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Old July 28th, 2005, 09:22 AM   #1
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Avi Vs. Mpeg2 Vs. Wmv

Guys I'm fairly new to this stuff. But I'm trying to find the best format for producing video on the computer (PC not Mac). Then producing/burning it to a CD or DVD.

I have Roxio Movie Maker and there are a ton of options to choose when rendering the file. It appears AVI has produced the cleanest video thus far but it really eats up HD space and take a long time to produce. My guess is the AVI files are the Raw Files = no compression? Is the reason it takes so long do to individual scene/file transfers as opposed to block transfers??

Camera is a Panasonic DVC30

What am I missing?

I'm not sure if this ? is posted in the correct area, I have searched the forum - but I since I don't really know what I'm looking for I have found nothing as of yet. I thought the Open Discussion area might be a good place to start.

Moderator please move this ? to the proper area if needed.

Can anyone provide a link to previous discussions regarding this?

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Old July 28th, 2005, 10:00 AM   #2
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AVI is just a wrapper for the actual movie file, which could use any number of different codecs, or be uncompressed. To get your file on a DVD playable on set top DVD players you will need to render your video to an MPEG-2 file, and then use a DVD authoring application. Roxio Movie Maker might include DVD authoring functionality. If not, you will need to either upgrade to the latest version of your Roxio product (Roxio VideoWave 7 Professional?) or purchase a separate DVD authoring application.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 10:37 AM   #3
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AVI files are the Raw Files = no compression? Is the reason it takes so long do to individual scene/file transfers as opposed to block transfers??

There can be many different reasons for this:

Do you have many effects, have you used every transition there is? This can really bog down an encode. (Don't worry I used every transition imaginable when I started five years ago as well ;-)

MPEG-2 is the format you will need to use to get you final product to DVD, MPEG-1 is usually used for making a VCD, although at the cost of picture quality depending on the size of your project.

The on going debate for most media producers:

1. Edit in AVI and then when the project is done, encode to MPEG-2.

2.Or to save your disk space, encode your source material to MPEG-2, edit it and then render your final project in MPEG-2.

Either option at some point requires a lengthy encode to MPEG-2 be it and the start of the project or the end, so you will have to do it a some point no matter what.
I personally recomend only using the 1st option, others may argure that there is not much loss in qualityusing the second. I have found that to be slightly true in higher-end applications. However I have seen some really trashed video on lower-end apps. I would stay away from it at all costs.
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Last edited by Devin Eskew; July 28th, 2005 at 10:38 AM. Reason: Changed VDC to VCD!
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Old July 29th, 2005, 09:24 AM   #4
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Very good info! Thanks guys, that is the only option I did not do. I missed the AVI - MPEG2 converstion

I was able to burn the AVI files strait to a CD-R but it was just the individual files.

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Old August 12th, 2005, 01:17 PM   #5
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Just to add to this discussion.

Yes, AVI these days is generally the raw video from your NLE app captured from your camcorder. However, realize that Cinepak, Indeo and a few others (in fact even DivX) are .avi and can be heavily compressed. Luckily, a lot of those older codecs aren't used any more. If you download AVIcodec you can find out the codec used in your video clip.

For now think of your AVI from your NLE app as being your negative, now you need to deliver it.

Quicktime, Windows Media, RealVideo, MPEG, MPEG-4, DivX, FLASH are all good video delivery mothods. I use Quicktime, Windows Media and MPEG so can only comment on those:

- for web delivery on a site, Quicktime and Windows Media are both excellent. For the very best quality, I really like Quicktime encoded using Sorenson Squeeze and the Sorenson codec. The web video produced with Squeeze is the best I've ever seen, I guess this is why so many Hollywood studios use it.

Windows Media is also excellent, especially when encoded with a program like Canopus Procoder. Use is for web delivery as well.

- MPEG has two popular variations at the moment, one is MPEG2, mostly used for DVD and the other, the inferior MPEG1.

MPEG2 looks great on a PC, but note that you need an MPEG2 decoder to view your video on the other end and you need to buy one as XP does not come with one (PowerDVD, WinDVD all provide MPEG2 decoders). I'd use MPEG2 strictly for DVD and recommend using CinemaCraft or Procoder to encode MPEG2, they amazing at low datarates, better than encoding with your NLE app.

MPEG1 has one great use -- every single PC, Mac old or new, can play it. For 100% capability, go MPEG1. MPEG1 is a no brainer. I deliver TC MPEG1 video dubs for clients that want time code burns, never had a problem.

Hope this helps.

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