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converting to 3GP - best method

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duffbeer911
converting to 3GP - best method
on Jul 19, 2005 at 2:55:26 am

Hi guys,
I'm trying to compress a 2minute video down to go onto a phone. I have After Effects, Premiere Pro, Cleaner 5. And I just downloaded this program called "MPEG Live x4" (I think that's it).

Anyways, I've managed to get the file onto the phone, but the quality it really crap (I know it can be better because the demo movie look really nice).

If anyone has any experience donig this please share your method. Cheers


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daniel_l
Re: converting to 3GP - best method
on Jul 19, 2005 at 9:16:38 am

Bear in mind that the demo movies come from very good source

I've done a whole bunch of encodes for 3G services - mostly football and tennis. Some phones produce much better playback results that others but generally speaking use these settings:

MPEG-4 video codec with AMR NB audio (Some use AAC)
Frame size - 176x144
Total datarate around 124kbits/s (push this up if your have a very up-to-date phone(usually 100-115 for video) 2 pass VBR is it's available (I used the Nexencoder which is terribly expensive)
12.5 fps for PAL, 15fps for NTSC
Keyframe every 3 seconds.

If it still looks bad then you need to get better quality source!


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daniel_l
Re: converting to 3GP - best method
on Jul 19, 2005 at 9:29:38 am

I should have added that Quicktime produces the lowest quality output when compared to Nexencoder or Real Helix Mobile producer.


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duffbeer911
Re: converting to 3GP - best method
on Jul 19, 2005 at 12:04:13 pm

I will give that a go, thanks. I'm sure my source is fine as it was shot on digibeta and exists as an uncompressed file.



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Charles Simonson
Re: converting to 3GP - best method
on Jul 19, 2005 at 3:27:12 pm

Those settings are quite good and recommended for high-end mobile phone video. If you have a mac, Compression Master 3.1 has an excellent MPEG-4 3GPP encoder. Their encoder is used by a lot of vendors in Asia where streaming 3GP content to mobiles is very popular.


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daniel_l
Re: converting to 3GP - best method
on Jul 19, 2005 at 3:45:28 pm

I came up with those setting working with 2 major operators who deliver football (soccer) highlights to a broad spread of handsets. On the tests we did you could go much higher in data rate and frame rate for a few of the more advanced handsets available summer last year which are probably fairly sub-standard now!

I can confirm what Charles said, the Popwire guys say they don't use the Quicktime 3GPP codec, but use their own. Although I haven't had the chance to do a 'side-by-side' with the nexencoder output, judging by the quality of other output from CM it should be up there with the best, and it's considerably less expensive (and available on Mac!)

The good news for Europe is that it won't be too long before we'll see content delivered in H.264 at a frame size of 208x176. I saw this on a Nokia 7610 late last year and the image was stunning (for a phone!)


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Charles Simonson
Re: converting to 3GP - best method
on Jul 19, 2005 at 5:46:03 pm

Well, the main reason those settings are recommended is not because of playback issues, but because of network datarate issues. The user didn't state what market he needed to target his settings for, so its a bit hard to tell, but what you provided should work well on most capable networks these days. (His profile does say Australia, but I can't say I know much about that market's mobile networks.) Note, with those typical settings, my Nokia 3650 that is now about two and a half years old can play back the content fine.


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Ben Waggoner
Re: converting to 3GP - best method
on Jul 20, 2005 at 12:39:36 am

I'll third Compression Master. It's really an invaluable tool for mobile encoding. it handles 3GPP with MPEG-4 part 2 and H.264, WMV, RealMedia, etcetera. Well worth buying a Mac for if you're doing a lot of mobile work.



My Book: http://www.benwaggoner.com/books.htm
Squeeze and ProCoder tutorials: http://www.classondemand.net/benwaggoner/
Compression Class at Stanford: http://www.digitalmediaacademy.org/compression.html


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duffbeer911
Re: converting to 3GP - best method
on Jul 20, 2005 at 1:27:53 pm

Well, I don't have to be worried about transmitting. It is just for viewing on some ericsson K750i phones. THe vision will just be copied onto the phone via USB.

I'm working on a PC and becuase it is a one off job I don't want to spend big money. It doesn't have to be superior quality, but now I am using "mpegable x4 live" and the quality is really bad.

Do you know if there is a way I can just render out of AE, PPro or Media Cleaner in a compatible format?



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daniel_l
Re: converting to 3GP - best method
on Jul 20, 2005 at 1:42:56 pm

I too found the Mpegable output terrible, much worse than Quicktime.

Without spending anymore money the best output you'll get on a PC is using Quicktime via Cleaner (as long as it doesn't crash!).

If you're happy to have a watermark on your video, check out the evaluation of Real Helix Mobile Producer http://forms.real.com/rnforms/products/tools/mobileproducer/eval/





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