I'm trying to save my DVD movie collection as a bunch of mpeg files to put on my media server (SageTV). Initially I was going to leave them as rips of the entire DVD shrunk to the minimum size DVD Shrink could do since SageTV supports using VIDEO_TS folders. However, now I'm thinking I want to convert the main movies to one MPEG file. The way I've been doing this is just by ripping the movies, then using VOBtoMPEG to make one large MPEG of the various VOB files.
From there, I want to figure out what the lowest watchable bitrate is for my wife and I, but haven't found a great way to go about this. I was trying to use SUPER to convert the initial mpeg to a lower bitrate mpeg, but have been having some problems with sound being dropped, and some other inconsistencies with SUPER itself.
After the long-winded introduction, I suppose my 2 questions are:
1-Is there an easier/better/recommended way to do what I'm trying to do (the entire process that is)?
2-More specifically, do people have recommendations for programs that can reduce the bitrate of mpegs?
I guess I'm looking for other mpeg to mpeg converters. I know SUPER can do it, but are there better/higher quality mpeg encoders/transcoders out there than the ones SUPER uses?
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Thanks for the ideas. I guess I was interested in seeing if there was a program that gave a little more control over what bitrate I was transcoding to. I know DVD Shrink lists it as a %, which may be fine for all intents and purposes. I was messing around with TMPGEnc Plus, but it (and SUPER for that matter) are a little more daunting than DVD Shrink.
Rejig can transcode mpeg files in the same way that Shrink does DVDs.
However, depending on the the amount of reducing you are planning on doing, it may be wiser to actually re-encode. Transcoding is OK from small reductions - squeeze a few % off the top to fit a disc perhaps - but for larger reductions it can quickly degrade the quality. In these cases you are better off re-encoding the mpeg at a lower bitrate, or even changing codecs to something that works better at lower bitrates. If smaller size with decent quality is your goal, mpeg-2 is a poor choice of codec, IMO.
I thought about encoding to xvid or h.264, but decided ultimately to stick with mpeg-2. The reason for that is that I'm using SageTV as my media server - on the media extender I'm using, you can only use "sticky" fast-forward and rewinding on mpeg-2 (not on xvid and h.264), which was a deal breaker for me and the wife.
I've transcoded from 6000+kbps source DVD to 2500 kbps, and been fine with the quality. At this point, I was trying to see how low I could go before macroblocking and whatnot became too apparent. While file size is important, I'm ok with 2 GB or so per movie.
You can little by re-encoding the audio to mp2, unless sage is unable to play AC3. Even reducing the bitrate of audio saves very little space.
I believe that MP3 audio is incompatible with the mpg container and mpeg-2 encoded video.
If you remux correctly then there should be no sync issues.
For what you are doing, you may was well just stick with Shrink.
You can pick the target rate in shrink, although you'll have to use a bitrate calculator. Target size divided by run time is the bitrate.
The MPG container was designed to support mpeg-video(1 or 2) and
mpeg-audio(layer 1, 2 or 3). If the playback software/firmware is not
100% MPEG-compliant, that's an entirely-different story.