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Which of these two MPEG-2 video file formats should I use?

Posted on 2014-09-04
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Last Modified: 2014-09-11
Hello,

I have edited my first Movie using 'AVS Video Editor' and I have decided to save my movies in the MPEG-2 format.

After choosing MPEG-2, 'AVS Video Editor' presents me with the following choices in a drop-down menu:

a) DVD  NTSC compatible - (MPEG-2, 4000kbps, 720x480, 29.97fps)
b) DVD     PAL compatible - (MPEG-2, 4000kbps, 720x576, 25fps)
c) Video: MPEG-1, 4000kbps, 720x480, 29.97fps, Audio: 224kbps
d) Video: MPEG-2, 4000kbps, 720x480, 29.97fps, Audio: 224kbps
e) HD  Video 1080p - (MPEG-2, 15000kbps, 1920x1080, 29.97fps)
f) HD  Video 720p - (MPEG-2, 9000kbps, 1280x720, 29.97fps)


Let's assume I was in the States (720x480 scale):  When would I then choose option a) and when would I choose option d)?

a) DVD  NTSC compatible - (MPEG-2, 4000kbps, 720x480, 29.97fps)
d) Video: MPEG-2, 4000kbps, 720x480, 29.97fps, Audio: 224kbps

Both are MPEG-2, ... both are 720x480, ... etc.
The only difference seems to be the 'Prefix' DVD and VIDEO.
When would I choose 'DVD' and in which situation would I use 'VIDEO' ?  What difference would it make?

Many thanks,

HA
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Question by:H A
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11 Comments
 
LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 40304129
Never used that software, but from the description I would expect DVD to generate DVD compatible VOB files and the Video option to generate plain mpg files.

HTH,
Dan
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Assisted Solution

by:Joshua Grantom
Joshua Grantom earned 33 total points
ID: 40304315
exactly, selecting DVD Compatible outputs the video into VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS folders so you can burn to a Universal DVD Player compatible format for NTSC of course.
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Expert Comment

by:TobiasHolm
ID: 40304525
You'd prefer option A, if you'd like to be able to use the mpeg-file later for putting it on a DVD disc without having to reencode the video file.

The visual end result from option A and D is probably not easy to see, but option A produces DVD compatible video files which might be easier to play on different equipment.

Read more here: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD-Video

/Tobias
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Expert Comment

by:TobiasHolm
ID: 40305628
>The visual end result from option A and D is probably not easy to see

To clarify: I meant that it doesn't matter if you select option A or D regarding the resulting video picture quality. Since you want a video file that easily can be played in the future I'd go for option A that is a DVD compatible encoding.

/Tobias
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Author Comment

by:H A
ID: 40306961
@Dan Craciun:  Thanks for your reply! I tried all 6 options (a, b, c, d, e and f), ... and all of these options generate plain .mpeg files.  I would like to post all 6 test-files (movie-clips) on Experts-Exchange, ... but I don't think they allow you to post .mpeg files.


@Joshua G:  Thanks for your reply! Selecting 'DVD' does not output the video into VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS. I would have expected this as well, ... but it outputs the file as a plain .mpeg file.


@TobiasHolm:  Thanks also to your reply! I did try all six oprions (a, b, c, d, e and f) in a little test, ... and as you said, I can't tell a difference between options a) and d). To be honest I thought on my small 17" screen I wouldn't be able to see a difference between all 6 options (with my novice eye).

But I was wrong. Optioin a), c) and d) looked the same to my eye. when I watched the clips I was surprised (and disappointed) that the pixels were quite large and visible. I didn't expect (or want) this. Option b), e) and f) on the other hand were very good. I looked at the clips many times and I can't make out if the quality of all three clips is the same (pixelation???), ... or if e) is a tad better. NOTE: I know that e) shouldn't be able to look better than b) due to 'upsampling', ... but maybe it does for some reason.

The point is, ... that I would have never expected such a big difference between a)&d) on one side, ... and b)&e) on the other hand. As mentioned above, I wish I could post all 6 mini-clips somewhere for everyone to see, ... but I don't know how.

Many thanks in advance,

HA
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Expert Comment

by:TobiasHolm
ID: 40307790
If possible, Increase bitrate from 4000kbit/s to 8000kbit/s when encoding to the DVD format. This will give a better picture quality.

/Tobias
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Author Comment

by:H A
ID: 40308123
Thanks Tobias.

Do you agree that I then should use option b)  (as the picture quality is much better than in option a)   and increase the bitrate of option b) from 4000kbit/s to 8000kbit/s ?

Also, do you know why the difference between option a)  and b)  can be so visible?  I would have thought that the picture quality between a) and b) would be exactly the same. I would have expected that  AVS Video Editor would simply 'cut off' a thin strip from the top and bottom to squeeze my European DVD file (720x576) to fit the 720/480 screen size in option a). But this is not the case. When rendering it seems to 'downsample' option a) more than option b), hence the significantly worse picture quality.

Many thanks and after this reply I will close this thread,

Ha
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Assisted Solution

by:Dan Craciun
Dan Craciun earned 67 total points
ID: 40308222
I think the problem with PAL and NTSC is not from downsampling, it's from frame rate. You have video at 25 frames/second, NTSC standard is at 29.7 frames/second, so the encoder has to create another 4 frames every second. It does that by interpolating (combining) 2 frames and inserting the result, which can result in worse video quality.
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Author Comment

by:H A
ID: 40308436
Thanks Dan, this could be a factor as my original .vob file is in 720x576.

I'm just waiting for Tobias' reply and then I will close this thread.

Thanks again,

HA
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Accepted Solution

by:
TobiasHolm earned 400 total points
ID: 40308840
You should always try to encode to the same resolution and frame rate as the original clip if you want to preserve as much quality as possible.

So if your source is a PAL DVD, use option B. And if your souce is a NTSC DVD, use option A.

It's very difficult to convert PAL to NTSC and the other way around without loosing a lot of quality.

/Tobias
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Author Closing Comment

by:H A
ID: 40318253
Thanks to all three of you for your help!

I have posted a new follow-up question here:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/MultiMedia_Applications/Q_28516850.html

It would be great if someone could help!

Many thanks in advance,

HA
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