Apple's MPEG-2 DVD Encoder kicks ass!

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Finally got a chance to play with DVD Studio Pro 1.5 and the MPEG-2 encoder (NOT the MPEG-playback component for QT 6)



I was testing it with a one minute long DV clip. Using VBR setting. And guess what?. On my Dual GHz SlowSilver (tm) it takes only 50 seconds to encode!



Using Media Cleaner 5.1 even with the MPEG charger it still takes 8 minutes 35 sec to encode the same thing.



Then later my friend took the same DV clip to his friend's 2.4 GHz P4 PC with Canopus hardware encoding card. It takes about 39 seconds to finish the MPEG-2 compression.



Using Media Cleaner 5.1 with MPEG charger on this PC it takes around 6 minutes to do the job



Yeap. A PC with hardware add on really smokes the Mac......but guess how much my friend's friend's PC costs? A whopping $7500 CDN!



Compare to my SlowSilver(tm) I paid $4000 CDN on this and can get close to hardware compression speed.



All in all. Hats off to Apple. They have done a great job*





*Still hope they have faster/cheaper hardware



[ 08-03-2002: Message edited by: Leonis ]</p>
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,455member
    Yeah but the Mac only got 275 fps in Quake3 versus the PC that got like 311 fps... so Mac's must suck right?



    Nick
  • Reply 2 of 34
    leonisleonis Posts: 3,427member
    [quote]Originally posted by trumptman:

    <strong>Yeah but the Mac only got 275 fps in Quake3 versus the PC that got like 311 fps... so Mac's must suck right?



    Nick</strong><hr></blockquote>



    <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />
  • Reply 3 of 34
    badtzbadtz Posts: 949member
    by using dvd studio pro's encoder, does the quality differ between different encoders?
  • Reply 4 of 34
    I'm also curious about the difference in quality with different encoders. Is there a difference between iDVD2 and DVD studio pro when it comes to quality of encoding?



    I'm working on encoding a lot of family movies and want to get it right the first time.
  • Reply 5 of 34
    leonisleonis Posts: 3,427member
    The major difference between the iDVD 2 and DVD SP 1.5 's encoder is that iDVD's does NOT support variable bit rate. Bit rate in iDVD is fixed and this is why the limit of the length is 90 minutes.



    DVDSP on the other hand, can compress more or less depending on what's on the clip. Compresses more if the clip is blurry (motion) or compresses less if there are a lot of details.



    iDVD's compression is slightly faster than DVD SP's....again because of the fixed compression rate.



    As for quality. The quality of those MPEG files compressed with DVDSP's MPEG2 exporter is pretty good. VERY compable to those commerical DVDs



    Again....no matter how good the compressor is if the original video source is crap you still only can make crap



    I found the MPEG2 files made by Media Cleaner w/Charger is somewhat blurry....not to mention sloooooooow



    [ 08-04-2002: Message edited by: Leonis ]</p>
  • Reply 6 of 34
    badtzbadtz Posts: 949member
    is audio fixed/constant br?
  • Reply 7 of 34
    leonisleonis Posts: 3,427member
    [quote]Originally posted by Badtz:

    <strong>is audio fixed/constant br?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    When creating MPEG-2 file with QT player or FCP I see the option "Save Audio"



    If I check that option a seperate audio file will be saved. If can be either non-compressed AIF file or MPEG-2 Audio file....but didn't really check out the bit rate.
  • Reply 8 of 34
    709709 Posts: 2,016member
    Actually, DVDSP does not have a *true* VBRC. I work quite a bit with MPEG-2 compression, and although I love SP for authoring, it still lacks a bit in the compression arena.



    For most projects &gt;30 min of content, I'll go ahead and use the SP codec set to '8', and most of the time that's acceptable, but for anything over that I'll farm it out to a compression house that has the hardware (ie: compression cards) that will make 2-2.5 hrs. of film on a DVD a reality.



    Why? When I first started in DVD production (approx. 5 years ago) there were very few encoding/authoring solutions available. The firm I used to be in decided Sonic Solutions had the best compression scheme available, and $88,000.00 later (yes $88G, $70G for the SS cards/BO box, $6G for a mackin' beige G3 tower setup, and $12G for a first-gen 1x Pioneer DVD burner) we set up shop. So, yes I'm fairly anal about *pure* compression.



    3 years later, along comes DVDSP for US $999. Everything and a bit more that the SS system had to offer, except for VBRE. An outstanding move on Apple's part, and one I hope they continue with with all of their new aquisitions.



    *History Lesson Over* - What I'm hoping for in DVDSP 2.0 is a real encoder. What this means to me is that I can set a *high* and *low* bit-rate, with the encoder smart enough to realize that a dip to black doesn't need to be encoded at 8, or even better, an encoder that I can use to say 'Hey, that bit isn't as good as I think it should be, go back and encode just that bit at a higher bit-rate." If that could happen, all other hardware solutions would be obsolete.



    G.



    [edit: spelling]



    [ 08-04-2002: Message edited by: 709 ]</p>
  • Reply 9 of 34
    709709 Posts: 2,016member
    Sorry Leonis, I should have included this in my previous post.



    --------------

    DVDSP on the other hand, can compress more or less depending on what's on the clip. Compresses more if the clip is blurry (motion) or compresses less if there are a lot of details.

    --------------



    I think that iDVD is perpetually set at the equivalent of DVDSP compression of *8*. I've received quite a bit of email from people trying to encode their projects from iDVD (longer than 60min or so) and having problems with playback. My advice to them has been to shorten their clips or move to DVSP.



    --------------

    iDVD's compression is slightly faster than DVD SP's....again because of the fixed compression rate.

    --------------



    Apple's description of a *variable* bit-rate is a little mis-leading. Yes, you can choose a bit-rate from 1-9, and that might be considered variable. But a *true* VBR will let you pick a high and low bit-rate, and your VOB will dip in and out of these settings (with the obvious exception of black dips and fades, which should be at much lower rates).



    --------------

    As for quality. The quality of those MPEG files compressed with DVDSP's MPEG2 exporter is pretty good. VERY compable to those commerical DVDs

    --------------



    Agreed. For under $1G it is truely the best compression on the market.



    --------------

    Again....no matter how good the compressor is if the original video source is crap you still only can make crap

    --------------



    Well put.



    G.



    [edit: formatting]



    [ 08-04-2002: Message edited by: 709 ]</p>
  • Reply 10 of 34
    badtzbadtz Posts: 949member
    709:::



    what would u recommend for software VRB encoding???



    [.....audio?]
  • Reply 11 of 34
    leonisleonis Posts: 3,427member
    So I am mistaken on DVD SP's so-called VBR



    Thanks for letting me know 709. Really appreciate it



    Since it's my first time to try...there's still a loooooooooong way to "get into the thing"
  • Reply 12 of 34
    709709 Posts: 2,016member
    [quote]Originally posted by Badtz:

    <strong>709:::



    what would u recommend for software VRB encoding???



    [.....audio?]</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Well, for software/hardware add-ons beyond the Discreet Cleaner MPEG Charger (which I agree is crappy IMO), I'd recommend HEURIS. These guys have had the consistantly best MPEG-1/2 on the market forever and have been totally underated (kinda like Apple, hmmm..). The software solution is quite nice, although a bit more expensive than most casual users want to spend. They also have hardware solutions available, but these are definitely out of the range of all but pro users.



    That said, if you're like most on these boards, the DVDSP codec is going to fulfill 75% of your needs. If you decide (or your clients decide for you) that you're going to make a profession out of designing/encoding DVDs, well, HEURIS is the best option for now.



    G.
  • Reply 13 of 34
    709709 Posts: 2,016member
    Whoops! I'm kind of new at this thing (ie: my post count) so let me append my previous post. Yes, you can use any video and audio stream created by HEURIS (or any other package for that matter) by simply placing them into your VIDEO_TS or AUDIO_TS folders.



    Although, DVDSP will create these folders and files for you when you author, DO NOT assume that SP will like your files created in another HW/SW package. Import, save, create disc. All will be beautiful.



    G.
  • Reply 14 of 34
    badtzbadtz Posts: 949member
    Does HEURIS also encode audio? what's a good software audio encoder?



    after HEURIS, what would be a good software vbr encoder?
  • Reply 15 of 34
    709709 Posts: 2,016member
    [quote]Originally posted by Badtz:

    <strong>Does HEURIS also encode audio? what's a good software audio encoder?



    after HEURIS, what would be a good software vbr encoder?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Yes, AFAIK HEURIS does encode audio. I believe the last iteration encoded AC-3, but I'm not completely sure of Dolby SS 5.1, you'll have to check with them for that. Sorry for not being up on current updates.



    G.
  • Reply 16 of 34
    709709 Posts: 2,016member
    [QUOTE



    after HEURIS, what would be a good software vbr encoder?[/QB][/QUOTE]



    Badtz, as you can probably tell in my posts, I'm what many compressionists (yes, that's a real word) would call a *purist*. Compressionists hate me. I want the best. I want NO artifacts. AND I want a low (within reason) bit-rate. Not easy.



    That said, I can honestly tell you there are NO good software encoders beyond what we've talked about on the Apple platform. And no, I'm not going to look for, find any or recommend any that are out there for x86. I'm sure there are far more out there, but I find the x86 platform unpallateable (SP?).



    I'm sure we'll see more in the very near future, but this is new territory for desktop systems.



    G.
  • Reply 17 of 34
    leonisleonis Posts: 3,427member
    With Apple's acquirsition of Spruse Technology I expect to see something really ass kicking in the future.
  • Reply 18 of 34
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,268member
    [quote]Originally posted by Leonis:

    <strong>With Apple's acquirsition of Spruse Technology I expect to see something really ass kicking in the future.</strong><hr></blockquote>





    I don't get it though. What does Spruce offer that Apple didn't already have with DVD Studio Pro? I thought they bought Spruce just to weaken DVD Authoring on the PC.
  • Reply 19 of 34
    leonisleonis Posts: 3,427member
    [quote]Originally posted by hmurchison:

    <strong>





    I don't get it though. What does Spruce offer that Apple didn't already have with DVD Studio Pro? I thought they bought Spruce just to weaken DVD Authoring on the PC.</strong><hr></blockquote>





    DVD SP is "from" Astare which Apple aquired many years ago.
  • Reply 20 of 34
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,268member
    [quote]Originally posted by Leonis:

    <strong>





    DVD SP is "from" Astare which Apple aquired many years ago.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Yes ...does anyone know what Spruce Technologies offered that Astarte didn't? I'm really confused about the purchase of a company that had no intentions of offering Mac products. IMO it sounds alot more fishy that the emagic buyout.
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