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MPEG2 still the preferred codec?


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I have long pushed my clients to render videos in MPEG2 for playback.


I am starting to get a lot of push back from editors who want to use h.264 and/or MPEG4 or even ProRes.


I am wondering if MPEG2 is still considered the "preferred" codec?


Most of the time I am working with 5 or 6 projector blends fed from 5 or 6 WatchOUT outputs.


And 95% of the content I play back are loops. Short, long, all types... but mostly loops that have to be smooth.


Should I continue to push for MPEG2 as I have in the past? Or is there developments that should allow me to deal with my clients in a more flexible way?


I know WatchOUT is very capable of playing back all kinds of codecs but my main concern is stability of the show!




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H.264 is a fully supported codec in WATCHOUT. It's heavier to play back than MPEG-2, but offers quality improvements in some cases. If your loops play fine with H.264, by all means use that format. You may want to check back next week for more updates on this and other subjects.



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I have always been a believer in MPEG2 as a solid, robust codec.  In my testing with loops and frame accuracy over a long period, no other codec comes close.  Having said that, in recent years h.264 has become a good alternative (especially since WO added native support).  We did extensive testing to come up with a formula for h.264, determine that the primary consideration to provide accurate sync over time is to make sure the keyframes are set to 1 (similar to having a closed GOP in MPEG2).  In visual tests, h.264 has a much better look (MPEG2 shows more of the macro block artifacts).


However, on a recent show I had problems with certain videos looking extremely compressed in h.264.  I finally went back to my tried and true MPEG2 for the show, but was puzzled why what had been working has now stopped looking good.  All I can think is that there was a change in Adobe Media Encoder that caused this.


Does anyone have a good "recipe" for h.264 encoding in WO?

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Hi Watchout Buddies,

This question is always gets me thinking too... especially at this time of year.

When providing content for large 3.7mm LED Walls and the same content is  running for 12 hours a day, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. colour intensity and quality are the issue of the day as the file size is not in the gigabytes size.


I wont be able to test encoding so if anyone has any opinions about LED content and a good "recipe" for h.264 encoding in WO i'd be most happy to read bout it.




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