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

Nick Rout nick at rout.co.nz
Fri Aug 17 00:11:43 UTC 2007

On Fri, August 17, 2007 5:11 am, Peter A. Jones wrote:
> 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?)

If file size is your main problem, then h264 with aac sound will make the
smallest files at a reasonable quality. However a PIII 1GHz will take a
long time to do the transcoding and may struggle to play it back.

> + 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)

I think mencoder has the reputation of being the fastest. Its possibly a
trial and error thing.

> + 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.
> Pete
> p.s.  Maybe if I'm a good husband I will get another tuner and a big HDD
> for Xmas.
> </noob warning>

Nick Rout

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