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  #1  
Old 09-30-2009, 08:01 PM
alisonnic alisonnic is offline
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Convert formats: Output details?

Has anyone posted details about the output files which result when converting an H.264 file using SageTV's Convert function?

I've got a Hauppauge HD PVR which appears to record only in H.264 format, by default at about 4 GB per hour, at 8MB/sec at 1080i.

I'd love to know what the various Convert options (Format and Quality) produce, without having to go through all the options and do a trial conversion of a recording for each Format and Quality setting just to see what it turns out. I started to do this for Arcsoft's conversion but it's very time-consuming, and with SageTV there are many more options - and less information about each option.

For example, SageTV offers all these Formats: iPod, iPhone, DVD, MPEG4, MPEG4 HDTV, AppleTV, PSP, and Razr.

If you chose, say, iPod, there are three Quality settings (Fair, Good, and High). DVD Format provides six Quality settings, and all the other Formats provide between two and four Quality settings.

So if, for example, I wanted to convert a 2.5 hour H.264 recording (at about 9 GB) and shrink it down to, say, 2 GB, how would I find the best Format and Quality settings?
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Last edited by alisonnic; 09-30-2009 at 08:12 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-30-2009, 09:34 PM
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GKusnick GKusnick is offline
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You can see the exact parameters for all those formats by looking in Sage.properties.

For your specific example, do the math: 2GB/2.5 hours * 8 bits/byte / 3600 seconds/hour works out to about 1.8 Mbit/s. Choose a format with about that bitrate and you should be good.
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Old 10-01-2009, 02:18 AM
alisonnic alisonnic is offline
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by GKusnick View Post
You can see the exact parameters for all those formats by looking in Sage.properties.

For your specific example, do the math: 2GB/2.5 hours * 8 bits/byte / 3600 seconds/hour works out to about 1.8 Mbit/s. Choose a format with about that bitrate and you should be good.
Awesome! Thanks for the tips!

After a little fancy footwork with Excel and a text editor, I've generated a spreadsheet that, given a recording duration in hours, will calculate the (approximate) amount of disk space that a converted file will require using any of the conversion formats available in SageTV. (The exception is Razr, which isn't included in my SageTV.properties file.)

There are two sheets, one with the conversion formats grouped by type, and the other sorted by output size. Just enter the duration of the recording into the By Type sheet, at the top in the Proposed recording length field. (You can't miss it; it's bright blue.) The disk space requirement for each format will be calculated and displayed in the last column.

Switch to the By Size sheet to see the same list sorted in descending order by space requirements. This makes it easy to select the right format for a target destination.

For example, to put 4 hours of recordings onto a single-sided DVD, an MPEG4 High Quality AVI looks pretty good; it should take up about 3.8 GB.

I don't have much empirical data yet, but it looks like the actual recording size may be a little larger than the calculated values. Also, I had to make a wild-A guess as to the bit rate of the audio portion of the MPEG4 recordings, because these are not in the .properties file either.

So use this spreadsheet as a guide; don't expect precision correlation with reality.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Conversion formats by Type.jpg (85.6 KB, 423 views)
File Type: jpg Conversion formats by Size.jpg (85.4 KB, 295 views)
Attached Files
File Type: zip Conversion Formats.zip (16.1 KB, 235 views)
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Server: Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R, Intel E7400, 2GB, MSI 8800GT 512 OC, XP Pro SP3
Client 1: BioStar TP45HP, Intel Q9650, 6GB, MSI N250GTS, Win7 HP 64; Client 2: GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3, Phenom II X3 720 2.80 GHz, 8 GB, EVGA GTX650Ti, Win7 HP 64; Client 3: Acer Aspire 7552, Phenom II N950 Quad 2.10 GHz, 8 GB, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650, Win7 HP 64
Tuner: Hauppauge HD PVR Rev E3
Receiver: Explorer 4250HDC

Last edited by alisonnic; 10-01-2009 at 02:28 AM. Reason: Add screen shots
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  #4  
Old 10-03-2009, 06:58 AM
alisonnic alisonnic is offline
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Here's a slightly updated version. I've filled in the gaps in the MPEG4 information by getting the data from VLC Player > Tools > Codec Information and SageTV > SageTV Recordings > View Recording Details. These new numbers change the size of the files slightly but don't change the order.

I also highlighted the cell in which you enter the length of the recording you plan to convert, to make it a little easier to find.
Attached Files
File Type: zip Conversion Formats.zip (16.5 KB, 302 views)
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Tuner: Hauppauge HD PVR Rev E3
Receiver: Explorer 4250HDC
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  #5  
Old 12-04-2009, 11:12 PM
rmellor rmellor is offline
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Smile Thanks

Awesome work - thanks for the XLS file. I just stumbled upon the 'convert recording' feature in SageTV and I have a ton of MPEG2 video that is hogging space that I would like to compress. Using your XLS I determined I'm going to try out the MPEG4 Good Quality De-Interlaced and the MPEG4 High Quality De-Interlaced (for playback on a standard def tv). Thanks!
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