[MPlayer-users] Recording with mencoder

Kichigai Mentat kichigai at comcast.net
Mon Mar 14 05:40:55 CET 2005

On Mar 13, 2005, at 07.31, Lee Jones wrote:

> Hi,
> I was just wondering what command line options do I have to use to
> produce reasonable picture quality but at the smallest filesize? I was
> just wondering since up until very recently I was using real's
> software to directly record from a capture card under mandrake linux
> 10 (the system is using a bt8x8 card, 700 mhz CPU with 512MB ram and a
> 40GB HDD).
For watching TV, I use this.

mplayer -tv  
adevice=/dev/dsp tv://1 -zoom -aspect 4:3

For encoding, I modified it a little

mencoder -tv  
adevice=/dev/dsp tv://1 -zoom -aspect 4:3 -o output.avi -ovc lavc -oac  
mp3lame -lavcopts vbitrate=800:vhq -lameopts abr:br=128 -vf lavcdeint

lavcdeint might put your system a little overbudget for power, and get  
some framedroppage. make sure you test it first. You might need to  
change NTSC to PAL or whatever, depending on where you live, same from  
aspect ratio. I find that an 800 Kbit bitrate seems to be an all-around  
good choice, but you might want to consider experimenting. Depending on  
the situation, I've managed to get decent quality files as low as 150  
Kbits, but that was somewhat atypical.
> The problem was that real's software *only* accepts a raw input so
> converting other formats to real became a real problem. Also, their
> software didn't work well very much above 320x256 (framedropping). So
> in order to try to get better quality and filesize I decided to try
> mencoder rather than realencoder (now named "producer").
> I came up with the script (attached) and I decided to use divx (mpeg4)
> compression, however while it works I find even at low quality
> settings it does not do very well (files can turn out looking like a
> patchwork quilt, all squeares  for example when an equivilent realfile
> would at least be watchable if low quality).
> Since there's no free/OSS direct equivilent of .rm files in existance
> I was wondering what was the best settings to use with mencoder were.
> I've attached a little script I use under mandrake 10 to do video
> capture, but even at low quality settings, a minute's worth of video
> still takes several MB (and can look awful) where I could get below
> 1MB for a realfile and - though not good quality - could still be
> watched. In particular I'm wanting to know the settings so as to make
> internet downloads as small as possible and still watchable.
> I'm not sure if my script really has the right or optimal settings but
> I was just wondering if anyone out there who knows more about mencoder
> could provide me with better settings/command line options?
First, to tell if it's optimal or not, we'd need to see the script's  
parameters. No attachment came through, so just paste in the code from  
> Thanks,
> ljones
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