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MPEG-2 Program Stream with 5.1 Surround Sound

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Kevin Murphy
MPEG-2 Program Stream with 5.1 Surround Sound
on Feb 26, 2015 at 3:09:06 pm

I have several clients for whom I encode MPEG-2 Program Stream content in stereo with 608 captions. We have recently begun providing HD material which has been lauded by those clients. In looking forward, we'd like to provide them with 5.1 surround audio on these HD programs. The problem is, I'm not quite sure how to go about encoding the MPEG files with the 5.1 and the captions. I'm looking for some guidance on the workflow.

Here's what I'm doing right now (Running Mid-2010 Mac Pro, Dual 6 core 2.66 Ghz w/24 GB RAM):

- Edit in Avid Media Composer 7.0.4
- Export QuickTime Reference file - OR - QT Same As Source file
- Create ".mcc" file in MacCaption
- Import QT and ".mcc" into Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2014, and line up 608/708 captioning.
- Queue to Adobe Media Encoder (if multiple files) for MPEG-2 PS stereo encoding.
- Upload

- OR -
- Edit in Final Cut Pro 7
- "Send to" Apple Compressor
- Create ".scc" file in MacCaption
- Encode MPEG-2 PS stereo & attach 608 captions using the "Additional Information" Tab in Inspector
- Upload

AME gives me the option in the "Audio" tab to select 5.1 sound, but I'm not sure how to export audio in that format from either of the aforementioned NLEs as a single track. The clients we are currently providing 5.1 to require 8 discrete mono tracks/channels in SMPTE order (5.1 and Stereo mixed), but they require ".mxf" files, which are easier to handle in achieving my goal.

I'm not sure if going the 8 mono channels route is even possible with MPEG-2 PS, which is why I wonder about simply encoding a single 5.1 track of audio which contains all the mapping information within the file. Any guidance will be GREATLY appreciated.

Now, on to captions...

For some reason, AME will only create a sidecar file for captions when encoding this format. Compressor will embed the captions, but only 608 (none of my clients are complaining about the absence of 708, but it would be nice to provide both for them).

If anyone has experience with delivering this kind of file with 5.1 surround and/or captions, please help me out!

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