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Old January 12th, 2007, 11:26 AM   #1
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Compression for HD delivery

Hi guys,

I am a bit concerned with my ability to deliver/playback HD footage.

Right now, most of my delivery is DVD (easy as I just convert to SD) and web.

For web, the sweet-spot for me is to compress to a pretty low res file and use H.264 which gives really really nice results for small file sizes.

However, I am reaching the point where I might need to deliver full HD-sized files for some short films.

I tried encoding H.264 at 1920x1080 (although for some reason, FCE reports it as 1880x1060 or something odd). I chose a bitrate of 10,000 bps (average) and high quality.

OK, so I get an 88M file for my 1.5 min movie (not wretched) but when I try to play it back on a dual 2.0G Mac G5 with a 24" LCD, I dont think I have the horsepower to actually play it at full frame rate -- the footage looks very jerky and disorienting.

When I play back the smaller files, they look great.

So does anyone have any suggestions on how to encode for great playback on machines with reasonable CPU power? (Or maybe I am just doing something wrong with the encoding)
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Old January 12th, 2007, 01:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Ambrose
I tried encoding H.264 at 1920x1080 (although for some reason, FCE reports it as 1880x1060 or something odd). I chose a bitrate of 10,000 bps (average) and high quality.
At that bitrate, the filesizes will be way too large for online distribution. Try ~3000k to ~4000k for 1920x1080 distribution.

If you check sites like Apple, that's what they're encoding their 1920x1080 downloads at. See http://www.apple.com/quicktime/guide/hd/
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Old January 12th, 2007, 02:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Yannetta
At that bitrate, the filesizes will be way too large for online distribution. Try ~3000k to ~4000k for 1920x1080 distribution.

If you check sites like Apple, that's what they're encoding their 1920x1080 downloads at. See http://www.apple.com/quicktime/guide/hd/
Hmmm, I will give that a try and see if it reduces my CPU requirements any.

I am still a bit baffled by the 1880x1060 weirdness from FCE, but then I am used to having to take a Phd everytime I want to export something that actually looks right.
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Old January 12th, 2007, 04:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Ambrose
I am still a bit baffled by the 1880x1060 weirdness from FCE
This is just a guess because I normally work with neither HD material nor Final Cut, but maybe the encoding process exports to a slightly more narrow resolution (maybe with a slightly widened PAR to compensate) in order to squeeze out a little extra bandwidth for bit rate purposes?
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Old January 12th, 2007, 06:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarrod Whaley
This is just a guess because I normally work with neither HD material nor Final Cut, but maybe the encoding process exports to a slightly more narrow resolution (maybe with a slightly widened PAR to compensate) in order to squeeze out a little extra bandwidth for bit rate purposes?
Hmmm, possibly.
I "found" some more options.

Apparently I have 1920x1080 HD and 1920x1080 HD "16:9"

It is the 16:9 that gives the odd resolution, the regular HD is OK (but not encoded yet, so I will see)

Trying it now with 4500Kbps and key frames set to "auto", but it takes 60 mins to encode just 1.5 mins :(
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Old January 12th, 2007, 06:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Nick Ambrose
Hmmm, possibly.
I "found" some more options.

Apparently I have 1920x1080 HD and 1920x1080 HD "16:9"

It is the 16:9 that gives the odd resolution, the regular HD is OK (but not encoded yet, so I will see)

Trying it now with 4500Kbps and key frames set to "auto", but it takes 60 mins to encode just 1.5 mins :(
Darn -- replying to myself here.
I think my mac is just too slow to play H.264 at those resolutions :(
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