[mythtv-users] Transcoding to uniform (smaller) format <noob warning>

Peter A. Jones peter_alan_jones at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 16 17:11:33 UTC 2007

Hello all, 

Preface:  I am on a tight budget and my hard drive space is laughably limited - would you believe I have a combined HD FE/BE running on 80GB?  (Commence the scolding!)  Hence, space management is key for me.  Ideally, I'd like to have my ATSC shows available in full mpeg2 glory for a few days before they get transcoded to a uniform, smaller res/filesize format for the longer term.  Plus, I'd like to be able to easily serve content to SD FE's (and older windows PCs with MythTV Player).  I'm also hoping to avoid using MythVideo to watch the transcoded shows (WAF).  I will have all sorts of ATSC recordings accumulating - 1080i, 720p and 480i (digital simulcasts of SD material) at least, I believe, and I'd like them all to end up in the same format.  

I would love some recommendations that include the following:

+ Which filetype to transcode to?  (I'm thinking Xvid... does the windows MythTV Player support this?  Do older systems (pIII 1ghz at least) choke on mpeg4 playback?)

+ What res?  (I'm thinking 480p will play well just about anywhere?  I know this is a balancing act - 800x600 would look better but require more i/o, etc.  But I'm aiming for the near-DVD quality ballpark, I guess.)

+ What program to do the transcodes to whatever format you recommend? (nevexport / mythtranscope / mencoder)

+ What method to run / manage the transcoding process? (Internal mythtranscode / User Job / nightly cron script?  Could MythArchive be convinced to do something like this?)

Ideally, the solution would search the recordings folder and transcode
anything older than X days [I know, I am shooting the moon here, but a
fella's gotta dream, right?].  And (I'll stop writing "ideally," at the beginning of my sentences as that is pretty much a given at this point) I'd like to avoid manually adjusting settings for each resolution if at all possible (the method could tell what resolution the file is and act appropriately to get the correct end result).  Anybody already have something working that magically does something like this?

Any advice, pointers, stern rebukes for the asinine questions and dreamy tone, would be greatly appreciated.

p.s.  Maybe if I'm a good husband I will get another tuner and a big HDD for Xmas.

</noob warning>


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