Any good ways to achieve quick but high compression of TV Recordings?

Discussion in 'Other HTPC Applications' started by doveman, August 19, 2013.

  1. doveman

    doveman Portal Pro

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    I've set up MCE Buddy to compress recordings I move to a particular folder. I just did a test using MP4 Normal however and it only compressed from 1.32GB to 800MB, which I don't think is particularly good, especially as I found in the past that MP4 can give smaller files than DivX/XviD for equal or better quality, so I'd think it could go at least to 50% of the original filesize and still be OK (bearing in mind it's only SD Freeview to start with).

    I found this table of conversion times https://mcebuddy2x.codeplex.com/discussions/395633 and the only one that stands out as being smaller is DiVX AVI Normal but that takes over 1hr (it doesn't mention what CPU is used).

    So does anyone know if it's possible to get both high compression and good quality (which I think can be achieved with MP4) but also quick compression times (I'd say up to 30mins is reasonable), perhaps using the GPU (HD4250) to assist? I don't have to use MCE Buddy and can just setup a manual process to be run if that's the only way.



     
    Last edited: August 19, 2013
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  3. kilik360
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    kilik360 MP Donator

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    Hi doveman, with Ripbot264 I compress my recording to 1200kbps with H264 codec.For a 45 min recording, the final size of the new MP4 is between 500 and 800 MB.
     
    Last edited: August 19, 2013
  4. doveman

    doveman Portal Pro

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    Hi kilik360

    Thanks for the tip. How long does that take? I think the files I tested with were about 1hr long and they compressed to 800MB with MCE Buddy and MP4 Normal., so if RpiBot264 only manages 800MB then it's not really any better. I didn't time them myself but judging by that table, they would have taken around 1hr to compress.

    Having looked at it quickly, it seems it requires ffdshow and avisynth installed as well and I'm nervous about installing filters in case they affect media playback with MediaPortal. I already have ffdshow installed actually as part of SAF, so it' sjust avisynth I'm concerned about really.

    EDIT: Forgot to say, ideally I'd like something that can extract and keep the embedded subtitles. I know MCE Buddy can't do this and can only extract CC from US NTSC streams, not UK Freeview, so I don't know if it's even possible.
     
    Last edited: August 19, 2013
  5. kilik360
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    kilik360 MP Donator

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    don't be afraid of avisynth, your playback won't be touch !

    From a 45min 720p .TS recording to a SD MP4(640x360 resize), with a Core2Quad 2.4Ghz, it encodes at 53 fps.

    So for a 29.97 recording of 45mins, it should take near 25mins.

    P.S. Ripbot264 has a great feature named Distributed Encoding, if you have another PC in the house you can share the encoding. It's awesome, it cuts the encoding time by 2 if you have the same kind (speed) of processor.
     
    Last edited: August 19, 2013
  6. doveman

    doveman Portal Pro

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    Thanks, that sounds like a decent speed and the source will only be SD, so no need to resize.

    I saw the Distributed Encoding feature and it looks interesting, so I might play with that some time.
     
  7. kilik360
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    kilik360 MP Donator

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    Since it uses FFDshow u can add 'logoaway' filter in your encoding for example. A must !
    If you have any questions about Ripbot264 just PM me, I use it since 2008.
     
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  8. jameson_uk
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    jameson_uk Retired Team Member

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    MP4 has nothing to do with compression, it is a container and could contain MPEG2, VC1, H264 ....
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_container_formats

    These video formats determine the compression and quality. MPEG-4 comes in a few different flavours (Xvid is part 2, H.264 is part 10 ...)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MPEG-4

    Then for each format you have different bitrates that determine the size and quality. So even choosing H.264 you can end up with massively different file size and quailty.

    MPEG-4 codecs (used in HD TV, blurays and some online streams) have better compression than MPEG 2 (using in SD TV, DVDs etc.) but due to the fact you get better compresion MPEG-4 is also used for 3G phone streaming and video which is pretty poor quality.

    What do you actually want? If you want reduced file size then choose a tool that does re-encoding (Ripbot, Handbrake, <insert re-encoding tool here>) and select a H264 profile that gives you about the right file size and the quality is as good as you will get.

    If you want quality then you are only going to get worse quality than you started with but choose a profile that meets you quality requirements and you will have to live with the file size.

    This all said, storage is so cheap that you will probably end up spending more money on electricity re-encoding everything than it might cost for a new hard drive.....
     
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  9. doveman

    doveman Portal Pro

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    I was asking about compression, so it's quite obvious I was using MP4 as shorthand for MPEG-4 and not .mp4 (and if you want to be pedantic, I would disagree with the statement that has nothing to do with compression anyway, as whether it contains MPEG2, VC1, H264, they're all compressed formats).

    I said what I want: High compression (i.e. no more than 700MB from a 1.32GB source), good quality (for SD source) and quick compression times (under 30mins for a 1hr programme). I also added that ideally I'd like to keep the subtitles available but I don't know if this is possible.

    I was wondering if the process could be sped up by using the GPU. I'm not sure the HD4250 could help with this though as it doesn't show the "Accelerate Video Conversion" page in CCC that my 6950 does. I have been able to use the HD4250 to accelerate converting audio files to FLAC quite considerably though.

    I don't do a lot of compression these days as it's easier to download stuff from iPlayer when possible rather than edit and convert it myself but sometimes there are programmes I want to keep that aren't available to download. I wouldn't say storage is that cheap these days, I don't think it's come back down again since the increase due to the floods and besides, HDDs are just not suitable in my opinion for archiving stuff as they can be wiped so easily so at the very least you'd need two HDDs to have two copies of everything. Mind you, I don't really have much patience for working out which files will fit on a DVD and burning them anymore either, so I'm not really archiving much at the moment. Ah well, probably never have time to watch most of it anyway ;)
     
  10. mm1352000
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    I'm honestly not trying to be nitpicky but I gotta say this wasn't obvious to me. As jameson_uk said, the Xvid (and DivX) and h.264 are parts in the "MPEG-4" family so if you mean MPEG-4 part 10 (ie. h.264/AVC) then it really is best to say it.

    Obviously size, quality and speed are the three main trade-offs in compression configuration. In other words, your goals are competitive. The sweet spot varies from person to person. When the default profile doesn't meet your needs but you think the encoder is capable of meeting your constraints... well, then tweaking the profile or creating a custom one is the next step. Figuring out the settings that get you what you want may take trial and error...
     
  11. doveman

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    Fair enough, I thought the context made it clear enough. To be honest, so many programs just say MP4 Normal or MP4 High, I have trouble remembering that it means MPEG-4 part 10 / h.264 anyway ;)

    I realise it sounds like I want the best of all worlds but I suppose what I'm trying to get is just better than I've managed so far and what's good enough quality for my SDTV recordings might be unacceptable for some other material, so hopefully I'll be able to find that sweet spot where the files are as small as possible and take the least amount of time to make whilst still being acceptable quality.

    I'm trying the MKV Normal Quality profile now, which is using ffmpeg and these settings

    Code (Text):
    1. ffmpeg-general=-threads 0
    2.  
    3. ffmpeg-video=-ss 3 -vf yadif=0:-1,hqdn3d -vcodec libx264 -b 1800k -x264opts me=hex:trellis=1:subq=8:partitions=all:8x8dct=1:ref=8:rc-lookahead=50:keyint=25:min-keyint=20:bframes=1:weightb=1:level=4.1:b-pyramid=normal:direct=auto:mixed-refs=1:deblock=-1,-1:no-fast-pskip=1:no-dct-decimate=1:b-adapt=0:threads=auto -map 0:a -map 0:v
    4. ffmpeg-audio=-acodec ac3 -ab 160k
    5. ffmpeg-audioac3=-acodec ac3 -ab 256k
    6. ffmpeg-ext=.mp4
    7. ffmpeg-remuxto=.mkv
    8. ffmpeg-audiodelay=skip
    9.  
    which is at least using most of the CPU but still is going to take about an hour.

    Next I'm going to try what is apparently the Universal profile from Handbrake

     
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