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Sony MXF or XDCAM EX : What's the best intermediate format for HandBrake ?

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Cedric Divang
Sony MXF or XDCAM EX : What's the best intermediate format for HandBrake ?
on May 28, 2014 at 6:09:51 pm

Hello,

I'm using Sony Vegas to edit the vidéos and HandBrake to render them so I need an intermediate format.

Sony MXF (.mxf) and XDCAM EX (.mp4) are very interesting because they don't need recompression when there are no transitions/effects applied to the video so they are very fast to render. And both are compatible with Handbrake.

But to my eye, these formats look exactly the same. Is there a drawback in using one rather than the other ?

Thanks for your help :)

____________________________________________________________

Here are my render parameters (they fit the source video) :
Video Format : HD
Frame Size : 1440x1080
Frame Rate : 25.000
Aspect Ratio : 16:9
Field Order : Upper Field First
Prioritize Quality Over Speed : YES
Video Quality : 31 (MAX)
Bit Rate : 25 (CBR) - SP
Profile : Main


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Norman Black
Re: Sony MXF or XDCAM EX : What's the best intermediate format for HandBrake ?
on May 29, 2014 at 4:44:23 am

Sony MXF HD and HD EX is the same as XDCAM EX, in the 25 CBR and 35 VBR formats.

Sony MXF will output your audio in two mono channels instead of a single stereo channel. Handbrake does not handle the two mono channels. XDCAM EX outputs a stereo audio channel and would be a better choice for Handbrake due to this issue.


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Cedric Divang
Re: Sony MXF or XDCAM EX : What's the best intermediate format for HandBrake ?
on May 29, 2014 at 8:46:44 am

Thank you ! :)


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Mike Kujbida
Re: Sony MXF or XDCAM EX : What's the best intermediate format for HandBrake ?
on May 29, 2014 at 12:49:47 pm

Norman, I'm not sure why you get two mono channels as I render to MXF a lot and always get a single stereo channel.


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Norman Black
Re: Sony MXF or XDCAM EX : What's the best intermediate format for HandBrake ?
on May 29, 2014 at 3:08:00 pm

Every time I have rendered Sony MXF HD EX I get two audio channels as described in the Audio tab. One for each channel (left, right). I verify this with MediaInfo. I also see this with XAVC MXF files. The audio tab does not give an option for a single Stereo audio channel.

XDCAM EX MP4 however does give an option for a single Stereo audio channel in the file.

I would be interested in how to get a Stereo audio channel out of MXF files. Specifically XAVC, as I would like to use that as an intermediate to Handbrake. Handbrake is not smart enough to treat the two separate channels in the file as a stereo channel.


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Mike Kujbida
Re: Sony MXF or XDCAM EX : What's the best intermediate format for HandBrake ?
on May 29, 2014 at 7:05:36 pm

Not sure what to tell you Norman. I just tried it in Pro 10 and 12 and everything I did gave me a single stereo audio track. Just for fun I did a test with a stereo audio track and two mono tracks, one panned hard left and the other hard right. Once again, my render was a single stereo audio track.


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Norman Black
Re: Sony MXF or XDCAM EX : What's the best intermediate format for HandBrake ?
on May 29, 2014 at 7:37:56 pm

I have only ever used VP12 and VP13 and both have operated the same for me with MXF file output. Sony MXF HD EX or XAVC Intra.

Here is what I have from the Sony MXF template. The Audio tab.



Here is my MediaInfo dump of a resulting render as.

General
Complete name : D:\Renders\BabyBearDrop.mxf
Format : MXF
Commercial name : XDCAM HD 35
Format profile : OP-1a
Format settings : Closed / Complete
File size : 40.5 MiB
Duration : 11s 712ms
Overall bit rate mode : Variable
Overall bit rate : 29.0 Mbps
Encoded date : 2014-05-29 19:31:43.000
Writing application : SONY Vegas 13.0.0.310
Writing library : SONY Vegas 13.0.0.310

Video
ID : 2
Format : MPEG Video
Commercial name : XDCAM HD 35
Format version : Version 2
Format profile : Main@High
Format settings, BVOP : Yes
Format settings, Matrix : Custom
Format settings, GOP : M=3, N=15
Format_Settings_Wrapping : Frame
Codec ID : 0D01030102046001-0401020201030300
Duration : 11s 712ms
Bit rate mode : Variable
Bit rate : 35.0 Mbps
Width : 1 920 pixels
Height : 1 080 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 16:9
Frame rate : 29.970 fps
Standard : Component
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Progressive
Compression mode : Lossy
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.563
Time code of first frame : 00:00:00:00
Time code source : Group of pictures header
Stream size : 48.9 MiB
Color primaries : BT.709
Transfer characteristics : BT.709
Matrix coefficients : BT.709

Audio #1
ID : 3
Format : PCM
Format settings, Endianness : Little
Format_Settings_Wrapping : Frame (AES)
Codec ID : 0D01030102060300
Duration : 11s 712ms
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 768 Kbps
Channel(s) : 1 channel
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth : 16 bits
Stream size : 1.07 MiB (3%)

Audio #2
ID : 4
Format : PCM
Format settings, Endianness : Little
Format_Settings_Wrapping : Frame (AES)
Codec ID : 0D01030102060300
Duration : 11s 712ms
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 768 Kbps
Channel(s) : 1 channel
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth : 16 bits
Stream size : 1.07 MiB (3%)

Other #1
ID : 1
Type : Time code
Format : MXF TC
Time code of first frame : 00:00:00;00
Time code settings : Striped

Other #2
Type : Time code
Format : SMPTE TC
Muxing mode : SDTI
Time code of first frame : 00:00:00;00


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Cedric Divang
Re: Sony MXF or XDCAM EX : What's the best intermediate format for HandBrake ?
on May 30, 2014 at 1:15:26 am

Same here Norman ! When I convert to .mxf, Stereo sound turns into Mono !
And not only in Handbrake but also in VLC.


@Mike : Just download this small Stereo file http://www15.zippyshare.com/v/38446323/file.html and render it with "Sony MXF (*.mxf) > HD 1440x1080-50i" on Sony Vegas Pro 13. Play the rendered video with VLC and you'll see that the sound becomes mono (same if you attempt to render it with handbrake). Now render the source file with any "XDCAM EX (*.MP4)" template and the stereo will remain.

If you don't get the same result as Norman and me, then you are probably using a different Version of Vegas.

Thanks again to Norman for his help, I had never noticed that *.mxf files had problems with stereo.


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Norman Black
Re: Sony MXF or XDCAM EX : What's the best intermediate format for HandBrake ?
on May 30, 2014 at 1:48:31 am

I don't get "mono" audio. The audio is still stereo, it is just that the left and right channels are output separately in the MXF file. Some, but not all video players can deal with this. Most NLE's will probably get it right.


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Mike Kujbida
Re: Sony MXF or XDCAM EX : What's the best intermediate format for HandBrake ?
on May 30, 2014 at 1:45:30 pm

Norman, my audio tab for Pro 10 and 12 looks identical to yours.

To both of you, do you have the Import stereo as dual mono option enabled in Options > Prefs > General?

I rendered out the test file that Cedric uploaded and still get the same result, a single stereo file.
Here's a screenshot of my timeline with the original file and the ones rendered in Pro 10 and Pro 12.

timeline.png


Here are the MediaInfo reports for Pro 10 and Pro 12.


Pro 10 report

General
Complete name : E:\VegasTemp\test-10.mxf
Format : MXF
Commercial name : XDCAM HD 35
Format profile : OP-1a
Format settings : Closed / Complete
File size : 26.7 MiB
Duration : 36s 603ms
Overall bit rate mode : Variable
Overall bit rate : 6 116 Kbps
Encoded date : 2014-05-30 12:59:58.000
Writing application : SONY Vegas 10.0
Writing library : SONY Vegas 10.0

Video
ID : 2
Format : MPEG Video
Commercial name : XDCAM HD 35
Format version : Version 2
Format profile : Main@High
Format settings, BVOP : Yes
Format settings, Matrix : Custom
Format settings, GOP : M=3, N=15
Format_Settings_Wrapping : Frame
Duration : 36s 603ms
Bit rate mode : Variable
Bit rate : 35.0 Mbps
Width : 1 920 pixels
Height : 1 080 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 16:9
Frame rate : 29.970 fps
Standard : Component
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Interlaced
Scan order : Top Field First
Compression mode : Lossy
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.563
Time code of first frame : 00:00:00:00
Time code source : Group of pictures header
Stream size : 153 MiB
Color primaries : BT.709
Transfer characteristics : BT.709
Matrix coefficients : BT.709

Audio #1
ID : 3
Format : PCM
Format settings, Endianness : Little
Format_Settings_Wrapping : Frame (AES)
Duration : 36s 603ms
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 768 Kbps
Channel(s) : 1 channel
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth : 16 bits
Stream size : 3.35 MiB (13%)

Audio #2
ID : 4
Format : PCM
Format settings, Endianness : Little
Format_Settings_Wrapping : Frame (AES)
Duration : 36s 603ms
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 768 Kbps
Channel(s) : 1 channel
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth : 16 bits
Stream size : 3.35 MiB (13%)

Other #1
ID : 1
Type : Time code
Format : MXF TC
Time code of first frame : 00:00:00;00
Time code settings : Striped

Other #2
Type : Time code
Format : SMPTE TC
Muxing mode : SDTI
Time code of first frame : 00:00:00;00



Pro 12 report

General
Complete name : E:\VegasTemp\test-12.mxf
Format : MXF
Commercial name : XDCAM HD 35
Format profile : OP-1a
Format settings : Closed / Complete
File size : 26.7 MiB
Duration : 36s 603ms
Overall bit rate mode : Variable
Overall bit rate : 6 116 Kbps
Encoded date : 2014-05-30 13:07:11.000
Writing application : SONY Vegas 12.0.0.770
Writing library : SONY Vegas 12.0.0.770

Video
ID : 2
Format : MPEG Video
Commercial name : XDCAM HD 35
Format version : Version 2
Format profile : Main@High
Format settings, BVOP : Yes
Format settings, Matrix : Custom
Format settings, GOP : M=3, N=15
Format_Settings_Wrapping : Frame
Duration : 36s 603ms
Bit rate mode : Variable
Bit rate : 35.0 Mbps
Width : 1 920 pixels
Height : 1 080 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 16:9
Frame rate : 29.970 fps
Standard : Component
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Interlaced
Scan order : Top Field First
Compression mode : Lossy
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.563
Time code of first frame : 00:00:00:00
Time code source : Group of pictures header
Stream size : 153 MiB
Color primaries : BT.709
Transfer characteristics : BT.709
Matrix coefficients : BT.709

Audio #1
ID : 3
Format : PCM
Format settings, Endianness : Little
Format_Settings_Wrapping : Frame (AES)
Duration : 36s 603ms
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 768 Kbps
Channel(s) : 1 channel
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth : 16 bits
Stream size : 3.35 MiB (13%)

Audio #2
ID : 4
Format : PCM
Format settings, Endianness : Little
Format_Settings_Wrapping : Frame (AES)
Duration : 36s 603ms
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 768 Kbps
Channel(s) : 1 channel
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth : 16 bits
Stream size : 3.35 MiB (13%)

Other #1
ID : 1
Type : Time code
Format : MXF TC
Time code of first frame : 00:00:00;00
Time code settings : Striped

Other #2
Type : Time code
Format : SMPTE TC
Muxing mode : SDTI
Time code of first frame : 00:00:00;00


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Norman Black
Re: Sony MXF or XDCAM EX : What's the best intermediate format for HandBrake ?
on May 30, 2014 at 2:53:37 pm

[Mike Kujbida] "Norman, my audio tab for Pro 10 and 12 looks identical to yours.

To both of you, do you have the Import stereo as dual mono option enabled in Options > Prefs > General?"


No my prefs for Import MXF as multi-channel and Import stereo as dual mono are both unchecked.

Your MediaInfo dumps show that you also get separate audio channels in the MXF file for the left and right stereo channels.

Of course Vegas is able to import the dual channels as a stereo channel. Most NLE's are probably able to handle this.

Cedric mentioned using intermediates to Handbrake, and my original post stated that MXF gets two audio channels for stereo and that Handbrake cannot handle two separate channels and treat it as stereo. As Cedric pointed out, some video players also cannot handle this Vegas MXF file (MXF in general?) audio behavior.


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Cedric Divang
Re: Sony MXF or XDCAM EX : What's the best intermediate format for HandBrake ?
on May 30, 2014 at 5:05:52 pm

I have "Import stereo as dual mono" UNCHECKED too.


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Leonardo Benelli
Re: Sony MXF or XDCAM EX : What's the best intermediate format for HandBrake ?
on Jun 25, 2014 at 10:10:11 pm

...sorry which are the advantages by using handbrake in place of Vegas for exporting?
Best regards
Leo


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Jane Kong
Re: Sony MXF or XDCAM EX : What's the best intermediate format for HandBrake ?
on Dec 11, 2014 at 3:27:40 am

I just shot my videso wiht a Sony camera plus an external mic, so there are two audios in my clip, which I used is called imixmxf, so I can keep both of my audios wihtout any one of them lose . And I trans-codec them into Prores then import them into FCPX to do some following edits. Just my opinion


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