OT: MPEG2 analyzer

ScottW wrote on 7/13/2004, 7:38 AM
Anyone know of a not terribly expensive MPEG2 analyzer (say under $300)?

Let me describe my problem. I just finished a 5 DVD project for a customer and they are complaining that at some locations on some of the DVD's the picture stutters/jumps when played on their Toshiba player (I've observed this behavior on their player, so they aren't just imagining it). This is very repeatable and it happens with the copies that they have as well (at the same locations). They do not observe this issue with thier Panasonic player, nor can I reproduce this on any of my players.

This doesn't seem to be strictly a bit rate issue - I prepared a test DVD that had 1 minute video clip rendered 7 different times at various bit rates from 3000 to 9000. The player in question had no difficulty with any of the material.

Now clearly we're having some sort of DVD-R/Player compatability issue and I've explained this to the customer (who's not convinced), but I'm really curious as to exactly what the issue is, because the customer would really like to have a reasonable assurance that they can play this on other players without problems; and I'd like to turn out a quality product without folks thinking I'm just making up excuses for shoddy work.

Now I don't know if I'm every going to resolve this, and I'm trying to think of a couple of different things I can do to make the customer happy without giving away the store (suggestions are welcome).

But anyway, I was thinking that maybe there's something about the MPEG stream itself that's causing the player fits. Since I can pinpoint the exact location that the problem manifests, my thought was it might be worth going in and seeing if there was anything different about the stream at that point and if there was, maybe I could tweak the encoder so that I could avoid this.

I am going to try the brute force approach and re-render one of the DVD's material using CCE Basic with a lower maximum bit rate. I'll know how that goes later today.

I'm a little hesitant to spend $3k on a high end tool that will let me re-encode just portions of the stream (as well as examine the stream). And maybe I'm way off-base with this in the sense that I'll spend more time trying to investigate and never resolve than the project is worth.

Thanks for any input,


John_Cline wrote on 7/13/2004, 7:47 AM
You can get an MPEG analyzer at the following link. There is a free version and a "commercial" version, which sells for about $30.

Teco Ltd. MPEG Analyzer

ScottW wrote on 7/13/2004, 7:49 AM
Too cool! Thank you very much! I'll download it and play with it right away. At $30 I might just have to get 2 of them ;-)


Lawrence wrote on 7/13/2004, 11:33 AM
This is a Toshiba Player problem.
Best solved the problem at the source.
Send it back to Toshiba service centre with your DVD and asked them to fix it.

I done similar thing with my Hitachi Player and they took the DVD and the player back to Japan to analyse. They updated the player software and
it's OK.

ScottW wrote on 7/13/2004, 11:39 AM
I can't argue. It's 1.5 years old though, so I don't think they are going to fix it. I just picked up a $35 Apex player and it also doesn't have a problem.

I think I've got a plan now.

Thanks for all the help!!!
cyrille wrote on 7/13/2004, 2:46 PM
DVD-R are never 100% compatible,
ScottW wrote on 7/13/2004, 4:51 PM
Thanks again for the pointer to the analyzer. What I was able to do was go in to the original MPEG and look - sure enough, the bit rate in that section was spiking quite a bit, what I'm not sure if that was the entire issue (since spikes seem to be pretty normal), or just a contributing factor; I suspect it was a contributor though.

Then I analyzed the mpeg stream created by CCE Basic - quite the difference when comparing the same sections; CCE Basic was not spiking.

So, burned a new DVD-R with the new encoding from CCE Basic - tried it on the customer player and like magic, the problem was gone.