Divx (avi) to DVD- Can a mac do this and how fast?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Bonsaichop, Jan 28, 2005.

  1. Bonsaichop macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    Wollongong, Australia
    #1
    Hey all!

    A few years ago my brother and I went on a quest to reprocess all of our old home movies (mostly deteriating betamax) to digital format. Unfortunatley at the time DVD burners were over US$1000 and Video CD didn't hold long enough footage for us so we converted all our home movies to DIVX and kept them on some removable hdds (well 4x 40gig drives to be exact).

    Now I have a PC (celeron 2.4 overclocked to 3.2, 512mb ram, 200gig hdd) and i Also have a Mac (ibook g3 500 overclocked to 650).

    Unforutnatley to reprocess a divx to DVD format on my pc is about realtime so as you can imagine a few thousand hours of video collected over 20 years is going to take too long...

    Now the question strikes, can a mac (say 1.5ghz g4/512mb ram) process divx to dvd format faster than realtime? or should i just fork out for a faster p4 processor? I was thinking of getting a mac mini and a super drive or something around those speeds.

    Does anyone have any thought's/opinions about this?

    and please no "get a mac because p4 sucks" thats the only answer ive managed to get on any other forums.. or vice versa :p

    thanks!
     
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #2
    You can do this on a Mac--the easiest way is probably to use QuickTime to convert Divx to a DV stream, then use iDVD to add a menu, encode, and burn, but there are other ways as well.

    But, it won't be any faster than realtime, probably slower--MPEG2 compression is a slow process no matter what processor or OS you're using. Using different tools might be a bit less smooth, but could also add to the speed, but even then it won't likely be a big speed difference.

    Note, though, that iMovie produces pretty good quality video (and nice menus), if that's important to you--you can always use a shoddy MPEG2 encoder, even on a PC, to save time, but you'll sacrifice significant quality (actually, if you're getting realtime conversion on that system, you're probably already getting relatively poor MPEG2 video--have you taken a good look at the results for compression artifacts that didn't come from the Divx?).

    You can think of it this way: There are optimizations that can be done to take advantage of special processor features (like the G4 and G5's vector processing unit), but video encoding is one of those things that pretty much comes down to raw processor speed. And although the G5s are pretty fast, buying one for a one-shot deal like this probably isn't an efficient use of money.

    A ~2GHz G5 is somewhere in the vicinity of a 3Ghz P4 or an equivalent 2GHz Opteron, but not wildly faster. A Mac Mini is unlikely to go any faster than your overclocked Celeron (it'll probably be slower), and although a G5-based iMac would fare somewhat better, it's still probably not going to be wildly faster than a simple P4 upgrade for you.

    If cost were no object, you'd get very good performance out of a 2X2.5GHz G5, but that's a lot of money to spend to save a few hours of waiting on a single project. Me, I'd use this as a lame excuse and buy one anyway, but since you already have a half-decent PC to work with spending a couple hundred dollars on a faster P4 is probably going to get you the most bang for your buck.
     
  3. whenpaulsparks macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Location:
    Tallahassee, FL
    #3
    ffmpegX will do this for you: http://homepage.mac.com/major4/

    and they have a guide to convert divx to SVCD, which is a MPEG-2 CD, so all you ahve to do is change the option from SVCD in the menu to DVD and play around with it, find the setting that works for you, and there you go.

    here's the guide: http://homepage.mac.com/major4/divx_svcd.html

    and to install ffmpegx you will need to download the binaries for mpeg2enc, mencoder, and other binaries like that, but it will explain how to do it, but the easiest way is to click the link they give you when you run it for the first time, download the Mac OS X binary, and copy the binary to Applications/Utilities/MPEG or something, then find the file with ffmpegx. its not hard, just might be confusing if you've never done it before.

    oh and to burn it, ffmpegx will produce a standard DVD VIDEO_TS folder, just create a new standard DVD project in Toast, and add the VIDEO_TS folder to the root of the disc, and create an empty AUDIO_TS, but you dont need to use it, just stick it on there. and you can open the video_TS folder in apple dvd player to test it out first.

    and how fast? i have no idea. it takes me about 4 hours to encode a DVD VIDEO_TS folder to Xvid, but maybe the other way around is faster?
     
  4. MictXP macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2004
    Location:
    Washington
    #4
    Well, I can give you the PC answer. My PC recently started blowing smoke, so now I've got to learn to do this same project on my 867 PB....

    There are two ways I would recommend converting divx to DVD on a PC. My main recommendation, which works wonders for TV Episodes, is D.I.K.O -- (D)ivx (I)n, (K)DVD (O)ut. The website is here: http://www.vmesquita.com/en/

    The other thing I would recommend is TMPGenc. The express version makes everything really, really simple. There website is http://www.pegasys-inc.com/. I am still looking for a good TMPGenc type software for Mac.

    I think the first will be faster, but no promises. For the mac, I'm checking out mpeg2works and Compression Master, and will check out ffmpegX now. Any other ideas??
     
  5. Bonsaichop thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    Wollongong, Australia
    #5
    Just a quick update- and a thank you to the people who helped out...

    I ended up (regretfully) upgrading to a p3 3.4ghz processor. Witha few tweaks its running at 4.1ghz quite happily (and a dvd takes around 40 min to encode).

    Ironically, the solution to my problem was always infront of me, just never saw it. Nero has a program called "Vision Express" which takes any format file, chapters it, and gives you a dvd menu all without any more than a few mouse clicks! Hurrah!

    Anyway thanks once again for the help guys.
     
  6. Veldek macrumors 68000

    Veldek

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Location:
    Germany
    #6
    Well, if you have the right plugins you can use Toast where you only drag the avi file into and then start. It's the easiest way.
     
  7. Omen88 macrumors regular

    Omen88

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2002
    Location:
    Flanders (Belgium)
    #7
    Which plug-ins are those then? Toast gives me errors on most avis.
     
  8. Veldek macrumors 68000

    Veldek

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Location:
    Germany
    #8
    I have DivX, 3ivX and some others which I don't remember now, because I'm not at my Mac. But these two should be able to handle most of them.
     
  9. Omen88 macrumors regular

    Omen88

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2002
    Location:
    Flanders (Belgium)
    #9
    Oh you mean the codecs. That could be a stupidly simple answer to the problem. It's not me who has trouble converting divx to dvd, it's my dad who has the DVD writer. I should check if all codecs are installed indeed.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  10. Veldek macrumors 68000

    Veldek

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Location:
    Germany
    #10
    You're welcome.
     
  11. daveL macrumors 68020

    daveL

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Location:
    Montana
    #11
    There are hardware mpeg2 encoder boards for PCI that would have been cheaper and faster, but at least now you have an extra space heater for your house :)
     
  12. killuminati macrumors 68020

    killuminati

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    #12
    I'm in the process of doing the exact same thing as you, right now. I am just using quicktime to convert all the avi's to mpeg2's and then burning it with dvd studio pro. It takes days for all the encoding so I just have my pb sitting there doing that 24/7 and I use my pc :( . Oh well, it will be done soon.
     

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