CHAPTER 4 : MPEG Encoder


Part 1 : How To Check MPEG / MPG  Complaisance



The most commonly playable format without a lot of extra codecs is MPEG (Moving Pictures Group).   It can be played by most operating systems straight out of the box.   The only real disadvantage about it is the size the files are,  they are rather large.


Anyway, the easiest way to deal with these files is burn them straight to VCD, SVCD or DVD depending on resolution.


VCD by specification has a resolution of 320 pixels by 240 pixels.

So if your MPG movie is equal or less than this,  then  you probably want to burn a VCD of it.


SVCD by spec is 480x578.  It is not as widely supported by stand-alone DVD players but if you system does support it then this is not a bad option either if you are trying to preserve quality,.


DVD by spec is 720x480 (double that of VCD).


Now you can encode your video in any of these three, it is totally up to you.   Factors you might want to consider though:


(a)  up sampling the resolution will cause the movie to look jagged and jerky so making the program extrapolate extra pixels may not look too good,

(b)  The price of media and how many medias you will need.   DVD-Rs are about the same price as CDRs.  So to burn 2 VCDs is not as economical as 1 DVD-R

(c)  VCDs and SVCDs are no brainer playing discs which may be important if you are planning to give a movie to your parents or grand parents who are SO technically  challenged that they canŐt operate a remote control and nagivate through a DVD menu.




Alright, lets BEGIN!!



Ok you start up the program, and you get a screen like this:




You will notice the first thing down the page you will need to supply the Video source, Audio source and then the location of the output file.   So first one firstÉ   Where is your source video?


Click on the OPEN button on the top right.   A browser window will appear as shown..    Find your  MPG file and select it.   Click OPEN.






OK, for almost all MPG files, the program will automatically fill in the source audio line for you.   This is a good thing because that means the program knows how to decode the audio.   Thus at least that part is compliant.   If it doesnŐt show up, then there is something wrong with the audio part.   I will cover  how to fix that in a later chapter.


The program will also by default save your output file in the same directory as your source file.   If you want to change that press the BROWSE button and pick an new directory.


The next step is to pick what the heck we are going to make.   In this example we will make a  VCD out of it.   You can click on the radio button and you can see the other options of MPEG1, MPEG2 as well as the VCD, SVCD and DVD options.






As a precaution, VCDs only hold about 65-ish minutes of a movie.  So if you have a 2 hour movie, you will have to split the movie into 2 pieces.   To do this, click the DETAILS button and a second window will appear as pictured above.   On this window, check  the ENABLE FILE SPLITTING box.    You can specify how many MB to put on a CDR but 600 is fine.     Click  OK.


Another thing to check is that the Video is the right mode for your country.   I am in North America and we used  NTSC.   So make sure if you are getting movies from England or Hong Kong, that the mode is NOT PAL or SECAM and that you change this to NTSC.




After this, just click on CONVERT  and let it  do itŐs  thing.




Ok it will come up with this window and it will start doing itŐs thing.

There is a status bar beside the ABORT button.   Be patient, it is pretty quick but it is not instant!



Now, the resulting MPG  file that comes out of here will be compliant.  IF you picked VCD or SVCD, then you can proceed to Nero and you can burn it right away to disk.    See my tutorial for that.


If you picked DVD, you will have to use a DVD authoring program like TMPGENC DVD AUTHOR  to make the VOB, IFO, and BUP files for the disk first then you go to Nero.   Again, see my tutorial for that.