Wednesday, July 4, 2007


Recently, a friend asked how to convert video from his Sony camcorder to his Motorola Q phone. I wrote a short primer on MPEG video and figured I'd just post it here.

The first thing to realize is there is a difference between compression methods and file formats although most people don't distinguish between the two. This has led to a lot of the confusion among consumers.

MPEG1 was used for laser discs (remember them?). MPEG2 is used for DVDs and broadcast HDTV. Blu-ray discs use MPEG4, more specifically MPEG4 AVC H.264. All discs store video in TS (Transport Stream) file containers.

Most consumer video cameras record in DV (Digital Video) which is a unique standard using DCT intraframe compression and not directly related to MPEG. Some HiDef cameras use HDV tapes which is like DV but it's MPEG2. Few, but growing, cameras record in MPEG4. Some create DivX AVI files. Some create MP4 (aka. Quicktime MOV). Some create AVCHD TS files. Obviously, the MPEG4 market is much more fragmented than MPEG2.

If you have a DV camera, it probably came with software that converts those files to MPEG1. What you want is software that goes directly from DV to MPEG4. Ideally, you'd go directly from DV to MPEG4 SP in a 3GP file. Alternatively (and probably better) would be to go from DV to WMV. Either of those would play on on a Motorola Q. Let's try Google... "dv to wmv".

  1. Convert Video from DV(Digital Video Cassette) to WMV(Windows Media Video) with River Past Video Cleaner

  2. How to convert DV to WMV using Windows Media Encoder

  3. DV MPEG4 Maker is a software tool that helps you create MPEG4/DIVX/AVI/WMV video clip files from your digital camcorder

I've never used any of these. My camera records in AVCHD. That's much harder to deal with. There are few applications that can read AVCHD files. However, I did manage to find some Mac OS X command line tools that can convert AVCHD to DivX.

No comments:

Post a Comment