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Compression tooling comparison testing

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Terry Griffey
Compression tooling comparison testing
on May 30, 2008 at 6:56:22 am

What is the best way to set up a comparison of compression tools? I want to test MPEG-2 (for SD DVD) compression using the tools I own which is Episode (not Pro), Compressor 3, Bit-Vice and the new CinemaCraft plugin. Each of these tools have features not found in their counterparts. Since the goal is the "cleanest" and highest quality output, is it best to tweak each product to get the best output on a given piece of source or set concrete min and max VBR and number of passes and give a look? Each tool seems to have its strengths (just got the CinemaCraft plugin today so have no experience with it). Also the type of source material seems to make a difference on the performance (quality of output) of the individual tools. The input codec seems to also make a difference regarding the individual tools. I'm thinking it would be best to gain experience with the new plugin on well-known source that has been encoded with the more legacy tools before trying to do a comparison test. The number of variables for testing is quite staggering.

Your suggestions are much welcome.
Thanks a bunch!
TG


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Daniel Low
Re: Compression tooling comparison testing
on May 30, 2008 at 9:55:11 am

IMHO the Cinemacraft solution will beat the others, but if really want to do a proper comparison then I'd look at leaving all settings on default making sure you are using exactly the same datarates and source across the products.
Once you have the results of that you can look at tweaking each product to see what it's really capable of.

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Rich Rubasch
Re: Compression tooling comparison testing
on Jun 4, 2008 at 2:37:33 am

I might try a CBR setting on each somewhere on the low side, maybe around 4mbps. That will push the compressor to deal with motion at a low steady bitrate. Use the same footage, maybe 2 minute clip of various shots. Have at least one fade to black in there somewhere, and a long dissolve, like 2-3 seconds.

Then do a VBR multi pass with similar settings on each....things to look for here are final file size to see which one crunches it down more, but still looks good. Plus how long it takes.

BitVice doesn't do AC3 which compressor does, so you will have to do audio in another app.

I'm very curious to see how BitVice holds up to the CinemaCraft...

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media



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Terry Griffey
Re: Compression tooling comparison testing
on Jun 4, 2008 at 3:27:37 am

Rich - very good input that will be implemented in the testing - Have found some scenarios with the CinemaCraft plugin that cause Compressor to crash, hang UNIX processes and other issues. Am forwarding those UseCases to CinemaCraft for their consideration. Some of the behavior is not isolated to the CCE plugin and may be attributed to Qmaster/Compressor based upon previous experience with the products. That assumption would be best determined by the software developers.

Little data is available at this time and until the bugs are fixed, a proper evaluation is not possible. In a commercial situation; quality vs time vs reliability are all factors.

Thanks!
TG




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