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Old 05-12-2007, 12:57 AM   #1
Mr Sparkle
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 3,748
Default ProCoder 3 Product miniFAQ (updated 2008/02/25)

This should hopefully answer some of the more common questions concerning ProCoder 3.

And FYI, this FAQ has been viewed and signed off by ProCoder dev/engineering.

(PS. I will add something about H.264-to-.MP4 soon.)

Question: Is ProCoder 3 shipping? Upgrades too?

Answer: ProCoder 3 is shipping and available today. Shipments and delivery are different for different regions, so some delays can exist.

Question: What product do I have to have to qualify for an upgrade?

Answer: You need either: ProCoder (v1.x), ProCoder 2.0, or an EDIUS (v3 or higher) product with ProCoder Express for EDIUS.

Question: Is ProCoder 3 faster than ProCoder 2.0?

Answer: While small optimizations have been worked into the ProCoder conversion engine, the software at large remains the same in terms of speed. The exception to this is the inclusion of Grid Encoding technology, which on the right system, will allow you to encode certain MPEG-2 target files much faster, due to multi-core CPU technology.

Question: What are the limitations/"gotchas" with the Grid Encoder tech?

  • It only provides a benefit to systems that have the newer multi-core CPUs (e.g. Intel Core 2 Duo)
  • It only works for MPEG-2. Other formats such as Windows Media, QuickTime, H.264, DV, etc. remain unaffected
  • You need to choose the correct target formats to ensure the technology is activated (see the post in the Known Issues/Workarounds section)
  • Grid Encoding can only create MPEG-2 content for HDV-1, HDV-2, SD NTSC, SD PAL targets. Other frame sizes and frame rates are not available.
Question: I see that you have to choose 'Preview DVD Target' to make SD MPEG-2 streams with the Grid Encoder, but I don't want to make a DVD with this software? Also, does 'Preview' mean lower quality?

Answer: The name 'Preview DVD Target' is simply that - a name. You can still choose to make elementary streams, with custom bitrate and full quality control settings. You can even encode the audio to AC-3.

Question: Why can't the Grid Encoder use VBR?

Answer: The process of grid encoding makes it mathematically impossible to use a variable bitrate without the risk of creating an illegal stream, (bitrate/GOP errors). When the grid encoder is engaged, it breaks the source up into separate components - each of which is assigned a CPU core to be encoded. Once all the components are encoded, they are reconnected. The problem is that the initial division, and then the subsequent reconnection of the components would need to adhere to the variable bitrate specified, but the encoder cannot know which bitrate to begin with and to end with, on any single component and ensure that it matches precisely with the next component. Using a controlled bitrate ensures that the connection is precise, and provides a legal MPEG stream in the shortest time possible.

Question: Where did DivX go?

Answer: ProCoder 3 no longer carries a full DivX license. It is still possible to produce DivX content, via the AVI exporter. You will need to purchase a DivX license separately.

Question: Does ProCoder 3 support Blu-Ray and/or HD-DVD video? If not, will it support them eventually?

Answer: Officially, ProCoder 3 is not designed, at this time, to create video and audio content for Blu-Ray/HD-DVD authoring. With that said, it is possible to configure the standard MPEG-2 target preset to match the video stream requirements for these formats.

MPEG-2 based presets for Blu-ray authoring are included in the v3.05 update.

Question: Is ProCoder 3 supported under Windows Vista?

Answer: Yes, but you require the v3.05 update, which is available from the Product-related Downloads area of the Web site.

Question: I have heard that ProCoder 3 only includes a ‘Consumer Dolby Digital’ encoder. Does this mean I’m getting lower quality audio?

Answer: The implementation license used inside the ProCoder 3 software is regarded as ‘Consumer’ level. This simply restricts some of the encoding parameters that you can apply to your targeted file. Such parameters include data rates, sample rates and channels (up to 5.1).

This is considered a tradeoff between functionality, the intended purpose of ProCoder (primarily as a video format converter), and the price point of the software.

Question: What do I need to know about Flash support? Does it still require Flash MX, like in ProCoder 2.0?

Answer: ProCoder 3 includes an inbuilt Flash importer/exporter so you no longer require Flash MX installed on the same machine. However, support is still limited to Flash 7 (e.g. ‘On2’ flash is currently not supported).

If you own the latest Adobe Flash CS3 software, it is possible to export using On2Flash, via the QuickTime File exporter. However, not all forms of On2Flash are supported with this exporter.

Question: Can ProCoder 3 plug into EDIUS Pro/EDIUS Broadcast v3 software?

Answer: Yes. The process is exactly the same as v4.

Question: How can I get my MPEG-2 output files to work in Encore CS3 and DVDLab Pro?

Un-check (disable) the "Use strict GOP bitrate control" option in the advanced options of the MPEG target.
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