[MPlayer-users] The best quality OSS mpeg2 encoder?

RC rcooley at spamcop.net
Sat Sep 10 00:11:34 CEST 2005

On Fri, 09 Sep 2005 19:09:35 +0900
Joe Friedrichsen <pengi.films at gmail.com> wrote:

> Transcode 
> (http://www.transcoding.org/cgi-bin/transcode?Building_Transcode) and 
> more importantly the ffmpeg home page 
> (http://ffmpeg.sourceforge.net/index.php) suggest that ffmpeg is
> built off of (and I suspect develops...?) libavcodec. 

It's not quite so simple.  The ffmpeg and MPlayer teams are
very close and intermingled.  For instance, ffmpeg CVS is hosted on
mplayerhq.hu, all mplayer devs have full write access to ffmpeg CVS, and
several mplayer devs are also ffmpeg devs.  

> libavcodec is also used by mplayer/mencoder. Given that ffmpeg has
> admitted having bitrate problems with mpeg-2, does that hold true for
> mencoder? 

Where have the ffmpeg team admited bitrate problems?

I'm quite sure there would be numerous possible workarounds for a
problem like that.  n-th pass encoding, vqcomp/vqblur settings, vqmin/
vqmax settings, etc. 

> So, if I'm reading this correctly, the truly 'base' utilities/
> libraries are ffmpeg and mpeg2enc, 

ffmpeg is not a 'base' utility any more than mencoder is.  Both use

> while transcode and mencoder are 
> front-ends/re-branders of sorts. Is this accurate?

I'm fairly sure transcode is just a front-end to ffmpeg, it even
requires you to create a ffmpeg.cfg file if you want to change any
setting.  Mencoder does not use ffmpeg, but libavcodec, and it is IMHO
a much better interface to libavcodec.

Transcode is also just as slow (slower?) as using ffmpeg directly,
while mplayer is faster than either, and not just by a little bit...

> Do you know any sites that have done any comparisons? What are your
> personal experiences with the two?

I saw this interesting page the other day (no mpeg2enc)...

In case any devs are reading this, that thread has an interesting
suggestion (and proof-of-concept clip) for reducing the bits needed for
all-black macroblocks.

> If comparisons haven't been made, then I should do some. Which are
> good video types to test? What content do I want? 

Fast motion, high temporal complexity (eg. grass), solid-color
(and mostly still) backgrounds, and semi-transparent smoke/fog/clouds.

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