View Full Version : Which DVD encoder software to use if money is no object?

02-26-2006, 04:48 AM
OK, here is the thing. We are doing this big concert tour production that is very important to our company. We are mixing the last (biggest) concert using OB-van with 12 broadcast cameras and recording it directly to VT4 via SDI and Digital Betacam as a backup. Sound is separately recorded on ADATs for later postproduction. Our job is to produce DVD master for multiplication. Until this day we only used TMPGenc for encoding mpg2 and mpg stereo audio, and Adobe Encore for DVD mastering. Here are some questions:

- the sound studio will give me 8 channels audio (L+R+5.1) AFTER my video editing, so they will do any necessary editing and syncing. BUT, how to encode 8 channels in AC3? TMPGenc can't do it.
- how to encode video in best possible quality, what encoder to use? At this point money is no object? OK, it is! But we can definitely spend more then 50$ which is the cost of TMPGenc.
- If you suggest TMPGenc for video encoding, can you walktrough the options for me for absolute best quality possible (never mind the rendering time)?
- what do you think about Adobe Encore for this job?


02-26-2006, 10:46 AM
Check out the SurCode AC-3 encoders for 5.1 surround.

02-26-2006, 10:50 AM
If money is no object start looking at Sonic's realtime board and Scenarist. Talk to your Sonic rep to find the real differences between this and Prosumer apps. The menus will work as they should and you can pretty much ensure that your disk is DVD compliant. (When I say the menus will work as they should, this is not to say that the menus don't work for the end user when created with Encore, DVDWS or DVDSP, but the programing of the menus in these apps is not the same as in Scenarist. It has to do where the logic and the data are stored.)

A good realtime board will allow you to do segmented bit rate manipulation. This means if you have a section that doesn't look great you can up the bit rate for that section rather than re-encoding the entire clip and hoping it works better the next time.


John Perkins
02-26-2006, 11:08 AM
For an encoder, CCE SP is tough to beat. http://www.cinemacraft.com/
It costs about $2,000 though.

TMPGenc is one of the better enocoders on the market. Don't let the price fool you.

02-26-2006, 01:32 PM
Cinemacraft is the way to go. Even compared to the Sonic boards (which can be very flakey to say the least).

Why don't you let the sound studio supply you with the AC3? They should know how to get the most out of it and also provide you with a decent mix.


02-26-2006, 03:03 PM
Are you shure that there will be no sync problems if I tell them (sound studio) to encode AC3?

Zane Condren
02-26-2006, 04:26 PM
I have never had a problem with sync and TMPGenc 3 with the AC3 encoder.

02-27-2006, 10:33 AM
Try Pro coder by canopus.:thumbsup:


Jay Kelley
03-24-2006, 05:23 PM
We use a Panasonice AJ-SDX900 camera over SDI uncompressed.
We compress using Cinema Craft.. We take the origional and the MPEG into VT edit and do a split screen..

No one can tell which is which.. Case closed.. Nothing beats CinemaCraft


Dario Bajurin
03-25-2006, 12:39 PM
Sonic Scenarist works for 5.1. It is the most professional program and it has more possibilities than others.

03-30-2006, 12:44 AM
I like adobe Encore, but I think it's only available for PC. I know it supports 5.1, but you will have to use audition or somthing to make the ac3. Well, I guess that answers both parts of your question. Audition supports AC3 and DTS.
If you use a PC check out Encore. It is pretty intuitive, it makes EXTREMELLY professional looking dvds, Compatibility is very good, and it integrates itself seamlessly with photoshop for menu editing.
I shoot concerts as well. Audition 2 is not that great for mixing the music end of it, but if that's done allready you will find it very easy to mix Surround in...

Pete Draves
03-30-2006, 07:21 AM
I used to use Heuris to do encoding ( fully programable )
but Tempg does the job extremely well, at quite a cost savings.

I had one request to do a 5.1 out of a stereo signal.
The cost for this was quite high,BT the home systems do a good job of a fake 5.1 playback.
The real cost to do a 5.1 is the original recording mix.
after that the 5.1 ac3 is fairly easy to do.

Encore 2 now does clsosed caption. It does this by the way of a way to insert the .SCC file. This file can be obtained frome the company that did the CC for the original tape. The file is redone for the starting time code on the time line of the authoring program.
You can just get the scc file and calculat the offset by hand. Time = alot of hours and bleary eyes but it can be done.

yes for encore you have to rename the avi codec dll's for the vt.
They are found in the win 32 directory and are TEDCodec.dll and
This is a must.

03-30-2006, 10:45 AM
yes for encore you have to rename the avi codec dll's for the vt.
They are found in the win 32 directory and are TEDCodec.dll and
This is a must.

And what does one lose doing this? Just NT25? Or RTV, too?

Pete Draves
03-30-2006, 11:03 AM
when you rename this codec, all you loose is the avi wraper.
nt25 rtv all the others remain.
The newtek projects still work as meta data.
JUST THE avi wraper!

by renaming with an x infront of the codec name they are east to name back.

I honestly have never used the avi wrapper because they don't work off the machine that has your toaster, or in a lot of programs that do not use toaster audio

I you are using Encore 2 you must have the on board audio on.
(Encore IS sceanarist in a new wraper, and a better interface.)

I have set up four machines to work with adobe encore. Premiere takes one more step... when you go to select the codecs to render out, toaster will say it can't find 2 codecs. click the button on both and toaster is off and running.
you can write down the names of the 2 codecs and copy them into the VT main directory and never have the error again.
The codecs are located in the premiere pro 2 main directory.

This seems to work well. Premiere canot capture rtv's or other toaster codecs.
The newtek 25 plays in premiere with reversed fields.
Good luck

03-30-2006, 12:13 PM
OH, good, that's not bad. I don't actually use the AVI Wrapper at all, either. I use the dedicated plug-in to TMPGEnc, but that's it.

Yeah, I'm going to be looking at the Adobe suite at NAB, it looks promising. But it has to play nice with VT.

And as for on-board audio, I already enabled that to handle QuickTime 7 playback, since VT's audio hardware can't.

Pete Draves
03-30-2006, 01:22 PM
lots of enhancements.

multiple assets on one timeline

flowchart connecting

chapter playlists

some things in making menu systems I don't like
wish I could turn off some defaults


03-31-2006, 07:42 PM
For an encoder, CCE SP is tough to beat. http://www.cinemacraft.com/
It costs about $2,000 though.

TMPGenc is one of the better enocoders on the market. Don't let the price fool you.

I'd have to agree. CCE SP is the best. I've used it for multiple DVDs and never had any problems. You can easiely customize your DVD bitrate throughout the video and get great quality.

I also use Sonic Foundry Soft-Encode for my audio. It is an older program (I think about 7 years old, and I don't think you can buy it anymore). I never looked for a newer one since it works for what I need it to do.

04-09-2006, 05:06 AM
...and what about VTP or RTV plugin for cinema craft? just dont tell me that i have to render VT project to encode it with cce... :-\

04-09-2006, 04:54 PM
yes for encore you have to rename the avi codec dll's for the vt.
They are found in the win 32 directory and are TEDCodec.dll and
This is a must.


Do you mean with Encore 2? I have not had to do this with Encore 1.5.
And fwiw I use the avi wrapper in it successfully. fwiw

Sounds like you like Encore 2.

Pete Draves
04-09-2006, 08:17 PM
this is for encore 2 and premiere pro 2
I need encore2 to do many closed captioned premasters, I don't change programs unless I really need the features.

if you want to use these programs on the same machine as toaster you must disable the wraper codecs.

I know they work in encore BUT tempeg does a better encode and usesw the project file, the audio i output as a separate file. With vt3 you need to run the soundfile through a audio program such as soundforge.
With vt4 you can put the audio into encore for an ac3 encode.

if you donot need the features of encore 2...1.5.1 works fine with the codecs unchainged

04-10-2006, 12:39 PM
Theres also the line of real time hardware MPEG encoders from Optibase.

I haven't used one in ages and there used to be a good line by a company called futuretel which might even have used the same C-Cube chip as the Toaster

04-11-2006, 03:05 PM
C-cube chip? The VT doesn't use this brand at all. The chip at the heart of the VT is less about meddling and squishing and more about acquisition, passing raw bitstreams and directing. It is almost as diametrically opposite to an MPEG/DV compressor chip as you'll get. It is custom in that NewTek built what it does, but it is very much more specialist and niche than you'll ever see with c-cube, sigma-designs or stream-machine chipsets. fwiw

The task in hand probably ought to head towards a bureau to create the finished product. Just buying a full blown Scenarist, or having a Maestro or DVD Studio Pro license/seat isn't enough to match the fact that the OB and crew have already been experienced sets of individuals. A tie up with the same house that presses the finished article is likely to be cheaper than splitting the job into separately supplied/outsourced phases.

Typically the hardware encoders are not great anyway (quality or stability) - I don't know this first hand though. However the CPU-offload encoder accelerators are said to be OK (especially for 2(+)pass VBR projects) as part of the final render workflow.