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Old June 5th, 2005, 04:16 AM   #1
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H.264 video in QT 7 and DVD compression...

So apparently Quicktime 7 has a new codec for compression. My question is kind of a fundamental question regarding DVD encoding, but I'll use the H.264 codec as my vehicle for asking...

If I compress using a certain kind of compression to achieve best quality and lowest file size (using miniDV, dvcodec and then recompressing for DVD release)-- Are DVD's natively mpeg4? So... would it make any sense to compress it using any other codec before you convert to mpeg4 for dvd?

What good is the h.264 video codec if we are just recompressing the file in mpeg4? Is there an improvement?

Is there an ideal way to compress for DVD. I'm doing a long form concert/interview/interactive DVD for a band, and I dont know the best way to approach compression. I obviously want great image quality, but need to fit a lot of content on the dual-layer disk as well...

Any suggestions for best way? (Final Cut Pro, Mac based)

And obviously, if you can give me compression in a nutshell for DVD's... that'd be helpful. (I know theres probably a thread around here that answers these questions-- any references would be appreciated)

Thanks! apologies for the lengthy rambling...Just trying to make sure I'm making sense to you...

~jeff
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Old June 5th, 2005, 07:09 PM   #2
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Quote:
Are DVD's natively mpeg4?
The standard for DVDs is MPEG-2. You can't use MPEG-4.
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So... would it make any sense to compress it using any other codec before you convert to mpeg4 for dvd?
You want to avoid recompressing as much as possible. This means exporting to MPEG-2 directly from the timeline. Or if you using another application to make your DVD you would export to a QuickTime DV file (you might also be able to use a QT reference movie to point back to the Final Cut Pro project; someone else with working knowledge of the Final Cut Pro to DVD authoring program workflow would have to confirm or deny this).
Quote:
Is there an ideal way to compress for DVD.
No. Less compression is better, up to a point. You don't want to go over the maximum DVD bit rate (10.08 Mbps for both audio and video).
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I'm doing a long form concert/interview/interactive DVD for a band, and I dont know the best way to approach compression. I obviously want great image quality, but need to fit a lot of content on the dual-layer disk as well...
How many hours/minutes do you expect your final project to be?
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Last edited by Christopher Lefchik; June 5th, 2005 at 10:11 PM.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 06:51 AM   #3
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Thanks!
yeah, got the mpg2/4 mixed up.

I'm thinking the project could run anywhere from 2 to 4 hours? I have live footage and interview footage, as well as 'extras' of past performances,memorobilia,pictures etc...

~jeff
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Old June 24th, 2005, 11:18 AM   #4
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h.264 does not fit in the standard-definition dvd equation... but it is one of the codecs of choice for the future high-def dvd's... so you won't need it for what you are doing now.

the best possible scenario would be that all of your various snippets of footage were shot in dv... so you could edit the entire project in dv, without any loss of picture quality due to re-encoding the footage.

what is critical to the picture quality of a dvd is the mpeg2 encoder... you want two-pass encoding at the minimum, preferably vbr as well, if space is limited... set the vbr peak encoding rates for at least 8 mbps.

using ac3 audio would allow for best compatibility, and leave the most room for the highest possible video bitrate... but since it's a concert, you'll probably want to use a really high bitrate for the ac3, or maybe even uncompressed audio? i have never made a concert dvd, check out the genre to see how it's typically done.

you can save disc space on the dvd by using low video and audio bitrates for the interviews... but most dvd authoring software is not capable of mixing bitrates, so check that out ahead of time.
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