Compressing HD video

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by CrEsTo, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. CrEsTo macrumors 6502


    Jun 23, 2006
    Hi folks I'm a newbie with video...

    I finished editing my vacations video under FCE 3.5 and exported "raw", the one hour video is around 30GB.

    I used my HV20 HD 1080i.

    And I have a few questions:

    - Is there a way to compress and keep quality at it's top? If yes, What's the best way to do it?
    - Can I burn it into a DL DVD or I must have HD burner?
  2. -DH macrumors 65816

    Nov 28, 2006
    Nashville Tennessee
    >>Is there a way to compress and keep quality at it's top?<<

    No. The process of compression actually throws away information from the file ... no compression is lossless. But some codecs are more efficient than others so it may still look good ... just not the same quality as the original.

    >>Can I burn it into a DL DVD or I must have HD burner?<<

    If you want to create a DVD-Video, you'll need to choose whether you want an SD DVD or an HD-DVD. For a set-top compatible HD-DVD you will need an HD DVD burner and authoring program.

    For an SD DVD, your video will need to be encoded as SD ... then you can decide whether or not you need a dual or single layer disc.

  3. faustfire macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2002
    Actually, there are some lossless codecs that do a fair amount of compression. The Animation codec at full quality is one, and there are many others. Lossless codecs tend to not have a very high compression ratio, but are good to use if you need to store your project at full quality, and need to save as much space as possible. There are no lossless codecs for distribution though.

    You can burn HD-DVD projects to standard DVDs using DVD Studio Pro that will play on some brands of HDDVD players as well as on your mac. They have to be short enough to fit on the disk though. I've done a few and they look really good.
  4. jettoblack macrumors member

    Nov 1, 2006
    Since FCE 3.5 doesn't support HDV natively, your video was changed to the AIC (Apple Intermediate) codec for editing. This codec takes more space than HDV but doesn't improve the quality (though it does make editing easier). AIC is not a good choice for sharing your video because the files are very large (30GB or more per hour) and only Macs with editing software will have the codec needed to play it.

    If you want to distribute your project on a regular DVD disc, you can either downconvert to SD (losing a lot of quality, but being compatible with normal DVD players), or write a file in a HD codec like h264 or MPEG-4, which would be playable on a computer but not regular DVD players.

    To fit one hour on a single layer DVD-R, you can use a bitrate of up to 9mbps video and 256kbps audio. 9mbps is the max rate you can use on an SD-DVD so there is no point in going dual layer for a one hour video. At 9mbps, a SD-DVD will look very good for standard definition but will pale in comparison with HD video.

    If you want to stay with high-def quality, you can use a video bitrate of 18mbps and fit one hour of video files on a dual layer DVD-R. At 18mbps, h264 will give good HD quality (certainly better than an SD-DVD), but it still won't be as good as your original HDV source. You could also use a single layer DVD at 9mbps, but 9mbps is pretty low for HD (even with h264) so you will probably have some noticeable artifacts.
  5. CrEsTo thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 23, 2006
    Thanks for your useful help.. I will go with jettoblack route.

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