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Convert MPEG-2 Captures to AVC with AutoMKV



With the emergence of consumer video capture cards with high quality MPEG-2 encoders and the switch from analog to digital (primarily MPEG-2) television broadcasts, its become fairly painless for even a novice to get excellent quality TV captures. So now you've captured your favorite TV show, processed it to fix any transmission related errors, and cut out the commercials. You may have a single TS or MPG file or individual MPEG-2 video and AC-3 audio files.

Converting to AVC


AVC is rapidly becoming the standard for consumer video because of its efficiency and range of advanced features. Unfortunately all these features can be overwhelming for someone who just wants to find a simple way to convert a large MPEG-2 file to a much smaller MPEG-4 version. That's where AutoMKV comes in.

The Auto in AutoMKV


AutoMKV automates the process of encoding and authoring AVC video. Rather than requiring you to understand all the complex encoder settings for x264, the high quality open source AVC encoder being used. Instead you can select from a variety of profiles that have most of the difficult decisions made for you. If you like you can still tweak some settings, but you don't have to have an in-depth understanding of x264 of AVC to get high quality encodes from AutoMKV




Required Software




AutoMKV

AutoMKV is a GUI that automates encoding with XviD and X264, and even Windows Media Video 9 (which VC-1 is based on). As the name suggests, it can output Matroska (MKV) files, as well as MP4, AVI, and of course WMV for Windows Media encoding. Although installation is very straight forward you can get help in our guide titled AutoMKV Installation and Configuration.




AviSynth

AviSynth is a powerful open source editor, commonly used to provide input for encoders such as Cinemacraft Encoder for MPEG-2 and x264 for AVC. You can find more information on AviSynth in our guide on Using AviSynth 2.5. It includes not only basic instructions for AviSynth, but also descriptions of a number of built-in filters, as well as third party plugins.



Continued On Page 2



Next we'll cover the basics of loading your source video and audio and setting some basic output options.

Page 2 - Basic Settings



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Options and Settings for x264

If you're interested in learning more about the options and settings available for the x264 AVC encoder, you should read our guide titled x264 Encoder Options. While not required to use AutoMKV, learning a little more about x264 encoding may help you fine tune your encodes to get the best results possible.

Other Video Capture Guides


Before you encode your TV captures to AVC you may need to repair broadcast (video and audio stream) errors and remove commercials. We have a number of guides covering this process using either free or commercial tools.

Processing TS captures with free tools

This guide features step by step instructions for repairing MPEG-2 video capture files and demuxing to elementary streams, all with free tools.

VideoReDo Plus - Loading, Analyzing, and Repairing

VideoReDo Plus, a popular commercial MPEG-2 editor, is used to repair errors in captured MPEG-2 video. If left unprocessed, transmission errors are likely to cause audio sync problems.

Removing Commercials from MPEG-2 captures with Cuttermaran

The free MPEG-2 editor Cuttermaran, combined with the QuEnc MPEG-2 encoder, can be used to edit out commercials from captured video. Cuttermaran's output can be used as source files for AutoMKV.

VideoReDoPlus - Removing Commercials

VideoReDo Plus is well known as an all-purpose frame accurate MPEG-2 editor for TV captures. This guide shows you how to remove commercials from MPEG-2 video from video in a number of MPEG-2 based capture sources. Make sure to save as either a generic MPEG (PS) file or elementary video and audio files to ensure compatibility with AutoMKV.

table of contents

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Basic Settings
  3. 3. Advanced Settings
Written by: Rich "vurbal" Fiscus
Last updated: 4 April 2008