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Old 2008-02-08, 03:15   #1
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Smile Some suggestions - inc. video format

Hi all,

This is a great resource for fans of the featured artists to get good quality clips of their favorites. Well done!

I've managed to download some of the torrents, but others seem to have 1 seed but I get no downloading action at all - eg many of Sarah's & Sissel's files. Is there a policy to always seed these files - if not then an alternative is needed.

Would it be an option to also upload to somewhere like RapidShare. This also has its issues if you don't want to pay for the service as you have to wait for some time after downloading a big file to begin another. Also, they may delete the files if there is no downloading activity for a while.

What I really want to comment on is the use of the very large mpg format which gives file sizes at least twice as large as avi files. The quality is not really compromised by going to avi (Xvid or DivX or mp4). These are more efficient systems for encoding video. When I record HD shows I now routinely make the original mpgs into avi files with a resolution of 1280x720 which maintains most of the quality of 1920x1080 yet makes for much smaller file sizes.

I use the free program Auto Gordian Knot, the settings for which are very simple. In advanced settings choose the horizontal output resolution and the codec (Xvid or DivX) and an audio method (auto is easiest). In the opening screen choose either a target size or quality (I prefer a target size most of the time - about half the original mpg -even less is possible). Load a file and set it going. If avi files were uploaded rather than mpg the download times would be less and quality would not suffer.

I'll make a sample for you - just let me know what to do with the file to make it available.

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Old 2008-02-08, 11:02   #2
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Thanks for your input Redwin.

About your downloading problems. I'm in the middle of changing tracker for my torrents. If you get "tracker errors" you should just redownload the updated torrent from the forum and all should be well. I can see now and then that some people have difficulties downloading. Analyzing the traffic shows that any attempt from me to connect is immediately closed by the downloader's TCP/IP stack. The two most common errors are a personal firewall blocking incoming connections and a missing port forward in the downloader's router. This is all described in my BitTorrent FAQ. By the way, the same FAQ also explains why I chose to share my videos with BitTorrent and nothing else. I can also sometimes see that there are no incoming connections to me. The most likely cause would be that those connection attempts are blocked by the user's firewall but I really would need a trace of the traffic from that side to tell for sure. Also, remember that some ISPs are interfering with P2P-traffic in general, BitTorrent is no exception.

About quality and video format. Many years ago I actually did reencode the videos I had back then to Xvid and multiplexed them into avi. Although my videos are all raw digital broadcast streams they do sometimes have a rather low quality, especially the older ones. Many broadcasters back then tried to cut costs by reducing the bitrate to a minimum which resulted in visible compression artefacts in the MPEG2 video. My early videos of Sarah is an example of this. In Europe things has been better since then but in US broadcasters still tries to cram in as many channels as possible on each sat transponder which makes the bitrate very low and quality suffers. Any recompression of these videos just introduces even more artefacts unless bitrate is set insanely high which would work against the initial purpose of keeping the files small. After being frustrated over this issue for several years I finally took the decision to leave the videos untouched. Cheaper hard drives, faster CPUs and broadband connections helped me in this decision. I know that some fans reencode my videos and put them on YouTube for instance and I have no problems with that of course. I share them for free and I'm pleased if fans help each other getting them no matter what format they have. From my own point of view I have limited time to spend on this so I have to settle for one option. You can't please them all, can you? Any change for the future from my side would be to go to an even better quality format like h.264. As soon as HD transmission gets more common in Europe I will get there. We still lack good software to edit those streams with yet though.

Auto GordianKnot is a nice frontend for the encoding tools but remember that these videos are interlaced and you have to deal with that first before reencoding them. Any deinterlacing suitable for avi WILL reduce spatial resolution of the video. I know both DivX and Xvid can encode the videos interlaced since some time back but this is a violation of the avi standard and not supported by external players for example. You should probably use Matroska for this.

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Old 2008-02-08, 12:26   #3
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Your reply

Thanks for the quick reply. I refreshed the torrent files as you suggested and downloads have now resumed. Many thanks!

RE the file formats used - I see from your reply that you have delved into this deeper than I have. I see why you made the decision to use mpg files. My experience with re-coding to avi has been restricted to programmes taken off FTA of very good quality. You are right - H264 is very promising. Another program I am trying is Super which seems to be a front-end for other free programs and is very versatile.

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