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Converting HD Video for Video On Demand - Bad Quality Loss - Advice please!

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Jared Ganem
Converting HD Video for Video On Demand - Bad Quality Loss - Advice please!
on Jun 12, 2012 at 2:30:52 am

Hey guys, I've been to this site numerous times and you've helped me out a ton! So thank you very much. It's my first time actually posting anything.

I've searched the forums for numerous Final Cut Pro & MPEG Streamclip discussions, but everything I try seems to be coming up short so I want to ask directly.

I'm starting to do live-event production and web streaming. I had my first event a few weeks ago, it was a 2 and a half hour sporting event. The company wants me to upload the entire event to the web for a video on demand service as well as each individual fight as a separate download. Seems pretty straight forwards but here's where it starts to drive me CRAZY!

I recorded the live stream using Wirecast at Prores 422, hoping the direct stream would go right into Final Cut after. I was wrong - Final Cut refused to read the file, even after running it through MPEG Streamclip a bunch of different ways. Final Cut wouldn't even automatically change the sequence when I dropped it in the time line.

Luckily I had a backup file and I was recording the raw footage using Blackmagic's Media Express, also at a Proress 422 file. That works fine in my Final Cut Pro but when I export the entire show is 236gb! Also each individual match is between 10-20 minutes so the Prores files are at least 25gb.

Where I'm at now and where I need the help is I'm trying to convert the show to a format thats a much smaller file size that's easily downloadable, while retaining quality. I run it through MPEG Streamclip to convert it to an MPEG-4 file, but the lowest size I can get for any file without horrible quality distortion and pixelation is 5gb, which STILL would take a customer over 18 hours+ to download! It's taking me that long to upload it to the FTP of the website in the first place. Something just seems wrong to me and I can't figure it out.

I tried messing with the data rate, but anything below what I currently have distorts the video to the point where it's unusable. Seems like the lowest size I can get it while retaining quality is 5gb. Can someone PLEASE help me out? This is driving me crazy and my deadline's starting to creep up on me.

Thanks so much in advance!
-Jared


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Jeff Meyer
Re: Converting HD Video for Video On Demand - Bad Quality Loss - Advice please!
on Jun 12, 2012 at 7:02:40 am

Compression is all about finding the balance between quality loss and file size.

I would target something like:
Export to Quicktime
Compression: H.264 (multipass if you have the time)
I would use the Limit Bitrate option instead of the Quality slider. It'll give you a file size estimate. I would start at 8mbps for 720 or 25mbps for 1080. Depending on the complexity of your footage and the need for quality you can adjust up or down to taste.
Sound: MPEG-4 AAC, Stereo, Auto, 192kbps
Frame Size - I would leave it at unscaled, but if you're at 1080 you can shave off a lot of size by dropping to 720.
Frame Rate - Don't type one in and it will be unchanged.
Interlaced scaling should be OFF
Deinterlace video should be on if your source is 1080i, otherwise it should be off.

Remember, if you're testing for quality you can work with a sample of the video instead of ten minutes. Pick a portion with a lot of motion in the frame.

When you find settings you like, save a preset.


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Rafael Amador
Re: Converting HD Video for Video On Demand - Bad Quality Loss - Advice please!
on Jun 12, 2012 at 9:39:15 am

..and check "B Frames". If you use other app, set Key Frames; AUTO.
Anyway, instead of QT/H264, I would export MP4/H264 so no need for QT player.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Tony Brittan
Re: Converting HD Video for Video On Demand - Bad Quality Loss - Advice please!
on Jun 12, 2012 at 11:23:31 am

Everyone here is steering you the right direction. My question is, why not use compressor, use one of the presets for YouTube, and if its not exactly how you want it, tweak it from there? I do suggest you turn frame controls on and make tell it you want it to be progressive. And keep it to 720p for output as 1080p, no matter what people tell you, is plenty for online streaming. In fact, TV uses 720p for he majority of programming when it comes to sports.


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Jared Ganem
Re: Converting HD Video for Video On Demand - Bad Quality Loss - Advice please!
on Jun 12, 2012 at 10:22:13 pm

Hey guys!

I don't want to speak too soon but thanks so much for the help! So far it's been able to get the individual 10-20 minute matches down from 25g to about 100-300mb. The 2 hour show, the smallest I can get it so far is about 1.25 g but it's a big improvement over 5g. So thanks again! Like I said I don't want to speak too soon but you definitely helped out a lot!


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