It's been years since I wrote a post in these forums.
I've been using different versions (currently 126.96.36.199, on WinXP, feels very nice and light weight) of TMPGEnc DVD Author for several years for rechaptering of DVDs, mostly those hot copies from stationary DVD-recorders with random 5-min chapters.
It was recently that I started thinking about the effects this does to video content itself. By reading documentation, I wasn't quite able to get an answer. I was always thinking, unless set otherwize, that the program simply changed the structure of IFOs according to new chapter marks. But when checking all these settings more closely, I started suspecting that every kind of re-authoring with this program caused quality loss.
I know it's possible to set up re-encoding stuff in Source tab, by choosing Settings of track and then adjust things in Video-tab. However, when leaving the stuff at default values:
Encoder mode: Automatic
Rate control mode: VBR (Smart rendering 1 pass VBR)
Picture quality: 90%
(rest of the stuff isn't selectable when using 'Automatic' encoder mode).
Is this leaving the video quality intact?
Also, I'm not quite sure what the 90% picture quality really does. By reading the manual it said it:
"Sets the picture quality, OR acceptable loss of quality, for the output." I don't quite understand in what possible scenarios this counts. By setting it to 90% by default, does TMPGEnc DVD Author degrade quality of the video for 10% during re-authoring? I don't understand.
Reauthoring a full 4.7 gb DVD-R with settings like these take only few minutes on my Dual Core 3.0Ghz, so it doesn't seem the video content actually gets re-encoded, but I'm not sure.
Thanks in advance for any explanation!
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Last edited by MheAd; 7th Aug 2010 at 15:42. Reason: Changed to a more suitable Thread title.
If it is re-encoding then you are losing quality. It may not always be visible, but it is happening. A good authoring tool, even if it has an encoder built-in, should not re-encode compliant material. If the process is taking only a few minutes then chances are it is not re-encoding, however you should actually time it a confirm that it is only a few minutes.
Well, I can confirm it indeed only takes few minutes to process the disc (last night, a 2.4 gb content took exactly 4 minutes to re-author), so the chances are, like you write, that the re-encoding is not taking the place, which is good. However, it still makes me paranoid. I've re-chaptered at least 50 discs this way back in the day, and don't have the original sources anymore. So I'm putting my remaining to-be-reauthored-discs on hold because my suspicions. I don't want to _hope_ the re-encoding won't take the place. I want to _know_. Could the program still be doing some re-encoding on only thiny segments of the video during the re-authoring or is video content always processed as whole - which logically should take considerably longer time ?
So, would you kindly recommend me another good re-authoring tool that is 100% confirmed to not re-encode video during re-chaptering?
I've read some guides where IFOEdit and some other stuff can be used for my intentions (rechaptering only) but I find these procedures quite complicated, time-demanding and user unfriendly.
I only add specific chapter points when authoring in DVD Lab Pro, which means demuxing and re-authoring. If I am just doing a conversion then I generally go with chapters every 5 minutes.
If you are happy to lose the existing menus and re-author, GUIForDVDAuthor definitely will not/cannot re-encode your video.
However at 4 minutes, I suspect you are being unnecessarily paranoid.
It's been a while since I started this thread.
I surely hope that I was too paranoid because now, being forced to upgrade to new version, now known as TMPGEnc Authoring Works 4.0 (Windows 7 64-bit that I use nowdays is incompatible with Author 3.0), I've noticed that the new version, AW 4.0, indeed does tiny re-encoding which in some cases actually caused visual damage in the frames by pixelizing the picture. Even in these cases the re-authoring only took few minutes to complete so one can be easily fooled that no re-encoding took place. And since the interface is identical to the older TMPGEnc DVD Author 3.0 and they both have this "smart rendering" I hope that the older version (that I was using when I started this thread) _was_ actually 'smart' enough to not cause any damage to my videos cause I don't have original sources anymore. However, now I'm certain that the new version of the program does re-encoding and it makes me think in which way this is supposed to be called "smart rendering". It's more stupid rendering, classifying a frame with no glitches of any kind as "non-compliant" and then actually adding a glitch by "making it compliant". Don't understand how hard it is to simply have 'do not re-encode' option in an application. Seems like applications are being made for 5 year olds now days - just click a button and "trust the 'smart' application that it will do it right".
My question still stands - I'm asking for suggestions of good and simple applications, Win 7 64-bit compatible, that re-author without re-encoding, and even preferably have volume-normalization function for the audio-track (since my second reason of re-authoring my stuff, apart from re-chaptering, is to boost up volume on the DD - tracks).
Thanks in advance!
Last edited by MheAd; 7th Aug 2010 at 15:40.
TDA3/TAW4 are excellent and fast menu making tools. Compared to DVDLab, better still picture encoding, no double mpeg encoding for motion menus (even accepts avs scripts for this), cleaner navigation code in templates, ability to automate highlighting proper buttons at menu calls etc. To prevent any 'smart' re-encoding and sometimes even remuxing at authoring/re-authoring, I always use a workaround. First create menus with wanted structure around small dummy source files, then use DVDRemake to replace dummy PGCs with actual content, already muxed (and tested) with proper tools like Muxman or TDA1.6 (which never re-encode) or taken from other DVD. That's fast, easy and reliable.
Mate, what you just wrote is anything but "fast, _easy_ and reliable"
Also, I'm not in any need for any menus or anything like that.
When I re-author, I do it for only two reasons:
2. When I'm not satisfied with the volume levels of the audio track (when I need to edit / normalize levels).
In both cases they are mainly private videos, television concert recordings etc...
I know that TDA1.6 is best as it never re-encodes, but can you confirm it actually works on Win7 64-bit?
TDA3.0 could not, at least the version I tried.
My point is - I don't mind running a huge professional application, only there's ability of disabling "smart rendering", and also it must be _Win 7 64-bit compatible_.
Thanks in advance.
If you don't need menus, then you can re-order chapters in TDA3 or TAW4 and export chapter list (it stores frame numbers) to text file (it is called like keyframes.txt there). Then demux original title in PGCDemux and remux it with Muxman using new chapter list and edited audio track(s). This needs an audio editor like SoundForge; you can decompress ac3's to wav in DGIndex. Unfortunately, I cannot suggest a perfect all-in-one solution: those huge professionally-looking applications are usually not aimed at re-authoring .
P.S. I've never worked with 64-bit OS's.
Last edited by Alex_ander; 9th Aug 2010 at 05:24. Reason: P.S.
Ok man, thanks for the tip. I don't mind doing what you suggested. I only hope once again there won't be any problems with OS-compatibility as I see that PGCDemux hasn't been updated for 5 years. I see that DGIndex (that you sugggested I should use for ac3>wav conversion) can even be used for demuxing too? In that case, perhaps I should use that one as it's up to date.
As for editing AC3, I know a way that doesn't involve any kind of conversion to WAV prior editing. There is this open source, free, sound editing program named Audacity. It's like a light-weight Soundforge, and free (for real ). It is available on most platforms. Since I'm mainly a Linux user I use it under Linux, of course. In Linux, it is possible to compile this program from the source with FFMPEG libraries which makes this program to a full proof AC3 editor! It can open ac3 (even dts, if I'm not mistaken) track from any source - mpegs, divx, mkv movies, it even supports 5.1 tracks with no problems. So I guess I wont have any problems opening a pure ac3-file that has been demuxed.