Video Codecs, Formats and Conversions

DavidTODavidTO Mod EmeritusThousand Oaks, CAPosts: 19,160Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
edited May 5, 2012 in Video
Ask questions, and hopefully shed some light on them here!

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Moderator Emeritus
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  • DJ-S1DJ-S1 Life is good! Posts: 2,303Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 27, 2008
    Ok, I'll bite. Other threads seemed to recommend Handbrake to compress/convert files. It's free, so the price is right! But I can't get it to work with the avi or wmv files that Windows Movie Maker publishes, so I've been stuck.

    Any thoughts on a Windows software solution (preferably freeware)?
  • phototristanphototristan SmugMug Support Hero Posts: 405Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 27, 2008
    DJ-S1 wrote:
    Ok, I'll bite. Other threads seemed to recommend Handbrake to compress/convert files. It's free, so the price is right! But I can't get it to work with the avi or wmv files that Windows Movie Maker publishes, so I've been stuck.

    Any thoughts on a Windows software solution (preferably freeware)?

    Hi,

    Check out MPEG Streamclip:

    http://www.squared5.com/

    There's a PC and Mac version, it works well in my experience and hey, it's free! :)

    Just open your file with it, choose export (I use export as a Quicktime movie), choose h.264. Audio should be AAC 128kps Stereo.
    Tristan
    Suport Hero
    Smugmug
    http://help.smugmug.com/
  • DJ-S1DJ-S1 Life is good! Posts: 2,303Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 27, 2008
    Thanks Tristan, I'll give it a go - thumb.gif
  • jzieglerjziegler Major grins Posts: 420Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 28, 2008
    Wow, timely new formu and topic for me.

    I need to record a couple of quick video clips this weekend and get them on a DVD. My wife is a voice teacher, and one of her students needs an audition DVD. I have arraned to borrow an HD camcorder (Panasonic that records in AVCHD) and need to burn a standard DVD that will play on a regular player. Any tips? I have the software that came with the camcorder avialable, as well as iMovie.

    Thanks in advance.
  • kc_tinmankc_tinman Beginner grinner Posts: 9Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited February 28, 2008
    jziegler wrote:
    Wow, timely new formu and topic for me.

    I need to record a couple of quick video clips this weekend and get them on a DVD. My wife is a voice teacher, and one of her students needs an audition DVD. I have arraned to borrow an HD camcorder (Panasonic that records in AVCHD) and need to burn a standard DVD that will play on a regular player. Any tips? I have the software that came with the camcorder avialable, as well as iMovie.

    Thanks in advance.
    I have sony hd cam and can burn hd to a regular disc that will play on a blu ray but BREAK A REGULAR DVD PLAYER. . This is according to my manuals as I have not atemped it myself.
  • kc_tinmankc_tinman Beginner grinner Posts: 9Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited February 28, 2008
    I am searching every alternative for HD editing and converting for uploading to web (here & elswhere) and it is rough out hererolleyes1.gif. I have sony hd cam sr5 (i think) and bought Vegas Plat software (not easy to use yet.. but ill get it I hope) to edit & output hd stuff. I have tried Handbrake software & works smooth but the quicktime video (mpg4) is JERKY... and i tried changing some settings to no avail . Should I get quicktime pro to convert... am trying the squared four tonight that ws mentioned and see what happens 1st. oh yeah... my hd files (AVCHD) have to be converted to mpg2 before inputing them in handbrake.... doesn't that hurt the quality before I even get to the h.264 encoding? Thanks
    BTW Vuze,com has hd content that looks great... u can upload hd there. Torrent based
  • jzieglerjziegler Major grins Posts: 420Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 28, 2008
    kc_tinman wrote:
    I have sony hd cam and can burn hd to a regular disc that will play on a blu ray but BREAK A REGULAR DVD PLAYER. . This is according to my manuals as I have not atemped it myself.

    I have the manual for the camcorder I'm borrowing. I didn't have a chance to look at it earlier. They have a similar warning about the AVCHD files (may not be able to eject disc they say). But, I read a little more, and I'm in luck. They have a function in their software to create a standard DVD-video disc. Although the MPEG2 export may be slow. Looks like it should be good enough for what I need now.

    Thanks for the warning.
  • DI-JoeDI-Joe Sgt Grins Posts: 368Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 29, 2008
    Nice timing on the forum.

    I'm a bit of a video guru myself, specifically with codec/conversions and directshow filters.

    I do a lot of device compatability, so if you're wondering if x-type codec plays on x-type device, go ahead and ask me. :)

    I work with everything from cellphone video to 4K(if you have a year to render)
    Modus Imagery
    Moving away from photography and into cinema. PM me if you have questions about DSLR workflow or production questions.
    Film Reel: http://vimeo.com/19955876
  • DavidTODavidTO Mod Emeritus Thousand Oaks, CAPosts: 19,160Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited February 29, 2008
    DI-Joe wrote:
    Nice timing on the forum.

    I'm a bit of a video guru myself, specifically with codec/conversions and directshow filters.

    I do a lot of device compatability, so if you're wondering if x-type codec plays on x-type device, go ahead and ask me. :)

    I work with everything from cellphone video to 4K(if you have a year to render)


    Fantastic! Glad to know we've got you as a resource! clap.gif
    Moderator Emeritus
    Dgrin FAQ | Me | Workshops
  • brentbrent brentlee Posts: 8Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited March 4, 2008
    Freeware
    DJ-S1 wrote:
    Ok, I'll bite. Other threads seemed to recommend Handbrake to compress/convert files. It's free, so the price is right! But I can't get it to work with the avi or wmv files that Windows Movie Maker publishes, so I've been stuck.

    Any thoughts on a Windows software solution (preferably freeware)?

    Check Out this site for some good freeware
    http://www.dvdvideosoft.com/products/dvd/Free-Video-Dub.htm
  • FuronoFurono Japan Grinner Posts: 119Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 4, 2008
    DI-Joe wrote:
    I work with everything from cellphone video to 4K(if you have a year to render)

    DI-Joe:
    I'm in Japan and most of our cells use .3gp and a newer variant of .3gp. Do you know of a good free conversion tool to get it in a format for Smugmug?

    Thanks

    Steve
    Steve Nelson
    Tour Leader - DPRK
    Uri Tours
    SmugMug - photos.japanphotos.jp
  • DI-JoeDI-Joe Sgt Grins Posts: 368Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 4, 2008
    Furono wrote:
    DI-Joe:
    I'm in Japan and most of our cells use .3gp and a newer variant of .3gp. Do you know of a good free conversion tool to get it in a format for Smugmug?

    Thanks

    Steve

    Actually, your best bet is going to be Quicktime Pro. it plays and transcodes 3gp into h.264(for smugmug) seamlessly even on variable framerate files. It's the best solution, so bone up for the Pro version of quicktime! :)
    Modus Imagery
    Moving away from photography and into cinema. PM me if you have questions about DSLR workflow or production questions.
    Film Reel: http://vimeo.com/19955876
  • FuronoFurono Japan Grinner Posts: 119Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 4, 2008
    Thanks a bunch DI-Joe. Just what I wanted to know.

    Steve
    Steve Nelson
    Tour Leader - DPRK
    Uri Tours
    SmugMug - photos.japanphotos.jp
  • StevenVStevenV Wake Up & Smell the Music Posts: 1,174Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 4, 2008
    if you're on a Mac, check out ffmpegX http://homepage.mac.com/major4/
    it's a little old I think, but does wonders for me.
  • FuronoFurono Japan Grinner Posts: 119Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 5, 2008
    StevenV - My only Mac, a notebook, died for good last week. ne_nau.gif

    I tried a few free converters, none worked that well on Smugmug. Broke down and got Quicktime Pro for Windows which worked wonders for .3gp (thanks to DI-Joe).

    Thanks for the tip.

    Steve
    Steve Nelson
    Tour Leader - DPRK
    Uri Tours
    SmugMug - photos.japanphotos.jp
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 20,492Super Moderators moderator
    edited March 5, 2008
    For Windows machines, be sure to try "Super" freeware.

    http://www.erightsoft.com/SUPER.html
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • DJ-S1DJ-S1 Life is good! Posts: 2,303Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 5, 2008
    Super did the trick, thanks Ziggy! One of the more unusual download procedures, though- yikes.

    I made a few trial clips as h.264. They look as good as the input files (which aren't that great to begin with) and they are at least half the file size.

    My only problem now is the speed I can stream them from Smug. On Auto size, it takes up to 5 minutes to be fully available. At web size it take less time, but I still can't just let it run without having it stop part way through because it can't download it fast enough.

    Am I the only one having this problem? It really is preventing me from jumping into videos fully. I need my family to be able to click on a movie and view it right away just like the photos or they get frustrated and give up.
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 20,492Super Moderators moderator
    edited March 5, 2008
    DJ-S1 wrote:
    Super did the trick, thanks Ziggy! One of the more unusual download procedures, though- yikes.

    I made a few trial clips as h.264. They look as good as the input files (which aren't that great to begin with) and they are at least half the file size.

    My only problem now is the speed I can stream them from Smug. On Auto size, it takes up to 5 minutes to be fully available. At web size it take less time, but I still can't just let it run without having it stop part way through because it can't download it fast enough.

    Am I the only one having this problem? It really is preventing me from jumping into videos fully. I need my family to be able to click on a movie and view it right away just like the photos or they get frustrated and give up.

    In order to achieve the level of quality that SmugMug is committed to, and using the codec they chose to use, you would have to resort to some rather extreme measures to resample the video prior to conversion.

    YouTube uses both downsampling and a different type of codec that allows faster streaming, but at a major loss in quality. You might consider using YouTube to provide a "teaser" video, and then directing family and friends to SmugMug for better quality.

    Otherwise, shorten the video to shorten the download time.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • StevenVStevenV Wake Up & Smell the Music Posts: 1,174Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 13, 2008
    Thanks Ziggy - I'm going to check out Super this weekend for my college-boy son; they're doing videos for their classes and young-adult worship as well. Does it take care of burning to DVD as well, or just create the VIDEO_TS etc. folders/files?
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 20,492Super Moderators moderator
    edited March 13, 2008
    StevenV wrote:
    Thanks Ziggy - I'm going to check out Super this weekend for my college-boy son; they're doing videos for their classes and young-adult worship as well. Does it take care of burning to DVD as well, or just create the VIDEO_TS etc. folders/files?

    "Super" is a video player and transcoder. In order to create a DVD, you need:

    1) Software "burner", which often includes its own transcoder engine.
    2) Hardware "burner". (It's surprising how many people think DVD-Rom drives can burn DVDs.)
    3) Compatible blank media. It might be DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW or DVD+RW. It must be compatible with both the burner drive and with the target player for presentation.

    Typically you would also use a video editor to do basic trimming and corrections prior to burning.

    If your computer came with a DVD burner drive, it probably also has burning software installed. I recommend you use that software if possible.

    Other decent software comes from Roxio and Nero.

    Assuming your burning software can input your video files, it will probably also convert the file format into what it uses for the DVD compilation. In that case, you don't need to run the file through Super first.

    If the video files are not compatible with the burner software, then you might have to process the files through Super to get a compatible file format with the burner software.

    You probably figured it can get fairly involved and way beyond the scope of this thread, so please look here for additional information:

    http://www.bealecorner.com/trv900/DVD/authoring.html

    Just an FYI, I typically record in DV, transfer into the computer using either Canopus or generic IEEE-488 "firewire", edit with Canopus, Premiere or Vegas Video, and then burn with the drive and software that came with the machine, in this case "muvee autoproducer" (yuck) or "MyDVD" (double-yuck). I also record back to DV and then transfer DV into a stand-alone DVD recorder, which works pretty well.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • StevenVStevenV Wake Up & Smell the Music Posts: 1,174Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 13, 2008
    good summary; I'm familiar with most of it (I do this often on my Mac (using a combination of FinalCut, ffMpegx, DVD Studio Pro & Toast)), I was hoping need some pointers for my son who's using Windows.
    ziggy53 wrote:
    If your computer came with a DVD burner drive, it probably also has burning software installed. I recommend you use that software if possible.
    There's the problem; his drive's been wiped and rebuilt so many times that he no longer has the software that came from the original vendor. Being a cash-poor college student he's hoping not to have to pay for Roxio (that'd been my first impulse as well).

    thanks
  • Kenny304Kenny304 Beginner grinner Posts: 5Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited March 15, 2008
    ImgBurn works well for me and it's free.

    http://www.imgburn.com/

    ImgBurn is a lightweight CD / DVD / HD DVD / Blu-ray burning application.
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 20,492Super Moderators moderator
    edited March 15, 2008
    Kenny304 wrote:
    ImgBurn works well for me and it's free.

    http://www.imgburn.com/

    ImgBurn is a lightweight CD / DVD / HD DVD / Blu-ray burning application.

    Thanks Kenny and welcome to the Digital Grin. clap.gif
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 20,492Super Moderators moderator
    edited March 15, 2008
    StevenV wrote:
    good summary; I'm familiar with most of it (I do this often on my Mac (using a combination of FinalCut, ffMpegx, DVD Studio Pro & Toast)), I was hoping need some pointers for my son who's using Windows. There's the problem; his drive's been wiped and rebuilt so many times that he no longer has the software that came from the original vendor. Being a cash-poor college student he's hoping not to have to pay for Roxio (that'd been my first impulse as well).

    thanks

    If your son is using an older OS, try not to load more than one DVD burner software at a time. Starting with XP it does not seem to be as much a problem.

    It may take some serious time to get the software and hardware installed for serious video production so if your son can get to a video lab on campus that is the primary recommendation. If he is shooting DV have him do simple editing between two camcorders to cut out most of the junk first.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • StevenVStevenV Wake Up & Smell the Music Posts: 1,174Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 15, 2008
    Kenny304 wrote:
    ImgBurn works well for me and it's free.
    Very nice, thanks. Now I just need to find a good tool to transcode wmv files (from Windows Movie Maker (bletch! but it's what he's got.)).
  • Kenny304Kenny304 Beginner grinner Posts: 5Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited March 15, 2008
    ziggy53 wrote:
    Thanks Kenny and welcome to the Digital Grin. clap.gif

    You're welcome.

    Glad to be here, been lurking in the shadows for a week or so, thought it was time to come out and say Hi.
  • Kenny304Kenny304 Beginner grinner Posts: 5Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited March 15, 2008
    StevenV wrote:
    Very nice, thanks. Now I just need to find a good tool to transcode wmv files (from Windows Movie Maker (bletch! but it's what he's got.)).

    You're welcome, hope it's as usefull for your son as it has been for me.

    Umm... what are you wanting to do with the .wmv files?
  • StevenVStevenV Wake Up & Smell the Music Posts: 1,174Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 15, 2008
    Kenny304 wrote:
    Umm... what are you wanting to do with the .wmv files?
    get 'em onto a DVD that can play in a consumer player. I found DVD Flick http://www.dvdflick.net/ which is a little rough around the edges perhaps (or perhaps I just need to actually read the documentation) did the trick.
  • DavidTODavidTO Mod Emeritus Thousand Oaks, CAPosts: 19,160Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited April 19, 2008
    I'm an offline editor. I'm working in FCP everyday, but it's DV offline, all the time. Occasionally I might have a 16:9 project, but mostly it's 4:3. So, obviously, all these codecs and conversions have me completely confused.

    I did a small favor for a friend, cutting some talking head footage that was shot in widescreen HD. He wants a little bitty square video to play in flash on his web page. But whatever I output did not work for the web guys. I could NOT get a square output with the anamorphic settings right. He was either stretched or squished.

    Anybody have an easy way for me to take the HD footage, just crop off the sides and have it end up being a nice, square flash file?

    The site is here, you can see where the video is to go in the "coming soon" spot.
    Moderator Emeritus
    Dgrin FAQ | Me | Workshops
  • StevenVStevenV Wake Up & Smell the Music Posts: 1,174Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 20, 2008
    ffmpegx will do that, I think. http://ffmpegX.com

    ff.jpg

    I haven't tried it though, so I can't tell if that "autosize" is a crop or stretch/squash.
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