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Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:07 am
by sildragon
So it appears the scene has changed to x264/aac/mp4 for standard-definition HDTV rips (or is at least moving in that direction).

I know it is probably going to cause some people some problems, but the format they chose seems like it will be widely supported among portable devices, STBs and computers so I'm quite optimistic about finally having an upgrade.

Anyone have any more information (eg: link to 'official' announcement, detailed rules on bitrates/sizes, etc)?

Edit: It seems that not everyone is onboard:
2HD wrote:It's nice to see FQM continuing with XviD as well. We fully
agree with their comments about compatibility.

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:11 am
by momijigari
ª                                                                             ª
ª                  The SD x264 TV Releasing Standards 2012                    ª
ª                              +---[ INTRO ]---+                              ª
ª                                                                             ª
ª x264 has become the most advanced H264 video encoder over the past few      ª
ª years. Compared to XviD, it is able to provide higher quality and           ª
ª compression at greater SD resolutions. It also allows better control and    ª
ª transparency over encoding settings. With CRF in the mix, we can also       ª
ª ensure that a diverse array of material will get the most appropriate       ª
ª bitrate for them and not arbitrarily fixed sizes. This standard aims to     ª
ª bring quality control back to SD releases. There are many standalone        ª
ª players/streamers such as TviX, Popcorn Hour, WDTV HD Media Player, Boxee,  ª
ª Xtreamer, PS3, XBOX 360, iPad, and HDTVs that can playback H264 and AAC     ª
ª encapsulated in MP4.                                                        ª
ª                                                                             ª
ª The SD x264 TV section was formed to separate releases from the ruleless    ª
ª world of TV-XviD. This document will cover the rules and guidelines for     ª
ª only SD resolution x264 television rips.                                    ª
ª                                                                             ª
ª                          +---[ RELEASE RULES ]---+                          ª
ª                                                                             ª
ª  Compliance with this document is optional as of its pre date, and          ª
ª  mandatory as of 2012-04-01 00:00 UTC.                                      ª
ª                                                                             ª
ª  Video:                                                                     ª
ª   - Sources requiring resize are to be cropped and resized using sharp      ª
ª     resizers such as  Lanczos/Lanczos4, Spline36, or Blackman. Bicubic is   ª
ª     banned.                                                                 ª
ª   - If there is a question as to the validity of a source, the release      ª
ª     may be nuked source.sample.requested_<reason.for.nuke> (e.g.            ª
ª     source.sample.requested_suspicion.of.analog.source) within 24 hours of  ª
ª     pre. Approximate timestamps may be requested in the case that it would  ª
ª     assist in the verification that the source sample provided is the       ª
ª     source used for encode (e.g. The group has 24 ª
ª     hours from the nuke to pre a RARed SOURCE.SAMPLE that is at least 10    ª
ª     seconds in length in order to document that the source is valid.        ª
ª     Failure to provide source proof or providing bad source proof shall     ª
ª     result in the release remaining nuked, and it may then be propered.     ª
ª   - Improper IVTC methods that result in jerky playback, such as Force      ª
ª     Film, are banned                                                        ª
ª   - Interlaced video sources must be deinterlaced with a smart deinterlacer ª
ª     such as Yadif. FieldDeinterlace is banned.                              ª
ª   - Group watermarks of any kind on the video are banned                    ª
ª   - Intros, outros, betweenos, or any other form of defacement of the       ª
ª     episode are banned                                                      ª
ª   - "Native" refers to the standard in which the video was produced (e.g.   ª
ª     NTSC or PAL). NTSC produced video is native to NTSC, PAL produced video ª
ª     is native to PAL. PAL produced video that is broadcast in NTSC is       ª
ª     converted. NTSC produced video that is broadcast in PAL is converted.   ª
ª   - Converted video that has significant artifacting (e.g. blended frames)  ª
ª     and cannot be reversed to native must use CONVERT tag                   ª
ª   - Converted video that does not have significant artifacts does not need  ª
ª     convert tags and may not be nuked for the conversion                    ª
ª   - Native releases are allowed after those tagged CONVERT. Use NATIVE tag. ª
ª                                                                             ª
ª  Audio:                                                                     ª
ª   - Allowed audio formats are VBR AAC LC (Low Complexity).                  ª
ª   - Average bitrate on AAC audio must be 96 - 160 kbps.                     ª
ª   - AAC audio must be normalized and downconverted to stereo.               ª
ª   - Nero and Apple encoders are recommended. FFmpeg and FAAC are banned.    ª
ª   - Multiple language audio tracks are allowed and must be listed in NFO    ª
ª   - Severe audio drops resulting in one full missing word or otherwise the  ª
ª     inability to  understand material dialogue is considered to be a        ª
ª     technical flaw and may be propered                                      ª
ª   - Audio that is 120ms or more out of sync or drifts more than 120ms       ª
ª     between any two points (e.g. needing -80 at one and +40 at another) is  ª
ª     considered to be technically flawed and may be propered                 ª
ª                                                                             ª
ª  Framerate:                                                                 ª
ª   - Framerate must be constant. Variable framerate is banned.               ª
ª   - IVTC or deinterlacing must be applied as needed                         ª
ª   - 50/60fps video may be released at 50/60fps or 25/30fps. Releasing true  ª
ª     25/30fps video at 50/60 is considered a technical flaw.                 ª
ª   - In rare cases, 25/50Hz sources should be IVTC'd to 24 or 30 fps.        ª
ª   - In rare cases, 30/60Hz sources should be IVTC'd to 25fps.               ª
ª     Failure to apply IVTC when needed is a technical flaw.                  ª
ª                                                                             ª
ª  Codec:                                                                     ª
ª   - Video codec must be H264 encoded with 8-bit depth x264.                 ª
ª   - You will have 30 days from latest  x264  rev date to update in order to ª
ª     maintain all bug fixes and improvements in the x264 encoder.            ª
ª   - Stripping or falsifying encode information in the file header is banned ª
ª   - Custom Matrices are allowed                                             ª
ª   - Encoded colorspace must be 4:2:0 (default).                             ª
ª   - Deblocking  must  be  used;  values are at the discretion of the group. ª
ª     (default is enabled, 0:0 settings)                                      ª
ª   - No setting can go below what is specified by --preset slow.             ª
ª   - Keyframe  interval  (--keyint) must be at least 200 and at most 300. It ª
ª     is  recommended  to  be  10*framerate  (film=240,  PAL=250,  NTSC=300). ª
ª   - Minkeyint must be 30 or less                                            ª
ª   - Colormatrix must be set to source specification. If not specified by    ª
ª     source, bt709 must be used for sources with resolution greater than or  ª
ª     equal to 1280x720 (e.g. HDTV and some PDTV) and sources with lower      ª
ª     resolutions use 'undef' (default).                                      ª
ª   - Constant Rate Factor (--crf) must be as follows:                        ª
ª     +---------------------------------------------------------------------+ ª
ª     ª Compressibility ª  CRF  ª General Examples                          ª ª
ª     +-----------------+-------+-------------------------------------------ª ª
ª     ª High            ª 19-20 ª Scripted, Talk Shows, Poker, Animation    ª ª
ª     ª Medium          ª 21-22 ª Documentary, Reality, Variety             ª ª
ª     ª Low             ª 23-24 ª Sports, Awards, Live Events, Competitive- ª ª
ª     ª                 ª       ª Reality                                   ª ª
ª     +---------------------------------------------------------------------+ ª
ª   - x264 parameters shall not vary within a release                         ª
ª   - Zones (--zones) are forbidden.                                          ª
ª   - Any deviation in CRF from given examples must be specifically justified ª
ª     in the NFO. Use discretion when deviating CRF by matching the           ª
ª     compressibility of the show to a corresponding CRF value. CRF values    ª
ª     below 19 and above 24 are never permitted.                              ª
ª   - As a general suggestion, average video bitrate in excess of 1500kb/s    ª
ª     is a sign that a higher CRF value should be chosen, when possible       ª
ª   - Allowed parameters for --tune (optional) are film/grain/animation       ª
ª   - Level 3.1 must be respected.                                            ª
ª   - Suggested command line:                                                 ª
ª     x264.exe --crf ## --preset slow --level 3.1 --colormatrix bt709 -o      ª
ª     out.h264 in.avs                                                         ª
ª                                                                             ª
ª   Container:                                                                ª
ª   - Container must be MP4.                                                  ª
ª   - MP4Box is the recommended muxer.                                        ª
ª   - Support for file streaming and playing from rars is strongly encouraged.ª
ª     Both features are supported with MP4Box.                                ª
ª   - Custom muxing tools are permitted; however, output must be compatible   ª
ª     with standard demuxers to the same extent that files created with       ª
ª     MP4Box are.                                                             ª
ª                                                                             ª
ª  Source Naming:                                                             ª
ª   - Valid source names are HDTV, AHDTV, PDTV, and DSR.                      ª
ª   - WS and FS tags are banned.                                              ª
ª   - Source Definitons:                                                      ª
ª     - 720p/1080i/1080p shall be tagged HDTV or AHDTV (depending on capture  ª
ª       method). In the case of upscaled content airing on HD channel, use    ª
ª       PDTV tag.                                                             ª
ª     - 576i/576p shall be tagged PDTV.                                       ª
ª     - 480i shall be tagged DSR.                                             ª
ª   - HD video taken from the decoded HD output of a set-top box (e.g.        ª
ª     component, DVI, HDMI) must be tagged in dirname as AHDTV. Decoded       ª
ª     output of PDTV or DSR sources is banned. Releases taken from a natively ª
ª     recorded transport stream shall be tagged as HDTV, PDTV, or DSR.        ª
ª     - AHDTV captures must be done at the native format of the channel, e.g. ª
ª       720p or 1080i.                                                        ª
ª                                                                             ª
ª  Resolution:                                                                ª
ª   - HDTV and PDTV sources with greater than 720px horizontal resolution     ª
ª     must be cropped as needed and resized to 720px width and mod2 height to ª
ª     maintain proper AR.                                                     ª
ª   - PDTV sources with horizontal source resolution of 720-704px after crop  ª
ª     must be cropped as needed and only height shall be resized to maintain  ª
ª     proper AR using mod2. Upscaling/downscaling width is forbidden.         ª
ª   - PDTV sources with horizontal source resolution of less than 704px after ª
ª     crop must be cropped as needed and resized to fit within 704x528 while  ª
ª     maintaining the proper AR using mod2. Largest possible resolution must  ª
ª     be used without upscaling in more than one dimension.                   ª
ª   - DSR and any fullscreen source with greater than or equal to 640px       ª
ª     horizontal resolution after crop must be cropped as needed and resized  ª
ª     to 640px width and mod2 height to maintain proper AR.                   ª
ª   - DSR sources with less than 640px horizontal resolution after crop must  ª
ª     be cropped as needed and resized to fit within 640x480 while maintainingª
ª     the proper AR using mod2. Largest possible resolution must be used      ª
ª     without upscaling in more than one dimension.                           ª
ª   - When cropping, remove everything that is not actual picture, including  ª
ª     black or other colored borders, duplicate lines, and full-time tickers. ª
ª     Removing or retaining fading edges is at capper's discretion and shall  ª
ª     not be considered undercropped or overcropped.                          ª
ª   - In the case of varying crops, crop to the most common frame size (e.g.  ª
ª     pitch/primary view in sports).                                          ª
ª   - Actual picture area may be over- or under-cropped by 1px maximum per    ª
ª     side. More than 1px on any side is considered a technical flaw.         ª
ª   - Encoded Video resolution must be within 2% of the original aspect ratio ª
ª     To calculate AR error (%): (Original AR - Release AR)/Original AR * 100 ª
ª     OAR = (SourceWidth-CropLeft-CropRight)/(SourceHeight-CropTop-CropBottom)ª
ª     Release AR  = EncodedWidth / EncodedHeight                              ª
ª                                                                             ª
ª  Subs:                                                                      ª
ª   - Optional, but encouraged                                                ª
ª   - Text based format is preferred (e.g. SubRip, SubStation Alpha, etc).    ª
ª   - Subtitles must be muxed into the MP4. "Subs" directories are forbidden. ª
ª   - Burned subtitles will only be allowed when the source exhibits such     ª
ª     subtitles in the picture itself                                         ª
ª   - Subtitles cannot be used as a basis for a dupe                          ª
ª   - Group marks in subtitles are banned                                     ª
ª                                                                             ª
ª  Packaging:                                                                 ª
ª   - Releases must be packed in RAR file format.                             ª
ª   - Rars may be in 15, 20, or multiples of 50 MB. 15 and 20 MB sizes must   ª
ª     contain 1-101 files. Multiples of 50 MB must contain 10-101 files.      ª
ª     1MB = 1,000,000 bytes.                                                  ª
ª   - Multi-episode  releases  with no clear delineation such as credits must ª
ª     not be split                                                            ª
ª   - RAR compression must not be used                                        ª
ª   - Recovery and MD5 record are optional                                    ª
ª   - Encryption or password protection is forbidden                          ª
ª   - Must have SFV and NFO                                                   ª
ª   - RAR, SFV, and sample files must have unique, lowercase filenames with   ª
ª     the group tag.                                                          ª
ª   - Missing SFV or RAR(s) on all sites is considered a technical flaw.      ª
ª     Corrupt RARs (errors on extraction) are considered technical flaws.     ª
ª     SFVFix and RARFix are not permitted. Uploading a missing SFV or RAR to  ª
ª     all presites after pre is not permitted. Release REPACK.                ª
ª                                                                             ª
ª  Credits/Previously On:                                                     ª
ª   - Previously on footage is optional, but suggested to be included         ª
ª   - Full end credits must be included if they contain show content or       ª
ª     outtakes/bloopers. End credits are optional and suggested if they are   ª
ª     clean, and purely optional in other cases.                              ª
ª                                                                             ª
ª  Samples:                                                                   ª
ª   - Required                                                                ª
ª   - 50-70 seconds in length and  in  a  separate  folder  marked  as Sample ª
ª   - Must be taken from the episode, not encoded separately                  ª
ª   - Stream samples are recommended for any questionable issue with the      ª
ª     source, e.g. no IVTC possible                                           ª
ª                                                                             ª
ª  Propers:                                                                   ª
ª   - Propers are only permitted in the case of a technical flaw in the       ª
ª     original release (e.g. Bad IVTC, Interlacing, missing footage, bad crop,ª
ª     commercials, bad x264 settings used, bad source, etc.)                  ª
ª   - Scrolling or other alert messages added by a station (e.g. weather,     ª
ª     Amber alerts) must be at least 30 seconds in length in order to         ª
ª     nuke/proper                                                             ª
ª   - Drops with missing footage but no missing dialog must be at least 2     ª
ª     seconds long in any one instance to be considered a technical flaw      ª
ª   - Proper reason must be clearly stated in nfo, including timecodes and    ª
ª     extent of the flaw when appropriate                                     ª
ª   - Sample of propered release is encouraged                                ª
ª   - Qualitative propers are not allowed                                     ª
ª   - Flaws (such as drops) present in any optional content are not a flaw    ª
ª     and shall not be nuked or propered.                                     ª
ª   - Propers based upon the rules set forth here are allowed only on         ª
ª     releases that come after this document goes into effect                 ª
ª                                                                             ª
ª  Internals:                                                                 ª
ª   - Internals are allowed to be pred for any reason, including releases     ª
ª     with technical flaws or those done with alternate codecs, containers,   ª
ª     or settings for experimental purposes                                   ª
ª   - Any severe technical flaws or deviations must be mentioned in the NFO   ª
ª   - With the exception of the following rule, internal releases may only be ª
ª     nuked for severe technical flaws or deviations that are not mentioned   ª
ª     in the NFO                                                              ª
ª   - Using  DIRFIX.iNTERNAL to avoid a dupe nuke is banned, and such         ª
ª     dirfixes shall be nuked fix.for.nuke                                    ª
ª                                                                             ª
ª  Directory Naming:                                                          ª
ª   - Show.Name.SXXEXX.Episode.Title.HDTV.x264-GROUP                          ª
ª   - Show.Name.YYYY.MM.DD.Guest.Name.HDTV.x264-GROUP for daily or other      ª
ª     dated shows                                                             ª
ª   - Episode title and guest name are optional                               ª
ª   - Show.Name.PartXX.HDTV.x264-GROUP for miniseries                         ª
ª   - ALL others are FORBIDDEN. (e.g 0x00 000 EXX.EP.TITLE PART.VI)           ª
ª     Sport:                                                                  ª
ª     - League.YYYY.MM.DD.Event.EXTRA.TAGS.HDTV.x264-GROUP                    ª
ª     - Competition.YYYY-MM.Event.EXTRA.TAGS.HDTV.x264-GROUP                  ª
ª     Using just the year is only permitted if the event is once per year     ª
ª     (e.g. a WWE PPV). In the case of leagues which have seasons that span   ª
ª     multiple years, it is permissible to tag the release with just the yearsª
ª     of the season. Inclusion of MM and DD is mandatory for all constantly   ª
ª     running shows (e.g. WWE).                                               ª
ª     If there is no league, the sport needs to be used instead               ª
ª     The following are some examples of correct directory names:             ª
ª     - EPL.2010.01.01.Manchester.United.vs.Arsenal.HDTV.x264-GROUP           ª
ª     - TNA.Impact.2010.03.02.HDTV.x264-GROUP                                 ª
ª     - WWE.WrestleMania.2010.PPV.HDTV.x264-GROUP                             ª
ª     - Tennis.US.Open.2011.Final.Player1.vs.Player2.HDTV.x264-GROUP          ª
ª   - Different  shows  that have the same title in different countries (e.g. ª
ª     The Marriage Ref) must have the ISO 3166-1 alpha 2 country code in the  ª
ª     directory name, except for UK shows (e.g. The.Marriage.Ref.UK not       ª
ª     The.Marriage.Ref.GB). ISO country code is not needed for the original   ª
ª     show (e.g. The.Marriage.Ref.US is forbidden).                           ª
ª   - Different shows with the same name in the same country produced in      ª
ª     different years must have the year of the first season in the directory ª
ª     name, e.g. Human.Target.2010 and Doctor.Who.2005. Year is not needed    ª
ª     for the first show with a particular name.                              ª
ª   - Channel name (e.g. National.Geographic, History.Channel) shall not be   ª
ª     tagged on any normal series starting after this ruleset's effective     ª
ª     date. Miniseries and single-episode docus may optionally be tagged with ª
ª     the channel name.                                                       ª
ª   - The use of audio format tags such as AAC, and AAC.x.x is FORBIDDEN      ª
ª   - READ.NFO tag is allowed; however, discretion is recommended             ª
ª   - PROPER.READ.NFO is NOT allowed. The NFO is REQUIRED to have a reason;   ª
ª     therefore, the tag is redundant.                                        ª
ª   - All repacks and rerips must include detailed reason as to why it's      ª
ª     being repacked or reripped in the nfo.                                  ª
ª   - Other  permitted  tags are: PROPER, REPACK, RERIP, REAL, UNCUT, DUBBED, ª
ª     SUBBED, iNTERNAL, OAR, PPV, CONVERT, NATiVE                             ª
ª   - Acceptable  characters  in  naming  a  directory  include (NO spaces or ª
ª     double dots - single dots ONLY):                                        ª
ª                                                                             ª
ª       ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ                                            ª
ª       abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz                                            ª
ª       0123456789._-                                                         ª
ª                                                                             ª
ª  Nukes:                                                                     ª
ª   Releases must be nuked for any of the following reasons:                  ª
ª   - Any valid proper listed in the propers section                          ª
ª   - Missing nfo, or missing Sample                                          ª
ª   - Invalid directory naming format                                         ª
ª   - Mislabeled  directory  that  could  prevent  finding  the  release in a ª
ª     dupecheck,  including  incorrect season/episode/date or incorrect title ª
ª   - Dupe                                                                    ª
ª   - Releases may not be propered for bad tagging or missing nfo/sample      ª
ª                                                                             ª
ª   Fixes:                                                                    ª
ª   - The  following  fixes are  allowed: NFOFIX, SAMPLEFIX, DIRFIX, SYNCFIX, ª
ª     PROOFFIX.                                                               ª
ª   - DIRFIX requires NFO and NFO must state which release is being fixed     ª
ª   - The original release shall be unnuked when a valid fix is released      ª
ª   - A proper may not be released for an issue that was fixed, unless the    ª
ª     fix does not completely correct the issue                               ª
ª                                                                             ª
ª             The SD x264 TV Releasing Standards 2012 (2012-04-01)            ª
ª                                                                             ª
ª                        +--------[ GROUPS ]--------+                         ª
ª                                                                             ª
ª              TVx2642012 rules created by the following groups:              ª
ª              -------------------------------------------------              ª
ª                 aAF ASAP BAJSKORV BARGE C4TV COMPULSiON D2V                 ª
ª                  DiVERGE FTP FUtV KYR LMAO LOL MOMENTUM OTV                 ª
ª                  RiVER SYS TASTETV TLA TRANSiENCE W4F YesTV                 ª
ª                                                                             ª
   +----\           Thanks to the x264 developers for their           /----+
    +----\            assistance in determining the best             /----+
     +----\                 mix of encode settings.                 /----+
Edit: updated the nfo to the latest version.

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:47 am
by Luke Egan
Well then, I get used to download the AVI files because average quality was good and compatibility never was a problem. Now I will give a try to the mp4 files and compare, I hope it surprises me and all you guys that prefer the AVI. I should get back here and tell you my findings, just add/share what I would learn from that.

Thanks momijigari for clarifying the subject and directing me here.

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:01 am
by qik5l
I actually like the new format :)

Re: Blue Bloods - S1,2 *AiRiNG*

Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:38 am
by sildragon
acm-7 wrote:The WDTV media player plays mp4?
Manual for WDTV and WDTV Live's specs says it should.

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:51 am
by sildragon
I would have liked MKV better just because I dislike mp4 (it's from apple), but I can definitely understand why they chose it, based on the new standard being compatible with iDevices/STBs/PCs and probably android devices (I haven't tested it on everything yet). I would have liked them to do this years ago simply because of more efficient use of bandwidth, but they're doing it now finally so it's good.

That said, they could have done a dual release period of still releasing XviD in addition to the new standard x264 for working out bugs in groups' encoding settings/consumers' playback issues/etc.

From here:
Wikipedia wrote:The MPEG-4 file format specification was created on the basis of the QuickTime format specification published in 2001.

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:50 am
by Luke Egan
I use to watch the series at my computer with a 22" screen. I made a comparison between AVI and mp4 watching the beggining of Person Of Interest S01E16 and the results I found were:

1. The AVI file I watched through KM Player and it seems to have a more 'vivid' color, maybe it is more contrast. Sound is also cristal with Hi and Lows.

2. The mp4 file I watched using the Quicktime and overall definition seems to be better, I mean image seems to be sharper but it is not as 'vivid' as it is within the AVI version, seems lack of contrast comparing to AVI. The sound is clear but it seems not to have the same efffects I got with the AVI file.

I don't know if the KM player is helping with the settings so it appears to have a better overall performance or if it has to do with the file format itself. I really don't mind if I still can watch the series but I could not say that this is going to make me happy. I have choosen AVI files instead of mvk because its compact size but now I am not really sure which is the best direction to go. I wonder that the files continue to be posted in AVI at least for a while, let's say for the next decade :)

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:00 am
by sildragon
ellyca wrote:What about subtitles??? I only can put them on avi-files. Don't tell me yoy will not publish avi anymore , pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee
Have you tried loading the subtitles through VLC's open advanced dialogue? You can select a subtitle file there. You can also use MPC-HC's subtitle downloader (File > Subtitle Database > Download).

For those of you needing a playback device since your DVD players don't work with the new format: I would suggest something like a WDTV box. They're relatively cheap (under 100USD, less on eBay), support many formats (AVI, MP4, MKV / MPEG2, XviD, h264 / MP3, AAC, AC3 / subtitles), easy to setup (power + hdmi + USB drive = done) and are easy to use.

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:32 am
by sildragon
Rekrul wrote:Where can I find a portable DVD (or Blu-Ray player) with a 10" screen that will play MP4 files? Two people I know just got 10" portable DVD players that will play DivX. Oh, they also can't cost more than $100. Whatever it is, it must have an optical drive (see below).
I know it doesn't quite fit it but there are android tablets for fairly cheap or things like a nook/kindle that can handle video (in addition to doing a lot more than a DVD player could). You're right though in that I can't seem to find any portable DVD players (after a quick search ~2 mins ) that support .mp4. I guess the switch isn't going to be good for those kinds of portable devices. Maybe they should have had an additional release type of SD x264 instead of replacing XviD entirely? 2HD still seems to be supporting XviD though, and I do not believe the DVDRip standard has changed (for now at least). You'll likely have to convert the files that are in an incompatible format.
Rekrul wrote:The problem with boxes like that is that they don't have an optical drive on them. My friend that I copy the most stuff for, isn't a computer user. He doesn't even own one, so he's not going to be streaming anything to such a box. Which leaves the USB port.

Blank DVDs are still cheaper than flash drives and they're permanent. To transfer everything I've burned for my friend to flash drives so that he can keep it all, would probably cost him over $500.
I haven't actually used streaming at all for video. I would suggest a large USB HDD. You can load things on it and they can just plug it in. Blank DVDs being permanent also means that you can't fix things like you can with a HDD (like replace a nuked release with a proper). And as for them being cheaper, being able to plug in a single USB HDD and have access to everything might be cheaper in terms of time vs managing/sorting through discs and reading from a slow optical drive.
deadbodyman wrote:sildragon didn't say anything about a little 16GB "flash" drive or more. I am sure he meant something like a 2TB usb drive that costs under $100.
To be fair I was probably thinking of a flash drive. I use HDDs for long-term storage and transfer the stuff I want to watch to a flash drive for playback.
deadbodyman wrote:If you are going to use 4GB DVD disks as an example, check this out.
Yeah, I stopped using DVDs after I got to a few dozen :oops: . It got to be unmanageable with trying to figure out what to put on each disc (separate tv and movies? wait for a bunch of things from one series to put them together? don't use space that is too small for some files or put random small files in that space?).
deadbodyman wrote:(unless you overburn that is)
I thought overburning was for CDs only.

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:45 am
by Luke Egan
I understand that this discussion is already heading to a high level technical issues which I am completely unfamiliar guys but if you permit I just want to point out what I mentioned earlier with these images below. Initially I meant that the AVI image seemed to have an overall better quality when compared to that of mp4 file. The sound from AVI also (although I will not take sampes to prove it) also seems to be of better quality. Maybe this is just the way it is or should be as mp4 is a more compressed file. I realized that the problem is with the players, I tryed now playing the mp4 with Nero Showtime and the image quality was really nice but the sound has better quality with the KM Player. I never tested this before and now I am really curious about it. Maybe you guys can give some light as this is as far as I go with my limited knowledge of the technical issues being discussed.

Please check results below and comment if you want. I am really curious what you guys think about it.

Sample 1

AVI played at KM Player
Image is brighter and has better contrast although a slight blur
Excelent audio with low and hi well defined, maybe because the cinema function is on (equalizer) which is a nice feature BTW.

Sample 2

mp4 played at Quicktime
Lack of contrast image although without any blur.
Sound is incredible bad if compared with the others.

mp4 played with Nero ShowTime
Excellent image quality, sharp, high contrast without noticeable slight blurs
Audio is not as good as with KM Player.

Nevertheless to say that I was very satisfyed with the AVI files format and size so far. I sincerely hope that even if scene is heading at the mp4 file format because it is a health way to go they still keep making the AVI files for those of us which would prefer to have more options and compatibility issues.

As far as I could learn today a higher quality audio and image may have to do more with the software and its features being used than to the actual file format, please corret me if I am wrong.

Thank you for the patience to read this. :x

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:59 am
by sildragon
Luke Egan, have you tried using the same player for both files? It might be a difference in how the two players render files.

Also the AVI screenshot you submitted appears to be KMPlayer playing the x264 mp4 file, not the avi. It does appear different between players though (based on the screenshot).
Luke Egan wrote:The sound also (although I will not take sampes to prove it) also seems to be of better quality.
What do you mean by better quality? Does the AAC have weird noises, clipping, etc or is it just quieter/louder?

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:18 am
by Luke Egan
sildragon wrote:Luke Egan, have you tried using the same player for both files? It might be a difference in how the two players render files.

Also the AVI screenshot you submitted appears to be KMPlayer playing the x264 mp4 file, not the avi. It does appear different between players though (based on the screenshot).
Luke Egan wrote:The sound also (although I will not take sampes to prove it) also seems to be of better quality.
What do you mean by better quality? Does the AAC have weird noises, clipping, etc or is it just quieter/louder?
Hi sildargon,

I edited the forementioned post, please read it again, I don't know what happened before but now I tested again as you said with different players, Quicktime was really bad.

About the audio, I mean that the sound with mp4 file seemed a little quiter and KM Player was the best result but I suppose it has something to do with the equalizer feature that it has.

Now I was here wondering what would I prefer? Better audio quality of KM Player or the nice image from Nero ShowTime? Maybe if I could turn the sound of KM Player and just watch the Nero ShowTime :? but hey, I probably will not have such work each time I want to see my preferred series anyway.

Thank you for suggesting the test with the players, it helped a lot.

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:41 am
by Archmage
Am I'm the only one that is wondering if the quality of the new 225 MB x264 and the old 350 MB XviD-rips will be different? It would be nice, if they really decrease the filesizes that much, but I really fear, that they will now look not that good anymore. (Okay, we always could go to the 720p-rips, but sometimes the sizes does matter.)

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:01 am
by sildragon
Archmage wrote:Am I'm the only one that is wondering if the quality of the new 225 MB x264 and the old 350 MB XviD-rips will be different?
Where are you running into rips that small? Most of the new ones I've seen have been relatively the same size, with A Gifted Man S01E15 being the largest difference that I've seen (348MB vs 266MB) so far. Are you talking about the mSD type ones (re-encodes from the 720p rips) or the LOL ones (as an example group) actually encoded from the HDTV source?

The thing is that the new standard doesn't use the fixed file sizes that the XviD uses, but instead tries to optimize for a maintaining a certain quality throughout the entire file. This can result in smaller files or larger files, depending on what's going on in the video.
The SD x264 TV Releasing Standards 2012 wrote:With CRF in the mix, we can also ensure that a diverse array of material will get the most appropriate bitrate for them and not arbitrary and fixed sizes.

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:46 am
by sildragon
These formats do not stream through xbox video player, I can't be the only person that will have this problem, please don't switch from avi/XviD!
mp4 files show but error on playback seriously don't switch for the love of god!
I just tested one of the new ones (again A Gifted Man S01E15, XviD 2HD and x264 LOL). Both worked when plugged directly into the xbox 360 via USB flash drive and both worked when streamed over the network by TVersity (with the folder they were in set to Transcode: Never). It appears to work for me.

Have you downloaded the optional media update to enable playback of AAC audio files and MP4 video files)?

Luke Egan, it might be better if you compared the two files in the same media player instead of different ones (just to keep it as close as possible, such as the equalizer you mentioned). Also I notice that one has CBS logo while another has Citytv. That could very well mean they have different quality of audio based on what what was given to the network and what the network decided to transmit. How the release group converted from 5.1 channel audio to stereo (2 channel) could, again, make a big difference in the perceived quality.

Wow, I just realized I've been defending the switch quite a bit and kind of biting the heads off of people who complain, sorry :oops: .

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:12 pm
by mcninja
mcninja wrote:Hey Momijigari, thanks for the update. Is there a media player that works for these mp4 files? I've been using VLC, which usually plays mp4's fine, but it's not playing these new mp4's.

That sounds very odd, as VLC plays anything, and specifically plays these new mp4 flawless for me. :?
Are you using an old version? Moving this post to ... 8&t=213567 ~momijigari
:oops: That was the problem. I was using 0.8.6f. Now I've got 2.0.0 zoom zoom. Thanks :v

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:11 am
by -Kane-
Surprisingly my Sony LCD TV actually reads this new format. :)

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:15 am
by sildragon
skip.hammonds wrote:Avi's use less space.
They don't necessarily.

350MB avi vs 263MB mp4

174MB avi vs 157MB mp4

350MB avi vs 198MB mp4

175MB avi vs 183MB mp4

350MB avi vs 361MB mp4

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:24 pm
by kehaar
Personally I use XBMC and I have not had any problem with compatibility. avi mp4 mkv all of them play fine maybe anyone that is having a problem could try it out

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:10 pm
by Archmage
Sickduck wrote:these files are not playable by any DVD player!
OMG! This means that they are selling thousands of different models that they call DVD player, that are no DVD player at all (because that things can play this files). This is an unbelievable scandal. It is an outrage and we should tear down this sheets of fake reality.


Re: Revenge - S1 *AiRiNG*

Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:23 pm
by Robbo7
torrona wrote:Thanks so much for AVI file. My media player doesn't read mp4 files.
Which media player? windows Media Player? If so then download codecs and it will work, I have ffdshow and ssdhow codecs which make my WMP as universal as my vlc player is. One is for video and one is for audio, they are safe (at least from the websites I downloaded them) and they work miracles when it comes to playing all sorts of different files.

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:34 am
by sildragon
You say that but i have found one of many exceptions!!!

349.86 MB avi vs 448.43 MB mp4


Can you explain the disparity in sizes?
Hawaii Five-0 is a fast-paced show so x264 isn't able to get as much size savings as it can with some other shows.
I do not believe I said that x264 would be smaller just that it can be, as shown by some of my examples. Maybe I implied it, sorry.

Another thing to take into account is the difference in resolution.


pixels per frame
mp4 290880 (720 x 404)
avi 219648 (624 x 352)
1.3243006993006993006993006993007 mp4/avi

video size
mp4 407
avi 299
1.3612040133779264214046822742475 mp4/avi

That's an almost proportional increase in size compared to the resolution increase.

The detail is also noticably sharper. Granted, it is still slightly larger proportionally by a bit.

kggf wrote:I thought something like this might happen to tv shows. Anime went the same way and some sites had even taken the crazy notion to ban avi torrents and such, so pointless, but I can still get my avi files for my shows I want to watch, its a pain to find, but they are out there.
It's somewhat unfortunate that they may have banned avi's but the benefits of multiple audio/subtitles for anime seems to be of greater impact than the current format shift of regular tv, and thus a pretty significant reason for anime releasers to change.

kggf wrote:Another thing about these new formats is that Avi is a basic video file, plays an image on a screen with sound nothing else. This new mp4 and mkv files seem like they hold a lot more information and possible, smuggle viruses and other software embedded. Eg MKV holds font files, subtitle files and god knows what.

It might come to a stage where MP4 and Mkv files could be encrypted like WMV files in which groups could require a license to open them and force people to pay for the privilege, kind of like a back door to get everyone to accept this new format and then suddenly slam this on us. I don't like it because of its unknown abilities.
Remember that a mp4 or a mkv is just a data file, it's up to the player to determine how to interpret its contents (or ignore them).

That locking down/encrypting could happen with basically any format. You can write a program to encrypt any given file (even avi), write a player that needs the key (a license) to play it, then not give anyone the key. Who would use it, though? The encryption would be an addition to the standard that not everyone might accept. Just look at the switch to this new standard: not everyone is on board and there are still avi files out there that work. Old files and players don't just magically get upgraded to support the new standard and drop the old one. The old standard format without the drm (either avi or unprotected mp4/mkv) would still exist, and people would just use that. Any protected release would just likely be nuked and a clean one uploaded to replace it.

MP4 is an international standard and MKV is an open-standard format, both are quite well supported by open source. There is little, short of government/corporate intervention in operating systems/hardware, that could prevent us from using open-standard codecs with open-standard containers to playback media in open source media players. It if gets to the point where all content, no matter the source, must have a license to be played, then we have a different, much bigger problem in our society.

Really you have more to fear from the hardware/operating system people restricting what you cam play than a release group. Cinavia is quite worrying.
Sing wrote:I've been seeing more and more mp4 posting instead of avi. Is this because of iPADs? My usual procedure is to download movies and TV programs, upload to a thumb drive, then view on my DVR for TV viewing, in which most DVRs come equipped with USB that run AVI and DIVX. Unfortunately they don't play MP4.
I would say the mp4 decision was likely based on the number of mobile devices that can use it in addition to anyone with quicktime. I really didn't know there were DVRs with avi support out there. I somewhat assumed people watched the content on a computer, a computer plugged into a TV or a dedicated media player plugged into a tv.

On another note, I also noticed the topic got merged and I am no longer the creator :(, how sad.

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:56 am
by sildragon
mylordra wrote:Why is open source FFMpeg banned in the spec ?
It's likely banned because it's better to have as few programs between the source and the output as possible. According to Wki, FFmpeg's h264 encoder is just x264. Just using x264 would be preferred, rather than waiting for the x264 updates to get integrated into FFmpeg. They even mandate using a recent version of x264 so releases don't fall behind the advances of the codec: "You will have 30 days from latest x264 rev date to update in order to maintain all bug fixes and improvements in the x264 codec"
mylordra wrote:Why do they insist on using RAR a propriety format over 7zip open source and better multi platform support and compression ?
RAR is what they've been using for years. All the automated scripts out there on sites are likely only setup to use RAR (because that's what is in use now). Also note that the compression advantages of 7z don't matter much because the file is already compressed by the video encoder, with the resulting file difficult to compress again in a lossless manner. The specs specifically prohibit compression anyways, likely because of the added decompression time/processing needed vs the minuscule space gained.
"RAR compression must not be used"

Edit: I just ran a compression test. 7z LZMA2 Ultra settings, 2 threads, 3Ghz processor.
Uncompressed rars (originals): 470215144 bytes
7z (LZMA2 Ultra): 475141760 (4 minutes to compress)
7z (store/uncompressed): 470211684 (18 seconds to copy)
Compressing stuff that's already compressed can actually be worse than no compression, no matter which metric (time or size) that you use to compare.

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:38 pm
by sitges2006
Well for me these codes don't work on the media player, so if they are changing, thats the end of downloading from sharethefiles, it's been a good ride though

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:32 pm
by deadbodyman
This has nothing to do with sharethefiles. :?

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:33 pm
by freneticvirus
and for those still using them, the original xbox with one of the later xbmc releases plays the new standards fine :)

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:31 am
by sildragon
deadbodyman wrote:You can find a little WD media player, usb/wifi, that will play everything. 8-)

(except those RUDOS mp4 files I have mentioned :( )
Just tested UFC.On.FX.Guillard.vs.Miller.HDTV.x264-RUDOS.mp4 on a WDTV (Gen1) and it works for me.

Also works in Logitech Media Player version 2.0 and aVia 3.1.17851.
freneticvirus wrote:and for those still using them, the original xbox with one of the later xbmc releases plays the new standards fine :)
Really? I could have sworn that it had trouble with SD h264 video, so it looks like they made improvements.

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:37 pm
by aas82
When playing of a computer MPC and VLC will still put subtitles on MP4 automatically if they are named the same. Regarding a mediaplayer I use a WD TV Live (about 100$ in my expensive country but I think it is half that in US) in some rooms and that play everything BUT when choosing files you need to pick Network location instead of Media server, if you Mediaserver doesn't add the subtitles to some filetypes, because when using Network location the WD TV Live adds the subtitles itself as it not really streaming but playing from network. Atleast that's how the WD works.

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:45 am
by BFYCanary
I too was a little worried about the new formats as none of my equipment (except PC) could play them either. I always download them on my PC and them watch them on my TV and via USB sticks through my DVD player. After a bit of digging I bought myself a "Sumvision Cyclone Micro 2+" device from my local computer store for the grand sum of £27.34.

I only bought it a few days ago but it has played everything I have tried it with, AVI/MP4/MKV. I haven't made the switch to HDTV yet so I have it plugged in to the AV sockets on my CRT TV. I now have it set up with a 4 port USB hub, 2x 16gb Mem Sticks, and my old 250gb External HDD. I just wish I had a new TV now so I could get the best out of it. :)

Re: Scene Standard-Definition HDTV format change

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:37 pm
by SaltedNuts
Did some further reading on this and it looks good. Just bought bought one off amazon for less than £20 +free pp, thanx for the info mate.