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Old 2008-08-16, 22:37   Link #1
Prestwick
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Question Common standards in fansubbing.

I was wondering that in a world where there are multiple devices to view media such as ipods, consoles like the PS3 and xbox 360, media center PCs and with so many groups fansubbing; is there scope for a set of standards in aspects of fansubbing (such as encoding for example) which fansubbers could agree on and follow? Are there already such standards in place?

On top of this, would it help if fansub groups agreed a set of best practice standards for transcoding material to view on mobile devices on the move for example? I myself like to view my fansubs on my Nokia n800 and on my networked Xbox 360 downstairs for example and (being the diligent fan and consumer I am) I like to watch the latest stuff on a big television before it comes out on DVD (which, in the UK, can take the best part of a decade but money is there for a reason, to be spent! ) so maybe

I understand that this question could have already have been answered, or that this area is very sensitive in an era of high tensions between fansubbing groups and content owners in Japan. However, it is a very interesting area none the less especially as trends continue to point towards viewing content on the move or between multiple devices within a connected household.

Anyway, thanks! And please don't flay me apart..please?
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Last edited by Prestwick; 2008-08-16 at 22:38. Reason: adding a couple of things.
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Old 2008-08-16, 23:05   Link #2
Access
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Watching it on a big TV is real simple, most modern TVs have a VGA input and you might need to tweak the aspect ratio but MPC can handle that if you set it up right. Since I got it I've always watched all the stuff on the big TV.

The only real / unstated standard out there is that it runs on a PC with CCCP installed, which is fine really. If you want it on a big TV learn how to hook your computer up to the TV. I don't think you'll find many who will agree to more than that, I've watched stuff before on a PSP (when desperate) but only when a better option was not avaliable, traveling or such. The subs are borderline readable on the PSP, I wouldn't want to go any smaller than that screen, an iPod or phone just seems worthless.
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Old 2008-08-16, 23:20   Link #3
D404
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Sounds too much like TDX.

DO NOT WANT.
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Old 2008-08-16, 23:25   Link #4
Prestwick
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On the contrary, I have had good success with trans coding stuff down for my ipod 5G where the subs are perfectly legible. The Nokia n800's screen is very large and viewing it at 800x400 makes it fit to view most fansubs. The problem is that the processing power isn't all that great so you have to transcode it down to a lower quality to view it. I've even been successful getting fansubs to run perfectly on my Nokia E65 mobile phone. Huzzah! :huh:

Seriously, when you have a commute as long as I have (and when commuting into and out of London, you could be waiting quite a while) its great to watch the latest fansubs on a mobile device.

As for the home, I do understand that watching stuff on a television is as simple as hooking it up via the VGA/DVI input and that some modern graphics cards even support HDMI ports. But I live in a large house, I have no desire to either buy or build a new media center PC or lug one from downstairs.

Other alternatives include DIVx DVD players, media players which either stream the stuff from the PC or store it on a local HDD and so on. Again because of the huge range of device choices (Divx DVD players, external HDD DVD players, etc, etc) and because of the continuing incompatibility between devices today and the MKV container (albeit to be solved when DIVx 7 comes out), will this mean that it will be impossible to set joint "best practice" standard to satisfy the changes in how people view their media?
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Old 2008-08-16, 23:42   Link #5
D404
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Prestwick, there is a reason encoders do not want those type of standards. It puts restrictions on what ppl can do. Many want the best possible quality, and putting standards and restrictions on this doesn't fit well with that.

Also, to play back on any current hardware devices and still see subs, it'd have to be hardsubbed. Fail.

Again: See TDX.
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Old 2008-08-16, 23:46   Link #6
Access
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prestwick View Post
But I live in a large house, I have no desire to either buy or build a new media center PC or lug one from downstairs.
Then live with it, seriously, you can't expect a standard to evolve out of nowhere, for no particular reason, other than that it caters to your specific needs. There are enough reasons against it, and even if there was mutual gain involved (which there isn't here), getting enough people to agree on anything like that is very remote.
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Old 2008-08-16, 23:49   Link #7
Prestwick
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Can you provide a link to TDX? I'm unfamiliar with it. Better still, PM'ing it might be better.

I wasn't really speaking of restrictions, I was thinking of ways of enabling encoders to create material which people can use to view on mobile devices for example. Not saying that they should or even that they're doing anything wrong, I was just wondering and asking questions so thanks for the answers so far!

And as for "Fail", lets face it, we all know the issues behind MKV and in some cases, hardsubbing is the only option. It may be "fail", but unless you want to sit in front of your PC or read that free newspaper on the Tube for the twentieth time in a row waiting for Divx 7 to come out, that "fail" is a necessary evil which many people do endure.

EDIT: I feel I'm being a bit misunderstood. I'm not complaining or demanding anything and I am quite happily "living with it". I don't really want to step on any toes, rock any boats and so on

Reading into things a bit more on the web, maybe things will be allot easier when DIVx 7 comes out. Thanks anyway for the information.
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Last edited by Prestwick; 2008-08-16 at 23:58. Reason: PM request.
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Old 2008-08-16, 23:57   Link #8
D404
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It is not necessary. Only for hardwarefags who insist on watching stuff on their TVs via dvdplayer/ps3/360 etc. Read what Access said.

Also, encoders are already "enabled" to make portable encodes, providing they have the required specs for said device. They will if they want to. Which, as you can see by the numerous softsubbed/matroska/etc releases, many do not.

As for TDX, it's just the guidelines that Scene encoders follow so that their releases dont get nuked. 640x352 XviD w/ retarded settings anyone?
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Old 2008-08-17, 00:01   Link #9
Prestwick
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I didn't say it was necessary but for those..er....."hardwarefags"? , but thanks for the clarification none the less.
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Old 2008-08-17, 00:32   Link #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prestwick View Post
Can you provide a link to TDX? I'm unfamiliar with it. Better still, PM'ing it might be better.
TDX 2005 TDX 2002.

The short summary of what's wrong with it is that it's nearly impossible to come up with a set of standards that actually result in doing the right thing, and due to the nature of the scene, it's very hard to update the standard to keep it up to date with technological developements. The end result is that instead of some rips being high quality and others worse than a monkey with autogk could produce, everything is mediocre.
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Old 2008-08-17, 01:38   Link #11
DryFire
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Prestwick, divx7 won't make your mobile devices magically able to to play 720p releases nor will it magically make your ps3 play level 5.1 encodes. There are levels in the AVC standard that most devices follow. With the default ps3 firmware playing the highest of the bunch (I think) at level 4.1.

It's not that there isn't a standard that would allow everyone to make encodes for you ipod, it's just that the trade off is too much. Most encoders could produce ipod, psp, xbox, xbo360, ps3, etc... compatible encodes and simply don't want to as it would require either multiple versions to be released or an incredibly crappy release for comparability's sake. It would also make hardsubs mandatory (big no-no).

Luckily for you raw quality has improved dramatically, with many using the stream directly from the broadcast (transport stream/.ts). So whatever you transcode from will essentially start you out from where most encoders started a year or two ago, but slightly better off, and when you go from 1280x720 to whatever your phone uses you probably won't be able to tell the difference (tiny screen is tiny). This also doesn't take a lot of time, my old opteron 165 rig could encode psp res stuff in 2-3x realtime or better.


tl;dr: Standards already exist. DivX 7 will NOT cure what ales you. You will need different encodes for your HDTV and mobile device.
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Old 2008-08-17, 01:54   Link #12
Prestwick
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I didn't say that DIVx 7 would magically solve problems with MKV incompatibility, obviously things still depend on variables such as hardware support and so on but at least some major backing would be a milestone of sorts...right.

Thanks for the insight into the nitty gritty of how this all works. My apologies for the slightly confused nature of my posts but its rather hard to compose when its 5am and you are very tired in the middle of a night shift. I'll check the links out when I wake up this afternoon.

Thanks for having at least a modicum of patience...well, some of you anyway.


P.S. I thought I'd point out that I don't actually have any problems. I transcode stuff pretty easily. Obviously this is of little comfort to those at the sharp end of encoding I know..
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Old 2008-08-17, 09:40   Link #13
Dark Shikari
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Sometimes I do think that there need to be some standards for fansub releases, if only to serve as a recourse against idiots releasing utterly awful encodes with no B-frames, no CABAC, 1 reference frame, and --partitions none.
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Old 2008-08-17, 10:16   Link #14
edogawaconan
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Something like this?
Code:
--level 5.1 --ref 8 --mixed-refs --no-fast-pskip --bframes 8 --b-pyramid --b-rdo --bime --weightb --direct auto --subme 7 --trellis 1 --partitions p8x8,b8x8,i4x4,i8x8 --8x8dct --me umh --threads auto --thread-input --progress --no-psnr --no-ssim
fixes are welcome.
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Old 2008-08-17, 11:16   Link #15
Daiz
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Only 8 refs and b-frames? That's stupid, especially with level 5.1... 16 or nothing!
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Old 2008-08-17, 12:21   Link #16
Tofusensei
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Historically speaking, fansubbers encode their videos in the highest quality that people with a reasonable hardware setup can play back. Another factor is, except for a few masochistic individuals, encoders will not run encodes that process at extremely slow speed (0.1 fps, etc.).

You can't really ask for more than that. If you have a specific need (xbox media center, PS3, PSP, etc.) learn how to recompress the videos yourself. This has been the case since the 1990's (people would re-record VHS from SVHS to playback on another system, people converting avi to VCDs/SVCDs/KVCDs, people converting divx4 to divx3, h264 to xvid, etc.)

-Tofu
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Old 2008-08-17, 15:04   Link #17
DryFire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Shikari View Post
Sometimes I do think that there need to be some standards for fansub releases, if only to serve as a recourse against idiots releasing utterly awful encodes with no B-frames, no CABAC, 1 reference frame, and --partitions none.
Someone who doesn't know enough to know that's a bad idea won't read the standard anyway. Such people need to be educated. No need for a standard, but maybe a best practice.
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Old 2008-08-17, 17:22   Link #18
Nicholi
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Reencoding is easy, and will take far less time than the days you spend whining/complaining/criticizing/suggesting to people on a forum to release in a format specific to your hardware device.

Also they will most likely just say no in the end.
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Old 2008-08-17, 18:05   Link #19
Prestwick
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Oh dear! What have I started?!

I think the idea of having resources on good practice in encoding easily available to aspiring fansubbers sounds a good one. Edu-mah-cation definitely is a good way to spread the message.

Again, I apologise but I think some people have misunderstood my tired rambling last night. In no way am I complaining, asking, demanding or suggesting that anyone releases anything for any hardware device in any format.

TL-DR question: How easy would it be to release a common standard of encoding for those wanting to encode for devices beyond the PC?

TL-DR answer: Pretty damn hard if impossible but it does open up questions about how best to educate aspiring encoders to produce higher quality work.

Again, my apologies!
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Old 2008-08-17, 18:38   Link #20
neothe0ne
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imo, for people interested in getting their anime onto non-PC hardware like the iPod, having a "standard" set of encoding guidelines is the least of their worries. I would be much more worried about those groups that only release XviD/mp3, those who hardsub in MKV and don't let you know until after you try watching, and those who do one or both and choose minuscule fonts.

Even then, adjusting subtitle fonts and not wrecking typesetting and whatnot is MUCH more time-consuming and laborious than figuring out the best way/the only way you know how to transcode video.


tl;dr version: If any standards in fansubbing are to be set, it's how small the font can be before it's too small.
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