What to convert h264 movies to so PC users can see?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Applespider, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    I made my first test movie, exported it as a reasonable quality h.264 .mov file and put it up on .Mac for my pals to see. Unfortunately, I have a few Windows using mates who don't want to install QT7 (they're so paranoid that their systems are currently stable than they don't like introducing new apps) so they can hear the audio but apparently can't see the video.

    So... what's the best option to create something that they can see without installing anything - at the moment, they're back to slagging off the Mac for being incompatible with the real world - at a decent quality so my transitions etc still look good? If they're hearing the QT audio and not the video, would it be worthwhile, me encoding it at Sorenson or one of the other codecs in QT6 and seeing what happens?

    I've had a read through the ffmpegx and the divx (tho it says it's not Tiger/QT7 happy) pages but am still not much the wiser. And would I be better re-encoding from iMovie rather than just converting my high quality h.264?
  2. IndyGopher macrumors 6502a


    Nov 3, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    Re-encoding from the original is pretty much always going to be the preferred method. Don't really have any other suggestions for you.. however, I do find it particularly mirthsome that your friends berate your Mac, but see nothing ridiculous in the notion that they finally got their Windows PC's stable and are terrified of installing another program which could topple their house of cards.
  3. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    PC users can watch H.264 films now. I downloaded iTunes 5 for my laptop (gotta love sharing music over the network) which also installed the latest Quicktime. ba da boom it plays my H.264 movies.

    just get the new Quicktime or iTunes. happy days
  4. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005

    The OP said the PC using friends of his/hers don't want to install QT7 (yeah, I know) so in this situation I think you should re-encod from the original as a .avi or a .mp4 but using the MPEG encoder.
  5. Applespider thread starter macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    But how do I keep the file size reasonably small then? Trying to do the QT Pro, Movie to AVI ended up with a file of well over a GB :eek:

    To complicate matters, the original DV is in 16:9 so most things without a custom-size option end up stretching things...

    Argh... if it wasn't for them casting aspersions on my Mac, I'd be happy to just tell them to d/l QT7 and damn the consequences... To be fair though, one only has access to high-speed internet in the office where they most definitely won't let them install anything...
  6. decksnap macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003
    I don't have QT pro on THIS machine or I'd give you a step by step- but I ran into this problem for a client a while back. A BIG client, whose contact couldn't view the files and assumed the entire world couldn't view them, and whose IT dept. refused to upgrade quicktime because it 'damages their network' and 'ruins their machines' somehow.

    There are plenty of export options in QT pro. I would recommend trying to exort using the 'sorenson' codec. There are custom size options in the export settings somewhere. You should be able generate a .mov using the sorenson codec at whatever dimensions you like, and set the quality to something mid-range and get a relatively small file.

    Oh- and yes, I think you might as well export from the source. I think iMovie has basically the same export set as QT pro.
  7. Moop macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2005
    London, UK
  8. JeDiBoYTJ macrumors 6502a


    Jun 22, 2004
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    I just simply convert my videos into a Quicktime video in the exact way Apple does for their trailers.

    I use Compressor (I assume you have access to that).

    (from FCP)
    File -> Export -> To Compressor

    then I make a new compressor preset. click the entry button, then at the top go to -> new default setting -> quicktime movie

    ok, heres what the Inspector says for mine:

    Name: Small QuickTime Video
    Description: No description
    File Extension: mov
    Estimated file size: unknown
    Audio Encoder
    QDesign Music 2, Mono, 32.000 kHz
    Video Encoder
    Format: QT
    Width: 320
    Height: 240
    Pixel aspect ratio: default
    Crop: None
    Frame rate: 15
    Frame Controls: Off
    Codec Type: Sorenson Video 3 (Quality set to LEAST for me, but if you can deal with larger sizes, you can set this up higher, especially if there are heavy transitions)
    Multi-pass: Off, frame reorder: Off
    Pixel depth: 24
    Spatial quality: 0
    Min. Spatial quality: 25
    Key frame interval: 24
    Temporal quality: 50
    Min. temporal quality: 25
    Fast Start: on

    I find this gives the best quality for the smallest size, and its something that can be viewed on both Macs and PC's (as long as some version of QT is installed)

    its the exact format that I use for all my videos on my company site http://www.va-films.com
  9. Applespider thread starter macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Thanks JeDiBoYTJ

    I'll have a go at that tonight and see what happens. I don't have Compressor but will try those settings in QT Pro and give it a go! I hadn't tried putting Sorenson to 'least' since I wasn't sure that would make it unwatchable but obviously not!
  10. Lau Guest

    I had a similar problem a couple of weeks ago, but haven't got round to sorting it out yet. There might be some useful information here. Interestingly though, all my PC user testers had the most recent QT, but it still didn't work. :rolleyes:

    Another member emailed me and also said the Sorenson codec sorted his out, so I suppose it's just a case of having the right quality to size ratio. :)
  11. Will_reed macrumors 6502


    May 27, 2005
    I think it's time to dump the sorenson codec especially qdesign. At the very least you should use mpeg-4 and aac. But now I go for h.264 all the way it's a superior codec.
  12. Airforce macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    QT for XP sucks...plain and simple. I can't blame them for not wanting it on their computer.

    Do the re-encoding thing, but also try to convince your friends to download vlc player. Best damn program out there to play any sort of video.
  13. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    If they don't want to install Quicktime, why should he do anything to cater for them? H.264 has much better quality at the same filesize than any MPEG version.
  14. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    I am in agreement here. There really is no substitute to h.264 encoding (relating to quality/file size ratio) without access to Quicktime.

    Either accept the fact that your files are going to be WAY bigger than you want...or tell your close minded friends to install the damn app.
  15. BakedBeans macrumors 68040


    May 6, 2004
    What's Your Favorite Posish
    The more i listen to you the worse it gets......

    Anyway, yeah, get them to download QT (like i have my friends) and they can watch the delightful H.264
  16. Airforce macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    What the hell? :confused:
  17. Applespider thread starter macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Um guys... I posted this last October. They've all now seen the DVD of it and are happy.

    They still don't have QT on their machines. As to why? Well, they're doing me the favour of watching so I didn't want to put unnecessary obstacles in their way.
  18. Orlando Furioso macrumors 6502

    Orlando Furioso

    Apr 12, 2005
    JeDiBoYTJ, thanks for sharing your compression scheme. I've been through a world of pain trying to get quicktime movies to place nice with windows. The results have always been that the movies look beautiful and play wonderfully on Macs, but they crash and burn on any PC (no matter how well configured it is). Or rather, the PC crashes and burns with slow playback and horrific image/sound quality. I will definitely have to try out your settings in the future.

    Applespider, the DVD was a nice solution. It insures a consistent quality, and you have a backup/archive copy of your work. (did not realize this thread had bee resurrected, like so many others lately. Are Zombie Threads™ threatening to take over?).
  19. munkle macrumors 68030


    Aug 7, 2004
    On a jet plane
  20. mahashel macrumors 6502


    May 5, 2005
    "the lab"
    There's a downloadable codec pack called cole2k www.cole2k.net
    This technically adds a bit of software to their machines (panic and woe!!), but it allows them to view H.264 using Windows Media Player.
    I use it on an XP machine hooked to my TV to stream my movies from a server in my basement. (I rip all my DVD's to H.264 and watch them in this fashion)
    Works like a charm.
  21. n-abounds macrumors 6502a


    Mar 6, 2006

    Does anyone know what the best settings would be for animated video? It's video that was originally on tv, and is now in a .DV file. I tried using H.264, but I think that's a little too much compression...and I can't really figure my way around Quicktime. Also, I would like it to be iPod/TV compatible...

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