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Old February 5th, 2003, 04:28 PM   #1
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Rendering to .avi vs MPEG2

I have come to trust you guys, and I need some off topic advice. If you had the option to render your work to an .avi or an MPEG2 file, which would you choose and why?

I am trying to speed up DVD burning without sacrificing quality.
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Old February 5th, 2003, 04:37 PM   #2
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Depends entirely on your non-linear editing system... some edit in AVI, some in MPEG. For instance, I use a Canopus DV Rex RT which uses .avi and it's a real-time editor. The final edit is then authored to DVD in the mpeg2 format.
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Old February 5th, 2003, 05:29 PM   #3
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If you are going to DVD you should render to MPEG2. That is your
target. While editting and doing post work (ie, before the final
render) I would personally stick with DV based compression or
uncompressed.

If your Premiere edit is the final cut and it does not need to
go through any other program (like After Effects for example)
then you can even frameserve (through a special little tool)
directly to the MPEG2 encoder (TMPGEnc or CCE) without the
files being re-encoded to DV or some other format. They will
be straight transcoded to MPEG2 without an intermediate
file on your disks.
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Old February 6th, 2003, 12:17 PM   #4
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Does the video card make any difference in the quality of a AVI to MPEG2 conversion. My AVI looks great, but after the MPEG2 rendering, it looks like crap. I've even created DVD's using the original AVI (Sonic MyDVD will do that) and the footage looks perfect. The same clip rendered to MPEG2 looks like crap. I'm wondering if upgrading to the big 128MB GeForce would help?
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Old February 6th, 2003, 01:19 PM   #5
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The video card will have a little to do with the look of MPEG2 playback, but if you're viewing DV just fine, then I doubt your video card is playing a part in bad looking MPEG2. It's much more likely related to the mpeg2 encoder or player you're using.

You said a dvd looks fine but mpeg2 doesn't, which doesn't really make any sense, since the DVD *is* mpeg2. Are you using a different encoder, or different settings when you do the standalone mpeg2 encodes, vs "creating dvds using the original avi" in Sonic?
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Old February 6th, 2003, 01:31 PM   #6
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Now that you say that I probably am. I quess Sonic is doing a conversion internally, but if it is, it's very fast because is takes no time at all.
Here's the deal:
When I make a DVD with Sonic directly from an AVI = perfect.
When I convert the AVI to MPEG using Ulead and then make the DVD = not perfect.

That's why I thought my video card was the bottleneck. So you think I should try a different MPEG codec?
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Old February 6th, 2003, 01:43 PM   #7
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Yeah, your problem is definitely the Ulead encoder. You might look at MainConcept or TMPpeg. If you have Sonic Foundry Vegas, the mpeg2 encoder included is MainConcept.
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Old February 7th, 2003, 05:42 AM   #8
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The video card will not play any role in MEPG2 encoding. It
will (and more importantly your monitor!) when viewing it, ofcourse!

Now the best software encoder that I know off for the price ($48)
is TMPGEnc which can be found at www.tmpgenc.net. It
takes some getting used to but it can create beautiful mpeg2.
It has a demo available if you want to try it out. It can be quite
slow though, but that is what you pay for a high quality output
file, which in my mind, is a little thing to pay!
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Old February 10th, 2003, 09:10 AM   #9
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Rob, thanks. I downloaded the trial version, but it seems it only converts one existing "file" to MPEG. Is it possible to get it to create directly from the timeline? Because if I have to create a file first, then I'm still using my Ulead codecs.
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Old February 10th, 2003, 03:00 PM   #10
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There was no notice anyone was responding. Sorry for not participating in a thread I initiated.

I have been using Sonic MyDVD and Vegas' included MainConcept MPEG2 encoder. The difference has been primarily in the audio where the MyDVD .avi to DVD conversion has proven to be the best quality option tried thus far.

My only complaint is the time. It takes more than an hour each DVD (30 min from a 6 Gb .avi file).

If anyone knows a way to shorten the time without sacrificing quality, I am very interested.
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Old February 10th, 2003, 03:05 PM   #11
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Yeah that's because it's doing an internal avi to mpeg2 conversion. I'd be happy to get good results regardless of the time. You are having the same problem I am. You want a GOOD way to convert to MPEG2. I'm going to keep playing with the TMPGenc.
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Old February 10th, 2003, 06:04 PM   #12
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Alex, you need to use a frame server to move it to TMPGenc. take a look at Avery Lee's Avisynth and Virtual Dub for pulling it all together
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Old February 10th, 2003, 09:45 PM   #13
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I hate to sound like such an idiot, but much of this thread is thoroughly confusing me. It sounds like in order to get the best quality DVD Brad is rendering to .avi and then encoding to mpeg2? I was under the impression that rendering to mainconcept mpeg2 DVD NTSC with Vegas would be top quality. Should I encode my videos with another program after I render with Vegas or am I completely missing something here?
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Old February 12th, 2003, 02:56 PM   #14
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Hey Dan,

The real problem I am finding with MainConcepts MPEG2 encoder is in the audio. There is an obvious distortion that exists on what was originally a very clean audio track.

In addition, you can see on the created DVD that the amount of disk space used for the original .avi file conversion to MPEG2 through MyDVD is considerable more than the amount used from the MainConcept MPEG2 rendering. The difference would indicate to me that not nearly as much data was being burned to the disk using MainConcept's rendered MPEG2.

I don't know if this will help, but I have accepted my 1.5 hour DVD production rate knowing the quality is excellent going the long way.

Brad
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Old February 12th, 2003, 08:43 PM   #15
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Brad,

Thanks that is very helpful. I am looking into getting a DVD burner and authoring software and trying to make sure I get the right stuff. As someone new to digital video I didn't know Sonic DVD and other DVD software would convert the videos into DVD format. I thought I would need to render all of my files as MPEG2. I did this with Vegas and was surprised that it took up less disk space than I expected. It sounds like you are rendering to avi with Vegas and then Sonic DVD converts the video to MPEG2 during the authoring process, correct?

Thanks again.
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