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  • Any thoughts on best mpeg2 encoding software ?

     Tim Kolb updated 18 years ago 8 Members · 25 Posts
  • Ron Shook

    April 3, 2005 at 3:04 am


    [Jon R Hand] “In my studio we’ve used and tested quite a few encoders over the years.”

    When you were doing your testing were you using the most recent version of ProCoder? MPEG2 encoding was improved in the last version upgrade. Everyone I’ve seen who’s done recent testing puts ProCoder at the top except for the $2k full version Cinemacraft. Then again, we aren’t talking about great differences.

    Ron Shook

  • Steven L. Gotz

    April 3, 2005 at 3:18 am

    Yes. That is most certainly a challenge. I really want to know.

    Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 / After Effects 6.5 Pro
    Learning Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5
    Contributing Writer, PeachPit Press, Visual QuickPro Guide, Premiere Pro 1.5

  • John Hand

    April 3, 2005 at 3:24 am

    Hey folks… No arguing from me. I’m too old for that, and besides, this is not an issue to argue about. There are more important things in life to argue about (e.g. no one in the White House accepting the blame for a totally bogus war — now that is something to argue about).

    Back to the encoders. Yes, we have the latest most recent ProCoder, and we did testing with it. And yes, it is NO better than the MainConcept. It does, however, offer a wealth of other conversions, so that may be a plus for some people. We also use the $2K full version of CinemaCraft, which, IF you are doing multiple VBR passes (3 or more), then you have well spent your money time and effort. It is the BEST, but only if you doing multiple pass VBR. The basic CinemaCraft encoder, as I said earlier, is the best you’ll get out of Premiere Pro for a reasonable price. So I’ll say this one more time. CinemaCraft Basic is tops, then MainConcept. Forget about ProCoder and spend you’re money on Color Finesse, Sapphire, or Magic Bullet Editors…


  • Aanarav Sareen

    April 3, 2005 at 3:50 am

    [Steven L. Gotz] “Yes. That is most certainly a challenge. I really want to know.”

    OK. I just ran a quick test and I do find the quality of Procoder to be a little bit better compared to Main Concept.

    My procedure:
    1. I selected a random clip from my current project.
    2. Exported a 3 second clip using Premiere Pro’s encoder (main concept) [MPEG 2]
    3. Exported an AVI of the 3 second clip to encode Procoder 2
    4. Encoded the AVI as an MPEG 2 file with the exact same settings
    5. When the conversion was completed, I took a screenshot at 2 seconds from both the files and here are the results:

    Note: Even though, I exported an AVI from Premiere Pro to encode in Procoder 2.0, the quality was slightly better. Again, nothing that big to make a difference, but if you do a lot of conversions in different formats, Procoder is an excellent choice. But, if you only convert files once in a while, the Main Concept Encoder does a great job.

    PS: The Main Concept Encoder was faster than Procoder 2.0

  • David Merrell

    April 3, 2005 at 4:28 am

    Hey Jon, I appreciate your information, knowledge and experience about video related issues, particularly this info about Procoder. However, please keep your thoughts and opinions about the war and the White House to yourself or go to an appropriate site to express them. Many of us who feel differently…particularly those of us who have sons/daughters located in the Middle East fighting for your right to say anything you want. As a nation we get enough of this kind of crap from the spoiled children in Hollywood. We don’t need it here too.
    Dave M.

  • Tim Kolb

    April 3, 2005 at 4:48 am

    [Steven L. Gotz] “I would be happy with Jon’s answer, but if anyone (Tim Kolb) besides Jon and Aanarav wanted to argue this out, I would be enthralled reading the posts. “

    Subtle…it’s lucky that I’m very perceptive. 🙂

    I would agree that the encoding results are all very good. However, in the earliest incarnation of the Main Concept encoder, there wasn’t a multiple pass mode, or any pre-process options (de-interlacing before going into the compression process when you need to output a progressive filetype helps the efficiency of the process immensely.)…and I think the differences between encoders is most evident when you’re really jamming them for bandwidth. Most encoders can create a good quality clip when it doesn’t have to be small.

    At the end of te day, ProCoder and Main Concept may be neck in neck for most quality measures…but for speed, ProCoder beats Main Concept in my experience, even with an export to a master clip…which is basically a data clone, so it’s not a transcode and it doesn’t take that much time.

    Combine this with the fact that I can output all the filetypes I need in one pass in ProCoder (frequently I need WMV, MPEG, QT, you name it…), and we have a winner…

    This needs to be clear…ProCoder seems to work the best in my situation…it’s not that I think that any of these other applications are somehow lacking, at least as far as I can see.

    Kolb Syverson Communications
    Creative Cow Host
    2004, 2005 NAB Post Production Conference Premiere Pro Technical Chair
    Author, “The Easy Guide to Premiere Pro”
    “Premiere Pro Fast Track DVD Series”

  • Steven L. Gotz

    April 3, 2005 at 5:18 am

    Those pictures merely show that you deinterlaced in one and not the other. Check your settings.

    In any case I now have the answer I really wanted. I can pass on Procoder unless I start worrying about multiple transcodes. At least for now, with my current needs.

    Thanks guys. I appreciate the infoemation.

    Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 / After Effects 6.5 Pro
    Learning Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5
    Contributing Writer, PeachPit Press, Visual QuickPro Guide, Premiere Pro 1.5

  • Aanarav Sareen

    April 3, 2005 at 5:27 am

    [Steven L. Gotz] “Those pictures merely show that you deinterlaced in one and not the other. Check your settings. “

    Actually, both are deinterlaced. I found it weird too.

    Like I said earlier, you only need Procoder if you plan on doing some heavy duty encoding. But, if you do plan into encoding on a large scale, then it definitely is an excellent tool.

  • Victorypoint

    April 3, 2005 at 7:52 pm

    Maybe this shootout article might help.


  • Aanarav Sareen

    April 3, 2005 at 8:42 pm

    [victorypoint] “Maybe this shootout article might help. “

    I like this statement:

    ” Overall contrast and resolution were well above average for the encoders tested, and the ProCoder’s low price ($499) undoubtedly contributes to its current popularity.”

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