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Old 31st August 2005, 06:15   #1  |  Link
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 609
Impressions of Shrinkto5

I downloaded and tested this new software, (availible at: http://www.shrinkto5.com/) not expecting much since 1-click DVD backup software is becoming more and more mainstream. Here's what I wound up with.

Movie tested: Star Wars Episode 1, Region 1, Disk 1, Full disk copy.

Decrypted with DVDFab Decrypter.

Installation was fast and easy, since the download is a self-contained installer. Uninstalling left no harsh effects on my test system. The test system is a self-built unit meant for video processing, including the following:

AMD Anthlon 64 on an MSI Socket 939 motherboard which is running 2GB of Micron memory (PC3200) in a dual-channel mode. All programs are in a 32-bit environment (due to lack of support for drivers and programs with Windows 64).

The CPU ran at 94-100% all through the 25 minute, 59 second event. The output size was left at default in the program (4.37GB), but the resulting files clocked in at 4.21GB -- bringing back memories of InstantCopy 7. The average encoding speed was 144 FPS, and completed without any input on my part. The interface itself is clean and easy to understand, requiring only four clicks to complete a full-disk project.

The quality is mixed, however. Granted, there's a lot of reduction necessary to whittle the original 7.78GB file to 4.37 -- and any transcoder currently availible is going to show the strain from that. So to that end, I can forgive the degree of pixelation I saw in the final product since even very good software like DVD Shrink or Nero Recode would show roughly the same thing (to be fair about it, I ran a full-disk comparison with Nero Recode). The issue I ran into that made me frown the most was the handling of Multi-angle material -- which this disk has. There was a high degree of stuttering within these scenes, with flickering images of alternate languages here and there. Since this was absent in both the original rip and the Recode project, I can only conclude that Shrinkto5 has issues with this sort of material.

While quality is certainly subjective, I found the Recode files much more pleasing to the eye, while not necessarilly being as sharp. Much, MUCH, less pixelation with Recode.

Not that I mean to discourage the developers, should they read this post. On the contrary: I'd like to see how this software ends up with a little more development and testing. I love it when a free software rivals high-priced "professional" tools! Reversely, however, I conclude that Shrinkto5 is not yet a threat to other transcoders like DVD Shrink or Nero Recode. It certainly won't be embraced by users of high-end encoders like CCE (nor does it have the many functions availible in DVD Rebuilder... which, incidentally, appears to handle Multi-angle sources just fine).

This is just me testing one (count 'em: ONE) movie. The price is right, so feel free to test it yourself. Curriousity's good for you.
Isn't it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do "practice?"
--George Carlin
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