is vc-1 just as good as h.264?

tootal2

New member
Vc-1 seems to do a very good job with videos from my tivo hd. has anyone else tried it?

also when would i not want to use vc-1? i dont know if it works with my tivo hd. but it works with wmc.

thanks
 

moyekj

Member
Yes, I responded at TCF to your query as well. VC-1 encodes produced by VRD can be pushed natively to TiVo HD, but as I pointed out in other post VC-1 encodes can be painfully slow even compared to H.264 encodes.

For videos originating from TiVo HD personally I would not bother encoding to another format only to send back to TiVo though. mpeg2 is still the best format for playback on TiVo even though mpeg2 transfers are the slowest.
 

Dan203

Senior Developer
Staff member
Another negative for VC-1 is that it does not support AC3 audio, so your audio will be converted to 2ch WMA. With H.264 you can retain the AC3 audio if you use either the TS format or the special MP4 w/AC3 profile in the Getting Started thread.

Dan
 

tootal2

New member
Yes, I responded at TCF to your query as well. VC-1 encodes produced by VRD can be pushed natively to TiVo HD, but as I pointed out in other post VC-1 encodes can be painfully slow even compared to H.264 encodes.

For videos originating from TiVo HD personally I would not bother encoding to another format only to send back to TiVo though. mpeg2 is still the best format for playback on TiVo even though mpeg2 transfers are the slowest.
Mpeg2 sems to look the best. I put a removable drive trays on my computer. so i can have a lot more shows on my computers. and just change the drive for a show i want to watch.

but would be nice to have more shows per drive with h.264
 

txporter

New member
Mpeg2 sems to look the best. I put a removable drive trays on my computer. so i can have a lot more shows on my computers. and just change the drive for a show i want to watch.

but would be nice to have more shows per drive with h.264
From my experience with pushing various videos onto my TivoHD, the main issue with either h.264 or vc-1 video is framerate incompatibilities with the Tivo. H.264 and VC-1 should both looks just as good as MPEG2 as long as it is encoded correctly. I still encode everything back to MPEG2 simply because the issues with framerate with the other formats annoy me. According to TivoJerry on TCF, the framerate issues were fixed with the Premiere. So that is an option for you if you want to stay with h.264.

Framerate issues: I had a lot of trouble finding a VC-1 encoding profile that played back well on my TivoHD. I believe that you need to stick with 29.97fps. I spent quite a bit of time with this format and never really found something that I was happy with. As moyekj said above, the encoding to this codec is very slow compared to h.264 or mpeg2. I see no reason to pursue this one with TivoHD/S3.

For h.264, anything above 25fps plays back well on TivoHD. The main problem is that most of the material that I transcode is really 23.976fps (FILM) content. That framerate results in a shimmering image (particularly noticeable because I hardcode my subtitles/captions). On S3, only 29.97fps h.264 material seems to play back. The only way to get 29.97fps material out of 23.976fps material is to hard telecine (3:2 pulldown) or to duplicate frames. Either one is hard for me to watch now (because I know to look for it).

According to the response I got on my bug report, there is little chance that these playback issues will be addressed on the TivoHD. I will likely get a Premiere in the future, but for right now I don't have a way to confirm/deny the playback improvement.
 
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