A Chanukah miracle …. of video encoding

Last night, I was finishing up a project I’ve been working on for Darlyn- it’s a DVD of her law school musical from earlier in the year.

I was worried about calculating the bitrate to fit the 2 hour and 10 minute video onto a DVD-R – which only holds 4.3 GB, and generally speaking, I’ve always operated under the going-forward position that with full quality, you won’t get more than about 120 minutes on one.

(by the way…as I was typing…I just realized that 120 minutes is two hours. I know that, but last night, I apparently thought it was one hour and twenty minutes. Realizing this, the rest of the story is somewhat anticlimatic).

I was concerned that I’d have to either sacrifice quality (in order to fit the whole thing on one disc) or have to split the program in two (which is bad). I was also afraid that my poor little G4 mini was going to take fifteen billion days to encode the MPEG-2, at which point I might decide I had to start all over again.

Long story short…I kicked off the encode last night, at a VBR between 4 mbps and 7 mbps. It had an estimated time of four hours, and claimed that it was going to create a file of only about 3.8 GB. I thought this HAD to be wrong, cancelled the encode, and checked my in-out markers (because there was no way this could be right). But it was okay.

Encode was done when I got up this morning – kicked off a quick AIFF-to-AC3 conversion, and yup – the whole thing fits on one disc.

I was thinking of it like the Miracle of Chanukah…except now I realized that it was just me being too tired to convert minutes to hours.

~ by Matt Stratton on November 28, 2005.

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