Synopsis: Using MEGui to convert any DirectShow compatible video source to H246 (MPEG-4). With this guide you will be able to convert AVI, DVD, Blue-Ray, HD-DVD, Real Media, or any other video source that can be played via the DirectShow interface (the file plays in Windows Media Player). All of the tools listed here are open source or freeware.
MEGui ( meGUI | Get meGUI at SourceForge.net )
Note: there are many sub tools that are loaded under MEGui. Those tools are downloaded automatically the first time you launch MEGui.
Haali Media Splitter
Media Player Classic
VirtualDubMod (for AVI Sources)
Note: If you are having difficulty reading your source files due to codec issues, you can try demuxing your source file using TsRemux. This can be useful if you want to grab a specific audio track from an HD source.
Testing your configuration:
In order to properly input Blue-Ray/HD-DVD video, your PC must be capable of using DirectShow to play back the M2TS or EVO files. To test this, you can create a simple AVISynth script with Notepad. If you know yours is working, you can skip this step.
Your AVISynth script should have only one line. In this example I'm simply checking to see if the script will play back in Media Player Classic. If you are not familiar with AVISynth, I would suggest you check the GUIDES section as that is another topic. The script in my example needs only one line. This will allow me to verify my AVISynth install is working and that DirectShow can properly decode my source. Open Notepad and use the DirectShowSource command to point to our input file:
Note that you could use the above example for your input, but it may not match your source, and of course the input file path wouldn't match your input. Lastly, the frame rate (FPS) may not match your source You would need to correct those three things for your specific input. In any case, once you have created and saved your sample AVISynth script with Notepad, save it as "test.avs". You can then open it with your player of choice. I prefer Media Player Classic. If your PC is properly configured, you should get video with no audio. Note that it doesn't have to play smoothly as your PC may not be capable of keeping up with 1080p video. Once you have verified that your PC is able to read the input via DirectShowSource, then you are ready to move on to the next step. If your PC will not open the file (you get filter errors with AVISynth), then you have Codec issues. This is not something that a generic guide can help you with as the possibilities are almost endless as to what you may have installed and what order your filters are using. You should post your specific issue in the main forum to resolve those issues. For my test bed, I installed Nero, FFDShow, Haali, Media Player Classic, and VirtualDubMod. There were no other codecs installed. I also disabled the Nero Splitter as it overrides the Haali splitter, preventing Haali from being used. This is an example of software causing conflicts ;)
I've also been told by rhegedus that .EVO files from HD-DVD in particular can be problematic for DirectShow decoding. This is most likely due to the splitter that is being used. You can manually demux the file (the splitter would normally do this for you). In any case, If you are having problems with .EVO source files, use the following steps to demux your files and then use GraphEdit to create a DirectShow compatible file.
Demux/Rebuild the EVO with EVOdemux to remove unwanted audio streams and subs then use GraphEdit:
Haali Media Splitter ---> WMVideo Decoder DMO
Once you have built that filter with GraphEdit, save it as video.GRF and make and AviSyth script with Notepad or a similar text editor:
and save that file as a .avs file. If everything has gone well, you should be able to play that .AVS file in your media player.
Configuring MEGUI: (Version 0.2.5.1007)
Ensure you have a recent build of MEGUI. If you are running Windows Vista, I would suggest you run MEGUI with full admin rights (Right click the Shortcut icon, select Properties -> Advanced Button -> Check 'Run As Administrator'). The program has a self updater, however under Vista, it will not allow MeGUI to launch all outside processes or restart properly. turning on the Administrator option will allow the Update process to function properly under Vista.
The first time you Launch MEGUI, it should inform you that updates are available. Allow it to update and restart. It will also ask you to import various Video and Audio profiles. Make sure you Shift Select all of the profiles it offers so that you import all of them. You can also hold down the Control Key to select individual profiles to import if you know you only want specific profiles.
The only item that will not update automatically is the Nero Digital Audio codec pack. You can download it for free from the Nero site ( Nero - nero.com )
Once you have downloaded the files, place them in a TOOLS\NeroAACenc folder of your MEGUI install (the Tools folder will be created after MEGUI updates). Just create the NeroAACenc folder. You must also point your MEGUI configuration to that folder for the Nero audio. To do so, select TOOLS -> Settings from menus, and then the Program Paths tab. Click the button next to NeroAACEnc and browse to the "neroAacEnc.exe" executable.
MEGUI itself only accepts input from AVISynth files (.AVS). AVISynth in turn can accept input from a multitude of input sources. I assume the reason for this is just to ensure they have consistent input on a known interface. Makes troubleshooting and coding easier I suspect. No worries if your AVISynth impaired however, as it has a handy AVISynth Script Creator that will do the dirty work for you. Lets get started...
Selecting your input:
To select your input, you must give MEGUI an AVISynth input file to work with. For this example, I'm working on a Blue-Ray rip. You can use almost any type of input however (DVD, AVI, TS, RM, etc). If you drag and drop a source video file onto MEGUI it will typically open the AVISynth Script Creator for you. Under Vista, the drag and drop doesn't function so you always have to browse to your source. For simplicity's sake, I would suggest you just select the AVISynth Script Creator manually from the menus.
The idea here is to browse to your MPEG, AVI, .D2V file, or whatever source your using with the AVISynth Script Creator. From that, an AVISynth script file will be created that will be used as input for MEGUI. Open the AVISynth Script Creator now from the TOOLS menu (Tools -> AVISynth Script Creator). Note that there are Keyboard shortcuts listed next to most of the tools if you like that sort of thing (Control + R).
In the Video Input section, you select your input file. The Script Generator will accept input from any DirectShow compatible source, although the input is filtered to show only the following file types:
Dgindex (.d2v ) files
mpeg-2 (.m2v, .mpg )
VirtualDub frameserver files
You can also just enter an asterisk "*" to force it to show all files. Again I should note that you can technically use any input that can be read via DirectShow ( files like .m2ts, .ts, etc will work as long as you have the necessary codecs installed). This allows you to convert files like Blue-Ray, HD-DVD, HDTV, etc. I would suggest you get a good splitter like Haali Media Splitter. FFDShow has also made huge leaps in quality. It's an easy addon that will allow you to decode and play just about any media file type.
For my example, I'm going to browse to my Blue-Ray rip of The Fifth Element. The file has an .M2TS extension, so it's not an 'allowed' input type for MEGUI by default. However I have FFDShow installed and the Haali Media Splitter, meaning the file can be viewed with DirectShow. As you register files with a media player, they may show up in the list. Once you select your source file, assuming it is DirectShow compatible, it should show up in with a preview window. If you do not get a preview window, and you see an error, that would indicate your source isn't setup properly for DirectShow. Post your issue in the main forum in that case.