TMPGEnc Explained V2.0.1      
| Video Tab  |  Advanced Tab  |  GOP structure tab  |  Quantize Matrix  | Printer-friendly version of this page |

Well a few things have been changed and I think that might help a few out on a few things I didn't really touch before.


I. "Under the video tab."

Stream Type: This is what type of video you want to encode MPEG-1 or MPEG-2.

The size in pixels of the file you are going to encode the standard of VCD is 352x240 (352 horizontal lines by 240 vertical lines) and SVCD is 480x480 (480 horizontal lines by 480 vertical lines)for NTSC and for a PAL VCD its 352x288 and for SVCD its 480x576.

Aspect Ratio:
This is the aspect ratio that the final product will come out as.

1:1 VGA: This would be the correct aspect ratio if you plan to watch your video on     your computer.
4:3 525 line NTSC: This would be the ratio you would use if you want to format your video to play on a NTSC TV (US and Japan systems).
4:3 625 line PAL: This would be the ratio you would use if you want to format your video to play on a PAL TV (Everywhere else in the world).
16:9 line 525 NTSC: This would be the aspect ratio you would use when you want to have your video fit properly on a 16:9 NTSC television or to have you standalone player fix the aspect ratio for you.
16:9 line 525 PAL : This would be the aspect ratio you would use when you want to have your video fit properly on a 16:9 PAL television or to have you standalone player fix the aspect ratio for you.

Frame Rate: As far as I know when movie is played back the decoder doubles the frame rate, so 25fps will be 50fps when played back. The only ones I really see anyone using are...

This is used mainly for FILM and adding 3:2 dropdown conversion which I will go into later.
24: Pretty much the same as 23.976
25: This is the PAL 50Hz standard that is used all over Europe and other cricket playing countries.
29.976: This is the US and Japan 60Hz standard, I'm not sure what other countries use this.

Rate control Mode: This would be the initial setting that determines what type of bitrate you would use.

Constant Bit Rate(CBR): This means that your bitrate will have a fixed setting, and during high motion scenes, due to being fixed, block noise may occur. It is encoded by TMPGEnc reading a few frames and then encoding them. More or less it thinks about what it is going to do before it does it.
2pass Variable Bitrate(VBR): This means that your bitrate has an minimum, maximum, and average bitrate. On this one you can set the average to a fixed setting and have it either raise to the maximum you set during high motion scenes or fall to the minimum you set when there is little motion. This setting is good for figuring out the size of the file that is being outputted and to have it reach higher bitrates yet still maintaining a lower file size. under the settings of this setting is where
you would put in everything you need to. There is also a setting, "Enable padding When falling below the minimum bitrate", if checked. forces the rate of the movie not to fall under the minimum bitrate you entered. Also this setting will go over the whole movie first then at 50% it will start to encode it, and this takes time...Allot of time! Why would anyone do this you ask. Well I do this because I know approx. what the file size will be and I feel that I will get the most out of my movie. This is for MPEG-2.
Manual VBR: Is a fixed bitrate that variants with each scene this setting is used with the "Force picture type setting" under the GOP Structure tab to be explained later. So it has a constant bit rate that stays the same until the scene changes and TMPGEnc will figure this out when you do the Force picture type thing. Under it settings you can set the maximum, minimum bitrate, and the padding setting. the p and b picture spoilage when partial CQ normally does not need to be changed. It sets how much you don't care about each picture set. ( Will go into I, P, and B picture in a later tab)
Automatic VBR: This is pretty much the same as above but it does it figures out what to set its bitrate to on its own. It also has a maximum, minimum bitrate, and padding feature. but also lets you set the quality of your encode, the higher the number the better quality but bigger file size.
Constant Quality(CQ): I dont really know to much about this one but from what I know it is like Automatic VBR, it has the same settings and does the same thing as above but you can set the p and b spoilage which doesn't really need to be changed. Funny... If anyone can elaborate that would be cool.
Real-time CBR: or Real-time Constant bitrate.. This is the evil twin to CBR instead of thinking about his actions first like CBR he does his thing "on the fly", meaning it does its thing without reading ahead. Quality can degrade over time with this one and I recommend staying away from this one.
Real-time CQ: And again this does everything that CQ does just "on the fly", picture still degrades and I dont recommend this one either.

Bitrate: This only opens for the CBR setting and this is where you put the bitrate for the CBR family.

VBV Buffer Size:
This sets the decoders buffer size to use when decoding the movie. When loading templates it will set this to the best setting, but just in case MPEG-1 uses a value of 40 and MPEG-2 Uses 112.

this has to do with the level of your decoder most DVD players are MP@ML so it would be best to leave this one alone.

Video Format:
Set this to the what your video source is.

Encode Mode: this will encode movies in different ways depending on what you set.

Non-Interlace: It encodes your movie so that it does not have interlaced pictures... A interlace picture is a picture that has 2 picture per frame and if you remember back when I was talking about Frames Per Second I said it doubled itself, well frame A is half of the picture starting with the top line and the skipping the next then shows the one after that. The B half of the frame puts in what frame A missed, so when the frame rate is doubled you get the full picture and also your 60Hz of NTSC or 50Hz for PAL. Ok now this encoding method doesn't do this it puts frame A and B together to make frame A then doubles it to get a exact copy for frame B. Using this makes a source progressive.
Interlace: Ok this one does what I said above It encodes a 29.976 non interlaced movie to shows half the frame in frame A and half in frame B. This is for converting to 29.976FPS from a 23.976FPS movie with the help of 3:2 pulldown under the advanced tab.

3:2 pulldown when playback: This is used when you have a FILM source movie (23.976fps) to leave it 23.976 but have your decoder play it back at 29.976fps. (works great for ripping DVDs). when 3:2 pulldown is used it does this.. It takes four sequential video frames (A, B, C, D) from the FILM and are drawn on the video display as A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2, D1, D2, where the 1 or 2 represents the field number within the frame
Inverse 3:2 pulldown: I have no clue never had to use it. I would guess and say that it will undo 3:2 pulldown.

YUV format: This has to do with color loss, its best to leave this one alone.

DC component precession:
The higher the number the smoother the movie. I always set it to 10.

Motion search precision:
Motion search precision adjusts how much the encoder searches for motion between different frames. This means it looks at a block in a frame and then looks at the next frame for the same (or similar, depending on other settings) block somewhere else in the picture. If a similarity is found, information on the direction and how much the mpeg block moved between the 2 frames is put into the mpeg stream, so that the block is used
in a different place in frame 2. By doing this the same thing isn't encoded twice. This means that less bits are used when things are repeated. then bits can go to other things like encoding the block better in the 1st frame.

Setting the motion search precision to the highest quality (slowest) setting will make the encoder search really hard for repetition between frames. This makes the picture a lot better when things are moving.

If you encode a video with only small amounts of movement, you can sometimes get away with lower settings to save time, but even in low motion pictures, different parts of the image might be the
same, so I always use the highest setting to give the best picture.

Professional DVD authoring hardware uses extremely sophisticated methods to search for motion, and that's what makes them so expensive, but so high quality. - mikk


II. "Under the advanced tab"

Video source type: This would be set to whatever your source video is either FILM(non-interlace) or NTSC(interlace)

Filed order:
This tells TMPGEnc what field comes first from the NTSC(interlaced) source field A or B. the only way to tell is to encode a small portion and if it is jumpy flip the field order.

Source aspect ratio
: This sets the source ratio.

1:1 VGA:
Is used when your source was encoded for your computer(streaming video and things of that nature)
4:3 525 line (NTSC): Is used when your source was encoded to be played on a TV.
4:3 525 line (NTSC 704x480): what I know about this one is that it is pretty much the same as the above 4:3 but it has the correct aspect ratio of your TV. I'm guessing this would be for a video capture or something to that effect.
4:3 625 line (PAL): This would be used for sources that are PAL and formatted to fit TV.
16:9 525 line (NTSC): This probably would be used for previous conversions from FILM to NTSC left in 16:9 and not letterboxed into 4:3 (letterboxed is when you see the black bars on the top and bottom of a 16:9 source to make it 4:3)
16:9 625 line (PAL): Same as above one but for PAL.
4:3 display: Is used for the rare DVD that is actually NTSC and 4:3.
16:9 display: is used for DVD that is formatted 16:9.
2.11:1 display: ???

Video arrange method: This is how the video is arranged in the frame.

Center: This centers the video on the frame not preserving aspect ratio.
Center(keep aspect ratio): Centers the video on the frame preserving aspect ratio.
Center (custom size): Centers the video on the frame and keeps the video to the size you set. this helps if you want to keep the anamorphic ratio to fit in 16:9 or 4:3.
Full Screen: Not sure will update.
Full Screen(keep aspect ratio): Not sure will update.
Full Screen(keep aspect ratio 2): Not sure will update.
No margin: Basicaly turns 16:9 into 4:3 by cutting off the edges of the video.

Filters: These are the different filters you can use when encoding.

Source Range:
Lets you set the source length by setting what frames to encode between (10 - 6000)
Inverse Telecine: Will allow you to undo 29.976 or 30fps from a interlaced source. If you set your frame rate you want to 23.976 this will turn non-interlaced 29.976 or 30fps into FILM.It will also allow you to deinterlace it here
Ghost reduction: Remember when you put in old camcorder or VCR tapes you see a double image of something this will take that out by moving the position, strength and blur sliders. I've never had to use this so I really dont know how to really use it.
Noise reduction: This can be used to take out the grainy look of old VCR tapes. Beware it takes a long time.
Sharpen edge: Can be used to either sharpen or blur the edge of graphics you might ad in like a End Of Disk 1 or something. It also can take out blocks made by Divix movies.
Basic and Custom color correction: In these 2 you can change the color, brightness and contrast
Deinterlace: This helps to take out the interlace effects that sometimes wont come out when converting DVDs
Clip Frame: You can turn 4:3 Into the appearance of being 16:9 with the look of letterboxing by adding top and bottom masks. and without the masks you can actually turn it into 16:9 if you set 16:9 as your aspect ratio for output. You'll have to mess with the settings in order to get them to look like it is 16:9.
3:2 pulldown: This is what you use with the interlace setting under the video tab to make your FILM NTSC for VCDs(using the 3:2 pulldown when playback is still the best way to do it for SVCD and DVD).
Do not frame rate conversion: Despite the bad English, I don't really know what this is used for besides not letting it change frame rate. I see no need to ever use this.
Audio effect: This is where you can adjust the volume and normalize the audio, also you can ad in a fade in and out.

Noise reduction: Noise reduction is useful when encoding from an MPEG source. MPEG adds noise to the picture around sharp edges. A setting of "[Still Picture:2] [Range:1] [Time Axis:2]" is helpful in
removing such noise, but it can slightly reduce detail in the picture without removing all the noise. - mikk

III. "Under the GOP structure tab"

I really have no clue about this whole tab other than..
Force picture type settings: this is used with the manual VBR MPEG-2 setting And under its settings click auto setting (only if you are using manual VBR) and click start. If using anything else but the VBR family of encoding methods turn off for a slight performance gain.

IV. "Under the Quantize Matrix"
Output YUV Data as basic YCbCr not CCIR601: This changes the colour scale from 8-235 to 0-255.

If the source comes from DVD2AVI this box should be ticked and the colours should be set to TV scale in DVD2AVI. By doing it this way, any detail above 235 and below 8 will be kept. It is VERY important to do this when encoding test patterns for setting brightness and contrast levels.

Alternatively, the box can be unticked, and the color set to PC scale in DVD2AVI. With it set this way, detail below 8 and above 235 is lost forever.

I'll explain it in terms of black and white:

TVs are set so that 8 is the darkest black and 235 is the brightest white. When a standalone DVD player plays a DVD, the color
scale it outputs is 0-255, but the TV's brightness (black level) and contrast (white level) are adjusted so that any colour below 8 is seen as darkest black and any colour above 235 is the brightest white.
Realistically, most people set their TVs with a slightly greater range than this so that the picture has more detail.

PCs use 0 as the darkest black and 255 as the brightest white.
Some PC video cards do the same thing as a TV. They expand the 8-235 part of the scale to 0-255, killing anything below 8 and above 235. I know the GeForce 2 does this, but the i740 doesn't. The video cards are set like this so that black looks black and white looks white instead of them looking some shade of grey. But there are many DVDs that have picture information below 8 and above 235.

So i hope i've explained that ticking the "Output YUV Data as basic YCbCr not CCIR601" is better than not ticking it, but the source should also have the 0-255 colour range. DVDs and other MPEG2 can be decoded in DVD2AVI using the TV scale. - mikk
Use floating point DCT: If you've ever made a VCD that shakes at the top when it gets real bright next to the letterboxing, this will help to calm that.
No motion search for still picture part by half pixel: This will help with blurring on low motion blurring but causes fast motion to blur a little. Use this if you are doing a low motion movie and uncheck it if it is a fast motion movie.
Soften block noise: This will soften the blocks during motion so that they don't appear to bold. the higher you set this the softer the while movie is. I use this when I encode VCD MPEG-1.

The rest of the tabs are pretty much easy to figure out so I'll leave you to that. Have fun and great encoding.


Thanks to:
mikk - for contributing to this article.