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Nero Digital released to the press.
JohnV
post Dec 3 2003, 00:20
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Nero Digital was released today to the press, included in the Ahead Nero Recode2 beta DVD-copying transcoder/encoder software. Expect reports on the other media and video -sites soon.

I haven't prepared any ready made indepth article, but I'll post some preview pics etc. to this thread, and concentrade a little bit to explain the ND codec advanced options. I'm concentrading only on the Nero Digital side here (MPEG4), but Recode2 is of course also compressed domain transcoder (MPEG2->MPEG2). Read more about Nero Digital here.
More reviews:
Nero Digital preview at Everwicked.com
Recode2 preview at CDR-Info
Recode2 preview at cd-rw.org
Recode2 guide by Doom9



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Juha Laaksonheimo
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JohnV
post Dec 3 2003, 00:32
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Below is the first main Recode2's Nero Digital option screen. Notice that from the right bottom corner I have selected "Maximum Definition" Nero Digital profile, so that I can choose the most flexible MPEG-4 video coding options.




<table border="0" width="100%" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0">
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<img alt="Snap2_2" src="http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/extra/ND/Snap2_2.png" border="0" />
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From the subpicture menu you can select one subtitle, which will be included in the .mp4 stream as a separate subtitle track.</div>
</td>
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</table>


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Juha Laaksonheimo
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JohnV
post Dec 3 2003, 00:39
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Here is the Audio Encoder properties box. You can select automatic settings, which selects automatically the preferred audio profile relative to your video and defined target size. Or you can also select custom settings. State of the art AAC-HE is also included. Audio encoding is only done in ABR mode, which gives quality benefit over CBR and size predictibility over VBR.



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Juha Laaksonheimo
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JohnV
post Dec 3 2003, 00:46
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After pressing next, we can start setting the video encoding properties.



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Juha Laaksonheimo
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JohnV
post Dec 3 2003, 00:53
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Different video coding options:


<table border="0" width="100%" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0">
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<img alt="Snap2_2" src="http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/extra/ND/Snap5.png" border="0" />
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The choises here are one pass ABR or 2-pass encoding. It seems that one pass constant quantizer (quality) option is not included at least in this beta version, although in principle ND video has supports also for this mode.</div>
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</table>



<table border="0" width="100%" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0">
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<img alt="Snap2_2" src="http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/extra/ND/Snap6.png" border="0" />
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If you select "Custom" Performance/Quality mode, you can adjust several other settings, like scene cut threshold: The lower the slider, the easier a frame is considered as a scene-cut. With 90% it means 90% of the frame must change to have a scene-cut. You can also choose faster motion estimation, and define if the source is low noise or high noise. High Noise option implements a noise reduction filter, which reduces bitrate demand. Low Noise is meant for video which is pretty much free of noise, and it's not a noise recution filter, but an encoder internal operation flag for adjustment of the best quality operation. High BVOP(B-frame) quantization gives BVOPs higher quantizers (lower quality), but it can be useful in cases where you need to save lots of bits.</div>
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Selectable here are also maximum motion vector range (higher range means more computations but maybe better efficiency), although too low or high ranges are not necessarely optimal in many cases.
PsychoVisual quality level can be set to disabled, low or high.
In Low Psycho mode the quantisation is modulated frame / frame, which means if a frame seems to be not that important, it is quantised more agressively and if the frame is full of details, it is quantised less.
In High Psycho mode, this process is applied on a macro block basis, so it should be more efficient and maybe safer, but also slower.



<table border="0" width="100%" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0">
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<img alt="Snap2_2" src="http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/extra/ND/Snap6_2.png" border="0" />
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There are lots of different Performance/Quality options, although even with the "Best Quality", the video codec is extremely fast. The video codec was designed to be very fast also for embedded device support purposes. In 2-pass mode when doing the first pass (not encoding the audio yet), I can reach about 85-100fps with P4-3Ghz with advanced options like bvop enabled. The Second pass is naturally not quite so speedy, close to 75fps. Encoding with AAC-HE 5.1 does drop the bitrate near 50fps, encoding AAC-HE 5.1 is pretty cpu eating stuff, but the audio codec may become faster quite soon if and when new ND audio codec version using scalefactor estimation is included.
Also the video codec will according to developers become still faster, when new SSE2 optimizations are added.</div>
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<table border="0" width="100%" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0">
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<img alt="Snap2_2" src="http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/extra/ND/Snap7.png" border="0" />
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Here you can see some of the advanced options. From the dropdown menus you can choose h263 quantization type (for lower bitrate 1CD encodes), and alternatively MPEG quantization type. In the other dropdown menu you can choose between half pixel and quarter pixel (qpel) interpolation for pixel motion detection.</div>
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<table border="0" width="100%" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0">
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<img alt="Snap2_2" src="http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/extra/ND/Snap8.png" border="0" />
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Keyframe settings have been put to their own settings-page. Well, ok, but maybe a bit unnecessary to have a separate page for this.
Generally recommended max keyframe interval in MPEG4 codecs is 10*fps, which means 250 with PAL video and 300 with NTSC</div>
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</table>



<table border="0" width="100%" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0">
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<img alt="Snap2_2" src="http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/extra/ND/Snap9.png" border="0" />
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For advanced tweaking it is possible to use custom Matrices</div>
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<table border="0" width="100%" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0">
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<img alt="Snap2_2" src="http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/extra/ND/Snap11.png" border="0" />
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Currently you have to tweak the matrices by hand, but possibly in later releases there will be a file interface. Most users don't have to care about custom matrices, it's mainly for very experienced users.</div>
</td>
</tr>
</table>




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Juha Laaksonheimo
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JohnV
post Dec 3 2003, 01:41
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Here is the encoding screen. Output is .mp4 stream.



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Juha Laaksonheimo
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JohnV
post Dec 3 2003, 09:54
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Discuss about Nero Digital and Recode2 here.


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