Author Topic: Best format for home videos  (Read 11908 times)

March 07, 2010, 12:47:39 PM
Read 11908 times

Chuck

  • Jr. Member

  • Offline
  • **

  • 82
Hi. I'm getting ready to buy a WD Live HD for the main purpose of setting up a media server for my home movies. What I'm trying to figure out is what would be the best format to make them in? I have 2 things I will need to convert:

1. DVD's I've already made (standard DVD format)
2. HD video created in Vegas Pro

I would like to keep full resolution 1080 for my movies from Vegas Pro. I did a sample WMV file in full 1080 DD5.1 and it looked fantastic on my Xbox media server, but I'm not sure if this file would be supported or not on the WD. So, if not WMV then what would be the best format? Or, if WMV works on the WD should I stay with that?

My DVDs I made I will have to pull the video from those directly, since I no longer have the raw files to re-render them from Vegas. Any tips on that?

Thanks for any input to those that have been down this road!

March 07, 2010, 09:56:03 PM
Reply #1

jayallan

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1175
    • Jay Allan Photo
Chuck,  your answers are all over this site already, and they are lengthy and specific to individual needs.  I suggest you study up here! 

I will give you this:   MKV for all your HD Material.  5000 to 7000 bit rate is a good place to start.  Xvid AVIs for all you SD material. 

Dont use WMV for anything going forward.   

WDTV LIVE with current official FW > HDMI > DVDO > Sony CRT Projector 150" 16/9 screen.  Toslink audio to Yamaha DTS receiver. No Network set up yet.

March 08, 2010, 05:01:20 AM
Reply #2

Chuck

  • Jr. Member

  • Offline
  • **

  • 82
Thanks. I did search around, but most everything I was finding was concerning converting DVD's or BR, not home movies.

March 08, 2010, 11:05:16 AM
Reply #3

jayallan

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1175
    • Jay Allan Photo
Chuck, 

All the same info applies.   If you have HD go with x264 MKVs.   If time is not an issue for you go with MKVs for your standard def as well.   Keep in mind that about two hours of footage encoded to MKV will take about 8 hours to process on a quad core.  The x264 codec is by far the most advanced and efficient, but also the most complex, so it takes a lot longer to process each frame. 

Hope this helps!
WDTV LIVE with current official FW > HDMI > DVDO > Sony CRT Projector 150" 16/9 screen.  Toslink audio to Yamaha DTS receiver. No Network set up yet.

March 08, 2010, 11:17:44 AM
Reply #4

Chuck

  • Jr. Member

  • Offline
  • **

  • 82
Thanks for this information. It's good to know there is a large support group for the WD device for future reference!!

Time is not too big of an issue, most of my videos are in small segments (broken down by event) so the longest any one is probably 30-40 minutes, and I usually throw my stuff on to process at night so the computer is not busy (leaving optimum processing power for jobs). My computer is pretty robust so I don't see a problem with processing power (Q9400 2.66 Core 2 Quad).

One quick question, if I put everything in x264 MKVs format, how easy is it to take any of those files and convert it to another format, in case I want to move any of these videos to web or elseware? I'm looking for a definative format to store my final product in so I can get rid of all the source files (they eat up a lot of space!).

March 08, 2010, 09:59:29 PM
Reply #5

AyDee

  • Sr. Member

  • Offline
  • ****

  • 251
One quick question, if I put everything in x264 MKVs format, how easy is it to take any of those files and convert it to another format, in case I want to move any of these videos to web or elseware? I'm looking for a definative format to store my final product in so I can get rid of all the source files (they eat up a lot of space!).
For clarity's sake, h.264 is the codec and x.264 is an open-source encoder that encodes to h.264 - here's a little more one the intricacies of those 2 names:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1027256

For your SD home vids with just stereo audio, you can convert to h.264 in an MP4 container with 2ch aac audio. You will get the same quality as h.264 mkv but MP4 is more widely supported (Youtube,Apple TV,Xbox 360,PS3,iPhone,etc.)

I agree with converting the 1080p content to h.264 MKV but I would use a bitrate of at least 8000kb/s  (or same as source). The optimal audio codec for these would be AC3 at a bitrate of 320kb/s at lowest- 640 does quite nice.(5.1 aac is not supported by WDTV)
Be sure to research ref frames on this site and others to keep the video WDTV-compatible.

Most MKVs can be uploaded to Youtube nowadays, but to convert them to MP4 for further compatibility, they would only need to be demuxed,  convert the audio to 2ch aac, and mux to MP4 with with Yamb or any other MP4box GUI. Video is not re-encoded so no further quality loss there. Programs like gotsent and xenonmkv will even do all of that for you.

Good Luck!

March 10, 2010, 04:00:10 AM
Reply #6

Chuck

  • Jr. Member

  • Offline
  • **

  • 82
Thanks, that's all very helpful!

I use Sony Vegas to edit all of my videos. Are their any Vegas users out there that know the best output to render the edited video? In otherwords, without any major detail, the best steps to go from Vegas to the end result? I'm pretty sure Vegas doens't render h.264, so I'm sure there will be an intermediate step.

March 10, 2010, 09:49:49 PM
Reply #7

Whoheart

  • Hero Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 756
I would like to keep full resolution 1080 for my movies from Vegas Pro. I did a sample WMV file in full 1080 DD5.1 and it looked fantastic on my Xbox media server, but I'm not sure if this file would be supported or not on the WD. So, if not WMV then what would be the best format? Or, if WMV works on the WD should I stay with that?

I don't know what format Vegas Pro has made for you, but perhaps the WDTV can play it. It can play WMV9 ie, the newest version, not the older versions.

My DVDs I made I will have to pull the video from those directly, since I no longer have the raw files to re-render them from Vegas. Any tips on that?

Pull is indeed correct, you can pull the video straight out from your DVD's and put them in MKV containers without the need for any recoding at all.
That means it shouldn't take that long, depending on the method chosen - and you won't lose any quality.

If there is just ONE video on a DVD you can store the entire DVD in an ISO file and just play that (currently it is not possible to use the menus from a DVD - the Live simply choses the biggest file and plays that. We don't know if they will ever add the ability to display DVD menus - odds are: Probably not)

If you think there is something wrong with your WD device contact them and then act upon that: Either wait or move on - don't whine here - this is not WD's board. If you have a problem, start a thread and ask - perhaps someone knows the answer.

March 11, 2010, 08:33:38 PM
Reply #8

AyDee

  • Sr. Member

  • Offline
  • ****

  • 251
I don't know what format Vegas Pro has made for you, but perhaps the WDTV can play it. It can play WMV9 ie, the newest version, not the older versions.
But if he's trying to retain 5.1 audio, I'm pretty sure 5.1ch WMA is not supported...

If Vegas could output to VC-1 video, you could encode the audio to 5.1 AC3 and put both in an MKV... But these would be less compatible across different platforms/devices/whatever

March 12, 2010, 12:47:59 PM
Reply #9

Chuck

  • Jr. Member

  • Offline
  • **

  • 82
OK, I picked up the WD Live today and am psyched to get started on this!

My first project will be how to get my HD material from Sony Vegas to MKV. So far I produced a blu ray ISO file. Now I need to know the best encoder and the settings to use.

My head is spinning a little bit trying to figure this all out, and I've done countless searches with mixed results! Thanks again for everyone's input!

March 12, 2010, 01:43:22 PM
Reply #10

jayallan

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1175
    • Jay Allan Photo

My first project will be how to get my HD material from Sony Vegas to MKV. So far I produced a blu ray ISO file. Now I need to know the best encoder and the settings to use.


Follow this and you should be good...

http://wdtvforum.com/main/index.php?topic=37.0

:)
WDTV LIVE with current official FW > HDMI > DVDO > Sony CRT Projector 150" 16/9 screen.  Toslink audio to Yamaha DTS receiver. No Network set up yet.

March 12, 2010, 02:25:53 PM
Reply #11

Chuck

  • Jr. Member

  • Offline
  • **

  • 82
Thanks, that has gotten me pushed in the right direction! However, I wonder if the steps have changed with an updated version of meGUI? I can't seem to follow this part:

Quote
Now you need to set the video encoding profile.  In the Encoder Settings pull down box find an x264 setting that suits your needs.  I recommend x264 Standalone BluRay.    You can configure your own based on what you want for quality vs file size.

General guidelines for encoding bitrates:
For typical XviD/DivX AVI's I would suggest you start with 600-700 kbps for bitrate
For DVD Rips I would suggest you start with 800-1000 kbps for bitrate
For Blue-Ray/HD-DVD/HD @ 720p I would suggest you start with 2000 - 3000 kbps
For Blue-Ray/HD-DVD/HD @ 1080i I would suggest you start with 3000 - 4000 kbps
For Blue-Ray/HD-DVD/HD @ 1080p I would suggest you start with 4000 - 5000 kbps


The encoder dropdown only gives me "x264 *scratchpad* as an option. Also, what file format do I use? MKV or MP4? If choose the x264 and then go to 'configure' then there is no clear way to adjust the bitrate. I get a value (the default is 23) but what is that in terms of bitrate?


Sorry for getting so confused, I usually figure these things out pretty easily  :-[

March 13, 2010, 01:04:07 PM
Reply #12

Chuck

  • Jr. Member

  • Offline
  • **

  • 82
OK, I think I am getting close. The only stumbling block I'm running into is with meGUI.

I render my file with the 'For Blu Ray' template, which has it as 8000kbps.

My final output plays ever so slightly choppy. I don't think it is rendering correctly.

My source file is a .m2t file output from Vegas (this plays beautifully in WD Live, so I know the source file is good to go).

Also, I cannot get the AR to work properly. It is putting black bars on the left and right when viewing in WD Live. I followed the tutorials as close as I could. Just not getting the desired output.

Sigh!

March 13, 2010, 01:15:04 PM
Reply #13

jayallan

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1175
    • Jay Allan Photo
What is the final frame size of your output?  Is it 1980x ... ?  Is your TV 1080p or 720P?   How many reference frames are you using?  What are your audio settings?

Post a mediainfo report on one of the files that is not playing right. 
WDTV LIVE with current official FW > HDMI > DVDO > Sony CRT Projector 150" 16/9 screen.  Toslink audio to Yamaha DTS receiver. No Network set up yet.

March 13, 2010, 01:39:04 PM
Reply #14

Chuck

  • Jr. Member

  • Offline
  • **

  • 82
Media info about the source raw m2T file that I'm rendering from:

Quote
General
ID                               : FF
Complete name                    : F:\Media Sharing\New track 1.m2t
Format                           : MPEG-TS
File size                        : 1.60 GiB
Duration                         : 8mn 45s
Start time                       : UTC 165-25-45 45:85:85
Overall bit rate                 : 26.2 Mbps
Maximum Overall bit rate         : 33.0 Mbps
Encoded date                     : UTC 165-25-45 45:85:85

Video
ID                               : 2064 (0x810)
Menu ID                          : 100 (0x64)
Format                           : MPEG Video
Format version                   : Version 2
Format profile                   : Main@High 1440
Format settings, BVOP            : Yes
Format settings, Matrix          : Default
Duration                         : 8mn 45s
Bit rate mode                    : Constant
Bit rate                         : 24.0 Mbps
Nominal bit rate                 : 25.0 Mbps
Width                            : 1 440 pixels
Height                           : 1 080 pixels
Display aspect ratio             : 16:9
Frame rate                       : 29.970 fps
Standard                         : Component
Resolution                       : 8 bits
Colorimetry                      : 4:2:0
Scan type                        : Interlaced
Scan order                       : Top Field First
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)               : 0.515
Stream size                      : 1.47 GiB (92%)

Audio
ID                               : 2068 (0x814)
Menu ID                          : 100 (0x64)
Format                           : MPEG Audio
Format version                   : Version 1
Format profile                   : Layer 2
Duration                         : 8mn 45s
Bit rate mode                    : Constant
Bit rate                         : 384 Kbps
Channel(s)                       : 2 channels
Sampling rate                    : 48.0 KHz
Video delay                      : -67ms
Stream size                      : 24.1 MiB (1%)

Menu
ID                               : 129 (0x81)
Menu ID                          : 100 (0x64)
List                             : 2064 (0x810) (MPEG Video) / 2065 (0x811) () / 2068 (0x814) (MPEG Audio) / 2069 (0x815) ()
Maximum bit rate                 : 26200800


Media Info about the final MKV file:

Quote
General
Complete name                    : F:\Media Sharing\New track 1-muxed.mkv
Format                           : Matroska
File size                        : 653 MiB
Duration                         : 8mn 45s
Overall bit rate                 : 10.4 Mbps
Encoded date                     : UTC 2010-03-13 20:42:39
Writing application              : mkvmerge v3.2.0 ('Beginnings') built on Feb 12 2010 16:46:17
Writing library                  : libebml v0.7.9 + libmatroska v0.8.1

Video
ID                               : 1
Format                           : AVC
Format/Info                      : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile                   : High@L4.1
Format settings, CABAC           : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames        : 3 frames
Muxing mode                      : Container profile=Unknown@4.1
Codec ID                         : V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC
Duration                         : 8mn 45s
Bit rate                         : 9 774 Kbps
Nominal bit rate                 : 10 000 Kbps
Width                            : 720 pixels
Height                           : 480 pixels
Display aspect ratio             : 3:2
Frame rate                       : 17.982 fps
Standard                         : NTSC
Resolution                       : 8 bits
Colorimetry                      : 4:2:0
Scan type                        : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)               : 1.573
Stream size                      : 612 MiB (94%)
Writing library                  : x264 core 80 r1376M 3feaec2
Encoding settings                : cabac=1 / ref=3 / deblock=1:-1:-1 / analyse=0x3:0x113 / me=umh / subme=6 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.0:0.0 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=16 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=2 / 8x8dct=1 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=1 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=6 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate=1 / mbaff=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=0 / b_adapt=2 / b_bias=0 / direct=3 / wpredb=1 / wpredp=2 / keyint=24 / keyint_min=2 / scenecut=40 / rc_lookahead=24 / rc=2pass / mbtree=1 / bitrate=10000 / ratetol=1.0 / qcomp=0.50 / qpmin=10 / qpmax=51 / qpstep=4 / cplxblur=20.0 / qblur=0.5 / vbv_maxrate=40000 / vbv_bufsize=30000 / ip_ratio=1.10 / aq=1:1.00

Audio
ID                               : 2
Format                           : AC-3
Format/Info                      : Audio Coding 3
Codec ID                         : A_AC3
Duration                         : 8mn 45s
Bit rate mode                    : Constant
Bit rate                         : 448 Kbps
Channel(s)                       : 6 channels
Channel positions                : Front: L C R, Surround: L R, LFE
Sampling rate                    : 48.0 KHz
Stream size                      : 28.1 MiB (4%)