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95 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is the highest quality video format?

If I start with an AVCHD file and convert it so others can play it on their computers without worry of what codecs or special software they have installed (which AVCHD or m2ts files require), what should I use?

I use Adobe Media Converter CS4 and have a lot of choices:

Microsoft AVI

Uncompressed AVI





Windows Media Video

Within each format there are many preset choices to use as well as some customization that can happen, such as specifying the frame rate.

Here's an example:

For H.264 I can select -

1. NTSC DV High Quality (from here on "HQ")

2. HTSC DV Widescreen HQ

3. 1440x1080i 25 HQ

4. 1440x1080i 29.97 HQ

5. 1440x1080i 23.976 HQ

6. 1080p 24 HQ

7. 1080p 25 HQ

8. 1080p 29.97 HQ

9. 720p 23.976 HQ

10. Apple TV 480p

11. Apple TV 720p

12. YouTube SD

13. YouTube Widescreen HD

14. YouTube Widescreen SD

(then we get to H.264 Bluray and start the whole shibang over)

All of the formats have some sort of 1080p but short of creating 800 test clips in every single format choice I have, is there a definitive "Best" option among those video formats? Is there a common format that "everyone" uses. Like in music there are a lot of audio formats but for the most part people use MP3 even if it's not "the best" encoding format available.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

290 Posts
I would use H.264 with these settings: (Assuming that custom is an option)

(Original framerate, Your preference of resolution and pixel aspect ratio)

MP4 Multiplexing

High Profile, Level 4.1

AAC Audio, High Quality

VLC and Quicktime can play that, I'm not sure about other players. There isn't really a single common video codec/container combo.

Also, some Windows installations may not include Windows Media Player.

6,948 Posts
Its a bit easy to say what is the best, since its also depends on how good the actual encoder is.

Codecs are nothing more like a set of tools the encoding program uses.

In the end it comes down to how good the program uses the tools.

290 Posts

Originally Posted by CRT Dude /forum/post/17012487

Because Windows E was a huge seller. The dshow filters should be there even if the player isn't.

Installations of Windows made with nLite/vLite also sometimes do not have WMP, but in Vista you can download it separately after installation. (I'm not sure about XP)
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