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The “K” method of encoding MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 — officially known as K Video Compression Dynamics (retconned “KVCD”) — requires simple modifications to the GOP and quantization matrix used by the VCD, SVCD, CVD and DVD-Video standards. These modifications can allow for recording/burning more minutes on a single disc, as well as increases in resolution.

For example, KVCD can allow anywhere from 120 to 360 minutes on a single 80-minute CD-R, while retaining quality that is equal to, or comparable to, a standard VCD. And a KDVD will create 100% DVD-Video compliant MPEG-2 videos capable of playing on any standard DVD or Blu-ray player. (Due note, however, that the quality of compression depends heavily on the quality and content of your source material.)

Which Templates are Best?

The KVCDx3 template, the final official VCD template released, produces 528×480 (NTSC) and 528×576 (PAL) variable bit rate video, from 64Kbps to 3,000Kbps, using either MPEG-1 or MPEG-2. Quality can look every bit as good as a standard definition signal from analog cable, digital cable, satellite TV, and even many DVDs!

Need more per disc? By using the KVCD low-bitrate templates (LBR and ULBR), it’s possible to encode video up to ~360 minutes of near-VCD quality, akin to a noisy VHS tape, on a single 80 minute CD-R. And these discs will play in many modern standalone DVD and Blu-ray players! (Technical note: You must burn the KVCD MPEG files as non-standard VCD or non-standard SVCD, depending on your player, using the payware Nero or freeware VCDEasy.)

For the DVD hobbyists, using KVCD parameters to create DVDs (KDVD) allows up to 6 hours of Full D-1 720×480 on one DVD-R, or up to 10 hours at Half D-1 352×480 on a single DVD-R.

All templates can be downloaded from: TMPGEnc Video Encoding Templates for KVCD

KVCD Official Specifications

The core trick of KVCD is a proprietary modification to the standard MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 quantization matrix. This matrix can be used on any hardware or software encoder capable of accepting custom matrices. It is optimized for space, while retaining a good degree of quality, having also been optimized to reduce visible DCT blocks on low-lit or dark scenes.

Intra matrix settings:

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Non-intra matrix settings:


Some Encoding Recommendations
  • For optimal encoding on natural material — movies or CG animated films — we recommend a maximum GOP size of 24 pictures.
  • For traditional non-CG cartoons and anime, we recommend a maximum GOP size of 12 pictures for NTSCFilm (23.976fps), 15 pictures for PAL (25fps), and 18 pictures for NTSC (29.97fps).
  • Set the “scene change detection” option if the encoder has one.
  • Use open GOPs.
  • Use the best encoding mode available in your hardware or software MPEG encoder.
  • Suggested bitrates are a minimum of 64kbps and a maximum of 3,000kbps. For MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 in this bitrate range, a DC component precision of 8 bits is recommended.

DVD-Video Compliance?

The KVCD method can be used for encoding MPEG-2 files, and will be 100 percent compliant to the DVD-Video specs. Simply change (or modify, patch, etc) the matrix on your encoder and use the KVCD quantization matrix. This will allow up to six hours on a single 4.7GB DVD-R/DVD+R media, at Full D1 720×480 NTSC resolution (or 720x576 PAL), and is ideal for widescreen movies. For “full screen” (4×3 aspect ratio) videos, up to 10 hours can be encoded at Half D1 352×480 NTSC resolution (or 352x576 PAL).

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