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What Video Format Does Toast Prefer To Work With?


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hi all,

i've been using toast since mac OS8. over the years i've been archiving .avi and .wmv by converting them to .dv [dvcpro25] and then dumping them in toast's Video window to burn as a standard NTSC DVD i can watch on any old DVD player.

 

so anyway, last night i'm staring at the huge folder of home movies on my desktop labeled "do something with these some day" and it occurred to me that i've been doing this for a very long time and just assuming that nothing has changed or no other method has become better. so, i will start over, and pose a question or 3...

 

what video format does toast prefer to work with?

 

what formats do or don't need to be converted before i give them to toast?

 

what are the limitations of toast's own re-encoding? should i use it?

[i have it set for 'never']

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Toast works with any QuickTime playable video format. You can even use .wmv as the source as long as you have the paid Flip4Mac codec installed. In most cases it doesn't make sense to convert it to DV before having Toast convert it to MPEG 2 for video DVD. Even DV 25 is somewhat compressed so there is loss in that double conversion. However, if the source video is an odd resolution or frame rate the conversion to DV may help so that Toast starts with something more standard.

 

Never re-encode only applies when the source video is MPEG-2 and meets the video DVD specs. So it makes no difference when you've converted the videos to DV. By the way, I presume you have the perian codec installed (perian.org) or you might not get any audio when converting some .avi videos.

 

Here are my ideal QuickTime settings for an anamorphic 16:9 source video before using in Toast for video DVD:

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so you are converting to .dv [in a .mov jar] to clean up aspect or do any cropping or corrections then, right? do you see any noticeable improvement using pro50 over pro25?

 

when i first started toasting everything looked very pixelated if i didn't convert first. on the rare occasion that my source is flawless [like, say, an HD .MKV] and i just want to relocate it straight to SD DVD, how should i set up toast's options? can this new version do the task well on it's own?

 

btw: i do have perian and divx installed and i purchased flip4mac and apple's mpg2 codec for quicktime.

 

thanks for your time and input. ^_^

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I doubt if there is any visible difference between using pro50 or using pro25. Pro50 has 2:1 compression and pro25 is 4:1. That shouldn't matter much at all.

 

Toast has a pretty good consumer-quality MPEG 2 encoder. There are some custom settings such as Half-Pel to improve detail in fast motion scenes and the bit rate can be manually adjusted. If you have time to push for the highest quality you can move up the bit rate (I wouldn't put the average higher than 7 or 7.5) and choose Save as Disc Image. If that creates a file too big for a single-layer disc you can use Toast's Fit-to-DVD feature in the Copy window to requantize the video to fit. The quality actually is a little better doing this than if you had set a lower bit rate to fit the single-layer disc in the first place.

 

The major problems with Toast's encoding are when the video is smaller than 640x480. Toast's encoder needs to create its own pixels to expand the size. It affects the end result.

 

You shouldn't have any trouble dropping in the HD videos and having Toast rescale them downward to SD during the encoding. However, if you have the time it can be helpful at times to first do the conversion I posted earlier so that Toast doesn't need to do any rescaling during encoding.

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If that creates a file too big for a single-layer disc you can use Toast's Fit-to-DVD feature in the Copy window to requantize the video to fit. The quality actually is a little better doing this than if you had set a lower bit rate to fit the single-layer disc in the first place.

 

ah-ha! i was just about to ask that very question. that's probably why my experiments with half-pel looked worse than without it checked.

 

thanks man :)

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