Quantcast Help using MainConcept 1.5 Encoder - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
02-03-2009, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superstar
I just got my first video captured...finally
Can you please give me step by step instructions on how to use MainConcept? I've never use an encoder and have no clue how to.
I do remember you telling me to change the bitrate settings in it to 352x480, 3500 bitrate , 4500 max
How do I get to that screen or whatever it is to change them? When I open the program all that is there is boxes to add the video files.
Thanks a lot
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superstar
Hey man,
So I decided to try to figure out MainConcept on my own, I'll tell you step by step what I did and all I'd need you to do is reply and just tell me yes I did it right, or no I did it wrong , and let me know what I did wrong.

1- In the video source, I put my video and the same file appeared in the video source, audio source, and the output source. I just left it that way because I figured it automatically went in all 3, that's how it was supposed to be. Was that right of me?

2- For MPEG type, it was set at DVD so I left it as that. I saw one of the other choices was MPEG2 which I almost selected, but decided to stay with the DVD setting. Was I right to do that?
Video Mode - NTSC
Stream Type - Program (Video+Audio)
Audio Mode - LPCM

Ok, this is where I got really confused...
I clicked the "Details" button, and then I went to another screen that says "Detailed Settings" at the top. I changed the Width to 352, and the Height to 480. Did I do that right?

I clicked the "Advanced" button at the bottom right and was taken to another window that says "Advanced MPEG Settings"

Frame Rate- 29.97 fps -NTSC, non drop-frame rate
Aspect Ratio - 4:3 display

Bitrate Type- I remember that in the capture program you had me set it to Constant Bitrate, but Variable was the default setting here, so I just left it as Variable Right or Wrong?

Rate Mode Control - Mode 1

GOP Structure (distance between frame types)-
l frames - 15
Auto GOP - None
P frames - 3

Variable Bitrate - Ok...this worries me too, because I know this is mega important. This is what I assumed you meant when you told me to change the bitrate settings in the Encoder...this is what I made the new bitrates -
Maximum- 4500
Average - 3500
Minimum - I wasn't sure what to put here because we never talked about a minimum setting, so I just put 3000

Then I assume I hit the "Convert" button at the main screen.

So, how did I do?
Let's see if I can answer this using images alone...

mainconcept1.jpg

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Audio output depends on what you want. If you're going to restore the audio (dehiss, denoise, etc), and it's suggested, then go for PCM(WAV) output. If you have perfect audio, such as from a direct television recording or DV tape, then go right for the output of MP2. If you do run with MP2, then 256k is a minimum for best quality, 384k is better, but no more. Most of my work is at 256kbps AC3 or 256kbps MP2.

If you do WAV audio, then on that first screen choose ELEMENTARY output, video and audio. That will create a MPV(M2V) file, and a WAV file. Rename the MPV to M2V, if that's the extension it gives. I use so many programs, so many versions, that I forget some of these things. I just know to change it when I see it. So keep watch for that.

Your video captures are likely to be TOP FIELD, not bottom (the default as chosen by the software, most of the time).

On a 352x480 VBR encode, 1000kbps is the minimum. For 704x480 or 720x480, you'd have used 2000kbps minimum.

In this example, I put 5000k as a maximum. Either that or 4500k will be about the same. It really depends on the noise/detail of the source being encoded, to be fully honest.

Although the Hauppauge PVR250 card can capture 352x480, it's so soft to almost be blurry sometimes. This is a much better method to get sharp 352x480 videos, using MainConcept.

If you ever want to restore the video in VirtualDub first, know that it's possible to frameserve VirtualDub output directly into MainConcept, as long as AviSynth 2.5 is installed on the system. Your VirtualDub frameserve VDR is simply named filename.avs (note:.avs) and then MainConcept will open it fine. This is one of my most common software restoration methods, for medium-level software restoring needs (grain reduction, masking overscan, etc).



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Last edited by lordsmurf; 02-03-2009 at 07:24 PM.
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  #2  
02-03-2009, 07:25 PM
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Let's try those images again. PNG and GIF like to shrink 50% automatically for some reason. Hmm... JPEG seems to be fine:

mainconcept1.jpg

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Last edited by lordsmurf; 02-03-2009 at 07:28 PM.
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  #3  
02-03-2009, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Thanks for all the pictures bro, they were of big help to me. I made all the changes and it's encoding now. How long does a typical encode like the size that I'm doing take?

Here's a few more q's...some of my videos are not all 6 hrs..some are 5 hrs, some are 4 hrs..some are 4and a half hours..things like that. Now, I know you said to do only a max of 3 hr vids, which I will, but my q is when I split up a 5 hr video for example, what would be the bitrate settings that I;d use in MC? Because if I split up a 5 hr video or so, it'd be about 2-2 and a half hours on th DVD...
so I guess my q in other words would be, what bitrate settings do I use for videos that will be under 3 hours?

Also, can you explain to me the benefits that I'm going to get by encoding? I've never done it before, and still don't 100% understand it..is it better pic and sound quality?

Also, I'll always capture with the 720x480, 15000 CBR settings.
Maximize the bitrate a bit more for those 2-3 hour segments. You can up the average and minimum by 500kbps, so you'd be at 4000k average with a 5000k max. If it's 2.5 hours, then maybe 3750k with max of 4800k.

Why encode? It's a 3-part answer:

1. You want the most video as possible on a single disc, and you want good quality. Your source is VHS. This adds up to using 352x480 resolution, with adequate bitrates.

2. Hauppauge makes a great card, hardware MPEG encoding, in-sync audio, good quality, etc. But the 352x480 resolution is really soft on this specific card, as I mentioned in above posts. I don't mean nitpick soft, but really visibly soft. Excessively so. It does best at full resolution of 720x480, so we'll capture that way. To avoid losing quality from later re-encode, we'll use a really high max bitrate. If the option is there to do I-frame only capture, do that too.

3. Okay, so you have a 720x480 MPEG-2 with really high bitrate outside the DVD-Video spec, and you wanted 352x480 anyway. But you want it sharp and as good a quality as can be done with reasonable time and budget. We have to re-encode to the better quality. And MainConcept 1.5 is one of the best encoders there is.

That's why.

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  #4  
02-04-2009, 01:39 PM
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I encoded my first video last night, and it took 9 hrs for a 3 hour video. Is that normal?
After it was done, I brought it to DVDLab Pro to make it, and it was still too big, it ended up being like 5.07 GB which wouldn't fit in the allowed 4.7. There's nothing that I can cut off the video from either the start or end, so what do I do now?
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02-04-2009, 02:10 PM
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Is the audio still a WAV file? You need to use a compressed audio file on the final DVD. It needs to be 256-384k MP2 or AC3. WAV is too big.

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  #6  
02-04-2009, 02:12 PM
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Yeah, I assume it is? I didn't do anything to change it. It is 256..what do I do to change it? Do I need to use another program?

"If you do WAV audio, then on that first screen choose ELEMENTARY output, video and audio. That will create a MPV(M2V) file, and a WAV file. Rename the MPV to M2V, if that's the extension it gives. I use so many programs, so many versions, that I forget some of these things. I just know to change it when I see it. So keep watch for that."

Is this where I'd change the audio, on the first screen of MainConcept? Make it "Elemen Video & Audio"? There's no place for me to change the MPV to M2V as stated above, I'm not sure where to do that at. My video, audio and output boxes all the say the same thing.. C:MyVideos\(video name).mpg it says that in the video source, audio source and output says C:\MyVideos\(video name 1)


Is that also why it took so long to encode?

Last edited by Superstar; 02-04-2009 at 02:28 PM.
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02-04-2009, 02:29 PM
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Your computer is, like some of mine, from an older generation of machines, and they take longer to crunch video. Video is a demanding task on a CPU, and does take a while.

To speed up video encoding, do these:
  1. Reboot before encoding
  2. Encode overnight, so you don't notice the passage of time
  3. Disable network access (WinIPCfg.exe) or unplug the Internet cable
  4. Close anti-virus, firewalls and any other TSR software (programs by the clock on the taskbar)
  5. Consider tweaking the system startup with WinPatrol of by using MSConfig, and disable "junkware" from starting with you computer. For example, Adobe PDF, QuickTime and Microsoft Office DO NOT need to always be running, that's stupid (default install action of the software)

Coming off VHS sources, you really need to clean up your audio before committing it to disc. Don't just fix the video, learn to fix the audio too. You'll have to do that while the audio is a WAV, before it's compressed to the final format for disc.

After the audio is cleaned (dehiss, etc), then you'll need another piece of software to encode to MP2 or AC3. Don't worry, great freeware can do this minor task. BeLight is a good choice. It's available at http://coreforge.org/projects/belight -- all you have to do is install it (plus BeSweet) and encode to AC3. If you need the ac3enc.dll file, let me know. Some versions stopped carrying that DLL for AC3 encoding, not sure why.

How big is the DVD, if you only added video and not audio to the DVD-Lab project?

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02-04-2009, 06:04 PM
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So, do I have to change the audio to AC3 before I encode? You said after the audio is cleaned (dehiss) what do you mean by that? Is Dehiss an actual program? Should I use that first, and get the BeLight?

I added both the video and what was there for the audio, it was 5.07 GB

I'll be honest, I'm COMPLETELY lost and confused with the audio. I've never done anything with changing audio and I don't have a clue where to even start..so I'll pretty much need to be guided step by step..all of this has kinda been a big learning process to me and you guys are kinda teaching me everything step by step. I'm almost there, but I think the audio thing will be a big step.

I'll need to know the programs to use...how to use them..kinda like how Smurf did those pics for me about MC, that taught me a lot, so if someone can do that with the audio that would be awesome.
Will changing it some effect how it sounds on the DVD at all?

Last edited by Superstar; 02-04-2009 at 09:58 PM.
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  #9  
02-05-2009, 04:15 PM
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No.

Your capture file is
  • compressed MPEG video, with a high bitrate
  • compressed MPEG audio.

MainConcept converts the video to:
  • compressed MPEG video, with best bitrate and resolution for the kind of DVD you specifically are trying to make, meaning 3 hours on a single disc
  • MC is better than WinTV at these resolutions and bitrates, so your quality is much better by using this extra step, it's sharper and has less noise
  • it turns the audio into an uncompressed WAV.

Look at your video file that was encoded.
  • Is it an MPV or an M2V file?
  • What is the file size according to Windows?

Let's get past this part first, worry about audio next.

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  #10  
02-05-2009, 06:16 PM
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Well, there's 3 of them listed with the name that I saw MC gave it after it was done encoding. By that I mean, I originally named my video after I was done capturing and when MC was done it put a number 1 after the video name. For example, say I originally named it wrestling and MC renamed it wrestling1. It has that file name for all 3 of them.

There is one there that says "video name.MPV", and when I right click on it, it says opens with Unknown application with a "change" button next to that, and that one is 4.23 GB.

As far as the other 2 goes... one is 317 MB, type of file: Movie Clip, opens with Windows Media Player

The other one, 4.60 GB...Movie Clip, also opens with Windows Media Player

The last 2 that I just named has a picture of like a little movie clip and says MPEG on it, and the MPV one doesn't have a picture of that, it has a picture that looks like a browser with 6 icons on it. I have that folder set to display as thumbnails, so that's why it has those pictures if you're unsure of what I mean by that.

I didn't realize there was 3 videos for it now. I don't know what one to use now. Is that normal for it to have 3 videos after it's done encoding? Before I encoded I only had 1, which was the video that I captured.

Last edited by Superstar; 02-05-2009 at 06:20 PM.
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  #11  
02-05-2009, 06:26 PM
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Now I don't understand.

You can't name all of the files the same name. It appears you tried to put the new file, with the same name, in the same directory with the source.

i.e.
captured file is "wrestling.mpg"
new file cannot be "wrestling.mpg" in the same folder
MainConcept adds a number to the end, to name it something different

Your video, audio and menus must clock in at 4.37GB or less. Your video is too big. You'll need to re-encode the video with lower values, about 3200k avg, 1000k min, 4000k max, to fit 3 hours on one disc.

You need to install VLC media player from http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-windows.html and install GSpot 2.5 from http://www.headbands.com/gspot/gspot252dl.html

VLC will be your MPEG-2 player, GSpot will help you identify file types, codecs used, and how the system can play it.

These may come in helpful as time goes by.

I have no idea what your files are. You'll need to watch them in VLC and see what's there. Maybe you made a mistake, and encoded several files? I have no idea.

Your workflow needs to look like this:
  1. capture video in WinTV with Hauppauge card
  2. edit video (remove commercials, cut junk from before or after show) in an MPEG editor, be it Womble MPEG-VCR, Womble MPEG Video Wizard (my top choice), VideoReDo or TMPGEnc MPEG Editor.
  3. take edited MPEG file, re-encode video to best file for a DVD, also converting audio to WAV for restoration
  4. restore WAV file (remove hiss, noise, buzz, etc) in SoundForge and/or Goldwave
  5. take new clean audio WAV, convert to AC3 or MP2 in BeLight
  6. create some nice menus in software like Photoshop
  7. author in DVD-Lab with nice menus, good video, clean audio
  8. burn DVD folder set with ImgBurn using Verbatim or Taiyo Yuden discs

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Last edited by lordsmurf; 02-05-2009 at 06:31 PM.
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  #12  
02-05-2009, 06:37 PM
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When I encoded the first video what I did was open the video in MC, and it listed the same file name in all 3 spots, video, audio and output, and once it was done encoding, those 3 files appeared...

Maybe that problem happened because of that? Can you tell me what I should put in those spots when I open my video in MC? The ones I'm talking about is in your picture I think it said F: in all 3 of them..that's the spot I'm talking about.
Should I have a different file name in each one of those?

Here's what it says in MC when I open a new video in it...

Video Source - C:\MyVideos\insurex.mpg
Audio Source - C:\MyVideos\insurex.mpg
Output Source - C:\MyVideos\insurex

Note: This is a different video then the first one that I encoded, but it had the same thing listed for the other video in these spaces. I went to video source in MC, selected the video, and it appeared like this by default in these 3 boxes..

It did take 9 hrs to encode a 3 hr video, is that normal?

I'm still stuck on step 3 in my workflow. I've never done steps 4 & 5 that you listed, so after we get this problem figured out, we'll have to move to those steps

Last edited by Superstar; 02-05-2009 at 07:56 PM.
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  #13  
02-06-2009, 10:38 AM
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The audio and video input should be the same, as audio and video is coming from the same file.

The output needed to be renamed to something else, as you cannot name the output file the same name as the input file IF you are saving to the same folder. You just type in the new name of the file in that box.

Refer back to the images in the first or second post of this thread. The STREAM TYPE shown there is not what you want. It shows PROGRAM Audio+Video. That was initially explained as a "what if" change, but the above workflow makes it a mandatory change. The Stream Type needs to be ELEMENTARY audio+video. Your audio type, chosen in a later screen, needs to be set to WAV (PCM) output.

For a machine your age to take 9 hours to encode is more or less typical, yes. Considering the input size, output size, CPU speed, etc -- from 5-10 hours may be typical. Set up one encode each night before going to bed, let it run overnight. Encoding video is a multi-hour task.

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  #14  
02-06-2009, 10:57 AM
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So do you think because the output source was named the same as the other ones, that's the reason why it added 3 video files?

It's not letting me save it in a different folder. The two choices that I can save it as are "All files" and "mpeg". Which one should I pick? I was assuming it was mpeg, but it doesn't let me save it no matter what I put it in. I click browse, go to a folder somewhere, like in My Documents for example, double click a folder, then when I click save it doesn't do anything. I even tried to create a folder to put it in, and it won't let me do that either. I think maybe because the name space is blank, but I don't have anything to save..does that make sense?

Should it still start off as C:\MyVideos\ ? in the output source? Should I put something like C:\MyVideos\insurex2 or something like that?

Can you give me an example of what I should type there?

Also, should I still lower the bitrate in MC?

"The Stream Type needs to be ELEMENTARY audio+video. Your audio type, chosen in a later screen, needs to be set to WAV (PCM) output."
For this, do I go to the audio tab, and in the drop down box do I select PCM? The was no WAV choice, just PCM.
Also, on the first screen, does the Audio Mode still stay as Layer 2?

Update - I encoded a video last night with the settings that you told me to use. I lowered the bitrate, and made the audio Layer 2, went to the audio tab and in the drop down selected PCM. For the output source I made it C:\MyVideos\insurexxtion and when it was done encoding here are the files for it..insurex (name of the video that i captured, i named it that), insurexxtion (what i re-named it in the output source), and insurexxtion.mpv
All that I did to encode was select the single video file that I had after I captured which was insurex, that is what was in the video & audio source spaces.

Last edited by Superstar; 02-08-2009 at 10:30 AM.
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  #15  
02-10-2009, 05:49 PM
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MP2 = MPEG Layer II audio
PCM = WAV

MPV and M2V are the same thing here, a video-only MPEG file. Remember this anytime there talk about M2V elementary video streams.

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  #16  
02-18-2009, 10:26 PM
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This might sound mean, but it's just straight-forward answers. Read carefully, and remember I'm doing my best to help you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superstar
I remember you said there shouldn't of been 3 videos listed, but I changed the settings in MC as you directed me to, and I still got 3..but I was thinking that 1 was the original video, 1 was the new encoded video and the one which was mpv, was the audio.
This is what you can get:

video (elementary)
  • M2V
  • MPV
  • M1V

audio (elementary)
  • MP2
  • MPA
  • AC3
  • WAV
  • AIFF

audio+video (muxed/multiplexed)
  • MPG
  • MPEG

MC has three windows
  • input audio
  • input video
  • output name

If you opt for elementary streams, it outputs TWO new files, using same output name, but different extension, one for audio, one for video.

I don't know how WinTV names files off the top of my head. ATI MMC arbitrarily named the files something semi-stupid, based on the time the capture started ("1259pm.mpg"), or the name of the input connection ("s-video.mpg") -- or something to that extent. Rename these, don't let software tell you what to do.

Rename your videos something intelligent, like "My Source Tape 1.mpg".

You'll edit out crap in an MPEG editor, be it commercials, junk before the recording, or junk after the recording ended. Don't try to "time it" when you capture, that's silly. Record too much before and after, then go back and precisely cut out what you don't want. You'll use MPEG editor software here, such as Womble MPEG Video Wizard. Name this file something like "My Source Tape 1 Edited.mpg"

This is the file you import into MainConcept, not the raw capture.

And then name your new OUTPUT file, in MainConcept, something like "My Encoded Video from Tape 1" and then it will add it's own extensions as needed (MPG, MPV, MPA, etc).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Superstar
So in DVDLab, I would bring the new encoded video for the video and the mpv for the audio,
No, wrong, MPV is video.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superstar
and just delete the original video that I captured, because I didn't think I'd have use for it anymore. Is this all correct?
No. Keep the source file until you are 100% positive that the encode was successful. Or maybe delete this and keep the edited version. Don't have pure blind faith that MainConcept won't butcher the video -- it can happen (hard drive errors are likely, so keep the drive defragmented at least once per month -- use DisKeeper, it's cheap and good, the one that came with Windows sucks).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superstar
Is everything that I wrote in my last post that I've included the right thing or should I do some more fine tuning?
You've written so many posts that I have no idea what the last one was. You need to go slower. Your ability to ask questions exceeds my ability to answer them,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superstar
Also...for the audio settings in MC, You wrote this.."The Stream Type needs to be ELEMENTARY audio+video. Your audio type, chosen in a later screen, needs to be set to WAV (PCM) output."
For this, do I go to the audio tab, and in the drop down box do I select PCM? The was no WAV choice, just PCM.
Also, on the first screen, does the Audio Mode still stay as Layer 2?
For the purpose of this discussion WAV=PCM, same difference. You don't want MPEG Layer II, no, not from MainConcept, that won't work. The next step in your workflow is audio restoration, and you need WAV(PCM).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Superstar
Update - I encoded a video last night with the settings that you told me to use. I lowered the bitrate, and made the audio Layer 2, went to the audio tab and in the drop down selected PCM. For the output source I made it C:\MyVideos\insurexxtion and when it was done encoding here are the files for it..insurex (name of the video that i captured, i named it that), insurexxtion (what i re-named it in the output source), and insurexxtion.mpv
All that I did to encode was select the single video file that I had after I captured which was insurex, that is what was in the video & audio source spaces
Name your files better, you're confusing yourself (me too). Discussed above in this very post.

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Last edited by lordsmurf; 02-24-2009 at 11:09 PM.
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  #17  
02-19-2009, 02:18 AM
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Thanks for the advice. I'll try it all and let you know what happens. After reading this, I took your advice and purchased Womble MPEG Video Wizard. Can you tell me how I'd use it for my specific task of removing unwanted stuff? I'm guessing that's all that I'll need it for.

I also downloaded Diskeeper. Should I leave it on Automatic Defrag at all times, even when I'm capturing, encoding and doing all other video tasks?

"For the purpose of this discussion WAV=PCM, same difference. You don't want MPEG Layer II, no, not from MainConcept, that won't work"

When I change the audio to PCM in MainConcept, it automatically changes the "Audio Mode" on the main screen to LPCM Is that correct? Stream Type is still Elemen. Video and Audio.

Last edited by Superstar; 02-19-2009 at 02:35 AM.
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  #18  
02-23-2009, 11:59 AM
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Your questions will be answered next.
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02-23-2009, 12:36 PM
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Thanks a lot
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02-24-2009, 11:08 PM
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LPCM = PCM = WAV, for purpose of this discussion.

Run Diskeeper when needed, I would not let it auto-defrag one you've let it fully defrag itself. Run it during your "off" times (overnight during middle of week?) to keep the disk healthy. Don't dare let it run while capturing, all hell could break loose.

I'll write a Womble MPEG Video Wizard guide too, this weekend, along with the BeLight/BeSweet and others you'll need.

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