Best output Preset and Bitrate??
I have a 2-hr video 720x480 29.97 using CS4 Suite and dyna-link betw Prem and Encore.
Ques#1 - Encore's highest preset options are: (DV Hi-Qual 4Mb VBR 2-pass), (DV Hi-Qual 7Mb VBR 2-pass), (Progessive Hi-Qual 7Mb VBR 2-pass). Which is best quality setting for 2-hr on 4.7 DVD; and why? Wouldn't a target Mbps of 7 always be better than 4 so long as VBR is employed?
Ques#2 - In addition to data complexity, is it true that the bitrate (VBR)is determined by Encore based on the time length of video output footage verses the DVD disc size in which to write it? For a 4.7 DVD, is 1-hr, 1.5-hrs, or 2-hr the best feature length to fill up the disc AND utilize the maximum (average) bitrate of 9 Mbps?
Ques#3 - Am I right in assuming the best output quality results when the bitrate is the highest and the Times (X) write speed is lower than the maximum of the disc/device(Preventing over- and under-runs; or allowing more flexibility for VBR to do its thing)?
Sager NP-9262 Notebook, Intel Quad Q6600, 4GB DDR2, nVidia 8800m GTX, 3x-Seagate 500GB, WUXGA, Vista Premium-x64 - Production Premium Suite CS4
Your assumptions are wrong for the most part.
Answer#1 - Obviously a higher bitrate will produce a better looking video. To get the most quality out of your video, you will likely want to customize the bitrate and not use one of the general presets offered by Encore. Using a bitrate calculator you will see that for 2 hours of video with 192 kbps audio, your average bitrate should be 4.8 Mbps. This average should be your target, as you want most of the video to be around that range, with some complex scenes requiring more, and some less complex scenes requiring fewer. It's usually good to set your max bitrate within 1.5 Mbps of your target, so you can set it at 6.5 or even 7. Your minimum can go as low as 1.5 and not cause any problematic frames.
Answer#2 - I believe you are referring to Encore's automatic quality transcoding? If so, it will try and calculate out the highest target bitrate based on the duration of all the content you have on your disc. Usually it does a pretty good job, but I'm sure it calculates it very conservatively so as not to cause any problems during the build process. You can probably squeeze out a little more if you set it manually. Also, many times I will give a higher bitrate to the feature video on the disc, and lower the bitrate for bonus content, which you can only do by manually setting the bitrates.
Answer#3 - As a general rule, I never burn faster than 4x, regardless of the burner's or disc's capability, as errors often get introduced at speeds higher than that. Using a 2-pass VBR bitrate will offer you the highest quality image at the lowest possible bitrate, often allowing for increased bitrates beyond what CBR or 1-pass VBR will allow you to do. The only thing you don't want to do is exceed 8 Mbps for the maximum birate, as you will likely have issues with playback on some players, due to reduced reflectivity of burned media, and its sustained transfer rates. It's a little different story for pressed discs. I wrote an article on it if you are interested: