This tool is functionally derived and rewritten from DVD-Lab PRO's integrated Bitrate Viewer with some additional enhancements and specials.
The main concept of this tool is to analyze all MPEG material from which you can create DVD's directly with a DVD authoring tool and draw a graphical histogram from analysis. So it should be able to read all files that include a video track and that you can use as assets for an authoring tool. With the graphical output you can easily view the quality of your video files before you're outputting it to a DVD and so save a lot of money by avoiding the production of any bad stuff. That's the main reason Bitrate Viewer is written for. Maybe one of the best things of it: Bitrate Viewer is free software. You can download it for free on the download page.
Because the main interface to read and analyze MPEG frames is based on the (L)GPL FFMpeg library the tool can also read, analyze and display many other video codecs than MPEG1 and MPEG2. But don't complain if you supply a file other than the main types MPEG1 and MPEG2 in the case of not working or even crashing. This may happen from time to time.
A second interface for reading MPEG's is integrated and used in Bitrate Viewer whose reason for existence is the pre-estimation of the frame count for an MPEG file just opened without reading it completely. This interface only treats MPEG1 and MPEG2 file types. When you open such a file, this interface estimates the frame count prior to the analysis so the tool can do a proper preview while reading and analyzing the rest of it - in most cases.
You may find especially Panasonic's VRO demuxed files or other MPEG files with bad timestamps within. These markers will cause a bad frame count estimation. In those cases the preview will be bad scaled until the file is completely read.
There are many different MPEG encoders out there and also many possibilities to interpret ISO/IEC MPEG specifications. Therefore it is a high level task to calculate or estimate the frame count of an MPEG file prior reading it completely. Basically the frame count estimation algorithm is optimized to finish its job within a second or less. On MPEG1/MPEG2 ES and PES files this can be accomplished normally within some hundred milliseconds (if you have the file of interest on a standard hard drive that can read at appropriate speed). If you open VOB files it may take longer than a second - but up to now it didn't ever exceed two seconds.
Meanwhile there are implemented a lot of commands to control the tool's GUI - so for a complete quick overwiew please read the commands section.