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Quality Encoding For SD DVD

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Scott Gray
Quality Encoding For SD DVD
on Feb 15, 2007 at 5:03:07 pm

I"m reading in this forum and others about differences in mpg2 encoding. I use Compressor 2.3 at high CBR setting and my video content looks pretty good for SD. But then I look at SD DVD documentaries and motion pictures where the resoloution and quality is in a different league. Are these productions utilizing some unbelievably expensive encoding process and equipment? Is there affordable software the can compete with the quality found in the motion picture DVD product?



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Ed
Re: Quality Encoding For SD DVD
by
on Feb 15, 2007 at 5:22:33 pm

There are a lot of variables. If you start with a high resolution film, then all other things equal, you'll
wind up with a better looking SD DVD than from a video project. There are very expensive hardware-based encoders
that will do a much better job than software encoders. Even within the parameters of a video project, there's HD
down to mini-DV (guess which DVD will look better?). Having said that, there are all kinds of tweaks with the GOP
structure, levels, dissolve compression markers, etc. that will give you a much better look than pushing a couple
of pre-set buttons. And finally, many people think (as do I) that other programs, like BitVice for example (Main Concept is another), do a better
job than Compressor. You'll get better looking DVDs, even with Compressor, if you play around and test different settings.
Ed


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Charles Simonson
Re: Quality Encoding For SD DVD
on Feb 15, 2007 at 7:03:34 pm

While I agree that having a film-based source is almost assuredly going to give you a better encode than any video camera ever could, to say that hardware encoders are better is false. Really, a hardware encoder's only advantage today is the ability to encode in real-time from SDI. There are quite a few software encoders out there today that can match the best quality from hardware encoders otherwise.


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Scott Gray
Re: Quality Encoding For SD DVD
on Feb 15, 2007 at 7:55:40 pm

I appreciate the feedback from this great forum, and for both of you taking the time to reply to this quality issue so promptly. Since you both appear to know much more than I do on the subject, here is my immediate delimma. I have a customer who is viewing still images scaled in Photoshop, saved as pict files at 72dpi and then made as a slideshow in Studio Pro. The end result is that all the still images, which by the way began as high quality digital images, look "fuzzy" by the time they are encoded and viewed on a display. This particular client is critiquing on his 47" plasma and comparing it to his copy of Lord of The Rings.



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Charles Simonson
Re: Quality Encoding For SD DVD
on Feb 16, 2007 at 3:40:35 am

Are you editing the still images on an interlaced timeline? Most likely, its the conversion from still image to video creating the quality issues you are noting. If the final display target is going to be a progressive display, then author in a progressive timeline and encode for a progressive DVD.


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Scott Gray
Re: Quality Encoding For SD DVD
on Feb 16, 2007 at 2:59:34 pm

Originally I imported pict files directly into Studio Pro, made a slideshow and let SP do the encoding. There doesn't seem to be an option in my encoding preferences for progressive encoding of the stills. I agree that the look of the images resemble a frozen field look. Thanks for the information. I'll run down this road.



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Ed
Re: Quality Encoding For SD DVD
by
on Feb 16, 2007 at 1:00:14 am

I wasn't thinking of inexpensive hardware encoders. I was referring to Sonic's Scenarist and CineVision.
And I guess it's more accurate to say the software/hardware/authoring/encoding combination is what gives you better control.
Ed

[Charles Simonson] "While I agree that having a film-based source is almost assuredly going to give you a better encode than any video camera ever could, to say that hardware encoders are better is false. Really, a hardware encoder's only advantage today is the ability to encode in real-time from SDI. There are quite a few software encoders out there today that can match the best quality from hardware encoders otherw"



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Charles Simonson
Re: Quality Encoding For SD DVD
on Feb 16, 2007 at 3:38:24 am

Even still, there is no reason why a software encoder can't match the quality of any hardware encoder, for any format. In fact, given that a software encoder, which has to encode from file, can spend a near infinite amount of time encoding a single frame, it should be able to ultimately deliver better quality. Although, the trade off becomes what is financially feasible given the time constraints. Often times, this is the primary reason for using MEPG-2 hardware encoders, because there isn't much profit in the DVD authoring business and turnaround has to be very efficient, which only hardware can promise.


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