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Thursday 26 February 2004

Its Showtime! [spiny]

Well, 'Showtime' is the player. The actual codec is MPEG4. I took Nero Recode for a spin today & thought the results were worth a blog.
The DVD decoding & MPEG4 encoding is implemented in Ahead's 'Nero Recode' application delivered with Nero Ultra Edition. From what I can remember reading, it encodes bog standard MPEG4 in a standard MPEG4 container with an AAC soundtrack. The unfortunate thing is that subtitles are done in a non standard manner, so fuck things up as I understand it. The upshot is that the only application that will play these files is the Nero Showtime player. They don't even provide a direct show filter so other apps like media player can use the codec. IIRC its licencing bollocks getting in the way. Of course this stops it playing on lounge boxes like the KISS players. Oh and you can't split the files.
So, what's good then? Well, it's very easy to drive as you can imagine, it's as quick as lightning, it DOES play fine on the Xbox Media Centre. The picture is a bit soft compared to Xvid & the overall quality isn't quite as good, at least on my 1400Mb test encode of 'Octopussy'. There's quite a few options to tweak but I haven't had chance to test those out yet. Theres a guide on doom9 which I may give the once over.
Overall, quite an interesting experiment, but stick to DivX or preferably Xvid.


  1. I think another pitfall is that there isn't really a standard MPEG 4 container either. So this stuff plays on PCs happily but it doesn't play on any hardware players.
    So really, what's the point of it above and beyond Xvid or anything else? Not much. The fast mpeg2 recoders do a damn good job at ripping DVDs to DVD-Rs and the results play in everything including DVD players.
    One to watch though, agreed.

  2. Ah yes, I forgot. The DVD to DVD-R option in Nero Recode works really well. You have much more control over the content than something like Intervideo DVD Copy or Clone DVD. Apart, oddly whether to write to NTSC or PAL.