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Step by step ... using FlaskMPEG and CCE

In my opinion, there are only 2 valid ways to convert a DVD to a (Super) VideoCD (see video formats overview for details). One og them being hte one I present on this page. I have to say however that the other method is not worse or better than this onw - this is just the one I prefer.

On this page, I explain how to rip a DVD by first copying the DVD to the harddisk of your computer. The second step will be converting DVD-MPEG2 to either MPEG2 or MPEG1 (see also the Rip-Intro page).

Here we use FlaskMPEG and Cinema Craft MPEG encoder (the best MPEG encoder I have seen so far - and fast too!). You can optionally use TMPGEnc instead of Cinema Craft Encoder - unfortunally I haven't had that much experience with it.

Note: This method has been tested with Windows 95, 98, 98SE, ME, XP and 2000.

Note: Super VideoCD uses a better image quality as seen with VideoCD, but produces larger files aswell. However, a movie converted to VideoCD usually takes up a bit more than 1.5 CD's, making you use 2 CD's for the movie anyway. Super VideoCD usually needs 2 CD's aswell although this time it will be packed with data. My suggestion therefor: if your playback equipment can playback Super VideoCD - Use it!

Don't forget to read the disclaimer!

MPEG 1 / 2

(Duper) VideoCD

Before we begin ...

Make sure both FlaskMPEG 0.6 and Cinema Craft Encoder are installed on your PC. If this is not the case, please consult the "Installation of FlaskMPEG and CCE" page for details.

Rip the VOB's to your Harddisk

Before we start the proces of converting, we first rip all VOB-files to the harddisk.

The entire process is described on the SmartRipper page.

Once the copying process is complete, we can nog go to the next step; the conversion process.

Transcoding ...

After "ripping" the DVD, we can start FlasKMPEG.

Select from the "File" menu, the option "Open Media". File - Open Media ... in FlaskMPEG

In file dialog, select the IFO file of the DVD you just ripped - usually VTS_01_0.IFO - and click the "Open" button.

FlaskMPEG will show you the available DVD Video-tracks, Audio-tracks and optional subtitles. Make your selection ...

Note: When selecting subtitles, FlaskMPEG will render the subtitles into the movie. You will not ever be able to remove these again!

Choose Videotrack, Audiotrack and (optional) subtitles

In this example, we choose the main movie (DVD titel '0', duration 1 hour and 39 minutes = 91 minutes) - usually the largest duration indicates the main movie.

After making the right choices, click the "FlasK this DVD!" button.

Just a brief intermezzo: let's calculate the desired bitrate, since we now know the duration of the movie.

Note: if you're unfamiliar with "bitrates" or you're looking for a "Bitrate Calculator" then please take a look at the "Bitrates - What is it and why do I need it?" page, where you can also find the WeetHet Video Bitrate Calculator.

So we now know that the movie duration is 91 minutes, using the WeetHet Video Bitrate Calculator we see that the maximum video bitrate should be set to 2179 kbps when converting this DVD to Super VideoCD, using 2 CD's of 80 minuten.

2179 kbps is a decent bitrate for Super VideoCD, so we choose Super VideoCD formaat for this example. Using VideoCD would have cost us 2 CD's too,... but it would offer a not so great video quality.

Note: Not all DVD-players are compatible to Super VideoCD. If you equipment can't playback Super VideoCD, regular VideoCD might be an alternative that would prove usefull.

Note: Audio in a proper qualit should have an audio bitrate of 224 Kbps. Also a CD for VideoCD or Super VideoCD offers more storage space - choose the right "CD Size". On other thing: choose the proper "Video" format and proper "CD Count".

WeetHet Video Bitrate Calculator

OK, back to FlaskMPEG, where we now must enter some video-data.

Depending on the type of DVD, and choosing the maxmimum values allowed by the Super VideoCD standard (lower resolution and bad audio is allowed with this standard!) - we choose:

480 x 576 pixels
480 x 480 pixels
352 x 288 pixels
352 x 240 pixels
25 fps
29.97 fps
25 fps
29.97 fps
224 Kbps
224 Kbps
224 Kbps
224 Kbps

For European DVD's (region 2) we use PAL, for American DVD's (region 1) use NTSC.

Select from the "Options" menu, the option "Global Project Options (Export Movie Settings)".

FlaskMPEG: Global Project Options (Export Movie Settings)

In the now appearing window, select the tab "Video" and enter the now following data. Presuming we're dealing with a PAL movie: Width=480, Height=576, timebase = 25fps and don't change the other settings.

Now select the "Audio" tab: check "Decode audio". A "Sampling frequency" select "44100" (remove the checkmark at the "Same as input" option).

At the "Post processing" tab, we check "HQ Bicubic Filtering" and "Keep aspect ratio". Optional you can check "4:3" for normal television dimensions, or "16:9" for widescreen TV.

At the tab "Files": we can enter a filename, foir example "mymovie.mpg".

Click "OK" now.

In the lower right corner of your screen, you will now find a button called "Select Output", in the "FlaskMPEG Control Panel" window. Click it and select "CinemaCraft MPEG-2/1".

FlaskMPEG will now use CCE

Click "Select Output" once more and now select "Configure Output Module" so we can configure the encoder properly.

FlaskMPEG - Configuring the CCE

The configuration window of Cinema Craft Encoder will now appear. Copy these setting:

Configuration window of CCE

CCE video settings

When using VideoCD instead, we naturally choose "Type" "Video CD".
And if you're working with a 4:3 movie, choose "4:3" at the "Aspect Ratio" field.

CCE: MPEG bitrate settings

Here we enter the bitrate we found using the WeetHet Video Bitrate Calculator! In our example 2179 kbits/sec.

CCE  Quality settings

Note: we do not use the "Quantize Matrices" button.

CCE GOP configuration

Audio configuration ...

Note: You can enter any bitrate you like for audio (minimim 32 kbps and maximum 384 kbpx), however 224 or 192 kbits/s are common bitrates for reasonable (192 kbps) to good (224 kbps) audio quality.

Click the "OK" button, so we return to FlaskMPEG.

In the "FlaskMPEG Control Panel" we now click the "Flask it!" button ...

OK .. Let's go!

The progress dialog now appears and the conversion starts/ You can optionally disable (uncheck) the "Display Output" to gain a bit of speed (not much though).

Note: My AMD Athlon 1300Mhz, running Windows XP, takes about 3 hours to convert a DVD movie to VideoCD and about 3,5 to 4 hours for a Super VideoCD.

Once conversion is completed, we need to do two final steps.

First we need to cut this huge 1600 Mb large file into two chuncks. Read the "Cutting MPEG2 using Womble MPG2VCR" page.

The cut result can now be put on CD using Nero.

Tip: In order to check quality; You can playback the file without burning it on a CD though. Use a software DVD player like PowerDVD to playback MPEG2 (Super VideoCD), for MPEG1 (VideoCD) you can do with Windows Media Player.



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