The new sizing features make it impossible to use width 704 with anamorph and get an 853 width. As is, only 720 can be used. Since 1920 is div by 32, no problem. Therefore, these settings seem geared towards Bluray rather than DVD.
Which mod is the anamorph settings using now since there is no option to change? Doesn't seem like 16, which really should be the only option, IMO.
Ripping process time has doubled and tripled since installation, even when using older beta version now. What gives?
Wasn't this experiment tried a year or so ago with terrible results?
Why is padding and rotation so necessary, while anamorphing has been stifled? Isn't CABAC more responsible for some media player's inability to play media, than anamorphing. I claim that 95% of every single professionally mastered/distributed DVD uses anamorphing:
720x480 -> 640x480
720x480 -> 853x480
720x576 -> 768x576
720x576 -> 1024x576
And I have had only good results with changing the 720 width to 704. It used to keep the same anamorph width as 720, changing only the pixel shape slightly. But this release no longer works like that at all. And forget about the dreaded 2.2:1 ratio DVDs that have been yielding garbage rips since the beginning of this (You know, the DVDs with a tiny rectangle in middle of screen and black bars on all four sides. They seem to have AR 1.33:1 until you crop all the black and they become ~2.2:1). There is no fixing these now, nor can I crop the padding from 4:3 and force it back to 4:3. This is why you may want to have two different vidcoders: one for BluRay and one for DVD, if you insist on using this new sizing scheme. By comparison, Blurays are easier because they have fewer AR options. There is no 2.2:1 Bluray!
IMO, 2.26 beta x64 has been my favorite release, but I missed a few between then and now!
It should still work with Anamorphic content just fine, I was testing extensively with letterboxed anamorphic DVD content when I wrote the feature. What happens when you choose Downscale Only and remove the max width and max height? Its aim is to preserve the original picture and tweak the PAR such that the original picture aspect ratio is maintained.
I'm trying to understand if you're saying that either
A) The new settings don't maintain the picture aspect ratio
B) Some content has an incorrect aspect ratio and VidCoder doesn't let you correct for this
If you'd like, you can send me a clip of the DVD you're trying to work with and I can see if VidCoder has an issue handling it. You could create one to share by taking the Normal preset and removing cropping. It would also be helpful to get a copy of the old preset that you liked by running a portable version of the old version and exporting it.
On 2.38 beta (after being absent from Betas for a while) I also have a similar but closely related issue.
What I usually do is to have Vidcoder (or Handbrake) output exactly the same resolution as is input, less cropping, and without anamorphic expansion (PAR = 1:1). The reason I work this way is I find using PAR to be counter intuitive, so I choose to do it on the final video using software that allows me to define the display aspect ratio and/or display resolution explicitly (rather than work in obscure units of PAR). I therefore find your goal to be a good one and would like to see this refined!
However, on in 2.38 beta there does not seem to be a way to accomplish what I am used to doing. I could be persuaded to do differently but currently it appears if I input an anamorphic video there isn't a real intuitive way to know what Vidcoder is going to do with it. In fact, I actually had Vidcoder setup as suggested above (plus "Use Anamorphic" disabled thinking it would give me a 1:1 PAR) for a batch encode and ended up with a whole bunch of videos that were permanently stretched into wide screen that now need to be redone (well, I guess it is 1:1 PAR, just not the effect I thought I would get).
I also don't see how I might intentionally encode a non-anamorphic video as anamorphic (as might be done with when down converting an HD source to standard SD resolutions).
What the OP is likely referring to is more or less the same problem as this is a side effect of cropping video. In NTSC digital video standards (I can't speak for PAL) 16 pixels were originally reserved to ensure timing (horizontal sync) shifts/errors between equipment did not result in lost picture data. The digital frame is encoded as 720 pixels wide, but the actual video within is 704 pixels wide. The correct PAR for a 704x480 video is 10:11 for 4:3 and 40:33 for 16:9. It is certainly arguable whether or not these PARs are appropriate, but for historical reasons I believe this is as intended (and clearly the OP does as well). If they are not then truth be told the error is so minor as to be invisible. In all honesty there is often some error in this (and especially on VHS captures where the bottom 4-6 lines are nothing but distortion), so I might end up with something odd ball, say 712x476, which needs a non-standard PAR to fill the screen to a standard aspect ratio.
(1) Add a sizing mode of "None" to the Sizing Mode dropdown. This allows a very quick and intuitive means to set video to pass through without any resizing at all. As of 2.38B, I see no way to be absolutely certain that Vidcoder will not attempt to resize the video as there is no obvious "off" button.
1a. You might also consider adding a "De-Anamorph" selection so that the Vidcoder encodes the video at it's display resolution rather than it's original resolution (i.e. 720x480 --> 640x480). I wouldn't find this very useful myself, but I can see it's utility.
(2) Make anamorphic a section separate from the sizing section. Anamorphic is resized on the display, not when encoded, so IMO it's best left separated from Sizing. In here you could have the option to a. Keep original aspect ratio, b. Keep intended aspect ratio (i.e. 4:3 in = 4:3 out even if cropped), c. A drop down of common aspect ratios, d. Allow a specific display width, and e. For the hard core, a direct PAR entry.
Apologies for the long winded report, I'm trying to be as constructive as possible...
In Automatic mode it's always supposed to try and preserve the source aspect ratio, even when Anamorphic is disabled. If you're seeing the picture get stretched one way or the other, send me an encode log and I'll take a look at it.
As far as the "none" sizing mode, you can turn off cropping, use Downscale Only with no max width or height and enable Anamorphic. Or the "normal" preset with cropping turned off.
As for an option for keeping the "intented" aspect ratio, maybe? When I'm encoding video I first and foremost want to keep the image from getting squashed. I don't know what devices it will play on down the line, and there's no good reason to force something to fit in a 4:3 ratio when it's playing on a 16:9 screen. Would you want something that detected when your video was pretty close to a standard aspect ratio and squashed it a bit to make it fit?
Can you provide an encode log of where you expected it to be 853 and it turned out different? It would let me see the situation you're talking about more clearly.
It looks like the pictures didn't make it through on the email reply. Can you try putting them in the GitHub issue directly?