About High Definition Sources and MPEG-2

Compressor has several different options and workflows for transcoding high definition (HD) video source files into MPEG-2 files.


Compressor can output MPEG-2 files for creating HD-resolution DVDs from either HD or standard definition (SD) source media. Compressor can retain the various frame sizes and frame rates of high definition video when transcoding to MPEG-2. And Compressor supports the higher bit rates required by HD-based DVD formats. For more information on creating output for HD-based DVDs, see About the MPEG-2 Encoder Pane and the DVD Studio Pro User Manual.

Note: The other output file format option for HD-based DVDs is H.264, also known as MPEG-4 Part 10. H.264 is currently mandatory in both new high definition DVD specifications (HD DVD and Blu-ray). For more information about creating H.264 files for HD on DVD, see Creating H.264 for DVD Studio Pro Output Files.

HD to SD Downconversion

For those situations in which you are editing high definition (HD) sources in Final Cut Pro and want to create a standard definition (SD) DVD from them, Compressor provides high-quality downconversion. Compressor retains as much detail as possible during scaling and correctly preserves progressive or interlaced formats when encoding to MPEG-2 for DVD.

To see the source media resolution and frame rate
  1. Import the source media file into the Batch window.

  2. Click the source’s name in the Batch window.

The source media file’s resolution and frame rate, along with its duration, appear in the lower-left corner of the Preview window.