Thursday, May 27, 2010

Yokohama YK520 tire sidewall cracking

These Yokohama YK520 tires were manufactured and purchased in 2008. In spring 2010 I noticed sidewall cracks in the most central part of the outer sidewall. There was this worryingly big crack, another longer but narrower crack on another tire, and a lot of tiny cracks (or crazing) on all tires. The big crack went all the way through the top layer of rubber, revealing an undamaged black layer underneath.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Putting 25 fps progressive video on an NTSC DVD

I recently did some research on how to put 25 fps progressive PAL video on an NTSC DVD. Two things became clear quickly: DGPulldown is the best way to deal with the frame rate conversion, and HCenc (HC Encoder) is the best free MPEG-2 encoder.

Those are just two parts of the overall process. There are also other parts, such as resizing, encoding audio and authoring the DVD. Various software packages automate the whole process. I tried out a few of the packages which come with HCenc and DGPulldown. I was disappointed with most. The best package was FAVC.

FAVC is easy to use and reasonably fast, and it produced good quality video. There were only a few minor issues: it encoded with "*AUTOGOP 15" which could lead to a problem after applying DGPulldown, and when testing the "Play all" menu option in Windows Media Player 12, it was only possible to get back to the menu from the first title. Fortunately, it easy to fix some issues and make changes with FAVC. Just stop the process when HCenc starts, edit configuration files, and re-run "Title.bat".

It's possible to create a better and more customized menu using GUI for dvdauthor/MuxMan. That program can be used to continue from the audio and video files created by FAVC. I decided not to use it because of the added complexity and because the "Play all" button worked on my DVD player.