The earlier post was written up yesterday but I didn't publish it since I wanted to add a couple of more thoughts, possibly comparison shots to illustrate the difference between output of various methods. But I ended up playing around with exporting different file formats last night and I finally got it "right". It's a nice compromise between file size, video quality and resource utilization when editing the files. So here is the process:
EyeTV export (native h.264/fastest option - I've set it to record at 13.5mbps constant quality) -> MPEG Streamclip export (QuickTime Movie - 10240kbps/10mbps which I'm still playing with this. I think I can lower it to possibly 8192kbps/8mbps stream and have "acceptable" video quality. The rest of the settings are the following - high quality, single pass and uncompressed 48khz stereo audio) -> iMovie.
With this process, I can edit and manage the clips in iMovie. If I want to save specific portions for a montage, I can export it out again to QuickTime to retain the video quality and keep the files in more manageable, smaller clips. If I want to export a project out for upload, I can use turbo.264 which will create the smaller file I'm looking for.
Only negative to this is the process time from MPEG Streamclip since encoding to QuickTime completely bypasses the turbo.264 unit. But I can deal with this. Whatever clips I end up capturing during a session, I can just queue up to convert to QuickTime overnight. Not a huge deal. Especially considering the upgrade in video quality. I think I prefer this compared to going HDV/AIC because from what I can tell, with AIC, I'm going to lose some quality anyway and considering the file sizes it creates, I don't feel that it's worth it at the moment. Now, whenever I get around to upgrading to FCPX and I invest in Compressor, I might try to encode in ProResLT and decide if the video quality is worth the file sizes. But that's in the future ... the question is if it's in the near or distance future.
Next blog post will be screenshots showing the difference in video quality between all the different outputs I was trying/dealing with. Stay tuned!