View Full Version : Plextor ConvertX (MPEG2/4 encoder)
10-06-2003, 12:30 PM
Has anyone seen/used this device (http://www.plextor.com/english/products/ConvertX.html)? I can't tell from the info available if it's hardware encoding or not. But if the min. PC requirements are a P3-800 I would think that it would have to be hardware. If it is hw based encoding, is there a chance SageTV will support?
10-06-2003, 06:50 PM
If it does HW encoding, then there's a good chance it'll work with Sage by default. Let us know if it does.
10-07-2003, 11:22 AM
I'll let my wife know that you want me to buy one. I'm having enough trouble explaining why we need SageTV with three tuners and two DirecTV Tivo's ;) You never know when you might need to record seven things at one time!
10-08-2003, 10:25 AM
I was just told that this device uses a Vweb chip (probably some variation of the VW2005). It does mpeg1,2, & 4 encoding in hardware.
10-15-2003, 01:44 PM
We just purchased one of these guys to test in our lab.
The Convertx uses a Vweb 2005 chip (see attached pics). I apologize for the poor quality photos (our camera is a little dated). I thought you guys might be interested......
We have not had time to test this unit out (hopefully by next week).
(poor quality photos) that look good here I figee it was Vweb chip.
Hey Akjun may when get some time can upload some clip to shspvr are you going to do a review?.
10-15-2003, 03:26 PM
Please keep us updated. I'm very interested in purchasing as my fourth tuner. Since it does hw MPeg4, can you record in that format in SageTV?
10-15-2003, 03:34 PM
I will see what I can do (about the clips). It will probably be at least a week before I can do anything. I will try to provide as much info. as possible. I will also try to see if it works with Sage Recorder (it comes with its own customized version of WinDVD Creator). This thing does not have a tuner, so I do not know how valuable it would be to provide Sage Tv support.
I get the impression that this would basically be used to encode video (VCR/DVD/Tivo/TV/camcorder) to (mpeg1,2,4) for further editing in a laptop or desktop. This does not look like a pvr solution. I am partiicularly interested in the 6mbs mpeg2 limit that is stated in the manual, as well as the hardware mpeg4 encoding. This device looks like a competitor to the ADS Instant DVD boxes (I am hoping that it has a better encoder chip).
This chip may work well in a tuner/pci card configuration. Vweb has the specs listed on their web site for this chip, several reference boards, and a sister chip to the Vw2005 (Vw2010) that encludes hardware decoding (mpeg1,2,4). I will post back when I have some further details.
10-15-2003, 04:03 PM
I'm interested in using it to record from my DirecTV receiver, so a tuner wouldn't be necessary. Thanks for any info you can provide.
10-17-2003, 05:37 PM
Well, I will try this a second time…….
Here are some preliminary test results concerning the Plextor Convertx:
1. Sage Recorder does not work. I used the latest version of Sage Recorder, and consistently received two error messages when trying to use it with the Convertx.
Message one: Problem utilizing the capture card. Error Code 0X8007001F
Message two: Direct Show Filter Error. Unable to connect the mpeg 2 pin of the capture filter to the dump filter. Error Code 0X80040204
2. The WinDVD creator software included with the Convertx is a customized version. Some options in the software are not adjustable. There are 12 recording profiles available (5 DVD, 5 Mpeg4, 1 VCD, 1, SVCD). You cannot adjust the profiles or create new profiles. You can only adjust the Brightness, Hue, Saturation, Contrast, and Sharpness levels. Gamma, white balance, and backlight composition are not adjustable.
You can choose NTSC or Pal TV standards, LPCM, Dolby Digital, or Mpeg audio formats, and automatic file splitting (with a text box for entering a maximum file size).
The software can walk one through the complete process of capturing, editing, and authoring (although I have only tested the capturing part). I also believe the software can transcode (I remember reading about converting the iso mpeg 4 files into Divx).
I created numerous 5-second test clips for each profile. I could only play the Mpeg 4 files with the included WinDVD 4 software. I tried reading them in QuickTime, MS Media Player, Real Player, and Power DVD. I have not tried a Divx player. All of the DVD test clips played fine in the other players.
In terms of capture quality, I believe this chip has some real potential. I have not experienced any “recycled frame glitches” yet – but I need to perform a several hour-long capture to verify that issue. I am willing to upload some clips for others to see – just let me know. I have not tested a lot of fast motion scenes, but plan on doing that this weekend.
I hope this information is helpful. I will report back as soon as I can.
Yes Akjun I love to see some clips if all possable
10-20-2003, 12:06 PM
SHS, I have the clips ready to upload to your server. What do you want to see? I have 5 sec. captures from all profiles. I also have a 26 sec. capture of high motion scenes using the highest DVD setting. The 5 sec. captures vary in length from 655k to 2.9 mb. The 26 sec. capture is 20mb.
I was thinking on sending you the 26 sec. capture (20mb), SVCD 5 sec capture (2mb), VCD capture (989k), and one mpeg4 5 sec. capture (at the highest setting): 2.9 mb.
As far as I can tell all profiles are using CBR. You can't modify the profiles at all (can't change to VBR or increase/decrease the bitrate).
I performed several two hour captures over the weekend and have not found any dropped frames.
I have noticed that every capture has some noise along the extreme top. It appears to be coming from the Convertx unit, and not from the input source (or cables). All of the captures have this (even when using a svideo cable instead of composite).
It is too bad about the CBR, and unadjustable profiles.... having seen what this chip can do at 6mbs CBR, makes me wonder what it can do at higher bitrates, and VBR. Perhaps someone will make a pci card based on this chip (or even better, the vw2010 - which also has hardware decoding).
10-21-2003, 10:18 AM
SHS, I posted the above mentioned clips to your ftp server. I hope the file sizes are not a problem. Please delete them if they are taking up too much space. For everyone else who wants to see what the Convertx can do: the clips are posted at SHS's ftp server: 188.8.131.52.
Go to the incoming folder.
Each clip is labeled as to what profile is used, and how long it is.
Each clip was taken from an analog cable signal.
Please let me know what you think of the encoding quality.
I still have not found a player (besides the Convertx version of winDVD4 that will play the Convertx's mpeg4 streams). I just tried bsplayer and the core media player - neither one would play the file successfully.
size not a problem I have 10GB disk
10-21-2003, 03:59 PM
SHS, I just visited your ftp server, and the files are gone. I will upload them again.
nevermind I see the MPEG4 clip
They there it auto hide them when upload is done Akjun
10-21-2003, 04:07 PM
- Yeah, I just figured that out. Please let me know if you want any more examples.
Xcard fail with MPEG4 clip anyway that MPEG4 clip most be a real odd ball I can't even find the four codec in it.
10-21-2003, 04:18 PM
I think it is a marketing gimmick. The file ends with a .mpg extension. They say that it is an iso compliant mpeg4 file, but I have not found one software player that will recognize it (other than their customized windvd4 application). I will say that it does a fairly good job at compressing the file size. But if it is a proprietary file format, what good is it?
One can re-encode the file to Divx using the customized WinDVD Creator software, but I wonder how much quality is lost (two encodes - I may try this and post the results). I was hoping for more from this device. Perhaps someone will pick up the ball and create a pci card version using the Vw2010 chip. There are too many constraints on this product.
Ok Akjun there on line at ftp://ftp.shspvr.com/download/moive%20clip/akjun%20clip
10-21-2003, 04:23 PM
Thanks, SHS. Please feel free to comment on the encoding quality (anyone...). I thought it did a good job encoding the baseball clip (DVD high quality 26 sec.)- although it is only 6mbs CBR.
well it most not be to ISO compliant been I play the one made by apple on my Xcard but I have to GraphEdit it fro that to due to a bug in the player, the rigth extension should be .mpg4
by the way what input did you use?.
10-21-2003, 04:33 PM
I used composite for these captures. I have some s-video captures also (but I used a different source: a Direct TV Tivo-recorded stream). Let me know if you want some examples (although decoded Direct Tv streams do look different than analog cable).
The Convertx manual states: "Mpeg-4: ISO/IEC14496-2" video compression.
10-22-2003, 01:05 PM
FYI.... Straight from the source (Plextor)
"The ConvertX supports real-time MPEG-4 (ISO) compression in hardware for the incoming video. Although information compressed with MPEG-4 compression is not editable, and you cannot convert it into another format, you can view these files. Just capture files with MPEG-4 compression, then view the files using the WinDVD 4 player that's part of your ConvertX software bundle."
In other words, they created a proprietary MPEG-4 format, that can only be used with their software (I have yet to find something besides their player that will support it). What a valuable function.......
On another note, the included WinDVD Creator application (which is the only GUI that ConvertX uses) will transcode AVI, MPEG1, and MPEG2 into Divx MPEG-4 format (or MPEG1, MPEG2). You do not have any adjustable options (again, the Divx profiles are set - just like all the other profiles with this device). Note: the WinDVD Creator software will not let you import ConvertX MPEG-4 files to be transcoded into Divx MPEG-4. If the software will let you import a particular file, you do have many presets to choose from (You can even convert a NTSC clip into PAL).
SHS, I used the WinDVD Creator software to transcode the 26 sec. "DVD HIGH QUALITY" clip into Divx MPEG-4 using two preset profiles. One profile keeps the original resolution (for same strange reason the file size is larger than the original: 27mb), and the second profile halves the resolution (size: 8.9mb). I can upload them if you want to see them (I tested these clips with several Mpeg-4 players).
I hope this information helps those of you who were interested in this device. Please let me know if anyone has any further questions. We are finished testing it, and will most likely move on.
10-22-2003, 06:07 PM
One last note:
The white noise problem we were experiencing (that can be seen on the clips located on SHS's server) were caused by a driver issue in our test equipment. Plextor has a new driver located on their website. This new driver, in combination with the very latest video drivers for our test equipment, resolved the issue. Please be advised to follow their driver update instructions very closely.
02-26-2004, 04:59 AM
This seems like a pretty good product. I know with myself I have been ripping my DVDs with Supper DVD Ripper over to DivX. But when I change the bit rate from 780 to 4 bits the file can not be viewed by any media player. Actually for some reason it corrupts the file, but if I stop the ripping before it finishes the file plays fine up to that point.
After seeing this I might have to pick it up.
Now my point is, well really a question. If I pop in a DVD, will ConvertX read the individual VOB files? If so, if you set ConvertX to rip to DivX at one of the higher settings, is the file perfectly compatible with media players?
Brian is that the newer Plextor ConvertX PX-M402U?.
02-26-2004, 11:08 AM
No, I wasn’t saying with the Plextor one I was having problems. What I had problems with is when I was using the DivX codec with any ripping program. So I was curious if it has been tested with ripping a DVD at a higher quality.
Personally I think HDD is pretty much unlimited so I don’t mind more then 4 or 5 gigs for 2 hours of a movie so I want the high quality.
02-26-2004, 01:46 PM
Well, I do not have much time to comment - but I can tell you that the new version of the ConvertX is completely different (different encoding chip - -I think it was created by WIS Technologies). That is why it can do Divx in Hardware (supposedly).
We have not tested one in our lab, so I can't comment much on the new unit. The first ConvertX had a customized version of WinDVD Creator that allowed you to import .vob files and convert them into several preset video file formats (VCD, SVCD, DVD, Divx, etc..) I do not believe that the presets were customizable, however.
I do recall that you could choose several Divx presets (different resolutions, bitrates, etc.) I remember successfully converting an unencrypted .vob file with this program. If all you are looking for is something to change .vob files, you might want to check out WinDVD Creator. I do not know if they have a trial version. I hope this helps.
Well if that ture that just suck becuase it Audio output only PCM
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