I have an mp4 file with at data rate of 2.91mbits/sec.
If I bring that into Premiere to edit (simply cutting the 2.5 hour video into 8 segments) and export to mp4 via the Media Encoder, I continually get blurry text/images. If I simply open the original file in QuickTime Pro and export a sampling of the file, I get perfectly crisp text/images. I'm downsizing from 640x480 to 512x384 in both instances.
Funny thing is, I even set the data rate really high coming from PPpro (2 mbits/sec) when exporting and it was blurry. Using QTpro, the data rate was set to 350kbits/sec and the quality was super!
What am I doing wrong? I can't get the precise editing I need using QTpro, but Premiere is lacking in output quality.
My source is 640x480. The premiere project defaults to 720x480. Is that an issue?
You will want to do a Sequence Preset, and choose Desktop Project. Then you can adjust all parameters of this Project/Sequence to match your footage 100%. Think of Desktop as "Custom." Go down the list of parameters, and make sure that each one matches your source perfectly.
Things will be much better.
You are most welcome, and hope that you are now editing successfully!