Recommend any truely professional editing/conversion software?



I’m wondering, is there any software out there that can convert and edit ANY of the most popular video formats/containers? (mpg1, mpg2, mpg4, avi, vob, etc.), and which use professional-quality transcoders?

I’m sure folks who do stuff for Hollywood have to do this kind of thing all the time, and use professional grade tools.

What are these tools? Assuming cost would be no object, what is there out there that is an “all in one” (or nearly so) solution? IS there such a thing?

  • Tim


Canopus has an impressive line of professional quality tools. I personally prefer the Canopus transcoder to all others for speed and quality. Procoder rocks.


The full version of Cinema Craft Encoder is a very high quality mpeg encoder. But like CDan, I prefer Procoder. Maybe I’m just used to the interface.

Cinema Craft also have some professional mpeg encoders that run about $38,000. Can’t say that I know much about them other than they exist.

Sonic Scenarist is one of the top authoring programs for dvds, blue ray and high def dvds. but it isn’t an “all in one” solution. But if you are truly serious about dvd production, it is one you should consider.


Adobe Premiere, Avid, or Canopus Edius

keep in mind most professionals have no need to convert from MPEG1/2/4, DivX, etc as most of the video they are working with is in the raw DV, HDV, SD/HD, XDCAM, etc format


I think most of the really expensive MPEG encoders are intended to do it in real time, like for broadcast.


So if you’re like me, and don’t do any real production, but want a good tool, do you think the TMPGENC utilities are good enough? Procoder costs $500, it appears. Looks spiffy, but I only do stuff for my own amusement (tho’ I HAVE been known to drop a bunch of cash on a nifty piece of technology).

  • Tim


TMPGEnc encoder is pretty slow, but results are very good.

There’s an older “lite” version of Procoder called “Procoder Express” that is pretty inexpensive. Canopus no longer sells it, but you might find it somewhere. It should also come with a DIVX license.


It looks like ProCoder Express is still available.
Here is the link


Add Vegas 6 or 7 to that list. All of these are good. Why do you need a TRUELY professional package?


I was more interested in what was out there. All of the major sites for discussion of this kind of thing are consumer-oriented (videohelp, cdfreaks, hydrogenaudio, etc.), and most folks only talk about freeware or very cheap stuff… not a lot of discussion about high-end software and hardware.

The consumer-grade software can be quite good enough, but I was wondering what the pros use, as a benchmark for comparison against the consumer-grade stuff. For example, how MUCH better is Procoder than TMGENC? It would be nice to see some comparisons. But if most pro’s are using Procoder and other similarly-priced products ($500 and up), they probably won’t be touching TMGENC if they want top-quality encoding for the work they get paid for, right?

Thus, I imagine it would be hard to find such a comparison, except by asking here. Is something like Procoder WORTH that much more money, because it’s encoding/transcodingis THAT MUCH BETTER? That’s what I’m curious about.

I have access to copies of Adobe Premier and Sony Vegas 7, but they seem to be a lot more about editing and less about transcoding. Am I missing something there?

  • Tim


A good site for you to visit, is They cover everything from prosumer to professional products. If you do some searching at, there are numerous comparisons on the different encoders. There seem to be pros and cons to almost all of them, and the difference between what some consider to be the very best, and the versions of encoders that come with adobe premiere, and vegas, and not that great. Unless you are doing commerical production work, you don’t really need procoder. Vegas 7 in itself can encode, but the actual encoding software, and the authoring software are in DVD Architect. There are many folks out there doing high level professional video, using adobe premiere, and vegas 7.

Right now, the really good softwares for the home user who wants to tinker and have some artistic control, are Ulead Studio 10, Adobe Premiere Elements, Vegas Movie Studio, (and some like Pinnacle), then it goes up to the true professional softwares like Adobe Premiere, Vegas 5,6,7, Ulead DVD Workshop, Ulead Studio Quartet, Avid Xpress, and Canopus Edius. One must be very careful with the professional level softwares, as they are very hardware/software dependant (meaning, that if you don’t have everything set up on your system exactly right, and everything installed in the correct sequence, and have the correct capture card/device), you will be in buggy heaven, and may not even be able to get them to work at all on your system.

If you have a true desire to go crazy with video editing, authoring, etc., I would highly suggest you try to find a good deal on Vegas 6 with DVD Architect. With the newer version out, you can find some pretty good deals. If you know someone in school, or who works for a school, you can buy the Educational version, which has everything the regular version has, at about 1/2 the price.

I’ve used quite a few of the products, and spent hours viewing tutorials on many of them. I was very impressed (just from hours of tutorials), with Avid/Pinnacle Liquid Edition software. Very friendly interface, and an extremely powerful software. Some people find it buggy, and others love it. I personally use Vegas 5, and find it will do anything and everything I need. I have a small home business where I converth VHS to DVD, and from camcorder to DVD with custom editing and authoring. It took awhile to learn the vegas software, but it was well worth it. I also had Adobe Premiere 6.5, which is a pretty good software as well. The versions I have won’t handle HDTV, but that has not been an issue as of yet, and unless I start getting a lot of customers requesting it, I won’t worry about it. If customers do start requesting it, I may just get Ulead Studio 10 Plus, just for bringing in video edited in Vegas, then encode with Studio 10, then use DVD Architect to author and burn.

Hope this helps…


Thanks so much, harley2ride! You’ve been extremely helpful in explaining to a novice like me about what I should look at, and the state of things in consumer & pro video editing. Beyond the call of duty, so thank you!

  • Tim


My work flow is edit with Premiere Pro 1.5. When time to encode, I export the encoding to ProCoder to encode to DVD M2V and WAV files from within Premiere. I then author to DVD with DVD Lab Pro. I have yet to find one tool that does as good of job as these three combined.


Just a question – is Avid still thought of as the “Best” and most complete video editing software out there? As far as a pure-software solution is concerned, that is?

  • Tim


DVD2SVCD can convert MPEG1, MPEG2, AVI or VOB files to DVD and can use CCE (prefered), Procoder, TMPGenc or freeware QuEnc to do the encoding. See the tutorial section on how to use it.


Our studio has multiple AVID suites plus a handful of FinalCutPro and Premiere rooms as well. We use AVID for the majority of our feature film work simply because they can all access the same material from one RAID source. That way you can have assistants prepping material for the editor. You could have a similar setup with both FCP and P-Pro, but that is the way AVID is designed.

FinalCutPro is my least favorite of the ones I mentioned. It is a good editorial package but requires that you ‘render’ any non-native material. Once you import material into AVID you can do most things real-time. For example if you import a Quicktime file into FCP, you’ll need to render it before you can play it on the timeline. Say you want to move it 10 frames… well then you need to render it again. Slow.

Premier Pro is an excellent product and we will be replacing our FCP suites with this over the next year. You don’t need killer hardware to do standard definition work and once it is rendered you can do whatever you want to it. The only thing that requires re-rendering is if you add a color corrector or transition etc. BUT, even then you can hit play and it will show you an output vs the red you’ll see from FCP that tells you your media is unrendered.