One more HD to SD DVD conversion test at

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Old August 4th, 2009, 05:51 AM   #1
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Location: Malmo Sweden
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One more HD to SD DVD conversion test

A couple of weeks ago i finished a short film and prepared myself for the HD to SD conversion to make DVDs. Iīm saying i prepared myself because the movie have some particularities:
It is a single 5 minutes shot where the camera never stop moving
Have a lot of very fine details and lots of patterns (bricks, meshes, small graffitties, etc)
Have very high saturation overall
The movie was made mixing animation, cg, filming, etc with lots of compositing

Since no one frame was identical to the next or previous frame (not even a single pixel) i knew that the compressor was going to have hard time making an mpeg for the DVD.
I made the first version using compressor with the highest quality settings and the result was.... impossible to watch....sooo bad.
So decided to get a solution i started to conduct some tests. I tried:

Converting and resampling (resize) in AE and then compressing
Making all at once in AE
Making an SD timeline in FCS, dropping the HD comp inside and compressing from there
The same with Premiere
I tried at least 10 diverse compression softwares at diverse studios including: BitVice, Episode Pro, Adobe media Encoder etc, etc, etc playing with the parameters in each but the result was far from good.

Finally i tried Hc encoder HC Encoder a freeware software that uses avisynth as the engine and the result was....astonishing....soo good that i couldn't believe!!!

I called a friend (filmmaker too) and when i said that the result was like night and day i could see the doubt on his expression: "Martin, you are exaggerating" but when he saw the result...WOW, it is exactly like that....night and day

The image is so crisp, the details are all there (it was the only compressor to retain the small letters readable), the colors too, the noise almost non visible (the original have no noise at all since most of the film is animated but the compressors created tons of noise),
and as a plus the compression was like 10 times faster that any other software.

Now the question come? how is that possible that a small freeware makes a way much better job than a 1000 USD soft?

I truly recommend you to give it a try and see for yourself.
Martin Chab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 4th, 2009, 11:54 PM   #2
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Location: San Jose, California
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What type of file did you output from Premiere and approximately how long was your re-encode time for DVD (real time?). Is this program multi-core optimized? What is your typical CPU usage during encoding?
Oren Arieli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 5th, 2009, 03:47 AM   #3
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Hi Oren,
Well, it is a little more complex than that in this case.
My original footage is a 16 bits tiff sequence and was originally generated in After Effects.
I work with a Mac pro 8 processors with 24 Gigs RAM a 30 Tb hardware based RAID (stripped/mirrored) and double graphics accelerators so i donīt believe i can blame the machine.
For the tests on OSX i rendered a version in ProRes 422HQ and a AVI Uncompressed for the tests on Windows.
In Compressor i rendered through Qmaster using all 8 processors and without that too.
I cant tell you the multiprocessor capabilities of BitVice or HC encoder but what i can tell you is that HC encoder was way faster than any other encoder iīve tried and the results were incredibly better.
I didnīt measure the CPU usage but i have to make an NTSC version and i will take a look and post the result.
Martin Chab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 22nd, 2009, 03:26 PM   #4
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Location: Sydney Australia
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I just tried this at home with all the mpeg i-Frame downmloadable presets.

My footage is HDV from a Sony Z5P.

Now im planning on making (2) DVD'S with 3 speakers(corporate talk seminar) on each dvd. So each DVD has 3 speakers of 1 hour each.

Now my first HDV profect totalled 2 hours and 45 minutes for 3 speakers. When i exported with adobe media encoder with the i-frame presets at 100 mgbts the total M2V file size was 120 gigabytes????????????? the raw footage is only 30gb.

Am i doing something wrong? It took 25 hours to render the footage and beacuse it was so large virtualdub and HC Encoder couldnt open it and eventually went non reposnsive and crashed....

How can i use the I-Frame presets and keep file size at around 30gb which is what the original RAW footage size is... I wonder why it adds another 100gb onto the file size for no reason???

The write up states encoding is quick and losless..... it sure was not quick i can tell you that.

any help aprreciated


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