.85:1.
10 Sophie’s Choice (1982) Aspect: DVD UPC 012236048701: 1.85:1 video in 1.33:1 frame, 480P, ??? Mbps.
10 Sophie’s Choice (1982) Aspect: DVD UPC 057373173213: 1.85:1 video in 1.33:1 frame, 480P, 4.05 Mbps.

Thanks – Mark Filipak

DVD video only uses one video codec, and that is mpeg2. Other, more modern codecs can retain the same amount of quality in encoding using smaller bitrates, but they are not used in dvd-video. The average bitrate used by the studios varies due to length of the film, the amount of action, the size of the audio streams, the intended look of the film, etc…the variables are quite numerous.

You should be able to open the first .vob file in your dvd videos with MediaInfo and find the average bitrate. Gspot video utility should be able to show this as well.

Something like this: ?

Hi All. Thanks for your suggestions. Erwin van den Berg has created an ABR viewer that meets my needs.


Lisa, this will do what you and I want.

Ciao – Mark Filipak

olyteddy, thanks for your reply.

I had replied that I’d found a tool written by Erwin van den Berg (, but it turns out that it has too many problems and Erwin has abandoned it.

You suggested this:

I download and installed it, but I can’t figure out how to load a commercial DVD. I’ve tried the various .VOB files but either the Total Time & Bitrates are bogus or I get an error: “Couldn’t open file” (or sometimes “Couldn’t find video stream” or “Codec not found”).

Do you have any clues?


Probably can’t see past the CSS protection. You might be able to trick it by first opening the DVD in a player like Power DVD. I hear that works for Nero CD Speed. Otherwise, AnyDVD would allow it to work, and of course you could rip the DVD with DVD Fab HD Decrypter. I’d only tested it on VOBs from the hard drive.

EDIT: just checked it out and if you open the disk in PowerDVD it can indeed be read by bitrate viewer.

Thanks! Indeed, I opened it in PowerDVD and Bitrate Viewer started working.

Now the sad news, which has me frustrated and somewhat mysified.

I’m examining “American Gangster”, UPC 025193228024.
It has two versions of the film: the theatrical release and an extended version.
Their durations are 2:36:45 and 2:55:36 respectively.

Bitrate Viewer erroneously reports total time as 1:58:46

               min   ave   max  sec
VTS_01_1.VOB   193  7262 12221  934
VTS_01_2.VOB  4245  7390 11651  920
VTS_01_3.VOB  4354  7272 11714  930
VTS_01_4.VOB  3766  7366 11863  921
VTS_01_5.VOB  3979  7324 11136  928
VTS_01_6.VOB  4382  7383 11426  925
VTS_01_7.VOB  4857  7626 11747  902
VTS_01_8.VOB   200  6269 11269  666

I used PowerDVD to preview every .VOB file. In addition to the eight files above, VTS_01_0.VOB is the menu, VTS_02_1.VOB is the Universal Pictures splash (you know, spinning Earth wrapped in “Universal”), and VTS_03_1.VOB is the video transfer company’s splash. Where’s the hour of missing video coming from? I don’t know.

MediaInfo and Gspot are reporting similar times and ABRs.

All three tools are extremely tedious to use. I could calculate total ABR by proportions from the data above except that the durations above can’t be right. I’m lost.

It may be because of ‘pulldown’. If the film is at 24 FPS (as most film is) and NTSC is 30 FPS (approx) then the difference in FPS is a factor of 1.25. If you add all those seconds up you get 7,126 seconds. Multiply by 1.25 and you get 8,907.5 seconds or about 2.47 hours. The DVD player handles the pulldown by repeating some of the frames making the run time equal to the longer time. See this:

You’re brilliant! Thanks!

Indeed, one of the tools… Bspot, I think… identified a 3:2 pulldown but I didn’t know what it meant – pulldown to me is film travel, as in “35-mm, vertical pulldown”.

One last question, please?

With 3:2 pulldown, since running time is 1.25 x longer than what is indicated, I suppose that ABR is 80% of what is indicated. Right?

My guess is the bitrate (on the disk) is correct, pulldown is used to lower the number of frames that are encoded, so in the same amount of DVD space you can use a higher bitrate.