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Old 30th April 2012, 18:11   #1  |  Link
avz10
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What is good AVI to MPEG2 software?

I am converting my VHS tapes to DVD via my Canon Legria HV40 camcorder. I have now quite a few gigabytes of AVI files. I am using WinDV for the capturing in DV. In the past I have used TMPEnc for conversion.

What is good current AVI to MPEG 2 converting software (free or not too expensive?)

I see in the sticky the following encoders are mentioned: Cinemacraft Encoder (CCE), TMPGEnc, Canopus Procoder, MainConcept MPEG Encoder, etc. Are they still good and which one is recommended?

Thanks!

Last edited by Guest; 30th April 2012 at 18:57. Reason: rule 12: don't ask what's best
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Old 30th April 2012, 19:22   #2  |  Link
smok3
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hcenc. http://hank315.nl/
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Old 30th April 2012, 22:46   #3  |  Link
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hcenc
But you need a little knowledge in avisynth.
Just basic load file with a script.
Example:
AviSource("test.avi")
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Old 1st May 2012, 03:01   #4  |  Link
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The best is mainconcept reference V2 (cost ~$300) otherwise hcenc (free) is very good, both accept avs scripts.
Forget canopus procoder/ Tmpgenc they work in rgb (you lose quality / color accuracy) i'm not sure about cinema craft( i've read excellent review though) but not free...

Last edited by Mounir; 1st May 2012 at 03:05.
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Old 1st May 2012, 11:24   #5  |  Link
avz10
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So it seems it will be hcenc. I have downloaded AviSynth. My biggest struggle now is the script.

If I have it correct, I should write the following on a text document:

AviSource("test.avi")

Do I leave this text doc then open, open hcenc and browse and load the avi file that I want to convert.

Is this correct? (Sorry about this, but I am a total newbie to this)
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Old 1st May 2012, 12:59   #6  |  Link
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Look at this:
http://avisynth.org/mediawiki/First_script

and this:
http://avisynth.org/mediawiki/Script_examples

and finally this:
http://avisynth.org/mediawiki/Main_Page

to get started.
Remember HCEnc does not do any audio processing.
You have to do this beforehand or later
amd mux the video and audio streams to get a valid mpeg2 stream.
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Old 1st May 2012, 15:21   #7  |  Link
avz10
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Thanks for the info Taurus.

My question is it seems quite labour intensive, seeing that I have about 30 or more 3h VHS cassettes. And I will need to split all the audio and video streams.

I searched the internet and one of the top 10 sites recommend as their no 1 to be AVS Video Converter, I think it is about 33USD. Or is the quality inferior??
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Old 1st May 2012, 15:22   #8  |  Link
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I will in any case give it a try tonight.
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Old 1st May 2012, 16:15   #9  |  Link
Mounir
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I would suggest the following.
Given that you have many tapes (hours) to digitize focus on the videos quality (highest bitrate possible (+6000k, ideally 9000k) and compress more the sound (dolby digital) instead of uncompressed pcm

If you want a tool that will do it all (convert in mpeg2/dolby digital, make nice (pro-like menus), burn to disc buy tmpgenc authoring works4 (tested and approved).

If you want to clean your recordings use avisynth
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Old 1st May 2012, 17:35   #10  |  Link
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Yeah, Mounir is right.
If you dont want the hazzle with Avisynth (I like it),
stick to a video suite.
Tmpgenc authoring works 4 is ok.
I used the tmpgenc mpeg2 encoder many years before I switched to HCEnc.
But this is a long story.....
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Old 1st May 2012, 17:44   #11  |  Link
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possible hcenc workflow:

a.
write a small avisynth for each file or part of file

Code:
AVISource("somevideo.avi")
# possible filters here or none
converttoyv12()
save as somevideo.avs

b. open somevideo.avs in say virtualdub and save audio as pcm
b2. compress audio if you need to

c. open somevideo.avs in hcenc, encode
(assuming encoding goes something like 5x realtime, you will have pretty much everything encoded in about 6 hours)

d. drop mpeg and pcm into authoring app of your choice.

e. construct & burn dvd

p.s. its also possible to make a silly bat for all this, part of the stuff (this was patched to totalcommander button):
Code:
echo.
echo ...............make avs............... 

start /WAIT HCavsmaker %1

echo.
echo ...............HC encoding............... 


:: hc ini file is hardcoded, change that for different encoding modes

"t:\utility\HC022\HCenc_022.exe" -i "%~n1_HC.avs" -o "%~n1.m2v" -ini "%2"


echo.
echo ...............vdub extract audio to pcm............... 

echo VirtualDub.Open(VirtualDub.params[0]); > "%~n1_HC.avs.script"
echo VirtualDub.SaveWAV(VirtualDub.params[1]); >> "%~n1_HC.avs.script"
@vdub /i "%~n1_HC.avs.script" "%~n1_HC.avs" "%~n1_vdub.wav"



echo.
echo ...............deleting tmp files............... 
@Echo on


del "%~n1_HC.avs.script"

del "%~n1_HC.avs"
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Last edited by smok3; 1st May 2012 at 17:58.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 13:51   #12  |  Link
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Or perhaps try ffmpeg - not sure about MPEG-2 quality but some people claims that it is comparable to HCEnc.
With ffmpeg whole conversion can be done as one - audio+video+muxing
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Old 2nd May 2012, 23:05   #13  |  Link
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Well, thanks for all the comments.

I have started with the easiest approach, taking the comments into consideration. Having captured with WinDV, I am now using avstodvd, which has HCEnc included, but I set the output to MPEG and not DVD. This seems to work well.

I am amazed by the quality of my tapes, quite a number when playing back, starts OK and then quite soon starts with increasing noise and then for a while is returning to normal. As this is happening to quite a few of my tapes- now+-20 years old or less, this is a wake-up call for everyone!

What I have done in the past, was to make individual tapes for the children, cutting out parts that were not applicable to them. I should not have done so and want to "cut and paste" to make one chronological file. BUT, have I not done so, I would have lost so much as some tapes are now basically useless.

So my next question is- does anyone know of a programme that has two storylines, so that I can cut from one line and paste into the other, in other words line one will be the better line, and I can add cuts from line two into into line one, basically by dragging that part over? I hope this is clear- two input lines to create one export line.

As I will not really do editing, but more cutting and pasting, I want to do this in MPEG due to the AVI space constraints.

Just a last point- the colours and blacks looks a bit washed out- I have in the past used some Virtualdub filters . Would this still be an option in MPEG?

I hope I made myself clear enough!

Thanks
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Old 3rd May 2012, 10:07   #14  |  Link
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any nle should do for multiple tracks (this is basic stuff), irc sony vegas has a very decent mpeg2 support + filters to fix levels and stuff.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 10:26   #15  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avz10 View Post
I am amazed by the quality of my tapes, quite a number when playing back, starts OK and then quite soon starts with increasing noise and then for a while is returning to normal. As this is happening to quite a few of my tapes- now+-20 years old or less, this is a wake-up call for everyone!
Digital does not develop noise . Are you referring to pixelation or mosaic?

Then you have to clean the heads of your camcorder.
dirty heads
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Old 3rd May 2012, 12:21   #16  |  Link
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+ the usual approach is/was to fastforward and then rewind the entire tape before playback.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 21:58   #17  |  Link
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avz10 is using the HDV camcorder only in pass-through mode via Firewire to digitize the video signal coming from the VHS deck, there cannot be any mosaic (well, exept if there's something seriously wrong).
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Old 3rd May 2012, 22:48   #18  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pandy View Post
Or perhaps try ffmpeg - not sure about MPEG-2 quality but some people claims that it is comparable to HCEnc.
With ffmpeg whole conversion can be done as one - audio+video+muxing
what people? can you share some nice command lines? thanks.
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Old 4th May 2012, 15:37   #19  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avz10 View Post
What I have done in the past, was to make individual tapes for the children, cutting out parts that were not applicable to them. I should not have done so and want to "cut and paste" to make one chronological file. BUT, have I not done so, I would have lost so much as some tapes are now basically useless.
Where the originals are still playable (if you have them), they should provide better quality than any copies.

Quote:
So my next question is- does anyone know of a programme that has two storylines, so that I can cut from one line and paste into the other, in other words line one will be the better line, and I can add cuts from line two into into line one, basically by dragging that part over? I hope this is clear- two input lines to create one export line.
Any NLE, and like smoke3, I'd try Vegas (the cheapest edition - that was Vegas HD last time I looked - fine for what you want). I'd also work with the AVIs, not the MPEGs. Fast Render the file "good" edit back to DV-AVI, and then encode MPEG from that. Archive that good AVI too.

Quote:
As I will not really do editing, but more cutting and pasting, I want to do this in MPEG due to the AVI space constraints.
That's fine too, but DV-AVI is only 3x as large as decent quality MPEG, and slightly preferable even for cut-and-paste editing. Vastly preferable if you find yourself tweaking levels in Vegas.

Just a last point- the colours and blacks looks a bit washed out- I have in the past used some Virtualdub filters . Would this still be an option in MPEG?[/QUOTE]Always check the results on a TV, not the PC.

But if it's still not quite right, you can use the AVIsynth histogram command to check the levels range, and the AVIsynth levels commands to change the levels. When you've chosen the correct parameters to bring the levels in range, include the levels command in the script you're using to create the MPEG files.

Cheers,
David.
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Old 4th May 2012, 16:27   #20  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avz10 View Post
Just a last point- the colours and blacks looks a bit washed out- I have in the past used some Virtualdub filters . Would this still be an option in MPEG?

I hope I made myself clear enough!

Thanks
Upload a sample so we can help you, thanks
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