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MPEG2 and the MAC

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Chris
MPEG2 and the MAC
on Jul 11, 2006 at 3:43:59 pm

We have been trying out software for the mac to create MPEG2 files @ 25 MB quality.
We seem to be having probs with Compression Master, MegaPeg Pro, Squeeze only goes upto 10/MB, Main Concept seems to work but won't playback the finished file on Mac or Win.
Is anyone having sucess with any of these on a Mac?
Not looking to create .mv2 files for a DVD here - but .mpg files for broadcast distribution.

Thanks for any input.

FCP Studio 5.1.1
AJA IO LA
QuicktimePro 7.1.2
Old Media Cleaner 6


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Charles Simonson
Re: MPEG2 and the MAC
on Jul 11, 2006 at 6:33:05 pm

What broadcaster is going to distribute 25Mbps SD encodings on their systems? They are going to have to re-encode it and at that point you would be better off using DVCPRO tape to distribute. But if you really want to send 25Mbps encoding files, make sure you select an all I-frame encode. This should get you to desired bit rate, or at least enough bits will be dedicated to each frame that 25Mbps may not be necessary for some frames. MainConcept, Digigami, and Compression Master should all be able to get you there. With MainConcept and Digigami, try High level or High Profiles too. In Compression Master, try using 4:2:2 color. Even though Apple's encoder may not play these back, try VLC which can decode much more types of MPEG-2. The decoder a broadcaster will use is much more robust than Apple's simple decoder.


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Johan S
Re: MPEG2 and the MAC
on Jul 12, 2006 at 1:49:32 am

a high bitrate doesn


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daniel_l
Re: MPEG2 and the MAC
on Jul 12, 2006 at 9:56:39 am

MPEG-2 I-frame at 50Mpbs 4:2:2 is a pretty common intermediate format for broadcasters - over here in the UK at least..I've never come across 25Mbps I-Frame in broadcast circles though.

Video AllSorts


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Charles Simonson
Re: MPEG2 and the MAC
on Jul 12, 2006 at 5:03:02 pm

Right, for an intermediate format and backhaul, MPEG-2 is widely used, most commonly at 50Mbps, but I have seen 25Mbps as well. I didn't take that Chris was looking to do an encode for this purpose though, as you generally wouldn't want to use a "desktop" encoder for this process. Most broadcasters I know would prefer a DVCPRO tape over an MPEG delivered on DVD or HDD.


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Joe Murray
Re: MPEG2 and the MAC
on Jul 14, 2006 at 2:06:24 am

It sounds like Chris is trying to create mpeg-2 files for DG Systems (or something similar). Is this correct? If so, the suggestion to send a tape is probably exactly what he or his clients are trying to avoid. Chris, can you provide some more information as to your specific situation? I spent a long time figuring out how to do this and might be able to help.

Joe Murray


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Alex Stephens
Re: MPEG2 and the MAC
on Aug 16, 2006 at 5:20:51 pm

Joe,

I'm in the middle of creating the exact work flow for the DG Fast Channel and I'm trying to find the best 3rd Party Compression application for the files.

I'm working on a Mac and have looked into Sorenson, Cleaner, Digigami MegaPEG and Main Concepts for the best compression, but I would like to hear your final workaround for the best quality.

Thanks!

Alex Stephens
Al's Digitial House, Inc.


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Joe Murray
Re: MPEG2 and the MAC
on Aug 16, 2006 at 5:33:09 pm

As maligned as it is by many people, Cleaner works for me. The main thing that worked was switching from DG Systems to FastChannel, but maybe now that they're one company you won't have the issues I did. I found Digigami's encoder to be extremely slow. Mainconcept looks great, but when I was using it did not have any video level adjustments. Cleaner does, so you can compare the encoded file with the original and make adjustments to brightness, contrast, saturation, etc. I have a settings file for SD uncompressed footage I can send you. Contact me through my website and send me your email address and I'll send the file to you.

Joe Murray
http://www.editatjoes.com


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Alex Stephens
Re: MPEG2 and the MAC
on Aug 16, 2006 at 5:49:08 pm

I've had the same experience with Digigami's encoder dudring testing, but I liked the fact that I could export directly out of After Effects using the Digigami software thus saving a few steps. I was also looking into Cleaner mainly because I do a lot of compressions for different formats and this might be the best workflow, but didn't know if it was worth the extra bucks.

When it comes to quality of compression its hard to compare a MPEG-2 file to a uncompressed master file and feels it's the highest quality digital file I can put out there for my client.

Thanks for your feedback.


Alex Stephens
Al's Digital House, Inc.


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Joe Murray
Re: MPEG2 and the MAC
on Aug 16, 2006 at 7:06:22 pm

I understand the concern about quality, but unless you're sending a DBeta to network like ABC, NBC, CBS or Fox, you're probably distributing spots on BetaSP, and then the station is compressing it to mpeg-2 anyway. For me, the choice was easy because I already owned Cleaner. The problem was that I would encode with Cleaner, then try to play back the encoded file with Quicktime, and would see all kinds of interlacing issues and huge blocky artifacts. I finally tried playing the encoded files with Windows Media on a PC and they looked stellar. Quicktime's mpeg-2 component is a joke, and that they charge $20 for it is ridiculous. Haven't looked back, and the spots look good on air.

Joe Murray


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Alex Stephens
Re: MPEG2 and the MAC
on Aug 16, 2006 at 7:33:57 pm

Yep! Getting the same artifacts in QT when I was checking the compression. Sounds familiar. Glad it doesn't actually look that bad.

Thanks for your help. That makes it easier to move forward.

Take Care!

Alex Stephens
Al's Digital House, Inc.


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blujproductions
Re: MPEG2 and the MAC
on Aug 27, 2006 at 11:39:11 pm

I've been getting these VERY annoying spots showing up after exporting a Final Cut 5 movie to an MPEG2 using the Compressor 2 program. The same spots occur after rendering to MPEG2 out of DVD Studio Pro 4 too... what should I do?

I was also curious to know if anyone has used the new Lacie FastCoder $75 hardware real-time MPEG2 encoder.

Would I be better off printing my Final Cut movies to some sort of mastering deck and then spitting the master back into my Mac using real-time MPEG2 encoding? It seems like a lot of steps but I hate all the software conversions I have to go through to work around my problem with the spots in Compressor.

I'm still a beginner I guess... somebody please help me!


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