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Old February 4th, 2003, 10:30 PM   #1
ppbvideo
 
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Codec Quality

I am trying to understand what the options around codecs are. Are there quality trade offs in what software you use to compress MPEG? I plan to deliver on DVD and I want to use the NLE that will give me the cleanest compression and highest quality video.

Are all compression techniques the same? Which is best?

I am not locked into either a mac or win platform at this point.

Thanks,

Ppb
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Old February 5th, 2003, 06:29 AM   #2
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When editing etc. stay in native DV or uncompressed. DVD only
allows for two formats which are MPEG1 (at 352x288 for PAL
and 320x240 for NTSC) and MPEG2 (AT 720X576 for PAL
and 720x480 for NTSC) at a pixel aspect of 0.9 for NTSC and
1.067 for PAL.

Since you want to keep the highest quality for DVD I suggest
you go with MPEG2. This is both the codec as well as the format.

The best encoder for the price and performance is TMPGEnc
which can be found at www.tmpgenc.net. It can be
difficult to learn though. Keep in mind that you must encode
with a DVD compliant profile.

After encoding (you might need to encode the audio in something
like AC3) you need to author your DVD. Most DVD burners include
a simple authoring package to get this done.

TMPGEnc runs only under Windows. I don't know if there are
any good encoders for the Mac at such a low price.
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Old February 10th, 2003, 09:21 AM   #3
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Rob, would you say the TMPGEnc codec is better than a hardware encoder like the new DVStorm2 card? I'm trying to decide if it's worth the immediate investment.

Maybe I need to just play with the TMPGEnc a little longer, but my initial impression wasn't very good. Any tips?
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Old February 11th, 2003, 05:05 AM   #4
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Alex,

I cannot tell you whether it is any better than a hardware board
since I do not have any experience with such. I do know that
personally I had some good results. However, the current chart
for quality on MPEG2 encoders (software) appears to be the
following:

1. Canopus ProCoder
2. Cinema Craft Encoder (CCE)
3. TMPGEnc

But when looking at prices the list changes fast:

1. TMPGEnc ($48)
2. ProCoder ($699 ?)
3. CCE ($2500 - 5000)

What settings are you using for TMPGEnc? The output quality
has much to do with the encoding method (CBR or VBR) and
the bitrate(s) you said (and number of passes in VBR).

Post your settings and I'll take a look at them!
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Old February 18th, 2003, 04:08 PM   #5
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Rob, when you say "good" results, how do they compare to the latest commercial DVD from Paramount Pictures?
When I think of good results, I want it to look like the original DV footage. Agreed?
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Old February 18th, 2003, 06:24 PM   #6
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Yes, Alex, agreed. I want it to look "just" like the DV footage
as much as possible. With careful encoding and getting to know
the program I do believe this is possible with TMPGEnc. Ofcourse
there are even better mpeg encoders out there (CCE or ProCoder),
but these will cost a lot more!

Try the demo and see what you think!
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