An Independent Critic presents
a Rebuttal of...
The XviD Releasing Standards 2005
Requirements: Notepad with terminal font or any other ascii viewer.
[ INTRO ]
To introduce myself first...I am a member of one of the oldest active XviD
release groups and one of main writers/contributors to TDX2k2. Neither I,
nor my group was informed of this new ruleset. That is reflected in the
fact that we are not a signatory. I find it astounding that the writers of
this ruleset can give respect to the previous TDX teams but at the same
time self-proclaim themselves to be the new TDX team and write a new ruleset
without even consulting them. In fact, not even half of the of the (active)
groups to whom the main TDX2k2 writers belonged have signed off on TXD2k5.
Several of the oldest XviD groups have not signed TXD2k5, but instead of
any attempts at compromise, the new ruleset was steamrolled through without
them or their input.
As a result of these strong-arm tactics, I am now forced to point out each
any every flaw that the TXD2k5 authors are forcing the XviD scene to
swallow. The TDX2k5 ruleset was meant to plug the holes in TDX2k2 and some
had hoped it would usher in a new era in MPEG-4 based encoding. Sadly, this
abomination does neither. Within the ruleset guideline below, I have
included my rebuttal comments. While many of my points might seem to be
bordering on anal, it is my opinion that a ruleset must be precise and
concise. It should eliminate all ambiguity and close all loopholes.
As you will see, I find that this new ruleset does neither. The scope of
the rules is adequate, but it could have gone a lot further in some areas,
and went too far in others. TDX as a ruleset must curb the release of bad
rips, while at the same time it cannot impede a rippers ability to create
the highest possible quality rip. I do also acknowledge that some of the
words and ideas that I contest in my rebuttal were present in TDX2k2. This
does not excuse TXD2k5 of having the same problem since the TXD2k5 writers
had the choice to edit or reword anything they felt appropriate.
I know that some people will just dismiss this as me holding a personal
grudge or think that Im just out to pick a fight. If you take the time to
read my rebuttal comments, you should find them to be valid concerns. I
truly care about the future of the MPEG-4 scene and am deeply troubled when
I see a document like this being flaunted as a new ruleset.
This document is meant only as a rebuttal of the TXD2k5 document and is not
intended as a reflection of any of the signee groups. I know that many of
the groups that signed did so blindly in order to support what appeared to
be a positive advancement for the XViD Scene. As such, Im not suprised by
the number of obvious errors that I was able to locate when picking it
apart. I dont believe that having signed TXD2k5 precludes any group from
lending their voice to anything that might arise from the dialogue that I
hope to have started. I would encourage all groups who agree with any of my
points to speak their mind, whether it be with me or the writers of TXD2k5,
or even in a public forum or their own nfos. I welcome any groups to
include this nfo or their own rebuttals with their releases.
Thank you for your time.
P.S. I find it strange how TXD2k5s intro is written in the first person
singular when it is supposedly an intro from the entire new TDX
[ RELEASE RULES ]
- PAL (25 fps) MINIMUM runtime is 100 minutes/CD.
- FILM (23.976 fps) MINIMUM runtime is 105 minutes/CD.
- NTSC (29.97 fps) MINIMUM runtime is 87 minutes/CD.
- These runtimes are scalable via the following equation:
N CD time minimum (N-1) * allowed time where N is number of CDs and
allowable time applies to fps as outlined above:
i.e. 3 CD FILM rip minimum 105 x (3-1) 210 minutes.
- MINIMUM time length rule is as implied - that is the MINIMUM time per
CD -- NOT MAXIMUM!!! (i.e. no such thing as must be more than 1 CD)
- Release runtime must be at least 50 minutes for using the full burnable
media capacity. In such cases, releases MUST utilize a MINIMUM of
680mb of the 700mb standard burnable media (Multi-CD releases MUST
conform to the 680mb minimum, for each CD used). Any other use of the
media shall not be over 350mb (Sizes between 350mb to 680mb are not
- Media usage is at rippers discretion, please use it.
- The runtime rule is still a slightly vague and occasionally contested
issue within TDX. The new wording doesnt change this at all. The
correct interpretation of this rule is that it is permitted to use an
additional CD for every additional x minutes beyond the original x
minute runtime (x being the runtime based on the framerate). The way it
is currently worded can still be interpreted such that each CD MUST
have at least x minutes on it.
- With the improvements in encoding technology, I dont understand why
the new ruleset would be trending towards less compression with the
modified length rules.
- The first time I read the new point that was added, I thought that it
related to shorts but apparently its not. The point just seems to
bumble around. Couldnt it just have been simply stated that the
minimum capacity used on a CD is 680MB? The 50 minute rule should have
just been included in some new rules about the runtime of shorter
features (which I definitely feel is needed). The new TDX implies that
everything under 50 minutes can be ripped to 350MB, but doesnt a 350MB
rip of a 5 or 10 minute short seem a bit oversized?
- Why is the capacity of a CD not explicitly defined? Is it 700MB even
(734,003,200 bytes)? 702MB (which will still fit on a CD)? or something
else? There have been several releases between 700 and 702MB, is that
- So what are the rules for non-standard framerate releases? There are
plenty of silent films that IVTC to 16 to 22fps...
- MUST be MP3 or Studio AC3 (AC3 transcoding forbidden).
- MUST be STEREO for STEREO sources, MONO for MONO sources
(MONO audio as STEREO on source is considered a MONO source).
- MUST BE VBR! NO CBR MP3!
- MP3 tracks must have the original frequency as it was on the DVDs
audio: i.e. 48khz for 48khz and 44.1khz for 44.1khz.
- MP3 files must be normalized.
- ABR is considered a VBR technique.
- AC3 MUST be used wisely and correctly. Rippers discretion on when to
use it. Using or not using AC3 IS NOT a technical flaw.
- MONO AC3 is not allowed, in that case must encode to mono MP3.
- Multi-language audio tracks are FORBIDDEN! (Use INTERNAL!)
- Please define mono. The term was incorrectly used in TDX2k2 and has
caused all sorts of issues. Technically speaking, any audio track with
identical channel(s) is mono. Of course, the intention is to forbid the
use of 2.0 Mono MP3/AC3, but once again, this is left unclear.
- The term source also needs definition. Is it the source AC3 track on
the DVD? The original theatrical master? This ruleset still doesnt
clear up whether a DVD should be encoded in stereo when the studio
remasters a mono theatrical track into 2.0 (Stereo) or 5.1 audio.
- Why MUST MP3 need to be normalized? Wouldnt minimal processing of a
track be ideal? The rule also doesnt state the extent to which the
audio must be normalized. Without that, the rule means absolutely
MUST be 20 seconds and MUST be inserted according to scene changes
and framesizes as determined by the codec or encoding application.
- Group watermarks of any kind on the video will not be tolerated!
- Intermission messages must be removed from the avi!
- I know the intermission rule is personal. I still maintain that there
is often wonderful musical accompaniment during the intermission and
that would be lost if that rule is kept in effect. Sometimes the
intermission is used as a directorial tool as well, so removing it
would alter the flow of the movie. If removing the climax of a movie is
frowned upon, shouldnt the same common sense lend itself to any other
part of a movie?
- MUST be as close to original source framerate as possible.
- In some cases PAL movies should be ivtcd (i.e. to 24fps). Therefore
using a PAL source is not an excuse for lack of ivtc.
- Once again, the term source needs to be defined. While it seems obvious
to most what the correct framerate should be, there are some that think
that the NTSC telecine framerate of 29.97fps is the source framerate.
- Hybrids? What are the guidelines for ripping hybrids? What would
make a hybrid encode properable? Hasnt this been a hot enough issue to
- MUST BE XviD (all DivX codecs are banned).
- MUST use 2 pass technique during encoding.
- NO DUPES BASED ON CODEC TYPE, USE INTERNAL!
Resolution and Aspect Ratio:
- Width: 512 - 672 pixels for WS movies (Letterboxed is considered WS).
448 - 576 pixels for FS movies (Only 4:3 images).
- Height and Width: Must be a multiple of 16.
- Cropping is required to be the MAXIMUM possible (black borders must
be cropped to their maximum). Over cropped releases are considered
a technical flaw. Some movies present changing ARs, in that case the
cropping applies only to the image that presents more pixels (Means
that part of the movie will have bad cropping).
- Movie encodes must be within 5 of the original aspect ratio.
Calculating AR error: (Release AR - Original AR)/Original AR x 100
- Due to the popular 1.37:1 AR, the FS rule should probably be extended
from the 4:3 definition to any AR 1.4/1.5:1 and narrower. Its obvious
that 1.37:1 isnt widescreen.
- The term bad cropping is kind of silly. Its either overcropped or
undercropped. Once again, the wording of the 3rd point is imprecise.
Why not just say what correct cropping is and go from there. The
maximum possible cropping is just to crop the whole frame away. The
rule regarding a source with varying ARs is appropriate but again badly
worded. How does cropping apply to anything? Does this sentence make
sense? In the case that the movie presents changing ARs, cropping
applies only to the image that presents more pixels. Huh?! How about:
In the case..., the movie must be cropped such that no frame is
Subs, Interactive Menus, Trailers:
- OPTIONAL (ONLY if all other requirements have been met).
- VOBSUB is the preferred format due to the fact it does not use OCR.
However, any format that displays with DVobSub is acceptable.
- Subtitles may be MUXED with video stream, but MAY NOT be BURNED into
video stream. MUXED subs will proper BURNED subs.
- Subtitles not muxed into video stream MUST be encapsulated in a .rar
file with the MOST compression available and shall be contained in
the directory named Subs and will NOT be packaged with main movie
- Burned subtitles shall only be permissible when the source exhibits
aforementioned subtitles in the picture itself (i.e. Subs in the
matte portion of the picture MUST be typed in a separate file and the
frame shall be cropped). If there is a part of the burned subtitles
on the picture itself, and another part on the matte portion of the
picture, the frame must be cropped to 2 pixels from the start of the
subtitles on the matte portion. Upside cropping of the picture has
nothing to do with the downside, therefore the cropping on the upside
MUST BE to its maximum.
- English subs on non English movies MUST fit on CD with main movie,
all other optional subs SHOULD fit on the CD.
- Foreign movies (Non English Spoken) with no English subs, must have
the language name taggings (applies to the various non English
scenes). Movies with English subs present, WILL NOT HAVE any language
tag on them!
- Using of hand made subs on non English releases (i.e. fansubs) MUST
be mentioned in the nfo, and at nukers discretion if to nuke the
release for Bad.Subs, depends on how bad the subtitles are. Please
use common judgement! Releases that were nuked for bad subtitles, may
be propered only by subtitles that came from the retail DVD (Rippers
choice if to release the full movie again or just the subtitles).
- Multi-language subtitles cannot be used as a basis for a dupe.
- I see nothing about Interactive Menus or Trailers, or any other extras
for that matter.
- As we appear to be still using the avi container, it is not possible to
mux subs into the actual container (which is what muxing actually means)
- Im not sure about the mandatory use of rar. I know there are certain
(standalone) players that wouldnt read through the rar. Not that
many (if any) current standalones play Vobsubs anyway.
- Ive always loved this 1/2 matted burned subs discussion. Doing it the
way that the ruleset indicates would cause the image to be off-center
during fullscreen playback. Some people swear that they cant watch
anything off-center, personally dont think its the end of the world.
In any event, a few of us had thought up a great compromise based on
the macroblock structure of MPEG encoding. Its too bad we werent
- EngSub Must fit on CD rule: See above rar comment and more above CD
- The next bullet...will not or must/may not? (And I find the use of
exclamation marks to be very unprofessional in a ruleset)
- How many times do I have to say it? How bad do subs have to be to be
bad.subs? Im sure theres no consensus on what common judgement is.
(judgment is misspelled too). This of course is even worse since the
rules state that if SOMEONE has made the call to nuke it for bad.subs,
then it can be propered.
- All releases must be AVI, not BIN/CUE.
- Must be packed with RAR and broken into 15 or 20 MB volumes.
Releases that are more then 1 CD must have the RAR files broken into
2 or more CD volumes.
- Compression is not allowed.
- Recovery and MD5 record are recommended.
- Must have SFV included for each CD.
- Must have NFO.
- NFO SHOULD INCLUDE:
Actual XviD release date
DVD release date
Theatrical release date (US preferably)
IMDB/Amazon/Any other DVD site info link
Number of rars per CD (i.e. 50x15MB)
- Now that weve cleared up what it SHOULD include, what MUST it include?
- DRF. Sigh... (see more about this below)
- Exactly what ripping method we are talking about?
- How about...Audio Codec? XviD Build? Packed Bitstream? Max Conseq BFs?
- Movie credits can be encoded separately at a lower bitrate only if the
time length exceeds the no. of CDs used (i.e. 106 min on 1CD for FILM
source, or 201 min on 2CDs for PAL source, etc).
- Any movies with scenes in the credits (i.e. bloopers or continuation
of story) MAY NOT be downsampled!
- Cutting Credits is not allowed.
- I dont see the advantage in restricting when credit downsampling can
occur. Theres no consistency. Theyre either expendable, or they
- 1 full minute in length and in a separate folder marked as Sample.
- MUST be taken from the movie - NOT encoded separately.
- Vob samples are recommended for any rip that is deemed questionable:
i.e. no ivtc possible on source, ivtc to 24.975fps etc.
- Propers are ONLY permitted in the case of a technical flaw in the
original release (i.e. Bad IVTC, Interlacing, bad number of CDs).
- Releases not nuked on release lists and/or sites MUST include
original sample of the technical flaw.
- Qualitative propers are not allowed, nor are propers based on
decisions made by a ripper (i.e. No. of CDs, AC3 or MP3, etc).
- Propers based upon the compliance with new instances of TXD2K5
guidelines are also forbidden.
Only propers acceptable when propering old tdx rips are propers based
on picture damage: Aspect Ratio, IVTC, Over-Cropping. Other propers
acceptable are propers based on releases that did not follow previous
tdx guidelines, at the time they were released.
- Subbed (in original movie language) propers dubbed (in any language).
- Hardcored Subs may be propered by releases containing Vobsub/Srt.
This rule will not apply to movies ripped before TXD2K5
- bad number of CDs...speaks for itself.
- Speaking of which...something can be propered for bad number of CDs
but not for No. of CDs.
- Are you expecting new instances of TXD2K5? That whole sentence needs to
be rethought. Only propers acceptable - Propers are only acceptable
might be slightly better English? Although that whole sentence probably
needs reworking. The meaning of old tdx rips is obvious even if it
doesnt seem to make sense. I also believe that the list of flaws was
previously called technical flaws (a couple points up, why change that?)
In any event, Im sure there are plenty of other ways to reword that
- Original movie language - Movies original/native language?
- I know some people are pretty passionate about their subs, but hardcore
might be going a bit to far (Yes, I know its just a typo)
- Propers imply that there was something wrong with the original release
and it doesnt make sense to penalize a group for ripping a hardsubbed
WS vs. FS:
- FS movies after WS was out, are FORBIDDEN unless proven it contains
more picture (use of sample or .jpg as proof).
- WS movies after FS was out, MUST HAVE original sample from the
previous release, unless proven no WS DVD was out at the time the FS
was released. A WS not following the above is considered a DUPE!
- WS or FS name tags on the release name, if the other wasnt released
in the past, WILL NOT BE TOLERATED! use nfo to mention the AR.
- WS cannot proper another WS: for example 2.35:1 after 1.85:1 is out.
Use the tag WS in the dirname instead. However WS after a wider WS
was released, will be considered a DUPE unless proven it contains
more picture! Sample rule applies here also.
- Letterboxed DVDs are not considered FS even if its FS on the source!
- FS movies after WS was out is also grammatically incorrect.
- Why no FS tag when its the first one out? I can understand people not
wanting to read the nfo just to see if the release if FS or WS.
- Arent violations of any rule not to be tolerated? Why makes this one
- Again, define source...In this case, the physical layout of the DVD is
being considered the source.
- This whole segment feels that it could be reworked for less redundancy
and more conciseness.
Special Movie Editions:
- Allowed: SE, DC, EXTENDED, UNCUT, REMASTERED, UNRATED, THEATRICAL,
- Special Edition releases without any different features in the film
itself will be considered dupes of previous releases of the same
- Shorter cut version of a movie after a longer version was released is
allowed (i.e. THEATRICAL), and MUST be mentioned in the dirname.
- Remastered movies after the original have been released are allowed
only if the original release was in BLACK AND WHITE and the
remastered edition is colour. Everything else use INTERNAL!
(Remastered DVD releases that were nuked in the past and were colour
after black and white, shall not be unnuked and shall not be duped!)
- Remastered audio will be considered a dupe if its the only reason
movie was re-released.
- Extras released in a special movie edition, cannot be used as a basis
for a dupe, unless released separately and are not dupes of previous
- Homemade Rips are not allowed (Use INTERNAL!). For example adding of
deleted scenes, alternate endings, chrono editions. Only retail DVD
rips of this versions are allowed.
- NOTE: PAL - NTSC length difference comes from the no. of frames, not
- different features - different footage? What is a feature in a
movie and how can it differ?
- How about Original Black White after a studio coloured version?
- Arent violations of any rule not to be tolerated? Why makes this one
- Uh, excuse me? PAL - NTSC time difference comes from the SAME number
of frames being played at a different rate. Example:
NTSC: 86400 frames 24frames/secs 60 secs/min 60 mins
PAL: 86400 frames 25frames/secs 60 secs/min 57.6 mins
- All releases are to include production year (applies to the pre scene
- DO NOT indicate Ripping method, DVD/XviD release date, Genre, Audio
which was used (no AC3) or anything else! (ONLY WITHIN THE NFO)
- Movie distribution tags i.e. FESTIVAL, STV, LIMITED or TV (TV tag
is used for TV movies only) are allowed and shall be used wisely and
- READ.NFO is strictly forbidden.
- Other permitted tags are: WS/FS rules above, PROPER, REPACK, RERIP,
REAL, RETAIL, EXTENDED, REMASTERED, UNRATED, CHRONO, THEATRICAL, DC,
SE, UNCUT, INTERNAL, DUBBED, SUBBED.
- Acceptable characters in naming a directory include (NO spaces or
double dots - single dots or underscores ONLY):
- Releases that are more than 1 CD MUST be named CD1, CD2, CD3 and so
on (disc1 and others are NOT allowed).
- I almost missed it, and I know that READ.NFO is often abused, but there
are legitimate uses for it. Banning it is an overreaction.
TV Series Notes:
- All Episodes DVD rips are obligated to follow the above rules.
- Media usage capacity:
* 4x 20-23min 1CD, Releases shall not be over 175mb.
* 3x 23-35min 1CD, Releases shall not be over 233mb.
* 2x 35-50min 1CD, Releases shall not be over 350mb.
* Episodes further then 50 minutes, will follow the length rules
NOTE: Runtimes not mentioned above should fit on 1 CD i.e. 5x120mb,
6x116mb, 7x100mb etc.
- Sizes mentioned above may be used only when minimum runtime is applied,
i.e. 23 minutes on 233mb or 35 minutes on 350mb. Media usage is at
rippers discretion (i.e. 25 minutes may also be on 175mb).
- Recommendation: 26x22min 1 DVD-R Disc, 13x45min 1 DVD-R Disc
i.e. 172mb x 26eps or 344mb x 13eps fits on 1 burnable DVD-R Disc.
- Exception: 20-23min NTSC episodes (29.97 fps) may use 233mb.
- Episodes further then - Episodes longer than? (and no comma)
- Sizes mentioned above may be used only when minimum runtime is
applied. What does this actually mean? It seems redundant?
- For consistency, how about 29.97fps 23-35min or 35-50min eps?
[ NOTES TO THE RULES ]
Source related notes:
- DVD source shall be RETAIL/DVD Screener only. Non DVD sources like
CAM, TS, TC, VHS, SCREENER, PDVD, LDVD etc, MUST be tagged with source
in dirname and MUST adhere to ALL TXD2K5 rules!
- DVD Screeners shall be clearly marked in the directory name and the
nfo shall contain presence of studio watermarking and counters or
- Use of downsampled DVD-Rs as source is FORBIDDEN! only untouched
- Maybe its just me, but what is a LDVD? Is is supposed to be Laserdisc?
- All INTERNALS must follow TXD2K5 rules, apart from the time length
rules and multi-language audio tracks rule (and will not be considered
as dupes). Other codecs and containers are allowed for experimental
- NOTE: INTERNAL dirfix is not allowed as a basis of avoiding a nuke.
- Excuse me? Groups can do whatever they want with internals. Internals
are not meant to be regulated. Internal dupes? Am I missing something?
- Many people disagree with dirfixing an internal to avoid a dupe, but
TDX doesnt have jurisdiction over internals. Let sites and dupechecks
decide what they want to do with them.
Ripping related notes:
- Maximum VIDEO bitrates are covered by length rules.
- If DRF average would be over 4.0, the resolution should be lowered if
possible, until the minimal res is reached. See Resolution rules.
DRF average can be checked with DRF Analyzer It is recommended to
check the full avi file and not just the sample.
- Quant. Matrix always has to be H.263/MPEG due to lack of hardware
support for Custom matrixes.
- Quarterpel/GMC forbidden due to lack of hardware support.
- Packed Bitstream is not supported on some of the major gen chipsets,
therefore using it, is not recommended.
- The use of ITU-R is not recommended since it gives an AR error of
around 2 from the original DVDs Aspect Ratio.
- Multi-language audio tracks are allowed only for INTERNALS.
Multiple languages should be interleaved into the AVI, with a
graphedit filter for each appropriate audio stream.
- NO intros, outros, betweenos, or any other form of defacement of the
movie will be tolerated.
- Our friend DRF again. DRF (Detail Removal Factor) is actually a DIVX
3.11/SBC ATTRIBUTE. XViDs equivalent attribute is the Quantizer.
Obviously Im quite amused to see DRF mentioned in this new ruleset
which abolishes SBC.
- For those that really understand how quantizers work, especially with
regards to their relationship with the Quantization type, theyd know
that the raw quant avg doesnt mean anything without the exact quant
matrix being used. As such, using the average quant as a statistic to
to determine the rip quality without considering the exact method of
quantization would be erroneous. Of course since this ruleset bans all
Custom Matrices (more on that later), that simplifies things...but MPEG
and h263 are two completely different animals and look very different
at comparable quants. As a result, blind avg quant comparison is
dangerous and not a good benchmark at all.
- While the argument about compatibility on standalones is a valid one,
many CQMs do in fact work on standalones and as long as rippers choose
well, the problems should be minor. On the flipside, the power of the
wide range of CQMs is unmatched. The choice of matrix gives control of
how XViD prioritizes the compression of the source material. The
quality of a high bitrate encode made with h263 or basic MPEG
quantization pales in comparison to one created with one of several
high bitrate matrices.
- The packed bitstream (PB) issue is one that is already solved and thus
I dont even know why it has to be brought up again. There are some
standalones that do not work with 2 consecutive B-Frames with PB and
there are some (fewer) that dont work without it. Luckily, a tool was
developed that allowed for PB to be removed from a video file without
the need to reencode. Unfortunately it doesnt work in reverse (It
cant add PB to a non PB file). So really, if there were a rule, it
should be that all B-Frames must be packed, as it would be simple
enough to remove them if necessary. Alternatively, rips with 2+
consecutive B-Frames should be banned entirely.
- Finally, this whole ITU-R thing...Specifically, the referral is to the
ITU-R BT.601 Standard for Aspect Ratios. The ITU-R itself is a body
that establishes standards, so the phrase the use of ITU-R doesnt
make a whole lot of sense. It still doesnt make sense if you
substitute in ITU-R BT.601 Standard since you abide or obey standards,
you dont use them. The ruleset is probably just talking about the
Gknot checkbox. It is true that the difference between following the
standard and not doing so is about 2 on the AR. However, the jury is
still out on which is the correct way to proceed. For now, it really
seems to come down to the output device being used and what is
considered to be the correct viewing experience. Links below:
The Tradition Continues: TXD RULES 2K5 (2005-09-25)
TDX2K2 2002-07-12) 2K1 (2001-04-22) Original (2000-04-26)
--------[ GROUPS ]--------
TXD2K5 Rebuttal signed by the following XviD Groups:
----[ Created by Me 2005. Respect goes to all TDX teams 2000-2002 ]----