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?s for Floh re Bitvice

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topher944?s for Floh re Bitvice
by on Dec 24, 2006 at 12:48:16 am

Hey Floh, was just wondering if bitvice stands up "quality wise" with the majority of so-called professional dvd duplicators. Some of these companies say they can encode realtime from my digi betas. It turns out that the first copy of my 12+ hour program will be $600+ and around $100 for future copies in quantities of 6 or more using 2 pass encoding. As these are going to hospitals that purchase the programming - getting 500 or 1000 made through replication is not an option. I know that some pro-encoders have mulitpass (more than 2 pass) encoding options, (but don't think anyone I've approached has this capability). Is this something I should look into? Will Bitvice's adjustable GOP give me equal encoding quality to houses that use, say, Sonic encoders? I have M100 8.2.2 on a dual G4 1.4 - 1.25GB ram 2.3TB SATA array and have installed an internal pioneer DVD burner and will build and burn the disc through DVD SP3/4. I have previously been using QT Pro for MPEG2 encoding and am a little dissapointed with noise, jagged edges,washed out blacks and dull colors. I know this is a lot to cover, but I really need advice or be pointed to a independent test before I spend $350 for a slight improvement. Anyone else with Bitvice cheers or jeers please respond! Thanks Floh, and Kind Regards to All. Chris K.

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FlohRe: ?s for Floh re Bitvice
by on Dec 24, 2006 at 9:14:39 am

as far as I know the "realtime" encoders only do 1-pass encoding. If you need 2 pass they usually have to do 2 passes from tape to get better picture quality. E.g. the Optibase products work this way.
The question as usual is what you want to get. BitVice is an excellent MPEG encoder, but of course there are always options that are much more expensive and may produce slightly better results. But one thing that is important when comparing BitVice to Compressor or the MPEG2 option for QuickTime player is the fact that BitVice can handle the Media 100 (and Avid) RGB colorspace correctly.
Media 100 files are recorded in YUV, as most other video signals. QuickTime is an RGB format, so at a point there is a YUV->RGB conversion. Media 100 and Avid have a standard for this that sets 0% black to RGB 16,16,16 and 100% white to RGB 2335,235,235. This means that there is some headroom to reproduce superblack and superwhite (black and white values below 0% and over 100%). Apple does map 0% black to RGB0 and 100% white to RGB255. This means that when you encode a Media 100 file with Compressor you will get washed out blacks (RGB16, which is black for Media 100 is only dark grey for Apple) and too low whites, plus the chroma also will be reduced.
BitVice has the option to encode these files "correctly", giving you results that are very close to the original. Many commercial DVDs have been produced with BitVice, and the quality is really good. We did several commercial titles for the German DVD market (mostly music and Comedy DVDs), and they all sell quite weil. And nobody did complain about the image quality ;-)
I think BitVice is an excellent MPEG2 encoder. It is not the fastest option out there, but they have some great features to enhance image quality, and the results are really good.

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Bobby MVRe: ?s for Floh re Bitvice
by on Dec 24, 2006 at 6:45:58 pm

is there an alternative to bitvice? what if youre using media 100 HD? i see an option when exporting you can set it to RGB 0-255. could you then use final cut pro's compressor to get better results?

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Peter DeArmondRe: ?s for Floh re Bitvice
by on Dec 25, 2006 at 7:33:35 am


Just curious... have you tried MainConcept's encoder? If so, how does it compare with BitVice?

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Michael SloweRe: ?s for Floh re Bitvice
by on Dec 24, 2006 at 9:58:21 pm

I use BitVice following Floh's advice, to make my DVD's from my Media 100 timeline where I have uncompressed HD. This means that the encoding (2 pass VBR average 7.5) takes a long time but the results are generally good although for some reason I sometimes get 'noisy' edges. One other system that a friend of mine uses to make very good DVD's is made by Canopus but I don't know theexact name. I still find tape gives by far the best picture quality but of course you need special kit to play it. DVD's are the thing but let's hope HD will give us better pictures than we are currently getting.

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Andy TaplinRe: ?s for Floh re Bitvice
by on Jan 3, 2007 at 9:49:02 am

I'm going to stick my kneck out here and say that the encoding tools available for the mac are inferior to those available for the PC unless all you want to produce are QuickTime movies.

I'm a big Mac fan having bought my first one in 1989. I've never owned a PC until last year and now I do all my file encoding on the PC using Procoder for WMV's and MPEG-1 and Cinemacraft for MPEG-2.

Both work faster than real time and produce better results tha BitVice, Cleaner, Mainconcept, Wired MediaPress etc - I've tried them all.

Cinemacraft is expensive at

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topher944Re: ?s for Floh re Bitvice
by on Jan 4, 2007 at 6:20:08 am

Hey Andy, I'm glad you replied, becuase my research has produced the same info. I thought I was going to committ a horrible Mac Sin by saying what you just said. Mac Creators wake up!!! - maybe someone can create a program that will equal CCE for the MAC. We already know a program like that will cost money - but now I'm facing buying a fast PC and CCE software - about a 2500US chunk of cash. I'd pay the 1995 to bitvice if they could equal the speed and quality of CCE. Why is there alway 1 thing mac doesn't = PCs in. I'll always use mac to create - but I'd love to stay there through delivery! Kind Regards! Chris K

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Andy TaplinRe: ?s for Floh re Bitvice
by on Jan 5, 2007 at 9:22:16 am

Cinemacraft is well worth the money, it just saves so much time and you know it's going to look great, and of course you can carry on creating on the Mac at the same time.

The other reason for buying a PC was that most of my clients are PC based and I needed a way to check stuff before I handed it over like interactive CD-ROMs and WMV files. I think it's inevitable that we have to have a PC in the corner looking ugly!


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