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Thread: Video Thread v.2...Switching Codecs Again

  1. #16
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    Did you think I was joking?
    No...it's just that when I was on my high school Mac from 2002-2005, Divx 6 was not yet available for the Mac so I was stuck with some antiquated 2001 version or something. This type of junk contributed to me switching back to Windows.

    I appreciate your feedback and "experience". Most of the videos I'm making are for my personal collection, anyway. Now that they will be in a format that other people can play once again they can also be shared (but they will be large files). I think going Widescreen helps better the viewing experience, plus you "keep up with the times" as a bonus. OK, now I'm just rambling...

    I haven't tried encoding a Sasha or Irina video (deleted the source video for the 2006 Worlds and Olympics so I no longer have the footage except for the converted H.264 files, which don't work with Divx Converter) so I don't know how that would look. However one of the source vids still available for running my "tests" on is the last minute or so of Sarah Meier's freeskate on the ESPN2 rebroadcast of Worlds.
    Last edited by R.D.; 09-07-2006 at 01:41 PM.

  2. #17
    MY TVC 1 5 SeaniBu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
    .... which don't work with Divx Converter...
    That is the kinda "junk" that got me to stick with Mac.
    In jest I hope Seriously though, they work with my DivX?

    Linux, because it was just to hard to make Windows user friendly and secure .

  3. #18
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    Mainconcept's H.264 likely will not work on the Mac version, either. In fact I don't even think Macs can PLAY Mainconcept H.264 since all the players I know of that support it are PC-only

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
    Mainconcept's H.264 likely will not work on the Mac version, either. In fact I don't even think Macs can PLAY Mainconcept H.264 since all the players I know of that support it are PC-only

    what reason would I do that? It would be the same as you trying to run iMovie. ? Yet I can play the .divx files in my DivX player...? I don't get your reasoning, if mind in place, that they make some software for some OS? I don't see your point?

    Anyway, looking forward to seeing some samples again - cross platform friendly of corse I hope you don't exspect us to go and get Mainconcept downloads too.? hee hee

  5. #20
    Figure Skating Is A Dangerous Sport Dee4707's Avatar
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    Uh guys, do I get an honable mention in this thread???

    Quote Originally Posted by Seanibu
    DivX could be a solution DEE, you were very wise to bring that up. The codec itself could be very helpful in the future and the player - of course containing it as well - is a good way to see some of the HD things that are out or soon to be.
    I would like to ask some questions but it's late and I will tomorrow.

    Dee

  6. #21
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    I discovered DivX by myself, thank you very much don't know about Sean, though. I actually had DivX for a while but only the most recent version of the codec is good enough to compete with the best codec I was using, and that was Mainconcept's H.264 v2. (maybe they'll come out with a v.3? I hope)

    Sean- I may very well be through with MC H.264 v2 if Divx 6.2.5 proves itself worthy when I encode the 2006 Campbell's vids. it has to be BETTER as well, similar doesn't quite cut it...if not, then I'm sticking with H.264.

    The order of the top codecs I used to encode skating videos for the past four years (all of these were the best available to me at the time):

    Quicktime Movie .mov (Worlds 2002 and fall 2002 events), Quicktime MPEG-4 .mp4 (2003- Worlds 2005), MainConcept H.264 v.1 .mpg (Marshall's Spring event 2005-Skate Canada 2005), MainConcept H.264 v.2 .mpg (Skate Canada 2005 - Worlds 2006), and likely DivX Codec 6.x.x - Widescreen Format (fall 2006- whenever a better codec comes out).

    I found the biggest leap to be switching from .mp4 to the first version of H.264 (Worlds 2005 was the last competition I used .mp4, Marshall's Spring event 2005 a month later was my "test event" for H264). I remember H264 simply BLEW ME AWAY when I encoded my first video in it. It was LEAPS better than what I was using before. Now, of course when I look back at footage encoded in it, it looks grainy and "out-of-date" compared to H.264 v2 and Divx 6, but boy, that was the turning point right there. Not only that, but encoding time was cut significantly...I could probably encode as many as 4 or 5 H264 vids in the time it took for my old mac to encode ONE mp4 file. (Sean, this also contributed to me switching back to PC- I could not use this hot new codec with my old Mac, nor with a new one.)


    During the time I used H.264 (both versions) I used other codecs (i.e. Windows Media) to encode some of the more unknown skaters (i.e. skaters I didn't really care about much) but saved the best codec for the top skaters. This was strictly a filesize issue- I simply did NOT have the space to encode all the skaters in H264 so I had to "discriminate". The exceptions to this were the Olympics where I encoded ALL footage in top-quality H.264 v2, and the US Nationals and Worlds entirely in H.264 v2 (with varying bitrates depending on skater). Also, I encoded all fluff events in H264 format (to take advantage of the superior ABC broadcast picture).

    Normally when I find a new codec I designate a "test event" where I sort of test out the codec to see if it's suitable for "prime time"- and it's always a fluff event like Marshall's or Campbell's. (the only exception was H.264 v2, which I started using immediately since it was so much better than the old H.264 codec and used the same software). I've been testing Divx 6 WS out on various vids but won't know for sure until I can capture and encode the upcoming Campbell's event in it whether it's suitable for archiving.
    Last edited by R.D.; 09-08-2006 at 12:57 AM.

  7. #22
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    AFTER MORE EXTENSIVE TESTING

    I came to the conclusion that the two codecs are really close. In fact, so close that I think there's a trade-off involved. H.264 seems to offer the better overall quality picture (with fewer "artifacts"), however Divx seems to do a better job of handling the fast motion involved in skating (doesn't blur as much). So I may continue to use H264 for non-skating footage (fluffs, interviews, etc.) and use Divx for the actual skating.

    The two codecs are pretty close. I tried comparing screencaps taken from both codecs (at the same resolution and bitrate, 720x480 and 3000Kbps) and it really depended on which screencap I took which codec APPEARED better. H264 has a "cleaner" picture but tends to "struggle" whenever the subject is moving quickly. Divx has more "artifacts" in the picture but screencaps taken from a quickly moving scene showed the Divx image to be clearer than H264. Hopefully I can get to posting samples so you know what I mean.
    Last edited by R.D.; 09-08-2006 at 12:17 PM.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dee4707 View Post
    Uh guys, do I get an honable mention in this thread???
    Back when I was trying to figure out how to make the videos available for everyone, DEE suggested using DivX which made the video available to a couple of posters who were unable to see it and hence made it "possible" for most to have an ability to - good thinking DEE . I never thought about using it as a solution because people may not have it, so I wanted to use something they had. I was Basically making the files playable for a iPod believing everyone would have software for that and a relatively small file size as well. Thanks DEE and others for contributing!

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
    .... don't know about Sean, though.
    I am not sure when or where either Likely a recomendation from ex-job.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
    Sean, this also contributed to me switching back to PC- I could not use this hot new codec with my old Mac, nor with a new one.)
    *chuckle* Macs and PCs are getting along in this day and age, and if you base your decisions on trendy new software..... have you been using it a lot in this time? It doesn't matter that anyone is using Windows, it works for me 95%+ in both giving and receiving. If I relaunch My 8 year old Mac with Win, I can still get just in case.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
    Hopefully I can get to posting samples so you know what I mean.
    Samples

    Friends don't let friends buy PCs,
    but we'll still work with them if they do, yes even network.

  9. #24
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    You're right in that the gap between Mac and PC is closing. However, it's my personal bias because I've been using PCs all my life and only in high school was I forced to use Mac because of all the Apple maniacs down there Mac OS X is a very stable operating system but most of the programs I like to use either aren't available at all or available in the latest version for the Mac. PCs have much more versatility IMO, but I don't wish to turn this thread into Mac vs. PC debate. We were (I was) talking about videos.

  10. #25
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    OK, here's one. These are screencaps during ESPN2's rebroadcast of Worlds.

    This first series is Kimmie jogging down the isle preparing for her freeskate. The captures below are nearly identical but were captured with each of the two codecs in question. The first one is the H264 cap and the second one is the Divx cap. (Ignore the differences in color- the Divx one appears to look duller- but that's the media player's fault as I had both open at the same time- once before the roles were reversed: the H264 one appeared dull in an earlier test. Just judge the quality of the images themselves.)

    1
    http://img390.imageshack.us/img390/8379/h2641zx7.jpg

    2
    http://img390.imageshack.us/img390/2232/divx1jn5.jpg

  11. #26
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    Series Two: Scroll test

    Sarah Meier waving to crowd after her freeskate with audience in background. Captured while the picture was moving. The audience is the key here...pay attention to how they look in the screencaps...this is one of the key areas where (in my opinion) Divx has a 1-up on H264:
    1
    http://img58.imageshack.us/img58/9927/h2642mq0.jpg

    2
    http://img58.imageshack.us/img58/3433/divx2ab7.jpg

  12. #27
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    Series Three: Quality Test

    Emily Hughes waiting to skate. Look at the detail in her face and especially the background. Look at the blue curtain. This is pretty subjective as to which one is better so I'll let you decide this one for yourself. Decide before you read my take (opinion) on it below. Once again ignore any color differences.

    1
    http://img216.imageshack.us/img216/1219/h2643nu1.jpg

    2
    http://img216.imageshack.us/img216/7214/divx3rv6.jpg






    MY OPINION

    This best illustrates how close the two codecs are. However, if you look closely I believe H.264 has the overall better quality picture. The Divx cap shows more "artifacts" especially in the blue curtain. Emily's face also appears to be slightly more "pixellated" in the Divx photo, while Emily's face in the H264 cap is clearer, but appears to lack minor detail. But that's really nitpicking. I bet the average person, ignoring color differences, would be hard-pressed to tell a real difference.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
    This best illustrates how close the two codecs are. However, if you look closely I believe H.264 has the overall better quality picture. The Divx cap shows more "artifacts" especially in the blue curtain. Emily's face also appears to be slightly more "pixellated" in the Divx photo, while Emily's face in the H264 cap is clearer, but appears to lack minor detail. But that's really nitpicking. I bet the average person, ignoring color differences, would be hard-pressed to tell a real difference.
    But these are Pictures , I was hoping for some vids

    so, 2, 2, 1.

    BTW, of course I am right about Mac vs PC I don't know what your idea of versatility is though?, but everyone has their thing - no matter how whacked that can be to some one else.

  14. #29
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    Save the Mac/PC thing for another thread.

    Vids take much more time to post and you wouldn't be able to play the H264 vids without paying for software, anyway. But screencaps are the best way to "nitpick" the encoding capability of a codec.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
    Save the Mac/PC thing for another thread.

    Vids take much more time to post and you wouldn't be able to play the H264 vids without paying for software, anyway. But screencaps are the best way to "nitpick" the encoding capability of a codec.
    I'm just joshing around with you, "take a pill "

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