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Set VC-1 Settings

With the VC-1 Settings in Microsoft Expression Encoder, you can precisely refine your Windows Media encoding options to create a file optimized for your particular playback or streaming scenario.

  1. In the Media Content panel, select the video that you want to process.

  2. Click the Encode tab. If you can't see the Profile tab, on the Window menu, click Encode.

  3. Click Show/Hide advanced propertiesEe341422.2f8a79a9-68d2-4878-8b75-c76ceb921b3b(en-us,Expression.30).png to reveal the VC-1 Settings category, and adjust the options according to the following descriptions (the options will vary depending on your choice of Profile options):

    • Presets   These settings determine the quality and complexity of the encoding process. Hover over any option to read an explanation of the option.

    • Perceptual Optimizations   The settings in this section can significantly affect the quality of the video, particularly by maintaining the quality of smooth areas of the image at lower bit rate.

    • Adaptive Dead Zone   These settings control the level of optimization for encoding. Click Off to bypass the optimization. This is recommended for high-quality, high–bit-rate encoding. Click Conservative to apply a lower level of optimization, which will discard only a small level of detail, or click Aggressive to apply a higher level of optimization. The higher the level of optimization, the lower the image detail in highly-textured areas.

    • Differential Quantization   These settings control the complexity of the encoding process. Click Off to bypass the compression of the smooth, gradient, or dark areas at a lower ratio than the rest of the image. Choose any of the other frame types to apply this optimization to the respective frame type.

    • Maximum QP   Quantization Parameter (QP) is a measure of the amount of compression applied to a frame; the higher the value, the greater the compression. Drag the value to change it.

    • Filters   These options refine the look of your video by restricting blocking artifacts and removing noise. You can select any combination of these options. Hover over any option to read an explanation of the option.

    • Group of Pictures   These settings control how the codec treats the I and B frames of a group of pictures (GOP). A GOP can be either closed or open. A closed GOP does not contain frames that depend on adjacent GOPs. Closed GOPs are used mainly for chapter points on optical discs; they are not required for Windows Media. Hover over any option to read an explanation of the option.

    • Motion Estimation   These settings control how the codec searches for motion in the frame. These settings can have a significant effect on quality and can also greatly influence encoding time.

    • Chroma search   The options in this menu determine whether and to what degree you include chroma (color) in motion estimation. Using chroma in motion estimation can significantly improve the quality of encoded video, especially in cases where, in the same video, chroma changes happen but luma (light) changes do not. For example, motion graphics, cell animation, and screen recordings can be significantly improved with this setting. Choose Adaptive Integer Chroma or Adaptive True Chroma to apply chroma search to only 50 percent of the blocks in the frame. This offers a good compromise between quality and performance. Choose Luma Only or Full True Chroma for the highest quality video, but reduced performance. Choose Full Integer Chroma for good quality and good performance.

    • Match method   The options in this menu specify the search method used for motion estimation. Click SAD to achieve the best performance. Click Hadamard to achieve the best quality by using a Hadamard transform. This transform type is potentially processor-intensive. Click Adaptive to configure the codec to automatically assign either the SAD or Hadamard method to use on each macroblock. This can potentially reduce the load on the processor by performing a Hadamard transform only when appropriate.

    • Search Range   The options in this menu control the size of the area that the codec will search in order to find a frame that has changed since a previous frame. Larger search ranges can better detect fast motion, but require more processing time. Processing time doubles with each search range increase. The chance of false positives also increases as you widen the search range, so make sure that you set a range that's adequate for the video size.

    • Encoder   These settings determine the complexity of the encoding process. Select a value for Threads Used to indicate the number of threads that the codec will use when encoding the content. If you are using a VC-1 codec, you are limited to choosing only the number of threads that corresponds to the number of cores in your system. Select Auto to specify that you want Expression Encoder to automatically determine the optimal amount. The Output Mode choices specify the type of video elementary stream that the encoder creates.

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