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Divx Best Practices?


batchannel

Question

I'm learning about this DivX format, trying to figure out if I should be archiving my shows with it (coming from my Tivo and Eye TV).

 

I'm not thrilled with the default Home Theater Profile, but I'm not sure what the next best step is. (Lots of pixelation and such). Selecting Extreme Quality under the Codec selection actually seems to make things worse.

 

Is there a Divx setting that will give me DVD quality while still reducing file size somewhat? I thought MPEG4 was supposed to be equally good quality with a smaller file size. Am I wrong about that?

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First, thanks for the note on MPEG Streamclip.

 

Second, I just installed Toast 7 and have been watching it convert a 30 minute program to a divx file for the last few hours.

 

It seems like it's taking a really long time, compared to Divx's own converter on a WinXP box.

 

I'm using the default settings on a 1 gig eMac with 394 megs of ram, running Tiger.

 

Haven't tried ffmpeg yet.

 

Thoughts on conversion time?

 

Scott Atkinson

 

Toast Divx conversion is slow, especially on an eMac. ffmpegX's DivX (ffmpeg) preset will be much faster.

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ffmpegX can convert to many different formats and you have more control over the settings. I suggested it as an alternative. However, Toast is a great product and if it works for you, then by all means, keep using it.

 

Re: the video you capture via Tivo or Eye TV. What is the resolution, bitrates, and file format of the captured files?

 

I just bought the Eye TV, and am waiting for my upgrade code to 2.0 to try it out, so I don't know if that's even an option. I'll report back once I have learned the app.

 

Tivo records at Medium quality, which I've read on a message board is 352x480, 2600 kbps, but I have no way to confirm this.

 

I did try converting a Tivo file with ffmpeg to an AVI Divx default setting (bit rate: 1137). Not sure how to then burn it to a DivX disc in Toast... Toast seems to want to reencode it. Any thoughts on this?

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You should find this tutorial helpful.

 

Try to keep the data rate above 1000 kbit/s. 1500 kbit/s will get you close to DVD quality. You'll want to use a custom profile in DivX.

 

However, I suggest you try ffmpegX (it's free). Get it here. And there is a helpful forum for any questions you might have.

 

 

Thanks for the references! They look very helpful!

 

Just curious...why ffmegX over Toast for converting? Is it quality or control? Something else?

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I just bought the Eye TV, and am waiting for my upgrade code to 2.0 to try it out, so I don't know if that's even an option. I'll report back once I have learned the app.

 

Tivo records at Medium quality, which I've read on a message board is 352x480, 2600 kbps, but I have no way to confirm this.

 

I did try converting a Tivo file with ffmpeg to an AVI Divx default setting (bit rate: 1137). Not sure how to then burn it to a DivX disc in Toast... Toast seems to want to reencode it. Any thoughts on this?

 

To determine the resolution and bitrate of your Eye TV file, just open it in MPEG Streamclip and "Show Stream Info" on the file.

 

352x480 is half DVD (Half-D1) resolution, which is fairly decent. At 2600 kbps, your Eye TV file is similar in quality to a very good CVD or average SVCD.

 

If you want to burn a divx file to Toast just for storage purposes, then select the "Data" tab in Toast and click "Mac & PC." Then just drag the AVI file into the Toast window or select it in Toast's media browser.

 

Were you happy with the quality of the AVI that ffmpegX created?

 

 

Found this at the Eye TV website:

 

EyeTV can’t export using DivX 6

 

Only EyeTV 2.0 currently supports exporting using DivX 6.

 

For older EyeTV versions, we suggest exporting from EyeTV using a format like MPEG-4 or DV, and then using another program to export to DivX, such as QuickTime Pro, or other software that DivX provides

 

If you have a DVD burner, I would just send the EyeTV files straight to the DVD option in Toast.

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Thanks for the references! They look very helpful!

 

Just curious...why ffmegX over Toast for converting? Is it quality or control? Something else?

 

ffmpegX can convert to many different formats and you have more control over the settings. I suggested it as an alternative. However, Toast is a great product and if it works for you, then by all means, keep using it.

 

Re: the video you capture via Tivo or Eye TV. What is the resolution, bitrates, and file format of the captured files?

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To determine the resolution and bitrate of your Eye TV file, just open it in MPEG Streamclip and "Show Stream Info" on the file.

 

352x480 is half DVD (Half-D1) resolution, which is fairly decent. At 2600 kbps, your Eye TV file is similar in quality to a very good CVD or average SVCD.

 

If you want to burn a divx file to Toast just for storage purposes, then select the "Data" tab in Toast and click "Mac & PC." Then just drag the AVI file into the Toast window or select it in Toast's media browser.

 

Were you happy with the quality of the AVI that ffmpegX created?

Found this at the Eye TV website:

If you have a DVD burner, I would just send the EyeTV files straight to the DVD option in Toast.

 

First, thanks for the note on MPEG Streamclip.

 

Second, I just installed Toast 7 and have been watching it convert a 30 minute program to a divx file for the last few hours.

 

It seems like it's taking a really long time, compared to Divx's own converter on a WinXP box.

 

I'm using the default settings on a 1 gig eMac with 394 megs of ram, running Tiger.

 

Haven't tried ffmpeg yet.

 

Thoughts on conversion time?

 

Scott Atkinson

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