I want to encode a group of low-quality MPEG-4 video files to DVD format (to eventually burn to a DVD).
The problem is that when I encode the video, the resulting files are often 2-3x as large as the original video files.
How can I encode the video files so that they are in DVD format, roughly the same quality, and roughly the same file size as the originals?
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File size = bitrate * running time
Use a lower bitrate. But the results will probably look very bad since MPEG 2 encoding requires more bitrate to retain quality. You can ameliorate the problem by using a smaller frame size, 352x480 or 352x240 for NTSC, 352x576 or 352x288 for PAL.
The better solution is to get a player that can play your MP4 files.