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a6300 - optimum encoding bitrate for 4K archival


s0ny
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As above - if my objective is to archive them for 4K viewing next time (on TV/Monitor), is there really a need to encode at 100mbps (source is XAVCS 4k, 100mbps 24fps)? Or will numbers like 20mbps suffice?

The file sizes are massive, so I'm trying to find the optimal balance between size and quality. Thanks!

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Just now, s0ny said:

YouTube quality is terrible, even in 4K. HEVC is not an option now as my encoding time increases by many times (can take 20 hours for a 3 min video). I'm looking at a balanced quality-size ratio. 

If one of the criterias is what you personally find acceptable, how are we going to be able to help you? You'd be better served encoding a couple of clips at various different quality levels and working out the minimum you can tolerate, and going with that option.

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Are you talking about the original footage or edited? Original should rarely be modified since storage is cheap and you always loose information during transcoding. 

If it is for just viewing your edited clips, then you might be able to get away with less bitrate than 100. How much lower depends on your subjective quality criteria. 

 

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On 3/24/2016 at 10:01 PM, Don Kotlos said:

Are you talking about the original footage or edited? Original should rarely be modified since storage is cheap and you always loose information during transcoding. 

If it is for just viewing your edited clips, then you might be able to get away with less bitrate than 100. How much lower depends on your subjective quality criteria. 

 

i'm looking for a somewhat-universally-agreed range of bitrates that people find pretty 'good enough' for archival purposes. I have tested at many different bitrates, but the effects are very different on specific clips and not always noticeable. 

referring to the final, edited clip.

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1 hour ago, s0ny said:

i'm looking for a somewhat-universally-agreed range of bitrates that people find pretty 'good enough' for archival purposes. I have tested at many different bitrates, but the effects are very different on specific clips and not always noticeable. 

referring to the final, edited clip.

Good enough also depends on the footage (for example how much motion there is).

I doubt there is a universal "good enough" rate, but something close to the original 100mbs would be my personal choice.

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Surely you archive the originals at the highest possible quality.  If so, a better question to ask oneself is "how much storage space can I afford and have physical space to manage?"  

Once you address that - and it can only be addressed relative to your rate of production - then you do, in effect, have your solution. 

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well, it's just like back in the DVD days, many encoders recommend 8000kbps 2-pass VBR as good enough. In today's world (4k XAVC S 100mbps), there should be a yardstick that says what's good enough, or what's overkill etc. 

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On 3/24/2016 at 8:52 AM, Geoff CB said:

I archive to cineform (10 bit YUV) or DNxHD. Don't archive in H264 if you want to use it in the future! 

I would say it's not just bitrate but how long you want the archive to be useable in the future. As Geoff CB mentions, Cineform, DNxHD or even ProRes are probably the safest bets in terms of being able to open a file and get it into an editor 5 to 10 years down the road. These require a great deal more storage but an optimized file you can't open is pretty useless. This is a very real issue. I have video files from the early nineties I archived (Think Radius video boards if I'm going to date myself), that I wisely converted to Cineform years ago that are still usable). Although all that 3D 480P demo reel content probably isn't really needed by anyone today. :) 

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