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The Best TMPGEnc Settings

How to choose the best settings

I am often asked the question "what are the best TMPGEnc settings?". It is very difficult to give an answer that suits everybody, since it depends on what you are trying to achieve. Consider the following points first:

  • How am I going to playback my movie - VCD, SVCD, DVD, PC?
  • Which is more important to me - picture quality or file size? Do I want to fit a certain amount of video onto each Disc?
  • How important is audio quality?

Once you answer these you can tailor more generic settings to suit your situation.

Using a Template

The best starting place is to use a template. TMPGEnc comes with templates for common situations. For instance, if you decide that you want to produce a SVCD using the PAL (European) format, use the templates provided. Click the "Load" button on the main TMPGEnc window and select the "Super Video CD (PAL)" template. Settings suitable for producing a PAL SVCD will be loaded.

To see the settings you have just loaded from the template click the "Setting" button. You'll notice that many options are greyed out. This is because they are "locked" to prevent accidental modification. If you wish to modify them, you must load the "Unlock" template from the "Extra" directory. Click the "Cancel" button to close the Settings dialog, click "Load", double click the "Extra" directory, the select the "Unlock" template.

Generic Settings

Once you have loaded a suitable template you are ready to modify it to suit your requirements.

Video options

Setting Option
Rate Control Mode If you are producing a standard VCD, leave this option at "Constant Bitrate". If you are producing a SVCD or DVD and want to get as much video as possible onto the disc select "2 pass VBR". This will take twice as long to encode, but gets the best results. Click the "Setting" button, then use the bitrate calculator to determine the best setting. Set the "Average Bitrate" to be the result of the bitrate calculation. Do not adjust the Maximum Bitrate or you may produce a non-standard SVCD.
Bitrate If your "Rate Control Mode" is set to "Constant Bitrate", use this to enter the bitrate for your video. To make a standard VCD, do not alter this setting from the template default.
Motion Search Precision For best results set this to "High Quality (slow)". The "Highest Quality" setting takes much longer with no noticeable difference in the final video.

Audio options

The template defaults will produce high quality audio. If you wish to squeeze more onto each disc you can reduce the audio quality slightly and give a significant reduction in bitrate requirements. Use the following options to achieve this. If you wish to preserve Dolby Prologic information from your source material you need to allow slightly higher bitrate to ensure that the surround sound information is not lost.

Setting Option
Sampling Frequency (Hz) To reduce the bitrate requirements of audio, set the sampling frequency to 32000 Hz (32 kHz). Note that some DVD players will not play this audio streams with 32kHz sampling frequency, so to maintain maximum compatibility select 44100 Hz (44.1kHz) instead.
Channel Mode Use "Joint-stereo". This makes low frequency bands mono, and high frequency bands stereo. The human ear is more sensitive to the direction of high frequency sounds. Note that this setting destroys Dolby Prologic information, so if you source contains Dolby Prologic information choose "Stereo" mode instead.
Bitrate In conjunction with the above settings try 128kBps. To preserve Dolby Prologic information, a minimum of 192kbps is recommended.

Digital Video
Glossary MPEG Bitrate

Video Editing
Intro

HDTV
Introduction Plasma LCD Projection HDTV Antennas

Freeview
Introduction Aerial Channels Coverage PVR Recording STB Guides TV

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TMPGEnc
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