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Convert MPEG-2 Captures to AVC with SUPER



In recent years the video capture landscape has changed significantly. With the availability of high quality hardware based MPEG-2 encoding and digital TV (DTV) capture cards its become possible for even a complete novice to get high quality captures. At the same time, MPEG-4 AVC (Advanced Video Coding) is slowly taking over as the new standard for consumer video. AVC has also become a popular format for storage and computer-based playback.

In addition to the many commercial programs that can convert MPEG-2 files to AVC, there are a number of free and open source programs capable of doing the job just as well, if not better. Many people have a tendency to dismiss these tools as too complex for the average consumer, and that's sometimes true. But that doesn't mean all free tools are equally complex. As the variety of individuals interested in digital video has grown, so has the selection of tools. One tool in particular, SUPER, combines a number of free tools into a single interface designed to make video encoding as painless as possible while still allowing you to make use of many high quality software used by hobbyists around the world. Best of all, you don't need to install a bunch of different software to make it work.

Why SUPER?


The point of SUPER is to make high quality encodes as easy as possible, and it does a very good job. Its approach may be best summed up by a statement found during installation which reads
       SUPER  (Simplified Universal Player Encoder & Renderer) is nothing more
than a trivial graphic user interface to the famous line command encoders:

ffmpeg, Mencoder, MPlayer, x264, ffmpeg2theora, the libavcodec library
and the theora/vorbis RealProducer plugIn.

What this means is that SUPER isn't attempting to revolutionize video encoding. Rather it attempts to make it more accessible for the average user, while still offering the advanced features of (often confusing) command line tools. Although this guide only touches on some basic features of SUPER, it can be used to convert nearly any type of video file to nearly any other type. In our case we'll concentrate on converting from MPEG-2 video to MPEG-4 AVC, while keeping the original AC-3 audio.



Required Software



SUPER

Although the installer for SUPER is very straight forward and doesn't require any special instructions, if you'd like to learn more about it before you continue you can read our guide titled Introduction to SUPER. There will be a link at the end to bring you back here to continue.


Haali Media Splitter

Haali Media Splitter is a DirectShow splitter for MKV (Matroska), MP4, MPEG-2 TS (transport stream), MPEG-2 PS (program stream), OGG, and AVI files. If you need help with installation you can refer to our Introduction to Haali Media Splitter. There will be a link at the end of the guide to bring you back here.


mkvtoolnix

If your video and audio are in separate files you'll need to mux them before SUPER will be able to load them for encoding. Our guide on Creating MKV files with mkvtoolnix will walk you through that process. There will be a link at the end to bring you back here to continue.




Next: Encoding With SUPER




1 AVC

MPEG-4 Part 10, also known as MPEG-4 AVC (Advanced Video Coding), is actually defined in an identical pair of standards maintained by different organizations, together known as the Joint Video Team (JVT)... (Read More)

Preparing MPEG-2 Captures For Encoding


Depending on the source of your video capture and whether it contains commercials, you may want to perfom some repair or editing operations on it before encoding to AVC. Digital TV (DTV) captures in particular often contain errors that should be fixed before encoding to another format. Commercials should also be edited out prior to encoding. You can find instructions for preparing your MPEG-2 captures in other Afterdawn Capture Guides on processing TS files and removing commercials from MPEG-2 captures.

Processing TS captures with free tools

  • As digital television (DTV) has gradually become standard in many parts of the world, TV capture has gone from a hobby enjoyed by a small group of hardcore enthusiasts to something easy enough for the novice to figure out. However, once you have your favorite TV show on your computer in the form of a TS (MPEG-2 Transport Stream) file you may not be completely done.... (Read More)

Removing Commercials from MPEG-2 captures with Cuttermaran

  • The introduction of the DVB and ATSC digital television (DTV) broadcast standards amounted to a major step forward for television capture. While analog captures vary by hardware, software, and even the person doing the capturing, DTV captures amount to an exact (lossless) copy of the original digital signal (streams). In fact there's generally no difference between captures made by experts or near complete novices.... (Read More)

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table of contents

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Encoding
Written by: Rich "vurbal" Fiscus
Last updated: 31 March 2008