About the H.264 for DVD Studio Pro Encoder Pane

This section contains detailed information about the elements of the H.264 for DVD Studio Pro Encoder pane in the Inspector window. You make your H.264 settings using this pane, by either modifying an existing setting or creating a new setting in the Settings tab.

Note: This particular Encoder pane is devoted to encoding H.264 files intended for authoring high definition (HD) format video DVDs. For information on creating H.264 files for use with Apple devices such as iTunes, an iPod, or with Apple TV, see Creating H.264 for Apple Devices Output Files. For information about using H.264 for other purposes, see Creating QuickTime Movie Output Files.

Figure. DVD Studio Pro Encoder pane in the Inspector window.

The H.264 for DVD Studio Pro pane contains the following items.

  • File Extension field: Displays the QuickTime file extension (.mov) automatically after the H.264 for DVD Studio Pro output format is selected from the File Format pop-up menu.
  • Allow Job Segmenting: This checkbox allows you to turn off job segmenting. It is relevant only if you are using Compressor with distributed processing and with multi-pass encoding. (The distributed processing feature is limited to computers that have Final Cut Studio installed.) For more information, see Job Segmenting and Two-Pass or Multi-Pass Encoding.
  • Average Bit Rate slider and field: Use the slider to choose an average bit rate to use for the output video, or enter a value directly. Although the available range is between 0.5 Mbps and 24.99 Mbps, typical HD-based DVD video bit rates with H.264 might range from 7 Mbps to 15 Mbps, depending on your DVD bit budget and the nature of your source media files. The H.264 file format is twice as efficient as the standard MPEG-2 format. This means you can count on a lower bit rate to get the same quality, or higher quality at the same bit rate. See About the Bit-Rate Settings for more information.
  • Maximum Bit Rate slider and field: Choose a maximum bit rate between 0.59 Mbps and 29.4 Mbps. You can also enter any number within these ranges into the accompanying field. The Maximum Bit Rate cannot be set lower than the Average Bit Rate. As a general rule, set your maximum bit rate at least 1 Mbps higher than your average bit rate, to allow for bit-rate variability in achieving the goal of constant quality.

    Important: For maximum compatibility with HD DVD players, avoid setting the maximum bit rate above 18 Mbps.

    Figure. Average Bit Rate and Maximum Bit Rate sliders and fields.
  • Frame Sync: Use the slider or enter a value directly to choose the Frame Sync rate for the output video. The default setting is 2 seconds. See About the Frame Sync Setting for more information.
    Figure. Frame Sync slider and field.
  • Multi-pass: Use this checkbox to turn on multi-pass encoding. Similar to two-pass MPEG-2 encoding, multi-pass offers the best possible quality. For faster (single-pass) encodes, turn this feature off by deselecting the checkbox. See Using Multi-Pass for DVD Authoring and Job Segmenting and Two-Pass or Multi-Pass Encoding for more information.
    Figure. Multi-pass checkbox and Include PCM Audio checkbox.
  • Include PCM Audio: Use this checkbox to include a 16-bit, 48 kHz stereo PCM audio track in the output QuickTime movie. Most DVD producers will use a Dolby Digital Professional (AC-3) setting for the audio with its much higher efficiency. In that case, you can deselect this checkbox and make sure that a Dolby 2.0 setting is applied to the job in the Batch window. If you select the checkbox, encode the H.264 movie, and then import the movie into DVD Studio Pro, the video track and the audio track will appear as two separate items in the Assets tab, as if you had imported one video asset and one audio asset.