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Old October 17th, 2002, 07:47 PM   #1
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What's the best MPEG 2 Encoder

Can someone tell me what is the best MPEG 2 encoder available, under about $1200?

Thanks

Ron
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Old October 17th, 2002, 08:09 PM   #2
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What platform, Mac or PC?

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Old October 18th, 2002, 09:17 AM   #3
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Tricky question.

There are hardware and software encoders. Prices go from
hundreds to $30K+. Long crunches to realtime.

If you want "Hollywood" results, you'll have to spend Hollywood $$$.
(I don't know HOW they get almost two hours (4mbs) that looks great.
Then again, they hand out oscars for this.)
Part of the high end process is to use uncompressed footage
(so for DV, sample it in and save off as uncompressed) run that through
a $40K hardware de-noiser, then encode with 2 or 3 pass variable bit
rate encoder.

For us normal humans, I've heard that one of the best mpeg2
encoders is Heuris.com.'s Power Professional DVD. Long crunches, but excellent results. It was $2500, but I think it's about a grand these days.
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Old October 18th, 2002, 10:34 AM   #4
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The $1200 Canopus DVStorm 2 PC-based DV editing card now ships with an hardware MPEG encoding module (previously costing $400 by itself).

The performance is pretty snappy, about 1.1 times real-time (a 40 minute project would render in about 45 minutes). See www.canopus.com for their MPEG encoder product line. Hope this helps,
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Old October 18th, 2002, 11:59 AM   #5
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One of the best software encoders (which you can both download
demos off) I've seen are (for PC):

1. Cinema Craft Encoder (CCE) -> expensive, best results
www.cinemacraft.com
2. TMPGEnc -> cheap, very good results
www.tmpgenc.net or .com

Try there demos. Both can be very frightening products at
first but deliver truly amazing quality. Check out the guides on
these two at doom9.org -> guides -> authoring -> encoding.
You'll find guides for both there (mainly targeted at DVD ripping,
but you can use their settings etc.)

Good luck.
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Old October 19th, 2002, 08:43 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone.

I downloaded the Heuris encoder and it wouldn't even run on my PC (Windows by the way) What I did see of the U/I looked patchy. But I didn't get to see what the final output was like so can't comment on that.

However, I did download the TMPGenc and that is fantastic! Excellent quality and packed full of features that blow the mind. Easy to use an only $50! Also, they allow a 30 day open trial.

Regards

Ron
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Old October 19th, 2002, 02:01 PM   #7
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TmpgEnc is wonderfull and outperforms all the "expensive" guys!
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Old October 19th, 2002, 04:34 PM   #8
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Also....

TMPGEnc has a multithread capability which took full advantage of the Dual processors on my machine and the 2 pass encoding was very fast.

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Old October 21st, 2002, 11:42 AM   #9
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TMPGEnc is great indeed. Although many consider it to be too
slow (CCE is a lot faster). But then again, for $50 you cannot
beat that product! I'd rather wait a bit longer for sweeter
quality than the other way around. MPEG compression is the
last step in the process anyway, so doesn't hurt to let the
PC render for a few days if needed.
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Old October 22nd, 2002, 12:44 AM   #10
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Here is a great link for TMPGenc

This is great site/page for DVD compliant MPEG2. Check it out at:

http://pwp.netcabo.pt/rmn/TMPGEnc_Template.html
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