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I have various recordings made with MythTV and Kaffeine from UK DVB-T Freeview. I want to put these on a netbook for the kids to watch on holiday, but want to get the file sizes down from around 2GB/hour to something more reasonable. XVID would probably be a good format. I plan to play them using VLC and would prefer if the widescreen recordings automatically played back in the correct aspect ratio.

Ultimate quality is not the objective, just something that looks okay on a small screen.

Does anyone have some scripts for something like ffmpeg or mencoder to do this? These apps have many options and I don't have the time to try all the combinations. I'm sure someone has already been through that and will be willing to share the results.

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You could also try ffmpeg with winff as gui, presets for a few different formats/devices and the ability to run batches.

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Installed Winff from Ubuntu repos, but it crashed when adding a file. Latest version did that too until I changed the GTK+ Widget Stype to Raleigh from QTCurve as described at biggmatt.com/forums/index.php?topic=525.0 I suspect the presets may be for US video as they are for 30fps. I don't mind running scripts and I'm sure someone must be running this sort of conversion. –  Steve Nov 25 '09 at 13:34
    
You might need to reinstall ffmpeg this link might help: ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=786095 –  matpol Nov 26 '09 at 9:14
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try this from the myth tv wiki http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/Transcode%5FVideo

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I'm assessing Handbrake. It has presets, but mostly for Apple devices. It is very slow on conversion, but is not even using all of one of my cores. I've had some problems with it crashing, so don't have any results to check yet. I'll update this when I do.

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