Avidemux is a video editing software that I’ve been used before to encode the recorded videos from TV. When recorded from TV, the video is in uncompressed MPEG format, resulting in large size. Sometimes a video of an hour length is about 2GB.

The best encoding format I’ve been used before is using AVI container with x264 (single pass) video encoding format, and AC3 audio encoding

To get information about a video, in Windows you can use GSpot (it’s bundled together with Media Player Classic). For Linux or Mac, you can use mplayer or ffmpeg command

$ mplayer -ao dummy -vo dummy -identify video.mp4

// output:
Opening audio decoder: [ffmpeg] FFmpeg/libavcodec audio decoders
libavcodec version 53.61.100 (external)
AUDIO: 48000 Hz, 2 ch, s16le, 192.0 kbit/12.50% (ratio: 24000->192000)
Selected audio codec: [ffaac] afm: ffmpeg (FFmpeg AAC (MPEG-2/MPEG-4 Audio))
$ ffmpeg -i video.mp4

// output:
Stream #0:0(und): Video: h264 (High) (avc1 / 0x31637661), yuv420p, 800x450 [SAR 1:1 DAR 16:9], 823 kb/s, 29.97 fps, 29.97 tbr, 30k tbn, 59.94 tbc
Stream #0:1(und): Audio: aac (mp4a / 0x6134706D), 48000 Hz, stereo, s16, 192 kb/s