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Authoring and burning quickly

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William Quibell
Authoring and burning quickly
on Apr 4, 2011 at 4:14:18 pm

We just purchased a few new Mac's.... an iMac 27"w/ Intel i5 2.8 and a MacPro w/ 2x 2.4 Xeon Quad-Core processor.

The iMac is for simple photo editing and printing and the Mac Pro's for encoding and burning DVD's ... We tested encoding both computers just to get a comparison, and we found out, encoding and burning took almost the same time on the two computers, not good!

The encoding and burning time is almost the same on both computers with iDVD and Toast 10... Actually the iMac is a little quicker (more then 5 minutes) then the Mac Pro, I assume because of the clock speed.

My source files are MP4 H.264 10.05Mbit to be burns on a SD DVD (NTSC). We are encoding about 25mins of footage to be put on a SD DVD's.

With budgets in mind, would I be better off purchasing Final Cut Studio, and using Compressor to encode the videos before I burn them... Is there a hardware option to encoding the files quicker?

Thank you for assistance.

Pain is Temporary - Pride is Forever!


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Dave Haynie
Re: Authoring and burning quickly
on Apr 5, 2011 at 4:36:36 am

Not a Mac user. But if the iMac is encoding as quickly as the Xenon, and it's really taking very long at all to encode your 25min segments, it sure sounds like your encoder is single-threaded. At least, that's the best explanation.

I'd recommend getting a multi-threaded encoder. Also, are your sources SD or HD? It is not a trivial task for a modern PC to decode H.264 in HD, particularly if (as in most NLE and other applications, as opposed to players) the H.264 decoder isn't using the GPU. Or multiple threads.

I just did a quickie benchmark from a project I have on Vegas on the PC. Rendering HD AVC to high quality DVD MPEG-2, it's taking more than 2.5x as long as rendering HD Cineform (kind of the same idea as Apple's proprietary ProRes, or Avid's standardized DNxHD)... two tracks in the same project, everything else being equal. Chances are, you'll get a huge speedup, no matter what else, if you start with something other than AVC, when it comes time to render. Of course, if you start with AVC (as many do... I have two camcorders and an HDSLR that shoot it), you'll have to pay at some point for the extra overhead of AVC.

Decoding with an FPU can absolutely speed things up, if supported. Just in a player on my six core 3.2MHz AMD machine, I see about 50-60% total CPU playing an HD AVC file directly copied from one of my cameras, about 6% in a player that uses the latest Windows GPU acceleration. Pretty significant. As I mentioned, many video editors, including mine, don't use GPU acceleration for editing or video decoding. They should. You may find the same thing on the Mac... probably, since Apple's GPU APIs only came out last year. But it couldn't hurt to ask around.

-Dave


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Michael Sacci
Re: Authoring and burning quickly
on Apr 5, 2011 at 7:30:59 am

With compress you can set up a virtual cluster and that should give you better encoding times. Also you have more control over your encoding settings. If all you are putting on a DVD is 25 you can use a CBR encoding at 7 Mbps and it will be you better quality and take about 15 minutes to encode.

As far as your source, are you making the files H264 or is that just what you are receiving? If you are making them that is a mistake, a bad mistake. H264 should never be used in a dvd workflow if you have control over it.


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William Quibell
Re: Authoring and burning quickly
on Apr 5, 2011 at 9:45:37 am

Our source files are H.264, 1920x1080 10.05mbit.

It comes from a POV camera mounted on a guides head. Then we need to burn the videos from the camera to a SD DVD for our clients that do not know what to do with with a fancy USB stick.

Pain is Temporary - Pride is Forever!


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