Which Render Codec/Template?

Kimberly wrote on 9/8/2013, 4:04 PM
Hello All:

I feel as if I should know the answer to this question but I don't . . .

Can someone tell me or point me in the right direction on the optimal use for the following render codecs/templates in Vegas:

1) MainConcept MPEG-2
2) MainConcept AVC/AAC
3) Sony AVC/MVC

I've used MainConcept MPEG-2 quite a bit just because it's there and it works, but not because I understand it.




john_dennis wrote on 9/8/2013, 4:17 PM
20,000 Ft. view.

1) DVD, HDV, Blu-ray.

2) Upload to streaming services, flexibility in bit rates and wrappers.

3) Blu-ray and AVCHD.

There is some overlap with custom templates between them.

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Camera: Sony RX10 Model IV


videoITguy wrote on 9/8/2013, 6:48 PM
For the OP, this topic has been absolutely been beaten to death in the forum over the years - not ever has a consensus been reached and the vantage points are many. Suffice it to say there is huge overlap of uses bewteen all as well.

Note that in all builds of VegasPro12 prior to build 670 there was a bug in MPeg2 processing introduced that AFAIK never before appeared in SCS products. So during the year of 2013 - this gave a huge impetus to the use of AVC which seemed to be relatively bug free.

But if you go back to basics in Versions VegasPro 9.0e and previous - the following shakes out.

1) Mpeg2 - best designed interface between VegasPro and DVD/Blu-ray optical disc production workflows.
2) AVC - efficient encoding in the technical aspect - but sometimes problematic in its implementation by SCS - this didn't have to be the case - but that is what turned up in practice.
3) Sony AVC has been the most problematic encoder - an in fact there is large body of knowledge out there to just overhaul and hack the codec to make it work. The hackers claim they can make it work better, but I shall leave that to them. Seems to be more trouble than its worth.
willqen wrote on 9/8/2013, 7:21 PM
If I were you I would research some of the posts from the last few years.

Pay attention to mostly the very experienced and very wise posters.

They know what they are talking about.

You should be able to tell within a relatively short time of research just who's opinion you can trust.

The rest boils down to a mix of venting, frustration, and posturing.

Caveat Emptor, or something like that ....

Good Luck.

Just so you know most of us, especially myself, have learned most of what we know about Vegas here.

On the Forum.

Soniclight wrote on 9/9/2013, 3:28 AM

Depending on what your viewing platform is and if its the Web for example and need MP4, get the free Handbrake -- many of the wiser vets here recommend it. I also use it. If you're doing work for YouTube, Vimeo, Longtail et al, see Musicvid10's Vegas-to-Handbrake tutorial there shown below. Note that it is a bit dated and the Handbrake GUI has changed some since then. My guess is that you can always contact him via the board here if you have any questions--depending how busy he is.*

(* I've been here at the forum for going 7 years, am not a pro like most but find that the veteran and other Vegas Yodas here are quite helpful. Some have been above-and-beyond generous with me at times.)

musicvid10 wrote on 9/9/2013, 7:50 AM
MPEG-2 is older, first coming into prominence with the introduction of DVD. It is still a good codec, as evidenced by its use in some of Sony's highest-end cameras. Believe it or not, MPEG-2 used to be as balky on the editing timeline as AVC can be today. However, with faster computers, MPEG-2 is smooth as butter, and is able to smart-render, as you know.

Both codecs use long-GOP interframe compression to pack quality video into a smaller space. In addition to I-frames (which are real pictures), they use predictive frames to turn non-I-frames into math, which saves a lot of space over storing those frames as pictures.

The biggest differences between MPEG-2 and AVC are as follows. They both are capable of superb quality.

-- MPEG-2 Older, less compression, larger files than AVC for the same relative quality. Plays and handles flawlessly for editing. Requires less cpu for decoding and playback. Usually 15 frame GOP, so smart rendering is a fairly easy trick. Encoding goes quickly.

-- AVC/h264 Uses advanced processing for better compression, smaller files for the same quality as MPEG-2. Can be balky for editing because the computer has to think hard to reconstruct the actual pixels. Requires more cpu for decoding and playback. Smart rendering is difficult, because a GOP can be several hundred frames in length. Encoding is slower, and highest quality encodes at higher compression can become painfully slow. Optimal compression makes it more suited for streaming delivery, video acquisition, and hardware playback, but less suited for low-end computer playback.

Optimal uses for either codec require lots of consideration and other factors; however the decision-making process can be summed up thus:

"Size, Quality, Speed. Pick two."

Kimberly wrote on 9/9/2013, 10:20 AM
[I]"Size, Quality, Speed. Pick two."[/I]

That was my observation when I did render tests using the three choices. Of the three, Sony AVC/MVC was the slowest -- actually took 2-3 times as long to render. I could not play the rendered AVC files on my computer, which does not surprise me as it is a mostly stock Dell XPS laptop.

Great advice from everyone. I have a better idea now where to focus my efforts.

PS. The Musicvid tutorial for Vegas to YouTube, Vimeo, and the Web is excellent and not too difficult to wrangle due to the thorough explanations and examples.
TeetimeNC wrote on 9/10/2013, 1:26 PM
Kimberly, a big thanks for starting this thread. I have been struggling with various degrees of "stuttering" in some of my videos I uploaded to Vimeo. It was generally occurring in areas of "too fast pans" or "too much motion" and I thought decreasing the bit rate would correct the problem. It didn't. I then read this thread and decided to try a Mainconcept MPG2 render rather than the Sony AVC (Mp4) I have been using and I am surprised at how much smoother it is now on Vimeo. I naively thought whatever processing Vimeo does to the video would negate any difference between two version encoded with different codecs, but this doesn't seem to be the case.

videoITguy wrote on 9/10/2013, 2:28 PM
repeat my post earlier in this thread - Sony AVC is not a polished codec...with some hacks it can be improved...but natively it is problematic!