Video Transcoding for High-definition Devices

By: IC

If you want to be able to playback your transcoded content in high-definition players you will need to use video containers which are capable of using very high bit rates and maintain their compatibility. Video containers which are best suited for this task are AVI, MPEG-2, MKV and WMV, there are many other video containers available however this are the most compatible ones.

AVI is a very popular video container which can use several codecs in order to adjust the quality file size of your media, the most popular codecs used with AVI are DivX and Xvid, additional H.264 enhancement can be added to the encoded media but you will need to find out if your player is capable of reading transcoded files which use H.264 enhancement. The most popular tool in order to transcode video into high-definition AVI is Dr. DivX, others may also use tools such as virtual dub however this one is more complex. Dr. DivX allows you to import files and encode them using the DivX codec which has three different settings, one for portable devices, another one for home theater and the last one which corresponds to high-definition players which is the one you want to use. The bit rate for high-definition DivX files can go as high as 4000 kbps due to the compression algorithms that the code uses, if you apply several passes you might be able to get away with a lower bitrate.

MPEG-2 is also a very popular formats which can be used for high-quality video transcoding, in order to achieve good quality you will need to use a much higher bit rate compared to the AVI format, this means that you'll have to use a bit rate between 6000 to 10,000 kbps in order to get the quality, the bitrate which we have specified may seem excessive to most people however this is the bit rate used to transcode DVD media, the file size which is required to store such files will be a lot more than the AVI container.

Matroska or MKV on the other hand will allow you to transcode video into a more flexible container, one which will have all of the original features found on DVD such as subtitles, multiple audio and video streams. In order to achieve high definition using this container you will have to set the bitrate between three to 4000 kbps because the compression method used in MKV files can be just as efficient as the one used in the codecs for AVI.

If you decide to use the Windows media video container or WMV you will need to set the bitrate around three to 4000 kbps as well because the compression method used in this container is also very efficient, transcoding into WMV will allow you to save a lot of space compared to MPEG-2 which can be a lifesaver if you are transcoding a very long movie such as one of the Lord of the rings parts.

The bitrates specified in this article are in no way a standard, they are only suggestions that you can follow in order to achieve good results given that you use a high-quality source and constant bit rate, other factors which may affect the size of your file include the audio stream which may also be transcoded in order to save some space however some people prefer to encode the video and if the audio untouched in order to preserve Dolby Digital surround sound which uses many channels.

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