15 Replies Latest reply on Jan 5, 2009 3:05 PM by joshtownsend

    Why Quicktime H.264 quality so poor ?

    juskocf Level 1
      I output a DV footage to Quicktime H.264 640x480 in Premiere pro cs4. But the quality is terribly poor.

      Details : Export > media > Export Settings
      Format > Quicktime
      Preset > PAL DV (became Custom after some adjustment below)
      Video Codec > H.264

      Its strange that the bitrate setting is unchecked by default. Even if I check it and move the slide to the extreme right, which is 144,000 kbps, the quality of the video output is still very poor !

      Also, no matter I choose lower field or progressive, the output movie is choppier or shakier and not as smooth as the original footage.

      Thanks in advance for your expertise advice.

        • 1. Re: Why Quicktime H.264 quality so poor ?
          Level 1
          So what is the purpose of this output file? Web, broadcast?
          • 2. Re: Why Quicktime H.264 quality so poor ?
            juskocf Level 1
            Hi, KingLeonard, just for computer and web viewing.

            • 3. Re: Why Quicktime H.264 quality so poor ?
              Level 1
              OK then.

              Export to Adobe Media Encoder. You'll find a bunch of H.264 export options there which you can tweek to your heart's content.

              And definitely deinterlace the material if you intend it to be used online.
              • 4. Re: Why Quicktime H.264 quality so poor ?
                juskocf Level 1
                But the problem is with the "Quicktime" format with file ext. ***.mov.
                If you care to try format "Quicktime" > video codec : H.264. You will notice that the bitrate setting is very weird.

                Best Regards
                • 5. Re: Why Quicktime H.264 quality so poor ?
                  Level 1
                  I'm not sure I made myself clear.

                  Your option here is not to use Export>Movie, but rather Export to Media Encoder. That's where you'll find more than enough tweakable options for your requirements.
                  • 6. Re: Why Quicktime H.264 quality so poor ?
                    juskocf Level 1
                    Hi, KingLeonard, sorry I was not making my situation clear. I am using PPro CS4 which is different from CS3 when you Export>Movie. In CS4, the only way to go is Adobe Media Encoder.

                    Best Regards
                    • 7. Re: Why Quicktime H.264 quality so poor ?
                      Level 1
                      Then my apologies.

                      I'm yet to play with a copy of CS4 so for now I'm afraid I'll have to pass this on to someone with a little more hands on knowledge.
                      • 8. Re: Why Quicktime H.264 quality so poor ?
                        I am having the same problem with CS4, no matter what the bitrate setting, I get the same file size. Very poor quality. There must be a bug somewhere. With CS3, when the bitrate set at a higher numbers, my output file is also bigger. CS3 works for me, for export. CS4 does not work, for me.
                        • 9. Re: Why Quicktime H.264 quality so poor ?
                          Aurobi Adobe Employee
                          Hi LesTer N,

                          I did some QT exports with H.264 codec in AME CS4 {Win} with Set Bitrate ON and then set the (video) bitrate at 1000kbps, 2000kbps, 3000kbps. The encoded files had Data Rate of 2.54 mbits/sec, 3.56 mbits/sec and 4.55 mbits/sec respectively. I also see better quality at higher bitrates. Can you please let me know if you are getting similar results at your end?

                          • 10. Re: Why Quicktime H.264 quality so poor ?
                            Yes, you can set the quality via the "Set Bitrate" option, though the quality should still be set via the "Quality" setting.

                            I've found that using the H.264 output and ACC for the audio that the audio slips out of sync after about 1 minute, i.e. when playing back the resulting quicktime, the audio gradually slips out of sync.

                            The only way to output high quality in Media Encoder is to use "Component Video" and "Uncompressed" for audio. I then re-export this quicktime from the Quicktime Player using its Export functionality. I'd rather than Media Encoder worked as it should and thereby eliminate this intermediate step.
                            • 11. Re: Why Quicktime H.264 quality so poor ?
                              Level 1
                              I've seen the same thing this week for a client that requested some HD video to be FTP'd in QuickTime H.264 at 15mb. There is a *bug* with AME in CS4 with the bitrate setting for QuickTime H.264. No matter what you set it too, it keeps getting reset to 1000kb (yes 1k bit per second) resulting in low quality video and small .mov file sizes.

                              Here is the workaround I found:
                              1) In Premiere Pro CS4, Export-Media to get in Media Encoder and set to your QuickTime Format and then go down to Video tab to set h.264 codec. Scroll down to the bitrate settings and check set bitrate, you'll see it defaults 1000kb. Change it to something higher, like 15,000. Then hit OK button.
                              2) When AME opens up, you'll see your job in the queue. Click on your job on the Preset column where it says "Custom". This will load up a new window with the encoder settings again. Go down to Bitrate Settings again in that window and notice the bit rate has been reset to 1000kb. This is the problem (bug in AME.) If you change it here on this page, and hit OK, and then your bitrate settings will hold true in AME. Start the job queue and verify the generated .mov quality is as desired.

                              I guess what is probably happening is that when PP CS4 launches AME, AME resets the codec settings. Adobe can send me some free store credit for finding their stinking bug. I need AE anyway. :)


                              Note that I upgraded to QuickTime Pro and am using the h.264 codec that came with that product in AME. However, this is a bug with the actual AME interface to this codec, not the QT h.264 codec itself, so I expect all CS4 users are seeing this same issue.
                              1 person found this helpful
                              • 12. Re: Why Quicktime H.264 quality so poor ?
                                juskocf Level 1
                                Thanks Brian, your method works :). It sure is an AME bug.

                                But I have found another AME bug. My original video is lower field first and I want to keep that lower field first. If I set the Field Type in AME to Lower field first, the generated video will become Progressive. There is no way to create an interlaced video.

                                Any ideas please ?
                                • 13. Re: Why Quicktime H.264 quality so poor ?
                                  joshtownsend Level 2
                                  Brian GREAT BUG FIND. Wow I guess we should fill out bug reports cause just we see it here doesn't mean they'll pay attention.

                                  This is what has been a lot people fits. I've been loading the project files into AME so I set it there and could never figure why people had problems.

                                  It resets every codec in quicktime that you set the bitrate for including Sorenson!!!!

                                  Wow GREAT find.
                                  • 14. Re: Why Quicktime H.264 quality so poor ?
                                    Stupid to have to work-around, but I am outputting from APP in AVI, importing into Quicktime Pro, and exporting the .mov file to the needed specs from there in Apple's H.264. Results good.
                                    I believe Adobe is using a third-party H.264 codec, which may or may not be a factor. The real thing from Apple works nobly;
                                    the Quicktime output from APP is terrible.

                                    Thanks for the explanations you've found. I hope Adobe reads these forums....//video_man
                                    • 15. Re: Why Quicktime H.264 quality so poor ?
                                      joshtownsend Level 2
                                      Adobe uses main concept h264 encoding. You sure your bit-rate just isn't reseting when AME opens? I've had no problem rendering h264 files.