I'm am wondering if there is a better Mpeg2 encoder for low bitrates than the MC built into Vegas? I need to squeeze a little more quality into a 2 hour DVD5. If so, could I frameserve to it from Vegas?
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Thread: Vegas Pro to Mpeg2 Quality
On most types of content, I find hcenc tends to do slightly better at low bitrates than MC's mpeg2 implementation in vegas
One possible workflow would be use vegas => debugmode frameserver => avs script => hcenc . Be careful about studio RGB vs. computer RGB and levels (You migth have to use a PC matrix vs. Rec matrix depending on how you have the vegas project setup)
Another option would be to use a lossless intermediate exported from vegas . If you have slow effects /filters in vegas, that would be the way to go if doing a 2pass encode in hcenc (faster overall, if you have sufficient free storage)
If it's noisy or shaky footage content, you might consider filtering, denoising or stabilizing to improve compression as well
Using dmfs remember, Vegas is frame serving PROJECT properties, not clip properties, so you better have those two setup to the same values. Clip properies values.
If your source is HD, for interlace video there is one catch, resize of interlace content to SD interlace again. To resize in Avisynth (HCencoder loads avisynth script only I think) is not straight forward and Vegas will not resize HD interlcae to SD interlace very well.
I needed a real world opinion to set me straight!
If the source is progressive HD or SD, Vegas will do a good job, dmfs is not needed to get mpeg2. Resizing progressive source is alright.
If your source is HD interlace, Vegas does not resize well interlace content for DVD and that gives consequently artifacts in mpeg2 video (flickering of horizontal lines type etc.). So problem is resize and not encoder as it would seem in that case.
You do not say what is your source, so just pointing out that it makes a difference.
My source is SD DV interlaced. Been using MC in Vegas for years, but always wondered if I was short changing the consumer by using it rather than better alternatives especially for 2 hours on DVD5. Home movies are usually fast panning which doesn't get along well low bitrates.
As for resizing I frame serve to Vdub and do a lanczos resize.
Thanks for replying