For computer playback, try installing the free Lagarith codec and exporting to that. It's lossless, so should not reduce quality at all, but creates a smaller file than Uncompressed.
Thanks very much. I will try this! If our computer is able to play back video fast enough, this may solve the problem. If not, can anyone think of a way to proceed with Blu-ray encoding that will give better results? Thanks again.
I have generated an AVI file using the Lagarith lossless video codec. Unfortunately, our computer is unable to decode the file fast enough on playback to give an acceptable (e.g., ~20 fps) playback rate, so we are back to square one. Thanks for the suggestion, though.
List your computer's specifications. It's seems unlikely that a machine sufficiently powerful to edit your media would have trouble with a Lags file.
It's a dual core Xeon, 2.5 GHz, 3.0 Gbytes RAM, Vista Ultimate (32-bit). The Windows Experience Index base score (sic) is 4.8.
What hard drive config?
And how are you playing the exported Lags file?
RAID 0 (4x500GB), 128K stripe size. Black Magic Design's disk speed test says read throughput is 295 MB/s. I've tried playing the AVI file with Windows Media Player, SMPlayer, and Ben Greenwood's AVI player. None approach 20 fps.
Try VLC or KM Player.
I see no technical reason your machine can't handle playback of that file. It's well more than adequate.
Thanks for these suggestions.
I've now tried both VLC and KMPLayer. VLC can't seem to deal with LAGS files. KMPlayer plays it, but at a low frame rate.
Here's another thing to try, perhaps. Can you give me a pointer to a LAGS AVI file that, as far as you know, plays back on a machine such as ours
at ~20 fps? Or, if I can get permission from the owner of our content, can I send you in private correspondence a URL for a five second version of our LAGS file?
Thanks for all the help!
KMPlayer plays it, but at a low frame rate.
That speaks to a disk issue. Run Hd Tach and report the results.
The other thing is you keep mentioning "around" 20 fps. As you also intend this for Blu-ray, this causes me concern. For starters, video files don't run "around" anything, even on a computer. They're not like games. Video runs "at" a very precise frame rate, no deviations, same for all computers. Further, 20 fps isn't a Blu-ray legal spec. It would have to be 24 fps (aka 23.976) or 30 fps (29.97) for ATSC countries.
HD Tach doesn't seem to work under Vista (32-bit). I don't suspect that disk speed is an issue, though, because an uncompressed AVI, which is 3X the size of the Lagarith compressed file, plays back smoothly. (And the Black Magic Design disk speed test did not point to a problem with disk read speed.)
Here's where we seem to be: Uncompressed AVI file looks good (i.e., no jagginess) and runs smoothly enough on this computer. Lagarith compressed file looks good (no jagginess), but runs jerkily (skipping frames, apparently, to keep up the original frame rate) on all players. Mpeg2 and H.264 encodings look jaggy, but play back smoothly.
Question: do you know of other encoders we might try? I.e., we could produce a high quality, perhaps uncompressed, AVI file, then produce an Mpeg2 or H.264 file from that. With a different encoder, perhaps the jaggies would go away.
Again, thanks for all your help.
P.S. You might ask: why not just use the uncompressed file if it looks good and plays back smoothly. Well, our final playback venue is a conference where we'd much rather bring a laptop or (ideally) Blu-ray player rather than this computer.
I have to admit, your situation just doesn't make sense.
If it were the drives, Uncompressed would be even jerker than Lags, which makes me suspect it's lack of CPU horsepower.
But if it were insufficient CPU muscle, H.264 would stutter even more than Lags.
We have three files, A, B and C. File A needs the most disk speed, but not much CPU. B needs less disk speed than A, but more CPU. C needs the least disk speed, but the most CPU. So for either insufficient disk speed or lack of CPU muscle, performance will degrade as we go from A to C. Basically speaking, if A and C work, both disk speed and CPU power are sufficient and B will also work.
It doesn't make sense that is not the case for you.