MPEG-4 With The New Flask 4.1: Almost DVD Quality

Summary: DivX 4.01 Codec Not Yet Perfect - Flask 4.1 Is The Best Version

The new Flask 4.1 shows significant progress and improvement over previous versions. It allows the adjustment of image brightness as well as the audio volume. Of primary importance is the high degree of user-friendliness, with clear graphic menus, along with the fact that all settings can be saved individually.

Flask 4.1 supports all of the latest processors, including Intel Pentium 4 and AMD Athlon XP/MP. Special instruction sets like SSE2 or 3Dnow, which provide in any case for a noticeable increase in speed in MPEG-4 encoding, are automatically recognized. With an Intel Pentium 4/2000 using the standard settings (in our example, full PAL resolution with 720 x 576 dots, stereo audio signal with 128 kBit/s and 44.1 kHz sample rate), for example, an average frame rate of about 20 frames per second (fps) can be reached during encoding. The use of special functions to improve image quality increases the workload on the computer so much that the frame rate can quickly drop to 14-15 fps.

Encoding errors that occurred with DivX 4.01 codec.

We were not entirely satisfied with the DivX 4.01 codec, which offers numerous features for optimized encoding. What counts ultimately is the image quality of the video that is output at the end and the proportional data rate. This happens to be the selling point for the "older" DivX 3.20a codec - for example, at a video data rate of 1500 kBit/s, a high-quality video with full PAL or NTSC resolution is possible. If you test the individual features of the DivX 4.01 codec, assuming the same data rate, the result is a lower-quality image. These findings, however, are purely subjective and it is entirely possible that they will vary depending on image content.

Flask 4.1 in action.

  • maalig
    Which is the best option for a dual display? Dual View, Homogeneous adapter or the heterogeneous adapter?