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Bitrate advice

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Steve Brame
Bitrate advice
on Nov 20, 2017 at 12:59:11 am

I'm suddenly back to transcoding my AVCHD(1080P) footage to a mezzanine codec in order to get it into PPro 2018 until I can upgrade to Windows 10, and a question I had long ago has raised it's head -

Is there any reason to transcode into a much higher bitrate than my source footage was shot at(24Mb/s)? The final output will be for web use only.

Steve Brame
creative illusions Productions


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Bitrate advice
on Nov 20, 2017 at 5:35:40 pm

How much re-rendering will you have to do? If just once, you should be okay. If you go 3 or more generations, you'll lose a lot of image quality.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Steve Brame
Re: Bitrate advice
on Nov 20, 2017 at 11:39:14 pm

Well, the timeline output will be for YouTube, so YouTube will do it's own transcode upon upload, but no more than that. I'm mostly concerned with disk space, and wondering if high bitrate ingest transcodes provide a big enough advantage compared to the sheer size of the files created, or if it's a 'diminishing returns' thing.

Steve Brame
creative illusions Productions


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Bitrate advice
on Nov 21, 2017 at 12:17:03 am

It depends on the codec to which you transcode. If it's a full-frame codec -- i.e. complete image information for every frame -- it will be a lot bigger, but it will suffer less from re-encoding.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Chris Wright
Re: Bitrate advice
on Nov 21, 2017 at 12:25:49 am

it is a multi-generational quality loss of diminishing returns.
you should be able to get away with a dnxhd SQ/prores 422,cineform level 2 all good for about 2 generations of exporting while keeping space to a minimum.

for example, the prores 422 LT might be acceptable or the regular or HQ depending on how much grading you need. or dnxhd LB or SQ, or cineform level 2 or 3. you can read their whitepapers available online. do a quick 10 sec. test to see.


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Steve Brame
Re: Bitrate advice
on Nov 21, 2017 at 1:26:01 pm

Thanks Chris! I actually have been testing for the past few days between Avid and Cineform presets, and I really haven't been able to visually differentiate between them. I've really been leaning toward Avid LB, since it's still a higher bitrate than my source files. Today I'll test my normal encode path, which is from the timeline to a YouTube preset, then upload to YouTube and let them do their transcode and see if there are any issues.

Steve Brame
creative illusions Productions


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