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Free tools & guides to make your own MPEG's!
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PocketTV - Guides and Free Tools to make MPEG files

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  Simple Guide for making MPEG's optimized for PocketTV

That's probably the first thing you should try:

Simple Guide for making MPEG's optimized for PocketTV
This Guide assumes that you have AVI video files (or video files that you can play on your PC with Windows Media Player) or that you already ripped your DVD's. If that's not the case, you should learn how to rip your DVD's (see below).

If you are trying to convert your DVD into MPEG, look at:

The rest of this page will give you many pointers to more advanced guides and tools.

  Make Your Own MPEG's!

If you want to produce your own MPEG-1 files suitable for viewing with PocketTV, we have put together a list of the best tools available including some freeware, and guidelines about the encoding parameters that you should use.

  Freeware MPEG Encoders

Users have reported using the following freeware to create MPEG's that work well with PocketTV:
  • TMPGEnc (Tsunami MPEG Encoder)
    The best software MPEG converter, and it's free! We hightly recommand TMPGEnc for creating MPEG's that work well with PocketTV. TMPGEnc has a large number of options but yet it is relatively easy to use (read our Simple Guide). TMPGEnc can take sources in many different formats including AVI and MPEG. We have used TMPGEnc to transcode DVD's and VCD's so that they can be viewed with PocketTV (between 500 Kbit/sec and 114 Kbit/sec) and have achieved excellent results. Check also this Guide to perform IVTC (InVerse Tele-Cine) with TMPGEnc.

    Note that the default parameters of TMPGEnc (video bitrate, audio bitrate etc) are not optimum for PocketTV. Just read our Guide and always use our TMPGEnc Templates to get optimum performances and small file size.

  • TMPGEnc tools and utilities at digital-digest.com
    Tools to do batch encoding with TMPGEnc, plug-in for converting MOV, etc.

  • avi2mpg1
    Converter AVI to MPG.

  • FlasKMPEG
    MPEG conversion program, can take a MPEG 1 or MPEG 2 stream and convert it to another format, changing video parameters such as resolution, frame rate, audio sampling frequency, and even do some cropping and letterboxing. Unfortunately we don't recommend using FlaskMPEG. The bbMPEG encoder used by FlasKMPEG is complicated to configure and much less efficient than TMPGEnc.

  • VirtualDub
    VirtualDub is a video pre- and post-processor that works as a valuable companion to a video editor.

  • SmartRipper
    SmartRipper is one of the best DVD VOB file extractor (so called "DVD ripper"). You can use it in conjunction with TMPGEnc to convert DVD to MPEG.

  Commercial Software MPEG Encoders

Users have reported using the following software products to create MPEG's that work well with PocketTV.
  • ImTOO Ripper Pack Platinum
    DVD converter and DVD rip software which can rip DVD and convert DVD to MPEG and many other formats. Sells for about $45.

  • WinAVI Video Converter
    Convert AVI and DVD to MPEG. Sells for about $30.

  • Mainconcept MPEG Encoder
    Convert AVI and Quicktime to MPEG (MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 supported). Sells for about $150.

  • MAGIX Movie edit pro
    MAGIX Movie Edit Pro makes it easy to professionally capture & edit home videos. Import & export AVI (also with compressed sound), DV-AVI types 1 & 2, MPEG-1, 2, WMA, WMV (Windows® Media™ 9), MOV, MXV, MJPEG, YUV, JPG, BMP, WAV, MPEG 4* and DivX™* (* requires installed codec). Sells for about $99.

  • Honestech MPEG encoder
    Can convert AVI, DV-AVI, DivX & MPEG-4 files to MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 formats - especially VCD, SVCD and DVD. Handles predefined profiles ranging from Internet Low Bandwidth (200Kbps) to HP@HL (100Mbps, 60frame/sec). Sells for about $49.

  • Cleaner XL from Discreet (previously known as Media Cleaner Pro from Terran Interactive)
    One of the best tools. Can transcode between almost any video formats, including MPEG-1. Includes resampling and VBR encoding. Not cheap: sells for about $550.

  • Grafika Rainbow MPEG Encoder
    Supports MPEG-1 video (data rate 96 - 9999 Kbits/s), MPEG-1 layer II audio (data rate 32 - 384 Kbits/s). Prince unknown. Home page in Tchek.

  • Apple QuickTime Pro
    Can convert many formats into MPEG, including QuickTime (.mov files). Has editing capabilities, too. Sells for $29.99. You may need to purchase the Heuris MPEG Export Engine.

  • XingMPEG Encoder
    Includes a transcoder to re-encode MPEG's with a smaller size and bitrate.

  • Heuris MPEG Export Engine
    An inexpensive, no-frill MPEG encoder plug-in for QuickTime. Heuris also has a more expensive professional encoder.

  • Ligos LSX MPEG Encoder (unfortunately, not available anymore)
    The stand-alone LSX encoder takes only AVI source. Ligos also have an Adobe Premiere Plug-in (with Premiere you can use many other source formats e.g. AVI, MOV, DV, WAV, TGA, BMP, and FLC/FLI).

  • MGI VideoWave
    Sells for about $50.

  • ULead Media Studio Pro
    A complete Digital Video Suite, offering Real-time MPEG capture, Real-time preview, as well as Real-time output. Sells for about $300.

  • KDD MPEG Conversion Studio 1.2
    Probably the best MPEG conversion tool on the market. Also quite expensive, and handles only MPEG-1/2 streams.

  • Hitachi TinyPEG
    Can transcode MPEG-1 streams to a smaller size and bitrate. Inexpensive but limited quality. Japanese documentation only.

  Hardware MPEG Encoders

Users have reported using the following hardware products to create MPEG's that work well with PocketTV.
  • Broadway
    This is probably the cheapest MPEG hardware encoder, and a good value for the price.

  • Sony DSC-S70 digital camera
    Users reported using this product to create 320x240 MPEG's that play well on the iPaq.

  Encoding Parameters Guidelines

For those who want to generate/encode MPEG1 content optimized for PocketTV running on Pocket PC, Smartphone, Handheld PC or Casio Pocket Manager, we recommend the following parameters:

Medium bitrate
About 400 to 500 Kbit/sec
(Recommended)
Low bitrate
About 256 Kbit/sec
(Half-SIF, Half frame-rate)
Video
MPEG1
320x240 (SIF) or 240x180 (Half-SIF), 24 fps or 30 fps, 350 to 450 Kbit/sec. Use 2, 3 or 4 B-frames between the P-frames240x160 (Half-SIF), 12 or 15 fps(*), 180 to 200 Kbit/sec.
(*) Use 24 or 30 fps but repeat every other frame and use 1 B-frame between the P-frames
Audio
Layer-2
44.1 KHz, joint-stereo at 64 or 96 Kbit/sec44.1 KHz, mono at 56 Kbit/sec, or joint-stereo at 64 Kbit/sec
Storage
Space
More than 30 min on a 128 MB Compact Flash card, 4 hours on a 1 GB MicrodriveUp to 70 min on a 128 MB Compact Flash card, more than 8 hours on a 1 GB Microdrive
ExampleVideo from PocketMovies.net

Low bitrate
About 256 Kbit/sec
(QSIF, Full frame-rate)
Very low bitrate
Less than 128 Kbit/sec
(QSIF, Half frame-rate)
Video
MPEG1
160x120 (QSIF), 24 fps or 30 fps, 200 Kbit/sec. Use 2 or 3 B-frames between the P-frames160x120 (QSIF), 12 or 15 fps(*), 64 to 80 Kbit/sec.
(*) Use 24 or 30 fps but repeat every other frame and use 1 B-frame between the P-frames
Audio
Layer-2
44.1 KHz, joint-stereo at 64 Kbit/sec44.1 KHz, mono at 32 Kbit/sec
Storage
Space
Up to 70 min on a 128 MB Compact Flash card, more than 8 hours on a 1 GB MicrodriveUp to 2 h 30 min on a 128 MB Compact Flash card, 20 hours on a 1 GB Microdrive
Example30 sec Top Gun movie clip (1MB) at 256 Kbps2 mn Starwars movie trailer (1.7MB) at 114 Kbps

We recommend that you try various setting allowed by your encoder to determine what works best for you. Those are just guidelines, you can try other parameters.

If you want to distribute your MPEG streams, we recommend that you check that they play properly on the slowers Pocket PC models (e.g. Jornada 540 and Cassiopeia E-115). You may have to adjust the parameters (size, bitrate) to ensure good quality on those devices. Only the new ARM-based Pocket PCs (e.g. iPaq) will play properly MPEG files encoded in SIF size (320x240).

A good compromise between size, quality and support for all Pocket PC platforms seems to be half-SIF (240x180 or so depending on the aspect ratio), at a total bitrate of about 400 to 500 Kbit/sec, with audio in joint-stereo at 64 or 96 Kbit/sec.

These are the parameters used by PocketMovies.net, and the quality of their content is excellent and can be considered as a reference for quality.

A good preprocessing (including de-telecine) is very important, and the source should have a regular frame pattern (e.g. 24 frames/sec if it is a movie source).

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