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  1. The Old One SatStorm's Avatar
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    Video Resolutions
    By SatStorm

    Even if the subject isn't exactly "how to", I think it can help the "how to" process of Video Grabbing/encoding in general. So, I post it here and if it is needed, moderators will move it to other sections.

    Which are the "legal" resolutions for DVD/VCD/SVCD/CVD?

    Many people ask about the "legal" resolutions of digital video. So, I decided to write a few words for this subject, hoping I'll help some people out there:

    First of all, just for the info, the term "resolution" isn't exactly the correct term. The correct term is "frame size" (pixels x lines). But most people use the term "resolution" and because this is a simply FAQ, I'll use it too! So...

    The official (legal) resolutions for optical media are:

    720 X 576 (480 NTSC). Used by most DVD.
    704 X 576 (480 NTSC). Used by some DVD
    480 X 576 (480 NTSC). Used by SVCD
    352 X 576 (480 NTSC). Used by DVD and China Video Disc (CVD). It is also the "official" SVHS resolution, determined by the creator of HS, JVC.
    352 X 288 (240 NTSC). Used by VCD and DVD. It is also the "official" VHS resolution, determined by the creator of VHS, JVC.

    The official names for those resolutions, come from the US. Those names are:

    720 X 576 (480 NTSC): Full CCIR-601 , or CCIR-601 D1. It is the Full PAL/NTSC Studio resolution. Most of the time, people call it simply CCIR-601
    704 X 576 (480 NTSC): CCIR-601 1/1 D1 or cropped CCIR-601 D1. Most of the time, people call it 1/1 D1. Very rare, you can see this resolution as 702 X 576/480. It is the TV Broadcast resolution
    528 X 576 (480 NTSC) is defined as 3/4 D1. It is supposed to be the Laser Disc resolution, but ain't. I'll explain later
    480 X 576 (480 NTSC) is defined as 2/3 D1. It is the SVCD resolution.
    352 X 576 (480 NTSC) is defined as 1/2 D1. Used by DVD and CVD
    The VCD resolution is 352 X 288 (240 NTSC) and it is called CIF- 601.

    In some parts of Europe and especially Far East Asia, people tend to use other names to describe the legal DVD - Video resolutions. So, very often you see or read the terms D1, D2, D4 and D3 . Those names stands for:
    D1 (or D-1) for 704 X 576
    D2 (or D-2) for 352 X 576
    D4 (or D-4) for 352 X 288
    D3 (or D-3) stands for the 704 X 288 framesize. This resolution is very interesting, because is totally useless but fully supported by DVD - Video!
    Those names are basically used a lot for -X- formats PAL based. Most known are the D4 DVD (a DVD with VCD resolution and VCD bitrates mostly VBR) and D2 DVD, which is a DVD-R with 1/2 D1 resolution mpeg 2 files. Many also call as "D4 SVCD", the xSVCD with a VCD resolution/bitrate. Those names are unofficial, so better use the US name system.

    To make things even more confusing, CCIR officially changed its name to ITU-R, and the standard is now properly called ITU-R BT.601. Very rare, you could see things like ITU-R 1/1 D1, or ITU-R BT.601 1/1D1. Well, in 30 or more years (a generation later that is...) maybe that turns mainstream. Meanwhile, it is "good old" CCIR-601 for us!


    The "other" common picture resolutions - (non CD/DVD based)

    The Laser Disc resolution story

    The Officially Laserdisc resolution is 528 X 576/480, but many titles in US, after 1990, are using the 544 X 480 resolution.
    That happened because the first "cheap" video projectors in US, were using the VGA standard for video in. Of course, those machines were for professional use with PCs. But with the use of special (and cheap) connectors/adaptors or the "famous" VGA - out connection of specific Laserdiscs, it was possible for the very first time, for US video enthusiast, to have big picture at there houses. It was the only true solution for the first home theatres (the term "home cinema" came later...).
    Unfortunately, VGA is not based on CCIR-601, so a picture adaption is needed (VGA is 640 X 480). In other words, the picture aspect was wrong and always a part or some parts of the picture was not in use. Because of Laser Disc limitations, the use of pan and scan method (like DVD - Video) wasn't possible. The only solution without compatibility problems and no cost, was to "upgrade" the laserdisc resolution, unofficially, to 544 X 480. And so it happen.
    In Europe, the success of Laserdisc was minimal, so the few released PAL titles, continue to use the official resolution for PAL (528 X 576). In theory, there is a 544 X 576, but I never saw a Pal laserdisc using this resolution.

    The DVB/ -s -t -c resolutions

    The DVB transmissions became mainstream in Europe in 1996 and today are mainstream in US too. The last five years, the European Union (E.U.), force all television and radio providers of E.U. Members, to turn their services digital, for various reasons. So, except Germany and partly France (which the interest for analogue satellite TV still is huge), anything today is digital, on most cases not with the best possible results...
    Technically speaking, DVB is based on mpeg 2 (like DVD) and support resolutions from full CCIR - 601 (top quality) to CIF (lowest quality). Almost any resolution between those limits can be a DVB picture resolution, with any bitrate up to 15000Kb/s. The correct output picture aspect is succeeded (if needed), by the use of the pan and scan method, which take place between the Digital/Analogue conversion, before the final picture signal goes to our TV/Videoprojector.
    Some DVB examples:
    The Holland channels Canal+ Rood and Canal+Blauw (Astra 1G - 19.2 East), are transmitting in full CCIR 601 resolution with VBR bitrate up to 15000kb/s (!). That is BETTER a standard DVD video.
    TMF for Belgium and MTV Italy, both on Eutelsat W2 (16 East) are transmitting in full D1 resolution and bitrates up to 7500kb/s
    The MTV/VH1 Channels on Astra 1G, are using 544 X 576.
    Viva TV on Astra 1G and Onyx TV on Hotbird 3, are using 480 X 576.
    352 X 576 is very common at almost all the Italian Free To Air music channels on Hotbird satellite series.
    An example of very low picture resolution, is the Cnes channel (Hotbird 5, 13 east, Freq: 12558, S.R. 27500, F.E.C. 3/4). This channel transmits 352 X 288 with CBR bitrate up to?. 700kb/s!!!).

    The known DVB resolutions till today in Europe are: 720 X 576, 704 X 576, 544 X 576, 528 X 576, 480 X 576, 352 X 576 and 352 X 288.

    The last addition to the known DVB resolutions, comes from the Polonian subscription service Nowa Cyfra+ (Hotbird 13east). It is using (for some channels) the framesize of 640 X 576. Unfortunatelly, there is no correct pan and scan flags in this transmission and many satellite digital recievers are unable to Pan and Scan correct those channels. This is not a limitation of the DVB standard, just a "cheap" trick of the polish Nowa Cyfra + to make the subscripters choose and use only the "official" recievers of this package and not other alternative DVB recievers. The official DVB recievers of Nowa Cyfra + have those pan and scan flag infos embedded, so they are able to show those channels with no aspect problems.
    This cheap trick does not effect DVB PC cards, only standalone DVB recievers.


    Resolutions used with PCs :

    With the "explosion" of the home Video enthusiasts the last couple of years, more resolutions appear.
    DV for example, is using 768 X 576/480, and mpeg 4 (divx, xvid, asf, etc) is using resolutions like 384 X 288. This "mess" happens because PC enthusiasts and Power Users simply want to watch their DiVX/Xvid/Asf/etc at Television sets, with the use of the TV-out feature, most cards today offers.
    Unfortunately, those TV-outs are made for PC resolutions, based on VGA (640 X 480) and not TV resolutions based on CCIR-601. So there are problems in the correct aspect of the picture (4:3 and 16:9, don't mention others, like cinamascope etc...). Generally, if you use typical CCIR based resolutions, you have unused part of your monitor screen, when you watch them through PC. You can use of course "pan and scan" methods, but most of the users out there don't seems to like them, or cards don't support them. There are also some software solutions (example: TvTool for nvidia based cards), but ain't always 100% accurate.
    This time the mess is more than LDs, 'cause now and PAL users are interest for the subject, and for them, the situation is even more complicated. You see, with NTSC the VGA resolution is vertically compatible. So you adjust the length of the horizontal lines and you are OK. But with Pal, there 96 more vertical lines! (or 80 for D1). So, the monitor has to increase the resolution to 800 X 600, and then you have other probs, etc.
    In general, it is much easier to grab from the begging to a suitable for PC monitors resolution, than to adjust later the picture and correct the borders or the aspect.
    The result is the appearance of various resolutions, especially in DiVX community. Those resolutions are adjustments for PC - monitors.
    For Pal, the best resolutions are: 768 X 576, 640 X 512, 400 X 320 and 384 X 288. For NTSC, 640 X 480 is fair, but the true 4:3 aspect is 672 X 488 and some people use 624 X 488. Since I am not an expert for NTSC, I can't suggest and propose nothing for NTSC.
    The suggested resolution from experts of DiVX/XviD/ASF are: PAL: 480 X 384, NTSC: 480 X 320 (4:3 picture).
    For realtime grabbing to DiVX/XviD/ASF, I found that the resolution of 384 X 288 is the most suitable (for PAL, I don't know for NTSC). I suggest this resolution 'cause:
    1. It is close to VHS/VCD resolution, so a later re-encoding would be easier (even if mpeg 4 ain't the best source for VCD/SVCD)
    2. Doesn't need much powerful processor (500mhz is enough)
    3. De-interlace the TV broadcast "naturally"
    4. You can use some filters in realtime, if you have a faster CPU ( about 1000mhz)
    The perfect would be the 768 X 576 resolution, but that need currently expensive hardware.

    Also, keep in mind that with the use of alternative media players (like the excellent "Zoom Player"), you don't have limitations on the framesize you can use for your PC based target media (like mpeg 4). Those alternative players, got great flexibility, during the playback! The resolution you use, ain't a problem ain't more, the correct aspect is easy restored manually with those players! So, if you prefer other framesizes for your reasons, try and see yourself the results!

    Well, that's it for resolutions, you are welcome to add stuff or correct my mistakes.
    Have fun
    SatStorm
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  2. I'm a MEGA Super Moderator Baldrick's Avatar
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    It is okey to post faqs and articles here also.

    I added a link to your faq from the newbie article section, www.vcdhelp.com/newbie.htm#article

    and thanks for putting together a good article about resolutions.
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  3. i got a good picture in svcd usually when images are in closed out but when the camera is far the quality of the picture get worst i use the the setting of the svcd template with tmpge and try with some filter but i can find the write setting to corrects this

    any help welcome
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  4. I'm a MEGA Super Moderator Baldrick's Avatar
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    kawapiro: please make a new topic in the newbie conversion forum. this is only for questions regarding this guide.
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  5. The Old One SatStorm's Avatar
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    KVCD is an -X- Format (xvcd)
    This article is for the standard resolutions!
    mpeg 1 and mpeg 2, if I remember correct, are capable for resolutions up to 4080X4080. But there is no way to use such resolutions, outside studios!
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  6. Hi SatStorm:

    Please make the following corrections to your article. 720x480(576) is defined as D-1. 704x(something) is defined as "Cropped D-1".
    Here's the correct reference:
    D1 - D1 is a resolution standard. In the NTSC system, "Full D1" means 720x480 pixels, and in the PAL and SECAM systems full D1 is 720x576. You also see "cropped D1", which is 704xNN, which is useful because the 8 pixels on either edge of the video frame aren't supposed to contain useful information. Therefore, some programs will prefer the cropped D1 resolution to save bandwidth. Other popular resolutions are often described in terms of D1: the SVCD resolution is 2/3 D1 (480xNN) and 352xNN is 1/2 D1. Occasionally you see SIF somewhat inaccurately described as 1/4 D1.

    Link here: http://tangentsoft.net/video/glossary.html

    kwag
    KVCD.Net - Advanced Video Conversion
    http://www.kvcd.net
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  7. The Old One SatStorm's Avatar
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    OK, I'll do that, but if we admit that 720 X 480/576 is D1, then:

    1/2 D1 would be 360 X 576/480 Right?

    So, how this is possible if 1/2 D1 is 352 X 576/480 ?

    With simply mathematics, 352 + 352 = 704

    Something wierd happen here huh?
    This subject needs convercation.

    This link, follows your suggestion
    http://www.uwasa.fi/~f76998/video/conversion/
    Very interesting indeed.. This man goes against the world!

    But this ones, goes "against" him....
    http://www.cs.sfu.ca/undergrad/CourseMaterials/CMPT479/material/notes/Chap3/Chap3.4/Chap3.4.html

    if you really like digging, search here:
    http://www.itu.int/rec/recommendation.asp?type=products&parent=R-REC-bt
    and here
    http://www.atsc.org/standards.html

    Extra infos for Video recording formats here
    http://www.hut.fi/~iisakkil/videoformats.html

    Here also are some infos for tape resolutions
    http://www.bloomington.in.us/~ttop/format.html
    http://members.aol.com/htbasics/videores.html

    hmmmmm
    Confusing isn't it?

    What is right?

    Is there any link for info from universities by anyone?

    This "tangentsoft", looks like exist to create problems....
    I don't trust anything that site publish.

    What other advance users said for the subject?
    What they know for the resolution names?
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  8. Originally Posted by SatStorm
    OK, I'll do that, but if we admit that 720 X 480/576 is D1, then:

    1/2 D1 would be 360 X 576/480 Right?
    Wrong!. 360 can't be dived by 16. So the closest is 352.
    Resolutions have to be multiples of 16.

    So, how this is possible if 1/2 D1 is 352 X 576/480 ?
    Answered above.

    With simply mathematics, 352 + 352 = 704

    Something wierd happen here huh?
    This subject needs convercation.
    No. just the right math 8)

    Just check National Bureau of Standards for the correct information. Or NTSC ( National Television Standards Commitee )

    Regards,
    kwag
    KVCD.Net - Advanced Video Conversion
    http://www.kvcd.net
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  9. The Old One SatStorm's Avatar
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    Yes, you probably right, from your point...
    I'll do an update now, I think will cover better the subject...
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  10. Member
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    SatStorm, 720x480, 352x240, 704x480, 320x240, 480x480, etc....., are NOT resolutions (optics), they are digital "frame sizes" (pixels x lines).

    This is one area that I believe causes the most confusion with digital video.

    The "frame size" by itself has absolutely nothing to do with the "resolution" in terms of visual quality. Yes, I know, the term resolution is used all the time when actually referring to frame size.

    The point I'm making here is that high data rate "kbps" is what determines the optical "resolution" not the size of the frame.

    Although your guide is helpful in terms of what are the standard frame sizes I think it would be useful to add that high data rate and quality source material is the key to great visual quality.
    Evil flourishes when good men do nothing.
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  11. The Old One SatStorm's Avatar
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    @ Spicuzza
    Yes, you have right but my english ain't good enough!
    In analogue, we have dots in a raw. 720 of those dots are made a line. Many vertical lines are made the resolution.
    I'll add your line "720x480, 352x240, 704x480, 320x240, 480x480, etc....., are NOT resolutions (optics), they are digital "frame sizes" (pixels x lines) in my faq. Express really well the meaning! Thanks!
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  12. Member
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    Digital is not mainstream in the US. TV broadcast stations have until 2007
    to switch to digital broadcast. We do have Digital Sat. and cable. And to make things worse the film studios and tv manufactures have not agreed to were the the decoders for encryption will be. Studios want it in the TV set, as a way to stop the recodring of shows! So all those who have bought digital tv in the US have bought outdated equipment even before they got it home. But all this come down to one thing MONEY.
    May the force be with you.
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  13. The Old One SatStorm's Avatar
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    The DVB is standard, the encryption is not...
    In europe we have 8 types of commercial encryption and 2 profecional!
    Irdeto, Seca/mediaguard, viaccess, Nagravision, Conax, Cryptoworks, Videoguard, codicrypt are the commercial ones.
    Power Vu and Raz are the pro ones...
    In US you have the same systems, plus motorola's DigiChipher system, which most of the time the transmissions of this system are encrypted with the digicrypter system. Oh, there are also some ancient mpeg 1.5 transmissions in North america also!
    All the DVB receivers with a common interface are capable to recieve all the "free to air (FTA)" transmissions and with the use of modules all the encrypted onces. Only exeption the Videoguard system (like sky digital in Britain...) and the 2 pro ones...
    So, go buy a dvb reciever with a couple of common interfaces and you are OK for more that twenty years!
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  14. Member
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    Right then........

    have noticed on the satellite recording I have made, that some european channels are now in 544 x 576 as was pointed out in other posts. (This wld also appear to be for laserdiscs.) As there seem to be so many differing numbers/configurations floating about. Will this .........size/resolution/pixel-line....... configuration (544 x 576) work when I try to burn it to a DVD or will the authoring prog kick it out? If not then I assume I would need to process file to full D1 standard.

    *** pls note, Mr Administrator Sir, (grovel, grovel) the question is primarily about 544 x 576 and how this fits into the DVD acceptable standards.

    Thanks for any info you can throw at me
    Nichevo
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  15. The Old One SatStorm's Avatar
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    You can eather boost to 704 X 576 or downgrade to 352 X 576.
    This resolution, 544 X 576 is not a DVD one!

    From the other hand, it is possible to be playable to standalones. For example, my old good Cyberhome ADM212 don't have any problem with it. That way, you make a kind of xDVD.

    There is a program, called "DVD patcher" which tricks DVD related programs to author DVB transmissions and burn them "as is" on DVD-Rs. Try to see if you are lucky
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  16. Member
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    Hi guys

    I have a normal Full Screen avi movie file. How do I convert this to a widescreen format using TMPGEnc. Can some one let me know what settings to be done while using TMPGEnc.

    thanks
    Raj
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  17. I may be wrong, but I dont think Svcd (2/3 d1) is an official legal resolution, certainly not for dvd players, to conform to the dvd specification they need only play Vcd and DVD not svcd. Admittedly most new players do play svcd but older players didnt believe this was a needed feature. Also I think that CVD is, now, part of the DVD spec. Just to cloud things up.
    Corned beef is now made to a higher standard than at any time in history.
    The electronic components of the power part adopted a lot of Rubycons.
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  18. The Old One SatStorm's Avatar
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    Who said that 480 x 576/480 is a legal DVD resolution?
    It is SVCD's resolution

    You definatelly misunderstood the article.
    Please read again....
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