#1  
  07-11-2010, 01:49 PM
 
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What exactly is XVID and how is it used?
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  #2  
  07-11-2010, 02:24 PM
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XVID, AVI is pretty much the same thing. It's a smaller file that is widely used to download a video, movie or shows. It's the most common file used. I only use it to watch movies or catch up on a show I missed. You can fit around 13 episodes a DVD or 25 cartoon episodes per DVD.

I also have a Phillips 1080 DVD upcoverter that you can get for around $50.00 at Best Buy. It will play the XVID files on a DVD or Flash Drive. I just downloaded all 4 seasons of Battlestar Galactica and I am happily watching them in anamorphic widescreen during my recovery from surgery.

Hope this helps.
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  #3  
  07-11-2010, 03:03 PM
 
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any loss of quality in the compression?
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  #4  
  07-11-2010, 04:15 PM
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yes there is a lot of quality loss in my opinion. I hate avi but if i have to use it i will at last resort.

Two totally different things: One is a video compression codec (Xvid), the other is a container format designed to HOLD video and audio (AVI).

MKV, also known as Matroska, is a multimedia container format. This is all well and good, but what does that MEAN? It is NOT a "codec", as some people seem to believe (we'll get to that later).

Consider a fansub episode. It has video and it has audio, both stored together in one file - namely, an AVI (AVI, which stands for Audio-Video Interleave, is an ancient container format invented and developed by Microsoft at some unspecified point in time before the dinosaurs died out). To explain what a container is, I'm going to use an analogy. Think of fansub episode file as a box. It can CONTAIN different things. In most cases, it contains one video stream and one audio stream (in theory, you could have one file with video and an MP3 with audio, and play them at the same time in different programs... but that'd be horribly inefficient, no?), and when you unpack the box in your media player, both the streams play together, and... magic! You get anime!
Now, uncompressed video is HUGE (20+ GB for a 20 minute episode), and so is uncompressed audio, so obviously both the video and audio streams are COMPRESSED in some way. If we open a random fansub AVI and look inside, the odds are great that we'll find MP3 audio inside. Yes, the exact same MP3 as you play in Winamp or your iPod. It works the same in an AVI. As for the video, XviD is the by far most common compression format (or "codec" (CODEC stands for "COmpressor/DECompressor")). It's kinda like MP3, but for video - it compresses the original video to a fraction of its original size, but loses some quality in the process. All common Windows versions has an MP3 decoder builtin, but one needs to install XviD separately (unless one uses players like VLC, which has its own builtin decoders).

After this sidetrack, we get back to MKV. MKV is similiar to AVI - it is another container format. The difference is that MKV is much newer, and can contain all kinds of stuff that doesn't fit into AVI. It also has numerous other features that AVI lacks. There's also the difference that Windows knows how to open the AVI "box" by itself, since the format was developed by Microsoft in the first place. MKV, however, was NOT developed by Microsoft, and Windows does NOT handle MKV's by itself. You need to install a separate filter to "teach" Windows how to deal with MKV's.

Finally... Matroska is an open standard, meaning that it's free for anyone to use, and that all the specifications are public. Its homepage can be found at www.matroska.org.

MKV is better than avi

Why would anyone want to use MKV instead of AVI?

The added features. As stated above, AVI is ancient. It does not support newer codecs (like the increasingly popular H.264/AVC, or Vorbis, or AAC) without very ugly hacks. There are also other things that you can stick into MKV that AVI does not support. "Soft" subtitles is one example ("softsubs" refers to subtitles that are not encoded into the video, but is displayed on top of it when you play it back, and therefore can be turned off). Another thing that casual users can appreciate is chapters (like on a DVD). There are also several other more technical features that are mostly interesting to encoders, which I won't mention here. Visit the Matroska website for more information, if you are interested.

If you have a choice and are downloading get x264 mkv or h264 mkv over any hdtv xvid avi files if you are a quality person. I really dont like avi files when it comes to dvd because almost everyone changes the original aspect ratio to things like 512x384 and a lot of video compression loss making it very pixlated and during any action scenes it tends to look a bit ugly and blocky. this is just my opinion though.

It is funny that i say this because i do make a lot of xvid avi files for verious places and people and they come out pretty good. but i would never use these files over my raws for a dvd set. I just make these for people i know that insist on watching everything on their computer and saving room. If you want to learn how to make them good for just computer watching or whatever i can show you how.
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  #5  
  07-11-2010, 04:20 PM
 
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the reason I was asking, I was going over LS's list and noticed that he had Macross Frontier listed in his XVID files as a 9.00 GB file and was wondering about it.
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  #6  
  07-11-2010, 04:25 PM
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o cool. well 1 thing about avi is dont need much room for a whole series
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  #7  
  07-11-2010, 04:40 PM
 
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the series is only 25 episodes long.
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  #8  
  07-11-2010, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by battle7 View Post
the series is only 25 episodes long.
Then you should be able to get most of those episodes on 1 DVD.
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  #9  
  07-12-2010, 05:16 AM
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I don't have time to go into this in-depth, so here's a quick response to you (battle7), as well as some commentary on the others.

MPEG-2 vs MPEG-4, For Perspective

MPEG-2 (and MPEG-1, sometimes) is the codec/format used for creating DVD-Video. Even Blu-ray uses MPEG-2, as well as H.264 (aka AVC aka MPEG-4 Pt10).

Divx is an MPEG-4 format, and Xvid is the open-source version of Divx (originally a fork on the same basic code).

Both MPEG-2 and Xvid are compression.

As we well know, you can screw up MPEG-2 and make bad looking DVDs. Same for Xvid. Same for any video format. Older collectors remember all the crapped-up VHS tapes that used to float around the collector community.

Now MPEG-2 is an old format, from the 1990s. It's matured. By the time consumers could make DVDs at home (2001) -- especially you late adopters (2003+) -- the tools to both create and play discs were fairly decent, being based on stripped-down pro tools.

Xvid was only developed in 2001, and didn't really "catch on" for a good 3-4 years. But even when it did become more popular, the tools to both create and play Xvid was very awkward. To further add problems, many of the people attempting to use them had zero video knowledge. They would butcher video more than anything else. This is what led to the creation of a number of "groups", like EZTV, for the TV recording/share scene. The groups would ideally try to watchdog crap releases. (Although I'd note that some groups still make crap, such as Cartoon Palace {C_P}.)

MPEG-2 is both a format/codec and a container. MPEG-4 requires a container file to exist in playable format. That can be AVI, MKV, MP4 or others.

More On MPEG-4 / Xvid

MPEG-4 for Divx/Xvid needs to be progressive for the intended players commonly used, not interlaced, and that's always been the primary issue. Most people would screw up that process ({C_P} still screws it up). Most primetime broadcasted video is created progressive in HD, and then interlacing is added. It can be removed with the process known as "IVTC" (inverse telecining).

The benefit of MPEG-4 variants over MPEG-2 is how the blocks are allocated. MPEG-2 is a checkerboard pattern -- something we've all seen on badly-made over-compressed DVDs -- while MPEG-4 variants can use varying shapes blocks (i.e., not a strict chekcboard). This allows for more accuracy in encoding. It's one reason H.264 has become the next-generation format of choice. The MPEG-4 codecs also have built-in de-noise options (de-block), unlike MPEG-2, which helps in quality playback.

From 2003-2005, you'd find a lot of bad episodes in a season worth of Xvid downloaded shows. Starting around 2006, more of the Xvids found online (torrents, by this time) were okay. Many still were not. By 2007-2008, you started to see less problems. And even when a problem did happen, the bad episode was "propered" (replaced with fixed/better quality version) by the group. In 2009-2010, you rarely see bad episodes. But again, this ONLY applies to primetime network TV shows. Anything old, anything on obscure channels (Cartoon Network would be considered "obscure"), it's probably not going to look good.

Future of Xvid

With companies like Hulu using H.264, from studio-supplied source videos, and as broadband speeds increase, there may be a point in time where Xvid/torrents aren't needed anymore. Fans won't even be needed anymore, as the studios will be doing their jobs (releasing materials for the public enjoyment).

As we've already seen from traffic on this site, less people are searching for old TV shows on VHS or DVDs, instead turning to services like Hulu or Youtube to locate their programs. Now granted, the current state of those services offers a LOT of subpar crap. Some of it is from video know-nothing fans, others are from rush-rush low-grade over-compressed studio jobs. What we do here, helping each other learn to create and locate shows on physical media, is still the high quality way to go.

I'm not really a supporter of Xvid, when it comes to standard definition TV or re-runs. The tools just don't lend themselves to quality like a normal MPEG-2 recording. Those Xvid tools are really geared towards HD feeds and newbies (people who don't understand video).

AVI Old?

To say AVI is "old" and needs to be replaced is like saying "round tires" are old, and we need to move on to hover cars. It's a proven technology that really doesn't age. And even when something other than AVI (or tired cars) is invented, you'll still find the "old" tech in use for many more years.

Example of non-DVD Video: Macross Frontier

The Macross Frontier episodes I have are actually not XVID files, they're just listed with all the other "data" formats -- videos I have as files, and not DVD-Video or Blu-ray videos. These are actually HD recordings, 1280x720 (720p), H.264 with the x264 encoder, in MKV containers. Anybody that would call these files low quality would have to be deaf and blind. It's 25 separate files of about 350MB each, and would take 3 DVD-R or DVD+R if I put it on discs (with the last disc mostly empty). I use the KM Player to watch them, as it works better than VLC for these particular files on my older single-core CPU where I watch the episodes. Good series, thought I've only had time to watch 1-2 eps to date.

I would add that Matroska (MKV) won't catch on. It's already dying out. MP4 containers are really the container of choice, because it can be dual-purposed as a web streaming container via Flash or HTML5. While MKV might technically be a better container, the web use of MP4 will kill it in the long run.

Screen cap (downsized to 800px wide) from episode #1 re-telling of original Macross:
Name:  macross-fron-zen.jpg
Views: 146
Size:  23.8 KB

Related (But Unrelated) Trivia

Want even more trivia? Divx isn't used by consumers because it costs money, while Xvid is free -- and both are essentially the same codec. Arguably, Xvid has more tweaks for the community of users, because they can alter the software to do what they want, being open-source. Now then, MainConcept is the modern player in MPEG-2 and H.264 software technology. Any number of DVDs, Blu-rays and TV broadcasts you watch were possibly made with those software encoders. (Anything not made with MC was probably created through hard encoding. Maybe some Quicktime Mac projects, some Grass Valley projects.) Adobe, Sony, Corel/Ulead and several other major players use the MainConcept SDK for their encoding. Divx bought MainConcept a month or so ago.

Well... that turned out a little more in depth than I had intended.


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  #10  
  08-11-2010, 02:20 PM
 
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I hope your surgery wasn't serious-I was rather sick over Christmas. I didn't even know it until I started asking for my ex. Mom said honey 2 you broke up like 8 years ago lol. I didn't know I was sick until they told me I had a stroke and my brain had swollen so much if I had waited a couple more hours to go to the hospital I would have died.
Thank God they didn't tell me until I went back for my checkup he didn't think Iwould be back I said what? He said I sent you home to die. I said well surprise I am here lol.
Anyway. i Hope all is well, and you don't have to take a lot of meds like I do lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by wayshway View Post
XVID, AVI is pretty much the same thing. It's a smaller file that is widely used to download a video, movie or shows. It's the most common file used. I only use it to watch movies or catch up on a show I missed. You can fit around 13 episodes a DVD or 25 cartoon episodes per DVD.

I also have a Phillips 1080 DVD upcoverter that you can get for around $50.00 at Best Buy. It will play the XVID files on a DVD or Flash Drive. I just downloaded all 4 seasons of Battlestar Galactica and I am happily watching them in anamorphic widescreen during my recovery from surgery.

Hope this helps.
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  #11  
  08-12-2010, 04:37 AM
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Wow.......
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  #12  
  08-12-2010, 04:13 PM
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ls tossin my name around again ( CP) --- (Cp) I think of you too but hey, in a good way Not all avi are crap. I have loads of AVI from HDTV that looks fantastic. Depends on source & person encoding
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