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mpeg 2 vs mp4

Specific to Premiere Elements Version 9.

mpeg 2 vs mp4

Postby Matthew Max » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:12 pm

I'm converting some of my hundreds of videos to mp4 so my customers can view them on more devices.
This is easy in Pro if I have Pro project files.
However...most of the videos were made in PE 4 and 9.
I see that PE 9 will convert to mpeg 2.
Will mpeg 2 be good enough?
Will it not be visible on as many devices?
I think y'all told me one time that Pro will not open PE project files, which is a real shame.
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Re: mpeg 2 vs mp4

Postby Steve Grisetti » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:25 pm

MPEGs have some characteristics that don't make them ideal for viewing on computers or portable devices (ie, interlaced frames). They're much better suited for creating video for DVDs or BluRay discs.

Unfortunately, version 9 doesn't include the capability of outputting MP4s. About its closest options are Quicktime MOVs or Windows Media WMV files. MOVs are more universal -- although you'll want to make sure you're outputting a web MOV and not a DV-MOV. And I'm sorry but I don't have version 9 on my computer anymore, so I can't tell you which presets are available. But check under Share/Computer/Quicktime and see if there is a preset on the drop-down menu for high-quality web output.

Obviously, a lot has happened in mobile devices since 2010, when version 9 was released, and newer versions of the program offer much better support for these outputs.

(An alternative would be to by Quicktime Pro for $29 and use it to create your MP4s for mobile.)
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Re: mpeg 2 vs mp4

Postby Matthew Max » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:45 pm

Thanks for the detailed response, Steve.

So do you think MOV is adequate, or do you think wmv is better. I already have the videos in wmv. Can more computer (and devices) play MOV?
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Re: mpeg 2 vs mp4

Postby Steve Grisetti » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:55 pm

Windows computers can all play WMVs -- but Macs and most mobile devices may not be able to (unless they've got a Windows Media Player installed). For mobile devices, MOV/Quicktime files are more universal.
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Re: mpeg 2 vs mp4

Postby Matthew Max » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:11 pm

Then my only real question now is whether MOV is viewable on Windows and also on (some) other devices.
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Re: mpeg 2 vs mp4

Postby Bob » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:53 pm

Premiere Pro will open some PE version project files, you could try. But, even if they open in Pro, you may find some effects are missing. Another way to do it, since you do have Premiere Pro, is to use the finished video you exported from PE. Create a new project in Pro, import that video, and export to mp4.
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Re: mpeg 2 vs mp4

Postby Matthew Max » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:59 pm

Hmmm...if I imported a wmv into pro and then exported the project in Adobe Media Encoder at 1.5 Mbps...well, I think I might be interested in giving that a whirl. I wonder what the percentage of degradation will be.
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Re: mpeg 2 vs mp4

Postby Matthew Max » Sat Sep 21, 2013 4:16 pm

Bob, I processed the wmv at 1000Kbps, which I believe is the same bitrate they were in, and the mp4's came out great. However, I did not have any footage in these videos. What kind of quality loss should I expect with footage in a wmv video outputted to mp4 in Adobe Media Encoder? What I mean is, is there anything I can do to minimize loss?
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Re: mpeg 2 vs mp4

Postby Bob » Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:54 pm

MP4, wmv, and other distribution codecs use lossy compression to reduce the size of the exported files. Essentially, some of the fine image detail is being discarded. The higher the compression, the greater the loss. Some codecs, such as mpeg-4 AVC and AVCHD, utilize advanced compression algorithms to achieve much higher compression without excessive loss.

Quality loss occurs when the video is compressed for export. If you import that exported video, you will start will a slightly less quality image than the original and exporting will result in additional quality loss. But, the loss is slight and may not be noticeable without a direct side by side comparison as long as the video hasn't been excessively compressed. It is cumulative and eventually it will look pretty bad; You want to minimize the number of generations. Converting the first generation wmv to a second generation mp4 should be fine and should still look great. You should have no problems adding additional footage.
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Re: mpeg 2 vs mp4

Postby Matthew Max » Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:01 pm

That is a great encouragement to me, Bob. I'm going to give it a whirl. Oh, one thing more...

Do you suggest that I export to mp4 at the same bitrate the wmv is in? If the WMV is 1 Mbps, should the new mp4 be 1 Mbps?
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Re: mpeg 2 vs mp4

Postby Bob » Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:06 pm

If the wmv you are converting is 1 Mbps, as long as it looks good, you might as well use the same value for the converted file. How much to compress is a compromise between quality, image size, and your client's connection speed (for mobile consider the cost of data transmission too). I can't give you a specific figure. 1 Mbps sounds reasonable.

I would recommend exporting as MP4 using the H.264 and AAC codecs. This is almost universally supported now.
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Re: mpeg 2 vs mp4

Postby Matthew Max » Sun Sep 22, 2013 4:55 pm

Thanks for the technical support, Bob!
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Re: mpeg 2 vs mp4

Postby Matthew Max » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:32 am

Bob, I think I overlooked a key term you're using that I hear all the time. Would you mind explaining exactly what you mean by "compression"? I think I've neglected the implications in my work sometimes. Thanks!!!
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Re: mpeg 2 vs mp4

Postby Steve Grisetti » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:52 am

Compression is the system a video format uses to save or throw away video data in order to save space and make a more efficient video. Without compression, standard definition video would be about 1 gigabyte per minute. High-def video would be nearly 6 times that!

So virtually all video has a certain amount of compression. When you're editing video, you'd prefer it have minimal compression. When you output a finished video -- particularly for uploading to the internet -- you want to compress it as much as possible while affecting its quality as little as possible. Because of the way compression works, once you highly compress a video, the damage is done and you can never get the original quality back.

Does that help?
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Re: mpeg 2 vs mp4

Postby Matthew Max » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:57 am

That is wonderful! It's exactly what I needed, Steve.

Just one more same ol' reason why I LOVE muvipix.com.
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