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Old December 23rd, 2004, 05:47 AM   #1
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tmpgenc and MPEG-1 encoding tips

Ok, so I wanted to try some experiments to see if I could get decent quality/small file size with MPEG-1 files, and I want to use TMPGENC as the encoder. I was about to start my experiments when I got to a particular stage of the encoding wizard, where you are allowed to customize the process in very precise detail. There are so options, I wouldn't even know where to begin. Anyone got any tips?

Remember, this is MPEG-1, not -2 or -4.

I searched the forums here, but the threads seemed to be geared toward DVD authoring.
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Old December 29th, 2004, 04:39 AM   #2
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It's probably better to search for TMPGEnc and VCD (Video CD)
since that is MPEG-1. I did a small google search and found this:

http://www.videohelp.com/tmpgenc.htm
http://www.digital-digest.com/dvd/ar...pgenc_vcd.html
http://www.animemusicvideos.org/guid...ech/mpeg1.html

Hope this will help you, good luck!
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Old December 29th, 2004, 04:42 AM   #3
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Thanks, Rob. I'll check those out.
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Old January 16th, 2005, 08:23 PM   #4
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The only thing I would say is why MPEG-1?

I mean, it has it's day but there are so many other great formats out there. Nero digital, Quicktime, WMV -- all are better.

Don't get me wrong, MPEG-1/VCD is nice and useful, but when you start playing with higher MPEG-1 resolutions you see a lot of compression noise.

I'd use it only for cross platform compatibility as just about any PC and version of Windows will play MPEG-1 (Macs as well for that matter).


MB
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Old January 16th, 2005, 08:27 PM   #5
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Yes, exactly. It would save me the trouble of having a Windows Media and Quicktime versions of each thing on my site, just have one version of everything.
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Old January 17th, 2005, 12:07 PM   #6
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No, no -- don't put it up online.

MPEG-1 is not made for that, it sucks on low data rates and I don't believe has a progressive download option, that is when your player gets little packets of data and can start playing immediately as the other packets continue to load. MPEG1 I believe has to be downloaded entirely before it begins to play in your player. Now if you want people to download it as a file, that's another thing.

Still, it's not a big deal to go with either:

- Quicktime
- WMV
- both

Are you on a Mac or PC, is your target audience mostly PC?

I use Quicktime (although I use PC's) with a link to the player, most PC users at one point or another wind up having to download Quicktime (example, all my PC friends have it). And, if they don't, a link on your page and voila -- they can download the player and see your movie.



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Old January 17th, 2005, 01:38 PM   #7
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Target audience is whoever. I have everything up there as WMV, a few things as QT.
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Old January 17th, 2005, 05:12 PM   #8
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Okay, I see what you're doing. Your playing around with MPEG-1 more than likely to put beneath WMV and Quicktime as another option to your demo reel.

The datarate on the MPEG-1, might need to be higher than that of the other two to match in quality, though.

By the way, don't know what you're using to encode, it looks great. But, if you get a chance also try Sorenson Squeeze 4 for Quicktime & Windows Media and Procoder 2 for MPEG1/VCD video. These two tools using those codecs are simply outstanding.

Great work, nice site, nice reel, Josh.



MB
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Old January 17th, 2005, 05:30 PM   #9
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Thanks.

For encoding, I make QT5 files from Vegas, just played with settings 'til I got a decent quality vs. file size (I can email them or post 'em on here, if you like). What really helps, I'd guess, is using a 15fps framerate. For some reason, at least to me, it looks acceptable, though a bit stroby, on a PC monitor. On a TV, probably look crappy. That's got to save a ton on file size, no?

I WAS using the windows media encoder to do the wmv files, though I had a problem with this recently, and found some decent settings for doing it in Vegas.

As I said, the MPEG-1 thing was a suggestion from a mac owner, for use on my website, his reasoning being that every player could read it, on any platform. I agree that quality is an issue, because when I first started messing with web stuff, I did MPEG-1 and found the results rather sub par.
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Old January 18th, 2005, 08:38 AM   #10
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I personally wouldn't bother with MPEG-1, the quality hit is the reason you never see it online.

All Mac guys will be able to play your Quicktime version and all Windows users will be able to play Windows Media, although they might need to update their player to do so (not a big deal).

I find MPEG-1 useful when you go to a producer with a CD-ROM to show, or handout a CD-ROM where the company targetted might be running Windows NT or very old computers and maybe Internet access might be limited. The most embarrasing thing is in having a video clip not play when you show it during a meeting or something, so MPEG-1 is a nice backup as it will always play.

I've used and tested Vegas as well but Sorenson Squeeze is superior. Windows Media Encoder is very basic and lacks a lot of the filters provided with Squeeze. Vegas of course has all that stuff, but there's something special about Squeeze's look.

I've put an example of Squeeze online so you can see for yourself. I shot this in LA at Mole Richardson for an IFC TV series I made. The camera was an older XL1 in non movie mode, just standard shutter/DV. It was lit with a Chimera bank and an Arri 300W backlight.

Here's the link:
http://s13.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=0...D05RH2RCDI8OS6

BTW, make sure to update Quicktime and Windows Media Player to their latest release for best quality.


MB
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Old January 18th, 2005, 01:36 PM   #11
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Thanks. Is squeeze a free encoder?
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Old January 18th, 2005, 03:07 PM   #12
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squeeze costs big bucks, but it'll be nice to have when the h.264 mpeg4 players start hitting the streets.

mpeg1 was what i used to encode for the web back in the mid '90's... that, and cinepak qt, lol... it was horrible! don't get suckered into putting garbage like that on your website... macs only make up about 3% of the computers on the internet, but they will work fine with qt.

by now you should be able to look at your web stats and see what computing platforms are accessing your content.

the secret to good web video is to always use a two-pass encoder, no matter what format you choose... i believe that you can do that with the freebie wmv encoder from microsoft, if there are issues with exporting it from vegas.

the decision to use cbr or vbr wmv boils down to how the video will be served... if you are using a real dedicated streaming server(big $$!!), cbr is usually the way to go, but if you are serving up your web video with the typical http: connection, vbr can be a better choice because the clip uses less bandwidth for comparable quality.
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Old January 18th, 2005, 03:30 PM   #13
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Thanks guys.
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