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I've read the file "The SD x264 TV Releasing Standards 2012" (link), which is what a lot of "pirate" groups have agreed upon in terms of encoding options.

The relevant parts are Audio, Framerate, Codec/Container, and Resolution.

I'm used to Xvid (-oac copy -ovc xvid -xvidencopts vhq=2:bvhq=1:chroma_opt:quant_type=mpeg:pass=1), not H264. How do you write the options that they propose ?

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I'm no mencoder expert, but they have a list of x264 options — so you'd just have to translate those. Especially audio, framerate, codec and resolution don't really have to do with x264. These should be the options you're used to from using XviD with mencoder. –  slhck Apr 24 '12 at 11:43
    
nice link. Yes audio would be AAC –  Manu Apr 24 '12 at 11:56
    
For the audio (AAC) I've found : -oac faac -faacopts br=192:mpeg=4:object=2 -channels 2 -srate 48000 –  Manu Apr 24 '12 at 12:08
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Starting with audio, important stuff only:

  • Average bitrate on AAC audio must be 96 - 160 kbps.

That gives us (together with what you already found):

-oac faac -faacopts br=160:mpeg=4:object=2 -channels 2 -srate 48000

Let's see what the document specifies for video — I've stripped out the unimportant parts:

  • No setting can go below what is specified by --preset slow
  • Keyframe interval (--keyint) must be at least 200 and at most 300.
  • Constant Rate Factor (--crf) must be as follows
    • High - 19-20 - Scripted, Talk Shows, Poker, Animation
    • Medium - 21-22 - Documentary, Reality, Variety
    • Low - 23-24 - Sports, Awards, Live Events, Competitive, Reality
  • Level 3.1 must be respected

So, that should be about it:

-ovc x264 -x264encopts pass=1:preset=slow:keyint=200:crf=19:level_idc=31

Don't forget to change the keyframe interval and CRF accordingly, depending on your source video. You may want to add to the x264 options: colormatrix=bt709

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With a video from FRAPS (3Gb), I get 395Mb in xvid and 205Mb with the new options for 264. Nice ! –  Manu Apr 24 '12 at 19:32
    
Yeah, and it should definitely look better! :) –  slhck Apr 24 '12 at 19:52
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