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Old May 30th, 2006, 01:20 PM   #1
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MPEG2 hardware encoder, anyone?

Is anyone using hardware mpeg2 encoders? I've checked canopus MVR-pro seriers on the web - my feeling is that they're mostly for analogue capture?

My goal is a HW card that accelerates my "in pc" conversions(AVI->MPEG2 mostly). Is there such a card? Maybe one of the Hauppage TV-cards?

// Lazze
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Old May 30th, 2006, 11:54 PM   #2
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in edit, would have to be a Matrox RT unit or a Storm 2 with the MPG2 daughterboard depending on ur NLE osf choice.

The MVRs are for digital and analogue, however theyre designed for direct to mpg capture, which IMO isnt worth doing as u can go and get urself a lowly Pinnacle Studio 9 now for less than a hundred bux and do the same thing in SW..
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Old May 31st, 2006, 03:08 PM   #3
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I actually had a Storm2 like a year ago - got rid of it. The drivers where bad to the bones at that time.

I would simply like a MPEG2 encoder board, not for editing - just a fancy MPEG2 encoder working at the speed of light :-) For converting filetype XX into HQ MPEG2

// Lazze
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Old May 31st, 2006, 04:16 PM   #4
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Lars: were you trying to use DVStorm with Adobe Premiere? It's been working fine for me with the Canopus Edius software and can convert anything Edius can open to MPEG2 in real time. MPEG2 quality is good at higher bit rates (e.g. >5000 Kbps) but starts to drop off at lower bit rates compared to dual-pass software-based encoding. I've used DVStorm for much of my MPEG2 output for the past several years, and it still works in real time when rendering HDV source material to widescreen SD DVD files.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 05:03 PM   #5
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lars, some of the higher-end dvd recorders on the market do a decent job of encoding mpeg2; sony in particular, from what i've seen.

just record it to a rewriteable dvd, then rip it back to your hard drive... it'll go straight into your dvd authoring program after that.
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Old June 1st, 2006, 04:42 AM   #6
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Lars, have you tried any software encoders such as MainConcept's MPEG Encoder 1.5.1 or any of Cinemacraft's encoders? I use both MainConcept MPEG Encoder 1.5.1 and Cinemacraft Basic.

MainConcept MPEG Encoder encodes a .avi > mpeg2 at realtime when using CBR. Cinamacraft Basic encodes a .avi > mpeg2 at half real time when using CBR. Cinemacraft Basic can also be used as a plug-in to Premiere/Premiere Pro so you can export your Timeline very fast and with the quality of Cinemacraft. Both are great encoders with high encoding speed and gives you a great quality and has affordable prices.

Both encoders are stand alone versions. Cinemacraft Basic can be used as a stand alone encoder and as a plug in to Premiere/Premiere Pro.

I am using a P4 3.2GHz and 2GB RAM

Give them a try, there are demo versions aviable for download:
- MainConcept MPEG Encoder 1.5.1
- Cinemacraft Basic
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Old June 1st, 2006, 05:09 AM   #7
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" am using a P4 3.2GHz and 2GB RAM"

with specs like that, u should be getting at least 35 to 45fps output... not realtime...
I get these speeds with a HT 3.0ghz with 1 gb ram
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Old June 1st, 2006, 06:43 AM   #8
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Thanks for all your input!

I have MC 1.5.1 and CCE Basic - they're good. CCE Basic delivers 4x realtime on my AMD 4.6+ X2 machine so that is good, but it drains the cpu.

A DVD with "camera in" is a rather good suggestion. Then my wife could transfer tapes as well....good one

I was using Storm & Premiere 1.0/1.5 - not a good combo at that time. I do not like the Edius interface. It may be a good NLE but it looks like hell, IMHO

Once again, thanks for all input.

//Lazze
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Old June 1st, 2006, 09:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars Siden
I have MC 1.5.1 and CCE Basic - they're good. CCE Basic delivers 4x realtime on my AMD 4.6+ X2 machine so that is good, but it drains the cpu.
When you say 4x realtime, do you mean that CCE can encode a minute of timeline in 15 seconds, or 4 minutes? If it's the former, you wouldn't need a hardware encoder, right?
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Old June 1st, 2006, 09:46 AM   #10
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CCE encodes a minute of video in about 15-20 seconds - but at full CPU load. I'd like to have my computer free to do other things. This post was written before I tested CCE, so in a way the need for hardware is less.

Reading the other inputs of this thread I feel that getting an external DVD player/writer with HDD and DV in should be really good. That way other people than me could transfer DV -> DVD. And if I get like a KISS VR 558, I can access the captured data via ethernet for further processing later if I want to.

// Lazze
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Old June 1st, 2006, 10:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars Siden
CCE encodes a minute of video in about 15-20 seconds - but at full CPU load. I'd like to have my computer free to do other things.
Ah, I was wondering if that was one of your concerns. For what it's worth, you can buy a basic computer now for less than what a good hardware encoder costs, then just use that for all your encoding, authoring and burning tasks.
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Old June 1st, 2006, 10:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
" am using a P4 3.2GHz and 2GB RAM"

with specs like that, u should be getting at least 35 to 45fps output... not realtime...
I get these speeds with a HT 3.0ghz with 1 gb ram
You are right, i was totally wrong on that one.

I did a test now and encoded a PAL file, 64124 frames long. It took 1350 seconds at MainConcepts default settings, one pass, CBR 6 kbps. This gives me 47.5 frames/second.

Way better than realtime! :)

/Roger
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Old June 5th, 2006, 11:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
Ah, I was wondering if that was one of your concerns. For what it's worth, you can buy a basic computer now for less than what a good hardware encoder costs, then just use that for all your encoding, authoring and burning tasks.
my thoughts exactly which is why i went and built a second smaller unit for the purpose of capturing, drafting and authoring.
Prolly one of the smartest investments i made.. While i edit, capture, while i process i author and with removable rack HDD's all u have to do is swap ur drives as u go along.. much like a maccas burger making line up..
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Old June 5th, 2006, 11:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Averdahl
You are right, i was totally wrong on that one.

I did a test now and encoded a PAL file, 64124 frames long. It took 1350 seconds at MainConcepts default settings, one pass, CBR 6 kbps. This gives me 47.5 frames/second.

Way better than realtime! :)

/Roger
Im a bit of a cheat..
With the second machine i built, ive installed Pinnacle Studio9, which has an inbuilt MPG encoder upon capture. So if i have a client who wants raw footage, i can captrue straight into the PC as MPG2 with Studio9. Yes its a consumer program, but put it this way, a Matrox RTx100 can also do this, but that costs at least 1300bux... Studio9 cost me 80bux... and i didnt need to built a PC to the spec of the RT unit..So with this, i dont have to capture as AVI then convert to MPG.. i just capture and voila, it there..By capturing avi then encoding the MPG, your still taking up alot of time..
Dans suggestion of a standalone recorder is a great idea, however the issue with that is that some players may have issues with compatibilty
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Old June 6th, 2006, 04:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
By capturing avi then encoding the MPG, your still taking up alot of time..
Yes, but i dont want to edit highly compressed files such as mpeg2. If i want to capture mpeg2 i can do it with MainConcept MPEG Encoder though.

/Roger
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