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Old March 12th, 2010, 10:53 AM   #1
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Coding for best Blu-ray

I have just recently ordered a Blu-ray burner, and want to make short high-quality Blu-rays from DVCPRO HD. Would I be better to encode in high bitrate H.264 as opposed to MPEG-2, and what bit rates would be appropriate. Also, CBR vs VBR ?
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Old March 12th, 2010, 11:11 AM   #2
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H.264 is more efficient than MPEG2 HD, most BD movies are using H.264, if your project is short and under 1 hr. I would use CBR at 38000kb/s for video and 448kb/s for audio, at this rate I don't think you can see a difference between those two codec so I would go with MPEG2 HD cuz it is much faster to encode, for longer project with lower bitrate then I would use H.264, if it is longer you better use a bitrate calcultor to give you the average bitrate.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 02:15 PM   #3
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Thanks, Khoi. Just for clarification, for most projects, MPEG HD at 38 kb/sec would not be visibly different from H.264 at 38 kb/sec ?
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Old March 15th, 2010, 02:48 PM   #4
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Yeah at 38000kb/s I don't think you can see any difference between the two.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 08:43 AM   #5
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Do not encode higher than 25 mbps, as it can cause playback problems on Blu-ray players.

Just like DVD's, burned Blu-ray media has lower reflectivity than pressed commercial discs (store bought movies), and therefore cannot sustain as high of a bitrate during playback.

Some Hollywood Blu-ray discs exceed 40 mbps, but this is only possible because they are pressed.

When using h.264 codec, you can encode at 20 mbps, and it will be near identical to the source.

Use 2-pass variable bitrate for most efficient encoding. You can set the target bitrate at 20 mbps, with a max of 25 mbps. This will give you excellent results, and not cause playback issues.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 09:58 AM   #6
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Jon, I have been encoding BD for 2 years now with over 100 BD and high bit rate is never a problem, you are still having a framemind of the 90's, with BD it is different, either it plays or it doesn't, their player must have firmware that can play BD-R and that is all, that is why I copy and print out that blue noticed that came with every BD movies informing customer to update their player if it doesn't play, in the begining some BD player can't play BD-R, but after the customer update their player with newer firmware it can play without a problem, so high bitrate is not a problem with Blu-ray like everybody thinks, also Blu-ray data layer are much closer to the surface that DVD standard hence why they required hard coating technology and so pressed or burned it has no problem reading the data, you are wasting time encoding VBR and sacrifice picture quality encoding at low bitrate if you have a project shorter than 1hr. 20minutes.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 10:21 AM   #7
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Not all players are made the same, and some do have issues with high bitrate burned media. This is why we burn for maximum compatibility, so that some customers are not stuck with a disc that does not play on their player. It's very possible that a firmware update could fix the problem, but not everyone who has a blu-ray player knows how to do that (i'm not saying it's difficult in any way, but there are some people that are just clueless).

It's not that big of a deal, since 25 mbps h264 is excellent quality when dealing with HDV or MPEG4 source material.

As for the VBR vs CBR, it is true that VBR is not necessary for content under 1hr 20min, however it will give you a smaller file size, take less time to burn, and require less drive space to backup.
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