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Poll: Do you prefer mp4 or mkv for h264 video?

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  1. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    So do you use mp4 or mkv most for h264 video?

    Since I got my wd tv media player I'm using mkv with ripbot264 for high def conversions. How about you?
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  2. I'm a MEGA Super Moderator Baldrick's Avatar
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    I make mp4 h264 most the times. Because I use it as streaming media together with flash.
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  3. Member gadgetguy's Avatar
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    I haven't yet worked with h264.
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  4. Member t0nee1's Avatar
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    MP4/h.264, for streaming to my PS3 and Xbox360....
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  5. Member Number Six's Avatar
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    Same as gadgetguy.
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  6. Member bendixG15's Avatar
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    Same as Number Six
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  7. MKV container tools are better than MP4. Works with my Sage HD extender in addition to my PC, so I'm covered there. It supports AC3, DTS, most subs and everything MP4 does not.

    However, MP4 as a container is slightly more supported elsewhere, not that it usually matters to me. So when I do something with plain H264 and AAC, I might use MP4 if I feel it's of value to somebody else. (ie. I'll record some home movies in MP4 if I share the files with my parents).

    Containers in a nutshell: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_container_formats
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  8. BuskerAlley.com zoobie's Avatar
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    same as BaldRick
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  9. Member FulciLives's Avatar
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    I have a PS3 so I mostly use M2TS which allows H.264 video and AC-3 audio allowing me to use 5.1 AC-3 without having to convert it to AAC-LC for MP4 use.

    However I will often do MP4 if the source is regular 2 channel audio.

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    Should really add M2TS to the list ... anyone with a PS3 should be using that as it supports multi-channel AC-3
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  10. Get Slack disturbed1's Avatar
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    Don't have a reason to encode to h264.
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  11. Member racer-x's Avatar
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    I use .m2ts for Blu-Ray compatibility. I also use mp4 for streaming. Never used mkv, nor do I have any reason to.
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  12. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by fulcilives
    Should really add M2TS to the list ... anyone with a PS3 should be using that as it supports multi-channel AC-3
    I hear you. However this poll was kind of more for the two heavy weights mp4 and mkv. M2TS delves more into bluray authoring even though as you point out it works very well for the ps3.

    As always that is why I include an "other" option in most polls to cover the unforseen.
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  13. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    When, and if, I encode to H.264, I'm similar to RacerX (yeah, the "other" container despite its added overhead). Seriously, I say, for both SD and HD, "if it don't play on my blu-ray player, I ain't encoding to H.264", which kills both MP4 and MKV for me at this point. It's kind of like why would anyone encode to MPEG-2 SD today if it doesn't have the spec with, or play on, DvD? I'm playing "least common denominator" here again.

    In fact, I've pretty much stopped encoding to H.264 altogether for the moment. The implementations out there are still in need of work, or the good ones are super-expensive. I'll wait.

    Due to this, and due to the coming end of new ASP implementations, I'm back, and very happy with, MPEG-2 for now. No need for either container here.

    However we await to see what happens with DivX 7 as it develops, which could change things in the market tremendously regarding compatible formats and containers.

    As for MKV, its fate is all in the hands of DivX 7 now. If DivX 7 succeeds, then it will be the big break MKV needed all along. If DivX 7 fails, then this could spell the end of MKV as confidence in it may never recover after that.
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  14. Originally Posted by PuzZLeR
    When, and if, I encode to H.264, I'm similar to RacerX (yeah, the "other" container despite its added overhead). Seriously, I say, for both SD and HD, "if it don't play on my blu-ray player, I ain't encoding to H.264", which kills both MP4 and MKV for me at this point. It's kind of like why would anyone encode to MPEG-2 SD today if it doesn't have the spec with, or play on, DvD? I'm playing "least common denominator" here again.

    In fact, I've pretty much stopped encoding to H.264 altogether for the moment. The implementations out there are still in need of work, or the good ones are super-expensive. I'll wait.

    Due to this, and due to the coming end of new ASP implementations, I'm back, and very happy with, MPEG-2 for now. No need for either container here.

    However we await to see what happens with DivX 7 as it develops, which could change things in the market tremendously regarding compatible formats and containers.

    As for MKV, its fate is all in the hands of DivX 7 now. If DivX 7 succeeds, then it will be the big break MKV needed all along. If DivX 7 fails, then this could spell the end of MKV as confidence in it may never recover after that.
    I disagree with a lot in this post - no offense. I know this is an opinion thread, so I'm going to state my rebuttal.

    x264 is a very mature implementation of H264 and works better than most commercial solutions. It is every bit as good at H264, like DivX and XVID were at MPEG4 ASP. The only reason to consider MPEG2 any more is for DVD player support, and I understand that. But otherwise, H264 is better in every way and has it's own following of hardware support too. As for MKV, it also has a lot of hardware support - DivX 7 is jumping on a well established bandwagon. Whether or not they succeed is practically irrelevant.

    The only reason to stick with MPEG2 (for the purpose of DVD playability) is if you never need better than 740x576 SD resolution and DTS audio. There is much better quality to be had from Hi-def sources, both video and audio. To me, it would be like staying with VHS just because its convenient, and purposely taking the hit on resolution. 720p and especially 1080p absolutely kill 480i/576i.
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    For me it depends on how long the video is and if I'm going to make a file larger than 4gb (like doing a 1080p encode). If it's smaller than 4gb and I don't care about the audio too much, I'll use .mp4 (x264 video, aac audio) since it's easier to stream to my PS3. If it's larger than 4gb, I'll go with either .mkv or .m2ts depending on what audio I go with. If the audio is dts I'll go with .mkv, but if it's ac3, I'll use .m2ts since it too is easy to stream to the PS3. Although, with the introduction of Playstation Media Server, it's become easy to just stream any file format so it doesn't really matter anymore what container I use. It only transcodes what isn't supported natively by the PS3 and the rest is streamed in its original quality. I realize that there's some quality loss associated with transcoding media, but the ease of playability and support for almost every video format more than makes up for that fact.

    Also, I just wanted to say that I agree with many of Valnar's points. x264 has come a long way and the quality is vastly superior to divx/xvid. I don't see why people would still rip to divx/xivd when more and more media players are supporting x264 and the features of said devices only gets better. I always see people wanting to rip their Blu-Ray movies to divx/xvid and I can't help but wonder: what's the point? They might as well stick to DVD sources if they're going to rip to divx/xvid as that conversion process is much quicker and has a vast array of tried-and-true tools for doing so. But, that's just my opinion.
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  16. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    I disagree with a lot in this post - no offense. I know this is an opinion thread, so I'm going to state my rebuttal.
    It's all good.
    x264 is a very mature implementation of H264 and works better than most commercial solutions. It is every bit as good at H264, like DivX and XVID were at MPEG4 ASP.
    ... yes indeed. And I thought so too for a couple of years until that all changed when I saw how horrid x264 looked on the big screen at these lovely small bitrates - smears, blurs, artifacts, etc. It was the first time I've seen a comedy skit turn into a horror flick ever in my life after I found that two years of my encodes looked like this all along. Even the HD encodes were like this.
    The only reason to consider MPEG2 any more is for DVD player support, and I understand that.
    And the fact that, with a good MPEG-2 encoder like CCE, (assuming SD for the moment) you can get better quality at over 3000kbps with many sources if you want better quality. x264 is optimized for low bitrates - at under 1000kbps, you won't beat it for "watchable" video. Agreed. But "watchable" is not synonymous with "high quality" and the x264 compression advantage isn't a linear shift given quality as a function of bitrate. At higher bitrates, and higher quality objectives, other formats can beat it, and quite easily.

    But this is true of several formats. Theory states that VC-1 is better than H.264 at higher bitrates. And most everyone will quickly point out that MPEG-2 is better than MPEG-1. But at very low bitrates, are either one of these statements theoretically true? Nope.
    H264 is better in every way and has it's own following of hardware support too.
    In theory, we all know that H.264 has twice the compression as MPEG-2 given the same source, which does indeed make it a better format in so many ways. But in practice, this is not entirely true (yet), or, this theory is skewed at different quality levels at the moment. I'm not saying it won't get better. It will. And I will certainly be around when it does. But for the moment, it's simply not ready IMO.
    As for MKV, it also has a lot of hardware support - DivX 7 is jumping on a well established bandwagon.
    Sure it has support. But the support for MKV currently is a subset of what is also supporting MP4 and only available as a token feature. It's rarely the other way around. But DivX 7 could change that very quickly now.
    Whether or not they [DivX 7 and MKV] succeed is practically irrelevant.
    I don't know. Given that DivX is pretty much an established leader, with a successful certification program for years and years with CE, a failure here could point some fingers at MKV. This is how crazy business is sometimes that techies don't seem to understand. Regardless of the fact that MKV is superior, or even if it was bad management on the part of DivX that kills DivX 7, or something else that is not MKV's fault, regardless, it would still make other commercial entities think twice about using it after that.

    Honestly, I'd love to see DivX 7 and MKV succeed and I will cheer for it. This would be a great thing for the hobbyist, the commercial sector and for all of video in general.

    For the moment however, in what I believe is a big transitionary time in video, I find great convenience and quality with MPEG-2 - but I'm saying this in the hopes that this too changes and ONLY because I'm waiting for DivX 7 to mature a little bit and change things, that currently suck right now, for the better .

    Go DivX (7)! Go MKV!
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  17. ... yes indeed. And I thought so too for a couple of years until that all changed when I saw how horrid x264 looked on the big screen at these lovely small bitrates - smears, blurs, artifacts, etc. It was the first time I've seen a comedy skit turn into a horror flick ever in my life after I found that two years of my encodes looked like this all along. Even the HD encodes were like this.
    Well, here's my take on this, because I see this in some of my dealings and where I almost gave up on h264 (in favor of the old but well established mpeg2 format) before I realzied what was realling happening in this new format and playing devices..

    The cause of this (horrid look on big screens) has to do with the devices image processor setup. Whether on an hdtv set or an computer graphics cards' ie, ATI or nVidia. Also, the decoder, too.

    IP = Image Processor

    Look at it this way, assuming source is commercial prestine quality:

    1 - player -> hdtv set
    2 - player -> lcd monitor
    3 - sw player -> gc -> lcd monitor
    4 - sw player -> gc -> hdtv set

    I see at least Two or Three opoortunities of IP possibility there: the player; the hdtv set; and/or the lcd monitor; The sw (software) will no doubt insert itself into the gc IP somewhere in the chain.

    Each of these device mediums (player, gc [graphics card], lcd monitor, hdtv set) all have something in common: image processors. These basically "filter", (temporally, scalling, upsampling, downsampling, etc, etc) the incoming video stream. What you get, in terms of quality, is dependant on "ea" IP, its capability of processing with minimal image detail loss, thus

    Reason 1:
    The reason you dont get as bad result with your MPEG-2 is prob due to the lack of IP applied to mpeg-2 sources, or just that certain IP functions kick in depending on the setup and the uniqueness of the mpeg-2 source video. Hit or miss is about what I would say in most cases. But if you (in yours, I guess) is good in every one of your MPEG-2 vid's then I would say that you are prob using a working (encoding) solution for those videos.

    Reason 2:
    My other guess as for reason of lack of mpeg-2 swaying is prob dependant upon how your video is packaged. If its an standard .mpg or .vob container, then the IP doesn't see it, but if its one of the new standards, like .m2ts etc., then the IP is prob seeing it and responding according to its design. Perhaps you should do an experiment, re-package a few of your .mpg or .vob (don't know how you are packaging yours) into one of the new HD standards, say, .m2ts and run it through its paces and see what you get in terms of picture equality, etc

    Reason 3:
    The last possible clue could be that you are not applying any filtering in your sources (or enough that will give the IP (through inducement effects) to cause picture damage) etc.

    But, with h264, there are more criterias built into this format and almost every aspect of such will more than likely kick in the IP and process that source according to that sources volnerabilities or lack of standardised encoding applied during the encoding phase. Its probable that with the this new standard in HD, that there are certain containers etched in the routines for kicking in the IP functions. These would very well be .m2ts and h264 and any bluray (commercial) titles as examples.

    About the only easy way around to enjoying home-brew encoded h264 videos on a large screen is to just turn off Image Processing in your devices, (if you are able to) be it your GC or hdtv set. Some lcd monitors may already incorporate IP as a standard feature. I don't know.

    Or, re-package mpeg-2 videos in another (unfamiliar) container that doesn't get flagged by an Image Processor

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  18. Originally Posted by PuzZLeR
    I disagree with a lot in this post - no offense. I know this is an opinion thread, so I'm going to state my rebuttal.
    It's all good.
    x264 is a very mature implementation of H264 and works better than most commercial solutions. It is every bit as good at H264, like DivX and XVID were at MPEG4 ASP.
    ... yes indeed. And I thought so too for a couple of years until that all changed when I saw how horrid x264 looked on the big screen at these lovely small bitrates - smears, blurs, artifacts, etc. It was the first time I've seen a comedy skit turn into a horror flick ever in my life after I found that two years of my encodes looked like this all along. Even the HD encodes were like this.
    The only reason to consider MPEG2 any more is for DVD player support, and I understand that.
    And the fact that, with a good MPEG-2 encoder like CCE, (assuming SD for the moment) you can get better quality at over 3000kbps with many sources if you want better quality. x264 is optimized for low bitrates - at under 1000kbps, you won't beat it for "watchable" video. Agreed. But "watchable" is not synonymous with "high quality" and the x264 compression advantage isn't a linear shift given quality as a function of bitrate. At higher bitrates, and higher quality objectives, other formats can beat it, and quite easily.
    Wow, not even sure where to start on this. I can only assume you weren't using x264 correctly, because it beats Divx/Xvid easily at higher bitrates, and is on par with it on lower ones.
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    I don't compress my videos
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