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Compressor 1.x vs Compressor 2.0

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jmcgee
Compressor 1.x vs Compressor 2.0
on Aug 10, 2005 at 5:32:58 pm

My group needs to achieve an output to Dell W3000 LCD Monitor of an HDTV resolution of 1920 x 080i at around 25-50MBps. The data--a .mov file compressed as MPEG-2 using Final Cut ProHD (4.5)'s "Compressor" utility, needs to be High Defintion! We need to match the resolution while maximizing data rate, and minimizing compressing loss.
While this method will give us decent results, I was wondering if there is any reliable information on Final Cut Pro 5.0's "Compressor 2.0" utility to do a better job with MPEG-2 compression. Will upgrading to Final Cut Pro 5.0 be worth it!?!?!

v/r
Jack R Mcgee

Jack R McGee
3373037299
Astrophysics Theory Group
Dept. of Physics & Astronomy
Louisiana State University


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Charles Simonson
Re: Compressor 1.x vs Compressor 2.0
on Aug 12, 2005 at 5:18:51 am

I think Final Cut Studio is well worth the update for Compressor 2 and encoding HD (but I would probably still hold off on using FCP5 for awhile). Encoding MPEG-2 at HD sizes in Compressor 2 is much more efficient than it was in version 1. A couple of other tools have good MPEG-2 HD encoders, such as Canopus ProCoder 2 on the PC and Compression Master 3 on the mac. Squeeze's MPEG-2 encoding is terrible even though it supports HD MPEG-2 encoding.


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Charles Simonson
Re: Compressor 1.x vs Compressor 2.0
on Aug 12, 2005 at 5:20:56 am

BTW, good to see another fellow from LSU on here. Email me through my profile if you need anymore assistance.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Compressor 1.x vs Compressor 2.0
on Aug 12, 2005 at 3:57:09 pm

Charles, would H.264 be worth a try instead of MPEG2?


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Charles Simonson
Re: Compressor 1.x vs Compressor 2.0
on Aug 12, 2005 at 4:26:30 pm

Yes, using Compressor 2 for H.264 would be a good option, but then you have to be sure you have a system that is capable of playing back 1920x1080 H.264 at full framerate. If so, then it would offer better quality at the same bitrate. But MPEG-2 is easier to decode.

Actually, after taking a look at the Dell monitor, it is really only a 720p display. So, you could save even more bits and gain some compression efficiency by encoding to 1280x720. Also, if the source driving the display is going to be PC, then you should look into whether or not Windows Media would work best. WMV-9 would give you similar quality to H.264 and better quality than MPEG-2, while being easier to decode than H.264. Flip4Mac and Compression Master can both do good Windows Media encoding on the mac, and Canopus Procoder and Windows Media Encoder on the PC are good choices.


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alan lacey
Re: Compressor 1.x vs Compressor 2.0
on Aug 12, 2005 at 7:32:27 pm

I'm fairly new to macs and FCP having just ug'd to FCP5 specifically for a HDV 1080 50i.

I can only find the 1280x720 option in compressor2. I asssume it does do the full 1920 or 1440 option. Can you guide me through it please.

Alan (London)



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jmcgee
Re: Compressor 1.x vs Compressor 2.0
on Aug 14, 2005 at 3:43:38 am

As you can tell, I actually don't own Compressor 2.0 The meat of my query was to find out if the upgrade is worth it. Good luck. Read the manual, it's in there.


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Charles Simonson
Re: Compressor 1.x vs Compressor 2.0
on Aug 14, 2005 at 11:17:42 pm

Should be pretty simple to find. There is a preset already for it in Compressor 2 under the Apple presets folder called "HD DVD: HD MPEG-2 30 minutes". The size (format) says automatic, and I think that means that it will encode to whatever size it is fed. Alternatively, you can make your own 1080 preset by creating a new setting for MPEG-2 and first choosing the format as 1080i. The difference between HDV and STD is that HDV will be encoded at the 1440 max HDV format width, and STD is encoded to square pixel 1920 wide.


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