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Need help: Encore Custom Transcode settings

Discussions on third party software for the final creation of DVD including Nero, Roxio, DVD Architect, Magix, Ulead, etc...

Need help: Encore Custom Transcode settings

Postby Margthecar » Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:34 am

I have a PrPro project in 1080p 24fps that went together really well and I sent it over to Encore via Dynamic link. The movie is about 50 minutes long with just a few titles and no special effects at all. I spent 2 days learning to make a menu with 2 audios, which turned out great. I need to make both DVD and Bluray versions. At first, as all this is a first-time learning experience for me, I simply left the transcode settings at Automatic and output images of DVD and Bluray. DVD took about 1 hour to transcode and the Bluray about 2 hours, which seemed reasonable to me I was able to burn them to physical discs and all worked fine except for 2 things: the audio on both types of discs was noticeably muddier than the original, and the while the DVD image was a healthy 3 GB in size, the Bluray was only 6 GB, which seemed to me too small and also upon viewing, the Bluray was only marginally better than the DVD in quality.

Which led me into Transcode Hell. I have spent all day trying to figure out what to do and am no closer now than this morning. Perhaps someone can help me figure out the next steps. Let me start simply with the DVD settings. I have no problem with the video quality so my first thought was to simply up the bitrate of the audio from the default for all the DVD settings of 192 kps to 320 kps. I checked the properties of my audio on Premiere and it gave it at something like average of 350. However the minute I change the Audio bitrate, I am thrown into a "Custom" transcode setting and then I have no idea which of all those in the list to pick! After finding no simple and clear answer on various forums, I finally tried one "high quality" preset with the higher audio bitrate but 4 hours later it was not even half done so I canceled it. Then I tried another and Encore froze. Let me start with what should be simple questions, but I cannot find them answered anywhere:

-should the transcode frame rate match the Source or the Output? For my 1080p 24 fps, for the DVD should I pick a 23.97 frame rate setting or the one without a framerate in its title which I assume is 29.97?
-Any idea why Automatic is relatively fast but the Custom settings so far are very slow or crashed?

On Bluray, same question about the framerate. Match source or output?
I have not gotten as deep into the Bluray Custom transcode settings but I did up the Max bit rate in the Project Settings from 15 to 25, but have not tried to reburn an image yet using Auto settings at the higher bit rate to see if that helps my audio quality issue.
Many people seemed to favor the H.264 over the Mpg-2 bluray--comments? Opinions?
Lastly, my source is 1080p--should I try to match that in the Custom settings or just go automatic? I did peruse the list and it seemed to give me 1080i as a choice but not 1080p? Does it matter?

I apologize for asking so many questions, but I am so confused by all this. I simply want to get better audio and use my HD source material to its fullest potential but can't see how to do it.
2.66 GHz Intel i7-920, 12 GB RAM, NVIDIA GT440 1GB DDR5 (unlocked), 750 GB SATA HD (internal), 1TB HD (external), Win7 64-bit, SD DV-AVI source video (still playing with HD), PrE8, CS5
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Re: Need help: Encore Custom Transcode settings

Postby Margthecar » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:04 am

Well I more or less solved my own problem, at least good enough for a first Bluray try. On another of my posts when I found my own solution someone remarked about the success of the "Muvipix Self-Help" forum. :-)

Turns out (she says sheepishly), what I was doing all along with sending my Premiere to Encore via Dynamic Link and encoding there was just fine. I just got derailed a bit when I started messing with Custom Transcoding settings that I did not really understand, which can make for some mighty fine errors and crashes.

On the "muddy" audio, that is real but turns out I only hear it on my computer speakers, either as a disc image played from the HD or from an actual disc, but on a TV or stereo speakers, I don't hear it. Weird really. I spent a long long time learning to make Encore-compatible output using the Adobe Media Encoder (AME), which turns out to be the only way I could find to use a higher audio bit rate than the default 192 kbps of Encore Presets, and it sounds great in the Encore timeline, but as soon as it is burned to a disc or disc image, it goes back to being a bit muddy and crackly (but only on the computer). I decided to live with it and embrace the wonder that is computer randomness.

Once I decided that the default audio was acceptable, then the "Automatic" settings for DVD transcoding in Encore are just fine. I also spent some time with a 30 second sample file experimenting with transcoding times in AME versus Encore and found, when the settings are right, the encoding times seem to be about the same for both DVD and Bluray. It seems to me they must use the same engine, no? However, it's harder to tell what the right settings are in Encore versus AME. Anyway, my goal was to use my 1080p source material to it's fullest advantage. It starts out as 40GB of source data but the "Automatic" Bluray settings were making a disc of only 6 GB! I didn't want to throw away almost 7/8 of my data! I realized by examining the layout of the AME settings the problem is Encore starts out with a default max bitrate of only 15 Mpbs for Bluray but in AME for High Quality it had a max bitrate of 36! So in Encore File->Project Settings->Bluray Max Bitrate I raised that right up to 40! Then I also reset the Bluray transcode settings to 1920x1080p 24fps Highest Quality MPEG-2 to best match my source and with the new higher bitrate allowed it said the file would be about 15GB (although it ended up closer to 12, but it's still double from before). So it encoded in about 2 hours and looks great. Frankly, to the Bluray format's credit, it did not look bad at all at the 15 Mbps bitrate, but now it REALLY looks high def. You really notice it when reading sign lettering.

While I like the Premiere-Encore Dynamic Link, I think importing already transcoded video into Encore has a lot of applications too so I am glad I learned both ways. Now I can choose which will work best under whatever the circumstances.
2.66 GHz Intel i7-920, 12 GB RAM, NVIDIA GT440 1GB DDR5 (unlocked), 750 GB SATA HD (internal), 1TB HD (external), Win7 64-bit, SD DV-AVI source video (still playing with HD), PrE8, CS5
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Re: Need help: Encore Custom Transcode settings

Postby John 'twosheds' McDonald » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:53 am

As an aside to this, I never used Dynamic Link on earlier versions of CS as it seemed to me in prior versions that Dynamic Link was just a bit flakey. Probably a peculiarity on my machine. In CS6 it works perfectly.

Like you said, Marg, ".....embrace the wonder that is computer randomness"
i7 6700k, Z170-P mobo, Win10 64 bit, 32Gb RAM, Samsung 500GB NVME 970 Evo SSD x 2, LG BD Burner, Akasa card reader, Dell U2719D Monitor, Sony HVR-A1, Synology DS412+ 8TB NAS, Adobe CS6.
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