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Which Bitrate is better?

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Bernard Ageeb
Which Bitrate is better?
on Feb 5, 2008 at 5:11:23 pm

I have a 90min project in FCP which i want to put to dvd. I would like to know which is better VBR Or CBR? Or do i use a single disc or a double layer Disc? I want my finish product be able to play in top players without any problems. Thanks

Bernard


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Noah Kadner
Re: Which Bitrate is better?
on Feb 6, 2008 at 1:40:29 am

VBR is always better.
-Noah

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Michael Sacci
Re: Which Bitrate is better?
on Feb 7, 2008 at 6:15:11 am

This is one place I disagree with Noah. I like CBR when you can encode at a high bitrate.

If you use ac3 audio at .192 Mbps you can encode 90 minutes of video at 6.5 Mbps which would encode 2-4x faster and be as good or better. (if you have motion menus or extras you will have to lower the bitrate or do to a dual layer disc. If your video is well shoot (and not DV) you can get very good encodes with CBR down to 5.5 Mbps. For DV footage I like to stay around 6 Mbps.

One other thing to do to get better quality with Compressor is to export the timeline in FCP to Compressor. This ties up FCP and you lose a little of the time you just gained but it does make a difference.

But in the end you should do a test (for VBR it needs to be at least 15 minutes) and see which one looks better to you. Don't take our word for it, see for yourself.



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Tom Nelson
Re: Which Bitrate is better?
on Feb 14, 2008 at 4:00:17 pm

In my opinion, this all depends on what your footage is. The purpose of VBR is to up the bitrate during movement and drop it when you've got static shots. If I'm compressing, say, a meeting where it's someone talking on a podium for an hour and a half, I'd use VBR so the bitrate would be low when there's no movement and jump up when, say, someone was walking up on stage. I'd use CBR on something with lots of movement because it compresses faster and I'm going to want a good high bitrate for everything anyways.

It also matters how good your compressor is with VBR. Sorenson works well for me, but other built-in compressors might not work as well.

Tom Nelson
Videographer/Editor
Essex Television Group


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