12 Replies Latest reply on May 30, 2011 9:34 PM by John T Smith

    Differences between MPEG2 and H264

    kjm33 Level 1

      I have just purchased a HD PVR to record HD from the TV.  A bonus is that it connects to our wireless network and I can view and play files on my PC (which is in another room).  I have an HD video camera but usually render the output to DVD PAL so I can burn a DVD and watch it on the TV.  Now I can output in HD without the need for a Blu Ray burner, I am wondering what format I should be choosing for the final output:

      1. MPEG2 1080i 25 fps OR

      2. H.264    1080i 25 fps

       

      The file size is about 15-20% smaller with H264, but it's the quality that is of most importance to me.

        • 1. Re: Differences between MPEG2 and H264
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          Both HD MPEG-2 and H.264 are good formats for HD material. The H.264 is newer, and compression is higher, allowing for usually lower Bit-Rates, with about the same quality. Still, HD MPEG-2 is a good CODEC.

           

          Do you see a quality difference between the two?

           

          For BD authoring, not what you have here, some perfer HD MPEG-2, but others like the look of H.264. I would test on your equipment to determine what works best, and it might be relative to the exact footage.

           

          Good luck,

           

          Hunt

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Differences between MPEG2 and H264
            Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

            However, neither format is necessarily standard, so it's not a clear-cut choice. Either one may be a good choice -- or a terrible choice that won't work at all in Premiere Elements.

             

            It depends on which form of MPEG and which form of H.264. They are many, and not all are going to work in Premiere Elements. Most, in fact, will just end up crashing the program.

             

            Opening the MPEG and the H.264 files in G Spot and then posting the G Spot report here would help. Bill and I could interpret the specs and tell you which, if either, would be the best format to edit in Premiere Elements.

            http://www.headbands.com/gspot/

             

            The path from DVR or PVR to Premiere Elements is not as smooth as one might think.

            • 3. Re: Differences between MPEG2 and H264
              John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              I'm not sure what the question IS

               

              Are you outputting a file from your DVR to edit in PE, or are you talking about output FROM PE after editing the files from your camera?

              • 4. Re: Differences between MPEG2 and H264
                kjm33 Level 1

                I seem to have caused some confusion here.  I have captured the footage from my Canon HV30 and completed the editing in PE9.  I then output it in PAL DVD and burned a DVD (losing the HD of course).  Now that I have just purchased a HD PVR I am able to play my edited video in HD on my TV as the PVR can read files over my network or take input from a USB key.  Previously I would have had to burn a BD but couldn't because I don't have a BD burner.  So the question was which format I should be using to output from PE9 to create a file to be played directly on the TV (via the PVR) - MPEG2 or H264?  I will try both and compare the results.

                 

                I think the confusion has arisen over the term PVR which here (Australia)  is a device for recording files from TV onto a hard disk - perhaps it's something else in the US?

                • 5. Re: Differences between MPEG2 and H264
                  kjm33 Level 1

                  FROM PE after editing - see reply to Steve's post

                  • 6. Re: Differences between MPEG2 and H264
                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                    Most often, there will be file format limitations for such devices. They usually have a fairly strict set of allowable formats and contained CODEC's.

                     

                    If both HD MPEG-2 and H.264 are supported by the device, I'd do a small test of the H.264, and try that. If the quality is adequate for you, I would use that, given that it is a newer CODEC, and will most likely result in slightly smaller files.

                     

                    Good luck,

                     

                    Hunt

                     

                    PS - there is a fairly recent post here, where the user needed to come up with an Export/Share file format/CODED, to play on her TV (Panasonic in the UK?), from a USB external HDD. Not THAT far off from what you are doing, except that you are going to a device normally thought of for recording. I have just not been able to find that. It might only be useful for some minor tips, as her TV will likely have a different list of acceptable formats an CODEC's.

                     

                    There is also a thread on going TO a TiVo (very similar to your unit, available in the US. I think that might have been in one of the PrPro forums, but I cannot now find it either. Just not a good day searching...

                    • 7. Re: Differences between MPEG2 and H264
                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                      OK, here's the TiVo THREAD, but it was in PrPro CS5/5.5, so I do not know if anything from it will apply to your machine and PrE.

                       

                      Good luck,

                       

                      Hunt

                      • 8. Re: Differences between MPEG2 and H264
                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                        Found that TV THREAD. It was a JVC, and not a Panny. Again, as this was direct to a particular TV, not sure if anything in here will be helpful.

                         

                        Good luck,

                         

                        Hunt

                        • 9. Re: Differences between MPEG2 and H264
                          kjm33 Level 1

                          I exported a 2 minute clip in both formats. The clip had people in it but was mainly of mountains and forest (in gorgeous Cradle Mountain, Tasmania).  I cannot distinguish any difference in quality between the H264 and the MPEG2 outputs.  Both look great!  Both of them do however flicker slightly on the (widely spaced) stripes of my husband's shirt, when panning up through trees with leaves blowing in the wind, and when panning across a boardwalk with horizontal planks - there is some flicker around the plank joins.  I don't suppose there's any way of fixing this is there?  Interestingly the flicker is only visible (and far less) on the horizontal planks if I watch the clips on my PC using Windows Media Player; on the PC I do not see any flicker on the shirt stripes.

                          • 10. Re: Differences between MPEG2 and H264
                            John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            What are your output bitrate settings?

                             

                            For fast moving subjects (sports) setting the bitrate higher is needed... I will guess the same is true when the camera moves as you describe

                             

                            I know that for a DVD (all I create) I have the maximum bitrate on an Encore render set to 8... since you are going HD, you should check into those settings

                            • 11. Re: Differences between MPEG2 and H264
                              kjm33 Level 1

                              I checked the bitrate settings.  It is VBR1, target 20, max 21.  21 appears to be the max possible.  Would VBR2 improve the quality?

                              • 12. Re: Differences between MPEG2 and H264
                                John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                I don't do BluRay, so can't really say... you should try the same scene with VBR2 and see if it is better