7 Replies Latest reply: Jul 14, 2010 11:47 AM by MarkWeiss RSS

    Why Does 640kbs Dolby AC3 Crash Encore CS3?

    MarkWeiss Community Member

      Why is Encore CS3 limited to 512kbps Dolby AC3 Surround when Blu-ray spec allows up to 640kbps Dolby AC3 Surround?

      I have been unable to import a 640kbps AC3 track into Encore because of consistent crashing of Encore. I have had to re-encode all my tracks to the lossier 512kbps AC3 in order to successfully import and author a BD program. Why isn't Encore CS3 Blu-ray compliant?

        • 1. Re: Why Does 640kbs Dolby AC3 Crash Encore CS3?
          Neil Wilkes Community Member

          Because that bitrate is out of spec for Dvd-Video.

          The specs for Dolby Digital Surround on DVDV are either 384kbps or 448kbps.

          If you have space to include 640kbps (Pink Floyd did this with "Pulse", rather stupidly IMHO as they have to include a spec stream at 448 as well, so with that taken into consideration they should have used hlaf-bitrate DTS instead.

           

          Encore will throw out any file that is not to DVD specs. 640kbps Dolby Digital is out of spec.

          Simples.

          • 2. Re: Why Does 640kbs Dolby AC3 Crash Encore CS3?
            MarkWeiss Community Member

            Does this mean that I should not be using Encore to author Blu-ray, which uses 640kbps AC3 streams?

            I know DVD is limited to a paltry sub-MP3-quality 448kbps (that's only 80kbps per channel, 2/3 of MP3's most common bitrate of 128). I'm authoring a Blu-ray disc and the audio needs to be at Blu-ray data rate of 640kbps as it's a very demanding audiophile recording that really should be in 24-bit PCM, but I see no means of getting Encore to accept a 5-channel PCM audio file, so I'm using Dolby AC3, which seems to be the only multichannel option in Encore. Problem is, at 448kbps, much of the impact is lost, compared with the PCM source files. I've been able to get Encore to accept 512kbps files, but 640kbps causes Encore to generate a program error and crash every time.

             

            Blu-ray supports 640kbps AC3 files, so if Encore is supposed to author Blu-ray, why doesn't it comply with the Blu-ray spec for audio?

            • 3. Re: Why Does 640kbs Dolby AC3 Crash Encore CS3?
              Neil Wilkes Community Member

              MarkWeiss wrote:

               

              Does this mean that I should not be using Encore to author Blu-ray, which uses 640kbps AC3 streams?

              I know DVD is limited to a paltry sub-MP3-quality 448kbps (that's only 80kbps per channel, 2/3 of MP3's most common bitrate of 128). I'm authoring a Blu-ray disc and the audio needs to be at Blu-ray data rate of 640kbps as it's a very demanding audiophile recording that really should be in 24-bit PCM, but I see no means of getting Encore to accept a 5-channel PCM audio file, so I'm using Dolby AC3, which seems to be the only multichannel option in Encore. Problem is, at 448kbps, much of the impact is lost, compared with the PCM source files. I've been able to get Encore to accept 512kbps files, but 640kbps causes Encore to generate a program error and crash every time.

               

              Blu-ray supports 640kbps AC3 files, so if Encore is supposed to author Blu-ray, why doesn't it comply with the Blu-ray spec for audio?

              Ah - the dreaded Blu Ray. Mea Culpa - I thought you were authoring for DVD-Video

              Of course 640kbps is correct for BD specs.....although the words "Audiophile" & "Dolby Digital" are mutually exclusive, to my mind.

              You cannot use any lossless multichannel format at all in Encore - this is something that has irked me since forever - both the mandatory BD Surround Lossless formats (LPCM & DTS-HD MAS) are unsupported.

              I think you can use straight DTS as a sole stream in a BD disc (although not 100% certain) but you would certainly be able to include a 24-bit stereo stream as well as a DTS stream. That would definitely work.

               

              Let me go look at the specs, and

              post back.

              • 4. Re: Why Does 640kbs Dolby AC3 Crash Encore CS3?
                Stan Jones CommunityMVP

                I poked around a bit; this is the closest help page I found (CS5) that I thought should provide this information, or give a heads up/link to another page.

                 

                http://help.adobe.com/en_US/encore/cs/using/WS5C9E1CF8-B5BC-436f-89D3-61DDC02A2C47a.html

                 

                Someone might add a comment to that page if a better one is not identified.

                • 5. Re: Why Does 640kbs Dolby AC3 Crash Encore CS3?
                  MarkWeiss Community Member

                  I'm somewhat reaching the end of the rope with Encore. Between the slow loading times, the frequent crashes and glacially-sluggish UI, I'm really frustrated.

                   

                  For DVD, we author in Scenarist, which launches in less than a second and loads projects in even less time than that, is reliable, and produces great results. But we only have the DVD version. Scenarist BDMV costs five times as much and right at the moment, we don't do enough Blu-ray work to justify another mortgage, otherwise that would be MY choice. Encore takes 2 minutes to load, another 6 minutes to open a project, and a lot of the time it crashes a minute after I import an asset. Long periods where the UI is unresponsive, etc., making doing any production work impossible.

                   

                  CS5 is out of the question. In Jan 2009, I had to finally give up on CS4, as it would not run with sufficient fluidity on a 3.5GHz quad-core. We rolled back to CS3 after a month of tech support, reinstallation of Windows, all possible video and sound drivers, etc. It just would not run without pausing the whole UI for five seconds ever two seconds. It's impossible to edit video that is pausing 3/5ths of the time, waiting for the machine to catch up. I hear CS5 is even more finicky about hardware, so we're sticking with stable CS3.

                   

                  I guess we'll have to go with Dolby AC3 at low bitrates, since CS3 doesn't seem to like 640kbps, and leave it at that. If the title becomes a commercial success, we'll pay the 30 grand to have it mastered to BD.

                  • 6. Re: Why Does 640kbs Dolby AC3 Crash Encore CS3?
                    Neil Wilkes Community Member

                    To create replicable output as Blu Ray, you need CS5 - CS3 & CS4 cannot be replicated.

                     

                    You'll also need an AACS license.


                    • 7. Re: Why Does 640kbs Dolby AC3 Crash Encore CS3?
                      MarkWeiss Community Member

                      For now, we're making 'duplicated' Blu-ray discs for short run projects.

                      A title will need over $30,000 budget for replication and AACS license for the minimum quantity.

                      Right at this moment, my challenge is to achieve better dynamic range and transient response than the relatively low 448kbps AC3 files can muster. 512kbps is audibly improved, but I think 640kbps would possibly be on the threshold of acceptable sound quality. The subject audio has 40uS rise times (pyrotechnics) and is easily destroyed by lossy encoding.

                       

                      CS4 is out of the question on our "ancient" 18-month old quad core workstations. We typically amortize new equipment over 5 years, so it will be a few more years before we move on to something that has enough horsepower to run CS4/CS5. By then, intel will probably be into 16-core CPUs and workstations will have 64 cores.

                       

                      If we get into the Blu-ray business in a serious way, we'll probably go with a professional system, like we did with DVD authoring in 2005. Either Sony Blu-print or Scenarist BDMV for BD. And we'll have to hire Java programmers. That's a few years away, from my current vantage point.