General Question: MPEG2 vs. MPEG4

General questions or discussion about HandBrake, Video and/or audio transcoding, trends etc.
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MikeyF
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General Question: MPEG2 vs. MPEG4

Post by MikeyF » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:02 pm

Hi!

Just started with HandBrake it's great. Already converted some movies from DVDs, work's fine. Read a lot of your documentation - everything is clear, nearly.

But there is still one issue - I'm thinking a lot about it:

I will use Handbrake to convert my DVD Rips to MPEG4, like everyone does. I want to watch these MPEG4 files with a MediaCenterSoftware on my HD-TV Screen. But - Does it really make sense to convert a movie to MPEG4, which is already encoded in MPEG2?

I know, MPEG4 is far better than MPEG2 when encoding uncompressed movies. But when I convert a DVD, the movie is already compressed in MPEG2. It cannot be better in MPEG4. The filesize will be smaller, ok, but that's not that big deal. What about quality? Can the MPEG4 File have the same quality as the MPEG2 File?


Just thinking.....

greets
Michael

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JohnAStebbins
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Re: General Question: MPEG2 vs. MPEG4

Post by JohnAStebbins » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:24 pm

mpeg4 can pack more quality into a given file size than mpeg2. But mpeg2 and mpeg4 are both lossy formats. Whenever you are transcoding one lossy format to another lossy format you will lose some quality. If storage space is not an issue for you, you should consider a using a ripper instead of a transcoder and keep the original content unmodified. Handbrake is a transcoder, not a ripper.

TimmyC
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Re: General Question: MPEG2 vs. MPEG4

Post by TimmyC » Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:35 am

transcoding from one lossy format to another always applies another round of quality loss.
if you're fine storing 4-6 GB on your computer for each DVD you rip, then nevermind with Handbrake. the value of Handbrake is to store a video in much smaller filespace, without obvious degradation in quality, and/or shrinking filesize A LOT by making smaller display-size videos for various portable devices.

pflau
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Re: General Question: MPEG2 vs. MPEG4

Post by pflau » Sun Feb 21, 2010 2:54 am

What if someone wants to maintain the video in iTunes? Would it be possible to keep the video in MPEG2 while adding chapter marks and what have you?

TedJ
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Re: General Question: MPEG2 vs. MPEG4

Post by TedJ » Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:38 am

No. Last time I checked iTunes wouldn't accept mpeg2 sources, not withstanding that Quicktime is unable to play the audio in a multiplexed mpeg2 program stream.

luxuryliner

Re: General Question: MPEG2 vs. MPEG4

Post by luxuryliner » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:57 am

In my experience endocing from DVD's results in MP4 files with a slightly worse quality than if encoded from a 720p.
As teh final result is very hard to judge with a scientific tool, only what your eye perceive is important. Try encoding DVDs in MP4 or H264 with the parameters indicated by the programmers in the HB's main page (58-62% Constant Quality for H264 and 80% for MP4, if I do correctly remember). Of course, at the end, compare the quality you've got with file's size. The final verdict is only up to you, not to numbers we may discuss here.

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JohnAStebbins
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Re: General Question: MPEG2 vs. MPEG4

Post by JohnAStebbins » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:52 pm

Try encoding DVDs in MP4 or H264 with the parameters indicated by the programmers in the HB's main page (58-62% Constant Quality for H264 and 80% for MP4, if I do correctly remember)
luxuryliner, I get what you mean, but others may be confused by it. "MP4" is a container, you meant the codec MPEG-4 part 2. "H264" is a codec (aka MPEG-4 part 10). When giving specific settings, you need to refer to the encoder (the specific implementation of the codec) since the settings are only relevant to that implementation. A good quality range for x264 is 58-62% (or RF 22 to 19). A good quality range for ffmpeg mpeg-4 is 87-97% (or QP 5 to 2).

luxuryliner

Re: General Question: MPEG2 vs. MPEG4

Post by luxuryliner » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:30 pm

You're right but in my workgroup (and with many thers) when we say "MP4" we mean ONLY mpeg4 and when we say h264 we mean ONLY H264. Is there other H264 encoder in HB other than x264?

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Rodeo
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Re: General Question: MPEG2 vs. MPEG4

Post by Rodeo » Sat Mar 13, 2010 4:52 pm

luxuryliner wrote:when we say "MP4" we mean ONLY mpeg4
Could you (and/or your workgroup) be more vague or inaccurate?

H.264 is MPEG-4.
The MP4 container is MPEG-4.

"Only MPEG-4" means nothing.

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