I´ve been using Nero Recode to convert all of my DVDs to Nero Digital (Standard) H264 mp4 files and always used 2-pass at bitrate (2200bps?).
As Nero products don´t seem to be particularly favorable around here with the exception of burning discs, I was wandering what other recommendations people have. I´m looking at getting as close to DVD quality as I can get hence the use of the max bit rate setting on Nero Recode but I´m not looking at spending too much time with loads of advanced settings for every movie.
At this sort of bit rate/file size does H264 have a significant advantage over DivX or XviD as these formats certainly seem to be more flexible from the point of being able to play them on stadalone DVD players and other media boxes.
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At 2200 kbps you won't see a lot of difference between Xvid/Divx and h.264. At lower bitrates h.264 will have a much more obvious advantage.
Also, XviD/DivX is much faster to encode/decode on most PC's; I don't know if that's an issue for you
Why the arbitrary 2200kbps? That arbitrary number might be too high for some movies (e.g. cartoons) but too low for others. So you might be wasting space, or making bad quality encodes depending on the source.
x264 encoder has a constant quality mode (CRF), so if you enter a certain value it encodes such that each frame is analyzed for complexity and adjusted to that set level. So complex scenes get more bitrate, for example, and simple scenes like credits get less bitrate. Another benefit is that it uses 1 pass so it's quite a bit faster. The problem is filesize will be unknown. So complex movies might be big, simple movies might be tiny - so if storage sizing is a consideration and you need exact size - you have to do 2 pass encodes
Easy to use GUI's IMO include xvid4psp, and ripbot264
But there is usually a tradeoff between "easy to use" and getting better quality from learning how to use the settings appropriately customized for each individual source (e.g. you shouldn't use the same settings for a cartoon vs. a nature movie)
Originally Posted by poisondeathray
(1) If I was looking to change settings for movies, cartoons and natural history etc is there a source of ideal settings that I can use?
(2) if I go back to Xvid does AutoGK use the filesize as a maximum or fixed value? Won't I reach the max filesize for avi's before I can get really good quality for long films?
(3) if I go with x264, does it matter what filetype I use (mp4, mkv?)? I am initially thinking of playing things via a PS3 and eventually using a media PC