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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Creative Digital VCR - My Results with X-Files Season 8 and 9

(the Creative Digital VCR is a hardware mpg capture card in a pci slot, like a TiVo can pause and record shows to your hard drive, but Creative uses a non-standard mpg format that makes converting to other formats a real pain)...


After encoding Season 1-6 from dvd to divx-avi format, and seeing that seasons 8 and 9 (preordered Season 7) won't be out for a while, I have been capturing The X-Files on TNT nightly at 5 pm as follows:


Export to 1 giant mpg (1.5 gig) recorded in LP mode 480x480

Use DVD2AVI to create project (d2v) and extract audio (mpa)

Use BeSweet to convert mpa to mp3 112k 32khz

Use VFAPIConv-EN to convert d2v to pseudo avi

Load avi into NanDub (or you can use VirtualDub) and encode video with filters: Deinterlace (blend), Crop (Black Borders), Resize (576x432)

Merge avi and mp3 using NanDub

Use AviFRate to adjust video framerate to synch audio and video (ok at beginning, but off by end if 1 hour recording)

Use Nandub to remove commercials and save final file, approx 340mb.

Burn 2 episodes per cdr


So far very good results, but the audio synch is the real pain, all the rest are chores, but straightforward (at least for me)...but adjusting the video framerate is guesswork and tedious.


Anyone have a better solution for encoding the audio?

(and of course anyone have a quicker solution overall?)


I am not interested in making these into svcd or dvd, as I can play divx on my laptop anywhere, and can also output from laptop to tv with nice sharp picture. I put two episodes on one 700mb cdr and at 576x432 the quality is excellent, just way too much work!


Tricky


PS All software mentioned is freeware and can be found at http://www.doom9.net in the downloads section. Nandub encodes DivX 3.11 using SBC, but the reason I use it is you can tell it what size you want the final file size to be and it gives you that size, if I used VirtualDub and DivX 5.03 the file size varies greatly...
 

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My quicker overall solution involves 2 utilities available freely. First is Vidomi, the easiest to use general purpose re-encoder I have found. I capture all of my shows at the 'Best' quality setting in the DVCR software. This results in a 2gb per hour MPEG-2 file at 640x480 and 32KHz 384kpbs audo. I then import into Vidomi and setup my cut points using the internal scene editor to remove commercials. I encode using XVid 2 pass, and set the resultant file size to a max of 350MB. The resulting AVI is then played and tested for audio sync - if the sync is out I use AviFrameRate Changer to reset the frame rate until the audio is in sync. Very minor changes are usually necessary. The files can then be burned to CD, 2 episodes per disc for archiving.


Check Doom9, VCDHelper or Google to find the software mentioned. I find the above process is more than sufficient for archiving tv shows. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok downloaded and installed Vidomi, never tried it before, looks basic but has alot of options once you poke around...


Not thrilled that I have to use XVid, but I am thrilled that it takes the mpg without having to demux and psuedo-avi it, and audio at the same time too...and of course, figured out the frame editor so no commercials first pass also...encoding now, will let you know the results...and nice to hear someone else knows about AviFRate...


Thanks for the info!


Tricky
 

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Have you tried the setting in VirtualDub that says to change the frame rate so video and audio durations match? It's been a while since I had to convert one of these beastly files, but I seem to remember that worked unless the original capture had dropouts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Gotta admit (thanks Dale!) that Vidomi is a much easier solution for backing up these kooky mpg files that are created by the non-standard Creative Digital VCR. (Vidomi is in downloads section at http://www.doom9.net )


And I retract my XVid complaint as Vidomi allows you to encode in your codec of choice among DivX3, DivX 5, XVid...so using Vidomi I was able to encode "X-Files 8x19 - Alone.avi" as follows:


Export to 1 large mpg using Creative's File Exporter

Load mpg directly into Vidomi, no extra steps needed (see my first post)

Use the scene editor to mark the wanted tv show scenes (removing commercials

Encode video and audio in one pass (or can do two, but one looked fine)

Done!


If any audio synch issues arise (saw less loss of audio synch than with my first post using seperate video and audio encoding) use Nandub first as needed to synch beginning of file audio, then use AviFRate as needed to synch audio at end of file.


Of course the above is a non-detailed explanation, it does take a bit of trial and error to figure out all the Vidomi option settings, but once you get it working you can save your working settings profile to disk for reloading later. I could post a "How To..." guide at my web site if someone needs it (screenshots and the vidomi config file)...


Final result, in one pass, a high quality DivX 5.03 encoded tv show without commercials and approx the requested file size (actually came out to 320mb instead of 340mb, so next encode will request 360 mb and see how that works, probably if I had used 2 pass would have been closer in size, also X-Files episodes typically have alot of dark night scenes which take less mb to encode).


Final Tip for those who want to try Vidomi, record in SP mode (640x480) as it was difficult for me to stretch my 480x480 LP mode to 576x432 in Vidomi (could not get width to stretch at all and had to use the DivX 5.03 codec settings to stretch and crop).


Tricky
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by tricky
Gotta admit (thanks Dale!) that Vidomi is a much easier solution for backing up these kooky mpg files that are created by the non-standard Creative Digital VCR.
You're welcome... I know Vidomi was the solution I was looking for.

Quote:
Final Tip for those who want to try Vidomi, record in SP mode (640x480) as it was difficult for me to stretch my 480x480 LP mode to 576x432 in Vidomi (could not get width to stretch at all and had to use the DivX 5.03 codec settings to stretch and crop).
I've always recorded everything at the best resolution possible. I've also noted that there is a new 3rd party recording app that appears to work with the Creative DVCR - it's called SageRecorder and appears to support directly capturing to DVD/SVCD compliant MPEG2 streams (possibly requiring a beta driver created by another DVCR user).


More info can be found on SageRecorder by searching this forum and at the Sage forums on the Frey Technologies site. At least it looks like we have a few options for a card that I originally thought was going to be a write-off.


Regardless, happy re-encoding! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Will look into the Sage...and I just thought it odd I couldn't resize larger in Vidomi, only smaller...but tonight's episode of X-Files I captured at 640x480 and reencoded to a 576x432 330mb avi file and it looks just fabulous :)


Tricky
 

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Vidomi is a godsend. Thanks for the tip.


One thing this leaves me wanting to do is to re-encode the movies with proportional stretching to 16:9. Is anyone doing this? I would love to view my television shows in 16:9 proportional stretch but not rely on having a player that will perform the stretch, as I do not have a media player that does that work (I can do this through DScaler for live TV).


Am I smoking something here, or would this be possible with vidomi or maybe inserting another step or two in the encoding process? Or maybe mussing with zoom player to get DScaler's linear correction filters in the game on 4:3 playback?


matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
EDITED BY MODERATOR


No file sharing discussion allowed. Please abide by the forum rules. If this continues, the thread will be removed. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
please DO remove this thread, tired of these lame comments that have nothing to do with video encoding...
 

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If the discussion stays about encoding only, then the thread has value especially to Video Blaster users. Sorry if you find the comments not to your liking, but the fact remains that discussion of file sharing is not allowed on this forum. You are a new member so you get the benefit of the doubt. I will remove the comments not related to encoding.


Also, please do not post that link to the CD-R sharing web site. Also against forum rules. Thanks!
 
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