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Video Encoder for HD Content

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#1
What program (encoder) and codec you recommend to encode (compress) .m2ts HD video files I save from my HD camcorder. These files are too large for storage and for later view on the PC with multimedia players.

I was thinking of XviD compression AVI files not to lose quality @ 1920x1080 resolution, maybe 8Mb/s bitrate, but which program can do it?
 
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#2
adobe premiere pro CS3 ... Adobe Media Encoder.
It's $799
 
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#3
Any freeware?
 
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#4
I don't know about freeware, I use Premiere, try the trial and see if it does it
 
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#5
Well, since you are blessed with an ATi card, you can use Xcoder (Ray Adam's front end for ATI's built-in trancoder.

It is the simplest (and nearly fastest) way to re-encode on the planet!!:rockout:

...you can thank me later!

I find it is easiest to set this up via the CCC in your Program files adn select either Basic or Wizard. You must have downloaded the compleat set of mulimedia drivers for this to work.
Use Google.
 

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#6
MeGUI and xVid / x264

x264 is better quality at the same bitrate, but can be hellishly slow if all the optimisations are on.
 
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#7
TX for the tips, I'll give them a try. Keep the tips/ideas coming...
 
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#8
Xcoder may be card-specific, but ATI's transcoder isn't. There are versions that work with any card. It's also been proven to not be any faster with an ATI card, even though the ATI marketing department likes to say differently. Doom9 tests have shown the quality vs. speed isn't anything special. It's fast, but it's trading quality for it. It's still better than some other encoders, of course, but it's not magic.

AutoMkv is generally considered a less extreme version of MeGui. Easier to use, but still enough options to easily get you into trouble. Both are good.

I wouldn't bother with xvid over h.264 unless the PC doing the encoding is slow, (xvid is probably three times faster than h.264), or if there's some other format-specific factor you like. Xvid IS easier to edit, though. That might be a huge consideration in what you're doing. And don't put h.264 in an .avi.

Really, if you use enough bitrate, you can pretty much use any format you want, so xvid would be fine that way, as would be your choice of audio codecs.
 
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#9
If I use H264 compression, the video file will be MP4 right? Would any media player play it back on a PC?

I figured that the XviD compressed .avi file is more commonly used format that any media player plays on a PC.

Which would give better quality @ 1920x1080 resolution and 8Mb/s Bitrate: XviD/MP3 combo or H264/MP3?

I'd be converting on my PC (2.7GHz X2) and hours of videos...
 
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#10
Just load VLC and be happy!

It'll play or stream about anyhting out there. :toast:
 
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#11
The VLC link doesn't work, but I found it...I've been using BSPlayer and DIVIXPlayer for years, maybe it's time for a change...
 
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#12
If anyone was confused by Deusxmachina's back-handed compliment to ATI's AVIVO transcoder, this little review should clear it all up. Quality is on par with the best transcode programs out there.

Of course there are other options, heck you can even add AVISynth to the mix and "create" better quality. By my interpretation of the OP is that he wants to easily transcode to smaller files that are easily played back on the PC. If he was so concerned about the best quality, he'd just edit them then burn them on BR discs. (Hey, you only get the footage ONCE! Quality lost to compression is almost impossible to recover....)


VLC is the ticket for playback.
 
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#13
If I use H264 compression, the video file will be MP4 right? Would any media player play it back on a PC?

Which would give better quality @ 1920x1080 resolution and 8Mb/s Bitrate: XviD/MP3 combo or H264/MP3?
h.264 uses .mp4 or .mkv. It can be used in an .avi, but that's a hackjob and isn't recommended. .mp4 for some dumb reason can't use AC3 audio, but I doubt you'll use that anyway.

Any PC can play any format, just may need to install the proper codec or use VLC or similar, but the wimpy ones aren't going to play an HD file in h.264, so xvid might be better in that regard.

The h.264 will have better quality over xvid in almost all cases. Some people say h.264 can introduce some quality problems under certain conditions, but for all intents and purposes, h.264 is better quality at the same bitrate. But with enough bitrate it doesn't matter. Do some test clips with xvid at your chosen bitrate and see what they look like. Maybe it will look great, and it will then encode faster and be easier to edit.

I see little point in using a format besides xvid or h.264 unless it's for something specific like a DVD player or ipod or Zune, so do some test clips of those two and see how they compare. For mp3 audio, it's generally considered that 192 for stereo is about as high as most ears can tell a difference up to. If you want to encode it at 256 or 320 or something, great, but most people without bionic ears won't notice above 192.
 
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#14
^^Agreed. Well put!
 
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#15
If anyone was confused by Deusxmachina's back-handed compliment to ATI's AVIVO transcoder, this little review should clear it all up. Quality is on par with the best transcode programs out there.
I don't know how you can say it's on par in quality while directing to a link that includes:

"We can see that all the formats encoded by ATI transcoder demonstrate the same problems - small details are more blurred than in the other software codecs,"

"The second frame, which is more realistic, demonstrates slightly worse transcode quality. All the formats of the ATI transcoder offer the same problems again (the strange similarity of all fragments confirms our suspicions about the same encode algorithm for all formats) - disappearance of many small details and noticeable blockiness, especially in the MPEG4 fragment."

"In brief, we noticed no miracles." "Unfortunately, low quality of the output video chills our enthusiasm."

I guess all that does depend on one's definition of "on par," though. :) It's certainly not bad or anything, but does trade some quality for (usually quite a bit of) speed. I know a lot of people who use it for transcoding their TV shows, in particular, since it's so fast and doesn't leave too much quality off the table.

So, yeah, just depends on what someone's goals are.

And when in doubt, make test clips and see for one's self.
 
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#16
Again, you are correct.

Let me qualify my "on par" statement by using the formula of: ease of use + speed of transcode + system requirements + cost= total value (quality of experience). I would have specified IQ or Image Quality if I had ment to characterize the Output.

As we all know, there is no "Magic App" that makes everything a "one-button" affair with a transparent transcode. It's a constant dilemma of give/take...

My earlier posts contained words such as: EASY, FAST, SIMPLE. Certainly not: ARCHIVAL QUALITY, COMPLEX/MULTI-STEP/MULTI-APP, or TIME-CONSUMING.

Not getting defensive, just tailoring my suggestions based on the OP requests. It's obvious you are well-versed on this subject and your input is appreciated.
 
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#17
None of the above suggested programs (XCoder, Transcoder, meGUI, AutoMKV) cannot even open the .m2ts files, and converting it? :(
 
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#18
Your HD camcorder had to have come with some software to convert, didn't it?:confused:

I'm assuming you have a Sony HD camcorder. Did it come with Vegas?

*edit* After perusing some info in those .m2ts (AVCHD) files, there is not a lot of success with this.

I apologise for not being familiar with exactly what you were asking about.
 
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#19
The program that came with it can play back the videos or can convert it to DVD (MPEG2), but I lose a lot of quality like that, cannot encode it with divx or xvid or h264 compression that could keep the quality and reduce the size of the files for storage.
 

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#20

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#21
did you try virtual dub?
 
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#22
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#23
Let me qualify my "on par" statement by using the formula of:
I gotcha and pretty much knew what you meant. That was just not a very good link to support the case is all. :p

This is funny now... we were getting caught up on encoders and forgot about actually opening the file. And what a weirdo file it is. I don't mess with them, but some things that may help:

Nero Recode may do what you want without fuss.

TMPGenc Xpress may do what you want without fuss.

The new Sony Vegas will apparently do what you want without fuss. Might need the free patches to turn it into version 11.5+

To turn them into regular .ts files which are a lot more friendly, TsRemux should do the job. I think you need Net framework 2 or 3 installed for it.

A couple programs can easily demux the files if certain programs will like them better that way.

If all else fails, here's the step-by-step MeGui method. Scrolling down a little you will notice the screenshot with .m2ts files. Like it says, you should be able to technically use any file that your computer's DirectShow filters can play:

http://forum.videohelp.com/topic333634.html

Or, yeah, like Scrizz said, Adobe Premiere, if you somehow find yourself happening upon it at a good price.
 
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#24
TX Deusxmachina :respect:

I'll try the simpler programs first if they are easier to work with, the last option is just way too complicated for me :eek: :twitch:
 
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#25
Nero Recode and TMPGenc Xpress couldn't open my files. I started to look into the link's steps, it's just way too complicated...

TX Wile E for the tip, Media Coder did load up the file and converts it. :D
 
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