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Creating DG FastChannel - Drop Box HD Compressions?

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Brian SaenzDeViteri
Creating DG FastChannel - Drop Box HD Compressions?
on Apr 2, 2007 at 3:37:06 pm

I am currently evaluating products for making DG FastChannel Drop Box HD compressions. I don't know if anyone else out there is doing this or not, but I'm looking for suggestions on what people are using - both hardware and software, and how effective it is.

To make a certified DG compliant HD compression I basically need to make an MPEG-2 transport stream with these specs.

video must meet the following:
bit rate at 45 Mbps
Long GOP IBBP structure
1.0 square pixel aspect ratio
16:9 display ratio
4:2:2 MP@HL chroma
levels must meet ITU-R BT.709 specs

audio one of the following:
- at MPEG-1 Layer 2 stereo 48 KHz
- LPCM using SMPTE 302M for 2 channels (1 stream) at 16, 20, or 24 bits at 48 KHz

Yes, to many people this seems like complete gibberish, but I know what I need and I hope that some of you can help out as well.

The only product I've come across so far (for software based encoding) that works relatively well is the Digiami MegaPEG.X MPEG Encoder (http://www.digigami.com/megapeg/). Again, like most people who make software compressions like this at such high bit rates, testing them is a problem. you can see video, but it doesn't usually playback smoothly. To make a 30 second spot (which ends up being 46 seconds) into an HD DG compliant MPEG-2 takes about 30 minutes on a brand new MacPro dual 3.0ghz Xenon with 4gb RAM.

Can anyone recommend a better or equivalent program? Compressor won't cut it and "fails" the job each time. Cleaner won't support these resolutions on a Mac (though we do have Cleaner XL on our PCs). Sorenson just doesn't seem to make the best compression, but if anyone has settings they'd like to recommend, I'd be glad to try that out.

Is anyone using hardware to make MPEG-2 HD encodes? I will be evaluating products at NAB, but I'd like to have an idea of what some other people are using so I know who to check out and who to potentially avoid like the plague.

For SD DG compressions I've been using hardware based compressions (SDI/AES) and a Digital Rapids card. This has been fairly effective and generally we're happy with this... we had some problems with it last year, but they were worked through fairly easily.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Creating DG FastChannel - Drop Box HD Compressions?
on Apr 2, 2007 at 9:40:58 pm

Not gibberish at all to me.

Flip4Mac Episode Pro. I haven't used it for HD but for SD, I've passed certificationf for DG FastChannel. For SD I've done 25Mbps without issue.

I have DG Fastchannel specs for SD. If you're willing to send me the HD specs and FTP a test file, I can encode it for you and send it back so you can FTP to DG.

Are you doing HD spots?

I'm both a DG user and Flip4Mac consultant so I may also be able to test with my Drop Box too.

I've seen some issues with PPC vs Intel encodes and passing DG. I have both PPC & Intel Macs so I can test that too.

If you're interested send me your email address.





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Brian SaenzDeViteri
Re: Creating DG FastChannel - Drop Box HD Compressions?
on Apr 3, 2007 at 1:22:51 pm

We have an account with DG and we're fine for SD encodes. We are starting to do some HD work and I'm sure it will only start picking up more and more as time goes by. We currently upload to our DG Drop Box for digital delivery (our DG FTP account).

What settings through Flip4Mac will work for these HD encodes? Any issues specific to Intel vs. PPC and Flip4Mac?

Currently for these testing purposes I have been using FCP 5.1.4, using a DVCPRO HD project (Kona 3), and doing some graphics, text, hi-res photo effects/motion, and some stock footage (SD & HD) and exporting my sequence as Quicktime DVCPRO HD at 1080i60 (1920x1080) with 2 channels of audio (stereo mix).


The HD requirements for Drop Box are:

Video encoding = MPEG-2
Video Bit Rate = 45 Mbps
Stream Type = Transport Stream
GOP = Long GOP IBBP preferred
Pixel Aspect Ratio = 1.0
Aspect Ratio = 16:9
Chroma = 4:2:2 (MP@HL)
Luminance and chroma levels = ITU-R BT.709


format = 720p
lines = 720
scan type = progressive
frame rate = 59.94

-OR-

format = 1080i
lines = 1080
scan type = interlaced
frame rate = 29.97



audio = MPEG-1 Layer 2
channels = 2 (stereo)
sample rate = 48KHz

-OR-

audio = LPCM SMPTE 302M
channels = 2 (1 stream, 2 ch per stream)
bit depth = 16, 20, or 24
sample rate = 48KHz

(note: there are separate requirements for 8 channel audio and other "flavors" that are non-stereo, but my work is mainly stereo)



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Craig Seeman
Re: Creating DG FastChannel - Drop Box HD Compressions?
on Apr 3, 2007 at 2:01:03 pm

Episode Pro should have no problem with those specs.

I've seen a bug with MPEG-2 Program streams on Intel Macs that doesn't exist on PPC Macs. I haven't tested with Transport Streams though. They should have that fixed shortly.

If you'd be willing to FTP me the spot (I'll provide the FTP space) I can come up with a preset for you to try.



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Brian SaenzDeViteri
Re: Creating DG FastChannel - Drop Box HD Compressions?
on Apr 3, 2007 at 2:26:33 pm

Do you have any suggestions for specs in Episode Pro? I have the evaluation copy, I've been messing around with it, but so far I'm not entirely thrilled with the results. I'll try something out if you can make a suggestion.


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Brian SaenzDeViteri
Re: Creating DG FastChannel - Drop Box HD Compressions?
on Apr 3, 2007 at 3:07:14 pm

I have a .TS file created (105mb) from Episode Pro and now I'm looking for a player to check/test the file. Any suggestions on something reliable?


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Craig Seeman
Re: Creating DG FastChannel - Drop Box HD Compressions?
on Apr 3, 2007 at 4:51:58 pm

Try VLC086a
I know with Program Streams, Quicktime and MPEGStreamclip couldn't play them cleanly but VLC086a could so it may be the same with transport streams.



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Brian SaenzDeViteri
Re: Creating DG FastChannel - Drop Box HD Compressions?
on Apr 13, 2007 at 4:43:55 pm

No dice with VLC player either. I will try a few more settings. DG has said they are looking into ways to use Episode Pro.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Creating DG FastChannel - Drop Box HD Compressions?
on Apr 13, 2007 at 5:22:16 pm

[Brian SaenzDeViteri] "No dice with VLC player either. I will try a few more settings. DG has said they are looking into ways to use Episode Pro.
"


Have you sent file to DG for pass/fail test?

Also double checking that they're asking for a Transport Stream since their SD specs are for Program Stream.

Again, I'll extend offer to help test and develop a preset for you but I'd have to see the file. If you get me your email address I can arrange FTP for you.

BTW, what are your Mac system specs (PPC, Intel, OS, version of Episode Pro)?




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Bill Nelson
Re: Creating DG FastChannel - Drop Box HD Compressions?
on Oct 4, 2007 at 10:33:21 pm

Craig,

Read w/interest your DG FastChannel suggestions. I've been fooling with their DropBox requirements for a few days, and am interested in your suggestions for settings within Episode. I own Compressor, Bitvice, Squeeze, and Main Concepts, but am not too successful so far. Any thoughts?


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Craig Seeman
Re: Creating DG FastChannel - Drop Box HD Compressions?
on Oct 4, 2007 at 11:13:16 pm

I'll get their HD spec sheet and see what I can cook up.


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Bill Nelson
Re: Creating DG FastChannel - Drop Box HD Compressions?
on Oct 4, 2007 at 11:33:09 pm

just SD only, 720x486 out of a Mac Avid 7.2 SDI. should be a piece a cakewalk


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Craig Seeman
Re: Creating DG FastChannel - Drop Box HD Compressions?
on Oct 4, 2007 at 11:39:44 pm

I've got an SD setting but earlier today I've received different specs for SD then they've sent me previously so I'm looking into that.

I had 25Mbps previously. The sheet I just got is 18Mbps.
Was 4:2:0. Now I see 4:2:2
Was IBBPBBP GOP and now it "seems" to be IBBBPBBB

So I'm going to try to get this straightened out ASAP.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Creating DG FastChannel - Drop Box HD Compressions?
on Oct 5, 2007 at 7:49:43 pm

I spoke to my contact at DG and

HD is still in testing phase for DropBox. They'll send out notices when that's ready to go.
It seems the minimum was raised from 10Mbps to 18Mbps but the Max is still 25Mbps. For that reason I'd do CBR 25Mbps and that passed last time I tested.

GOP structure they say isn't supper critical as long as it's 6 frames or more so you can continue using IBBP (which is what I use.

The HAVE changed color from 4:2:0 to 4:2:2 though.


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