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  1. Hi, guys!

    I'm not exactly new to video editing and conversion, I've been doing it on and off for over a decade. I certainly do know how to re-compress something, convert, edit streams, subs etc, after all, there is a vast number of tools that can do it. Let's just face it, ANYONE can do it if they have brains for brains and not straw. However, I was never too involved in something as delicate as internal codec settings, particularly DivX and XviD ones or stuff like VirtualDub and AviSynth. To be frank, I just don't understand how it all works and the truth is, I NEED to know now that I have realized I won't achieve the desired results without understanding all ins and outs of it. There is simply no way around it.

    Yes, I would like to produce good quality 1CD/700mb DVDRips using DivX/XviD codec, which has proved to be a lot more challenging than it seems. Yes, I know Xvid rips are no longer trendy, considered obsolete and I shouldn't waste my time on it. But mind you, I'm one of those "weird" conservative retromaniacs who feel safer around good old avi/xvid rips, which besides compact size can also be successfully played on much older hardware where H.264/AVC may perform worse or not at all. So, you have to admit, I have a point and I wouldn't want to discuss this, I just want to know the possible ways of achieving my ends as long as all the necessary means are still out there.

    Ok, so my actual problem is not producing 700mb sized rips per se, I can definitely do it using AutoGK, AVI.net and/or AVI Re-comp, at least these are the tools that provide me with enough options such as fixed file size, resolution, audio bitrate etc etc. However, one issue remains and it's the actual video quality, which is NEVER "perfect". And, of course, what I mean by that is not your regular DVDRip lossiness, but something on top of it, which makes me suspect that "professional" rippers such as aXXo and plenty of others didn't use these methods at all. Argument? Well, all rips that I ever made were always WORSE than theirs. How are they worse exactly? Banding and pixelation on the edges and darker parts. It's always there and it's always considerably worse than other people's rips.

    Ironically, the all-time praised AutoGK produces the WORST results regardless of resolution, mp3 bitrate and whatnot. I'm not sure why people would advertise it even, it never really did the right thing. The output is obviously mediocre and semi-watchable. I used to think it's a placebo or just bad source quality to begin with, but I've done enough rips from different DVDs to know it's not true. The truth is, none of these tools produce good results compared to what those other rippers did. There must be some secret ways to do it. It could be one thing, it could be several, I've no idea. Maybe some special filters, blurring, smoothing, I don't know, but either way I can't really apply them while using something like AutoGK. Incidentally, AVI.net + AVI Re-Comp produces much better results than AutoGK as well as provide more options such as ABR for mp3, but something is still off here as I can see pixelation where it really shouldn't be. I noticed the latest AutoGK version uses a VAQ patched XviD 1.2.1, only it doesn't really help. Guess it was mostly intended for x264.

    So, that leaves me with only one assumption that one should do it manually in several steps by using a whole chain of different tools like VirtualDubMod + Xvid + AviSynth + whatever the heck. The real question is: what exactly do I need to do to bring about any change in a positive direction? How do I proceed? How do I know which effects/filters I should apply and when? Also, if I use VirtualDub/VirtualDubMod how exactly do I convert VOBs to a specific file size? Calc and all is nice, but my experience is the output would always be inaccurate. Maybe I am missing something. Anyway, I used to try and eventually give up but this time I'm hell-bent on learning, because I'm tired of ignorance and failure. Besides, I always attempted it on a slower PC where one movie would take half a day to convert, but now I have a pretty fast i7 machine with Nvidia Quadro k2100m and I'm ready to kick some ass.

    Any thoughts and ideas would be very much appreciated.
    Last edited by Damiano; 15th Mar 2020 at 13:23.
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  2. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Around here, whatever you do do NOT call your task a 'DVDRip'. It is a reencode.


    Now I got that one off my chest, here is another. 'Professional Rippers such as....' You mean people who reencode and place these on sites for download using paid-for means ?


    Well if this is your aim you will not get much help here. There are forum rules that cover that.


    But if I felt generous I would suggest you look closer at these 'Rips' with tools such as mediaifo which will tell you the encoding settings. And 700 mb for a full movie is really only practical when you shrink down the frame size since, for example, the pixelation you see is down to bitrate. AutoGK still being developed ? Why not try its bigger brother GordianKnot or even handbrake.


    My contribution to this thread is now over.
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  3. Around here, whatever you do do NOT call your task a 'DVDRip'. It is a reencode.
    Ok.

    Now I got that one off my chest, here is another. 'Professional Rippers such as....' You mean people who reencode and place these on sites for download using paid-for means ?
    No, it's nothing to do with paying. They circulate freely on various p2p networks, which probably doesn't make matters much better for you people, but I'm all for claity. Either way, it's not about them or my personal intents (my plan is just to make personal backups anyway), but the best methods to produce the highest quality 700mb file output for, say, a 1h 30m long movie. That's all.

    But if I felt generous I would suggest you look closer at these 'Rips' with tools such as mediaifo which will tell you the encoding settings.
    Yeah, done that a lot and there is practically no difference except my files would often have a pretty good bitrate (up to 1000 Kbps and over a bit), but the display quality still leave something to be desired.

    And 700 mb for a full movie is really only practical when you shrink down the frame size since, for example, the pixelation you see is down to bitrate.
    Well, I never really touch the bitrate, it results from the file size and resolution alone. I mean, that's how it should be but I don't really know what's really going on.

    AutoGK still being developed ?
    No, it's pretty much discontinued since version 2.55 (February 1, 2009). However, it still works even on modern systems.

    Why not try its bigger brother GordianKnot or even handbrake.
    I was thinking about giving GordianKnot a try, but since noone really ever spoke on its behalf I thought it would be a waste of time. I'll try it, though. As for Handbrake... I don't really understand how to use it. Too many different settings which don't make a lot of sense. Also, I think only older versions allow shrinking files to a pre-configured file size.

    Thank you for your feedback.
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    See this thread. I mentioned a guide back in 2011, received a bit of ridicule in the forum;
    however, this guide's intended audience seems to be those who are trying to do what you're doing,
    ie. produce a file to a specific size (CD sized encode; xvid)
    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/339944-XVID-conversions-too-small/page4
    Image Attached Thumbnails encoding guidev2.1.pdf  

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  5. Thanks a lot, davexnet! Much appreciated! I will study it and come back with more questions if any arise.

    received a bit of ridicule in the forum
    Yeah, I already see some defamatory comments there:

    The "scene" is a bunch of morons stuck in the VCD era where all encodings had to be 700 MB to fit on a VCD. That has little to do with quality.
    What "nice" people.
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    Time sure does fly. Quite a few from those days still around in the forum. The guide is not mine,
    make of it what you will - perhaps there may be something useful
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  7. Originally Posted by Damiano View Post
    ...but something on top of it, which makes me suspect that "professional" rippers such as aXXo and plenty of others didn't use these methods at all.
    All of those people use AviSynth to frameserve. And they don't use AutoGK or any other all-in-one program.
    Also, if I use VirtualDub/VirtualDubMod how exactly do I convert VOBs to a specific file size?
    You use DGIndex to index the VOBs and then MPEG2Source as the basis of an AviSynth script to open the film in VDub for encoding using the XviD codec. If you were to use Gordian Knot then you can easily edit the AviSynth scripts it creates for you so you can add in some judicious filtering. And, those black blocks you notice are at least partly the result of using the XviD codec. It's always been known for that, especially at the low bitrates you'll be using.
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  8. manon,

    Great input, thank you!

    And, those black blocks you notice are at least partly the result of using the XviD codec. It's always been known for that, especially at the low bitrates you'll be using.
    I know, but like I said, my "reencodings" would always contain just a few more artifacts than any of those other files, so obviously, the settings used weren't pushing the quality limit.
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  9. Member azmoth's Avatar
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    How folks still get hung up on those technical terms and love to correct others not so in the know how! A rip would be copying that DVD to a folder on your hard drive unchanged without the garbage of course on it to stop you doing it in the first place. You will have to suss that one out yourself! Then changing it to another format would be transcoding to be precise. AutoGK should a fine job setting it to 75% or 80% quality. Anymore defeats the object of compression benefits! Changing your resulting encode to another would be a re-encode e.g Xvid to h264. All is lossy even from a source.

    Use Fairuse Wizard. It has its own version of Xvid 1.2.1 with a quality slider or you can install Divx codec to work with it. I would use the h264 codec which is an option too in FU Wizard then macroblocking is not an issue as it is with Xvid. You could just repack the dvd to mkv or iso. Space is cheap. Have fun!
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  10. Some of you might also remember DVD2SVCD. Long time ago I got good results with it using top notch mpeg2 encoders or DivX/XviD.
    https://www.videohelp.com/software/DVD2SVCD
    No idea if this still works under W10.
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  11. This is archeology, sentiment. Just good history lessons needed. That includes filtering. Are you going to use filters available only 15 years ago? If not, that would be cheating also.
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  12. Member azmoth's Avatar
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    Should have said FU Wizard free version has limits to size and some features restricted. I think you can still get here Celtic Druid's uncrippled version 2.6, but it probably won't work in Win10. Then again I'm not sure the last version 3DR2 would, as FU Wizard web site only says up to Win8. Maybe run in compatibility mode or something! Depends on your needs and operating system. I never got macro blocking with FU Wizard that much, as the program recommends bit per pixel, so one should adhere to its recommendations in most case.
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  13. azmoth,

    Thanks. I know about FairUse Wizard, used it before, but I'm afraid it's a little too unprofessional to my liking. Few settings and it takes a little too long to convert things, which, I'm not sure is fully justified at least in the case of XviD. However, this option is not completely gone from my list, I may give it another go if everything else fails. But for now I'd like to learn how the "Scene" dudes did/do it exactly.

    Ok, guys, I've fiddled with Gordian Knot a bit and I think I've pretty much got the hang of it. However, it seems to treat the bitrate in exactly the same fashion as AutoGK, although it takes a lot less time to re-encode something. What I mean is, it's ridiculously LOW no matter what. Always below 1000kbps, and I don't understand why. Most scene rips I've seen would have that slightly higher regardless of resolution and duration, so what's the problem here really?

    Image
    [Attachment 52370 - Click to enlarge]


    I figure it uses some very basic algorythm to calculate average bitrate in accordance with pre-defined output file size without running preliminary compression tests, which would explain quick execution. But how do I force this check? It's missing from the PDF kindly provided above.
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  14. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Since I suggested GordianKnot allow me a few words.


    Yes, the bitrate you see is a raw calculation. It has to be because you work to a predefined file size >> Video+Audio+Overhead.


    But it is the average bitrate. If you only do a one-pass encode that average becomes a fixed bitrate. Hence your 'quick' result.


    Better quality is achieved by two-pass - I knew someone who swore at three-pass. Then the first pass scans the file for times when it can use less bitrate and reserve more for scenes that require it. And thus reduce artifacting. IIRC you choose the number of encoding passes in that bottom right selection box - on your screen it is set at one.
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  15. Thanks. But I thought I already did 2 pass encoding. I could clearly see 1st and 2nd during the conversion... perhaps, 3rd time's a charm, indeed.

    P. S. That box stands for profile settings, actually.
    Last edited by Damiano; 17th Mar 2020 at 12:09.
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  16. Member azmoth's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Damiano View Post
    azmoth,

    Thanks. I know about FairUse Wizard, used it before, but I'm afraid it's a little too unprofessional to my liking. Few settings and it takes a little too long to convert things...
    I beg to differ because the results of default/tweaked codec setting are better than what the average user thinks he can do better. Software like FU and AutoGK were specifically designed to get the user as close to a desirable outcome or if not equal to what experienced encoders achieve, and without the probability that said user would mess up if he tinkers under the hood so to speak. Gordianknot was for experienced people! I myself would go Staxrip, but a strong learning curve is needed.

    I would therefore suggest to you to use the last 5.0x version of Xvid4PSP and you can tweak its codecs to kingdom come, plus there are nice filters.
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  17. Gordianknot was for experienced people!
    Honestly, it may look like it got a lot of options there but the truth is, there isn't much you can do (except for XviD settings, which are not a part of it anyway) and very few things to none seem equivocal to unexperienced user like this 2-pass encoding. So I'm not really sure about that. I shun FairUse Wizard for a few reasons. One is that it plants its own metadata in a resulting file, another is that you can't control the output size as you will, it can create files below 700mb (699, 698 etc), you can't really tweak it accurately other than set the output size to 700mb. And finally, it can only read VOBs from an ISO. Things like that put me off.

    Staxrip is still on my list.

    P. S. Ok, so the problem with file size has to do with limited edition. I take that one back.
    Last edited by Damiano; 17th Mar 2020 at 14:13.
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  18. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Damiano View Post

    P. S. That box stands for profile settings, actually.


    If that is the case then I apologise. Yet even then the whole point of a 'profile' is to tweak the settings.


    I guess it is 10+ years since I last used this sw and the same, or even more, when I used Autogk.


    But to claim the GordianKnot has little control over the encoding process is somewhat vain else there would be no need for a one-click version i.e. autogk


    But you may be chasing your own tail here. xVID and Divx (and it's no coincidence why these have complimentary names) went out of fashion years ago. Better to bite the bullet and move to more efficient codecs such as h264/AVC. Just as it is archaic to attempt to encode these days to 700mb/1 CD - even CDs have higher capacity than that.
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    I opened up a dusty box of old DVD's and pulled out Red Dragon, NTSC & anamorphic. Ripped with MakeMKV, then authored to
    VIDEO_TS folder with AVStoDVD. Created d2v with DGIndex.
    Logged onto my old XP system that has xvid installed and opened the following script in the original Virtualdub

    Code:
    loadplugin("F:\Program Files\AviSynth 2.6\plugins\TIVTC.dll")
    LoadPlugin("c:\Documents and Settings\Dave New\My Documents\Downloads\dgmpgdec158\DGDecode.dll")
    mpeg2source("i:\test\red_dragon.d2v")
    tfm().tdecimate()
    spline36resize(852,480)
    crop(0,56,-0,-60)
    Used the bitrate calculator at http://www.cole2k.net/bitrate-calculator.html and got a bitrate of 921kbps for 15 minutes,
    128 kbps audio, target size 115 MB. Did a 2-pass encode, finished file 112 MB

    Set up the Xvid codec as recommended by the guide. The result seems pretty good to me.
    Here's a short clip, direct stream from the output

    PS it feels really weird to be playing around with xvid/avi again after all these years
    Image Attached Files
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  20. Member azmoth's Avatar
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    GordianKnot started out as a bitrate counter and gives the user quite a bit of control over encoding. Let's not forget you can use it for h264 in mkv containers. Setting it up is proof enough of what it can do! AutoGK is not limited too- you can use the tweaker tool and replaces the default denoise script with many of your own. I had excellent results for 700mb using fft3dfilter. That's me done. I hope it works out for you whatever you choose.
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    Originally Posted by azmoth View Post
    GordianKnot started out as a bitrate counter and gives the user quite a bit of control over encoding. Let's not forget you can use it for h264 in mkv containers. Setting it up is proof enough of what it can do! AutoGK is not limited too- you can use the tweaker tool and replaces the default denoise script with many of your own. I had excellent results for 700mb using fft3dfilter. That's me done. I hope it works out for you whatever you choose.
    Regarding the Xvid settings mentioned above, I got slightly cleaner results by turning off turbo
    and lowering Max i-frame interval to 240 or 250 (quality preset/user defined/more)
    http://www.divx-digest.com/articles/xvid_setup_page3.html
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  22. Member azmoth's Avatar
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    [QUOTE Regarding the Xvid settings mentioned above, I got slightly cleaner results by turning off turbo
    and lowering Max i-frame interval to 240 or 250 (quality preset/user defined/more)
    http://www.divx-digest.com/articles/xvid_setup_page3.html[/QUOTE]

    Sounds like you are doing something right. Your Red Dragon clip quality is excellent. Thanks for tip there. I'll have to try it out. After all this nostalgia about Xvid which I haven't done in years I decided to root out an old DVD today Dances With Wolves theatrical and do an xvid. Everything was fine but the aspect of the DVD is truly screwed up displaying as a squashed 2.5 with every transcoding program I tried despite saying 2.35 on box. There's no Pal speed up on the voices because the runtime is 181 mins same as the NTSC fullscreen counterpart which I also have at hand. The PAL version is interlaced. In the end I ripped and transcoded the NTSC version to h264 fast preset as it looked better on my tv than the xvid. I will delete it later as I have the dvd of it anyway and it was fun to just encode again. I just couldn't live with that awful squashed 2.5! A.r
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    Originally Posted by azmoth View Post
    Sounds like you are doing something right. Your Red Dragon clip quality is excellent. Thanks for tip there. I'll have to try it out. After all this nostalgia about Xvid which I haven't done in years I decided to root out an old DVD today Dances With Wolves theatrical and do an xvid. Everything was fine but the aspect of the DVD is truly screwed up displaying as a squashed 2.5 with every transcoding program I tried despite saying 2.35 on box. There's no Pal speed up on the voices because the runtime is 181 mins same as the NTSC fullscreen counterpart which I also have at hand. The PAL version is interlaced. In the end I ripped and transcoded the NTSC version to h264 fast preset as it looked better on my tv than the xvid. I will delete it later as I have the dvd of it anyway and it was fun to just encode again. I just couldn't live with that awful squashed 2.5! A.r
    Red Dragon is also 2.35. The way I sized it in my script above would never have been accepted in the xvid release days;
    width was always limited to 720. This was the maximum width the standalone players supported, also the Advanced Simple Profile L5
    specifies a max of 720x576. So instead of 852x364, 720x304

    So to get 2.35, first crop away the letterbox, then resize to 2.35 leaving the 720 intact
    Code:
    crop(0,56,-0,-60)
    spline36resize(720,304)
    The crop amount will be different for a PAL disk
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  24. Member azmoth's Avatar
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    I will try that out, give me something to do! 720x304, or 2.375. I was reading yesterday that 2.00.1 ratio is the best compromise of all and is making a resurgence as it is the logical middle ground between 1.78 and 2.35 ratios. With a lot of my old 4.3 DVDs a few are enhanced for TV or so its says on the sleeve cover, so squashing was never an issue, but with a few aspects even using zoom or wide-screen enhanced modes on DVD player or media player box the aspect is still screwed up. I then just play as is, or convert for fun to see if I can rectify just a little. The blu ray of Event Horizon has a slightly squashed aspect compared to the DVD which I'm glad I kept now.

    I was watching Star Trek Voyager on tv last night broadcast in 4.3 and it looked really fine. The side bars never bothered me one bit. A few of my blu rays have abysmal aspect ratios too. I sold most of my DVD collection, keeping only classics like Breaking Bad, Lost, etc for reviewing(if I ever get round to it!) and never bother with any new blu ray purchases anymore. You just end up with a load of scratched coasters like CD's, so you never play them to avoid damaging. I'd better not say that to those who have hundreds if not thousands of DVD/blu's in their collections
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    There was a discussion on the 2.00:1 aspect ratio a while back on this forum,
    seems it is in use more than most realized
    https://vashivisuals.com/the-hot-new-filmmaking-aspect-ratio/

    What do you mean by DVD's enhanced for TV? Are they stretched/cropped in order to fill the 16:9 screen?

    When you say some of your Blu-ray have abysmal aspect ratio, do you mean things are out of true, such as objects/people looking to tall or too fat?
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  26. Thank you, guys! Plenty of valuable input!

    I have also discovered some new stuff here. First off, there is this much more profound tool than Gordian Knot, which still receives updates: MeGUI. It seems pretty complex and also better in a handful of ways. Anyone got experience working with it?

    Now a few questions:

    1) What does AviSynth do that VirtualDub/VDubMod can't and how do I use it outside the apps which obiously employ it? Is it even possible?

    2) I know this question has been asked zillion times before, but which interpolation is the best one to use for downscaling? Lanczos, bilinear, bicubic etc..? I'm curious about your experience.

    3) How do I decide which video size to use for output? Is it arbitrary and something that can only be derived via trial & error? How does AutoGK pick the "best" resolution in auto mode anyway?

    On a sidenote, I visited this thread and decided to do what should've been done 10 years ago... welcome to ##videohelp
    Last edited by Damiano; 19th Mar 2020 at 14:00.
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    Originally Posted by Damiano View Post
    Thank you, guys! Plenty of valuable input!

    I have also discovered some new stuff here. First off, there is this much more profound tool than Gordian Knot, which still receives updates: MeGUI. It seems pretty complex and also better in a handful of ways. Anyone got experience working with it?

    Now a few questions:

    1) What does AviSynth do that VirtualDub/VDubMod can't and how do I use it outside the apps which obiously employ it? Is it even possible?

    2) I know this question has been asked zillion times before, but which interpolation is the best one to use for downscaling? Lanczos, bilinear, bicubic etc..? I'm curious about your experience.

    3) How do I decide which video size to use for output? Is it arbitrary and something that can only be derived via trial & error? How does AutoGK pick the "best" resolution in auto mode anyway?

    On a sidenote, I visited this thread and decided to do what should've been done 10 years ago... welcome to ##videohelp
    Avisynth gives more flexibility, but the basic things can be done in Vdub - crop, resize, etc.
    Inverse telecine for movies, to recover the 23.976 frames per second out of the 29.97 DVD frames,
    Avisynth has a reliable method, not sure about Vdub

    For downsizing algorithm spline36resize is good in Avisynth or spline16, slightly softer.
    (it's somewhat a matter of taste).
    In Virtualdub you can try Bicubic 0.60
    As far as video size, keep it simple, key the width 720 and vary the height in order to keep the A/R correct. (as we discussed above)

    I'm not sure about AutoGK auto resolution, but it probably does a compressibility test and picks
    a size to give good results at the target size/bitrate
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  28. Member azmoth's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by davexnet View Post
    There was a discussion on the 2.00:1 aspect ratio a while back on this forum,
    seems it is in use more than most realized
    https://vashivisuals.com/the-hot-new-filmmaking-aspect-ratio/

    What do you mean by DVD's enhanced for TV? Are they stretched/cropped in order to fill the 16:9 screen?

    When you say some of your Blu-ray have abysmal aspect ratio, do you mean things are out of true, such as objects/people looking to tall or too fat?
    A couple of my R1 4.3 DVD's say enhanced for 16:9 televisions to ensure full screen picture. Anamorphic flag? No idea whether cropped or stretched! Some people looking too tall or heads longer rather than squashed with a few blu rays. Fiddling with TV ratios made no difference. And play like that on my other TV too. Won't be a problem anymore because I'm giving them away to a charity sale!
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  29. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Well I am sure you know that a 4:3 dvd must be played back as 4:3 else you stretch on the horizontal ie make people fatter not taller/thinner.


    By the same token you also get both letter-boxing and pillar-boxing with the picture just in the middle of the screen.


    Anamorphic does not apply AFAIK to any 4:3 dvd. A 16:9 screen in a 4:3 frame is essentially non-anamorphic. The only way such a disk could be played 'full screen picture' is if the tv can zoom. The player can not remover the bars on its own.
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  30. Member azmoth's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    Well I am sure you know that a 4:3 dvd must be played back as 4:3 else you stretch on the horizontal ie make people fatter not taller/thinner.


    By the same token you also get both letter-boxing and pillar-boxing with the picture just in the middle of the screen.


    Anamorphic does not apply AFAIK to any 4:3 dvd. A 16:9 screen in a 4:3 frame is essentially non-anamorphic. The only way such a disk could be played 'full screen picture' is if the tv can zoom. The player can not remover the bars on its own.
    Sure do! The blu rays I referred to were not 4:3's. Some blu ray older releases like Event Horizon or The Truman Show were slightly vertically stretched to accommodate wide-screen TV. Just had a quick gander at an R1 Canadian DVD which states full screen representation specially enhanced for playback on 16:9 televisions. The DVD fills the screen without people squashing, but still side bars are there, but not bothersome. Do these dvd flags tell the TV or player to auto zoom in on some 4:3?
    Last edited by azmoth; 20th Mar 2020 at 11:35.
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