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Old May 7th, 2005, 02:30 AM   #1
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Real time MPEG2 encoding

I have previously had to make (and will continue to in the future) many preview DVDs from FCP rough cuts and even dailies that I would like to turn into preview DVDs, but I have grown increasingly annoyed with the rendering time of Compressor to compress into MPEG2 so I can author and burn DVDs. I think it is time to get an External device which allows me to MPEG2 encode in real time. Does anyone have any recommendations?
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Old May 7th, 2005, 07:36 AM   #2
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I don't think consumer DVD encoders (like to record TV shows) will be good
enough. I know that for the PC we have extension cards to do realtime
MPEG-2 encoding, perhaps something similar exists for the Mac?
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Old May 7th, 2005, 09:34 AM   #3
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Here's what I found

I asked a simular question to this a few months ago.
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=40656

Funny you bring this up today... last night I output a 2+ hour sequence to a set-top dvd recorder (realtime encoding) ripped the VOB files using Mactheripper (around 40 mins) and then de muxed the VOB's for use in DVDSP using MPEG Streamclip (around 20 mins).
Other than authoring and burning the disc the whole process took a little over 3 hours to "encode" a 2+ hour video. If I had gone through Compressor it would have taken FOREVER (10+ hours on my poor little Dual 867). I'll take 3 hours over 10 hours any day of the week. And if you ask me, I think the ripped files from the DVD off the burner look better than Compressor ever can.

Thanks to whoever it was that suggested that workflow to me a while back. Maybe it can help you too.

Or, you could always just use the set-top dvd recorder by itself and not author in DVDSP if you dont care about the ugly built-in menu screen.

There is also the FastCoder from LaCie.
http://www.lacie.com/products/range.htm?id=10034
I opted not to buy it since you have to export a Quicktime file of your project to use it. If I export a 2+ hour file, I'm going to be eating up a large amout of space on my drives. I felt that I might as well just go ahead and spend that time ripping and demuxing and just save the drive space.

Then again, I'm coming at this problem from the point of view of a guy who is working entirely in DV and looking for a solution via firewire. If you have some other, more high-end workflow, then most of what I just said is moot since there almost has to be some type of professional grade MPEG encoder cards that will take a component/SDI/whatever input. I'm just looking for the poor man's solution.

Ok, I'm done now.

-Ethan
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Old May 13th, 2005, 11:02 AM   #4
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geez.... i have to say, i dont envy you mac heads..

im running a lowly 2.4ghz system with 1gb ram and im transcoding avi to mpg2 @ 65fps (im in Pal land so thats over 2 times realtime... ) this is even faster than realtime using only the main concept mpg encoder..

if ur interested, it might be an idea to purchase a cheap pc box and the app and just use it as an transcoding station... i know quite afew mac based studios that use this method as FCP is so damn slow.. even with 8gb ram on a MacG5.........

Last edited by Peter Jefferson; May 15th, 2005 at 04:10 AM.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 11:26 AM   #5
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Peter,

Which encoder do you use to get 45fps? The only one I know of that is so fast in software is CCE?

(hmm, maybe TMPGEnc really haven't tried it thouroughly )

// Lazze
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Old May 14th, 2005, 02:09 PM   #6
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The FastCoder that Ethan mentioned is a good option. No need to render a self contained movie from FCP, you can use a reference movie.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 04:09 AM   #7
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"Which encoder do you use to get 45fps? The only one I know of that is so fast in software is CCE?"

Main Concept have a standalone MPG2 encoder.. thats all it does.. nothing else.. and it does it well..
u can even allocate different priorities for motion detection and i have to say, it may not be as "rich" in colour as Procoder2 (which i persoanlly havent been able to distinguish between teh 2), but its MUCH sharper and definately faster.
Funny thing is, if u run that encoder within Vegas or PremPro, it drops down to half that speed....
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Old May 16th, 2005, 06:55 AM   #8
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You're right -

Peter,

I bought the standalone MC encoder a looong time ago - opened the wallet and upgraded to the latest version. On my P4 3.2 I get about 50fps on PAL video with the stand alone version, compared to 23-24fps with the bundled.

The only downside ( and it is a major one ), is that the chapter markers from the AVI file aren't converted to chaptermakers when using the stand alone variant, or am I missing something?

Another thing that makes me shake my head in disbelief is the quality of Sony DVDA 3. I still think it handles imported media badly, wanting to recompress to often and/or mis-reports the size of imported files.

I'll swear in the church and say: "I'd like the functionality of Prem pro and Encore with the scripting capabillities of Sonys products". IMHO none of the product suites is more than 75% perfect.

// Lazze
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Old May 19th, 2005, 11:31 AM   #9
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Sorry to jump in here guy's.


I was reading awhile ago about a (Virtual VCR) of some kind that will only work on the MAC(I'm on a PC so I have never tried it) that will Export DV from the timeline right to the DV port on a DVD recorder.(Print to Tape). I will try to find the link to the Tread.I think it was on DVDhelp.com/...
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Old May 19th, 2005, 12:40 PM   #10
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i have tried doing that recording via the firewire ports, within premiere 6.5, to a sony dvd recorder... i was unable to find a driver for premiere that would control the sony deck, so it had to be a push-button crash edit deal... no biggie, it's just too bad that these video editors won't control dvd recording decks.

some of these cheap dvd recorders do a pretty good job, even recording via the s-video port.
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