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In general, your planning and the bit budgeting function within Encore DVD will complement each other. For many projects, the main benefit of working out a bit budget is that it will give you the confidence that your content will fit within the limits of a particular DVD's capacity, with no rude surprises as you get ready to make the final disc. Once that's established, you can let Encore DVD take care of the transcoding tasks with its Automatic transcode presets.

Of course, you can also continue to massage the numbers, if you like. For instance, you may want to take a more conservative approach in terms of the maximum data rate than your initial bit budget indicates. You can use one of the existing project transcode presets, or create a custom one, to bring the video data rate down to the rate you want. You can also decide whether to transcode with a CBR (Constant Bit Rate) or VBR (Variable Bit Rate) setting. The general rule is that if the calculated video data rate is above 6 Mbps, the video content can be transcoded using a CBR setting. VBR transcoding can achieve improved visual results when the video data rate for a project goes below 6 Mbps, as it “spends” its limited number of bits on video frames with complex content, and “saves” bits on frames with less complexity. Because of the extra calculations in the VBR selection, however, it is a slower process.


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