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h.264 with Five Audio Channels?

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Kevin Anton
h.264 with Five Audio Channels?
on Aug 8, 2019 at 8:53:28 am

Ultimately, I'm trying to create an ingest preset so that when I bring footage into Premiere, it will create proxies. I compared a handful of codecs (Prores Proxy, Dnx, Cineform) and none of them come anywhere close to h.264 when it comes to image quality and file size. They all create files that look worse while taking up ten times as much space as h.264.

The problem is my footage (Alexa Mini) has five channels of audio, and apparently h.264 does not support five channels of audio. All of the channels are blank audio from the camera, so I don't care about them, but Premiere will not ingest the footage using an h.264 proxy codec because the audio channels do not match.

Am I missing something here? 1. Why do video codecs even have varied audio options? 2. Why does h.264 not support five channels?

From looking at older threads, it seems like this was totally doable two years ago before they changed the export settings around. You could choose to export a Quicktime, then just pick the H.264 codec for the video and "uncompressed" for the audio, and you could set it to five channels. Now if you want h.264, you have to choose that as the filetype instead of Quicktime, and you don't have an uncompressed audio option. Why would they get rid of that ability?

Is there another codec that works as well as h.264 and allows more audio channels? (Like I said, Prores, Dnx, and Cineform are not good enough.)
My last resort is to batch remove every audio channel from the source files, but I'd rather not do that if I don't have to.


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