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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the process of converting my Hi8 video tapes to wmv files. I first transferred them to the HD using firewire and a digital camcorder resulting in a 13 Gb file for 1 hour of tape. I then started WME and set it up do a 2 pass VBR conversion at 720 x 480 resolution.


The encoder says it has 19 hours to go before it completes. I have a 2.4 Ghz machine and 512 G of RAM.


Am i doing something wrong. Should it take this long to convert 1 hours worth of DV-AVI to WMV. Is there anything i can do to speed it up.
 

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I ran into the same issues trying to convert some mpg's that I had into wmv so I could edit them in Windows Movie Maker (I wanted to pull some intro stuff off of a show to use in a home movie). WME is very slow to reencode. There was another thread on here about a guy who had set up 4 or 5 encoding boxes to reencode his HD content that he was pulling, and he had similar stories to tell.


There's apparently a way to do it as one-pass, but I'm not familiar with it.


On a sad note, I'll tell you that I let WME finish its two pass process on one of my 30 minute mpg overnight. In the morning, it finished, reported no errors, and yet the wmv that it produced was only the first 7 seconds of the mpg. Quite sad.
 

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I successfully encoded 20 minutes of tape in about 6 hours. I think its quite reaosnable to do something like that overnight. Actually, the starting file was about 10M directly via firewire from a Sony digital camcorder. Plus I didn't do anything except make a quality selection so I was quite impressed. I have a 2.4G Pentium and 512M also. I don't remember how long it said it was goign to take. Just how much it took.
 

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Holy cow...13G? For a file size that big, 19 hours for conversion is reasonable.
 

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I do like the quality, filesize, and encoding options available with WMV9. The thing that keeps me with XviD-encoded MPEG-4 files, though, is the fact that WMV9 is so proprietary that future support of the format may eventually become an issue, whereas the MPEG-4 encoding/decoding specs are so open that it'll never be an issue.


Is anyone else concerned with using WMV9 for long-term video file archiving, or do you think there'll never be a format support issue with them? Just curious what the opinions on the format are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by tortie
Holy cow...13G? For a file size that big, 19 hours for conversion is reasonable.
That the size of the output produced from converting 1 hour of Hi8 material to DV-AVI.


Considering that i've got about 20 hours of video material i want to archive to the HD i've got a long way to go. Does anyone have any suggestions for faster encoders. How about any MPEG4 encoders.
 

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Quote:
How about any MPEG4 encoders.
I always use XviD. It's an open-source and free implementation of the MPEG-4 codec that produces outstanding image quality and is regularly updated. Once installed it can be used from within any third-party editing or encoding software that accesses AVI codecs.


Other people are very happy with the DivX implementation of MPEG-4 encoding, which is closed-source but offers a more new-user-friendly interface to all its encoding options. Some encoding options are only available on a pay version of the software, but a free one is available.
 

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I had the same problem. Tried ULead, Movie Maker, Roxio, & half dozen other programs. Then converted to MPEG.


A couple days ago I bought the Sony DVD Recorder that comes with Sonic's MyDVD. MyDVD can record straight from Camcorder to MPEG. 1 Hour HI8 real time encoded to 3.5G MPEG on my P4 2.4. Quality is much better than Roxio / ULead. Margially better than the MS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have MyDVD. I'll try it out. However i've found that WME results in 1G files for 1 hour Hi8.


When i tried the real time feature of WME it resulted in very jumpy video and lots of lost frames.
 

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there are a few things that you can to speed up wme. first, go into tools > options > performance and move the 'when encoding a file' slider one notch from the left. this will improve the encoding speed 5x (!) over the default, but will result in files about 10% larger.


also, on the encoding settings, the only real reason to do 2 pass vbr is if you need to constrain the bitrate or try to make the file a certain size. if you are not limited to size, then click on edit on the compression tab. in the video dropdown, choose 'quality vbr', click 'quality based' in the target bitrates box and click edit. click the 'same size as input' box and change the quality setting to 90. this will automatically half the 2 pass time, and the encoder will allocate bits at it deems necessary.


also change the audio to quality vbr and probably use a 75 or 50 setting - that should be sufficient for camcorder quality audio.


you might also want to click the 'deinterlace' option on the processing tab. for video based sources, this helps to reduce the file size and increase quality.


so you should hopefully see about a 10x improvement in speed, making the encoding runs in about 2 hours.


good luck,

kevin
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I tried running wme with your suggestions. The results are better but nowhere as much as suggested. A file that used to take 19hours to encode and resulted in a 1Gb size now takes about 6~7 hours and results in a 3Gb file. Performance and file size seem to be inversely proportional.
 

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As for Windows Media Video 9's proprietary nature, you could do what I do: encode to an AVI file. At least the AVI file format is open. You can always get the video out if you have the WMV9 codec.
 

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regarding the file size, the vbr mode targets a given quality, regardless of the bitrate required for it. it you have 3 gigs for a hour of video, you must have a lot of video noise in the picture. i have encoded many 2 hour dvds (same resolution) at 93 quality plus keeping the 5.1 dd audio which came out in the 1.5-2 gig range. however, noise is very expensive to encode. there are a number of ways to get the noise out, but they involve using avs scripts and filters, which is a bit more complicated.


when you did the 2 pass, what bitrate did you define? how was the resulting video quality? if you are happy with it, then maybe the encoding time is worth it. if there is a lot of blocking and other artifacts, you might want to spend some time looking at avs. some info on that can be found here


for a quick fix on the size, try setting the quality at 87 or 83. this will reduce the file size as well.


k
 

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Thanks, Summit, for the speed tips. I'll be giving those a shot tonight.
 
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