Difference between Hardware Mpeg encoder and Panasonic

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Do any of you pro's out there know if there is a vast difference in VCDs quality made from material captured/encoded with Vitec DVD Cut Machine or similarly priced hardware encoder compared with capture with Matrox Marvel G400 and encoded with Panasonic Mpeg 1 ver 2.5 or TmpgEnc.

Any feedback will be most appreciated.


-- Will Newton (wyn90@hotmail.com), October 01, 2000


I don't know about Vitec but I was once given an MPEG-1 clip captured straight with Optibase from analogue out of a DV camcorder, and compared with the ones I do with MArvel G200/Panasonic2.5/TMPGenc from analogue out of my D8 TRV120 camcorder, quality, which is as good as it gets with VCD, is about the same.

-- Mehmet T (turk690@yahoo.com), October 02, 2000.

There shouldn't be any noticeable difference other than time. A hardware assisted encoder will do the encoding in real time. 1:1 ratio.

-- Al McCraw (amccraw@ix.netcom.com), October 02, 2000.

Of course an Optibase capture card isn't exactly free (ala TMPG) or cheap (TMPg+ TvCard)

Oh well.

How much is spending a few hours encoding (do it overnight) worth??

-- FunOne (FunOne@tyler.net), October 02, 2000.

Vitec used to have a very good hardware encoder, which they opted to discontinue, Vitec RT-6. The new DCM that they are selling is not even come closed to the Matrox G400TV quality. www.array.com has a similiar hardware encoder card, VideoOne, that produces similiar result to the RT-6 and Optibase card for about 799.00( assuming that you can get them to sale you one, I have a hard time trying to obtaining one from them). The Optibase is twice the cost, but quality wise Optibase is the best among the hardware encoder out there (all you need is the Xpress). Now here is food for your thought...If you are willing to spend time at software encoding, and i mean spending time! Software encoder will produce better quality during high motion scenes only, otherwise, the hardware encoder will record your video clip in real time to ready to burn VCD compliant mpeg. When i said better quality at high motion scenes, I meant a few frames in the high motion scene will contain slight blockiness. Now when that scene flashes before your eyes, you'll have to freeze it to see it, or really paying attention to actually notice it.

-- lnguyen (wingstarzz@hotmail.com), October 03, 2000.

I have the Broadway 4.0 that I recently upgraded to 5.0 for an extra $159. The upgrade enables it to not only encode to mpeg-1 but to also encode to DVD compliant Mpeg-2 files. The only trouble I have with that is that I don't have DVD authorware yet and mpeg-2 files are not much smaller than the original avi files. When the DVD prices become more accessible I should be ready to create my own DVD disks. As far as the quality between software encoders and hardware assisted goes I have heard arguments both ways and I can attest that my high motion videos do have some blockiness at times but the few times I tried a software encoder I still noticed blockiness. I still think it's due to the fact that the limits placed on video cd encoding is more the culprit than anyting else. It just doesn't allow enough bits per second to allow for the quality needed when copying from a VHS tape

-- Al McCraw (amccraw@ix.netcom.com), October 04, 2000.

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