[MPlayer-users] Which codec is fast and good?

Rainer Hantsch rainer at hantsch.co.at
Mon Aug 25 17:27:36 CEST 2003


I want to record TV shows on the fly (realtime) into a usual video file which
can be played with XINE and/or mplayer.

Meanwhile I have the puzzle of my Linux TV-Recorder to 2/3 complete:
a.) I can tune a TV-station and set color saturation, and so forth with
    v4lctl. (Thanks for pointing me to this utility, it is great.)

b.) I can basically record to _one_ file, either as 'mjpg' or 'divx'.

My problem is to find a good codec and data compression to get the best
possible picture at an acceptable file size, but without framedrops.

Using mjpeg as video encoding, my celeron 1700 has no problems with recording,
I can constantly see 25fps here, but I get extreme file size (10 minutes = 650
MB). So I am afraid that this will cause problems afterwards when recording a
full length movie.

This is what I do in this case:

mencoder -tv \
audiorate=48000:amode=1:forcechan=2:adevice=/dev/dsp \
-oac mp3lame -lameopts cbr:br=128 \
-ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=mjpeg:vqscale=3 \
-vop crop=701:576,denoise3d=8:6:6,pp=md \
-endpos $dauer \
-o video1.mpg

Using mpeg4 and divx gives much smaller file size and good quality, but I get
often only 24fps, so mencoder starts dropping frames after a while. Not what I

This is what I do here (I already reduced the image size a little bit, so I
get it without frame drops, but the result is not so good):
mencoder -tv \
audiorate=48000:amode=1:forcechan=2:adevice=/dev/dsp \
-oac mp3lame -lameopts cbr:br=128 \
-ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:vbitrate=900 \
-vop denoise3d=8:6:6,pp=md \
-endpos $dauer \
-o video1.avi

I guess that DivX simply causes too much CPU load.

Is there another codec who gives good compression with a minimum of CPU load?
I will accept any file format which can be converted afterwards into a useful
file format, as long as this causes no additional quality loss.


  Ing. Rainer Hantsch

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