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View Full Version : Apple H.264, any body using that crap?




mymemory
Sep 14, 2005, 09:19 AM
I am here in Final Cut Pro. I wouldn't care about the codec in question but everytime I am exporting something FCP use it as a default what actually suck because the render time in insanely slow what makes the work useless. I rather use DV Pro of course and Sorenson for internet if that is the case.



witness
Sep 14, 2005, 09:27 AM
I use H.264 with handbrake, it is VERY slow, but I find the compression and quality to be worth it.

Sdashiki
Sep 14, 2005, 09:32 AM
But you cant simply send h.264 to everyone like you could, say, divx.

h.264 is a hardy codec, worth the time to encode, but truly hard on your CPU.

Eric5h5
Sep 14, 2005, 09:40 AM
But you cant simply send h.264 to everyone like you could, say, divx.

h.264 is a hardy codec, worth the time to encode, but truly hard on your CPU.

ATI's next-gen cards, coming out soon, will have hardware acceleration of h.264. Now let's hope for an AGP Mac version....

--Eric

mymemory
Sep 14, 2005, 10:11 AM
What piss me off is that FCP use it as a default basically when I always use DV for my projects.

I mean, what the codec does is good but is a joke the rendering time.

Erendiox
Sep 14, 2005, 10:23 AM
I mean, what the codec does is good but is a joke the rendering time.

Well think of it as a new-age codec that needs amazing processing power. All apple did was improve your range of render options by introducing H.264. If you are in need of the quality, then use it. If you want speed, then dont use it. I wouldn't rag on it just because the rendering time is huge. It really is an amazing codec IMO. ;)

Dagless
Sep 14, 2005, 11:19 AM
phew! i was expecting a "H.264 suxxors! use WMV!!".

it is very slow using it. but the quality makes up for that. plus i can just sit here trying to get another medal on Kirby Canvas Curse so its all cool

of interest, if your interested. i made a vid some weeks back exported as plain old uncompressed DV AVI, there i exported the vid to H.264, DivX and WMV respectably. compared (at the same bitrate) DivX is terrible. i cant believe how terrible the quality is. WMV did a better job! H.264 though was untouchable. all the vid sizes were 8mb.

Sdashiki
Sep 14, 2005, 11:25 AM
The horrible AWFUL truth about video encoding, is it is never fast.

I dont know of any "full frame" video that you can encode at less than 1x the actual length of the file. ANd in most cases, like MPG2, it takes 2-6x the length.

Video is a hard nut to crack, I recall years ago when in OS 7 or 8 i think that Quicktime could play (along with the hardware at the time) full frame video without jumpiness. I was floored back then. And today its only gotten better, but IMO only in quality for size aspects. When it comes down to it, every step forward in quality and size compression we take half a step back because it requires faster and faster hardware to run it.

Nature of the beast.

dxm113
Sep 14, 2005, 12:06 PM
I use H.264 with handbrake, it is VERY slow, but I find the compression and quality to be worth it.

What settings do you use in Handbrake?

I would like to use H.264 . . . But everytime I try encoding w/ H.264, the video looks like dog poo . . .

I have had better luck with other codecs (sorenson, etc).

DavidCar
Sep 14, 2005, 12:55 PM
ATI's next-gen cards, coming out soon, will have hardware acceleration of h.264. Now let's hope for an AGP Mac version....

--Eric

Only accelerated decoding, as far as I can tell.

Rod Rod
Sep 14, 2005, 12:57 PM
I am here in Final Cut Pro. I wouldn't care about the codec in question but everytime I am exporting something FCP use it as a default what actually suck because the render time in insanely slow what makes the work useless. I rather use DV Pro of course and Sorenson for internet if that is the case.I remember back when you complained about the dual-processor G5 (the one you bought and then returned). Well, now you know why a dual G5 is a good thing.

Here's a short sequence I threw together very quickly, shot and edited in 720p30 HDV and FCP 5, and "shared" from QT 7 using the "medium" email setting:

http://homepage.mac.com/tvwriter/.Movies/Streets2005.mov

Rod Rod
Sep 14, 2005, 01:01 PM
ATI's next-gen cards, coming out soon, will have hardware acceleration of h.264. Now let's hope for an AGP Mac version....

--EricEvery GPU in today's Macs has hardware-accelerated MPEG2 decoding. However, the OS does not take advantage of it, so MPEG2 decoding is done entirely in software. I hope MPEG2 and H.264 decoding in the GPU will be supported soon.

Mord
Sep 14, 2005, 02:06 PM
mpeg2 decodeing is done very efficently with altivec, it's why dvd's play so much nicer in g4's than in g3's.

bankshot
Sep 14, 2005, 02:18 PM
I hope MPEG2 and H.264 decoding in the GPU will be supported soon.

Indeed. If I could buy a new video card to allow my 733 MHz G4 to actually watch H.264 (instead of the slideshow I get now), maybe I can squeeze a few more years of life out of this machine. Of course, Apple wants me to buy a shiny new G5, so why would they help me hang on to my current machine by supporting that function? :eek: :rolleyes:

Mord
Sep 14, 2005, 02:26 PM
remember plenty of WMV files wont play on anything short of a 3GHz P4/3000+ athlon.

DavidCar
Sep 14, 2005, 05:18 PM
Every GPU in today's Macs has hardware-accelerated MPEG2 decoding. However, the OS does not take advantage of it, so MPEG2 decoding is done entirely in software. I hope MPEG2 and H.264 decoding in the GPU will be supported soon.

I seem to remember a discussion about how an EyeTV 500 could take advantage of hardware accelerated MPEG2 decoding, but the OS won't let them do it. I don't understand why this isn't allowed, but maybe now that we're losing Altivec, things will change.

Makosuke
Sep 14, 2005, 06:23 PM
I've got to say, h.264 is an amazing codec; I've experimented with a wide variety of settings in XviD, DivX, Sorenson, and h.263 over the past couple years, and h.264 is so much better it's amazing. Sure, the encode times are monstrous, but name a distribution codec for which they're not (and nearline codecs like DV don't count--they're for an entirely different purpose).

On the positive side, I can encode at speeds roughly a quarter realtime on my DP2.0 G5, which isn't all that bad, particularly for 2-pass encoding (which is a must unless you're doing CBR streaming). I don't think it's much slower than a good-quality XviD encode using ffmpeg, for example.

One quality note: QT Pro, if that's what you're using, is terrible about properly deinterlacing video before recompressing, which may account for poor quality. If it's from a DVD Handbrake does AAC/h.264 .mp4 with little hassle, otherwise make sure to set the proper flags in the movie's properties flag, then set it to the correct size there (not in the export section), and finally to manually set the framerate in the h.264 properties; if you do all that, it should deinterlace the export.

[Edit: I totally forgot to mention this, but QT7 is available for both Windows and Mac now, and VLC (Win, Mac, Linux) plays .mov or .mp4 files with AAC sound and h.264 video just fine, so cross-platform support isn't that much of an issue at this point, so long as someone is up to date with their software and has a reasonably fast computer, both requisites of playing most video anyway--keep in mind that neither Windows nor the MacOS will play XviD video out of the box, either.]

illegalprelude
Sep 14, 2005, 09:23 PM
on the topic of things then, whats a good setting to choose if I want to export a video out and just post it on my .Mac account or online so people can view it. I cant seem to figure out the right setting to put it on thats its both good quality and small.

All the video's i make are like 5min here and there and I export and they turn into 250mb, 100mb. I havent figured out the right setting yet :(

Rod Rod
Sep 14, 2005, 10:59 PM
on the topic of things then, whats a good setting to choose if I want to export a video out and just post it on my .Mac account or online so people can view it. I cant seem to figure out the right setting to put it on thats its both good quality and small.Use one of the "share" presets. Take a look at the example in my previous post in this thread.

illegalprelude
Sep 15, 2005, 03:44 AM
Use one of the "share" presets. Take a look at the example in my previous post in this thread.

holy dear lord, that quality for 7mb. INSANITY! FCP4.5 dosent have that shared one? atleast I havent seen.

do you go to File, export, Quicktime Conversion, then?

witness
Sep 15, 2005, 05:08 AM
What settings do you use in Handbrake?

I would like to use H.264 . . . But everytime I try encoding w/ H.264, the video looks like dog poo . . .

I have had better luck with other codecs (sorenson, etc).
I just use the default settings, seems to work fine every time (several times better and smaller than divx), just takes about a day to encode a film on my powerbook. Playback is crisp and smooth.

generik
Sep 15, 2005, 05:32 AM
Come on, H.264 is great... I love it for being the standard that'd stop Microsoft's goal of world domination(tm) dead in its tracks.

ATI's next-gen cards, coming out soon, will have hardware acceleration of h.264. Now let's hope for an AGP Mac version....

--Eric

Will probably never happen. With MacIntels coming soon, what incentive does ATI have to do that?

Besides they are slowly phasing out AGP cards too.

Rod Rod
Sep 15, 2005, 02:48 PM
holy dear lord, that quality for 7mb. INSANITY! FCP4.5 dosent have that shared one? atleast I havent seen.

do you go to File, export, Quicktime Conversion, then?From FCP, either render your whole sequence and export a reference movie or export a self-contained movie. Open that file in QT 7. In QT 7, use the Share command under the File menu. You'll see the presets there.

illegalprelude
Sep 20, 2005, 02:49 PM
From FCP, either render your whole sequence and export a reference movie or export a self-contained movie. Open that file in QT 7. In QT 7, use the Share command under the File menu. You'll see the presets there.

thank you very much bro :) :) :)

Rod Rod
Sep 20, 2005, 03:33 PM
thank you very much bro :) :) :)You're welcome!

tobio
Sep 21, 2005, 12:03 PM
This may be a glaringly obvious question, but I was of the impression that jobs such as video encoding don't distribute well, therefore I thought that an xgrid cluster would only be helpful in a situation where I multiple different clips to encode at once. So would having an Xgrid cluster speed up the encoding of H.264 video so that it wasn't such a monster?

In compressor there are a couple of HD H.264 presets, and it is easy to make your own. Because I only have the one mac, does anyone else know how clustering/xgrid works with encoding jobs? I can render a 2 hour movie in about 30 hours (two pass), but I would happily justify throwing a dedicated mac in the corner to share the load if it would make a difference to the time.

snkTab
Sep 21, 2005, 05:06 PM
This was a topic talking about Xgrid and how functionality seems to exist in the client version os OS X not just the server

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=131871

But if you read all of it, it doesn't really get that useful. I don't think there's a lot of info on xgrid.

Rod Rod
Sep 23, 2005, 12:15 AM
This may be a glaringly obvious question, but I was of the impression that jobs such as video encoding don't distribute well, therefore I thought that an xgrid cluster would only be helpful in a situation where I multiple different clips to encode at once. So would having an Xgrid cluster speed up the encoding of H.264 video so that it wasn't such a monster?

In compressor there are a couple of HD H.264 presets, and it is easy to make your own. Because I only have the one mac, does anyone else know how clustering/xgrid works with encoding jobs? I can render a 2 hour movie in about 30 hours (two pass), but I would happily justify throwing a dedicated mac in the corner to share the load if it would make a difference to the time.You can distribute video encoding jobs using Apple Qmaster. First install Qmaster on your machines and then create your cluster. From Compressor you can send the encoding job to your cluster and it will first copy what files it needs to the other machines and then all machines with cluster services will share the processing load.

tobio
Sep 25, 2005, 07:29 AM
You can distribute video encoding jobs using Apple Qmaster. First install Qmaster on your machines and then create your cluster. From Compressor you can send the encoding job to your cluster and it will first copy what files it needs to the other machines and then all machines with cluster services will share the processing load.

Perhaps this could be the perfect justification for having a little stack of mac minis in the corner...

I wonder which would be quicker, four 1.25Ghz mac minis at 1440, or one Dual 2Ghz Powermac at 1350

:rolleyes:

ammon
Sep 25, 2005, 08:53 AM
Video encoding is very processor hungry. Speed is everything! If you have all the minis connected with gigabit, they should be significantly faster than the G5!

tobio
Sep 27, 2005, 07:10 PM
But... minis don't have gigabit ethernet.

Its a shame I dont have the resources to battle them out, but i suspect the G5 would win.

I do have the resources to do such a test with PCs tho... but first I would have to learn how to set up some linux and openmosix and all that stuff. the results from that should be indicative of minis vs a powermac, but I dont know when or if I will ever get the time to do this.

I wouldn't expect four minis to be able to encode a video four times quicker than one on its own, but it depends on how the cluster and the encoder talk to each other. If it was smart enough to split the movie into four equal parts, and send each bit to one of the minis to process, then put the file back together when they are all finished then that would be four times as fast. However high quality video encoding needs two passes, so you wouldn't be able to split the job up like that until after the first pass has happened, because the four minis wouldn't yet know what to do.

If you were doing CBR encoding then it may be workable, but the resulting file wouldn't be as good as the 2-pass one therefore it wouldn't be worth doing?

has anyone actually got some real data on this kind of exercise?

jelloshotsrule
Sep 28, 2005, 09:25 AM
hey rod rod, what cam did you shoot that sample thing with?

Rod Rod
Sep 29, 2005, 04:28 AM
hey rod rod, what cam did you shoot that sample thing with?Hi jelloshotsrule, I shot it with a JVC HD10. I'm happy with some shots in there more than others. The lady wearing orange turned out great, for example, while the white guy with glasses was underexposed. I threw that sequence together super fast; it was a real rush job.

punkmac
Sep 29, 2005, 05:20 AM
I am here in Final Cut Pro. I wouldn't care about the codec in question but everytime I am exporting something FCP use it as a default what actually suck because the render time in insanely slow what makes the work useless. I rather use DV Pro of course and Sorenson for internet if that is the case.


H.264 Rocks! I am currently backing up my DVD collection to H.264.

I am able to shrink a dvd to 1/4 the size with no loss in quality. Sure this is a slow process but what the hell, the computer is just sitting there idle all night.

Bring on Downloadable HD movies!


I.

Sdashiki
Sep 29, 2005, 09:40 AM
But what are you doing with the h.264 files? Only a fast new computer can play them, not a set top DVD player, yet.

Chundles
Sep 29, 2005, 09:51 AM
But what are you doing with the h.264 files? Only a fast new computer can play them, not a set top DVD player, yet.

Only a new computer can play HD H.264 files, my iBook handles H.264 rips from DVD very nicely. I can get a movie at almost 3/4 the quality of a DVD onto a CD. It takes a long time (very very long time, like all night) to rip a DVD to H.264 but the quality is outstanding. Much better than .avi

jelloshotsrule
Sep 29, 2005, 11:34 AM
Hi jelloshotsrule, I shot it with a JVC HD10. I'm happy with some shots in there more than others. The lady wearing orange turned out great, for example, while the white guy with glasses was underexposed. I threw that sequence together super fast; it was a real rush job.

hah. in all honesty i haven't gotten to see the clip yet (every time i look here i'm on my dumb pc at work...), but i wanted to know what hdv cam you had used since you seemed to think the result was good. i'll be posting a new thread about why, and look forward to your advice in it.....

but, so looking at b&h i see a ~$5500 jvc gy-hd10 (ou?) and then a ~$2500 jvc jy-hd10 (o)... which did you use? or another one altogether? thanks!

Sdashiki
Sep 29, 2005, 12:26 PM
Like I said, kinda pointless and time consuming for no reason other than some geeky cool factor?

You take a DVD, watchable on your LARGE and nice television set in the living room.

Rip it to your iBook at h.264.

How do you watch this newly compressed video? On your iBook? WOW that must be such fun to watch.

jelloshotsrule
Sep 29, 2005, 12:30 PM
i bet it's almost as much fun as posting pointless criticisms of people online!

saunders45
Sep 29, 2005, 01:14 PM
It may not be the same as watching on a tv, however, when traveling alot, it sure gets a better battery life than running the dvd drive constantly.

Sdashiki
Sep 30, 2005, 10:37 AM
Now THAT is true.

but in the long run, you arent going to toss your DVDs just cuz u got h.264 rips on your puter?

punkmac
Sep 30, 2005, 08:00 PM
Like I said, kinda pointless and time consuming for no reason other than some geeky cool factor?

You take a DVD, watchable on your LARGE and nice television set in the living room.

Rip it to your iBook at h.264.

How do you watch this newly compressed video? On your iBook? WOW that must be such fun to watch.


I don't own a TV. All the video we watch is on our 17" iMac or 19" Crt.

Rod Rod
Sep 30, 2005, 08:31 PM
but, so looking at b&h i see a ~$5500 jvc gy-hd10 (ou?) and then a ~$2500 jvc jy-hd10 (o)... which did you use? or another one altogether? thanks!I used the JY-HD10U. The GY-HD100 is the higher end, $5500 camera that just came out this month. The JY-HD10U came out last year or the year before. You can find used JY-HD10Us and GY-HD1Us on eBay for around $1400 or less. Check out the HDV Acquisition Equipment (http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/forumdisplay.php?f=62) section of HDV Info Net in case you haven't yet.

bbyrdhouse
Oct 24, 2005, 05:24 AM
Believe it or not but:

Last night I began encoding Season 1 disc 4 of The Andy Griffith Show for IPod 5G.
Here are the conditions to my experiment.

I ripped the same disc with Mac the Ripper.
I then used Handbrake to encode.
I encoded the entire dvd (from my hard drive mind you) with the follwing variables being the same on both machines:

DVD Time of original content = 3 hours 24 minutes
File format MP4
Codec H.264
Average bitrate 800
Audio Sample rate 44,000KHZ
Audio bitrate 112 KBS
Screen size output 320x240
2 pass encoding


I knew that it was going to take a while because of my options, but I was not ready for what I found after 6 hours of encoding.

I found that my 15" Powerbook with 1 Gig of Ram, 1.67 Ghz proc was on it's second pass at 20% done
While my Dual 2.7 G5, with 1.5 Gig of Ram was only at 80% of the first pass.

I could not believe it I would have thought it be the other way around.

I started them exactly the same time.

The Powerbook encodes at 18-19 frames per second and the G5 Tower encodes at 10-11 frames per second.

What do you make of that?

FireArse
Oct 24, 2005, 05:53 AM
I then used Handbrake to encode.
I encoded the entire dvd (from my hard drive mind you)
What do you make of that?

I think thats where your problem lies. If you're encoding with Handbrake the x264 codec is optimized more (i think) for the G4 than for the G5.

If you can get your DVD rip to be read from within QuickTime 7 Pro, then encode from there. You can bet your life that the Offical H.264 Encoder within QT Pro has been optimized to the balls for the Dual G5.

It is faster than that, I'm sure.

F

bbyrdhouse
Oct 24, 2005, 06:11 AM
...If you're encoding with Handbrake the x264 codec is optimized more (i think) for the G4 than for the G5.

If you can get your DVD rip to be read from within QuickTime 7 Pro, then encode from there. You can bet your life that the Offical H.264 Encoder within QT Pro has been optimized to the balls for the Dual G5.

It is faster than that, I'm sure.

F

Well, that will be my next experiment. I certainly did not know that, if I had I would have done so in the beginning.
Thanks for the advice.

FireArse
Oct 24, 2005, 07:21 AM
Well, that will be my next experiment. I certainly did not know that, if I had I would have done so in the beginning.
Thanks for the advice.

Would you mind coming back online after you've done the comparison? I'd love to know how the QT H.264 fares with x.264 (open source version) accross the differing Hardware you have. You'll still use the same video?

Cheers,

FireArse

bbyrdhouse
Oct 24, 2005, 01:52 PM
Would you mind coming back online after you've done the comparison? I'd love to know how the QT H.264 fares with x.264 (open source version) accross the differing Hardware you have. You'll still use the same video?

Cheers,

FireArse

I havn't yet found an easy way to get the vob (DVD Rip) into Quicktime Pro.

However I was finally able to Re-encode the same file (3 hours, 24 minutes) with all of the same settings as before but instead of encoding to x.264 I encoded to regular M4v and it is amzing at the speed difference in encoding.

To encode to x.264 my G5 Dual 2.7 encoded at about 12 fps (12 hours)
But to encode to M4v it encoded at about 160 fps (40 minutes) that's with 2 pass encoding.
Geez! What a difference.

Now, any suggestions as to the best, easiest way to export/import a .vob into Quicktime Pro.

The difference in file size was pretty extreme though:
x.264 = 1.2 Gigabytes
MP4 = 5.6 Gigabytes

FireArse
Oct 25, 2005, 08:05 AM
bbyrdhouse,

read through: http://faq.arstechnica.com/link.php?i=1827

follow the link thats on there: http://mm2d.sourceforge.net/

I think this might allow you to move on from you current position.

I'll have a look into this when I get home - the uni Mac's are only single 1.8's.

F

DavidCar
Nov 7, 2005, 11:11 AM
I then used Handbrake to encode....I found that my 15" Powerbook with 1 Gig of Ram, 1.67 Ghz proc was on it's second pass at 20% done
While my Dual 2.7 G5, with 1.5 Gig of Ram was only at 80% of the first pass.


I found a note on http://xlr8yourmac.com/ that Handbrake was updated with "Multithreaded H.264 encoding with x264." I wonder if that would change your results.

FireArse
Mar 6, 2006, 08:25 PM
I found a note on http://xlr8yourmac.com/ that Handbrake was updated with "Multithreaded H.264 encoding with x264." I wonder if that would change your results.

I have read through the Handbrake, xlr8yourmac, x264 and macrumors forums, but I can't find out whether the x264 encoder has full AltiVec support. Anybody in the forums know how to fully optimize code through AltiVec?

Core Duo's are getting over DOUBLE the speeds of G5's in encoding H.264 at 1000Kbps main profile:

http://handbrake.m0k.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=4

PPC and AltiVec are so far from dead - but with x86 kicking the ***** out of G5 already int his application - something needs to be done to improve the efficiency of these Dual Core/Dual Processor G5's for H.264.

Keebler
Mar 6, 2006, 10:08 PM
I am here in Final Cut Pro. I wouldn't care about the codec in question but everytime I am exporting something FCP use it as a default what actually suck because the render time in insanely slow what makes the work useless. I rather use DV Pro of course and Sorenson for internet if that is the case.
Unless i'm crazy here, just change your default in fcp? and/or use dv pro or sorenson.

you have to ask yourself the age old question: does your work necessitate quality? if a client is paying big bucks, then render at the best quality. if the video is for your buddies, then they won't care about quality so much so go with something faster.

Will_reed
Mar 7, 2006, 06:54 PM
Sorenson is dead get over it I have a pb g4 and it takes forever to export but I still use h.264 and if I want to get it out faster I'd use standard mpeg-4 NOT sorenson quicktime 5 is over people move on.

Kingsly
Mar 8, 2006, 12:48 AM
yes I use that crap all the time. In a world of crap, H.264 is my all time favorite crap. I like it because it is small yet high quality crap. Who cares if it takes all night, I just put a blanket over my mac and let it spew out crap while I sleep peacefully.
They should've named it H.Mr. Hanky

eXan
Mar 8, 2006, 07:02 AM
I have read through the Handbrake, xlr8yourmac, x264 and macrumors forums, but I can't find out whether the x264 encoder has full AltiVec support. Anybody in the forums know how to fully optimize code through AltiVec?

Core Duo's are getting over DOUBLE the speeds of G5's in encoding H.264 at 1000Kbps main profile:

http://handbrake.m0k.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=4

PPC and AltiVec are so far from dead - but with x86 kicking the ***** out of G5 already int his application - something needs to be done to improve the efficiency of these Dual Core/Dual Processor G5's for H.264.


I think H.264 is NOT optimized for AltiVec, otherwise PPC-based Macs would kick Intel-based Macs' ass in watching HD footage

FireArse
Mar 8, 2006, 07:57 AM
I think H.264 is NOT optimized for AltiVec, otherwise PPC-based Macs would kick Intel-based Macs' ass in watching HD footage

Sadly I think it is, but poorly:
http://imagepros.us/uploads/371a5d8af1.jpg (http://imagepros.us)
The output from the code shows some form of Altivec optimization - but I'm not sure how effective it is. H.264 and its Open Sourced variant x264 need serious time for Altivec optimization, Im trying to find out all I can on the subject, but I haven't coded in 3years - and I was never that good anyway!

Anyone with Altivec experience - please contact Eric Petit (titer@m0k.org) cos he really would appreciate help woth his open sourced x264 :)