Ahead NERO 5.0 Released - Supports SVCD

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Ahead have released NERO 5.0

Which allows creation of SVCD aswell as VCD1.0/2.0 format.

You provide the encoded MPEG2 stream.

www.ahead.de - for a 30 day demo

-- Nigel Arnold (narnold@cableinet.co.uk), May 04, 2000


Downloaded it after midnight on 5/3. It looks good. I had bbMPEG make a 704 x 480 mpeg2 sequence using VBR. My DVD played it but it had hiccups and glitches. Will post if I find a good hi-res method that's stable on my DVD players. Trying more standard 480 x 480 now.

-- Bill (WTKatz@yahoo.com), May 04, 2000.

Update: 480x480 with constant bit rate encoding works well on both DVD players. The 704 x 480 pushes both encoders so there are artifacts, mostly on the motion estimation side as moving objects get blocky/pixelated. CBR works better than VBR, and the Konka 1800U with C-Cube chip handles it better than the Raite AVPhile 715 with ESST decoder. I'll see if increasing the bit rate but lowering the required processing (less P/B) helps at all.

-- Bill (WTKatz@yahoo.com), May 04, 2000.

I have had no real luck using SVCD. It just starts to artifact way too early for my taste. I have used good sources with bith LSX and bbMPEG as encoders, and the output is iffy.

bbMPEG creates stunning output at CBR for low-motion, but breaks up quickly

LSX creates ok output at VBR peaking the bitrate for high motion scenes

Athough much crisper, I cannot justify the added encoding time ( 3-4x VCD encoding time ) and quality during motion over VCD.

If anyone has hints for a) Speeding up SVCD compression b) Improving the picture quality during motion

The only thing I can think of that might help is profressional software that can do two pass VBR, as SVCD is very bitstrapped.

I am just trying to fit 45 min ( TV show ) on 1 disk.

-- Eric (eric@snowmoon.com), May 04, 2000.

One of the most interesting posts I've seen in a while. Thanks guys. Good questions.

Bill, What do you mean by, "and the Konka 1800U with C-Cube chip handles it better than the Raite AVPhile 715 with ESST decoder." What is the 'it' in that sentence. Could you go into more detail?

Eric, great questions I look forward to some responses. I'm interesting in putting TV shows on VCD as well. I was using a Matrox Marvel G400 TV/Panasonic solution, but I couldn't do the volume I wanted. Now I have an Optibase MovieMaker and I'm very pleased with the output. On my calibrated Sony Wega 36" TV the picture quality is amazing and the Optibase encodes in real time. It's really worth the money if you can find one used. What TV shows are you recording? Maybe we can trade by snail mail.

I'm interested in your guys results with SVCD. Keep up the good work.

-- Michael S. Gilmore (mgilmore@san.rr.com), May 04, 2000.

My limited trial run had a 480x480 MPEG-2 SVCD-compliant stream running fine on both my DVD players. As a side note, all my testing is using a CD-RW disc and not CD-R. If you are having artifacts on even a 480x480 source, you might be pushing the bit rates or the B/P frames too far for your DVD player. Eric, what DVD player are you using that breaks up after bbMPEG encoding? My results indicate that motion artifacts are more a result of the decoder in your DVD not having enough horsepower.

As for the "it", let me clarify. I tried to use a 704x480 MPEG-2 source encoded to SVCD specs. Nero apparently allows 704x480, even though I thought SVCD was 480x480 only. Well, this 704x480 stream breaks up on motion filled parts... the Konka 1800U handled it better while the Raite AVPhile 715 does a really bad job. Both DVD players, though, handle the 480x480 CBR stream without a problem.

I'm going to run a number of tests to see if quality increases as I change aspect ratio, scaling, P/B counts, bitrates, and interlacing parameters in bbMPEG. In any case, I'm definitely upgrading to Nero 5.

-- Bill (WTKatz@yahoo.com), May 04, 2000.

I was hoping this version will support menu driven VCD. Sadly, it does not :( Support SVCD is not a really big deal, since the older versions support XVCD format (aka high bitrates VCD). Personally, i think XVCD and SVCD have about the same resolution, so there is not a real exciting concept here.

-- lnguyen (wingstarzz@hotmail.com), May 04, 2000.


Which version of bbMPEG are you using?

-- Ross McL (rmclennan@esc.net.au), May 04, 2000.

Sorry I got interupted in the last one.

The final version has been issued with some bug fixes regarding audio and a couple of other things in the VCD encoder.

The last version I had was beta 19 and this latest final version no longer supports doing stills from the timeline of a NLE program like Premiere, it mucks them up big time, hope he will take note and give a further update that works. I thought the quality was a bit better in the final version and wondered if your problems with VBR were related to the old or new.

As an example, I no longer have such a problem with under or over- runs, which can effect playback, it was very difficult I found to get both not to be in error and wondered if your problems are related to that aspect. I always needed to change the buffer sizes to get an improved playback performance.

The data list that comes out at the end is much more user readable in the final version and thats a plus, at leaast with this program you can check what its actually done and look at the max min data rates actually achieved.

-- Ross McL (rmclennan@esc.net.au), May 04, 2000.


I'm using the very very latest bbMPEG (on the web site). I have done very little messing with the specs, so I'm not sure what you mean by underruns/overruns. You think this might be the problem with my 704x480 SVCD encoding?

I have no problem getting 480x480 SVCD output from bbMPEG to work with Nero 5.0. I can also get occasionally working copies of D2 streams (352x480, MPEG2, 2.376 Mb/s video) directly captured from my AIW 128 to work in a SVCD format. On startup, the D2 MPEG-2 video stutters, but when I move around within the clip using fast forward/backwards, the DVD player seems to sync up and it plays the video OK. Any idea what this is caused by? It seems the ideal situation would be to encode directly from my AIW 128 without having to capture in high-res with later encoding to SVCD standards in bbMPEG.

Also, inguyen, XVCD is not like SVCD since the latter allows 480x480 and even 704x480 it seems, although the bit rate is up to 2.6 Mb/s, right? Or do you think 352x240 at high bit rate is better than more pixels at that bit rate?

-- Bill (WTKatz@yahoo.com), May 05, 2000.

Ok, I mispoke.

bbMpeg looks stunning, but gets blocky quickly during motion scenes. I am encoding at 1760000 CBR to fit the whole 45 minutes on a disk. I have been trying to get ST:Voy,DS9, and mabye some NG. In the fall I hope to get the whole B5 series when SciFi starts showing it.

Nero 5 supports SVCD, but has anyone gotten it to work with streams that are VBR less than 2.6? It appears that nero is fixing the mux value to 2.6 so even if I record a compliant stream at 2 it will still overrun ARGHHH. VCD hold 720MB of video why can't SVCD!!.

Anyways. Looks like I'll be using LSX for encoding, unless someone drops cinemacraft SP in my lap. bbMPEG is great, but takes way too long.

I Still do not have a standalone DVD player. I have been doing alot of research though. Any recomendations on multi-disk DVD's that take SVCD and CD-R are welcome offlist.


-- Eric (eric@snowmoon.com), May 05, 2000.


I have an ATI AIW128 which allows me to capture D1 720x480 Mpeg2 at bitrate up to 8Mps. I did a test with this frame size at bitrate 6Mps. I used ReMpeg143 to resize and re-encode the frame and video bitrate down to 480x480 @ 2600kb/s max (run several time through the encoder and check the encoding sequence to see whether the video bitrate has over run the max allow bitrate and adjust the scale accordingly). I used I-author to create the SVCD clip afterward. This SVCD is then pitted against my RT-6 real time encoding at 2600kb/s CBR and against ATI 352x240 @ 3200kb/s (panasonic to 2600kb/s). I don't really see any quality differences between the quality of these three. This is what i meant by XVCD vs SVCD quality wise. The source i am using is from a VHS tape playback on a SVHS VCR. The reason i would like Nero to support menu is because of XVCD. VCD wise, RT-6 is great with Digital sources such as DSS or DVD; However, when it comes to VHS, it has a hickup with fast scene switch, which resulted in random noise i.e block noise. So what i've done is settle for video bitrate at 2000kb/s which is great with VHS. So if Nero supports the menu, then it will be a perfect world for me :) I have VCD using Digital sources, and XVCD using VHS sources. The world will be even better, if i can get it to do chaptering style :))) but we can't have everything...do we?

-- lnguyen (wingstarzz@hotmail.com), May 05, 2000.


Good, your using the latest, and I think he has almost fixed the overun/underun problem as its not as prevalent with this issue of the program.

Look in the output log and if Over or Underrun is not mentioned in the video encode section then I would say your problems are not related to that. In the early versions underun and over run was very prevalent and I always had to increase the buffers to at least correct the underun as that leads to poorer quality.

In the list he spits out the Max and Min bitrates achieved in the encode and it maybe interesting to see how far "over the top" you are from the spec. For example, in ordinary VCDs some of the achieved bit rates are above the 1150 (as that is the required average) and a lot of over the top rates may well be a playback problem on dicky DVD players. Armed with that sort of information you can try lowering the bit rate to control the "over the top" and see if that actually helps the playback problem.

I have not had a lot of time lately to get into SVCD again but I will do now that Nero supports it.



I agree with the statement that there is very little difference in the quality when compared to XVCD's, I tested as you know, a whole heap of different bitrate mpeg1's against a SVCD file and other Mpeg2's and the quality was only marginally better on the SVCD which was below a full frame mpeg2 authored to VBR DVD. I want to have a another bash at that from an actual SVCD and not just the hard drive using the Hollywood+ decoder card as my Philips 725 will not play SVCD despite the current spec saying it will.

-- Ross McL (rmclennan@esc.net.au), May 06, 2000.


In a week or so I'll have a chance to play with Vitec's new hardware encoder which will feature realtime capture in SVCD VBR format in either 704x480 or 480x480! This encoder have the capabilities to do DVD, SVCD, or VCD! 1Mps to 15Mps Mpeg2 CBR or VBR is its native encoding ability. If it has the same ability as the RT- 6 or better then this puppy will rock! It comes bundle with DVD tool box for mini DVD or DVD authoring. All of this for a hefty price of 800.00 us dollars. Nero 5.0 + this encoder should make life much easier to deal with in this world of digital video (about time someone is listening to the consumer for a change...we will see). The only kick to this whole ordeal is your CPU must be at least 800Mhz to deal with Mpeg2! Mpeg1 only need 500Mhz or better. This encoder can do both Mpeg1 or Mpeg2. Now if Nero will only support menu then it will be a perfect world. I-author is too fussy with operating system!

-- lnguyen (wingstarzz@hotmail.com), May 07, 2000.

Hi, I was reading on what u guys were saying on the KONKA dvd player. well my konka for some reason cannot pley SVCD, it does load but it freezes and lags? is it the actual player specific one that is bad in hardware or the bitrate of the svcd has to be a certain number? an answer would be appreciated, I have been wondering bout this for months!

thank you

-- Mike (akritondss@hotmail.com), November 26, 2002.

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