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QuickTime MPEG2 Component

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Brent AltomareQuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 13, 2006 at 11:17:19 pm

Hey Gang -

I have a confusing problem here. I have QuickTime Pro installed (using the automatic QuickTime Pro registration that the Final Cuit Studio now employs), and I have paid for, downloaded, and installed the MPEG2 component.

I have a friend that has the same configuration (as far as I can tell) and in QuickTime Player, he has a Export to MPEG2. I do not have that option. Any ideas what I'm doing wrong, here?

Apple OSX 10.4.6
QuickTime 7.0.4

In the QuickTime Register screen, it says
QuickTime Pro Registration
Registered to: Apple Pro Apps User
Registration Code: Automatic

I know the MPEG 2 Component is installed because I can play M2V files that were created by Compressor.

Help!

--
Brent Altomare
Groovy Like a Movie
(877) 3-GROOVY


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PaulDRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 14, 2006 at 10:14:19 am

Hi
Could be he's still using QT 6.5.2 or earlier, where it was an option.


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Brent AltomareRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 14, 2006 at 4:21:28 pm

[PaulD] "Could be he's still using QT 6.5.2 or earlier, where it was an option."

He's using same exact version of QuickTime. We went through everything line-by-line. That was one of the things I thought, too.

Thanks for replying!

--
Brent Altomare
Groovy Like a Movie
(877) 3-GROOVY


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Simon Carlson-ThiesRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 14, 2006 at 12:52:39 pm

Quicktime MPEG2 codec does not give you an export option, if you have compressor which if you have final cut you do you can export MPEG2 files.


Best of luck

Simon Carlson-Thies


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Brent AltomareRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 14, 2006 at 4:29:18 pm

[Simon Carlson-Thies] "Quicktime MPEG2 codec does not give you an export option, if you have compressor which if you have final cut you do you can export MPEG2 files."

Well, SOMETHING gives QuickTime player an MPEG2 export option, because my editor friend has it.

We're not using Compressor because we're having a quality problem with it that we can't solve. The editor who is giving us a hand has exported some of our projects using QuickTime Player and those MPEG2s don't exhibit the same problems as the MPEG2s exported from Compresor. I had a thread over on one of the DVD forums with that quality problem and we weren't able to solve it. If you are really good at Commpressor, please PM me (so we can keep the forum on-topic) and I'll give you more details on the problem we're trying to solve.

Thanks for replying!

--
Brent Altomare
Groovy Like a Movie
(877) 3-GROOVY


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Simon Carlson-ThiesRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 14, 2006 at 11:12:19 pm

Hey Brent

Does your editor friend have DVD studio pro installed? if so I think that might be the reason, since the MPEG2 codec apple sells is a playback only.

What exactly was your problem with Compressor?

Simon Carlson-Thies


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Brent AltomareRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 14, 2006 at 11:29:47 pm

[Simon Carlson-Thies] "Does your editor friend have DVD studio pro installed?"

He does have DVDSP installed, but so do we (as part of Final Cut Studio). We're now beginning to think that Apple has removed the MPEG2 export out of QT7, and he still has it as a legacy from QT6. Even though he has QT7Pro currently installed, he updated from QT6Pro. We did a clean system install from Tiger disks so we started with QT7.

[Simon Carlson-Thies] "What exactly was your problem with Compressor?"

I hate to go off topic, but I'm pretty much out of ideas so here we go:

On almost all of our projects (we primarily work in DV-NTSC) when we burn DVDs, SOME of our cross-fade transitions show pretty serious MPEG artifacting (where we see large digital-looking blocks in portions of the image).

We were convinced that this was a result of not having a high enough bit-rate set in Compressor. However, we don't want to push it past approximately 8Mbps because everything I've read says that will cause compatability problems with many set-top boxes.

One of our freelancers says the television station he works for doesn't use Compressor because of quality issues like the one I'm describing, and that they use QuickTime Pro for all their MPEG2 output for DVDs.

So he can use QuickTime player at work to compress MPEG2 files, he can do it at home, he can do it in a box, he can do it with a fox, but on OUR 3 edit suites and my laptop (all configured with QuickTime Pro, the QuickTime MPEG2 component, and Final Cut Studio), we can't seem to do it at all!

Any suggestions, advice, prayers, voodoo, etc will be much appreciated!

--
Brent Altomare
Groovy Like a Movie
(877) 3-GROOVY


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Simon Carlson-ThiesRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 15, 2006 at 3:26:24 pm

As to the mpeg component not being avalible in QT7 your probably right, now that you mention it I seem to remember the option being avalible in QT6 pro.

As to why your compression to MPEG 2 looks try this:

Try using compression markers, to keyframe compression quality at those points where you seem to be losing it. (you can do this in compressor or final cut)

Your bit rate may have some thing to do with the problem, but I would imagine it is the I-frame order on the footage you aren't getting the quality frames where you need them.

The other thing is it could be because you work in DV, which is already heavily compressed. Personally I work with uncompressed footage so I never run into this problem.

Hope this helps

Simon Carlson-Thies


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Brent AltomareRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 16, 2006 at 5:11:11 am

Thanks for the suggestion Simon.

We did quite a bit of playign around with compression markers and even tried to futz with the GOP structure to see if that gave us any improvement.

I'm also a little concerned that the problem may be related to our work in DV. I'm going to see if I can take one of our uncompressed projects (we have one right now that originated in HDCAM) and try to reproduce the problem.

--
Brent Altomare
Groovy Like a Movie
(877) 3-GROOVY


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Chris BabbittRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 16, 2006 at 3:36:03 am

Apple DID remove the export option with FCP 5. They want you to use Compressor. But, oddly enough, some people retained the export option after they upgraded. I called Apple and was told "officially" that it was removed. I'll bet you are using 2-pass VBR in Compressor. If you are, switch to Single-pass and your problems should disappear.


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Brent AltomareRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 16, 2006 at 5:14:57 am

Sounds like that's what happened. Makes sense.

I didn't think to try a single pass VBR... I would have thought that would make the problem worse, not better...

But hey... I'll give anything a go at this point! I'll switch to a single pass VBR and run an output on Monday to see what happens.

Actually, now that I think about it, if that really does solve the issue, that would explain why the output from QuickTime player would look better than the Compressor output. I'm sure that the output from QuickTime player would be a simple single pass... which would also explain why QuickTime player is faster at compressing the MPEG2 than Compressor...

OK... now you've gone and gotten my hopes up. I'll let you know if they get dashed.

Thanks!

--
Brent Altomare
Groovy Like a Movie
(877) 3-GROOVY


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Deke KincaidRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 16, 2006 at 4:27:03 am

>>We were convinced that this was a result of not having a high enough bit-rate set in Compressor. >>However, we don't want to push it past approximately 8Mbps because everything I've read says that will >>cause compatability problems with many set-top boxes.

Upping the bit rate won't help you. This is jut a matter of understanding how mpeg compression works. Anything fast moving or fast transitions needs less B frames. Simply goto the GOP tab and change the GOP structure from "IBBP" to "IBP" and if that isn't smooth enough, change it to "IP".

There is a whole chapter on this stuff in the manual, you should read it :)

-deke


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Brent AltomareRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 16, 2006 at 5:08:27 am

Thanks for all the suggestions, gang.

I should have mentioned this in my original posts, but we had tried several variations of placing compression markers (including one pass, in desperation, where we placed a compression marker in every frame of each of the bad transitions).

I also tried changing to shorter GOP structures. We've been through all that and the only thing that seems to show any improvement from Compressor is increasing the bit-rate past the point that is recommended for compatibility with set top boxes.

And by the way, I did R.T.F.M. as part of my troubleshooting. ;-)

What has us most baffled is that the MPEG2 files exported from QuickTime Player don't show the same issues as the ones from Compressor. Same original file, no markers, different results.

It is obvious that we are doing SOMETHING wrong because our problem seems to be pretty unique, so I'm very happy to receive any and all suggestions!

--
Brent Altomare
Groovy Like a Movie
(877) 3-GROOVY


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Gunleik GrovenRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 16, 2006 at 1:04:44 pm

Your issues are not unique!

They've been discussed a lot on the FCP forum. (Do a search over there)

my solution has been to buy BitVice from http://www.innobits.se.

This solves most mpeg2 issues for me, still on some (very old and shaky 16 mm dubbed to digi) footage, I'm still playing around with different options and settings in both Compressor and BitVice.

You can dl a free, full working demo to check if it solves your issues. It leaves a watermark but otherwise it's the real deal.

Gunleik


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Brent AltomareRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 16, 2006 at 6:10:32 pm

I'll check BitVice out. Thanks for the suggestion!

--
Brent Altomare
Groovy Like a Movie
(877) 3-GROOVY


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AlexanderRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 17, 2006 at 1:02:17 pm

Hi Brent,
The problem with Compressor is the VBR, one pass or two, no-matter. With VBR choosing a data-rate higher than a modest 6-7mbs actually allows SPIKING to above the 10.2mbs limit, with all those subsequent problems.
Stay with one-pass!
Compressor actually has really good features (the filters, the avoidance of the DV codec when used straight out of FCP, etc) that Bitvice cannot do.
Use One Pass for material under 60 mins and you can go up to the max. (9mbs). You'll be amazed at the results.

Cheers
Alexander


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Brent AltomareRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 17, 2006 at 2:59:30 pm

Thanks Alexander -

I'm giving this suggestion a try now.

--
Brent Altomare
Groovy Like a Movie
(877) 3-GROOVY


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Don GreeningRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 17, 2006 at 4:51:21 pm

[Alexander] "Compressor actually has really good features (the filters, the avoidance of the DV codec when used straight out of FCP, etc) that Bitvice cannot do."

Hi Alexander,

A little while ago some kind soul did a little comparison test with Compressor: he exported a self-contained .mov from FCP and then used Compressor stand-alone for the encode. Then the same .mov exported to Compressor from within FCP. The result was that the encoded .mov file using Compressor within FCP was considerably darker than the version encoded with Compressor as a stand-alone app. He posted screen grabs as proof. He said he'd never use Compressor within FCP again but only as a stand-alone program.

Interesting, don't you think?

- Don



"Please take a moment to fill out your profile, including your computer system and relevant software. Help us help you."


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AlexanderRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 18, 2006 at 12:05:01 am

[Don Greening] "Interesting, don't you think?"
Yes, very.
No link to that post?
I suspect this has to do with how/what the recorded material is, so this could/ could not be a problem.
However Compressor has a gamma control filter, although there is not much info in the Compressor manual.



Cheers
Alexander


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Don GreeningRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 18, 2006 at 1:26:08 am

Hi Alexander,

I found it! Here's the link to the original thread from the FCP forum back in Feb/06:

http://forums.creativecow.net/cgi-bin/new_read_post.cgi?univpostid=883453&f...

.....and here's the link to the test images. I didn't think the test images would still be available online but they are:

http://www.visiontracks.com/compressortests/

Let me know what you think.

- Don


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AlexanderRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 18, 2006 at 8:23:37 am

Thanks Don,
Hmmm,
Requires some thought.
The difference cannot be due to hardware used, as that was the same for both images.
What I can conclude is that unlike some, who say that both methods are identical, FCP DEFINATELY does it different.
It may render in 4:4:4 or 4:2:2 colorspace, which is different to the DV codec's handling (4:1:1) and there-in lies the gamma difference.
This may be more or less noticable, depending on the codec and/or camera used.
I'll try a test in the DV codec between the two methods and post.
However, for DV, encoding in Compressor via FCP, produces a cleaner sharper picture as one transcoding (to QuickTime's codec) is avoided, and the gamma
factor, if problematic, can be adjusted with the gamma filter, after all, why is this filter there, if not for these situations.
My 2 cents......

Cheers
Alexander


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Simon Carlson-ThiesRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 18, 2006 at 3:37:39 pm

The issue becomes your using a very compressed codec (DV), and you are then compressing it more. The problem becomes that because programs don't handle compression in the same way you end up with the type of problems that you have been dealing with.

best of luck

Simon Carlson-Thies


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AlexanderRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 19, 2006 at 11:50:41 am

[Simon Carlson-Thies] "The issue becomes your using a very compressed codec (DV), and you are then compressing it more. The problem becomes that because programs don't handle compression in the same way you end up with the type of problems that you have been dealing with.

best of luck

Simon Carlson-Thies"


Excuse me Simon,
but to which of the above posts is this a reply to?

Cheers
Alexander


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Simon Carlson-ThiesRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 19, 2006 at 3:52:42 pm

The post I put it under...

If you work in DV you should expect these problems, compression issues... thats why you should work in uncompressed or HD...

The problem of color space, and gamma... is less the problem, then the fact that its DV... and that you are dealing with compressed footage, which is always more difficult to work with...

But this is just my opinion, since I don't like DV, its hard to composite with and color correct.. since there isn't a lot of color information in the frames.

Simon Carlson-Thies


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AlexanderRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 20, 2006 at 6:45:49 am

[Simon Carlson-Thies] "in DV you should expect these problems, compression issues... thats why you should work in uncompressed or HD..."

But isn't HD compressed as mpeg2 in the 4:2:0 colorspace?



Cheers
Alexander


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Gunleik GrovenRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 20, 2006 at 5:40:16 pm

[Alexander] "But isn't HD compressed as mpeg2 in the 4:2:0 colorspace?"

HD, like SD comes in all flavors. What you are refering to is HDV which is even more compressed and with a considered worse GOP fram compression, than the i-frame based DV.
HDV and DV has the same dataflow, so the calculus does not look too good for HDV.

The point is: Go un-/less- compressed for aqusition and editing, then you can finish to any format.

Gunleik


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AlexanderRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 20, 2006 at 11:36:58 pm

[Gunleik Groven] "The point is: Go un-/less- compressed for aqusition and editing, then you can finish to any format."

Of course,
But it's like saying, be Bill Gates, and you don't have to compromise on equipment. I'd LOVE something like a Varicam,
but I'll bet most of this forum uses DV. It's all about the $$$$$.....


Cheers
Alexander


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Brent AltomareRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 23, 2006 at 12:05:48 am

So here's the resolution(s)

1) QuickTime 6 has the MPEG2 output option, QuickTime 7 doesn't. If you UPGRADE from QT6, you retain the option, if you directly install QT7, you don't have it

2) It appears that going to a 1-pass method of encoding has solved my Compressor quality issue (as much as I still think it's weird).

Thanks to everyone who chimed in with suggestions! Once again, the COW comes through!

--
Brent Altomare
Groovy Like a Movie
(877) 3-GROOVY


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AlexanderRe: QuickTime MPEG2 Component
by on Apr 24, 2006 at 1:10:12 am

Interesting,
Re the link that Don G posted; http://www.visiontracks.com/compressortests/
It must be the Codec, and/or interlaced v. progressive scan, ( the comparison between FCP>Compressor and QT>Compressor was in the DVCPro-50 30p format ).
I could not get a gamma difference with DV PAL interlaced.

Cheers
Alexander


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