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Using FFmpegx to create MPEG 2's

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David Brook
Using FFmpegx to create MPEG 2's
on Jul 14, 2010 at 9:35:49 am

Apologies if this has been asked many times before, but I can't find it when I search the forums. Can anyone recommend me decent settings for producing high quality MPEG 2's for DVD's using ffmpegx? I'm using a Mac with Final Cut Studio and I'm sick of using Compressor I find the results are never quite satisfactory, so I'm trying this out. I saw in an older post that someone had recommended ffmpeg as a good value alternative. I've run a few tests and they look clearer than the results I get through Compressor but I'm getting nasty jagged edges still. The files I'm converting are HDV-encoded Movs straight from FCP.

If anyone has any advice it'd be much appreciated.


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Michael Rampe
Re: Using FFmpegx to create MPEG 2's
on Jul 18, 2010 at 5:15:30 pm

Hi David,

Sorry for the delay but I have been traveling internationally for the last week.

To be honest, I still use compressor for all my dvd encoding needs as it is a rare delivery format for me nowadays but am interested in working on some command lines to delve into the FFmpeg alternative. I have used FFmpeg for mpeg2 encoding for HD transport stream delivery and have found the quality to be excellent.

You have stated that you are using FFmpegX which is reliant on an older version of FFmpeg. Just to be clear, FFmpeg is a command line tool and FFmpegX is a GUI that relies on FFmpeg as well as other solutions such as mencoder. They are not the same thing. FFmpegX has not been updated in over two years and the underlying FFmpeg has undergone massive improvements in that time. I strongly recommend using the latest FFmpeg from the command line.

If you are interested in pursuing this option, let me know and I will work on some command lines when I return from abroad.


Michael



"half-way to world domination A.K.A. the belligerent blue bike shed"


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David Brook
Re: Using FFmpegx to create MPEG 2's
on Jul 18, 2010 at 7:28:42 pm

I've not got a whole lot of experience using command line to be honest, so I'd be a bit lost.

I'm just a bit disappointed with the results I'm getting from DVD Studio Pro these days and thought this might be a viable alternative. Are there any decent guides or old posts that might help me to use something like FFmpeg more effectively through command line or otherwise?

Thanks for the reply by the way.

David


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stephen dixon
Re: Using FFmpegx to create MPEG 2's
on Sep 17, 2012 at 3:06:44 am

I thought I'd resurrect this thread, because it's something I've been banging my head against for a while. There is something about the m2vs that ffmpeg creates that DVDSP doesn't like. I've examined the MPEG2 elementary streams that DVDSP creates itself, and I've duplicated the settings with ffmpeg, but I can't get DVDSP to accept them.

here's the result from ffprobe -show_streams with a m2v encoded by the DVDSP internal encoder:
Input #0, mpegvideo, from '/Volumes/B_Media/encoding_temp/MPEG/20100813135240.mov_PAL_6700.m2v':
Duration: 00:18:19.58, bitrate: 7899 kb/s
Stream #0:0: Video: mpeg2video (Main), yuv420p, 720x576 [SAR 64:45 DAR 16:9], 7900 kb/s, 25 fps, 25 tbr, 1200k tbn, 50 tbc
[STREAM]
index=0
codec_name=mpeg2video
codec_long_name=MPEG-2 video
codec_type=video
codec_time_base=1/50
codec_tag_string=[0][0][0][0]
codec_tag=0x0000
width=720
height=576
has_b_frames=1
sample_aspect_ratio=64:45
display_aspect_ratio=16:9
pix_fmt=yuv420p
level=8
timecode=00:00:00:00
id=N/A
r_frame_rate=25/1
avg_frame_rate=25/1
time_base=1/1200000
start_time=N/A
duration=1099.587576
bit_rate=7900000
nb_frames=N/A
nb_read_frames=N/A
nb_read_packets=N/A
[/STREAM]

here's the same movie encoded using
ffmpeg -i test.mov -target pal-dvd -vf format=yuv420p,setsar=64:45 -an test.m2v:

[STREAM]
index=0
codec_name=mpeg2video
codec_long_name=MPEG-2 video
codec_type=video
codec_time_base=1/50
codec_tag_string=[0][0][0][0]
codec_tag=0x0000
width=720
height=576
has_b_frames=1
sample_aspect_ratio=64:45
display_aspect_ratio=16:9
pix_fmt=yuv420p
level=8
timecode=00:00:00:00
id=0x1e0
r_frame_rate=25/1
avg_frame_rate=25/1
time_base=1/90000
start_time=1.000000
duration=13.440000
bit_rate=9000000
nb_frames=N/A
nb_read_frames=N/A
nb_read_packets=N/A
[/STREAM]

Is there anything about this second one that should be causing DVD Studio pro ti choke? I notice the timebase is different - what even is that?

Stephen Dixon
Editor, Animator, Motionographer
Museum Victoria


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Reuben Martin
Re: Using FFmpegx to create MPEG 2's
on Oct 1, 2012 at 5:35:43 am

Timebase is the resolution of the timestamps in the container. Different formats have different restrictions in what ranges of timebases they support. The sampling rate of audio and frame rate of video also play a role influencing what is optimal timebase.

So if your timebase = 1/90000, then the timestamps on the stream packets are set in increments of 1/90000 of a second.

Not familiar with DVDSP enough to say why it's complaining. Although I would recommend checking the bitrate. 9000000 bit rate seems to be push against the upper limits of the allowed DVD bitrate if memory serves me correctly.

I generally use mplex from the mjpegtools whenever I have problems muxing for DVDs. It's output is quite strict and deals well with picky software/hardware.


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