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Old June 27th, 2007, 09:23 PM   #1
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Cineform to Blu Ray

I want to convert a Cineform .AVI to a HD MPEG-2 (or HD MPEG-4) format, so I can burn my movie to a Blu Ray disk. Is there a Cineform tool that can do this (eg HDLink)? Or should I use MainConcept to do this (assuming MainConcept handles Cineform .AVI files)?

My original source was HDV 1080i50 and here is my Cineform .AVI file
Video: 1440x1080x16, 25.000fps, 00:00:14;19, Alpha=None, Field Order=Upper field first, Cineform HD Codec 3.11
Audio: 48,000 Hz, 16 bit, Stereo, 00:00:14;19, Uncompressed

Can someone also advise me on what output format should use (for above Cineform .AVI to a Blu Ray format). I assume I want to keep my frame rates, etc, unchanged to minimise the loss of quality during conversion, so I'm thinking HD MPEG-2 1080i50 or HD MPEG-4 1080p25?
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Old June 27th, 2007, 10:31 PM   #2
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You should be able to load the CineForm AVI directly into you BluRay authoring software, and it will transcode it to MPEG2/4 as needed.
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Old June 27th, 2007, 11:00 PM   #3
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David:

Quick question in relation to the Blu-ray question. Have you guys seen any difference in transcoding the Cineform MOVs to the MPEG2 or 4 format or the AVC (or is it ACH??) Do you know what has the best visual quality?

I recently tried the free PS 9 program that will convert files so the Sony PS3 can read the videos. I used it to convert my Cineform files to a format and then loaded it on a jumpdrive and plugged it into the PS3. Worked like a charm. I now have a bunch of HD clips in both 720p and 1080p on my PS3's hardrive, I'm just not sure I am converting them in the best format.
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Old June 27th, 2007, 11:17 PM   #4
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If I use MainConcept for the transcoding, wouldn't I get a better result? After all, MainConcept is a specialist program, so it should do a better quality transcoding job than the BluRay authorising software.

Either way, I would also like some advise on what output format I should use (eg HD MPEG-2 1080i50, HD MPEG-4 1080p25, etc). Any idea?

Thanks in advance.
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Old June 27th, 2007, 11:18 PM   #5
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MPEG2 uses more space for its compression. High bit-rate VC1 or H264.AVC will edge out MPEG2, if the bit=rate is high enough, but it will take many times longer to encode. If you have a short program, 1 hour or less, use MPEG2, for feature lengths use VC1 or 264.
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Old June 27th, 2007, 11:24 PM   #6
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Terry,

Not necessarily, Mainconcept licenses their stuff to many, you may in be use Mainconcept within you authoring tool and not know it. Also I question that MC is the best in this space -- TMPEGEnc is often thought as a better MPEG encoder than MC, but I haven't done any direct comparisons. TMPEGEnc is also licensed to others. There are very few MPEG encoding developers.
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Old June 28th, 2007, 05:16 AM   #7
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Terry, use x264 (h.264/avc) freeware codec.
More info about this codec and compression for BD or HD-DVD you can find on doom9 forums.
Also read this: http://www.nero.com/nero7/enu/AVCHD_..._Playback.html
http://www.nero.com/nero7/enu/BD-AV_..._Playback.html
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Old June 28th, 2007, 08:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Newman View Post
If you have a short program, 1 hour or less, use MPEG2, for feature lengths use VC1 or 264.
But if you're planning to use Blu-ray discs to store the content you can fit over two hours of HDV material on a single-layer disc, so there's no need to take the extra time to compress to other formats. This is one of the advantages of Blu-ray over HD-DVD, as the latter is more likely to require long render times to pack a big project onto one disc. This isn't a trivial difference either: in my tests I can generate a rendered HDV file in under two hours per hour of HD timeline, while WMV (VC1) takes many hours to do the same thing.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 12:08 PM   #9
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I use the exact same HDV files to author both HD DVD and Bluray. There is no difference whatsoever in either the encoding time or the playback quality.

What is different is that I can author an HD DVD on a regular DVD+-R (up to 25 minutes on a single layer, 50 on a dual layer). It will play back consistantly on all HD DVD players (so far at least). Production cost is less than a dollar.

Contrast this to the current situation with Bluray: yes you can author Bluray to a regular DVD+-R, but it will only work on a couple of players IF they are updated to the latest firmware. They won't playback properly on the most popular Bluray player, the Playstation 3. If you buy the new $499 Sony BDP-300, it won't play back a burned HD disc even if it is burn on a real Blu-Ray blank. It is (unfortunately) not BD-R compatible.

For watching commercial releases, Blu-Ray vs HD DVD is six of one, half a dozen of the other. Either one looks the same and has plenty of space for a movie and the pointless extras, but for homebrew HD content delivery, HD DVD is way ahead, at least for now.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 12:28 PM   #10
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I use the exact same HDV files to author both HD DVD and Bluray. There is no difference whatsoever in either the encoding time or the playback quality.
Sounds good, but if you're putting HDV files on a standard red-laser DVD you can only fit about 24 minutes on a single-layer disc or 45 minutes on a dual-layer one. That's not nearly enough for many projects, which means you'd have to switch to a more compressed HD format for longer videos - and those formats can take a very long time to render (think days, not hours).

The good thing about Blu-ray is that you fit over two hours of full-bandwidth HDV content on a single-layer disc without resorting to long rendering times or use of finnicky dual-layer discs. That makes Blu-ray the most practical HD delivery format as far as I'm concerned, especially since proper HD-DVD burners are hard to find. If someone wants to pay me to deliver on HD-DVD I'll do it, but I'm about to buy a Blu-ray burner so that's what I'll be recommending to customers.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 05:15 PM   #11
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Most of my projects are small enough to fit on a single layer red laser hd dvd disc. On a double layer, you can get closer to an hour by lowering the bitrate to 18mbps, which still looks very good (I can't see the difference). Then, as we both know, you can get at least twice that (albeit with longer renders) by using an mpeg4 type of encoding. A day or two of encoding (I have a single core P4) vs $20 blanks and a six hundred dollar burner ... I think I'll go with the long render.

As far as HD DVD vs Bluray goes, if there was to be a single winner, it would be Bluray. I'm hoping that eventually dual standard players can be the norm and we'll be free to use both formats. I like being able to burn projects on the cheap discs and this is the only real way this will happen.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 06:44 PM   #12
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A day or two of encoding (I have a single core P4) vs $20 blanks and a six hundred dollar burner ... I think I'll go with the long render.
And I'd rather not wait two days for a render just to realize I need to make a change and do it again. My time and sanity are worth more than the price of a Blu-ray burner, which is down to about $450 now. In another year or two that price should be negligible, and at that point it just depends what kind of players people are buying. If people buy HD-DVD players I'll buy an HD-DVD burner, not mess around trying to pack 90 minutes of HD content onto red-laser discs.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 11:02 PM   #13
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The latest Blu-ray player won't playback BD-R discs! I can't believe Sony has so little respect for the independant film crowd, but apparently that is the case. As far as using real HD DVD-R discs, yeah that is a great idea...when you need that much storage. I really like the idea that for short projects you can use a thirty cent DVD-R, for medium length projects you can use a dual layer DVD-R, and for full length projects you can use either a real HD DVD-R disc, or use mpeg4 disc compression and a single or dual layer DVD-R. Contrast that with the new Sony $450 Bluray player that won't play your hi definition discs no matter what you do!

While Sony and the rest of the Blu-ray camp have written off us indie types, the HD DVD camp is actively pursuing us. Check out the following link:

http://www.technewsworld.com/story/58132.html
http://www.informationweek.com/news/...leID=200100017
http://www.toptechnews.com/news/Micr...d=002000866FEW

Look, I feel like I have to support both formats. I have both types of players and authoring software for both formats. I am certain that I will end up buying both types of burners as well.

I sure do prefer HD DVD so far though. With HD DVD, I am already there. With Blu-ray, even after buying a $500 plus burner and $20 blanks, I'm still not going to be able to make discs that play on their latest player. I'm still going to be talking on the phone to customers and stepping them through updating their Bluray player firmware. All this was completely avoidable except that Sony couldn't care less about our little slice of the market. What do you expect me to think?
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 11:06 PM   #14
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My big issue with Cineform and authoring Bluray is that when I use a Neo HDV 1440 x 1080i master, Roxio DVDit Pro HD mistakenly formats the aspect ratio as 4:3 rather than 16:9. Because of this, I can't use Cineform Neo HDV masters as a source with this program. I have mentioned this on the Roxio forum, but other people say that it works on their systems. I sure can't make it work though.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 11:11 PM   #15
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By the way, I like the idea of BD-R much better than HD DVD-R for backing up projects. 15 or 30 gig is just not enough room for backing up an HDV project. Not when you can have 25 or 50 gig on a BD-R for about the same price. Also, being able to play back raw footage from the backup discs on my PS3 is way cool!
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