PAL to NTSC or AVI to Mpeg, What's My Priority?

I notice this file is PAL. Does it matter if I just code to Mpeg with a default NTSC setting(I think there’s a program out there). Or convert to NTSC manually then to Mpeg.

 There might be some other tweaks to the frames or BPS that i'm too new to see, If someone can chime in with advice, that'd be stellar...

Here’s the Specs:

Size : 695 mb
Video Type : Mpeg4
TV Standard : PAL
Resolution : 640x272
Total Bitrate: 830 kbps
Audio Type : MP3
Sample Rate : 44,100
Audio Bitrate: 135 kbps
Duration : 01:57:07.4

Converting to Mpeg puts it at about 5.26GB. That’s quite a change from about 1GB.

I hope to do this correctly the first time…

Any help is appreciated THX!

The codec used to encode your avi is mpeg4. I take it you want to convert to mpeg2 in a dvd compliant form? And change from PAL to NTSC

That’s a pretty fun task, and many one step programs don’t handle this very well. To compound matters, your audio is 44kHz mp3, so it will have to be converted as well, to 48kHz ac3 or pcm for NTSC standards. If the audio is an mp3 that was variable bit rate encoded that adds some extra problems.

Open the file with Gspot video utility and it will show if the audio was vbr encoded.

What are you using for the conversion process? The only program that I have used that does this consistently well in one step is Procoder 2. Procoder Express is the much less expensive version of this encoder and it can probably handle the process also.

Hey Kerry,

Thanks for the heads up! That’s what I’ve read, procoder or AVIsynth which I take it as much more complex than I would attempt. anything else and I’m just decreasing quality by using a compressor? instead of a decoding codec?

 It gets pretty thick for me as I'm only 5 days into my video editing career.

TMPGEnc plus 2.5 but I have to pack a sack lunch before it’s all over. The same is true sticking it in DVD Flick. SVCD2DVD 2.5 will do it but only 2 gigs of it as I have the trial ver.

I’ll get Gspot and let you know…

CG

EDIT: OK, got Gspot and yes it’s VBR. Sounds like it’s gonna’ be Fun, Fun, Fun! Will start looking for Procoder 3a(walmart verson) :bigsmile:

Well, I’m crashing as it is beyond late here, but thought I’d say this bit. You should demux the avi and convert the audio separately if you use anything else but Procoder. Even it won’t handle mp3 vbr audio particularly well sometimes. Demux with VdubMod and convert to ac3 with ffmeggui—of course there are other solutions that work well too, like the ac3 plug-in for TMPGenc if you already have it.

There is a long thread over at videohelp.com for using TMPGenc Plus, DGIndex and DGPulldown to convert PAL dvd to NTSC. If you are interested here is the link:
http://forum.videohelp.com/topic300144.html

It has a fair bit of info you might need to know even if you don’t want to follow their guide.
Seems you’d have to encode twice. Avi–>PAL dvd then following the guide to convert to NTSC, so I’m not at all sure it would be an acceptable solution for you.

What if I said I had Procoder 2?

EDIT: Oh, and i’ve kept the thread. Not sure if I have ever bought an EU DVD but you never know. I did read it but don’t have any of those proggies but the TMPGEnc. I’m not sure if I want to get any more unless I absolutely need them as I’ve put 1 gig of editing sofware on my computer already. So, I think i’ll hold off for now…Thanks though for the link!

CG

Kerry, I got VDubMod 1.5.10.2, I hope that’s the latest version. I also got ffmpeggui beta build 3c, I hope that’s what you meant. It seems to be what I need and the comments were stellar… all but one that I saw “There is a MASSIVE drop in volume when converting to AC3. Converting to MP2 preserves the original volume though. Just be aware of that”.

 I will get to work and post the results in a bit. Thanks for the heads up.

CG

Well the first step is to get away from that mp3 vbr audio. That much I know. But as I said before, this route makes you encode twice. PAL avi to PAL mpg2 then PAL mpg2 to NTSC dvd.

Another way would be to convert the avi from PAL to NTSC then reencode to mpeg2/dvd. I found this guide over at videohelp.com It starts with the same step–demuxing the avi, but uses BeSweet and BeSweet GUI to convert the audio to NTSC standards, and vdub to convert the video.
It should be simple from that point to do a straight avi to mpeg2 conversion in TMPGenc Plus. Then author to dvd.
Here is the link: http://www.johnisme.shawbiz.ca/avi.shtml

Hope this helps and doesn’t completely discourage you.
I don’t run into PAL video at all, just poorly made xvid’s from my friends, so I deal with mp3 vbr a lot. The PAL-NTSC conversion makes your problem quite a bit more complicated.

I’m getting yelled at for not using “ConvertXtoDVD”. Some people think i’m making this too hard on myself, but I though it might be better to Demux and repair the components singly and then combine. I think the VBR is getting shredded anyways. If I can make it stable as it is in another converted file instead of carrying it over to a transcoded state, that might be this movie’s only saving grace…

 I know VCDGear has fix errors on the mpeg option. I'm sure other programs have similar options for errors. But as soon as I dropped the AVI into VDubMod, it popped up with:

VirtualDub has detected an improper VBR audio encoding in the source AVI file (audio stream 1). The current preference is to rewrite the audio header with standard CBR values for audio processing for better compatibility. This may introduce up to 7665 ms of skew from the video stream. If this is unacceptable, decompress the entire audio stream to an uncompressed WAV file and recompress with a constant bitrate encoder. (bitrate 135.7 +/- 20.4 kbps)

 Do you want to rewrite the header?

I’ll try it both ways…

Vdubmod does that with vbr mp3 audio. You need the bitrate it recommends when you redo the audio, but you knew that from the popup.

Didn’t think about ConvertXtoDVD. Hey if it works…

I just think there are better encoders available, so I don’t use it. But might save some headaches if it can do this conversion in one step.

More than normal because 2ch > 6ch.

Then I should use ffmpeggui to convert to MPEG instead of AC3 and find a program to transfer only not convert? The specs for the demuxed audio is here…

Started with Shortbread2.mp3 size: 113mb (119,220,070 bytes) / size on disk: 113mb (119,222,272 bytes)

ffmpeg version 0.4.9-pre1, build 4743, Copyright © 2000-2004 Fabrice Bellard
configuration: --enable-mp3lame --enable-vorbis --enable-faad --enable-faac --enable-xvid --enable-mingw32 --enable-a52 --enable-dts --enable-pp --enable-gpl --enable-memalign-hack
built on Feb 22 2005 04:58:29, gcc: 3.4.2 (mingw-special)
Input #0, mp3, from ‘C:\Shortbread2.mp3’:
Duration: 02:04:11.2, start: 0.000000, bitrate: 128 kb/s
Stream #0.0: Audio: mp3, 44100 Hz, stereo, 128 kb/s
Output #0, ac3, to ‘C:\Shortbread2.ac3’:
Stream #0.0: Audio: ac3, 48000 Hz, stereo, 192 kb/s
Stream mapping:
Stream #0.0 -> #0.0

size= 164706kB time=7027.5 bitrate= 192.0kbits/s

video:0kB audio:164706kB global headers:0kB muxing overhead 0.000000%

 Instead of doing the PAL to NTSC conversion, because I don't want to get ahead of myself and start a half dozen operations... That'll just confuse me. What's the next step with the AC3 file? I can always come back to the "Johnisme.shawbiz" link if I garble the DVD. I will also drop the AVI file into ConvertXtoDVD and see if there is a substancial quality difference.

 Thanks for all the help!

CG

BTW, the link for “Johnisme.shawbiz” is broken…

Looks to me like you should have used 128kbs encoding for the ac3 file instead of 192kbs in order to keep audio/video sync.

Once you have the ac3 file, you reencode the avi to mpeg2 in with the following steps:
Open TMPGenc Plus and convert the avi to mpeg2 as a hybrid file (following the first guide I listed) This means you will select ES Video (convert only to a video stream), 720 x 480 resolution, 25fps, max number of frames in a gop set to 12.

It would help to know the bitrate you wish to encode it—you can use a bitrate calculator like the one in the guide. (Recommended!) This will keep the size down so you don’t have to reduce it later to fit onto a dvdr. Make sure to leave some room for the size of the audio file.

The video stream you will get from all of this isn’t really standard PAL or NTSC, so you have to use DGPulldown to convert the framerate from 25fps to 29.97. Shouldn’t take long for this part.

At the end of the day you have an NTSC compliant video stream and an ac3 audio stream ready to be made into a dvd. If you just wanted an mpeg2 file from them you could use the mpeg tools in TMPGenc to mux them. But going to a dvd means using an authoring tool. Very simple and doesn’t take much time, especially if you don’t need much in the way of a menu. DVDStyler is a free authoring tool, as is GUIforDVDAuthor.

I use DVDLab Pro (expensive), though many like TMPGenc Author. There are free trials for both of these programs. All of them should be able to import your video and audio streams.

Takes lots of tools this way. Which is one reason I like Procoder. Great quality and fewer separate operations. But you learn more doing it step by step.

The link for the other guide is working for me. ?? Don’t know why it wasn’t for you.

OK, it works for me now as well. I might of had a problem earlier as I had 20 windows open, it cool now…

Will get to work, and i’ll redo to 128 bit audio. Where do you look to see ahead of time to get the A/V in sinc? Or do you have to run it and then check the results? It was buzzing at about 30fps and later when I checked it was at like .79 or som’m like that. It all greek to me…:wink:

About an hour or so with ConvertXtoDVD to process. It seems to be a fairly simple operation that has a modest menu and converts quite a few files then burns directly to source. I don’t see where you can save the files it creates to HD and then burn later. Thought that’d be a nice standard feature…

Anyways i’ll check in later tonight…

CG

In ConvertXtoDVD, look at Settings–>Burning and uncheck the box that says Burn Result to DVD. You’ll get a pop-up warning message that asks if you want to do this, then it will create a folder on your C: drive where it will store your completed dvd.
I don’t think there is an option to place the output folder somewhere else though.

How does your output from ConvertXtoDVD look?

For a preview of a/v synch, open the video stream you get from TMPGenc/DGPulldown with Vdubmod. Then go to Streams and add the ac3 audio stream, and under File hit preview input. This will show any immediate problems.

Edited for better instruction.

I re AC3’d to 128 and I got 107mb file I then tried to use the TMPGEnc wizard and got to step 4/5 when it stopped me dead as it had an output file 304:29 minutes long and it’s a no-go anything longer than 3hrs, or so it says.

 My bitrate is 4900 and I left 107mg for audio and the reccomended 200 for the menu. So TMPGEnc is chewing on the AVI file as I had to go in backwards and kinda' manually set everything as you spec'd out earlier. Looks good at about 5% in an hour and a half.  :cool: 

 I havent' messed around fully yet with the ConvertXtoDVD, but that's a one-step operation that should only take like an hour. This exercise that I'm doing now wouldn't take that long if I was familiar with the software and how to use it, but I don't have a clue where to go next if I run into a problem. Some of the manuals can be kind of dry. Along come the boards, but that's hit or miss if you can find someone to help you along and not get the conflicting answers from multiple sources. I know everyone's trying to help but I only have so much space on my HD for programs... I can't get every one :bigsmile: 

so as soon as I get something to compare to I can put side by side. And if it’s the same quality that’s not noticeable to the naked eye…, i’ll have to dump about a gig of programs to cold storage never to see the light of day again! :a

I think this time tomorrow I should be golden. Thanks again for helping. Will the A/V streams fit into SVCD2DVD? I like thier drag & drop menu maker. Well, i’ll see tomorrow. If not I have Nero 7 from the DVD player I finally purchased. I don’t think there are a shortage of proggies out there. Anyway, i’ll beep you when I get in…

CG

OK, change of plan. This morning I was at about 50% done when all of a sudden the power went out… I’m thinking “Great!” now I have to start all over again (I’m on my laptop) I was now on battery power. Yeah! My emergency power! but wait, that’s the battery that’s been in there for two years!..

 So, 5 min later when it starts hibernating, I'm still thinking "Great!" now I have to start all over again. An hour and a half later the power came on again, lo and behold it rebooted up from hibernating and continued to process right where it was! Now I'm thinking it's going to have a huge error in the video somewhere, I just know it!

 With an original ETA of about 10:30pm I was now behind 90 min. So, at about 70% my laptop got too hot and shut itself off. Wonderful. This time it is "Great!" now I have to start all over again. So, I've switched gears and now we're gonna test ConvertXtoDVD!

I changed the setting for burning to the HD and It starts out at about 30fps at 4900kbps, but as it processes, it drops considerably. I’m looking at being into 20,000 frames at 11fps and 4600kbps. I hope it’s just my laptop slowing and not have to watch a DVD get crappier 30min into it…

We’ll see…

OK, ConvertXtoDVD is a fairly simple one-step operation and I would give it a 7/10. That’s on Audio as well as Video transfer to DVD for play on a stand alone DVD player. My FPS dropped to 10 when it was processing and held steady at 4000 kbps which worried me as I had calculated in my earlier post at 4900kbps. It doesn’t seem to have effected the play but it’s too soon to get happy, looks good enough to watch with pop’kn korn’n though :clap:

 As soon as I can do a side-by-side comparison, to dissecting the AVI, (manually stripping and converting the audio and video)I'll know better which method would be my preferred, as I have no qualms taking extra time to do it right the first time. But I am a newb so there's no end to experimenting...

I’ll post my results prolly in a few days…keep your fingers crossed!

OK, just finished up with my .M2V file and after 45:38:22 elapsed time, it’s nice to be able to use my laptop again! :iagree: (note to self: do not use “ultra best and slowest method”) :doh:

 My file is now 7.18gb and I hope was not run twice(back to back in one file), I got to about 50% and saw the end of the movie, then it re-started to continue coding what looked to be the same movie again. :confused: 

 I'm also outputing it to a different file on another computer for safety reasons as described in the DGPulldown readme as I do not want to go through another two days of converting. It's able to process the same file back into itself but if anything interrupts the process, it blows out your original file. It's seems to be processing *much* quicker than TMPGEnc at any rate. :clap: 

 I authored it with DVD Styler but I got an error message, set some other parameters and got another error. I don't know enough about the program to correct my errors. The literature is kinda' dry. So, next is "Giu for DVDAuthor" and from the site, it looks to be a fantastic resource even different "Button" files to D/L and add for your menu. Sure glad I output to a different source file! :bigsmile: 

 I dumped this project as the runtime was over 5 hrs on a 2 hr. movie. Obviously I missed a parameter in TMPGEnc when I had to start over the second time to convert to M2V. I no longer have the patience to mess around with the AVI file when three days ago I had the finished product in 3 hrs that was 7/10 quality viewable in a stand-alone player with ConvertXtoDVD. :a 

 I believe the only outcome to this experiment is "If it ain't broke, don't fit it". So, unless the quality is truely garbage I don't believe it's worth using 4 different programs and two days to fix something that can be handled with one program, if you want average quality movies, to pass the time...

 Having it done "correctly" is only user opinion at this point. Since there are so many different methods to obtaining the same result. I opt for the simplest one that ties up the least amount of my computer resources...

 I think i'm going to be  :Z

Well, you’ve certainly had a rocky start to encoding! It helps to have good equipment and the right tools. With a runtime of 117 minutes, I could probably reencode your avi to mpeg2 with Procoder on my machine in approximately 12 hrs or so using the highest quality. With a Core 2 Duo desktop, it would be cut down close to 9hrs I believe.

Sorry for your outcome, but you’ve found a method that does work, and you’ve got a few new tools to work with. Keep up the good fight.

Oh I’m not discouraged at all. I’ll just plug away at a project till the BS meter goes off, which as you can see, is pretty far along in the process. It takes time to become proficient in video editing and who knows, maybe i’ll write a manual someday…

CG

PS. Thanks for the help.