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Not happy with quality of Toast Blu-ray video

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Michael Holmes
Not happy with quality of Toast Blu-ray video
on Sep 14, 2012 at 4:54:39 pm

I have created twenty H.264 QT movies by Sharing from FCP X. Each is a song from a band performance. I am now burning a Blu-ray video using Toast Titanium (version 11.1). The test discs I have created are disappointing. The quality degradation is not huge, like you see in going to the Internet, but it is noticeable in the skin tones.

My custom settings in Toast are:
Video format: MPEG-4 AVC
Average bit rate: 15.0 Mbps
Maximum bit rate: 20.0 Mbps
Motion estimation: Best
Re-encoding: Never
Field Dominance: Automatic
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Audio Format: PCM, 48KHz, 24-bit, stereo.

Even though I set it to "Never" re-encode, Toast is re-encoding when I burn. I tried going to a Disc Image rather than a Blu-ray disc just to see what would happen, and in this case it multiplexed rather than re-encoded, and this went much faster.

Questions:
1. Are there different settings you would recommend?
2. Why is Toast re-encoding when I tell it to "Never" re-encode? Since the QT movies are H.264, 48 KHz 24-bit PCM audio, what exactly is it re-encoding?
3. Is there a better way to make high quality Blu-ray videos, using something other than Toast?
_______________________________________
2010 Mac Pro Dual Quad, OS 10.8.1
Blu-ray burner is: OWC Mercury Pro 12X Blu-ray+DVD/CD Burner FireWire 800/400 (made by Pioneer)


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Not happy with quality of Toast Blu-ray video
on Sep 14, 2012 at 9:30:50 pm

Your data rate is low for one thing.
Aim for Average bit rate: 25.0 Mbps for BD.

Don't know about FCPX.

The Adobe CS suite comes with Bluray Authoring, that is just one of several options for creating BD on Mac.

Compressor, which you might have.

Episode compression software.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Michael Holmes
Re: Not happy with quality of Toast Blu-ray video
on Sep 14, 2012 at 9:34:42 pm

I have seen posts that claim that higher rates can overload Blu-ray players. Not true?


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Michael Holmes
Re: Not happy with quality of Toast Blu-ray video
on Sep 15, 2012 at 2:03:49 am

I was told at the Roxio forum that:
(1) There is no way to avoid re-encoding if you go to Toast with H.264.
(2) I could alternatively go FCP X --> Compressor and generate MPEG2 --> Toast, and Toast would not re-encode the MPEG2.

Does anybody have a recommended path from FCP X to Blu-ray video that will lead to the best quality Blu-ray video?

Requirements:
- These are a collection of songs from a band performance, so I must be able to export multiple Project files from FCP X and burn all them on one Blu-ray disc
- I must have a menu on the Blu-ray disk, so the user can play different songs
- Audio quality is very important, so I need to be able to use PCM stereo (48kHz, 24-bit).

I can get all these things with Toast............I just have to go thru the encoding. Best route?


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David Eaks
Re: Not happy with quality of Toast Blu-ray video
on Sep 15, 2012 at 8:07:27 am

As always, it's a good idea to test a new workflow with a short clip first. So that you don't waste a lot of time waiting while testing.

Try this-

Export one movie with all the songs from FCPX with current settings.

Import the resulting file into Compressor.

Apply the Apple Blu-ray settings to the Job.

Select the Job and, in the Viewer, place Chapter Markers at the beginning of each song.

In the Inspector, click the "Job Action" tab, choose Create Blu-ray Disc, and fill in the disc title etc.

Submit.

Wait...

If encode times are too long for you, consider Matrox MAX, it's real time. The only change in workflow is apply Matrox Blu-ray Settings instead of Apple.


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Not happy with quality of Toast Blu-ray video
on Sep 15, 2012 at 11:30:34 am

Encoding with Compressor will likely yield better results then Toast.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Rafael Amador
Re: Not happy with quality of Toast Blu-ray video
on Sep 15, 2012 at 12:36:07 pm

Data rate shouldn't be an issue, you only risk low quality.
The Presets for BR in Compressor goes from 14,5 Mbps to 35Mbps. That and Dolby audio (.ac3).
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Michael Holmes
Re: Not happy with quality of Toast Blu-ray video
on Sep 15, 2012 at 1:56:01 pm

Chris,
The purported problem of overloading Blu-ray players with higher data rates is not really an issue? I was told at the Roxio forum that this is a significant risk at 15 Mbps average, 20 max, particularly with PCM audio. These videos will be played by others on a variety of Blu-ray players, so I am concerned about it. This is just bad information?


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Michael Holmes
Re: Not happy with quality of Toast Blu-ray video
on Sep 15, 2012 at 1:46:36 pm

David,
Thank you, I will give Compressor a try.

One possible problem, however. Since these are videos of band performances, audio quality is very important. I looked at Compressor settings last night and it appeared to me that the only option for audio was Dolby......but I could be wrong, since I have not used Compressor. I need PCM for the higher quality.


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Rafael Amador
Re: Not happy with quality of Toast Blu-ray video
on Sep 15, 2012 at 4:50:08 pm

[Michael Holmes] "I need PCM for the higher quality"
You don't gonna get more quality with a LPCM than with a Dolby 300Kbps.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Dennis Raffelson
Re: Not happy with quality of Toast Blu-ray video
on Dec 11, 2013 at 7:19:26 pm

I have found that the Mpeg4 format does not produce a good quality blu-ray. I make a QuickTime movie using "export to QuickTime" in iMovie. My settings Comp: H.264, Qual: Best Frame recordering: Encoding mode : multi pass Dimensions: 1920x1080 Audio Format AAC, Sample rate 44,100, Stereo (LR) Bit rate 128 kbps. I get extremely good quality Blu-rays. I am no expert, but I have been very pleased with the results. Hope this helps.


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Dennis Raffelson
Re: Not happy with quality of Toast Blu-ray video
on Dec 11, 2013 at 7:25:36 pm

I have found that the Mpeg4 format does not produce a good quality blu-ray. I make a QuickTime movie using "export to QuickTime" in iMovie. My settings Comp: H.264, Qual: Best Frame recordering: Encoding mode : multi pass Dimensions: 1920x1080 Audio Format AAC, Sample rate 44,100, Stereo (LR) Bit rate 128 kbps. I get extremely good quality Blu-rays. I am no expert, but I have been very pleased with the results. Hope this helps. After I get my .mov file I use Toast Titanium 11.1 to burn my blu-ray.


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