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I don't know if Jeff will drop by to comment on this, particularly re squeeze and whether the following applies the same or differently.
There is a bug regarding how Encore is handling 2 pass vbr h.264.
See this thread:
Thanks for the info. If I'm reading that correctly, encore doesn't like 2-pass vbr and/or high profile? However, I just tried using the squeeze preset with 1-pass vbr main profile, 1-pass vbr high profile, 2-pass vbr main profile, as suggested and still no luck.
Try your original settings, only turn CABAC off. If that doesn't work, then I recommend X264 via MeGui (Windows only). Save as raw .264 files and En will import them without wanting to transcode.
My choices entropy encoding are either CABAC or CAVLC. I tried the various combinations of main/high and 2-pass/1-pass with CAVLC with no luck.
I downloaded MeGui but haven't had a chance to try it yet since it doesn't take quicktime reference files. My original media is coming from an Avid project, so I suppose I could export a DVCPRO HD quicktime (the media's original format) to test. Are there any settings in MeGui I need to be aware of or does it have a preset that is close enough to what I need?
I'm not able to have Adobe Media Encoder installed on the computer that I am encoding from.
Why not? AME is installed with PP, which you need to install Encore. So you should have all three.