Why 3 audio standards?

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Scooterspal
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu May 25, 2006 1:14 pm

Why 3 audio standards?

Post by Scooterspal »

I'm using Ulead MF3, running W2K-SP4, PIII 866mhz.

Can someone please explain the difference between AC3, LPCM and Mpeg 2 audio?

Which one is the industry standard if one is making DVDs for the widest possible compatibility on set top players and computer drives?

Thanks!
sjj1805
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operating_system: Windows XP Pro
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Post by sjj1805 »

It all stems from different electricity supplies!
In NTSC regions the electricity supply is different to PAL regions and so to avoid various issues with the display of a picture on a television screen we ended up with these two different TV systems.

As a result we also ended up with different sound Systems.
Not all NTSC DVD players will play MPEG audio.
All DVD Players wil play LPCM but that format is huge.
Nowadays it is rare to find a DVD player in either region that does not play Dolby Digital.
Dolby digital comes in various flavours such as AC3 (2 channel sound)
and Dolby 5.1 (Surround sound)

Dolby is owned by a private software company and so they have to be given a fee when other software companies (like Ulead) wish to include Dolby into their products.

Largely its a matter of evolution.
Scooterspal
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu May 25, 2006 1:14 pm

Post by Scooterspal »

Steve:

Thank you for the detailed reply.
LodeStone

Post by LodeStone »

All DVD Players wil play LPCM but that format is huge.
Yes, I captured a bunch of stuff with Hauppauge PVR-250 with WinTV2000 into one huge 6gig file Mpeg2 format, an hour and 37 minutes of stuff using WinTV2000's standardDVD output size.

Then I used MF 3 that came with Hauppauge PVR-250 to convert that into recognizable VOB format so that I could then shrink it and then burn it with Nero 6. My first capture and burn, and I'm totally new to this, though I have burned lots of DVD backups in the past.

The LPCM was huge, 1/4 of the disk space for simple stuff. In the past, when I have burned DVDs, even the largest sound files took up only 500meg, and not 1 gig.

Anyway, is there a way to make Movie Factory 3 convert the sound to a smaller format? Or will I just have to learn to live with the sound taking up 1/4th of the space on the DVD disk?

There are lots of problems being reported with MF5 on my kinds of equipment, and rumors that MF3 is faster and more reliable than MF4, and I do like the fast and easy of MF3 already, so I don't want to upgrade and lose that just yet. I went with and like MF3 for the simplicity. So, is there any way to make the Movie Factory Three produce smaller sound files for DVD burning?

Thank you in advance.
maddrummer3301
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Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: US

Post by maddrummer3301 »

Hi,

In MF3 you can have "Do Not Convert Compliant Files" checked ON and also
"Treat Mpeg Audio as Non-Dvd compliant" checked ON.

If you have the Disc Creator version that will support Dolby Audio also.

I don't have the capture card you have but if you can set the recording mode to DVD instead of Mpeg then you may be able to also select Mpeg audio instead of being stuck with lpcm audio. Mpeg audio uses much less disk space on the dvd leaving more room on the dvd for longer videos or higher quality video using a higher video bit rate.

If you have a recording that is in pcm audio and you want to force MF3 to change the audio to mpeg or dolby then do the following:
Uncheck "Do Not Convert Compliant Files" (under the Gear Icon).
Make sure that the "Project Properties" (Gear Icon -> Customize) are set EXACTLY to the same video properties as your source material.
Set the audio for the "Project Properties" to what you want to change to.

When the dvd is created the program will use "Smart-Rendering" for the video portiion because you have told the program to use the same video settings, therefore the video doesn't need to be re-encoded. The program first checks the properties of the video and compares it to the "Project Settings", since they are the same the program will "Smart Render" the video portion of the video.
The audio is different in the "Project Properties" so the audio will be converted to the settings you have set in the "Project Properties".

MF3 is harder to do this than MF4. MF4 has more features called Exporting which can be done from the main timeline screen.

Another method would be to record your original audio at 44,100khz. MF3 will see it's not dvd compliant and make it dvd compliant re-encoding the audio to the "Project Properties" settings. Make sure to also set the video properties equal to the source material.

Hope this helps,

MD
LodeStone

Post by LodeStone »

Thank you.

I was actually expecting some guru to come on and tell me that it can't be done. But, you gave me a lot more stuff to play around with.

As a preliminary, I took my original source Mpeg2 file, which had everything all combined in it. I added the video file to the MF 3 timeline, and again, it was projecting something like a nearly 7gig sized file as the output file size.

Then I just went into the project settings, the gear thing, and found my way to Change Mpeg settings, Customize option, Compression Tag, and it offered Mpeg audio. It didn't offer AC3, but it offered Mpeg Audio in addition to the default LPCM Audio, and when I set it to Mpeg Audio it complained and turned off Treat Mpeg Audio as DVD compliant, but most importantly it reduced the size of the projected output from ~7 gig down to a more realistic 5 gig of size. It looks like it is going to allow it. I hope the Mpeg Audio will be as good and as in-sync as the LPCM proved to be.

So, as long as it allows me to continue on and trim and chapter and the Output to the hard drive, I should be set. Then I can shrink it to size and burn it and not have to sacrifice so much video quality to the sound.

I'll have to try it and see how it goes. But, it does indeed look hopeful.

Thank you very much!
maddrummer3301
Posts: 2507
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: US

Post by maddrummer3301 »

When I was using MF3 most of the captures were mpeg audio using ati software.
I would use MF3 to change that to Dolby. Don't remember the exact method but very similar to my previous post.

When the audio file is being created/converted the new audio file is located in a temp directory below your "Working Folder" thats' assigned under "Preferences".
I would move or copy that file before closing MF3. That would be for a music video or similar.

The warning for mpeg is normal since you don't have the Dolby encoder installed. But, you need not check that since your source file is lpcm.

GeorgeW is the poster that taught me how to use MF a few years ago.
(To give credit where it's due).

MD
LodeStone

Post by LodeStone »

Well, the Ulead MF 3 doesn't even offer me AC3. It apparently was doing so for you.

So last night, I experimented with the WinTV2000 program that is creating the Mpeg2 output that I'm using as my input to MF 3.

The WinTV2000 program has an audio button for AC3 that I can supposedly use to force the program to output to AC3, but that button is grayed out and WinTV2000 won't allow me to select it or activate it. It just automatically selects Mpeg2 or the Mpeg Audio as my output, which is probably why the MF 3 allows me to select the Mpeg Audio as my output along with the default LCPM that MF3 likes to use as its output.

This all leads me to believe that I don't have an AC3 Dolby encoder installed or available anywhere in the system, just like you said.

I have a SoundBlaster Live 24-bit card for Windows XP, and now of course, I'm wondering what I need to do to get that card to install an AC3 Dolby encoder for me to use elsewhere. I don't even know where to begin. Maybe I need to lie someplace and tell the PC that I have Dolby 5.1 output speakers on my computer when I don't, or some such, and then maybe it will ask for and install the Dolby AC3 drivers?

Anyway, there's still a mystery there to be solved.

I didn't go on and try to Output the lower sized 5 gig Mpeg2 or Mpeg Audio files to the hard drive with MF3, because I'm waiting for a much better VCR to arrive that will supposedly allow me to record in stereo rather than mono, and not be all worn out like my current VCR's are and thus hopefully produce a better picture as well with fewer flaws.

I want a better recording to work with as my source before trying the process all over again.
sjj1805
Posts: 14419
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 7:20 am
operating_system: Windows XP Pro
System_Drive: C
32bit or 64bit: 32 Bit
motherboard: Equium P200-178
processor: Intel Pentium Dual-Core Processor T2080
ram: 2 GB
Video Card: Intel 945 Express
sound_card: Intel GMA 950
Hard_Drive_Capacity: 1160 GB
Location: Birmingham UK

Post by sjj1805 »

Don't know if MF3 included Dolby as I didn't have that version.
WinTV2000 has always had that greyed out AC3 button. I have always thought it was something put there by Hauppauge for future implementation but they never got round to it.
maddrummer3301
Posts: 2507
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: US

Post by maddrummer3301 »

Hi,
Like I said, the Disc Creator Version when MF3 was released supports Dobly Audio. You must be using the Standard version.

http://phpbb.ulead.com.tw/EN/viewtopic. ... 6375#66375

>>>if you have the Disc Creator version that will support Dolby Audio also.

Whenever I use capturing software and choose the Mpeg2 format the audio choices are lpcm or mpeg.
But, if the program supports Dolby then instead of choosing the Mpeg format you choose NTSC-DVD or PAL-DVD and their should be 3 audio formats to capture in, lpcm/mpeg/dolby. The choice whether to capture mpeg2 or DVD compliant is another drop-down box.
I don't have the wintv2000.
My ATI captures mpeg/lpcm, to convert that to Dolby is very fast so not a problem.

MD
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