Smart Bitrate Control

The probably most talked about encoding way. Smart Bitrate Control (SBC) introduces a new way of encoding DivX: Changing between DivX low motion and DivX high motion on the fly, even at frame level, complete control about the internal codec setting parameters and 2 pass encoding for maximum quality and complete final size predicatability. Of course it's not as easy as loading an IFO in Flask, selecting a profile and press Flask it, but the time is certainly well spent. Note that I strongly suggest that you first aquire the basic ripping knowledge before daring this step, because there's quite a lot of variables which make encoding somewhat less than a piece of cake. If at some point you feel confused about what you have to do you should ask yourself: Am I better off using Fair Use? It will give you very good quality at possibly considerably less effort. But of course, if you want to get the best out of DivX this is the (hard) way to go.

Maybe I should talk a bit about the myths surrounding this program. In no way is Nandub a wonder program that will help you make a 3h movie look good at full DVD resolution on one CD. This may be possible in dreamland but rest assured that today's technology is in no way up to the task. Nandub will also not forcedly give better results than a program like Fair Use. Not properly set up Nandub will deliver results which can be inferior even to FlaskMpeg standards. Also, despite the zillions of settings there are only a few which really make a difference, and you should generally stick to whatever settings the guide suggests as these are proven allround values which work quite well. Of course, every movie might require a bit of tweaking to get perfect results but the settings in the guide provide a good starting point.

You will need the following software for this guide:

DivX3.11 alpha
Nandub 1.0RC2
BeSweet & GUI or HeadAC3he
TMPG and TMPG VFP Plugin (only if you do step 3)

Step 0: Basic Setup

Certain tools used in this guide require that you set them up before the first use and experience shows that most people are too lazy to read the readme files that come with these programs so I decided to include the installation instructions in the guide. Be aware that a ripper who doesn't read readme files is a very bad ripper!

Step 1: Rip the DVD

SmartRipper is one of the few IFO parsing capable rippers, which means that it automatically drops not-needed information during the ripping process, which makes it ideally suited for the task. Should SmartRipper fail you should first try to install ForceASPI (you can find that on the software page, don't forget to reboot) and if this doesn't help then try vStrip. vStrip should be able to rip ANY DVD but you have to start a software DVD player before using it.

Step 2: Create a DVD2AVI project

In this step we're going to create a DVD2AVI project file. This project file can be later converted to a pseudo-AVI file for frameserving purposes. Please do not forget to write down the values mentioned in the guide.

Step 3: IVTC (if needed)

Since you've already performed step 2 you should know whether this step is necessary or not. IVTC allows us to encode problematic NTSC source at 23.976fps instead of 29.97fps which results in better quality at the same size.

Step 4: Create a pseudo AVI

Using the VFAPI Converter we're going to transform our DVD2AVI (or TMPG if you performed IVTC) project into something that Nandub can open.

Step 5: Set up Nandub and encode

Now we're ready to start with the hard part. First of all you have to start up Nandub, then apply the resize filter, then you can add subtitles if you need them, and last but not least you encode the movie. If you plan to use other filters apply them before step 5b.

Note that in Nandub the things written in the bitrate and resolution guide do not apply since Nandub is so different from regular DivX encoding tools. However, if you use bad settings you can still get larger or smaller files than projected so it's important that you follow my suggestions for the various settings very carefully.

5a) Resizing
5b) Subtitles (optional)
5c) Encoding

Step 6: Audio decoding

In order to get a direct AC3 to MP3 conversion in the highest possible quality using both azid and lame you can use either BeSweet or HeadAC3he.

Step 7 : Adding the audio

Using Nandub (or Virtualdub, it doesn't matter) you can now add the mp3 file to your video stream. This doesn't take more than a couple of minutes.

Step 8 : Splitting (optional)

If your output file is larger than a single CD you might want to split it up ;)

Troubleshooting / Questions

Many thanks to _nn_ for making this tool and taking the time to instruct me in the ways of SBC encoding and M & V for helping me refine my SBC skills.


This document was last updated on 06/19/02