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Old 21st April 2002, 19:35   #1  |  Link
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Join Date: Oct 2001
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DVD2SVCD Quick Guide and FAQ

DVD2SVCD Quick Guide and FAQ

This is a quick guide, reference and FAQ. Most of this information can be found in the living Q + A.

DVD2SVCD is a front end for many great programs put together with the correct options already selected for you or easily changeable that in the end all you do is hit GO. A few hours later (anywhere from 3 to 40, movie length, options and computer dependant) you have images ready to burn to make your SVCD.

What other pages should I read?

Always be sure you have the latest version of DVD2SVCD.
You can find it at the DVD2SVCD homepage.

The best pages for either a more complete guide or more advanced info are here:

DVD2SVCD guide at Doom9.org

Also be sure you have read this. It is a great thread about the information the forum needs to help anyone with a problem.

Mandatory Read! Welcome / How to make a good post

How do I tell if my DVD player can play SVCD's?

Check the DVD player list at www.vcdhelp.com
and see the list we have compiled here at the end of the Guide.

What software other then the DVD2SVCD bundle do I need?

You have three choices of encoders, two of which are commercial and the last is shareware. CCE 2.50 and CCE 2.62 are the only two versions of CCE that are officially supported. You may also use TMPgenc 2.50 or above.

If you use CCE 2.62 you must check off safe mode on the encoder tab.
With CCE 2.5 you may use either method, but safe mode is much slower.

What hardware do I need?

You will need a computer with a DVD drive, a CDRW drive, 256mbís or more of RAM, a large hard drive (10+ GB's free is suggested) and a CPU that is at least a P3 or later for CCE. See the CCE page for more specific info.

Although DVD2SVCD will work with 128mbís, 256mbís or more is highly recommended and if you wish to use your computer at all while encoding at least 384mbís is recommended.

How do I get started?

After you have installed DVD2SVCD make sure the correct path is stated for CCE or TMPG on the encoder tab.

On the Misc tab this is where you will set the default directory or the directory structure to be used. It a good idea to get into the habbit of doing this first. Very Important: There is a bug in one of the programs used in DVD2SVCD that limits what you can have as a directory name. Do not use anything, but letters. No numbers or special characters. This will cause one of the programs to fail and you will need to start over again from the beginning.

You can also set the process priority for all the programs DVD2SVCD uses. This is more effective in the Winnt based OS's such as 2000 or XP. Setting the priority to idle usually will not effect the encode and tends to help when you use your computer for other light duty tasks such as surfing the net. Games and other CPU intensive programs are not recomended while you are encoding.

Here is also where you get to set the level of the way DVD2SVCD interfaces with you. Until you have a reasonable understanding of what is going on leave this at normal. The settings that are hidden are done so for your protection.

This is also where you set up what you will be using this program for. If you are using it to convert DVD's set it to DVD2SVCD. If you are using it to convert AVI's then set it to AVI2SVCD and if you are going to be converting PVA streams then select PVA2SVCD.
This FAQ deals mostly with DVD2SVCD.

On the ripping tab you have the ability to choose either not to enable ripping or you have two methods to rip. There is either the Internal method of ripping which will give you the ability to rip chapters or as an alternate choice Vstrip can be used, but you cannot rip chapters with this.
External rippers are not recomended and are known to ocassionally cause issues. If you have problems with a video you ripped with something other then the two supplied rippers always redo the video with the supplied rippers before asking for help in the forums.

If you have ripped the files to you hard drive using the rip only option in DVD2SVCD make sure to uncheck ripping before you start again from the hard drive.

On the conversion tab you will select the IFO off the DVD (Usually in Video_TS directory). Many times there is more then one. In this case the largest IFO is usually the correct one.

On DVDís with multiple aspect ratios there will be two very close in size. One will be for the 4:3 encode and the other for the 16:9 encode. The only sure way is to pick one, rip the DVD to the Hard Drive with the rip only option, test it with a Software DVD player like WinDVD or PowerDVD 4.0, if you got the correct one load that IFO off the Hard Drive into CCE and continue and if you got the wrong one erase those files and pick the other IFO.
Once the correct IFO is loaded you can now make your selections as to what you want to do with the DVD.

Now you need to decide how you want the video to be encoded. There are three choices. DVD2SVCD reads the IFO and tries to make a choice, but sometimes this choice is not correct or what you want.

If you use the setting anamorphic(No borders, encode as 16:9) your DVD player must support this tag for SVCD's. Signs your DVD player does not support them include having the video stretched into 4:3 mode or having violent shaking in the video even on a 16:9 TV. If this happens you should not use this setting. It seems that more players do not support the tag then do. Even the old standby Apex units do not appear to support this tag.

If this happens and you have a widescreen TV you should continue to use 4:3(No borders, encode as 4:3) for you encodes that are to be dedicated. Otherwise only choose this if the video is fullscreen 4:3. You should also use this setting if the video is "letterbox". Generally these are onlder pre-anamorphic videos where the black bars are actually part of the video.

If you use a more standard 4:3 TV use 16:9 (borders added, encode as 4:3) for your 16:9 anamorphic videos. This is the most commonly used setting today.

Alternately you can read the excellent explanation by Nick:

It all depends on what sort of TV you are going to be watching on.

Let us first take the example of a 4:3 TV with an anamorphic 16:9 DVD.

The DVD picture is 720 pixels wide and 576(PAL)(480 NTSC) deep. Something on the DVD tells your player it is in 16:9 format and when you set up your DVD player you will have told it in the setup menu that you have a 4:3 TV. Hence what your DVD player does is create a 4:3 output to send to the TV by squashing the image into the middle 432 lines and adds 72 lines of black top and bottom. These lines are not on the disc, they are added by your DVD player to create an output suitable for a 4:3 TV.

However, if you set up your DVD player telling it you have a widescreen TV it outputs the picture 16:9 exactly as it is on the disc.

Now let's move onto the conversion.

When we convert DVD to SVCD we have three options with the new build (Ignore the "Resize to " option in the Frameserver tab, we're talking conversion tab here).

Option 1: 16:9, borders added, encode as 4:3. This is exactly like the 16:9 tab in previous builds. What this does is make a disc which gives a 4:3 output by squashing the picture into the middle third and actually putting black bars on the disc, so the actual movie is contained in the middle 432 lines of the 576 available, the rest is black. When played on a 4:3 TV the result looks the same as when your DVD player added the bars when you played the original DVD. However, on a 16:9 widescreen TV the picture has to be stretched both horizontally and vertically to fill the screen. Pretty much every widescreen TV has picture zoom modes to do this but lots of stretching = poor picture quality.

Option 2: 4:3, no borders added, encode as 4:3. This is exactly like 4:3 in previous builds. This encodes a 4:3 disc with the full 576 line vertical resolution. Because the output from this disc in 4:3 the DVD player does not know to add black lines top and bottom to output to your 4:3 TV so the egghead effect ensues. Some TV's have picture modes to add black bars but the vast majority don't. However, played on a widescreen TV, you only have to stretch horizontally to fill the screen as it is already at full vertical resolution. Less stretching = better picture quality so if you will be watching on a widescreen TV this option is a winner.

Option 3: Anamorphic, no borders added, encoded as 16:9. This is the new option on 1.0.8b1. What this does is encode at full vertical resolution but put a marker on the disc just like the original DVD to tell your player that it is 16:9. Therefore if you set up your DVD player saying you have a widescreen TV, the DVD player outputs at full vertical resolution but if you set it for a 4:3 TV the player does the squashing up and adding of black bars. So you get the best of both worlds - perfect playback on either TV type.

The only problem is that it appears most standalone DVD players are incompatible with this new option and picture distortion results. Either which way, there is no need to resort to uninstalling this build and reinstalling an earlier version. If the 16:9 anamorphic option doesn't work for you simply don't use it! The other two options are exactly as per previous builds.
Ripping your choice of chapter(s).
On the conversion tab the length of the video will show. Click on this and as long as you have Internal Routines selected as your ripping choice on the ripping tab and have Activate DVD ripping checked off a window will popup allowing you to select and deselect individual chapters for ripping. This is a great way to do a test encode or if the last chapter is just the credits get rid of them.

On the bitrate tab you can adjust the size of CDR you plan to burn the images to. The default Values are 740 or 800. Use 740 for 74 minute CDR discs and 800 for 80 Minute CDR discs.
Why so large a size? I thought I could only burn 650 or 700mbís respectively.
Video does not have the overhead of file data and because of this you are able to burn much more on a CDR disc.

Also on the bitrate tab you can adjust the MIN, MAX AVG and AVG bitrates for the SVCD. Until you get the hang of creating SVCDís leave these values at default. You will have time enough to experiment later.
If you get an error that the bitrate is above 2756 this means that the set MAX of the video plus the set audio bitrate combined is beyond the SVCD spec of 2756 and may not play correctly in your player. If you know your player can handle this continue and in the future you can uncheck the warn when bitrate is above 2756 on the bottom of the bitrate tab. If you are unsure you should say no and reduce the MAX bitrate until the error goes away or you can reduce your audio bitrate. It is wise if your audio bitrate is 224 or below that you reduce the MAX bitrate for the video and not the audio as some players have problems when the video bitrate alone is too high.

On the DVD2AVI tab you have different options for how DVD2AVI will handle NTSC videos (does not apply to PAL). You have the options of letting DVD2AVI decide to use Forced Film or IVTC on itís own, Forcing DVD2AVI to use Forced Film, Forcing DVD2AVI to request IVTC or use none of these and leave the video rate as it is during the encode.
For most operations leaving this at the default of Automatic is the wisest choice.

What DVD2AVI does is to look at the video and decide whether this is film based or video based. If this is film based then DVD2AVI adjusts the video to 23.976 fps (Frames Per Second) by eliminating special tags in the Mpeg video. If DVD2AVI decides that this is a video based source then it passes the information to use IVTC onto DVD2SVCD and then a much more complicated and time consuming conversion takes place. It is usually best to convert the video to the lower frame rate, because then there are fewer frames using up precious bits and space. After the video in encoded a program called Pulldown adds those special flags back into the video stream recreating the illusion that the video is 29.976fps or NTSC TV standard. The nice thing is that these flags take up almost no space.

If you happen to notice that your encode speed is going slower then normal check the DVD2SVCD log and look for one of these two lines.
Forced Film Activated!
Force Film Not Activated IVTC will be performed instead!

If you see the second line then IVTC is being performed and this can slow you down by as much as 40% in CCE or TMPG.
Oh no Mr. Bill!

Last edited by markrb; 7th May 2002 at 03:29.
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