MPEG2 Quality - Second take at
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Old May 28th, 2006, 01:18 PM   #1
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MPEG2 Quality - Second take

Having too much sparetime(....) - I decided to do a shoot out comparing mpeg2 encoders. Borrowed some time from my friends to run my test.avi on their software and using some trials I ended up with this:

Testfile: 10 seconds colorbars(PAL) with scrolling creditroll (multicolored), size: 37mb(no audio)

CinemaCraft SP Trial:
Size: 7.3mb
Template: PAL DVD
Speed: Excellent, 3.6x realtime
Quality: Soft - nice looking, some problems with the borders between colors. Overall good looking

Size: 7.3mb
Template: PAL DVD(HQ)
Speed: Good, 1.3x realtime
Quality: Crisp, nice looking. Some colorproblems with purple and black

Sorensson Squeeze:
Size: 4.4mb
Template: DVD PAL High
Speed: Good, 1.7x realtime
Quality: Very good. Dark grey bar vanished in testpicture - probably some automatic filter going on.

Sony Vegas MC, standard and "High"(2 pass)
Size: 3.4mb(standard), 3.5mb(High)
Template: DVD PAL and DVD PAL Video High Q
Speed: fair, 0.9x realtime
Quality: Surpricingly good! All colors are correct, no jitters in the borders between colors.


Average quality, high speed, big file = go for cinema craft( Basic is just 58 USD )

Good quality, good speed = go for Procoder2 express( 50-60 USD ), big file

High Quality, slow speed = MainConcept, small file


// Lazze
Sony HDR-CX130,Canon 5DMKII,i7 930@4.0, 12gb memory, 3x SSD + 2x1Tb(stripe), Geforce 480, Dual 24", Win 7 x64
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Old May 29th, 2006, 11:28 PM   #2
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Ohio
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Thanks for taking the time to do those tests and post the results. I must say it's quite interesting to see the MainConcept encoder come out on top. I wouldn't have expected that result, given the comments I've seen people make about it.

I'd also encourage you to test QuEnc, an free MPEG-2 encoder I just discovered. I've seen claims that in some circumstances it can equal the quality of CinemaCraft. Don't know as I've never personally done a head to head test of the two myself, but you can't go too wrong for free.

The QuEnc project Web site

Doom9 guide (the statement that QuEnc can only import and encode using AviSynth scripts is now outdated; the encoder can take straight AVI files. The guide also states you need the AviSynth program as well, but I didn't, even when I used an AviSynth script).
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Old May 30th, 2006, 02:36 AM   #3
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Maybe I should run another serie of tests with the "free" encoders. There are some out there.

I'm also surprised of the performance of the MC encoder. But since it is the slowest by all means, it does have time to do a good result. CinemaCraft is damn good considering the speed(almost 4x real time). So when speed is an issue, go for CCE(and if you buy the 1950 USD edition, I'm sure you can tweak it to produce better quality/smaller file). The test I ran only used the companies standard templates.

// Lazze
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Old May 31st, 2006, 12:00 AM   #4
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i'm under the impression that sorenson squeeze and vegas both use the same mainconcept encoder(??).

where procoder shines is in mastering mode, which uses two-pass encoding.

it's tough to compare encoders, because you have to set the same exact encoding standards for all of 'em... same bitrate, same framerate, same source footage, same number of passes, etc.

and even then, one encoder may be better with one type of footage than the other, but that can change with different source footage.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 08:01 AM   #5
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All true - I made it easy for myself. Using the provided DVD PAL templates. My test was more like "the manufacturer should have picked the best way to show their product".

MC encoders seems to come in many flavours.

I ended up buying Cinema Craft basic when I need speed and Vegas MC for the "standard" stuff.

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