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  DVD Conversion to MPEG4 or (S)VCD
  Written: September 04th, 2001 @ 22:15 GMT By: Thorsten Titze

DVD is the best media for getting the movie experience at home with the feeling as close to the cinema as possible with crystal-clear picture and the Dolby Digital AC3 sound.

This media only lacks hight quality copy mechanisms, so people began to convert DVD's to the VCD Format (which is widely accepted and spread in Asia). Microsoft published a high-quality video codec called MPEG4v3 (a.k.a. DivX which is nothing more than a hacked MPEG4v3 Codec). With MPEG4v3 you're able to recompress a DVD while maintaining almost full quality and the Dolby Digital soundtrack.

Here are the advantages of MPEG4 over VCD:

  • Much better quality than VCD at lower bitrates
    (especially for darker movies since MPEG4 is VBR)
  • Full image size after conversion
    (also conserving 16:9 ratio without encoding the black bars)
  • No fixed bitrates for all components, therefore by lowering bitrates for audio or video you're able to reduce quality in order to gain space
  • Ability to multiplex with Dolby Digital audio streams
    (also this means degraded video quality due to high bitrate of audio)

Although all my own backups of DVDs are made using the MPEG4v3 Codec I will put up a DVD->(S)VCD Guide for all those who want to play their copied movies on their home DVD Player (since MPEG4 is not featured in DVD players).

Due to the recent change in DiVX licenses I will not cover any DiVX Version in the future. The MPEG4 Codec of preference is XViD.

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Last updated @ 23-May-2002 12:35 PM Contact me via eMail