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Presets for MPEG 2

Specific to Premiere Elements Version 10.

Presets for MPEG 2

Postby Johnny » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:42 pm

I'm trying to understand the differences between the following MPEG-2 presets for preparing a video for viewing on a PC (and attaching the computer to a HDTV):

HDTV1080p 24 High Quality
HDTV1080p 29.97 High Quality
NTSC DVD Widescreen

What sorts of differences in image quality and file size would we be talking about?

Any help would be appreciated.
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Re: Presets for MPEG 2

Postby Bob » Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:14 am

The NTSC DVD Widescreen is standard definition -- 720x480 pixels interlaced. The other two presets are for high definition 1920x1080 pixels progressive (i.e. non-interlaced).

Quality wise, HDTV1080p 24 High Quality and HDTV1080p 29.97 High Quality are comparable. The only difference is the frame rate and that will not significantly alter the size of the file produced due to the way the files are compressed. Both presets use variable bit rate compression and attempt to target a bit rate of 15 Mbps. Actual compression will vary depending on the exact material to be compressed. For comparison, NTSC DVD is less than half the resolution and has a target bit rate of 5 Mbps -- that's appropriate for standard definition TV and DVD.

As for the 24 vs 29.97 frame rate, you would generally go with the frame rate of the source media. That's most likely 29.97 although many cameras will let you set a 24 fps rate. 24 fps is the standard rate that film is shot and some people think that using 24 fps makes it look less like video and more like film, i.e. cinematic. But, a lot more goes into it than simply the frame rate. The focal length of the lenses used will affect the appearance as well as how the film was shot, developed, and printed. Simply using 24 fps mainly makes the video more choppy -- especially where there is fast motion. I'd avoid it unless there is a reason for it.
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Re: Presets for MPEG 2

Postby sidd finch » Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:56 am

For PC & and HD TV the H.264 codec is a lot smoother. You did not indicate weather your source video was HD or SD. If your source is HD then output in HD would be the preferred method.

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Re: Presets for MPEG 2

Postby Steve Grisetti » Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:32 am

I'd say it also depends on your source video and what your initial project settings are.

There's no value at all, for instance, outputting a 1080p video if your video was shot on miniDV. You'll just end up with a big, blurry video!
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Re: Presets for MPEG 2

Postby Johnny » Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:38 am

Thank you all for your responses.

Sorry, I forgot to mention that I'm shooting on miniDV. The frame rate of the camcorder is 29 frames/second.

Would I need to consider other preset options for MPEG?
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Re: Presets for MPEG 2

Postby Steve Grisetti » Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:10 pm

Just to be clear -- when you see "preset" you mean output format, right? Technically, a preset is the project setting you select when you first start your project.

In fact, since you're working in version 10, it's very important that do select the right project preset BEFORE you start on your project. In project 10, you must select the correct project settings preset when you first begin your project, and you can't change it mid-project. (Something Adobe changed in version 11.)

So I hope you selected the project preset for DV when you started your project. You can see but you can't change your Project Settings under the Edit menu.

That said, miniDV is a standard definition video format. So there's no point in outputting a high-def file from it.

Also, since you plan to play your video on your computer, an MPEG is not your best output format because it is an interlaced format.

I'd recommend that, for video you plan to play on your computer, you use Share/Computer/AVCHD with one of the DV MP4 presets.
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Re: Presets for MPEG 2

Postby Johnny » Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:45 pm

Steve,

Thank you for your response. Yes, I've been referring to output when I've mentioned "presets," the ones listed under Computer for sharing the video. I have had the project preset for DV before starting any project in PRE 10.

I understand now about not bothering to output in high definition since I'm working with miniDV.

I don't know anything about AVCHD. I had thought that MPEG was the way to go to project a movie from a computer to a TV. There's a lot about these formats for me to learn.

Thank you.
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Re: Presets for MPEG 2

Postby Steve Grisetti » Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:26 pm

If you've got my book, I've got a whole sub-chapter explaining the different formats and what the advantages of each are. ;)

Basically, MPEGs are interlaced, as TVs used to be. That's the format (in VOB form) that video is saved as on a DVD.

MP4s and AVC video are usually progressive scan -- or non-interlaced -- like your computer monitor and most of the newer TVs.

MPEGs look pretty lousy when you view them on a computer, but look pretty good on a TV. AVC and MP4 video will look much better on a computer.
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Re: Presets for MPEG 2

Postby Johnny » Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:10 pm

Thank you for the clarification, Steve.

I do have your book (though it is the one on PRE 7) and have found it helpful for many things Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements-related. I think part of my confusion just has to do with the challenges for me in understanding changing technology with regard to something like video making, which itself is a challenge enough to understand well, what with all the formats, and the fact that different things look better or worse when shown on various media.

I'll see how that MP4 looks soon.

Thank you.
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