DVD2SVCD Basic setup

The defaults of DVD2SVCD are quite good but especially when you run the program for the first time or if you want to perform special operations like having multiple audio tracks, subtitles, custom CD change pictures or custom split points you'll have a few more steps to perform. Once you've set up DVD2SVCD there's no need to come back to most of these options, all you may want to change are the audio options and subtitle options, after setting those up you can go directly to the conversion tab, press Go and select Rip and convert and then advance to CD burning.

But let's configure the program: Select the DVD Rip tab.

First of all you have to check Activate DVD ripping. While it would be possible to use DVD2SVCD from an already ripped disc, I strongly suggest you let DVD2SVCD do this as well as it uses the best program on the market but spares you to learn the complicated commandlines required for it. So check Activate DVD ripping. If once you're starting the whole process ripping should not start come back here and select Use vStrip instead. Eject DVD when ripped should be pretty straightforward. It will eject the disc once it's not needed anymore.

Also, in almost each tab there's an Extract to (or Rip to, Save to, etc.) Folder. Since there's no free space check it's important that you select a folder and drive that has more than enough space. You should have at least 10GB free for a large movie, more is even better. The Select new default folder when ripping starts will make sure that if you have updated the default folder it will be used throughout the whole process. If you want to store the files all in the same place you can go to Misc. settings:

The Default output folder will give you two options. The first is set a folder where all files will be stored, the 2nd allows you to create a directory hierarchy for the default folder, meaning that audio files have their own folder, video files their own, subtitles their own, etc. Also set Input file type to DVD if you're converting a DVD and PVA2SVCD if you're converting a PVA stream (captured MPEG2 broadcast). Selecting AVI2SVCD would activate AVI input and you can convert your AVIs to SVCD.

Output file type sets what kind of output you're getting. You can create a VCD, SVCD or a DVD.

The crash recovery option might come in handy if the program aborts somewhere. It will write a logfile which you can load pressing the Crash Recovery button and then you can press the Continue button and the conversion process should continue. In order to make this process as smooth as possible you should always leave don't delete any files checked.

Process priority sets how much CPU time DVD2SVCD will take. I set this to idle so that I can still use my PC without any problem whenever needed. DVD2SVCD will only take as much CPU time as is available and giving priority to other tasks.

You should also set the DVD2SVCD level to Advanced. This is especially important for DVD output, where you couldn't keep a movie in 16:9 format unless the level is set to Advanced.

The two Convert... options below Don't delete any files are only useful in the AVI2SVCD mode, but the latter one might be useful if you're using CCE and just can't get it to work properly.

If you change the Input file type to DVB (pva), the DVD Rip tab will be replaced by a PVA tab:

Here you have to configure the path of cPVAS.exe, the commandline version of PVAStrumento. Note that you need PVAStrumento 2.0.23a which you can get here.

The DVD2AVI tab gives you some additional DVD2AVI configuration parameters:

Here we have some options to influence contrast and brightness. Increase Lum. gain and Lum. offset to increase contrast and brightness of the picture respectively.

Then there are the NTSC Field Operations (which are only active for NTSC discs of course). Leaving it to automatic is your best choice (Force Film will be activated if the Film percentage is higher or equal to 95%, otherwise IVTC will be performed).

The iDCT algorithm should not be changed. The quality difference when using the higher quality filter is invisible but encoding time will increase considerably.

Now let's move forward to audio:

Make sure Autodetect Azid gain is checked to get the optimal audio volume without clicks. Output mode should be set to Stereo. It's possible to set it to 5.1 audio in which case you'll have to configure the MPEG5.1 Encoder location. While 5.1 audio sounds tempting keep in mind the following: Your DVD player must be able to output 5.1 MPEG2 multichannel audio and only few players can do that (most player will output something, but only downmixed 2.0 audio) and more importantly you need a receiver capable of handling MPEG2 multichannel audio (which is also rather rare). If you want multichannel audio I strongly suggest you start making DVD-Rs where we have > 90+% standalone compatibility, not < 5%.

Then select your audio channels. This works as follows: You have 2 priorities for an audio track. Here I set the first audio track to English and German. This means that if there's no English track the German track would be taken as first audio track. As 2nd track I selected French. You will only get a 2nd track if you check the checkbox before Audio 2 Priority 1.

Also select the bitrate for both audio tracks (obviously the Audio 2 Bitrate is useless if you have deactivated the 2nd audio track).

About downsampling. The SVCD specs require 44.1KHz audio but on the DVD you have 48KHz audio. As you most likely have a DVD player to play your SVCDs using an 48KHz soundtrack should work in most cases so unless your player can only play 44.1KHz audio tracks you shouldn't bother downsampling as it decreases audio quality and takes more time.

Now in case you're making a DVD, converting the audio doesn't make much sense. Rather, you would check Do not convert the audio and then the selection is limited to the following:

All you have to do now is make a default selection for your audio channels. But don't worry, you'll be able to keep more than two audio tracks if desired.

Note that if you uncheck Do not convert audio, you'll end up having an MP2 audio track. While this is permitted for PAL DVDs, NTSC DVDs must contain either an AC3 or PCM soundtrack to correspond to the specs, so your player might not play an NTSC DVD with only an MP2 soundtrack.

Then let's proceed to the frameserver setup.

Normally you shouldn't have to reconfigure everything as the DVD2SVCD installer sets all the paths right.

First of all you can select a resizing filter. I suggest the Bicubic filter for SVCD, but for VCD you can squeeze out a bit more speed by using the Bilinear or SimpleResize, and most likely you won't notice that the result is a bit less crisp.

It is possible to configure the AviSynth script (if you don't know what this is, don't worry, you don't have to know) using the Avisynth command options.

Then you can opt to edit the AviSynth script manually at a later point using the Edit the Avisynth Script File options. Obviously, this is only a feature for advanced users.

You should keep Add ResampleAudio checked because CCE might crash if it's not checked.

The Resize to option is only available in Advanced mode, and you can use it to get a non standard output resolution (not suggested). Just leave this as it is. Also note that depending on your project type, the available resize options differ from what is shown on the screenshot.

Finally, you could configure the path of various AviSynth plugins, but if you've used the standard DVD2SVCD installer, there's no need to reconfigure anything there.

Then move forward to Bitrate:

First of all: CD size 740 is a regular 74 minute CD and CD size 800 for a 80 minute CD.

This should be pretty straightforward. Between x (minutes) and y (minutes) gives the range of length of the movie in which the number of (the field after mins. use) CDs of size (the field after CD's size). The last field shows the bitrate range you'll get for your movie. As an example let's take line 4: It means: if your movie is between 100 and 125 minutes the movie will be placed onto 2 80 minute CDs and the bitrate you'll get will be between 1605kbit/s (movie length = 125 minutes) and 2042kbit/s (movie length = 100 minutes).

The default bitrate values are pretty good, but if you want to use more CDs or squeeze the movie down change the minute values accordingly. The last field in each line shows the bitrate range you will get for each length range.

Also leave the Last checkbox checked. This will tell you if you're chosen bitrate is too high (for instance when you have 2 audio tracks). Some players have problems when the bitrate goes outside the allowed specification which will result in skips or freezes in the video.

When doing a DVD project, your bitrate tab will look like this:

All you have to do is select the proper CD size (actually DVD size would be more suitable ;), and select either DVD-R or DVD+R depending on the disc format you're going to use.

Then press Use default for some reasonable settings concerning the Maximum and Minimum bitrate. Note that while DVD could go up to 10mbit, with multiple audio tracks and subtitles 9mbit (= 9000) is a more sensible value that will not lead to any problems.

Next comes the encoder tab. Here you have two possibilities. You can either use CCE in which case you select CinemaCraft Encoder, or you use TMPG in which case you check TMPGEnc (that's the official name of the encoder but almost everybody just calls it TMPG ;)

First of all you have to give the path of CCE.

When using CCE greater than 2.50, you must use EclCCE and specify its path rather than the path of the CCE executable. The safe mode is no longer required when using EclCCE, but might help you if you can't get CCE to work (it's much slower though).

Then select Multipass VBR with at least 3 passes, and 5 passes as maximum. Higher values won't really improve quality anymore. Personally I chose 4.

The Image Quality Priority indicates how many bits will be allocated to complex parts of the picture. It's a value between 0 and 100 and the smaller the value the more bits will be allocated to complex parts. If you think scenes with a low amount of action look bad you should increase this value.

If you have a noisy source you can activate the noise filter. Field order automatic should be OK.

When your project output type is DVD, you should set the timecode to 00:00:00:00 as shown, otherwise leave it at the default 01:00:00:00.

Then we have the advanced settings:

Linear quantizer scale and Zigzag scanning order is generally OK, as is the Intra DC decision and the GOP sequence.

If you set the deinterlacing mode to keep interlaced in the beginning you'll want to uncheck Progressive frames.

As for the GOP settings, if doing an SVCD you should set the N/M factor to 5, for DVD output, it should be 4.

If you have defined any encoding templates in CCE, you can check Use CCE Template and then select an available template from the list.

Leave Color conversion to Convert to YUV2.

Now let's have a look at the TMPG options:

First of all you'll have to configure the path to TMPG.

Rate Control mode will offer you constant bitrate (not to be used), 2 pass VBR (probably the best to get a predictable size) or Constant Quality (now reasonably precise as well but twice as fast as 2 pass encoding).

If you select CBR or 2 pass VBR you don't have to set a bitrate as it's being calculated automatically. If you use the CQ mode you have 3 parameters: Offset CQ Value, CQ Value Factor and % of movie to test. The first value indicates a starting point for the CQ factor estimation. DVD2SVCD will encode a short part of the movie (given by the % of the movie to test), using the Offset CQ Value, then use the obtained results to estimate a size, and reduce / increase the CQ value in order to reach the target size. As this is no exact science, the CQ Value Factor can be used as a multiplication factor for the final CQ value (so if you set this to 1.000, the actual value DVD2SVCD calculated will be taken, if you set this to 0.500, the CQ value found by DVD2SVCD would be divided by two). Unless you have reason to (oversized or undersized output), don't change the CQ Value Factor.

Leave Field order at automatic. Set motion precision as high as you can take it encoding time wise (TMPG is slow as hell imho).

Then the advanced options:

Set DC component precision to match the according field in BitrateViewer (DTC precision value). No motion search for still part by half pixel reduces the motion blur in still parts but results in bit spoilage for parts with little motion.

Soften block noise can reduce block noise around edges when bitrate shortages occur but it will also blur the movie a bit.

Then there's the GOP settings which you shouldn't touch unless you really know what you're doing.

Color conversion set to Convert to RGB24 should work in every case, but you can try YUV2 as well. If you're getting a black output video, try checking Use REadAVS.dll in TMPEGenc.

If you've chosen CCE 2.6x or TMPG you will have another option: Matrix:

Normally you shouldn't change that unless you understand what you're doing. You can select a list of different Matrices from the dropdown list:

There's different settings for animation content (CG) and low bitrates, select what fits your needs.

Then next step is configuring bbMPEG.

There's one interesting option here: CD Overlap. This option allows you to set a content overlap between CDs. So you can have the 2nd disc repeat the last scene from the first disc (and the same goes for CD2&3 respectively).

Then let's configure the subtitles:

If you want subtitles check Rip subtitles and select the subtitle streams you want. Leave the Min. ms between subtitles value alone.

When you select SVCD Subtitles you will get selectable subtitles (works only on standalones and not on all). CVD subtitles are equivalent to what I-author creates for you, they should be less supported but who knows, maybe that's the only mode that works for you. In any case both SVCD subs and CVD subs can be turned on and off. Permanent Subtitles will burn the subtitles in the video stream so that they cannot be removed.

If you check a Forced checkbox, only the forced subtitles from the original DVD are taken. Forced subtitles are often used during foreign language bits on a DVD (for instance when people talk Spanish in an otherwise English movie).

If the subtitle colors seem odd then you can change the colors using the subtitle palette.

When you're creating a DVD, the options will look slightly different:

You should check DVD subtitles for normal, selectable subtitles. Permanent subtitles would "burn" the subtitles into the video stream so that you cannot turn them off.

The rest of the configuration as the same as above.

The next thing we're going to configure is CD Image:

The first thing here is to set a label for the CD and the title of the movie.

You can also specify a Title picture and change CD picture (that's being displayed when you have to enter the 2nd CD). Selecting Use ChangeCD picture on all CD's will add a change picture to the last CD as well.

Include movie info on CD will put a DVD2SVCD generated textfile that contains various program settings onto the CD. Include XML on CD will put the VCDXBuild XML script onto the CD.

Title picture, change CD pic. and LastCD picture should be pretty straightforward. Change CD picture is what's being shown when you have to switch CDs, LastCD picture is the picture that's being shown when the movie is over and Title picture is the picture that's being shown before you start playing a disc.

If you have problems with the elapsed time on your player you can try checking Use Entrysvd.

About chapters: Normally you want the same chapters as on the DVD. If you prefer chapters at fixed intervals check Fixed chapters instead and set the chapter interval. For DVD chapters there are 3 options: PBC Use Selections which creates a playlist using selections (don't worry about the term.. you don't really need to know what it means), PBC Use Playlist and no PBC. Use selections is the default as this not only enables you to go forward and backward using your remote, but also select a chapter via a numerical button (pressing 5 would start playing chapter 5 for instance). Some players don't like Selections and will do strange things (sometimes you can no longer using chapter forward/backward if you press another key, or chapter selection will interfere with audio / subtitle stream selection) so you can try PBC use Playlist instead. If your player does not support PBC at all select no PBC. This will also disable the Title picture and ChanceCD picture.

Finally select the authoring program. If you have I-Author and it works better for you select that, otherwise leave it at the default of VCDXBuild. If you don't need images select Don't make images.

When creating a DVD, you'll have less options:

For now, you'll need Sonic Scenarist to multiplex the output and create a usable DVD.

You can specify movie title and CD label as usual but that's about it then.

If you want anything to happen after the images have created, you could go to the Finalize tab and configure any action (for instance burning a CD image). Though personally I prefer to check the images before burning anything so I'll do the burning manually.

All the options you have set will be kept, and there's one set of options for each output type (VCD, SVCD and DVD), so you'll only have to configure these things once.



This document was last updated on March 6, 2004