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Old Feb 20, 2008, 7:14 AM   #1
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Hey guys,

Having spent most of last night (I don't get out much) trawling through the monster 51 page thread I am left feeling more confused than I was prior to reading it. Don't get me wrong I'm pretty darn good with computers (I program for a living), however I find working with video content quite frustrating (particularly HD). I am only really beginning to understand the detailed nature of the various codecs. My current workflow is basically Vegas to Cineform for editing, and then re-encoding for whatever my needs are. What I am really aiming for though is to output to a DVD/Blu ray in H.264 or MPEG2 for HD playback in my PS3 (and possibly a stand alone Blu Ray).

It seems to me though that the best codec to achieve a near lossless re-encoding is DivX. I say this because a lot of the folks over at Stage6 have achieved far better with their content than I have been able to with mine. Regardless of what options I use in Vegas it seems to me that when I encode to either MPEG2 or H.264 I get a fairly noticable hit in quality.

I have read a lot of vague HDV discussions about basic editing without the need to re-encode at all (i.e. cut, trim, join etc). Has anyone experimented with anything like this for HD1000? So what are your workflows for viewing your content in as high a quality as possible?

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Old Feb 20, 2008, 7:40 AM   #2
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If you intend to play on a PS3, you really do not have to bother with any re-encoding unless you want a professional output with fancy title, fading between scenes etc etc.

All you need to do is do the edititing within the camera, which is painless, then join all your clips together (in the camera), the resulting file can be stored in PS3 and played directly. And you can keep that file on another harddisk for future use.

May be in 12 months time, there will be software/hardware for reasonable prices and you can do the process at ease, then you can make some changes to the file.


In my opinion, PS3 and these H264 HD cams are made for each other.

If you do not have a PS3, it is a completely different scenerio.

Now that HDDVD is out of the way, I suggest everyone grab a PS3 before the price goes up and I think it will. Because they have been sold at below cost prices to combat HDDVD and Sony has succeeded!
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Old Feb 20, 2008, 7:51 AM   #3
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Divx, while a great codec, is nowhere near as efficient as AVC is. I tried rencoding yesterday using Divx and Xvid (Xvid is even better) and to get the *same* quality the file size was at least 5 times larger than the AVC encoded MP4. As mentioned, do all the simple editing (cut, join, etc) in the camera as it's lossless. Then, if you need to add effect or titles and such use Vegas. To output use the MainConcept AVC/AAC encoder. Here are some setting that I found work best while experimenting yesterday:

Use 8bit Pixel Format (under project settings)- much faster renderand looks the same
Do Not Use Deblocking Filter - except for bitrates below original 12mbps
Render as Best Quality -nearly same rendering speed and looks better
Use 12mbps bitrate - any quality difference in re-encoded fileis very hard to discern. If 100% quality (file indistinguishable from the original) is needed I've found 20mbps does the trick. You might be able to use lower but I only tested 14mbps and 20mbps and 20 was exact.

And, as already mentioned the PS3 will already play your MP4 files. If you use a flash drive or SD card make sure the videos are in a folder called VIDEO.



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Old Feb 20, 2008, 1:06 PM   #4
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Hey Rev are you talking about the $60 verson of Vegas or the Pro version, I ask because I cannot find the options you are refering too under the MainConcept AVC/AAC. encoder (custom template is greyed out for some reason).
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Old Feb 20, 2008, 4:56 PM   #5
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The Pro version. Under Save As Type you choose MainConcept AVC/AAC then choose Custom on the bottom right. If it's greyed out I'm unsure why.
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Old Feb 20, 2008, 11:10 PM   #6
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I'm very happy to see someone getting AVC H.264 working on the PS3! I just got a PS3 and I also have Vegas Pro 8b. I'd love to finally be able to make HD video that plays like the normal DVD's I've done in the past.

Are there any other particular settings you need? My first try was MPEG2 using the Vegas "Blu- Ray" template. I made a small test video and put it on a DVD-RW, along with some JPEG files. The PS3 could display the JPEG files just fine, but was unable to read the MPEG2. I will try putting it in a "Video" folder and see if that helps.

Edit: it works! 1440x1080 resolution video in both MPEG2 and AVC H.264 formats play back fine the the PS3. I burned a DVD-RW with the files in the "Video" folder. For some reason, the H.264 played only jerkily from the DVD, but smoothly after I transferred it to the internal hard drive.

Which is strange, because the H.264 file was only 14 Mbps (CBR) and the MPEG2 was HDV at 25 Mbps (CBR), and those bitrates were confirmed using the PS3 display. But, anyway now I know.
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Old Feb 21, 2008, 7:53 AM   #7
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Yeah, I too found putting the fileson a DVD *data* disc plays back the files jerky as well. I thought it odd as you mentioned the files are only like 1.5 megs per second or something like that. And the files playback fine off a USB flash drive and the SD media.
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Old Feb 22, 2008, 2:49 PM   #8
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For what it's worth, I've been experimenting some more- the PS3 is really a capable machine! It can play a 50 Mbps (megabits per sec) file with no problem, in both MPEG2 and also AVC H.264 format. That's beyond the Blu-Ray spec limit of 40 Mbps for video datarate, and way beyond what my desktop PC can play. I saved the file to the PS3 hard drive first, before playing.

I found out I don't have to bother with burning a DVD. I'm sending the files via ethernet from my PC using the Nero 8 "MediaHome" UPnP server.

If anyone's curious, there are a few short 50 Mbps test clips here ("Another clip"):
http://www.bealecorner.org/red/test-...e2.html#Test_7

I shot the original using a Red One 4k camera, then downsampled to 1080p.

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Old Feb 28, 2008, 2:05 PM   #9
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jbeale wrote:
Quote:
For some reason, the H.264 played only jerkily from the DVD, but smoothly after I transferred it to the internal hard drive.

Which is strange, because the H.264 file was only 14 Mbps (CBR) and the MPEG2 was HDV at 25 Mbps (CBR), and those bitrates were confirmed using the PS3 display. But, anyway now I know.
I played 1080i footage fm the HD1000 smoothly fm DVD with my PS3 many times. But Sony f**cked up something in the latest firmware version. Now I have to copy to the PS3 harddisk like you. Would be nice if they would correct this, but I cant find a way to tell the right people at Sony.
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Old Feb 28, 2008, 2:52 PM   #10
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Interesting, so you're saying the files used to play back smoothly from DVD andthe last update made playback from DVD unuseable? My PS3 was fully up to date when I tried playing the files from DVD so I never had a time where they would playback smoothly so it's intriguing if you are indeed saying the latest update ruined DVD file playback.



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