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Arlin Golden
Trying to increase quality on MPEG-2 for DVD, iMac 5k, compressor 3.5.3, os x yosemite
on Apr 16, 2015 at 9:00:34 pm
Last Edited By Arlin Golden on Apr 16, 2015 at 9:08:25 pm

Hello there. Im compressing a 92 gb master mov to mpeg-2 for dvd. I'm using the best quality 90 min codec, and Ive increased bitrate as much as i can, as well as changing frame controls to best. Ive also just done the regular best quality 90 min without changing anything and a few other configurations, but the quality on the resulting mpeg-2 is just not up to par; way too pixelated. I have room on my disc for a file 2 gb larger than the 3.1 gb mpeg-2s im getting now. Are they any ways to increase my quality to something more acceptable if im willing to increase file size as well? please help!


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Craig Seeman
Re: Trying to increase quality on MPEG-2 for DVD, iMac 5k, compressor 3.5.3, os x yosemite
on Apr 21, 2015 at 7:41:09 pm

Keep in mind that DVD players have a limit to the data rate they can handle so pushing to "fill the disk" may not make for a playable DVD. You can try putting keyframes in front of transitions since that creates an i-frame... but you make no mention where the pixilation occurs. Trouble shooting suggestions are only as accurate as the information you provide. Perhaps your issue is down converting HD to Standard Def DVD but again, no information provided. The other possibility is that there are better encoders now. I wouldn't be surprised if Compressor 4.1 could do a better job. You may want to look at Telestream Episode or Sorenson Squeeze.



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Arlin Golden
Re: Trying to increase quality on MPEG-2 for DVD, iMac 5k, compressor 3.5.3, os x yosemite
on Apr 21, 2015 at 7:46:31 pm

Hey thanks for the response! I am converting HD to SD, but I don't see how that would result in such drastic piexelation. We were all watching DVDs for years before bluray and hd streaming hit the scene, and criterion was putting HD trasnfers onto DVDs (and still continues to do so) without any pixelation. Is there a better way to down convert to SD? right now I just take an apple prores hq master file and compress that directly to mpeg-2.

I dont understand you question about keyframes and iframes, but I can tell you the pixellation occurs in the video whenever theres a lot of motion going on; big blocky pixels.

I actually just tried the trial version of episode today to see how it performed and i saw no change in video quality.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Trying to increase quality on MPEG-2 for DVD, iMac 5k, compressor 3.5.3, os x yosemite
on Apr 21, 2015 at 8:06:25 pm

[Arlin Golden] "We were all watching DVDs for years before bluray and hd streaming hit the scene, and criterion was putting HD trasnfers onto DVDs (and still continues to do so) without any pixelation."

If you're talking about commercial DVDs they're using very high end down scalers. Down scaling can be problem.

[Arlin Golden] "Is there a better way to down convert to SD? right now I just take an apple prores hq master file and compress that directly to mpeg-2."

In Compressor you may want to job chain and do a separate downscale. In fact you may want to do the downscale separately and check that you're happy with the quality first.

[Arlin Golden] "I dont understand you question about keyframes and iframes, but I can tell you the pixellation occurs in the video whenever theres a lot of motion going on; big blocky pixels. "

Not enough data for the motion. Perhaps it's a VBR peak setting. Transitions (dissolves for example) are considered extremely fast motion since every frame has changing information.

[Arlin Golden] "I actually just tried the trial version of episode today to see how it performed and i saw no change in video quality."

All programs require user input for best quality. You have to test and tweak settings over the most difficult regions.



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Arlin Golden
Re: Trying to increase quality on MPEG-2 for DVD, iMac 5k, compressor 3.5.3, os x yosemite
on Apr 21, 2015 at 8:14:25 pm

Great! This is very helpful, Im loving it. So i didnt mention this but I am working for a commercial company, and these DVDs are for sale. What are these down scalers of which you speak?

and could you elaborate a little more regarding the job chain in compressor? What settings would I use for a separate downscale?

for the not enough data for motion, would using cbr instead of vbr help?

ill give the episode trial another crack with some tweaked settings and see how that goes.

thank you so much again for taking the time to respond!


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Jeff Pulera
Re: Trying to increase quality on MPEG-2 for DVD, iMac 5k, compressor 3.5.3, os x yosemite
on Apr 22, 2015 at 9:23:41 pm

Hi Arlin,

What is the length of the video? That will determine the bitrate. General rule of thumb is 560/minutes=bitrate, however most users choose not to exceed 7 or 8 max for compatibility with all players.

Thanks

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Arlin Golden
Re: Trying to increase quality on MPEG-2 for DVD, iMac 5k, compressor 3.5.3, os x yosemite
on Apr 22, 2015 at 9:27:45 pm

It's just a 60 min film, so i guess keeping at 7 or 8 would be what to do (especially since builds in dvdsp that exceed 7.7 get booted).

I think I've determined though that my main issue is one of downscaling HD video. Ive looked through the creative cow thread on that topic and tried a lot of what was mentioned but to no avail. Is the only way to do it at a professional level to buy a downscaling box like this one? http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/618348-REG/Matrox_MXO2_MINI_D_MXO2_Mi...


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Jeff Pulera
Re: Trying to increase quality on MPEG-2 for DVD, iMac 5k, compressor 3.5.3, os x yosemite
on Apr 22, 2015 at 9:31:53 pm

I'm an MXO2 Mini user and that is not what you need. You just need the correct workflow with the existing software. Not a Mac user, but in the past had seen others suggest the "right way" to get a good DVD from an HD video source using Compressor. Will search and see what I can find. It is possible ;-)

Thanks

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Arlin Golden
Re: Trying to increase quality on MPEG-2 for DVD, iMac 5k, compressor 3.5.3, os x yosemite
on Apr 22, 2015 at 9:34:39 pm

I see!

What do you use that box for if I may ask?

There must be a way, right? There are unpixelated commercial DVDs all over the place!


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Jeff Pulera
Re: Trying to increase quality on MPEG-2 for DVD, iMac 5k, compressor 3.5.3, os x yosemite
on Apr 22, 2015 at 9:40:48 pm

I work on PC with Premiere CS6, and MXO2 provides capture and playback (monitoring) from Premiere. Yes, it is capable of doing hardware scaling, but that is DURING capture or playback. It does not perform these duties within any software (exporting HD timeline video to SD format).

I searched for the HD to DVD with Compressor and find so many differing opinions...confusing as I don't use Mac. I think part of the workflow may have been that you don't export directly from HD to MPEG-2 DVD, rather you might export to an SD QuickTime file first, but I have no doubt there are specific settings needed for optimum results.

Thanks

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Craig Seeman
Re: Trying to increase quality on MPEG-2 for DVD, iMac 5k, compressor 3.5.3, os x yosemite
on Apr 22, 2015 at 9:46:38 pm
Last Edited By Craig Seeman on Apr 22, 2015 at 9:48:36 pm

[Arlin Golden] "There are unpixelated commercial DVDs all over the place!"

Likely not done in Compressor. I suspect Compressor 4.1 is improved. There was a high end plugin for MPEG2 encoder for Compressor that I thought was killed some time back.

CinemaCraft
http://cinemacraft.visiblelight.com/cinema-craft-encoder-MP

It does list Compressor 3, 3.5, 5 but seems to stop at OS 10.7. It's listed as "out of stock"

$990
http://www.visiblelight.com/cinema-craft-encoder-mp-for-mac.html



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Craig Seeman
Re: Trying to increase quality on MPEG-2 for DVD, iMac 5k, compressor 3.5.3, os x yosemite
on Apr 22, 2015 at 9:37:23 pm

Compatibility depends on the quality of the DVD Player. for that reason many compressionists will keep the data rate to 6.5mbps even though the spec allows a higher data rate.

BTW there was an issue with some version of Compressor 3.x where VBR encoding resulting in pixelation. CBR set to 6 or 6.5mbps would be worth a try.

If there's a particularly bad section with fast action, adding a Compression Marker can help as that resets the KeyFrame for the GOP where the P and B frames draw their information from.



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Arlin Golden
Re: Trying to increase quality on MPEG-2 for DVD, iMac 5k, compressor 3.5.3, os x yosemite
on Apr 22, 2015 at 10:13:08 pm

Oh really? I mean the quality is pretty poor throughout, but the pixelation definitely gets worse in certain parts with a lot of motion. How do I add those compression markers you mentioned? Ill give CBR a go as well. Thanks for all your help!


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Craig Seeman
Re: Trying to increase quality on MPEG-2 for DVD, iMac 5k, compressor 3.5.3, os x yosemite
on Apr 22, 2015 at 10:47:12 pm

First try CBR set to 6.5mbps and see how that works.

Placing Compression Markers is easy. It's in the User Manual. I haven't used 3.5.3 in some time though. There should be some sort of Add Marker command.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Trying to increase quality on MPEG-2 for DVD, iMac 5k, compressor 3.5.3, os x yosemite
on Apr 22, 2015 at 11:17:06 pm

From the Compressor 3.5 manual.


The Preview window has additional features, including a marker management pop-up menu. The marker management pop-up menu allows you to import chapter lists or manually add chapter (and podcast) markers and compression markers (to improve the compression quality of your media file). You can also view Edit/Cut compression markers that were generated in other applications such as Final Cut Pro. If you are sending a Final Cut Pro project to Compressor, these settings or markers are transferred with your project. These markers are also exported to DVD Studio Pro. See Working with MPEG-2 I-Frames and More About GOPs and Markers for more information.
____

• Compression markers: Compression markers are also known as manual compression markers. These are markers you can add to a Final Cut Pro sequence (or in the Compressor Preview window) to indicate when Compressor should generate an MPEG I-frame during compression. See Understanding GOPs and Frame Types for more information on I-frames.
These markers appear as blue in the Preview window timeline and are the type created when you manually add markers using Compressor. You can convert compression markers into chapter markers using the Edit item of the Markers pop-up menu.



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