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Re: "Best" format for DVD's and archiving

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Don GreeningRe: "Best" format for DVD's and archiving
by on Mar 4, 2006 at 5:31:00 am

[mortimer heathcliff] "what does APack do that isn't done elsewhere in the flow?"

When I started using Compressor, in version 1 there was no way to do audio compression within the program. APack shipped with the first Compressor app for just that purpose.

[mortimer heathcliff] " i mean, why the extra steps of making a self-contained movie, and then going through Compressor?"

It's generally accepted that using the Compressor app is more reliable and results in a better encode than going through Final Cut Pro. Plus you can use FCP for other tasks while Compressor encodes in the background, since it's a standalone app. Whether or not you choose to export a self-contained or a reference movie for Compressor is up to you. Your available hard drive space will be your guide in that respect. With a reference movie you need to keep all your raw footage on the scratch disc, whereas with self-contained you don't.

Recently, someone here at the Cow posted some frame grabs of video encoded through FCP and the same frames from the same video done through Compressor. The result from going through FCP was quite a bit darker than the other way. This poster now swears by using the Compressor standalone app.

[mortimer heathcliff] "why use APack instead of Compressor for your audio?"

I'm just used to using APack to do the audio even though Compessor 2 has the capability to do audio compression now. I haven't bothered to learn to do audio compression with Compressor 2 yet. Lazy.

The advatages of compressing audio for a DVD are huge. First off, .ac3 audio takes up a tenth of the space on the disc that PCM or AIFF audio does. This means more room for more video on the disc. Secondly, PCM and AIF audio will cause some set top players to choke on their high bit rates, especially if the video bit rate is also at the higher end.

[mortimer heathcliff] " do you max out at 7 because you have seen problems or playability issues with higher bit rates?"

Yes. I've never seen a drastic drop in video quality until the video encoding bit rate drops below 4. Keep in mind that I do mostly weddings, which doesn't have a lot of fast action. Bit rate decisions should be based on the type of video you're encoding. Fast action equals higher bit rates. You need to take a minute or two of test footage and encode at different bit rates and pick the best result.

- Don



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