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08-07-2015, 04:06 AM
catloki catloki is offline
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A newbie says hi to everyone,

Please excuse me if I place my thread at the wrong place or people here donít normally discuss of the subject of mine.

Anyway, Iíve been trying to burn a bunch of mkv movies to DVDs by using the MainConcept MPEG Encoder but so far the picture quality I got were really suck comparing to other programs. I have heard Main Concept is among the bests so I suppose I donít really know how to use it. I really appreciate if anyone could show me the exact right way.

Thanks in advance
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  #2  
08-07-2015, 01:57 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catloki View Post
A newbie says hi to everyone
And welcome.

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Originally Posted by catloki View Post
Please excuse me if I place my thread at the wrong place or people here don’t normally discuss of the subject of mine.
The subject of lossy re-encoding of lossy encoded originals has been discussed many times here.

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Originally Posted by catloki View Post
Anyway, I’ve been trying to burn a bunch of mkv movies to DVDs by using the MainConcept MPEG Encoder
WHich version of MainConcept?

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Originally Posted by catloki View Post
so far the picture quality I got were really suck comparing to other programs.
What other programs have you used for this same task?

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Originally Posted by catloki View Post
I have heard Main Concept is among the bests so I suppose I don’t really know how to use it. I really appreciate if anyone could show me the exact right way.
When you can post more info about the version you're using, people familliar with that product can probably help.

When the only information we have about your source is that they are "mkv videos", I'm afraid we're left guessing about what that means. MKV is a container, not a codec, and it can contain video encoded in many different ways and to many different quality levels. Nowadays MKV is usually video encoded with h264, which is a lossy codec, or with other and similar lossy codecs. If you begin with poor quality encoded or otherwise lossy video, you can't improve quality by subjecting it to another lossy encode. It takes a lot more work to insure against further quality loss.

Look at it this way. Think of the original, un-encoded source before it became an mkv. Ragardless of the original format, think of the original source as having 100% of its original data before it was encoded into an mkv container. A lossy encoder such as h264 would be encoded with a loss of, say, 15 to 20% of the original data for an average-quality h264 encode. If it's a low-bitrate or lower quality encode, about 30 to 35% (or more) of the original data has been discarded by the h64 encoding. So the MKV would have about 80% to 65% of the data of the original.

Take that 80 to 65% of remaining data in the mkv, and encode it to a decent quality MPEG (which is another lossy codec). MPEG will lose another 20% to 35% of the mkv's data, depending on the MPEG coding parameters used. What you would have left in the MPEG, then, is only (approximately) 40 to 50% of the 100% data you started with. Data loss results in chroma smearing, compression artifacts such as macroblocks and mosquito noise, corrupt and hard-edged gradient areas, disappearing or smeared detail, poor and very noisy motion rendering, lowered contrast and saturation, inability to accurately represent the original details and colors, and so forth. A poor quality original mkv would have some of these same problems, which are made worse by more lossy encoding.

Answers are available, but you should furnish more information.
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  #3  
08-08-2015, 12:31 AM
catloki catloki is offline
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Thanks sanlyn, for replying.

Here I have MainConcept.MPEG.Encoder v.1.5.0. Other programs I have used previously: AVStoDVD, Avi2Dvd, Any DVD Converter Pro.. and TMPGEnc Authoring Works 4.

Sorry about mkv stuffs. Here 1 of the ďmkvĒ video that I loaded into Any Converter Pro just to see what it made of:
Format: H264, frame size: 1280x718, FPS: 24

Thanks for enlighten me about lossy encoded, codec.. Well, I'm aware of each time we do a conversion the video quality would suffer in some degree. Now have in hand a suppose to be great app I just hope to get the best out of it, expecting the better result than others I have been using.
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  #4  
08-08-2015, 09:31 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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The reputation of MainConcept as the 8th wonder of the world is based on their professional product line, not on automated consumer versions. Prices for the Pro line begin at about $450 USD for limited formats and are much higher for other packages. When comparing scaled-down consumer versions of MainConcept to MPEG2 encoders used in the other software you mention, the other software uses better MPEG encoders -- notably HCenc or possibly ffmpeg, and TMPGenc v4 uses its own Pegasus MPEG encoder. Another problem with most automated consumer converters is that resizing is less than good, and in some cases is very poor. Users of MC's 1.5.0 converter can advise in more detail, but I'm always personally disappointed with the results from MC's automated consumer software. Newer TMPGenc products no longer use MC.

Your video converter "Pro" doesn't give much information about the mkv. If you like, you can get more information about video clips using the free MediaInfoXP program shown here: http://www.videohelp.com/software/MediaInfoXP. MediaInfoXP is standalone and does not require an installer. It works in all versions of Windows. The Pro converter says nothing about bitrate, GOP size, audio properties, etc. But it does tell enough to know that your mkv is a non-standard frame size (718 pixel height is incorrect for 720p video). It also tells us your mkv source is either PAL film speed (24fps) or was made with a consumer camera that makes 1280x720 h264 video at 24fps. The video is progressive. Unfortunately the Converter Pro info tells nothing about the quality of the mkv. We also don't know where this mkv came from: if it is from a consumer camera, it could have been incorrectly reprocessed. If it is a web download, it is likely of low quality to begin with. We can only guess, with the information given.

I assume from the software you're using that you want a standard-specification DVD video for authoring and burning to DVD disc. One thing to know beforehand is that 24fps is not acceptable for PAL or NTSC DVD. Another thing you should know is that DVD is almost always interlaced or telecined, not progressive. You gave no location or system information about yourself, but I'm assuming you want a PAL DVD. PAL is 25fps. PAL DVD can't be any other frame rate. What is usually done with 24fps PAL is to speed up the frame rate and the audio to 25fps. Another thing you should be aware of is that h264 encodes usually use an audio format that can't be used as DVD audio and must be decoded and properly re-encoded as Dolby AC3 or PCM (MPEG1 Layer2 is acceptable for PAL, but is of lower quality).

The mkv's height of 718 pixels would indicate a poorly or incorrectly processed video. Standard video formats are based on modulus dimensions, meaning that the width and height must able to be evenly divided by specific, even numbers. For example, "mod-16" indicates a number that is evenly divided by 16. Other "Mod" numbers used in standard video are Mod-8 (evenly divided by 8) and mod-4 (evenly divided by 4). DVD is almost always encoded as mod-16 frame sizes with encoders that usually work with pixel blocks of 16x16 pixels, although blocks of 8x8 and 4x4 can be used by some encoders. Your mkv's height of 718 is not mod-16, not mod-8, not mod-4. It is mod-2 only. For DVD, your mkv has to be resampled down to 720x576 for PAL (720x480 for NTSC) and encoded with a display aspect ratio (DAR) of 16:9. Some MPEG DVD encoders will allow you to encode progressive 25fps DVD, some will insist on encoding it as interlaced. Some DVD authoring programs will accept progressive 25fps video, some will refuse it; most strictly "authoring-only" programs do not convert to other formats. A few encoders or authoring programs will simply follow your instructions unless you specify something that is simply not playable as "DVD".

By the way, your 1280x718 video isn't really 16:9. If you divide 16 by 9, the number you get is a more precise ratio number of 1.77777777777778 to 1, or 1.77777777777778:1. The aspect ratio of your mkv is really 1.78272980501393:1, very slightly wide. But that's such a tiny visible difference that it would never be noticed.


The downsampling used by MainConcept's typical consumer versions have many complaints. The other software that you mention would use Bicubic or Lanczos resizers -- not the best, but they seem to be implemented better than resizers used in SONY and Adobe software, all of which use MainConcept's lower-tier, non-pro encoders.

Another problem you will encounter is the color matrix used for 720p video. It is usually Rec709, but standard definition uses the Rec601 matrix. Some applications make this matrix conversion properly, some don't do it so well, and some don't do it at all.

If your mkv is of low quality, it should be decoded to lossless media for cleanup and downsampling. The best utility for that work would be Avisynth, which also includes superior resizing methods. NLE's are not equipped for that kind of cleanup. We have no sample of what your video really looks like, so there is not much more that anyone could advise. Most h264 editors can cut and save short, 10-second samples (a scene with motion would be more useful) that you can upload.

Last edited by sanlyn; 08-08-2015 at 09:56 AM.
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  #5  
08-09-2015, 03:56 AM
catloki catloki is offline
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I'm never aware that there are Pro MC and the automated consumer ones. So mine is not so great after all, suck!
Thanks for recommending the "MediaInfoXP". After grabbed it down, loaded the "mkv" into it here what we got:



NTSC dvd is what I want (I am in US). Here the sample of movie that MC failed me:

http://www.rarefile.net/20aedugp9w88/7_Boxes.mkv - 31.4 MB

I don't know how good the original DVD look but I'm pleased with this kind of picture quality, just want to preserve it as much as possible. See if you could tell me more. Thanks
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  #6  
08-09-2015, 04:53 AM
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  #7  
08-09-2015, 10:05 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catloki View Post
NTSC dvd is what I want (I am in US). Here the sample of movie that MC failed me:

http://www.rarefile.net/20aedugp9w88/7_Boxes.mkv - 31.4 MB

I don't know how good the original DVD look but I'm pleased with this kind of picture quality, just want to preserve it as much as possible. See if you could tell me more. Thanks
Thank you for the sample. It does present a problem in the form of geometric patterns in the wall tiles that are difficult to downsample without bad line twitter and edge distortion. Overall, the sample clip is below-average quality, re-encoded with a low bitrate that would be more suitable for frames that would be 1/3 to 1/4 its size. The results are noisy and blurry motion during the camera pans, an over filtered, denuded look with most of the original fine detail filtered away, low color density, and other compression problems. Somewhere in its processing there has also been a poorly handled color conversion that resulted in crushed darks with murky or missing detail, no clean blacks, and discolored shadow areas. The overall color balance is too cyan, with poorly rendered flesh tones.

A suggestion: Rather than spend time making tiny-font graphics of screen captures from MediaInfo, it would be easier to just copy and paste the contents of the text window directly in the forum. Below, MediaInfo for your sample mkv as copied and pasted directly from the Text view window in about 10 seconds:
Code:
General
Unique ID                                : 241396158942753820855888959455734099256 (0xB59B35875E07228F9DCE16EB2B3D6D38)
Complete name                            : E:\forum\catloki\7 Boxes.mkv
Format                                   : Matroska
Format version                           : Version 2
File size                                : 31.4 MiB
Duration                                 : 1mn 2s
Overall bit rate                         : 4 207 Kbps
Encoded date                             : UTC 2015-08-09 07:18:28
Writing application                      : mkvmerge v3.3.0 ('Language') built on Mar 24 2010 14:59:24
Writing library                          : libebml v0.8.0 + libmatroska v0.9.0

Video
ID                                       : 1
Format                                   : AVC
Format/Info                              : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile                           : High@L3.1
Format settings, CABAC                   : No
Format settings, ReFrames                : 2 frames
Codec ID                                 : V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC
Duration                                 : 1mn 2s
Bit rate                                 : 3 739 Kbps
Width                                    : 1 280 pixels
Height                                   : 718 pixels
Display aspect ratio                     : 16:9
Frame rate mode                          : Constant
Frame rate                               : 23.976 fps
Color space                              : YUV
Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:0
Bit depth                                : 8 bits
Scan type                                : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)                       : 0.170
Stream size                              : 28.0 MiB (89%)
Language                                 : English
Default                                  : No
Forced                                   : No
Color primaries                          : BT.709
Transfer characteristics                 : BT.709
Matrix coefficients                      : BT.709

Audio
ID                                       : 2
Format                                   : AC-3
Format/Info                              : Audio Coding 3
Mode extension                           : CM (complete main)
Format settings, Endianness              : Big
Codec ID                                 : A_AC3
Duration                                 : 1mn 2s
Bit rate mode                            : Constant
Bit rate                                 : 384 Kbps
Channel(s)                               : 6 channels
Channel positions                        : Front: L C R, Side: L R, LFE
Sampling rate                            : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth                                : 16 bits
Compression mode                         : Lossy
Delay relative to video                  : 22ms
Stream size                              : 2.87 MiB (9%)
Language                                 : Spanish
Default                                  : No
Forced                                   : No

Menu
00:00:00.000                             : en:2
The mod-2 non-standard height of 718 pixels in the mkv will be a problem for some decoders, encoders, resizers, and many type of filters. Other signs of poor pre-processing are the 3.1-second GOP sizes that are non-standard for HD BluRay/AVCHD. I processed the attached "Boxes_DVD.mpg" in Avisynth, then encoded it to telecined 3:2 pulldown 29.97fps DVD-compliant MPEG2 with TMPGenc Mastering Works 5. TVMW5 uses the same MPEG encoder that is in TMPGEnc Authoring Works. The first thing I did in Avisynth was to add 2 pixels of black border to the bottom of the frames to make their height the desired 720 pixels, and took only 2-channel stereo from the audio. I used Avisynth to denoise and downsample the video to 720x480 progressive, then added 3:2 pulldown in the encoder. The Avisynth processing was very slow because of the heavy-duty filtering required to avoid line twitter and to smooth some of the blurry effects from camera pans. Another Avisynth plugin was used to restore some of the original film fine-grain to help prevent the results from looking as decimated as the original. I didn't work on the poor color balance of the original, but left it as-is. The attached mpg could be tweaked, but I ran out of time.

The mpg sample demonstrates that (a) fairly decent downsampling can be done from poor quality, low bitrate originals, but (b) it takes time and patience, and (c) automated NLE's with few filtering options are inadequate for most repair tasks, and (d) different encoders can give different results, for better or worse. It also shows that insufficient, low-bitrate encoding can give smaller files but poor images for proper display and further work. If very small video files are your main objective, you're better off leaving similar mkv's as they are and transferring them to other forms of storage for BluRay players or other playback.


Attached Files
File Type: mpg boxes_DVD.mpg (51.45 MB, 6 downloads)

Last edited by sanlyn; 08-09-2015 at 10:56 PM.
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