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Old July 12th, 2011, 02:13 PM   #1
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Will an MPEG-1 with a larger frame size cause me any problems down the road?

I make and sell MPEG-1 files, and I am testing encoding software that can increase the frame size from 352 x 240 to 704 x 480; i.e. doubling it. The result is, not surprisingly, a much, much better picture quality and, more surprisingly, only a slightly increased file size. I think my clients will be pleased, but before I start shipping I want to know if anybody knows if there will be any problems down the road from having an MPEG-1 with greater resolution?

I'm thinking something along the lines of the problems I sometimes encountered back when I started increasing the bitrate of MPEGs to 1200 Mbps. Occasionally a computer, viewer, editing system could not handle it properly, although that problem went away quickly. Can anyone foresee a similar problem occurring, or ANY problem, by increasing the frame size?

Thanks.
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Old July 12th, 2011, 05:27 PM   #2
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Re: Will an MPEG-1 with a larger frame size cause me any problems down the road?

MPEG-1 decoders were only required to go to SIF (352x240) to be minimally compliant with the spec. Probably most can exceed that, the full spec goes up to 4k.

But who really knows? MPEG-1 is ancient history, 20 years old. The price you pay today is a lack of continuing development of supporting software/hardware, and poorer quality for a given bitrate.

It's sort of a dead end. If the reason to stay MPEG-1 is to support older players, those same players are less likely to support higher resolution.

Why not upgrade to h.264/MPEG-4, the current cross-platform leader for picture quality for bitrate?
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Old July 12th, 2011, 11:17 PM   #3
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Re: Will an MPEG-1 with a larger frame size cause me any problems down the road?

Well, since the players must of my ultimate users will use is either WMV, QuickTime Player, or something similar, then it seems unlikely that anybody's player will cause me problems. Seems to me that any player made today, if its going to compete with WMV or QT, will have to be better, at least.

As for upgrading to a different format: not my decision. Gotta give the customer what they want. I imagine that the switch will occur within a few years, though. But for now, its MPEG-1.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 12:25 AM   #4
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Re: Will an MPEG-1 with a larger frame size cause me any problems down the road?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Reeser View Post
I make and sell MPEG-1 files, and I am testing encoding software that can increase the frame size from 352 x 240 to 704 x 480; i.e. doubling it. The result is, not surprisingly, a much, much better picture quality and, more surprisingly, only a slightly increased file size.

Can anyone foresee a similar problem occurring, or ANY problem, by increasing the frame size?

Thanks.
With 704x480, you won't have any problems as long as your client is happy with MPEG-1.

With modern computers, 1280x720 is easy, and 1920x1080 (full HD) might be difficult depending on the type of compression one uses.

Instead of 480, I urge you to go up to 600 - (and the corresponding first value based on your aspect ratio and pixel aspect ratio). With your aspect ratio (which is around 1.5:1), it would work out to be 880x600.

Hope this helps.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 08:24 AM   #5
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Re: Will an MPEG-1 with a larger frame size cause me any problems down the road?

Interesting idea of going to 880x600. I may have to try that. Although mpeg-1 is older it's also tried and true. I still recommend it for anybody wanting to put video into a Power Point presentation. Why? Because mpeg-1 plays on anything, Mac or PC with little to no problems. I've seen it play correctly on a 200 mhz PC. As for the size, you should be fine. That's the same size that I recommend for cleaner video and especially if there are is any text or graphics. My default is the same size but I bump up the bitrate to 2100.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 11:10 AM   #6
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Re: Will an MPEG-1 with a larger frame size cause me any problems down the road?

In my opinion no codec is 'good' or 'bad'. They are either more efficient or less efficient at compressing data while maintaining as much visual similarity to the original video. The newer codecs, like H.264, are just more efficient than MPEG-1 or 2. The downside to the newer codecs, is that you have too many choices within the codec, and this leads to incompatibility issues.

In an ideal scenario, every codec will give you the same visual quality as long as you have no restrictions on bit rate or hard disk space.

Having said that, I would suggest moving on to MPEG-2, since there is a huge quality improvement at the same file sizes, and as of now every player can play MPEG-2, which is also a standard DVD.
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