Jump to content

Confirmed: Generic DivX format for SD avi and DVD DivX

Recommended Posts

Note: There are some changes in the numbers below since I posted earlier, I was posting from memory, and got some of the resolutions wrong.


Updated as of 01/21/2010

Updated as of 01/22/2010 See post 3 for more details


BLUF = ClonedDVD Mobile Generic divx format works on both SD and DVD-based DivX, with bitrate limitations for SD.


After installing my Z110BT this weekend, I started some experimentation on compatible video formats. I focused in on the mpg4 video w/mp3 audio formats because they appeared to be the same standard.


I encoded some of my kids' shows into a generic divx format with CloneDVD Mobile at 768kbps and 480 x 360. The software output these files with a FourCC identifying it a Xvid (FourCC = DIVX/DIVX). I then confirmed that these would play via the SD drive without any issues. I also tried a video at 1280 kbps and 852 x 480; this gave a bitrate error when I tried to play it via SD.


Next, I wanted to test the same files to see if they'd play as DivX via the DVD drive. to be on the safe side, I changed the FourCC to DIVX/DX50, which is correct for the commercial DivX 5.0 codec. It only takes a second to change the FourCC to whatever you want using ABCavi, as no recoding is required (though, the wrong FourCC could make the video unplayable).


After confirming that playback worked on my PC with the changed FourCC, I burned them to DVD and checked them in the Z110BT. It was recognized as DivX and worked flawlessly. Quality was better, because, in Disc mode, the aspect ratio was correct (4:3 displayed without stretching on both main and rear monitors, as did 16:9. 2.35:1, etc). In SD mode, 4:3 video was stretched to fill the screens, which was rather irritating.


Now, knowing that these files worked, I tried some video files I had encoded with CloneDVD Mobile some time ago at ~1400kbps and 720x400 for an old Archos video player (that I no longer have, left under a seat on a plane over 2 years ago). These files have a FourCC that identifies them as Xvid (I think it’s virtually the same profile as generic divx), so I really did not think they would work. They were already burned onto DVD (I have several dozen of these DVDs, with 3-5 movies on each of them), so I had nothing to lose. They worked perfectly, and looked as good as a DVD on the small screens (7” for Z110BT and 8.8” for the rear monitors).


Now I have nearly 100 movies/TV shows that can be viewed on the rear monitors in my car (since SD will cannot be viewed on the rear monitors, and looks bad anyway). Among all of these movies there’s at least 2 dozen kid-friendly shows, so I’ve got plenty of road trip entertainment ready for the kids.


Now, using CloneDVD Mobile does not let you have all the full bells and whistles that using the commercial DivX converter does (multiple audio, chapters, subtitles, etc.) but, do you really need that stuff in your car? I’m sure that any of the “convert from DVD” programs that come with Roxio or Nero (and other freebies) can create the same files, so you don’t need to buy anything else, just make sure the target profile is generic DivX. I think the bitrate does not matter, as long as you stay below the bitrate limitation of the physical DVD drive (10.8 Mbps?) and any horizontal resolution beyond 480 is a waste of bits, since the native resolution of the Z110BT is 800 x 480, and nearly all rear monitors are even less (and they’re composite video, so it’s not like you’re going to squeeze any more performance out). When they start making true HD-compatible mobile equipment with hdmi connections, then it might be time to start upping the bitrates and resolutions!


Note: if you try to play any DivX file that exceeds teh 720x480 max resolution for DivX Home Theater Certified Profile, it will not play, the Z110BT will display a warning "Cannot play HD content." This is a correction to what I posted earlier, which said I played 852x480, as I was mistaken. I apologize if anyone wasted time with the previous settings. I'll continue to post more info as I try other settings.


Update 01/21/2010: After some more experimentation, I have settled on a resolution of 720 x 404 at a bitrate of 1412kbps mpg4 video and 128kbps mp3 audio for a total bitrate of 1540kbps. There's not much gain in quality beyond these bitrates for the small screens we're using, the video even looks decent on my laptop, expanded to 1280 x 800 on a 14" display. If you plan on doing more with the video, like using it on a home video server for display on a HDTV, then you can crank the bitrate up a bit (or just make 2 version, one hires for home, and one following this guide for mobile, then another for iPod, etc., etc...). I don't recommend using the DivX Home Theater profile resolution of 720 x 480, though, because this is not true 16:9 and will have black bars on the sides on the Z110BT, and everything will be a little "skinny" on the screen. I'm assuming video coded with the actual commercial Divx Codec may have some sort of tag in it that forces the non-16:9 resolution to be forced to 16:9, but using this generic profile, it's a no-go.


Some of you may wonder, why not just encode everything for iPod? I'd rather not tie up the iPod to p;ay backseat video, and rather use its flexible music playback capability (much better than disc or SD-based music playback) I think video playback via DVD/DivX is as good or better (better when it comes to Aspect Ration handling) than the iPod, so this provides the best of both worlds


My next experiment will be using some of the DVD Ripping tools in Roxio with the commercial DivX codes to see what I can produce.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 39
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

After lots of tweaking and evaluation, I've arrived at the following CloneDVD Mobile profile, it can be pasted into the Devices.ini file:

[AVIC-Z110BT (DivX)]
mopts=-lameopts cbr:br=%abrate%
Format=avi -noodml

This is as close a CloneDVD can get to the actual Divx Home Theater Profile. I highly recommend you perform at least a 2 pass encode to get decent quality (3 pass is better). Each additional pass adds about 75% more time to the encoding process, so, if it takes 60 minute to encode your video in single pass, it will take 105 minutes to do 2 passes and 150 minutes to do 3 passes.


I've found that using the full DivX Home Theater Profile spec for bitrate actual makes a noticeable difference in scenes with lots of motion (despite what I said earlier about keeping in the 1100's). The 1412 video and 128 audio for a combined bitrate of 1540 looks really good, approaching DVD quality. Again, I use the 720 x 404 resolution istead of the spec's 720 x 480 becuase some devices (like the Z110BT) don't handle the pixel-for-pixel aspect ration sources properly. Hard coding the AR into the resolution will save you some headache, at the price of a loss of horizontal detail (again, not a big deal on all mobile monitors, and probably not a big deal until you start getting above 40" for home video).


During my expirmentation, I used the commercial DivX Pro convertor with the mpeg2 plugin (allows it to convert mpeg2 files) and had a few issues like random gray frames added to the video, repeated audio and video frames (almost like they'd loop for a couple of seconds) and the inability to play the completed video file to the end. This varied based on the level of copy protection the source material had. It is a shame, though, becuase the parts of the videos that DID play, were indistinguishable from the DVD version, whatever algorithms DivX uses to analyze and encode video must be awesome. An interesting thing is that it took the DivX Pro Converter about as long to convert a video as did CloneDVD Mobile to do a 3-pass encode, which leads me to beleive DivX is performaing at least a 3 pas encode.


Another downside of the DivX Pro converter is that it does not let you crop any of the video if you want. I'm a big advocate of original aspect ration viewing for home theater, but for mobile video, anything wider than 16:9/1.78:1 is too small horizontally to enjoy on small screens. Programs that allow you to perform a "cinemascope zoom/crop," let you maximize the bitrate you're using to fill every pixel of your screen with acutal video and not black bars. For 4:3, however, I leave it as 4:3 becuase I don't like "fat" video (from stretching) or "headless/footless" video (from zoom/crop). Basically, any converting tool that uses mencoder, should give you the option to crop/zoom.


Don't forget, in order to backup your commercial videos to any format using any software, you need something to overcome the copy protection, I don't think I mentioned that. I, personally, use AnyDVD, but there are a lot of free options available out there as well.


I hope these little guides are helpful.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Encoded some 4:3 material today (kids' cartoons). You can save a little space by realizing that 4:3 video has 75% of the pixels of 16:9 video, therefore, you can reduce the VIDEO bitrate by 75% and get the same quality level.




- For a 16:9 video, you'd encode, using the profile above, at 720 x 404 at 1412/128


- For a 4:3 video you'd select 540 x 404 at 1059/128


Note: No change is audio bitrate, 128 is the recommended minimum (Though, for audio I'll be listening through the ipod or my Squeezbox systems at home, I always choose 320kbps). If I were encoding these to use in a home theater system with someting like a Networked Media Tank or other net video player, I'd go with a higher bitrate (though, then we start looking at creating diferent version that maintains AC3 audio for surround, and we're now beyond what a lot of these programs can do).

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Any problems with the audio being out of sync? I converted several music dvds(concerts) using TMPGEncDVDAuthor3 which has a Divx output and burned them to DVD+R DL discs. The program works great and the quality looked great at the highest video setting...a typical 4 gig dvd encoded at around 1 to 1.5 gig divx. However I am having problems with them being out of sync which can be most irritating. Any ideas? These conversions were typically 1785kbps and the audio was encoded at 320kbps. Would possibly encoding the audio at a lower bitrate keep them "synced" better? I haven't experimented this yet.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I checked a couple and they do seem to be in sync but I may have been watching a vid on the Z110BT that came from a dvd that may not have been in sync to start with. I tried using the CloneDVDMobile and was having some difficulty on some PAL dvds. It would quit and have errors on the last pass leaving me with no audio. On some it did finish encoding but it had an error on the last chapter. When this happened I reencoded(re-outputted) the dvd with my dvd authoring program with an extra chapter at the end so I would get the whole thing and the last chapter with the error would be only seconds long and expendable. I do however like being able to encode separate chapters though. My thinking was the longer large 1 gig+ vids might have been getting out of sync because of the size and length. I thought the shorter chapter by chapter encodes would yield a more in sync finish product. Also having separate files for each chapter gives me the ability to have "chapters" while watching a concert or the like. The only problem with this however is waiting for the player to read the next file before playing it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Is it possible to play DivX files of TV shows downloaded from torrents? Do they play full screen? They're usually fairly low resolution, despite having "HD" in the filename (I think that just means the source was widescreen HD).

DivX playback won't be useful for me if I have to do any reconversion.


Also, I assume the Z110BT will NOT play VOBs or support DVD Menu?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...
Is it possible to play DivX files of TV shows downloaded from torrents? Do they play full screen? They're usually fairly low resolution, despite having "HD" in the filename (I think that just means the source was widescreen HD).

DivX playback won't be useful for me if I have to do any reconversion.


Also, I assume the Z110BT will NOT play VOBs or support DVD Menu?


The TV shows from torrents can work depending on how you convert the file. Like others said, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I've tried a number of video formats that are in the manual as "compatible formats" (.mp4, .avi, .mpg, etc.) but that all depends how you convert into the formats and what video source it was from. I actually made a red hot chili peppers live music dvd with a DVD Menu and it worked fine when burning to a DVD. I also found that the DVD format is a little easier to get stuff to play on the Z110BT then on an SD card. But burning a DVD is soooo much less convenient (and also wastes a whole dvd if it DOESN'T burn properly/lags) then uploading stuff to my 16GB SD card that I can always change up..

Link to post
Share on other sites

felixgun - thanks for the reply, but what I meant was, can the Z110BT play .avi files straight from torrents without conversion? Just copy to SD, stick it in, and it plays?


And by DVD Menu support, what I mean is can I rip a DVD into AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS, then copy those files to SD card, and the Z110BT can play them with full navigation of the DVD menu?


With my current setup, I have a WD TV Mini connected to A/V inputs and I control it using its IR remote. It's not entirely convenient, but the WD TV Mini will play DivX and Xvid .avi files right from torrents without any kind of conversion, just copy to flash drive, plug it in, and it plays. WD TV Mini does the same with DVDs when AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS are copied to flash drive. I am also able to plug in an external HDD to it full of ripped DVDs and play them individually. It supports DVD Menu so for DVDs of TV shows, I can select the episode I want to watch or use scene selection. I was hoping the Z110BT would have those kinds of features built in.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

I can confirm that these video settings can be played on an SD card.


The maximum video bitrate is around 1000kb/s. There is also a size limitation of around 1GB. Any video bigger than 1GB won't play. Also, I believe any resolution larger than 640 X XXX and it won't play.



BITRATE: 975 kb/s


BITRATE: 128 kb/s


I use AVS Video Converter to encode my videos.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...