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Alan Stephens
compression hardware accelerator?
on Sep 29, 2008 at 5:16:48 pm

Does anyone make a compression hardware accelerator for Apple Compressor?
Compressor is so slow! It takes about 5 -6 hours to down convert a 1 hour of HDV foortage and render to mpeg 2 SD,for use in a SD DVD. I do some training videos where I may have 3 or more 1 hour programs to edit.
Back when I was on the PC I had a Canopus Storm 2 interface and hardware accelerator board. I could output
an hour of program (DV) into an mpeg2 in 15-20 minutes. That is the kind of response I would like to have. I know Matrox and others still make that sort of thing for the PC. Why not for the Mac?


thanks


Alan Stephens


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Daniel Low
Re: compression hardware accelerator?
on Sep 29, 2008 at 9:52:32 pm

Sadly there are no hardware options for compressor other than a faster Mac with more memory. It maybe that you have some or all of the high quality transcoding options set to high or maximum. Some of the advanced frames controls can slow things down by 10x but give a 5x boost in quality. It's all a trade-off.

Also, there's a very big difference between transcoding from DV compared to HDV as HDV is a lot harder to decode (LongGOP vs I-Frame) and there's no downscaling with DV.

It's also worth bearing in mind that even on standard settings, compressor is not the fastest transcoding application on the Mac but it is capable of very high quality when used correctly.





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Ed Dooley
Re: compression hardware accelerator?
on Sep 30, 2008 at 2:41:50 pm

Do you have a quad or octo core Mac? Do a search for QMaster here and in the Final Cut Pro forum.It comes free with Compressor and was designed to spread the compressing load over a network of Macs, but it works on a single Mac by spreading the load over all the cores. It will speed things up quite a bit.
Ed



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Alan Stephens
Re: compression hardware accelerator?
on Sep 30, 2008 at 4:08:13 pm

I have a quad core.
A freind showed me how to do that on Tiger.
I tried it on Leopard but it didn't seem to work any faster.
I might not have done it correctly.
I'm not sure really how to set it up.




Alan Stephens


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Daniel Low
Re: compression hardware accelerator?
on Sep 30, 2008 at 4:31:56 pm

Setting up a virtual cluster on a single machine for use with Qmaster is only of use if you are submitting multiple jobs where the codec cannot make use of all the cores.

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Ed Dooley
Re: compression hardware accelerator?
on Sep 30, 2008 at 6:04:32 pm

Everything I've read about QMaster has been about the benefits on a single machine, rather than the original reason QMaster was created, for distribution on networked computers. Apple, and lots of COW people have given their recipes for optimal performance on a single machine (and with single jobs). Everything points to huge increases in rendering speed. It seems like reference files go even faster because diferent cores divide up the separately referenced files better than a single exported self-contained file. Here's just one COW link, there are lots:
http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/8/988368

I would do a search for yourself (here and elsewhere), try QMaster, if it works, go for it. You have to export a reference QT and use Compressor rather than the way you've been doing it. Even if you don't use QMaster you'll get a speed boost by going to a QT then Compressor.
Ed



[Daniel Low] "Setting up a virtual cluster on a single machine for use with Qmaster is only of use if you are submitting multiple jobs where the codec cannot make use of all the cores."





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Daniel Low
Re: compression hardware accelerator?
on Sep 30, 2008 at 9:14:14 pm

Well I'll be........

I might just have to dust off compressor and get it re-installed, that kind of performance boost might be worth all the other headaches, but I doubt it!

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Please post back saying what solved your problem. It could help others, and saying 'thanks' is free!


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Alan Stephens
Re: compression hardware accelerator?
on Sep 30, 2008 at 4:12:09 pm


I don't usually mess with the transcode options in compressor.Most of the time I use the dvd 120 min presets.

Alan Stephens


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Daniel Low
Re: compression hardware accelerator?
on Sep 30, 2008 at 4:37:11 pm

In future, you might want to think about ingesting your content to a I-frame only format like ProRes 422, this would speed up your transcoding (and workflow) by quite some degree.

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Please post back saying what solved your problem. It could help others, and saying 'thanks' is free!


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