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elbiciclista

Not Happy With Quality Of Toast Blu-Ray Video

Question

I have created twenty H.264 QT movies by Sharing from Final Cut Pro X. Each is a song from a band performance. I am now burning a Blu-ray video using Toast Titanium (version 11.1). The test discs I have created are disappointing. The quality degradation is not huge, like you see in going to the Internet, but it is noticeable in the skin tones.

 

My custom settings in Toast are:

Video format: MPEG-4 AVC

Average bit rate: 15.0 Mbps

Maximum bit rate: 20.0 Mbps

Motion estimation: Best

Re-encoding: Never

Field Dominance: Automatic

Aspect ratio: 16:9

Audio Format: PCM, 48KHz, 24-bit, stereo.

 

Even though I set it to "Never" re-encode, Toast is re-encoding when I burn. I tried going to a Disc Image rather than a Blu-ray disc just to see what would happen, and in this case it multiplexed rather than re-encoded, and this went much faster.

 

Questions:

1. Are there different settings you would recommend?

2. Why is Toast re-encoding when I tell it to "Never" re-encode? Since the QT movies are H.264, 48 KHz 24-bit PCM audio, what exactly is it re-encoding?

_______________________________________

2010 Mac Pro Dual Quad, OS 10.8.1

Blu-ray burner is: OWC Mercury Pro 12X Blu-ray+DVD/CD Burner FireWire 800/400 (made by Pioneer)

Final Cut Pro X, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.1), Mac Pro 2 x 2.4GHz Quad-Core

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My only concern with your settings is the video bit rate seems too high. When you use 24-bit PCM audio that adds a lot to the total bit rate so it may be wise to tune down the video settings. Very high bit rates can be troublesome for Blu-ray players to keep up.

 

Toast always re-encodes video that it determines are not fully within the Blu-ray (or the DVD-video) spec. I have not read of any export settings from FCP that Toast accepted without re-encoding. I'm pretty sure the reason your second effort was multiplexed is the previous encoded temporary files were still inside the Roxio Converted Items folder, so Toast just reused the previous encoding.

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So, H.264 .mov files don't meet the specs, I guess. I thought this is one of the Blu-ray options, but I definitely don't know much about this.

Your suggestion to reduce bit rate would actually reduce quality, right? I can't find any Roxio recommendations on proper bit rates.

Roxio must not assign anyone to follow this forum...........my questions are pretty simple, I just don't know Toast.

 

Is it normal to see a quality degradation from H.264 QT movie to Blu-ray?

I can play the QT movie on my Mac directly to my Panasonic 50" plasma TV, and I can play the Blu-ray video from my Panasonic Blu-ray player to the same TV. The quality difference isn't huge, but it is there.

 

Thanks for the help..........I'll see what happens at lower bit rates.

BTW, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit to being an Oregon State fan..........but I support both teams against any non-Oregon team. :)

Edited by elbiciclista

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If the player is having trouble with the video then the higher bit rate does degrade the quality. But, as you can surmise, that may be a stretch on my part. Do you know what the bit rate is of the source h.264 video? You wouldn't want to increase it.

 

Yes, there is something slightly different about a source h.264 video and what Toast believes is needed even though neither of us know what that is. Nobody has found a way around it as yet. If you used Compressor to make a HD MPEG 2 video then Toast will use it without re-encoding.

 

You are correct that Roxio folks rarely post in the forums. I believe they currently are reading many of the posts (although probably not mine) to get feedback on 11.1.

 

One thing I've learned is my Sony Blu-ray player doesn't need me to author Blu-ray video discs. I can burn the HD videos as data discs using the DVD-Rom (UDF) format (even on Blu-ray media) and the only loss is there is no menu. So that is one way to avoid any conversion. However, your player and/or the players used by others for whom you are making these discs may not have that option. For home play I just stream the videos from the Mac to the TV.

 

Oregon State played an awesome football game last Saturday. The Ducks are going to have a tougher battle with them this year. It should be an entertaining season. I'm a 1970 Duck alum.

Edited by tsantee

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These are videos of local live band performances that I shoot with a pair of Sony FS100 camcorders. They will go to band members and others, so I must have a menu.

I considered using Compressor and MPEG2 but was discouraged in this because guys on FCP X/ DaVinci Resolve forums said the quality would be worse than H.264.............though that logic didn't include the encoding step thru Toast.

 

I have edited the videos in FCP X in ProRes 422, then exported to H.264 QT movies (although I could go other routes to get to Blu-ray).

So, I'm not sure which way to go. I guess for this shoot I'll use Toast and get what I get, while I sort this out.

Just not sure what bit rate to use............do you have bit rates that you use that you have found ensure most Blu-ray players can handle?

Thanks!

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BTW, your comment about the multiplexing leads to a related question:

If I burn a Blu-ray video once and go through the lengthy encoding, and then I immediately burn another Blu-ray disc with Toast still open and the same file list, will subsequent disks be burned w/o repeating the encoding?

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BTW, your comment about the multiplexing leads to a related question:

If I burn a Blu-ray video once and go through the lengthy encoding, and then I immediately burn another Blu-ray disc with Toast still open and the same file list, will subsequent disks be burned w/o repeating the encoding?

Yes, as long as the Roxio Converted Items folder is not emptied. There is a preference for when that gets emptied. By default it is when Toast is quit. Sometimes I leave it to never empty so those items remain until I'm sure I want to delete them. Even if I didn't save the project I can drag the videos from the converted items folder into Toast and use them as the source.

 

You also can burn a copy of the burned disc using the Copy window. When doing that I usually choose Save as Disc Image and then burn the Image File to disc.

 

And you can tell Toast you want to burn multiple discs in the Recorder Settings window.

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So, I'm not sure which way to go. I guess for this shoot I'll use Toast and get what I get, while I sort this out.

Just not sure what bit rate to use............do you have bit rates that you use that you have found ensure most Blu-ray players can handle?

Thanks!

 

I wish there was a Blu-ray video expert in the forum who does these for clients. I typically stay at 12 average and 16 maximum but I may just be overly cautious.

 

Do a test with Compressor some day. It may very well look better to leave Toast out of the encoding.

 

I wonder if there are any tips about this at kenstone.net.

Edited by tsantee

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Yes, as long as the Roxio Converted Items folder is not emptied. There is a preference for when that gets emptied. By default it is when Toast is quit. Sometimes I leave it to never empty so those items remain until I'm sure I want to delete them. Even if I didn't save the project I can drag the videos from the converted items folder into Toast and use them as the source.

 

You also can burn a copy of the burned disc using the Copy window. When doing that I usually choose Save as Disc Image and then burn the Image File to disc.

 

And you can tell Toast you want to burn multiple discs in the Recorder Settings window.

 

Outstanding!!

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I wish there was a Blu-ray video expert in the forum who does these for clients. I typically stay at 12 average and 16 maximum but I may just be overly cautious.

 

Do a test with Compressor some day. It may very well look better to leave Toast out of the encoding.

 

I wonder if there are any tips about this at kenstone.net.

 

I'm getting up my nerve to do it. I can see a shot Saturday morning, it is such a pain to deal with. But you are right, I should test it since I will be doing a lot of these and a little quality is a big plus.

I assume you meant going the MPEG2 route thru Compressor (presumably poorer quality than H.264) to avoid Toast encoding (maybe more than offsetting the MPEG2 lower quality).

I'll get to bed early tonight so i am refreshed tomorrow. :)

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So how do you leave Toast out of the encoding if you're using the Toast blu ray plugin?

It's only possible if you have an in-spec MPEG 2 video source and choose Never Re-encode in the Custom Encoder Settings window.

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By default Toast presets Blu-ray video encoding settings at an Average bit-rate of 8Mbps with a Maximum bit-rate of 16Mbps. Have you not had luck with the "Automatic" setting as an option?

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