Creating high quality avi from DVD

Loïc Martin loic.martin3 at
Sat Jan 17 20:20:24 UTC 2009

Ben Edwards wrote:
> Over the years I have tried several programs to create avi files from
> DVD.  My files do not look anything as good/sharp of other peoples. I
> am guessing it is the settings I am using, and the codecs.  The
> container does not have to be .avi.  A program witch rips and encodes
> on the ply would be good but quality is my main concern.
> Any advice would be good, probably best to keep this thread focused on
> quality of output rather than other aspects such as
> functionality/usability.
> Regards,
> Ben
> PS DVDRip-o-matic was one of the programs I got fairly good results with

Sorry for the late reply, I was away.

To get best results, use the x264 codec to create MPEG4-AVC (H.264)
video, and encode the audio either in OGG (then you'll want to create an
.mkv file) or in AAC (you can then make an .mp4 file, even though .mkv
would still work).

Since you want to play them on a PS3 and want good quality, don't waste
your time with MPEG4-ASP (XVID, DivX...). The PS3, the PSP, Ipods and
Blueray players all have hardware decoding for MPEG4-AVC, and AFAIK
you'll want .mp4 files for those (not .mkv, even though you can play
.mkv on the PS3 if you install Linux on it).

If you're a beginner, use Avidemux, then chose the codecs and save as an
 MP4 file.

Most newbie errors that results in a bad quality file are:
- forgetting to remove the black bars on top, bottom and sometimes on
the side (=cropping);
- not knowing that the resulting resolution (after cropping) needs to be
multiples of 16 for x264 encoding;
- resizing the video is a big mistake that was only necessary with
codecs that compressed badly (DivX) and on really low resolution
monitors - don't resize to get the desired aspect ratio, keep the lines
you have and use the aspect ratio parameter instead;
- encoding interlaced video is subpar, if your source is interlaced
encode it with the interlaced option in x264 and use filters when
reading the file on a computer LCD (TV should be ok).
- don't hardsub, add the subtitles as a separate track included in the
video file, you'll get better quality for the text (if you OCR it) in a
better resolution than the video itself, and save space (+ easy to
change the style when you read the video).

All those make a big difference in quality (along with choosing x264
over other codecs, I can tell because I still haven't finished
re-encoding my DVD from Xvid (audio in OGG) to x264 (audio in AAC). For
the audio, there's no real difference between OGG and AAC, but for MP4
it's MPEG4-AVC video + AAC audio.

Default options in Avidemux for x264 are quite conservative, I can't
help you for what the PS3 can support, but I'm sure you can use higher
options, esp for partition decision, method, max ref frames, mixed refs,
 use as ref, bime. Always use two-pass encoding, for example the

To refine the process, if you're trying to encode NTSC DVD of movies,
you can encode in the original (movie theater) 24fps instead of the
DVD's 29.97fps (PAL is less a problem since it's only 25fps).

To get access to more x264 options and use a better .mp4 muxer than the
one in Avidemux (gives troubles sometimes) use mencoder (video), faac
(audio) and mux with MP4Box (in the gpac package). With mencoder you can
use straight x264 libs and options.

For an example with mencoder + x264, here's a command line I use (it
most probably won't work on the PS3, you'll have to lower the options):

mencoder video.m2v -vf crop=720:544:0:16 -ofps 25 -nosound -of rawvideo
-o output.264 -ovc x264 -x264encopts

Faac is straightforward. MP4Box, for example:
MP4Box -par 1=16:9 Movie.mp4 -add output.264 -add
Japanese.aac:lang=japanese -add English.aac:lang=english -add


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