1 Reply Latest reply on Aug 19, 2015 11:30 PM by RoninEdits

    Best setup for a transcoding workstation

    rdstrdrvr

      I need to put together a transcoding workstation to turn high bit rate MP4 files (720p, 60fps, 80mbps) and ProRes 422 (40GB per 30 min show) files into ~3mpbs MP4 files for use on digital platforms.  I am not doing any real editing, really just transcoding.

       

      I'm using Adobe Media Encoder CC'15 and I've cobbled together a Mac Mini and an ancient MacBook Pro in order to get started.  It works, but is pretty slow.  Neither has graphics cards sufficient to use GPU processing.

       

      1) If I put together purpose built workstation to do this, what recommendations would you have for the build?

      2) With ProRes, should I stick with a Mac?  What would be sufficient?

      3) Will a PC build be able to handle ProRes?  If so, what would be the best BFTB build?

      4) Any other other recommendations on software or hardware?

       

      I am doing enough of this to justify a reasonable, dedicated system, but not enough to spend a large amount of money on it.  Less than $2k would be easy, less than $3k is doable.

       

      Thanks in advance.

        • 1. Re: Best setup for a transcoding workstation
          RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

          mac vs pc, if you need to encode to prores, you need a mac or a third party plugin for windows to be able to encode/transcode to prores. pc can read/decode prores and transcode to mp4, which is what it sounds like you are doing.

           

          for most people, going with a standard pc with haswell-e may be the best option, but a transcode machine to mp4, you may want to go another direction and look at hardware based mp4 encoding. intel's integrated graphics support quality h264 encoding but isn't supported by adobe software. there are many programs that are built for transcoding, that do use intel quick sync to dramatically speed up the transcode. sorenson squeeze and handbrake (free) are just a few. odds are your mac devices have the intel graphics, so you could use/test this without buying new hardware.

          https://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/power-benefits-using-intel-quick-sync-video-h264 -codec-with-sorenson-squeeze

           

          there are other hardware mp4 encoders, like from aja, matrox, etc. some of these work with adobe software. so if you did have to turn the machine into a project encoder or add some overlay, etc to the files and export, you can still get fast hardware mp4 encoding. many are pci/pcie add-in-cards, while some of these use thunderbolt or other connections that you may be able to get working with your mac's.