After reading last week’s Real World Video Compression article that compared four Mac compression tools, I suggested a more comparative test that took time to standardize encoding settings to level the playing field. In the initial shootout, default templates and encoding settings were used for the most part. That’s not to say that the initial test isn’t useful information…in fact, it may be more useful to the majority of users that just want a “set it and forget it” approach to encoding (apologies to Ron Popeil for borrowing his catchphrase). But for more advanced users who will immediately begin pushing knobs and digging into the encoding templates, a comparative test is invaluable for determining what kind of quality and encode times you can expect from each solution. And reviewer Andy Beach has done just that with his latest update to the article.
“As we look at the results, here were the things that stood out for me – all the times were closer to one another than the last test. True, Compressor still took the longest, but it definitely closed the gap. Both it and Episodes times fell and were more consistent this go around (notice neither had an extremely long run as they did before). Visual Hub’s time did increase, which I expect, though not very much.”
“In an overall quality comparison, I also thought Episode came out looking best, followed by Visual Hub and Compressor. There is a sharpness to the image (both video and gfx) in the Episode Pro encode that the other two don’t have (again, check out the full screen to really see the difference).”
I recommend that you read the full Mac Encoder Shootout Redux article here. Thanks to Andy for listening and revisiting this test!
This FreshDV Classic article is licensed and republished at ProVideoCoalition with permission.