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Best Codec for large displays

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Dan Driscoll
Best Codec for large displays
on Apr 13, 2006 at 8:49:10 pm

Looking for help and suggestions on a CODEC choice for a 46" LCD display. The DVCAM film is 16:9 and exported out of Media 100 844X as a QT Animation file. Any suggestions on the best CODEC for a large LCD display to be delievered directly from a computer.

Thanks,
Dan

Dan at September Productions


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Dorian Gray
Re: Best Codec for large displays
on Apr 13, 2006 at 11:50:16 pm

If this is from your own computer, and you've got fast disks, why not play the QT Animation directly? If that's not an option, H.264 is probably the best delivery codec available by quality-to-size ratio, but it requires a hefty computer for playback of HD material (a dual-G5 or equivalent should handle it fine though). QuickTime Pro (version 7) comes with an H.264 encoder that delivers fine quality but takes even longer to encode than other H.264 codecs.


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Dan Driscoll
Re: Best Codec for large displays
on Apr 14, 2006 at 2:06:49 am

Dorian..
Thanks for the reply. It will run in a museum, off a Dell (not sure of speed) through Cat 5. I tried H264 right out of NLE's time line and it does look the best, but Cleaner XL 1.5 will not allow me to create a good progressive scan H264 file. I also have Sorensen 4.3. Should I be looking to another piece of software to create this deinterlaced progressive scan H 264 file?

Thanks,
Dan

Dan at September Productions


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Dorian Gray
Re: Best Codec for large displays
on Apr 14, 2006 at 1:50:41 pm

I'm on the Mac and haven't used Cleaner XL so not sure what its capabilities are, but if it can't export a progressive-scan H.264 file from your source video (as opposed to producing one, but with poor quality) there may be something else wrong that would prevent other encoders from working too. To make sure Cleaner XL isn't having a problem with the Animation codec, you could try converting it to another QuickTime codec such as Motion JPEG A or B at the "Best" quality setting (lossless), PNG, or "None" if you have plenty of temporary disk space. Then try opening the resulting MOV in Cleaner XL and exporting to H.264. It's a long shot, but it may be worth trying before giving up on Cleaner XL.

QuickTime Pro 7 has a surprisingly good H.264 encoder built in, and it's very affordable if you don't yet have it, but H.264 may not be the best option in your case anyway. If the Dell has 100BASE-T Ethernet or better (Gigabit Ethernet), which it almost certainly will, you'll have enough bandwidth to use MPEG-2 with even full HD material. That would pretty much guarantee the Dell hardware would play it back without a glitch, unless it's truly ancient, and it will be quicker for you to encode too (though this may not matter so much). Video quality with MPEG-2 should be first-class at a decent bitrate. Sorenson Squeeze 4 has a fairly good MPEG-2 encoder, so I would try that first. Give it plenty of bitrate.

Very nice work on your site by the way! Sorry I can't be of more use; hopefully someone else will comment.


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cowcowcowcow
Dan Driscoll
Re: Best Codec for large displays
on Apr 14, 2006 at 3:45:55 pm

Dorian...
Again thank you for your suggestion (and the comments on our work.) I'm crunching the MPEG2 files now in Sorenson 4.3 and will test them on site this afternoon.
FYI Cleaner XL 1.5 has not been certified by apple for the H 264 and has a glitch that requires the temporal setting to set at 0 which results in a pretty crappy image.
Thanks again and thanks to Creative Cow forums!

Dan at September Productions


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Ben Waggoner
Re: Best Codec for large displays
on Apr 26, 2006 at 4:20:20 am

Since you've got Cleaner XL, you could also use WMV9. You can get great quality at 1920x1080 with 15 Mbps 1-pass CBR, and it'll play back nicely off the Dell if it has a decent video card (you'll want WMP10 and the current video drivers to get hardware acceleration).


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