best format for archiving video

nomad7

Member
I record tv shows etc with several tv tuner cards. The format they record to is mpeg2. I am curious what anyone could recommend as an archive format. Meaning, I want to convert/compress the videos some and have them occupy less space so I can remove the original video.

Right now most video files recorded are between 500mb and 1500mb (1.5gb).

I have been experimenting with different conversions one being autoGK which is giving pretty good results, Im able to get the videos down to 250-350mb and still look decent (22min tv shows). Im having autoGK rip using the XviD codec. From what I can tell its pretty widely supported and even plays in a few of my dvd players.

The other format Ive been experimenting with is h.264 & ac3 using winff to convert the files. It saves them as an .mp4 file. (Im using winff v.43 which has present for ipod h.264). Ive been able to get my shows down to about 250mb or so and they look good too.

So as you can see I am having difficulty in deciding a format to use. Any recommendations? If h.264 is the way to go then what program is good to convert it? What container should it be?
 

Dan203

Senior Developer
Staff member
If you're a registered TVSuite uner you should contact Pat about joining our beta. We have a new version in the works that allows you to save directly to H.264 from within VideoReDo. A TS file with H.264 video and AC3 audio would be a good archive format.

Dan
 

mrgclark

New member
So as you can see I am having difficulty in deciding a format to use. Any recommendations? If h.264 is the way to go then what program is good to convert it? What container should it be?[/QUOTE]

I use AutoGK to convert movies to Xvid avis to store in my video library (once I have removed adverts etc with Videoredo). I find it gives about the best quality - a good rule of thumb is about 7mb per minute when you set the file size.

I will, however be interested to see what the new Videoredo can do. AutoGK takes a while because it does two passes to get that quality. Pat/Dan, could I get in on the beta to do some comparisons on this? I am a registered TVSuite user.
 
H.264 in containers MKV, MP4, TS is the way to go. But *only* if file size is the most important aspect for you (ie. webcasts, portable devices etc.). Otherwise it doesn't make much sense to recompress digital material from one lossy format to another and unavoidably reduce content quality (of often already poor one) during the process.

Waste of time and energy if you ask me, considering today's HDD capacities and $ per MB.

Future, H.264 enabled VRD TVS has good prospects of being a nice and handy tool for downsizing your recordings though. That's for sure :)
 
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SD mpeg2, I wouldn't bother. Make DVDs if you want an archive. A DVD has more error correction than a data disk and can be recovered easily from any potential corruption. (I have 8 years worth with no errors) HD will be another story. H.264 will probably be a reasonable option, but not until the stand-alone BluRay recorders appear.

Converting shows as you go can be done on a PC but mass conversion of a collection needs a real-time hardware method. (which does not yet exist)
 

nomad7

Member
So Wintermute77 what program/method could you recommend for converting to mp4/h.264 ?

mrgclark at your calculation that is approx 154mb an episode, from my testing I need at least 250mb of not 350mb in xvid to not be able to tell much difference from the original.

Also, just for the sake of it, in my testing auto gk is nice because it automatically removes the black box around the video, kind of an auto cropping. From my tests a 350mb xvid (22min tv show) looks about as good as a 250mb h.264, but the h.264 doesn't have the borders removed. Does/Can VRD remove that?
 
nomad7: VRDTS would be my first choice as soon as the H.264 enabled version is available. Can't give recommendation regarding MP4 output quality as I haven't done comparison tests let say against popular x264/MeGui, but it looks decent in general with optional 2pass encoding mode and functions like deinterlace/resize/crop/bitratecontrol and on top of it scales nice with multi CPU-cores.

AS Dan203 pointed out the best you can do now is ask for alpha program acces to get a version at your hands and see what it will be capable of, how it works with your files etc.
 

rgpfx

New member
Just joining up and trying out Videoredo for the first time. I am recording using a Hauppauge 2250 card which seems to use .TS format. I want to archive my shows on DVD in the best quality, and I do not know which output format I should choose when I save out the file.

I used to use a Panasonic DVR/DVD which could fit 3 42 minute shows in 2 hour speed on a 4.7 GB DVD. Is that possible here, or maybe even better since that unit was built 8 years ago?
 

Dan203

Senior Developer
Staff member
You can do the same. Just open your file, make your edits, and click Add To DVD. Repeat for each additional show and when you're ready click Create DVD. You can add up to 12 files per disc, but the more you add the worse the quality is going to get. Three 42 minute shows would result in a bitrate of about 4.9Mbps which should be fine. You might even be able to fit a 4th, but you'd have to try it and see if you think the quality is acceptable or not.
 

rgpfx

New member
Thank you so much, Dan.

You did not say what the best format to use as output is.


BTW, does your DVD menu creator do thumbnails?
 

Dan203

Senior Developer
Staff member
Just you don't need to save to a specific format, just save it to DVD and it will be converted automatically.

Our menu creator does not currently do thumbnails. Only text menus
 
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