* * * Edward's Original Cheatsheet - Video * * *
Rev 1.0 1/7/01, Rev 1.1 28/1/22, Rev 1.2 6/2/22

Strem Type Description Output File Extension Application
Video Only Elementary MPEG 1 Video stream as specified in ISO/IEC 11172-2 .MPV Create simple good quality video clip with resolution from 32x32 to 352x240(352x288) pixels
Ststem stream with video only Elementary MPEG 1 Video stream embeeded into MPEG 1 system stream as described in ISO/IEC11172-1 .MPG As above, when exact timing information is requireed during playback
System stream with video and audio Elementary MPEG 1 video and audio streams multiplexed into single system stream maintaining strict synchronisation .MPG create good quality video/audio clip with resolutions from 32x32 to 352x240 (352x288) pixels
Video CD Similar to above but conforming to certqain requirements described in VideoCD (white ook) specification (fixed video and audio bit rateds and various sytem layer parameters) .MPG Create a Video CD track image to create a Video CD dfisk playable on standalone players
MPEG 2 Video Only (odd and even fields reversed) Elementary MPEG 2 (Main level at Main profile) video stream as per ISO/IEC 13818-2 .M2V Create very high quality video clip with resolution from 352x480 to 640x480 (720x576) pixels. Usually needs special hardware for playback 
MPEG 1 Program Stream Elementary MPEG 1 Video and Audio streams embedded into MPEG 2 program stream as per ISO/IEC13818-1 .M2P Create good quality MPEG 1 video/audio clip playable on MPEG 2 decoding systems
MPEG 2 Program Stream Elementary MPEG 2 video and MPEG 1 audio streams multiplexed into single program stream with proper synchronisation information .M2P Create very high quality video with synchronised audio contents playable on MPEG 2 decoding systems

Higher values produce better quality with large file size. Improvements are mionimal beyond certain saturations threshold which is dependant on video content.
You can change the video bitrate to any arbitraty value within the allowed range.
MPEG 1 Bitrates: 50-400 Kbps (typically 1125 Kbps). Low bitrates < 200Kbps suit only low resolution MPEG1 files intended for internet streaming.
MPEG 2 Bitrates: 1000-12000 Kbps (typically 6000 Kbps)
Bitrate for "Video CD" are normally specified and restricted to the Video CD "White Book" specification.
Video bitrate controls the amount of data, dynamically increasing or reducing the compression ratio and therfore image quality. To calculate the amoutn of disk space required for a 1 minute MPEG file in KBytes:
1 minute MPEG (KBytes) = (Video Bitrate (Kbps) + Audio Bitrate (Kbps)) x (60/8)
Add about 5% overhead to cater for addition of system stream synchronisation and timing data.
Do not try to create very low bitrate MPEG 1 streams at SIF resolution (240x288). It results in very poor video quality and playback problems.
Where settings allow it, disable  "Render Fields" or "Interlaced Output" options.

MPEGIF (MPEG Industry Forum) calls it MPEG2
ITU (International Telecommunication Union) calls it H.262
MPEG 2 streams may have two different field orders: one primary, compatible with most of the video sources, and another with odd and even fielkds reversed.
Where settings allow it, enable  "Render Fields" or "Interlaced Output" options.
Proper field order is very important for MPEG 2 compression. Depends on the video source and should be matched accordingly. Incorrect setting will result in jerky motion and horizontal line flkickering during playback.

ITU calls it H.264
MPEGIF calls it MPEG4 Part 10 or MPEG4 AVC

Standard for Satellite transmission

Standard for Satellite transmission, broadcast services, interactive services including internet.
30 percent capcity increase over DVB-S
Handles various codecs MPEG2, MPEG4, HDTV.
Supports various input stream formats including continuous bitstreams, single or multiple MPEG transport streams, IP, ATM.

Filename Extensions:
.mpv, .mp2, .mpg: MPEG 1
.m2v, .m2p: MPEG 2
If a particular filename extension does not work, try renaming it suimply to ".mpg".

Colour Depth:
Set Colour Depth to 24 bits (millions of colours)

Frame Rates:
NTSC: 29.97 fps or 30 fps
PAL: 25 fps
Film: 24 fps

Typical Video Resolutions:
SIF: 240x288
To prevent undesirable green or pink coloiured bands on the sides of the output MPEG video, the image width and height must be an integer multiople of 8 or, for greater compatibility, multiple of 16.
To avoid image distortions make sure to "deinterlace" the inpout video properly when compressing to MPEG 1. However, MPEG 2 requires only interlaced video data.
352x240, 30 fps
Size, Aspect Type Target MPEG Format
160x120, 4:3 Full Size Frame (if the source is not interlaced). Filed 1 or Field 2 (if the source is interlaced) MPEG 1, NTSC, 30 fps
176x144, 4:3 Full Size Frame (if the source is not interlaced). Filed 1 or Field 2 (if the source is interlaced) MPEG 1, PAL, 25 fps
320x240, 4:3 Full Size Frame (if the source is not interlaced). Filed 1 or Field 2 (if the source is interlaced) MPEG 1, NTSC, 30 fps
352x240, NOT 4:3 Full Size Frame (if the source is not interlaced). Filed 1 or Field 2 (if the source is interlaced) MPEG 1, NTSC, 30 fps
352x288, NOT 4:3 Full Size Frame (if the source is not interlaced). Filed 1 or Field 2 (if the source is interlaced) MPEG 1, PAL, 25 fps
384x288, 4:3 Full Size Frame (if the source is not interlaced). Filed 1 or Field 2 (if the source is interlaced) Illegal.Not widely supported by playback software and hardware.
352x480, NOT 4:3 Full Size Frame (interlaced video is required) MPEG 2, NTSC, 30 fps
352x576, NOT 4:3 Full Size Frame (interlaced video is required) MPEG 2, PAL, 25 fps
640x480, 4:3 Full Size Frame (interlaced video is required) MPEG 2, NTSC, 30 fps
720x480, NOT 4:3 Full Size Frame (interlaced video is required) MPEG 2, NTSC, 30 fps
720x576, NOT 4:3 Full Size Frame (interlaced video is required) MPEG 2, PAL, 25 fps
768x576, 4:3 Full Size Frame (interlaced video is required) Illegal. Not allowed by MPEG 2 specification

  • Q: I've never captured a digital video file before. It all seems a bit scary. What settings do you recommend to start ?
    A: Don't worry ! With capture video products such as Navis USB or Snazzi VideoMaker USB it's all really easy ! If you've never played with captured video files before here is what I suggest. Set the Navis USB capture settings to MPEG 1, 1.5 Mbps, PAL. Capture a short video and save it. These settings will give you a good starting point for clarity and file size. And they will play on ANY computer Windows Media Player automatically WITHOUT any special plugins, drivers or codec. So you can then simply pass that file around for all to see. And also edit. Well, at least I've never found a PC that could'nt play it :)

  • Q: What are some of the Video Standards around and how much time can I record on a typical CD ?
    A: Recording time depends on the quality and file format you choose. Here are some guidelines. They are a general guide only and not necessarily accurate or supported by Navis USB or indeed every VCD or DVD player.
    - PAL: 720x576x25fps, NTSC: 720x480x30fps
    - DV - Not Scalable Video and Audio. Must use PAL:720x576x25fps or NTSC:720x480x30fps
    - VCD MPEG 1 - 70 Minutes on a standard CD. 352x288 25fps PAL, 352x240 30fps NTSC, 1.15Mbps CBR
    - SVCD - 30-40 minutes on a standard CD. 480x576 25 fps PAL, 480x480 29.97fps (NTSC and PAL-M), 2.6 Mbps Average VBR
    - MPEG 2 - 20 minutes on a standard CD. DVD Quality. 720x576 25fps PAL
    - SIF - 352x240 (NTSC), 352x288 (PAL)
    - 576i - 720x576 25fps 50 Hz Interlaced (2x288 lines every 50th of a second), 414720 pixels, Standard Definition
    - 576p - 1024x576 Progressive, 576 Lines, 50Hz Australia, 414720 pixels, High Definition
    - 720p - 1280x720 Progressive, 720 Lines, 50Hz Australia
    - 1080i - 1920x1080 (2073600 pixels) or 1440x1080 (1555200 pixels) 25fps 50 Hz Interlaced Australia,(2x540 lines every 50th of a second)
    - 1080P Full HD - 1920x1080
    - To downscale 1280x720 use 720x404 with FFmpeg. This retains the 1.78 aspect ratio

  • Q: What sort of bit rate will give me decent quality video recording ?
    A: 3 Mbps provides pretty good quality. But even 1.5 Mbps is actually quite decent and certainly very watchable. We can advise you on products which allows 6 Mbps and higher. So your options are open depending on your quality requirements.
    SD (Standard Definition) uses about 6Mbps for DVD Quality MPEG2
    HD (High Definition) uses at least 12Mbps or more.

  • Q: Is MPEG 1 really simply VCD ?
    A: VCD is actually a special "White Book Standard MPEG 1" data stream. Standard MPEG 1 will play on a standard PC and are also great to put on the internet. But to play MPEG 1 files on a VCD or DVD player requires conversion software which is usually provided with your CD Burner such as Nero Burner or Adaptec or Roxio software which create all the necessary files and index information. The VCD video resolution is 352x288 (PAL) and has to be the correct bit rate for VCD.

  • Q: Can I use the MPEG2 files from Navis USB or Snazzi VideoMaker USB to create DVD's ?
    A: To create the necessary DVD you will need to use your own authoring software such as MyDVD or Ulead Video Studio 6.0 or similar to create the necessary DVD compatible files and other necessary index information. Some of our Capture Devices provide suitable software. Also perhaps ask your DVD burner supplier to provide it.

  • Q: Whats the difference between VCD and SVCD ?
    A: SVCD is enhanced VCD. SVCD is MPEG 2 but at a lower bit rate and resolution than a full DVD. 480x576 25 fps PAL 2.4 Mbps. You can burn and read SVCD video using standard CD's but you will need an MPEG2 CODEC on your PC such as Power DVD to play SVCD. Some DVD players can also play SVCD but many can not. The SVCD standard is not well defined and many capture devices do not support SVCD directly. It is up to the user if they want to experiment with SVCD. SVCD is beyond our scope to support and help.

  • Q: What is the special file structure i see on VCD's ?
    A: VCD File Structure Details (a guide only):
    Directory Files Comments
    Album and disc identification
    Entry point list for up to 500 entries
    Optional Play Sequence Descriptor
    Optional List ID Offset file
    MPEGAVAVSEQnn.DATMPEG files (one per track)
    CDDAAUDIOnn.DATCD Audio files (one per track)
    SEGMENTITEMnnn.DATSegment play items (one per segment)
    KARAOKEKARINFO.xxxOptional Karaoke information files
    Optional extended version of PSD.VCD
    Optional extended version of LOT.VCD
    Optional list of I-frame addresses
    Optional Closed Caption data (one per track)
    CDI(undefined)CD-i program and data files

  • Q: The video is black and white, not colour. Whats's wrong ?
    A: You probably have the video input standard set to NTSC and you are trying to capture PAL. Set the input standard to PAL.

  • Q: Where can I see some examples of captured video and the quality ?
    A: >CLICK HERE< for a place where u can see some captured video samples from VHS Tape to Digital MPEG1.

  • Edward Jozis
    "The Digital Doctor"
    Courtesy of Micronica