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Old 19th March 2002, 19:53   #1  |  Link
rob77979
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VHS Tape to SVCD - GEForce3 ti 200 VIVO

I have just installed an MSI GEFORCE3 ti 200 64M DDR with VIVO. My setup is: AthlonXP 1700, 256MB DDR, 40 GB 7200RPM HD.

I am using it to make a SVCD from an OLD VHS tape of my children, and I am having a few problems. The reason I am trying to get to SVCD is that I don't have a DVD writer, and I want to make the highest quality disc I can which will play in grandma's set top dvd player.

First, the card came with WinCoder (capture) and WinProducer (editing) software. In capture mode, the resolution options are: 720X480, 640X480, 352X? (note: no 480X480, which is the SVCD standard). So I captured the VHS tape to an MPEG2, 720X480 (bitrate is like 7000, I think). This MPEG plays about as clean as could be expected, as clean as the original.

The problem is, WinCoder and WinProducer have no options to capture or transcode the MPEG to the SVCD standard. I have to use WinProducer to "save as" an AVI, then use DVD2SVCD to create my svcd image from the AVI. Each of these operations takes about 2.5 hours on my computer for this 30 minute video. I tried using Nero to transcode the MPEG2 into svcd, but the results were pretty crappy.

Anyone got any better ideas how I can get this rig to make SVCD's from VHS tapes? I am not familiar enough with the intimate details of this business to do this with the various tools out there (like the component programs in "DVD2SVCD") - unless I could find some step-by-step instructions ;-)

Thanks
Rob
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Old 19th March 2002, 22:19   #2  |  Link
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My recommandation is to capture an AVI at full resolution with MJPEG or Huffyuv. Then transcode the AVI with for instance TMPGEnc to SVCD...

It should be rather easy (altough I never made a full SVCD, only clips).

Cheers,

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Old 19th March 2002, 23:18   #3  |  Link
rob77979
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Thanks, this sounds great!

But I'm sorta confused...

Does this mean use virtualdub and the Huffyuv or MJPEG codec (is this "MJPEG" you reference here a codec?) to directly capture an avi? If so, what res, bitrate, etc. should I set for this capture for best quality?

Clueless Alert: What is the difference between an AVI file and the MPEG2 720X480 file that I am capturing now? This MPEG2 file is actually the cleanest looking file (see first post in this thread), and it currently takes me 2.5 hours to turn the MPEG2 into an AVI using WinProducer (can't do it in WinCoder).

If I get to AVI, I'm already set up to go from AVI to SVCD in DVD2SVCD, using CCE 2.5 SP. Do you like this as well as TMPGenc?

Would your method give me better quality or shorter process?
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Old 19th March 2002, 23:56   #4  |  Link
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I believe it would be much easier if you capture with Huffyuv. This produces a HUGE lossless compression in AVI, then simply convert to SVCD.

Why may I ask do you go from MPEG2 > AVI > SVCD (MPEG2) ?

Edit : Ahh, due to software limitations.

It is a good idea to capture using Huffyuv @ 720x480res.
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Last edited by kopelen; 19th March 2002 at 23:59.
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Old 20th March 2002, 01:00   #5  |  Link
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Yep, VirtualDub...

Capture at full PAL (or full NTSC).

MJPEG, yes, I meant a MJPEG codec. Better, Huffyuv if you have the space.

As I said, capture a AVI (huffyuv, best) at full resolution then transcode it SVCD with your favorite software. As you bought CCE, you can use it of course. I don't use it, as I don't own it.

-clean file etc.

If you capture with Huffyuv at full resolution you'll get the best quality possible (lossless!). If you capture to MPEG2 you get lossy compression...

In short:

Capture AVI -> Transcode to SVCD -> Authoring -> Burn, baby :-) .

Check the FAQ.

Cheers,

Ookie.

Quote:
Originally posted by rob77979
Thanks, this sounds great!

But I'm sorta confused...

Does this mean use virtualdub and the Huffyuv or MJPEG codec (is this "MJPEG" you reference here a codec?) to directly capture an avi? If so, what res, bitrate, etc. should I set for this capture for best quality?

Clueless Alert: What is the difference between an AVI file and the MPEG2 720X480 file that I am capturing now? This MPEG2 file is actually the cleanest looking file (see first post in this thread), and it currently takes me 2.5 hours to turn the MPEG2 into an AVI using WinProducer (can't do it in WinCoder).

If I get to AVI, I'm already set up to go from AVI to SVCD in DVD2SVCD, using CCE 2.5 SP. Do you like this as well as TMPGenc?

Would your method give me better quality or shorter process?
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Old 21st March 2002, 04:31   #6  |  Link
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I have the xact same card though I have a 1.3 Athlon with 320MB SDRAM and a 5400 HD, and I can capture perfecly with Wincoder in Mpeg2 but In virtualdub using any codec at resolutions past 320x240 I drop a huge amount of frames per second, though I can capture at full Mpeg2 resolution in Wincoder, I've tried the WDM Wrapper and all it does is overwrite a file I already have but still produces the same result, anyone got any ideas, I use the Nvidia 1.08 drivers and I'm running WIn XP Pro.
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Old 21st March 2002, 05:54   #7  |  Link
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@rob:
If your MPEG2 file is really good (7000 kbps should be enough) you could follow the DVD to SVCD guides by Doom9. What you have is almost the same as a DVD (the only difference being that your file has a .mpg/.m2p or similar extension instead of .vob), so the steps are identical.
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Old 21st March 2002, 06:24   #8  |  Link
rob77979
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Well, now I am trying VirtualDub (1.4.9), and the program gives me:

"Error 418: Capture device was not detected"

Click on OK, Then

"VirtualDub cannot connect to the desired capture driver. Trying all available drivers"

Click on OK, Then

"PANIC: VirtualDub cannot conncect to any capture drivers!"

Again -

MSI GEForce ti 200 64DDR VIVO
Win98 SE
AthlonXP 1700 on FIC AD11 256 MB DDR

Tried both the latest nVidia WDM drivers, and the WDM drivers that came with the card. Same result. Can capture in WinCoder (only MPEG1 or MPEG2) using either driver set.

Anyone seen this before?

Also - Mikele:

Thanks for your help. I've been using DVD2SVCD for transcoding the AVI file to SVCD format and .bin/.cue image. It's great to be able to start the thing off and walk away from it... Also, WinProducer will let me add titles to the video by editiing the .avi file.

Would DVD2SVCD allow the input of the mpeg2 file?
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Old 22nd March 2002, 15:17   #9  |  Link
Darksoul71
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@rob77979:
Ive got nearly the same setup:
Athlon XP1700+
MSI GeForce 3 Ti200 VTR (?)
256 MB SDRAM
40 Gig HD for capturing

Im running WinXP instead of Win98SE, which Ive used before.

Known Problems under Win98SE:
1) Virtual Dub refuses to work with the NVidia WDM capture drivers
2) Virtual VCR doesnt work with the WDM capture driver
3) Wincoder doesnt split the MPEG files if they reach the size youve set.
So you run into problems esp. when capturing long movies at high bitrates.

For me this was the main reason to switch to XP as OS.

Your options:
1) Staying with Win98SE:
Then I would capture your files with Wincoder in 720x480 (if possible) or 352x576 in MPEG2 at a high bitrate (at least 6-8 MBit). After this you can use AVISynth and the MPEG2DEC.DLL in order to resize, denoise, etc. and encode in TMPEGEnc to SVCD. Youll find guides on this in the SVCD section of doom9. Its the same as for encoding from a VOB file as source

2) Switching to XP/Win2k:
Here you can easily capture in 480x480 using Virtual VCR (can be found at http://www.digtv.ws/) with Huffyuv or MJPEG (for example from www.mainconcept.com) as codec. Afterwards your AVI material can easily converted to SVCD using TMPEGEnc. Biggest advantage: You dont have to care about filesizes. So you can easily also capturing MPEG2 at 12-14 MBit (which looks as good as Huffyuv/MJPEG).
Note: Virtual Dub works with the WDM drivers under WinXP but I get tons of dropped frames. This seems to be a problem of VfW based programs.

To all HiQ freaks out there:

Yes, Huffyuv as raw material is best for recompression but I honestly dont see a difference from the last few movies Ive encoded in Nandub using MPEG2 (captured with Wincoder in PAL Half D1/352x576 with 8 MBit) source material and those I encoded with Huffyuv as material.
MPEG2 looks somewhat smoother but you can easily use High bicubic to get rid of this.
Of course, for refiltering, denoising, etc. MPEG2 looks a bit worse but I can live with this. To me it makes more sense to loose (very little) quality when I can easily store 2-3 movies on my HD for batch encoding.

Just my two cents..

-D$
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Old 22nd March 2002, 15:50   #10  |  Link
rob77979
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DarkSoul71:

Thanks for the info!

I would like to hear more about "Batch Processing". One of my reasons to use the methods that I currently use is to limit the interaction between me and the process. So, I use DVD2SVCD because it accomplishes several of the final steps to a .bin/.cue image while I doing other things (like at night while I am sleeping).

What I would really like to see is "MPEG2SVCD" - similar to DVD2SVCD, which refuses to accept MPEG2 files on the front end.

So, do you write batch files which allow for this convenience? If so, could you share?

BTW, our setups might be more similar than you think - Mine, in more detail:

FIC AD11 MB AthlonXP 1700
256MB DDR SDRAM
40 GB 7200 RPM HD
MSI GEFORCE3 ti 200 w/VIVO
Adaptec 4300 PCI Firewire card (haven't used this yet, don't really know why I bought it)

I haven't considered changing to Win2000 or WinXP because my 17 year old son uses this rig as a gaming platform and I am not sure he wouldn't lose some of his favorites (because they might not be compatible with the newer OS's).

Thanks Again for the info

Rob
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Old 22nd March 2002, 18:04   #11  |  Link
theReal
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I'd say if you think the captured mpeg that you already have is good enough, you can open it in tmpeg and encode it to SVCD format.

Or, to quote Mikele: "(...) you could follow the DVD to SVCD guides by Doom9. What you have is almost the same as a DVD (...)"

I'd try this first before you throw everything overboard, install new os'es, programs and stuff, only to find out in the end that it wasn't really worth it

Of course capturing to lossless hufyuv avi is better in theory than capturing to mpeg2 - but in some cases, capturing directly to mpeg2 looks almost the same as capturing to hufyuv and then applying filters. What I'm trying to say is: sometimes I prefer an easy method that gives me 95% quality rather than an overly complicated method that gives me 101% quality.
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Old 22nd March 2002, 20:08   #12  |  Link
rob77979
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Thanks Again! (This time to TheReal)

I would prefer to be able to do the MPEG2 -> SVCD thing. However, I would like it to look like one step, even if it really isn't (ala DVD2SVCD). In the case you suggest, I would start TMPEG, hand it the file, and end up with a burnable image (like .bin/.cue files). I think I would have to use the VCDImager on the file obtained from Tmpeg. Is that correct?

Do you guys have a way to do this all in one step, i.e. with a batch file or something (in Windows)?
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Old 22nd March 2002, 21:33   #13  |  Link
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I think you will get an mpeg file from Tmpeg, not a burnable image. But this mpeg file will be in the right format, so you can easily import it in Nero (without re-encoding it, so it won't take long).

I can't help you further because I've only burned less than a handful of vcd's and I have never burned an SVCD. I can only say that you probably won't find a solution with less steps than these.
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Old 23rd March 2002, 11:26   #14  |  Link
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Just a quick note to those continuing lossy vs. lossless capture discussion...

It depends and quality is relative!

'Nuff said . Hihi...

Seriously, I did everything from direct Divx ;-) capturing to Huffyuv etc. and everything has it's own purpose. If you just want to watch the captured stuff one time, then you'll surely not go for Huffyuv. If you want to make heavy filtering from a BAD source (and that is not digital TV etc.!), then Huffyuv or MJPEG at 19 or so is the better choice...

I will have to add something like this in the FAQ. It really depends and I think (like always) that the users should some things try for themselves and not listen to blokes like me.

Cheers,

Ookie.
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Old 23rd March 2002, 18:05   #15  |  Link
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You could try a non standard SVCD

Hello!

In the first post you say that you can capture to mpeg2 at resolutions which are not SVCD-compatible. But you could test a capture in the resolution 352x480 (if NTSC) or 352x576 (if PAL) at SVCD-bitrate, for instance 2.3 Mbit/s.

You may need to demultiplex the mpg file with TMPGEnc (go to MPEG Tools under the file menu) to separate audio and video and then multiplex it to a mpg again using either MPEG Tools in TMPGEnc or the multiplexer in bbmpeg. The bbmpeg multiplexer works best for me. Be sure to use SVCD-settings when multiplexing. In TMPGEnc MPEG Tools under the multiplex tab set Type: MPEG-2 Super Video CD (VBR). In bbmpeg: start encoding and in settings, Program Stream settings tab - set program stream type to SVCD. This will make the mpg-file as SVCD-compatible as possible, only the resolution is wrong.

This could be a faster way to do it if the highest possible quality is not nessesary.

Then you can burn it as an SVCD in Nero (just switch off compliancy). Many standalone players can play this non-standard format. The demultiplexing and multiplexing is much faster than reencoding the video.
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Old 2nd April 2002, 22:48   #16  |  Link
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@rob77979:
Sorry for my late reply. Ive been very busy over the last few weeks.
When I talk about batch processing Im refering to VirtualDubs/Nandubs Joblist.
I encode to DivX4.12/SBC only as VCD/SVCD doesnt satisfy my needs.
VCD is to blurry compared to "HiRes" DivX. SVCD needs a pretty high bitrate
to look good with non progressive source material and I hate more than 1 CD
for normal 100 min movies.

You could use AVISynth and the MPEG2Dec dll for resizing and feeding a
batch able MPEG Encoder. AFAIK CCE and TMPEG both support encoding
lists.

On WinXP: I dunno what games plays but XP runs the most games fine.
Only very old DOS based games will not work. Ive also tried older games
like GLQuake and Legacy. They all worked without problems.

@Oki:
Im not starting a lossy vs. lossless diskussion here. Ive tried a lot of
capture adapters (Asus V6600 Deluxe, Hauppauge WinTV, Zoran based hardware MJPEG card, etc) and Ive tried nearly all ways of capturing and encoding.

So take my words:
I really have a crappy tuner signal (analogue cable connected to a VHS VCR and fed into my MSI via Composite) and I dont see ANY difference between the stuff Ive captured using (PAL Half D1=352x576/12 MBit MPEG2) and the source.

With a good source (DVB or Satellite) via S-VHS connector I would bet that noone can tell the difference from a DVD rip and a DivX encoded from this material but this are just my 2 cents.

@ronnylov:
Software MPEG2 codecs will look like crap at 2.3 MBit. At least 4.5 MBit are needed to stay artefact free in fast moving scenes. Only a MPEG2 hardware solution such as the Dazzle DVCII is able to provide "good" quality at 2.3 MBit in realtime.

-D$
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Old 3rd April 2002, 10:29   #17  |  Link
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Hehehe...

I always thought we are talking about full PAL... And I can cleary see the difference between full PAL and your resolution...

BTW, the thread topic is VHS tape -> SVCD. And that is a different story. I mean, when I capture from my SVHS tuner + Asus 3800 + some filters I can get DVD quality (mostly lost due to low bitrates or some alpha codecs ).

And I think you are probably right, if you use such a low bitrate plus MPEG2 compression, there is probably no difference. Do you use the 2:1 vertical reduction (Kika hint at Ultimateboard)?

Cheers,

Mijo.

Quote:
Originally posted by Darksoul71
@Oki:
So take my words:
I really have a crappy tuner signal (analogue cable connected to a VHS VCR and fed into my MSI via Composite) and I dont see ANY difference between the stuff Ive captured using (PAL Half D1=352x576/12 MBit MPEG2) and the source.

With a good source (DVB or Satellite) via S-VHS connector I would bet that noone can tell the difference from a DVD rip and a DivX encoded from this material but this are just my 2 cents.

-D$ [/B]
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