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How to convert
DivX (AVI) movie to MPEG1 or 2 with
TIP: if you want to INCLUDE SUBTITLES,
the please read this article: "AVI
with subtitles to MPEG".
A common situation: you have a DivX movie
(*.avi or *.divx, see Ripping
DVD to Divx and Downloading
Movies from the Internet for details).
Your problem: you want to playback the movie on your
DVD player that's standing in the living room and you don't want
to use the TV-out option which some computers have (actually:
it's the video card offering this option - if at all).
Solution: Since current DVD-players cannot
playback DivX, we must convert
the movie to a different format. We use MPEG1 for DVD
players that support VideoCD, or we
use MPEG2 for those that support Super
VideoCD. The latter is much better in quality.
The only tools we need are the DivX
video codec and the TMPGEnc. The TMPGEnc can
be downloaded from the TMPGEnc website.
Note: there are two version of TMPGEnc:
the "free", where MPEG2 quits working after a 30 day trial (MPEG1
remains working), and a "Pro" version. The "Pro" version however
is not for free.
Tip: Although we are discussing here
the conversion from DivX to MPEG, the same tool
can also be used for converting DV (camcorder)
and other AVI video formats.
In fact: it's actually made for that purpose.
Note: Converting a movie to MPEG does
NOT improve the quality! So don't expect a DivX with a lousy
quality to become excellent by converting it to DVD or SVCD!
Note: AVI files with AC3 audio will not work
with this trick!
Note: don't forget to read the disclaimer!
Introduction: What format should I choose?
Tip before we start: take a good look at the Video
Formats page, for details!
First of all, we need to know if our standalone
DVD-player can handle CD-R or CD-RW media.
Newer models, specially those that support MP3 playback,
usually are capable of dealing with both media types. Older players usually
don't. You will have to simply test this.
If CD-R media doesn't work, then please try to use
CD-RW media, since the reflection behavior of CD-RW is very similar to
DVD. I tried this once with my old Toshiba DVD player and it usually
If neither media type is supported (CD-R and CD-RW),
you're out of luck. Consider buying a new DVD player.
If either of these do work, then you're ready for the next
What format should I use? VideoCD or Super
Well this depends again on the capabilities of your
Does it support Super VideoCD? Then Super VideoCD (SVCD)
is the choice to make because of the higher image and sound quality.
If the DVD player does not support SVCD, then go for
VideoCD (VCD). Unless that's not supported either, then you're back to
the "buy a new DVD player" solution.
See also the Video Formats
page for more details on the two formats.
So now we know the MEDIA TYPE and
the VIDEO FORMAT we want to use.
The required software
Software for movie playback
First try if you can playback the movie on your PC
using the Window Media player.
If not, then we will need to install (if not already)
the Video Codec. For DivX go to the DivX
This is needed for playback. MPEG Encoder uses the
codec suitable for the movie, just as it does with basically any AVI
Software for transcoding
Here we are at the core of our conversion process (called "transcoding").
Download TMPGEnc from
the TMPGEnc website.
First use the trial version to see if it works the way you expect it
before buying the "Pro" version. I know I'm convinced that this is a
tool worth it's money, but make sure you do too. Install it and run the
application. Also keep in mind that the quality is similar to that of
CCE and MainConcept
MPEG Encoder, however, much slower than these two.
Install the software first!
The real work: TransCoding
Transcoder means something like "converting from
one format to another".
After downloading and installing TMPGEnc,
start it. You will see a window like this (I used version 188.8.131.52
TMPGEnc starts with the Wizard
TMPGEnc starts without the wizard
As you can see, TMPEnc can start with or without wizard.
After a fresh install, TMPGEnc usually starts with the wizard.
We will continue working with the wizard.
Tip: In case the wizard is
not visible, choose from the "File" menu the
Wizard" (or simply press the key combination CTRL+W).
Step 1: Select the proper format
What video format do we want?
In field A we
can choose VideoCD (VCD), Super VideoCD (SVCD), DVD or a custom format.
The TV-system, ie. PAL (25
fps), NTSC (±30 fps) or NTSC Film (±23
fps) is rather important. Two considerations here:
formats for more details.
- For a correct conversion, convert a NTSC movie to
NTSC film, etc.
Downside could be that you DVD player is only able to play either
PAL (Europe) or NTSC (USA). You will have to test this.
- If you have this problem, the transcode to a different
(fixed) system. Note that converting from NTSC to PAL and vice versa
does not always give good results!
Note: Most movies you download
fromthe internet are NTSC!
B: VARIABELE BITRATE
or CONSTANT BITRATE?
Note: this option is not available
when creating VideoCD, VCD only supports constant bitrate (CBR)!
Both Super VideoCD and DVD support both constant bitrate
and variable bitrate.
Constant means that the available will be used fully,
even if it is not required (for example still-images).
Variable means that bandwidth usage will be adjusted based on the need for
Praktically said: VBR (Variable BitRate)
usually needs less storage space than CBR (Constante BitRate),
with a similar picture quality.
I always choose: VBR standard format at B.
Check C if
you want TMPGEnc to always start with the Wizard.
Now click the "NEXT >" button.
Step 2: Select Source file(s)
TMPGEnc: Which AVI do you want
At "A" (Video)
click the "Browse..." button, and choose the
AVI you want to convert. Close the dialog (after selection) by clicking
Verify at "B" (Audio)
if it shows the same filename now (usually does). In case there is no
filename here, the click "Browse..." for this option
and SELECT THE SAME AVI FILE as you choose for Video.
Note: Do NOT copy
the other settings,
like "Video type", "Field
order", TMPGEnc will automatically enter data into these
Click "Next >" again.
Step 3: Filter settings
Leave this page as it is and click "Next >" again.
Note: none of
the checkboxes (except "Enable this Wizard
at start up") are checked!
Step 4: Bitrate
This step is a bit more complicated, so please pay
Note: bitrates, when creating a VideoCD, are FIXED.
If you are creating a VCD (not a Super VideoCD!) then you can skip this
Bitrates, or: how many CD's do
we want to put the movie on?
Previously we decided which format we will use for
for example Super VideoCD. The question for this step: how many CD's
do we want the movie to be put on?
At "A" choose
the type of disc (only use VCD/SVCD formats for VideoCD
or Super VideoCD!)
and check "B".
Just below "A" you
will see how much disc space will be used for this movie.
Most likely, shit hits the fan now: When transcoding
a 700 or 800 Mb movie, the most likely it will NOT fit on one CD. The
bitrate calculation within TMPGEnc is not helping you
very much here.
Suppose you would like to create Super
VideoCD formatted movie spread over 2 CD's, then you will
see that TMPGEnc will not allow you go beyond a minimum
bitrate. With SVCD movies commonly take 2 or 3 CD's and in that case
you will see something like this:
Oops: this movie will not fit a
single CD! (not a real probleem)
Don't worry, ignore it. We will fix this
later! Just don't forget you had this problem in order to indeed fix
Click "Next >".
will warn you if a movie tends to become too large for a CD's. Just click "Yes" in
order to continue!
Step 5: Output File
In the next window, we select the "Output
file:", the filename of the transcoded movie. Either
enter it manually or click "Browse...".
Output filename: enter name and
Remove the checkmark at "Start
Finally click "OK".
Step 6: Ready to go?
The next screen:
TMPGEnc: Can we start transcoding?
Please run through this checklist before
we can start:
- Video Source
Is the proper AVI filename entered here?
- Audio Source
Do you see the same AVI filename as seen in Video Source?
- Output file name
Do you see the proper filename here too?
- Stream Type
Check if "System (Video+Audio)" checked (although
you cannot change it with some formats - for example SVCD)
- Output formaat
In the lower part of the window you will see a line with format, resolution,
type of video bitrate (VBR/CBR), videobitrate
You might want to verify them.
- Does the movie fit
on your desired number of
At Step 4 you might have had the problem where the movie
does not fit one CD. In that case please read the next part carefully!
Step in between: adjust bitrate
Note: Skip this step if you did not have a problem
Note: With VideoCD you
CANNOT change the bitrate and you can skip this part as well.
Note: Later on you can cut
a movie with TMPGEnc after transcoding.
OK, so the movie will become too large.
Commonly VideoCD and/or Super VideoCD, uses 2 to 3
CD's for one movie.
Use the WeetHet
Bitrate Calculator and determine the desired bitrate for video.
Don't forget to set the Audio bitrate - in the Bitrate calculator -
to 224 Kbps.
So now we knop the video bitrate we will nee. Click "Setting" in
TMPGEnc. This screen appears:
TMPGEnc: VBR MPEG Bitrate settings
Next to the field "Rate control
mode:" you see the button "Setting",
click it. This window appears:
TMPGEnc: Bitrates in detail
In the field "Average bitrate" you
will have to enter the bitrate suggested by the bitrate calculator.
Leave the other values as they are (or copy the ones from the screenshot
- keep in mind that these are Super VideoCD settings.
Click "OK" twice so you
return to the main window of TMPGEnc.
Final Step: Start transcoding
This is simple: Click the "Start" button
and wait a few hours ... (MainConcept MPEG
Encoder is MUCH faster!).