5 Replies Latest reply on May 12, 2010 12:20 PM by Jeff Bellune

    Advice of best export setting for HD


      Hello.  I am editing with CS4 and did my first HD project.  Project setup was fine, used Sony XDcam EX native MP4 footage that was shot HQ 1440x1080i.  Didn't show red render line in PRemiere so I believe the new sequence settings are correct (XDcam HD, 1080i (60i), 1440x1080, HD anamorphic 1.333, 29.97).   In Premiere the footage looks supberb, I just had to interpret footage as HD 1080 anamorphic in the Premiere bin so it displayed to the right aspect ratio.


      When I export with Media Encoder I find it looks compressed (softer) and on pans is blurs a bit with what looks like scan lines.  Motion stabilizer was shot off when I shot, so thats not the issue.  How do I get my HD project to encode to mpg2 and still retain the HD qualities.  I've tried so many setting combinations in Encoder. Here's an example:

      HDTV 1080p 29.97


      quality 5



      none (progressive)

      wide 16:9 (1.333)

      profile: main

      level: high

      bitrate: min. 8.33, target 15, max 18.5

      160 MB file size (sample 1 min 30 second clip)


      What is the recommended bit rate that most people can play back on their computers / DVD player?  Is it just not possible to get the quality unless you go BlueRay? What am I doing wrong?  Is encoder improved in CS5?


      Or should I be recommending a different playback format to clients?


      I'm lost and can't find the answers.  Thanks,

      Christine Z

        • 1. Re: Advice of best export setting for HD


                          You are getting very mixed up here or at least the language of your post is confusing.

          Regardless of what flavour of HD you shoot and edit in, compressing for SD DVD involves resizing and effectively 'downrezzing' your footage so it will never look as good as HD. In PAL land where I live SD DVD is 720*576, NTSC is I believe 720*480. So to compress something to watch on a DVD player you want to be using those dimensions to begin with - there is probably a DVD preset that does that.


          If, instead, you are talking about delivering to the client as some other file such as H.264, Flash or WMV then I would still down rez just to make it playback better - a 1440*1080 WMV wont play nicely on most PCs.


          The settings you state below, by the way, look more like those you'd use for HD DVD or Blu-Ray.


          In terms of using the Media Encoder in CS4, if it's any consolation, I've never got a decent HD to SD conversion out of it.


          Finally the quality of DVD or other file playback can vary enormously depending on the monitor so check it on a couple of others and if it's a DVD, try it on a TV.


          Maybe post exactly what you're trying to achieve and I'm sure others will chip in.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Advice of best export setting for HD
            CZorn Level 1

            Thanks for this advise.  You are right.  I find compression confusing and more so HD exporting, so your comments were very helpful.  I agree that monitors definitely make a difference.  The output is certainly better than what my SD camera produced, so I guess we all have to wait until BlueRay is the norm in all business offices.


            • 3. Re: Advice of best export setting for HD
              Jeff Bellune Level 5

              If you are scaling HD to SD, I have 2 tutorials here:


              BDVS Tutorials


              One covers using CS4 to do it, and the other involves using open-source tools to do it.



              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Advice of best export setting for HD
                CZorn Level 1

                Hi Jeff:


                Thanks for that very useful tutorial.  I used that HIDDEN fly out menu and it did make a difference.  I still think there is a bit of softening that happens with the mpg compression on movement, but it is certainly better than previous results.  Thanks again for making some sense of this for me and providing a viable solution.


                Is there any benefitl to changing the GOP N frames to 7.5 since I have a lot of camera movement, (handheld behind the scenes of a summit)?  Or will this max my system too much.  I'm on Vista with CS4 so I'm not using all my 64bit power.


                Regards, Christine Z

                • 5. Re: Advice of best export setting for HD
                  Jeff Bellune Level 5

                  Well, the usual solution is to just increase the bit rate.  For burned discs, using a quality burner and quality blank media like Taiyo Yuden or Verbatim, don't go above 8 Mbps.  The DVD Spec limits DVD-legal MPEG2 video to 9.8 Mbps.  But that's way too high unless you're replicating your discs from a glass master.  For burned discs, setting 7 as an average is good, but you can increase that towards 8 if you want.  You can also consider CBR at 8 Mbps.


                  For temporally-compressed codecs like MPEG2, there's an oddity: the more frequent the I-frames, the higher the bit rate has to be.  So an 8 Mbps bit rate with an I-frame every 15 frames will likely look better than an 8 Mbps bit rate with an I-frame every 7 frames.  That's not intuitive, but it makes sense.  All of the bits get used up on the I-frames, so there's not many left for the other frames.