DVDx VCD/SVCD Guide (from http://doom9.org/)

DVDx is another of these all-in one programs that have begin to appear lately, but in contrast to most it's not just a few programs glued together, but it's really one single program. The only external software used is the authentication dll but that's included in the package. DVDx is also fully open source and still in heavy development so we may see improvements in the future (better resize and crop for avi output anyone?).

You'll need the following software for this guide:

Step 1 - Setting up the source

DVDx has included DVD ripping abilities. (Unless traditional tools to encode a DVD directly off the disc)
DVDx buffers the data, and the buffer size is adjustable, so it shouldn't be too bad for your drive.
However, if you have any doubts about this mechanism you should use DVD Decrypter to first rip the WHOLE! DVD to your harddisk
and select the IFO file on the hardisk instead.

In this step you'll configure important source parameters for your rip.

Select File - Open DVD root.

Here select the longest title. If there's multiple long titles you may have a multiangle movie, or seamless branching where you have different cuts of the same movie on the disc. Pick the cut you want to rip. If two titles have the same lengh select the first one.

You'll then be presented the following screen:

If you have a Disney R1 title (which has 2 different titles having the same length)
select Angle1 for English or Angle2 for French or Spanish (depending on what languages are on the disc). This will give you the credits in the languages I've just mentioned.
When you've selected the longest title you most likely won't have more than 1 index so you don't have to worry about that.

The DeCSS part is of no particular importance. Use ASPI should always be checked since it allows to authenticate the disc (you can't read an not authenticated disc), DeMacroVision doesn't seem particularly useful to me since neither VCDs nor SVCDs have such a flag (afaik), and Key search should be set to Once. There are titles with mastering errors where the picture suddenly gets scrambled. Should this happen (usually at the layer change) select Each VOB/CELL id instead.

In the Audio part select the appropriate audio track. The selected one is usually English. Check Dolby Surround to get a dolby surround downmix of a 5.1 source (DVDx shows these as AC3 6ch as shown in the screenshot) DVDx also dowmixes the audio to 44.1khz (VCD, SVCD specs compliant) audio. If you're not happy with the downmix quality you can change it to high quality but it will take longer. Volume finally stands for how "loud" the audio track will be, if the volume is too low for you you can put a higher value.

The red part concerns Subtitles. Select the appropriate subtitle language from the dropdown list. The Offset value allows you to vertically offset the subtitles and Original colors should be checked so you get the same colors as on the DVD.
If you get funny looking fonts try unchecking it.

You can safely leave iDCT to MMX as you won't be able to see the difference anyways. Audio/Video synchronisation will try to resynch the movie when you get "samples not found" error messages. This flag will lead to audio blanks being automatically filled. Overlap will make DVDx go back the specified amount of seconds after a cut point. So you can have the 2nd disc repeat the last 5 seconds again for instance. Shutdown the computer when job is done should be self explainitory.

The Luminance filter allows you to change the luminosity of the movie. You'll see the effect of this filter in the preview window.

Output Frame Rate is 24 frames per second (23.976 fps) for PAL (European) titles, 29.97fps for NTSC VCDs, NTSC Animes and NTSC TV shows and 23.976 for NTSC movies (regular hollywood stuff). Detect progr. 24Hz allows the program to detect if the source is 24fps (23.97 NTSC) material and Force 24Hz will force the decoder to assume the source format is 24fps based.

Save your DVD drive concerns the buffering of the data. DVDx will read as many MBs as selected in the Size field, save it to the Location saved in the Location field, then encode until it runs out of data at which point it will read from the disc again.

The Deinterlace Filter deinterlaces the source material, but that shouldn't be necessary for VCDs and SVCDs.


Step 2 - setting up the output format (encoding session)

In this step you'll set the desired output format for your rip. You'll also be able to set chapters, do a custom pan&scan for 16:9 titles,
and adjust the bitrates for an SVCD. Of course, you'll also make the selection whether to make a VCD or SVCD.

Select Output format from the Settings menu.

First thing you have to do is select the output format from the red marked dropdown list.
DVDx will then automatically insert the proper settings.
Just to make sure: VCD is 352x288 for PAL, 352x240 for NTSC,
SVCD is 480x576 for PAL and 480x480 for NTSC (you'll see that on the right side, first line).

When doing VCD you don't have to worry about setting a bitrate.
When doing an SVCD you can change the bitrate. (the SVCD standard is 2600 kbit/sec)
Video must be 2600kbit/s or lower, audio 224kbit/s or lower. In any case, once you've set it all up you should press the Check Standard button just to make sure you won't get any playback problems.

The Expert values are automatically filled in after selecting the target format and unless you understand what they do (I'm not too sure about these myself) you better not touch them.

Except for one: When doing a movie NTSC movie with a framerate of 23.976fps you have to check Pulldown 3:2.

Q: What is video bitrate?
A: Video Bitrate is the amount of data which can be used per frame of video to describe it.
The higher the Bitrate the higher the quality and detail of the frame, but it uses more disk space.
 from a forum:
"The only way so far I have been able to get a good DVD rip is to use this method:
Use SmartRipper to rip the movie from the DVD, saving the ifo file.
Load up DVDx. In the output settings set to svcd and the bitrate to 4500.*
That should give you a 4gb file.
Remember to use the volume exceed: set this to 5gb or you will not get one big file.
This will give you a good quality svcd file. "

*using these settings probably means that you won't be able to play the SVCD in a DVD player...

DVDx allows you to zoom 16:9 titles.

None is the default and preserves the aspect ratio of the movie. If you don't like the black bars too much (be warned, I'll come after you.. as I believe chaning the AR is a hideous crime against movie culture) you can select a medium zoom, which will cut off a bit from the sides in order to have a little less large black bars. Pan&Scan does a static pan&scan -- you get full screen but lose 30% of the movie by cutting off the sides. Custom can be used for AVI output, but we don't need that here.

Select the BiCubic resize filter for maximum quality during resizing. Also press the Whole button in order to set the right number of frames to encode.

The Volume don't exceed field allows you to split the movie into CD sized pieces.

Set 74Min VCD for a 74 minute CD, 80Min VCD for a 80 minute CD. Forget about the ISO Data values, these would be useful for AVI output. You can also set a custom size (if you have 99 minute CDs for instance) or split by chapters. In order to do that you have to select Custom chapters which will bring up the following screen:

Here you get a list of all chapters on the disc.
I think "Volumes" = Disks (Volume 1 = Disk 1, Volume 2 - Disk 2, etc.)
Select the first chapter, press the Create Volume button to make the movie be split after the first chapter. If you want to have chapters in your rip that contain multiple chapters on the DVD just select them, then press the Create Volume button. If you don't like a chapter, select it in the summary and press the Delete Volume button.

Once you're done press Dismiss.

The premiere encoder stuff is of no importance but will eventually be covered in a guide explaining on how to use premiere plugins with DVDx.

Now after setting everything don't forget to press the Check Standard button then press Apply to get back to the main screen.

Step 3 - encode

All you need to do now is press the Select Output button at the bottom right of the main screen of DVDx, select a drive and filename, then press the Encode button on the right side right above the preview picture.

Step 4 - burn

The last step is burning the video in Nero or a cue/bin capable burning tool.



This document was last updated on 19-June-2002