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Old April 4th, 2008, 11:26 AM   #1
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Blu Ray Not Ready for Prime Time with HVX200 Footage

Just a heads up for the Mac users.

The blu ray encodes using HVX200 footage are not very good out of Encore on a Mac. They also are not very good out of Toast 9 on a Mac.

This is with h.264 encoding, which is done internally using the Main Concept encoder for both Encore and Toast.

I've been working with the product manager for Encore to resolve some of the issues.

Banding, and flickering horizontal lines, etc.

Also Encore lacks the polish and workflow of DVD SP, and can be downright buggy at times.

Footage encoded to h.264 and authored in DVD SP 4.2 to HD DVD on red laser dye discs is qualitatively better appearing on a Toshiba HD set top.

No other Mac encoders can produce h.264 blu ray encodes.

I tested the mpeg2 blu ray encodes out of Compressor with Toast and Encore, and it produced severe artifacting.

I'll update as I learn more.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 12:05 PM   #2
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THANKS DS.... yes, please keep us in the loop on your findings. I expect we'll need to author Blu sooner rather than later....
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Old April 4th, 2008, 12:09 PM   #3
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I always found Encore to be buggy. But I don't have other tool to author BluRay. Adobe always like to give out vague error message with no further info.

They advertise authoring in Encore allows you to output to BluRay, DVD and Flash. Flash is fine. But author in BluRay and output to DVD is just hit or miss.

I didn't try H.264 Bluray yet as it takes forever to encode for a 4 hrs BluRay project. So I do MPEG-2 only. MainConcept MPEG engine is just inferior. I hated it especially the scene fade in from black. It's just blocky no matter how high the bit rate is.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 12:56 PM   #4
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I've done many burning with Encore with Blu-ray on Mac for HVX and HPX footage and I thought they were stunning.

Everyone looked at my Blu-ray discs thought so, too.

Did you set the encoding quality higher than the default?
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Old April 4th, 2008, 12:57 PM   #5
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Did you do H.264 or MPEG-2?
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Old April 5th, 2008, 07:17 AM   #6
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I did H.264 highest quality.
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Old April 5th, 2008, 11:13 AM   #7
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Kato:

With some HVX200 72/24p footage in h.264, stunning wouldn't be the word. I'm on Encore 8.0.2 in Leopard on a MacPro with a Lacie FW burner.

The same footage encoded at the same rate and authored in DVD SP for HD DVD looked stunning. Same footage, same encode rates.

However, things have improved with a custom preset in Compressor for mpeg2 blu ray using a program stream. But h.264 footage encoded internally with the Main Concept encoder in Encore is not as good
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Old April 6th, 2008, 07:18 AM   #8
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I wasn't really successful bringing other encoded files to Encore 3.0.2, so I used the preset in the Encore with highest H.264 and it worked fine to me.
All this time I wasn't satisfied with DVD encoding in general, but I was happy with the outcome of Encore for Blu-ray.

Are you in any chance resizing the footage in Encore to 1080 instead of 720? Then it is different story. Encore won't do as good resizing as Compressor, so what you would want to do is to keep 720 footage as 720 bluray disc.
If you wanted to end up in 1080 then you should resize it to 1080 with Compressor, then burn it as 1080 in Encore.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 12:26 PM   #9
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My project settings are 720 in Encore.

Those are set when I start the project.

Is there another setting that I may be missing to keep it at 720?
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Old April 6th, 2008, 04:55 PM   #10
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What kind of bitrate are these H.264 encodings at?
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Old April 7th, 2008, 08:35 AM   #11
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Maximum setting is the one I chose and it is 35 Mbps.
Also keeping the 23.98 project as 23.98, not 59.94 which probably will use some bandwidth for the pulldown.
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Old April 7th, 2008, 10:27 AM   #12
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I again tested with DVCProHD footage set for 38 mbps h.264 encoding with the MainConcept encoder in Encore.

I does not produce good encodes for some of our footage.

If I use a Compressor blu ray mpeg2 program stream encode, the same footage to decidedly better.

Not a fan of the MainConcept encoder.

Moreover, it is so slow inside Encore.
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Old April 7th, 2008, 11:38 AM   #13
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Blu-Ray isn't ready for the Mac yet period, and has nothing to do with HVX footage.

Right now there are only 3 ways to get a BR "authored" disc on a Mac: Encore, Toast 9 or use BootCamp and run DVDitPro HD, which is barely better than iDVD in it's functionality.

If you want to create BR tracks for presentation or a basic-authored disc for personal use then Encore and Toast 9 will do the job *fairly* well, with some tweaking to the footage prior to importing into these programs (As David mentioned, using Compressor to create the program stream first renders better results) but if you're hoping to create a fully authored BR disc at all there are still only two options: Scenarist or Blu-Print.

Outside of that and we're all waiting for Apple to produce DVDSP-5.
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Old April 8th, 2008, 03:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Saraceno View Post
I again tested with DVCProHD footage set for 38 mbps h.264 encoding with the MainConcept encoder in Encore.

I does not produce good encodes for some of our footage.

If I use a Compressor blu ray mpeg2 program stream encode, the same footage to decidedly better.

Not a fan of the MainConcept encoder.

Moreover, it is so slow inside Encore.
I'm getting pretty good results from HVX200 footage on Blu-Ray. I export them out of FCP as 1080/60i h.264 mov files and send them over to Vegas to burn. It would be nice to do it all inside my Mac, but for the time being this solution is working out.
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Old April 8th, 2008, 11:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John C. Plunkett View Post
I'm getting pretty good results from HVX200 footage on Blu-Ray. I export them out of FCP as 1080/60i h.264 mov files and send them over to Vegas to burn. It would be nice to do it all inside my Mac, but for the time being this solution is working out.
And there is no transcoding?

I take it you run Vegas in Bootcamp?

How is menu creation in Vegas?
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