Which MPEG2 Encoder is Best?

Looking to encode the footage from my MiniDV in the best possible quality - and I know the MPEG encoder has a lot to do with quality. Which encoder is best at the moment? and are there any tests to back up the claims? I am using TMPGEnc and that’s fine - was wondering where that places in the scheme of things.

CCE is probably the best, but a bit of a learning curve for you. Procoder might be the best in your case - very good quality, and a pretty simple interface.

If Procoder is a bit steep in price, you can go with Mainconcept which is much cheaper.

TMPGEnc is FREE, so that makes it attractive. It CAN produce rather good output (although not as good as CCE or Procoder) but setting it to do so makes it take forever.

Well - i did mean TMPGEnc Plus -> TMPGEnc cannot do MPEG2 … I have sources for Canopus Procoder to see how that does … but i did hear there was chroma bleeding on sharp edges with that … I can still try and see. CinemaCraft Encoder i haven’t tried … neither Mainconcept [haven’t heard of this one]…

How does processing speed compare because TMPGEnc Plus using a 2-pass VBR video encode takes about 6hrs for 1hrs worth of source on my Sempron2600+ overclocked with 2Ghz core speed.

Mainconcept is, on average, at least twice as fast as TMPGEnc. :wink:

CCE is … around the same. Same with ProCoder. TMPGEnc is known to be the slowest encoder on the market.

TMPGEnc Plus is although a decent one if you find CCE too complicated.

HC 0.16 is an Excellent Free encoder by Hank315.
You can find it Here. Or, you can go to the developers own link Located Here for it. BTW, the doom9 site is where you will get the latest updates.
TMPGEnc is as Gurm stated, about the slowest encoder with CCE being among the fastest. HC is slower than CCE but faster than TMPGEnc.
The output quality of HC is outstanding, especially for lower bitrate sources.
Procoder is a very good encoder with excellent results with interlaced sources.

I like the ability of changing the Matrix with HC and as I said it’s output quality will not disappoint you IMHO.


The matrix is user definable in TMPGEnc … I started off with it a LONG time ago, and before that I used BBMpeg which was slooooow…

Thanks for all the suggestions - I guess i’ll have to rely on eyes for judging. So far suggestions are CCE, Mainconcept, Procoder, HC.

Also a question - I stopped using Ulead Videostudio/DVD Maker to do my DVD’s because I thought the MPEG2 codec was questionable. I didn’t think it was as good as any other - what do you think? And what about encoders that come with other editing packages - Nerovision? PowerProducer? Am I wasting time even giving them a shot?

Looking to encode the footage from my MiniDV in the best possible quality

Take a look at the freeware Avid Free DV located Here. Avid is a top notch company whose Professional software is used on Hollywood movies.
Look for the Avid Logo in the end credits for many Hollywood movies.

I believe you know this already but I will post it anyway.
IMO, for a good end product you need to have A. a good Source, B. a good Capture, and C. a good Encode. It doen’t matter how good the encoder is if you have a crappy source (ex.very dark) or capture (dropped frames).
You can, with filters in AviSynth and other tools, overcome less than good results in A.B. and C. but it requires more work and knowledge.

DVDLab Pro is a good authoring program. It does not come with an encoder though. Because many users already have their own trusty hardware or software encoders so they would have to pay additional price for something they won’t use.

Good Luck!

thanks - my system is good enough to not drop any frames, and this is mostly “home movie” material - I just want it looking as “original” as it can be :slight_smile: … thanks for the link to Avid - will see into it and see how it goes.

MPEG-2 Encoding (Main Concept) / Sonic DVDit! SE (prosumer) / Sonic ReelDVD (Professional)
looks like they use MainConcept :wink: