Successful Blu Ray burn on my Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by rcgrabbag, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. rcgrabbag macrumors newbie

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    Jan 10, 2008
    #1
    I used Adobe CS3 products. Premiere to edit, Encore to burn a Blu-ray video disk (not just a data disk). It was an unbelievable pain in the ass, but it worked, with some limitations. I did a complete writeup here:

    http://www.rcgrabbag.com/?p=565

    You can skip to the bottom for a short summary of my experience. But if misery loves company, have a read of the rest of it.
     
  2. SilverL macrumors member

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    Jan 14, 2008
    #2
    Excellent writeup!

    Quick question though - once you have created this BluRay disk, can you playback on any applications on MacOS X?
    Thanks!
     
  3. rcgrabbag thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Nope, no playback on the Mac. I can browse the disk in Finder, but Mac has no playback capability. I used my PS3 for playback.
     
  4. Rowlander macrumors member

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    Aug 25, 2007
    #4
    Thanks for that interesting report!

    I recently encoded a 30 minute HDV-project (from Premiere Pro 2) into WMV-HD. It took my 5-year-old 2.4 GHz PC a little more than 24 hours.

    Settings were average 9.000 kb/s in 1080p and 2-Pass.

    It took your Mac Pro about 16 hours for 2 hours of footage into h.264, right?
    That would mean that the Mac Pro is approximately 6 times as fast as my old PC assuming that the encoding settings are comparable.
    I thought it would be even more but it could be that h.264 is more complicated to encode.
    Did Premiere use all 8 cores?

    MPEG2 must have been a lot faster. I understand why you would have preferred h.264 though. You could fit more footage on one disc at similar quality. But if you use a bitrate that´s high enough, MPEG2 can look very good.

    By the way: If you are encoding your HD-footage just for private use, you can also just use WMV (if you have the codec) since the PS3 supports that since the latest firmware-update. You can then burn that file to a DVD, or even a CD (if its small enough ;)) and watch it on your PS3. HDV-footage also works but you can´t burn more than 20 minutes of HDV onto a DVD.

    By the way, do you by any chance know if there is a way to export an h.264-file that the PS3 can read? It should support that codec too.
     
  5. ceres macrumors regular

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    #5
    As for the PS3, Handbrake has a Preset that you can use. There is also a lot of info on doom9.org on this matter.
     
  6. rcgrabbag thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 10, 2008
    #6
    Good new! I just burned an H.264 encoded Blu-ray disk on my Mac Pro. This time it played fine on my PS3. Once again, I just made sure the frame rates across the various outputs remained consistent across outputs. This seems to have fixed the problems I was having. I had to rewrite my observations on my website. Again, you can skip to the bottom where I summarize my various attempts.

    http://www.rcgrabbag.com/?p=565
     
  7. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #7
    Very good writeup. Thanks for sharing it :).

    I would point out that the problems you faced with buggy software are not down to Mac OS X. Operating systems can't do that much if software is badly written. You can bring down just about any system in the world with bad software, doesn't mean the system itself is bad.
     
  8. rcgrabbag thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    Thanks for the compliment. I'll leave the Mac vs. Windows debate to another thread. This one's about Blu-ray on the Mac, and I'm here to tell ya, that it can be done. I burned both MPEG2 and H.264 successfully.

    http://www.rcgrabbag.com/?p=565
     
  9. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #9
    I wasn't starting a Mac versus Windows debate, I was commenting on the technical accuracy of the comments you made in part one of the summary.
     
  10. rcgrabbag thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 10, 2008
    #10
    My would-be response to your original comment on my "technical accuracy" would have undoubtedly started a debate, so I wasn't saying YOU were trying to start a debate, to be technically accurate ;-)

    So...refocusing...

    When comparing my MPEG2 burn to my H.264 burn, the H.264 burn used 38% less disk space than the MPEG2. I used the High Quality setting in Premiere when exporting both. This means a significant space saving when encoding to H.264.
     
  11. TyleRomeo macrumors 6502a

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    New York
    #11
    Great info man. Listen how long did it take for the encoding from Premiere to H264 for the 2 hours of footage? Curious how fast that Octo Mac Pro is. Are you running other apps when you do the export?
     
  12. rcgrabbag thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    I was so focused on getting the disk to work I didn't time it. Especially with all the crashing, updating, etc problems I was having. But, in the name of science, I am currently re-running through the whole process now and will post detailed times of each key process. Stay tuned...
     
  13. rcgrabbag thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    I was so focused on getting the disk to work I didn't time it. Especially with all the crashing, updating, etc problems I was having. But, in the name of science, I am currently re-running through the whole process now and will post detailed times of each key process.

    Oops, hey moderator, how do I delete a dup post?
     
  14. rcgrabbag thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 10, 2008
    #14
    I've updated my website with stats on encoding and burn times. The video looks amazing and I was able to fit 2 1/2 hrs of High Quality H.264 video on a 25gb Blu-ray disk (barely - 23.9gb total).

    http://www.rcgrabbag.com/?p=565
     
  15. TyleRomeo macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Wow, great info. Over 2.5 hours on a 25GB blu-ray disk. Looks like the audio was uncompressed at 16 bit 48khz. What was the bit rate for the H264 video. You say it was 2 pass VBR, what was your range? Also did you check how much of the CPU % was being used up by Encore?
     
  16. rcgrabbag thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Bitrate for the video was: Target: 20Mbps, Max: 25Mbps. Audio was PCM, Stereo, 16bit, 48kHz. I put a screen shot of Activity Monitor taken during the Premiere encoding on my website. Hope that helps. The heavy duty encoding was being done by Premiere, so I put a screen shot of AM while Premiere was encoding the video. Encore didn't have to encode it after Premiere did.

    http://www.rcgrabbag.com/?p=565
     
  17. naftalim macrumors 6502

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    Vancouver, BC
    #17
    From someone who has a BluRay player and knows how to burn a regular DVD using Toast, but nothing more than that, 2 questions if I may:

    1) I assume that this disc you made can be played in a BluRay player?
    2) Can one take a regular DVD, RIP it, and then encode it the way you did?

    Thanks
     
  18. TyleRomeo macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Great great info, thanks for all the updates. Looks like your the first one on here to actually get blu-ray to work on a mac. How much RAM do you have in your new Mac Pro 3.2? I'm trying to figure out why it takes so long to do the encode. With Premiere doing over 500%, it's definitely picking up over 5 of the cores. I know with compressor there ways to utilize nearly all 800% of an 8 core Mac Pro, according to barefeats.com.

    I wonder if the long encode times are part of the reason why Apple has been hesitant on adding blu-ray support to it's Mac Pro line up. 15 hours to encode reminds me of the early days of DVD burning on quicksilver g4s. But at least there is a way. I would love to see how to optimize the encore down to under 10 hours, so at least it can be done as an overnight render.
     
  19. rcgrabbag thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #19
    Hi, yes, the Blu-ray disk that I burned can be played in a Blu-ray player. It is a Blu-ray video disk, not a Blu-ray data disk with a video file on it, which is an important difference. Toast can only do Blu-ray data disks by itself. You can use Toast to create a video disk, but you will need Encore to create the .iso file that Toast will use to create the video disk. An interesting side note, I read where someone broke the 25gb barrier with Encore by taking something like 4hrs of hi-def video, using Encore to create the .iso file (+25gb), and using Toast to burn the .iso to a dual-layer 50gb Blu-ray BD-R disk. I'll have to try that one out. As far as a Blu-ray player goes, the only player I have is a PS3, and my disk worked perfectly in it, menus and all, but I can't vouch for any other players. To answer your second question, I suppose you can take a regular DVD, rip it and encode it as I did, but it won't raise the quality of your video, if that's what you're aiming for. You really need hi-def video footage to start with.

    I only have 2gb of RAM in my machine. I really should get more. I too was a bit surprised at how long it takes, but it was a 2-pass encode, but I'm not really sure that should make for 15hr encoding. I dunno, kind of new to Hi-Def DVD creation, and even newer to the Mac platform, so maybe there are some settings, tweaks and the like that need to be investigated. I burned Blu-ray on a 3.6ghz Pentium 4 PC a few times, and it took about 12hrs for a little over an hour of HiDef encoding, and that was only 1 pass (vs. 2.5 hrs of hi-def video at 2 passes in 15hrs on the Mac). The software I used on the PC was Sonic DVDit Pro HD. It's pretty feature rich, but had its share of problems and limitations. For one, no H.264 on Blu-ray, only MPG. Secondly, it didn't do a good job of indexing the MPG video. I'd place a chapter marker right in between two scenes, but in reality, the chapter marker was 10-20 seconds off the mark. I'd scroll frame by frame until I found the scene change, but frame by frame movement wasn't really accurate. Secondly, there were a lot of defects in the encoded video. A lot of segments where the footage would pixelate and fill the screen with giant blocky artifacts and the audio would go in and out. At first I thought it might be a defect on the blu ray disk itself, but this was not the case when I went back into the project and checked the video. I could, however, add subtitles to the Blu-ray disk with Sonic (no can do with Blu-ray in Encore), which was nice, because I would place the date/time information of the original footage in the subtitle track so I could see when the scenes were originally shot with the flick of the subtitle button on the remote, then make it go away when I didn't want to see that info. The Adobe products, while they too are buggy, produce absolutely beautiful hi-def video on Blu-ray. Smooth, sharp, great color, really nice, and defect-free.
     
  20. drag0nreb0rn macrumors newbie

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    Jan 2, 2008
    #20
    I just bought that LG ggw h20l 6x blu-ray burner and I have encore. You have saved me time and money on two fronts. The first will be leveraging what you have already tried and secondly, I stupidly was going to use BD-Rs. So I went out and bought a BD-RE so as not to waste $14 media.
     
  21. TyleRomeo macrumors 6502a

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    New York
    #21
    There is a chance that the 2GB of RAM could have slowed your encode a bit. I haven't worked with CS3 Premiere so I can't quite tell. But again you are encoding H264 with a two pass, H264 is so much more CPU heavy than MPEG-2. Regardless an 8 core machine will be much better suited with more RAM. Right now each 4 core processor only has 1GB of RAM to work with. If you are ordering RAM I suggest OWC, you can pick up 4GB for $220.
     
  22. Rowlander macrumors member

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    Aug 25, 2007
    #22
    Thanks!
    63.6 % CPU-Usage... Hm that feels low to me. Why is there a third unused? I´m not an expert, there might be a good reason. But maybe Premiere just isn´t programmed to run more threads at once?

    I will do some encoding with compressor when I get my mac pro. I wonder if the usage will be different.
     
  23. darthraige macrumors 68000

    darthraige

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    #23
    Awesome. Would have it been less painful if using Final Cut Studio?
     
  24. TyleRomeo macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    I believe it's because his machine only has 2GB of ram inside. With Premiere using more than 500% means that both processors are working away, but they just don't have enough fuel to pump away near 100%. I would think going to at least 6GB should improve those numbers substantially.
     
  25. rcgrabbag thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 10, 2008
    #25
    Cool, Glad it helped! yeah, having a BD-RE on hand is great for experimenting with settings and seeing if new software works as advertised.
    Yes, I will put some RAM on my shopping list and retry. The 'puter was probably doing a lot more disk access in lieu of RAM.

    I had challenges, but now that it's been successful, I am really happy with the results. The Blu-ray video looks spectacular. Really smooth and sharp.
     

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