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Old April 8th, 2010, 10:50 PM   #1
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Quicktime h.264 very slow at encoding .....

Greetings,

I need to know what I'm doing wrong. I have use iMovie 09 build [8.0.6] on (4) different Macs ( MBpro 13/15", 27" i7 iMac and mac mini ) All the units are running OSX 10.6.3. I also use Final Cut Express 4.0.1. I shoot sports events with a Canon HDV30 using 30p and import to iMovie. After my footage is cut I end up with ~1hr worth of footage. The problem that I'm having is that is takes a minimum of 24hrs or more to encode (1) event to Quicktime using the following settings.

Video::
compression: h.264
Quality: high
Key Frame rate: 30
Bitrate: 5,000 kbits/sec
Frame reordering: yes
Encoding mode: multi-pass
Dimensions: 1280x720 (1248x702)
Scale: letterbox

Sound::
Format: ACC
Sample rate: 44.100 kHz
Bit rate: 128 kbps

This same length of time occurs when i export to FCE or iMovie. I'm trying to achieve high quality HD video for Vimeo. What am I doing wrong? Did something change in Quicktime via a patch or with OSX 10.6.3? Although I'm running Snow Leopard i also installed the legacy Quicktime 7 version. Please help, I'm shooting 5-7 games in a weekend and right now I don't have time to get everything processed do the amount of time a single encode is taking.

Any and all help and comments are greatly appreciated.

Please review the attachments for additional information.

Would I gain anything by using .mp4 vs .mov
Attached Thumbnails
Quicktime h.264 very slow at encoding .....-export_size.png   Quicktime h.264 very slow at encoding .....-compression_settings.png  

Quicktime h.264 very slow at encoding .....-movie_settings.png  
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Old April 9th, 2010, 01:05 AM   #2
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Sounds similar to the encode times I get. H.264 is a pretty high intensity codec to encode, especially when going for quality.
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Old April 9th, 2010, 01:13 AM   #3
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I agree...sounds a little long to me but on those computers, reasonable. To really bump up the speed, the multi pass option could be turned off.
Have you looked into Matrox MX02 with Max? There's a version for laptops with an express34 slot. Hardware and software bundled and It's much faster at encoding h264.

Otherwise, might have to upgrade to a macpro with 8 cores. (still get the MX02 with Max)
Mine absolutely rips through h264 encoding using the Matrox codec.
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Old April 9th, 2010, 12:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Turchick View Post
Otherwise, might have to upgrade to a macpro with 8 cores. (still get the MX02 with Max)
Mine absolutely rips through h264 encoding using the Matrox codec.
Glad to hear - my next box with be a Pro 8 core with the Matrox encoder and I was HOPING to get those results... as soon as the new Pros come out, that is...
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Old June 7th, 2010, 08:11 PM   #5
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Elgato...

Look into the Elgato Turbo H.264 encoder. It's just a USB Dongle that accelerates encoding to H.264 specifically. relatively cheap if you need speed during the encoding process. Only offers single-pass, but as its a hardware solution the quality is pretty good.

Is there any specific reason that you have "Frame reordering" on?
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Old June 8th, 2010, 09:53 PM   #6
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Jonathan.....

I've noticed that you've got filtering enabled....Get rid of it. It will destroy your times..You're better off filtering in post, and let the encoder do it's job..
Also, if time is a problem, use VBR 1 pass...

Good luck!!!
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Old June 9th, 2010, 08:14 AM   #7
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Jonathan, have you looked into Handbrake yet? It's available for both Mac and PC and it is using the x264 codec (compatible with h264).

Lightening fast on my i7/920 PC. Can encode an hour of HD video faster than real time, settings depending.
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Old June 20th, 2010, 07:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul E. Coleman View Post
Look into the Elgato Turbo H.264 encoder. It's just a USB Dongle that accelerates encoding to H.264 specifically. relatively cheap if you need speed during the encoding process. Only offers single-pass, but as its a hardware solution the quality is pretty good.
Here's another vote for the Elgato Turbo.264 The quality is very good indeed & on my Mac Pro I get encoding speeds of around real time. In a single stream workload your 2.8GHz i7 iMac should be even faster than my 8-core 2.8GHz Xeon so you could achieve even better encode speeds.
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