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Video encoding experiment

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Look! A poll:

 

[poll id=4]

 

I'm getting close to deciding on a format in the future for the videos, and I'll probably go with either MKV or MP4, since both of those formats can utilize the x264 codec, which offers some of the best quality to size ratios out there. Before I make anything official however, I wanted to essentially "beta test" the new formats.

 

My biggest concern about .MKV or .MP4 is that in the past I've seen the footage stutter or become choppy under certain players. It's my hope that this is the result of people encoding in a less compatible manner, so I'm trying to make mine as kosher as possible.

 

If you have time and bandwidth to kill, I'd like your help testing this out. I've uploaded some clips from Civil Protection that contain scenes with smooth-scrolling motion. This should make it easy to see if there's any stuttering during playback. In addition to .MP4 and .MKV I've also uploaded a copy of the same footage in Xvid .AVI and .WMV for comparison. If you notice any stuttering in one format, but do NOT see it in another, I'd like to know. Preferably leave a forum post, or you can email me. Including information like your OS, any codecs installed, and what player you were using would be helpful. You don't have to contact me if it stutters in none of the clips or all of them. In those cases, nothing can be determined specific to the format. Also, there's no sound in any of these clips, since I didn't run into any problems with that when encoding. Here are the clips:

 

1280x720 Test clip MP4 (70MB)

 

1280x720 Test clip MKV (70MB)

 

1280x720 Test clip AVI (125 MB)

 

1280x720 Test clip WMV (172MB)

 

 

More stuff coming in the future.

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Where?! *looks around* :lol:

 

i picked option 4(or 3, i'm not sure. the dog one), and it's actually a hamster who won't get the hell off it's exercise wheel -.-

but i like mp4, i'll download your videos to see if i'm getting any stuttering, if i don't i'll let you know.

 

to your last sentence: i heart you :D

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Looking at all four, the one that stutters the least for me is the MP4. The one that stutters the most for me is the MKV. AVI is a bit worse than MP4 and WMV is a bit better than MKV. So, in order from best to worst: MP4, AVI, WMV, MKV. On my computer.

 

I am using the VLC media player and I'm on Windows 7 Home Premium-64bit, 6GB RAM, Athlon II X4 630 2.8GHz.

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Well I got no stutters from any of the formats but that may have to do with the player and maybe the OS. I'm using Vlc on Ubuntu 10.04 32 bit Linux as for what format I vote for is Mkv but i'm fine with Mp4 as well I will have test this in windows later.

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@Daft

 

VLC is a media player, while CCCP and K-Lite are codec packages.

 

VLC has terrible internal codecs, so you should generally avoid it like the plague - rather, you should install any respectable codec pack (CCCP, K-Lite, and CoreAVC are the primary contenders) and use MPC-HC to play videos. Alternatively, MplayerX works pretty well on the Mac platform.

 

That said, I voted for the .mkv container.

 

Ross, I strongly recommend ensuring that you're using a High AVC Profile at level 4.1 in your x264 settings for maximum compatibility.

 

Thanks for all of your hard work!

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Gonna have to think about this one. I hold a high love for MKV but if they were released in MP4 I could watch it through my ps3 on a 32 inch screen. :/

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I tried out the four test videos on Windows 7 Home Premium-64 Bit. I used Windows Media Player and VLC. All the videos ran perfectly smooth except for the .WMV test video which stuttered slightly on Windows Media Player. It wasn't a game-breaker, but still noticeable if one was looking for it. As far as I know, I have stock codecs as in I haven't installed anything crazy like CCCP or K-Whatever.

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Hey there,

 

No noticeable stuttering with mkv nor mp4, using VLC 1.1.19 in windowed mode on a Vista64 rig (i7 920 / 6GB RAM)

 

I do get some lag at the waterfall part in fullscreen mode (although dual screen + 2560*1600 main resolution might not help), but mkv and mp4 come out pretty much equal here.

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I voted for MP4. I'm not an Apple fanboy; it's just what I'm used to.

 

I noticed that all the options were sarcastic in someway. Does the same apply to the "MKV" one? Would someone seriously choose an inferior product because it's open-source? If yes, I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

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Would someone seriously choose an inferior product because it's open-source? If yes, I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

If it does the job just fine, then yes. An "inferior" product might simply lack unneeded features. I'm not saying that applies or doesn't apply here; that's just something I believe in general.

 

That said, I'd be interested to hear an explanation of how MKV is genuinely inferior to MP4. Such a thing is always better than a mere "It sucks!"

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I don't care that much either way, but I'm ever so slightly more in favor of .mp4 so I can put it on my iPod. Although, .mp5 is the best, because it can solve up to 800 problems a minute.

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Ross, I know it's funny and tempting to post stupid options in the poll--but all it does is take away votes from legitimate options and skews the results.

 

That said, I'd be interested to hear an explanation of how MKV is genuinely inferior to MP4. Such a thing is always better than a mere "It sucks!"

 

I never said it was inferior.

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My findings are as follows: Using Windows Media Player with and without the Media Player Codec Pack

 

.mp4 and .mkv playbacks are flawless with the Codec Pack. (No idea what specific codecs were used, glanced over their website and found ffdshow and Haali Media Splitter in the pack, but I really have no idea.)

 

BUT! WMP can play .mp4 video files flawlessly without the codec pack, so .mp4 gets my vote.

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The MKV file only opens with Movie Maker, so I guess that means I don't have whatever codec I need to play it. I have no motivation to get that codec either. MP4 is fine, although I don't mind WMV if it works.

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VLC on a 32-bit Debian-based linux. MKV = AVI > MP4 > WMV. I'd go for MKV over AVI purely because it's open source, but visually they're much of a muchness, with MP4 close behind and WMV a jerky last.

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Ross, I know it's funny and tempting to post stupid options in the poll--but all it does is take away votes from legitimate options and skews the results.

 

If they're going to post a stupid answer they obviously don't care either way, I'd think that people voting for something they know nothing about would skew the results more than a couple of silly answers for people to choose if they don't really care.

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