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Large Volume Format Conversion

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Chris Babbitt
Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 19, 2009 at 6:10:24 pm

I have 60 hrs. of video on DVD which needs to be converted to either H.264 or Flash. I would prefer Flash, but I don't know of a DVD to Flash converter. I did try a test using Mpeg Streamclip to convert to H.264 and got excellent results. On my dual-core MacPro, it encoded at about 2x realtime. I'm assuming that would speed-up somewhat if I first copied the VideoTS folder to my hard drive, but I don't know if the time savings would offset the time it takes to copy the folder.

So, the bottom line is that I am looking for the fastest method to get these DVDs to either format, but Flash .flv is preferred. Any ideas?



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Craig Seeman
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 19, 2009 at 6:15:59 pm

[Chris Babbitt] "either H.264 or Flash"
How is this either or?

http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Flash_Player:9:Update:H.264

Are you talking about a different Flash?



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Chris Babbitt
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 19, 2009 at 6:26:01 pm

Yes, I understand that Flash Player 9 will play H.264 files, but I would prefer .flv, if there is conversion software that will do it. VIDEO_TS to .flv.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 19, 2009 at 6:55:59 pm

If you mean Flash 8 that would be On2VP6 which involves a license fee so you won't find it for free.
Episode and Squeeze can probably handle it (and On2VP6 was optional until they felt enough people expected it that it was included and the price raised $100 which was the cost for the option).



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Chris Babbitt
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 19, 2009 at 7:00:48 pm

Craig,

I have the On2 encoder. It doesn't accept a DVD (VIdeoTS or VOB) as input files. I'm looking for a fast and reliable solution to get the DVDs to Flash.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 19, 2009 at 7:18:46 pm

[Chris Babbitt] "I have the On2 encoder. It doesn't accept a DVD (VIdeoTS or VOB) as input files. I'm looking for a fast and reliable solution to get the DVDs to Flash. "

And this is why I mention Episode and Squeeze. Download the trials and test. I think using the VOB might work.



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Chris Babbitt
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 19, 2009 at 7:20:07 pm

Thanks Craig. I'll take a look.



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Chris Babbitt
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 19, 2009 at 10:07:11 pm

I checked and neither Episode or Squeeze lists DVD, VIDEO_TS or VOB as input formats.



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Chris Blair
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 20, 2009 at 3:49:24 am

I believe Procoder will directly read .vob files and convert to .flv. But you can save a ton of space and retain DVD quality by using H264/mpg4.

H264 is widely recognized as being able to match mpg2 compression quality at half the file size.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Chris Babbitt
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 20, 2009 at 4:30:48 am

That's interesting. I thought that Flash files were smaller. The situation is that this material will eventually be streamed, and the company that will be implementing this prefers Flash, because they say that it is more problem-free for streaming large files.



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Daniel Low
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 20, 2009 at 1:08:21 pm

H.264 will play within the flash wrapper and is much higher quality than On2.

Handbrake is the best at doing what you need:

http://handbrake.fr/



__________________________________________________________________
"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance."

Steve Ballmer To USA Today


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Craig Seeman
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 20, 2009 at 1:51:54 pm

As others allude to, H.264 is a very efficient codec. File size is very much dependent on data rate. Actually saying that is almost redundant since bits per second would result in the total bit at a given duration.

At a given bit rate, H.264 will generally yield better quality then other files . . . at the same bit rate.

To say the company wants "Flash" is about as descriptive these days as saying the company wants "sandwich." It says nothing about the ingredients which can include Sorenson Spark (H.263), On2VP6, H.264. There's nothing wrong with giving them H.264 and either f4v, mp4, mov will work equally well as an extension.

Episode should handle VOB. If it doesn't then I'll knock on their door and suggest they make it happen.



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Chris Babbitt
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 20, 2009 at 5:08:51 pm

OK, so I guess it's H.264. Now, If I get some kind of hardware encoder, such as the Matrox accelerator card or the Elgato USB encoder, will that significantly speed-up the process? As I mentioned in the original post, It took me about 25 minutes to encode a 40 min. piece to H.264 using MPEG Streamclip.
on my Dual-core MacPro.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 20, 2009 at 5:15:04 pm

Matrox CompressHD is blazing fast. I use it in Compressor. It's always faster than real time no matter what I throw at it. It's generally 300% faster than using an 8 Core QuickCluster. The quality is supposedly much better than Elgato (which I haven't used but read complaints about).



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Craig Seeman
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 20, 2009 at 5:16:48 pm

See Matrox CompressHD review here
http://library.creativecow.net/articles/seeman_craig/matrox_compressHD.php



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Chris Babbitt
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 20, 2009 at 5:43:02 pm

Great review, Craig. Thanks for posting that for me. I'm assuming that the reason I got 2x performance from my stock MacPro is because I was encoding from a VOB file rather than the original DVCAM? Will it encode from VOB or will I need Episode or some other software to use in conjunction with the card?



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Daniel Low
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 20, 2009 at 10:40:22 pm

Tut tut tut. You guys who choose speed over quality! ;-)

x264 is the highest quality H.264 codec out there and it's seriously fast, and free.



__________________________________________________________________
"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance."

Steve Ballmer To USA Today


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Chris Babbitt
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 20, 2009 at 10:41:47 pm

x264???



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Daniel Low
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 20, 2009 at 11:01:45 pm

x264 is the open source version of H.264:

It's what Handbrake and a load of other free applications use, it's in constant development by some of the best brains in the business.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X264



__________________________________________________________________
"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance."

Steve Ballmer To USA Today


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Chris Babbitt
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 21, 2009 at 5:42:29 pm

I downloaded Handbrake (V. .9.1. because I'm still on OS 10.4) and I encoded a 40 min. VOB file in 18 minutes compared to 25 minutes using Mpeg Streamclip, and it looked slightly better as well. I'm still looking for faster solutions, since I have 60 hours of material to encode.



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Daniel Low
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 21, 2009 at 5:56:52 pm

What settings did you use? Some of the advanced settings can increase times massively for not much increase in picture quality.

__________________________________________________________________
"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance."

Steve Ballmer To USA Today


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Chris Babbitt
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 21, 2009 at 6:07:01 pm

I set the bit-rate to 800 kbs, since that's the bit-rate it will be streamed at. I also changed the audio to mono, and the aspect ratio. Some set-top DVD recorders use an oddball type of anamorphic scheme, which results in a 704x480 video, so I had to uncheck the anamorphic box which corrects it to 640 x 480.



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Daniel Low
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 21, 2009 at 11:02:29 pm

I was referring to the advanced settings like:

Motion estimation method and range
Sub pixel Motion estimation size
Number of ref frames and b frames
CABAC or CAVLC

etc


__________________________________________________________________
"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance."

Steve Ballmer To USA Today


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Chris Babbitt
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 21, 2009 at 11:27:40 pm

No, I only changed the stuff I mentioned.



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Daniel Low
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 22, 2009 at 12:08:56 am

You could be working with unnecessarily high (advanced) settings, try knocking them down a bit.

__________________________________________________________________
"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance."

Steve Ballmer To USA Today


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Chris Blair
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 21, 2009 at 1:17:43 am

I'll second Daniel's opinion on the quality and speed of x264. I was surprised at how much faster it was to encode using it than Main Concept and Apple/Quicktime. And Handbrake is a great tool and is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

The one problem we had with it on Windows was that it used to constantly crash when you'd que up a batch of videos to encode. This has supposedly been fixed with the latest release but I can't confirm that as we stopped using it last year because of that problem.

If it's been fixed, that's huge because otherwise it's a great FREE tool.

http://handbrake.fr/

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Daniel Low
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 21, 2009 at 2:10:24 am

[Chris Blair] "The one problem we had with it on Windows was that it used to constantly crash"

Let's face it, Windows is a constantly crashing situation, I'm amazed how many people put up with it and treat it as part of their day.. Whenever I have to work with it, it feels like it's hanging on for dear life. It's a woefully inept and counter-productive operating system. Windows 7 is exactly the same.

Dear oh dear.



__________________________________________________________________
"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance."

Steve Ballmer To USA Today


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Chris Blair
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 21, 2009 at 2:23:08 pm

In this particular case, it was a known and admitted bug within the Windows version of Handbrake and not Windows related. So this had nothing to do with Windows. Also..since Handbrake is open source, it took a really long time for the people that volunteer their time to address the problem and fix it.

Anyway...we're a PC shop with 5 high-end NLE workstations and I can count on one hand the number of crashes we have per month. We leave them running 24/7 and can sometimes go weeks without rebooting while running a multitude of software and hardware based apps. So I think it really depends on how a PC shop's computers are setup and maintained. Conversely I worked in a College a few years ago that was all Mac (with the highest-end Mac workstations at the time) and we couldn't work for 2 hours without a crash.

Don't get me wrong...Mac's are great...well engineered, solid OS. But Windows PCs get a really bad rap simply because there are so many boneheads that load 500 software apps on a system that's designed to pump out work every day. Or they build a PC as cheaply as they can and expect it to churn out workstation class performance.

Spend as much on a Windows PC as you spend on a MAC, set it up properly and it will run solidly for years.

But yes... Handbrake is a nice little program for H264 output.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Daniel Low
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 21, 2009 at 2:55:41 pm

[Chris Blair] "Spend as much on a Windows PC as you spend on a MAC, set it up properly and it will run solidly for years. "

I'll probably get accused of trolling and sorry for hijacking the thread, but what's the point of spending as much on a PC as you do on a Mac (notice it's not uppercase) and then spending loads of time getting it setup just right when you could just get a Mac that is set up perfectly out of the box, and then run Windows on it? It's a well known fact that Apple makes the best Windows PC.

Windows PCs get a bad rap simply because of Windows:

http://www.brandonwalkin.com/blog/2009/08/10/managing-ui-complexity/

http://mossblog.allthingsd.com/files/2009/08/windows-upgrade-chart.png

http://coolinfographics.blogspot.com/2009/08/mac-os-x-snow-leopard-upgrade-...





__________________________________________________________________
"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance."

Steve Ballmer To USA Today


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Craig Seeman
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 21, 2009 at 3:52:08 pm

Episode handles VOB source. I just tested it.



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Chris Babbitt
Re: Large Volume Format Conversion
on Aug 21, 2009 at 4:06:04 pm

That's great news. I didn't see that listed on their web site. How long did it take?



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