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For an art installation I need to project on 3 projectors (1920 x 1080).

My playback setup is: 1 PC with Windows 7, SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 and 3 projectors (1920 x 1080).

The video I need to project has a width of 3 x 1920 = 5760 and a height of 1080.

The editing is done with Premier Pro CC 2018 (version 12.1) under Windows 10.

What video format and what codec should I use for the final export from Premier Pro?

  • to allow the oversized width
  • to have a good quality for a large screen projection
  • so that it is not to heavy for the system
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For playback the best codec is unarguably h.264 (AKA MPEG-4 Part 10, or MPEG-4 AVC, or just plain 'mp4'). H.264 in an mp4 container allows for small files with good visual quality, the ability to tune the settings to achieve tradeoffs between size, compatibilty and quality, and almost universal playability with modern devices.

In the Premiere export window choose H.264 as the format. There are numerous presets available, but most won't be relevant because of the unusual dimensions of your video. The ones you should be looking at are the ones called Match Source-[...] bitrate. Depending on the playback machine you should try the High bitrate first. Adaptive High Bitrate will give you a lower file size by increasing the compression (= lowering the quality) in parts of the video that don't need it, but for local playback this is not really an advantage.

The Match Source bit means that the encode will be done at the same frame size as your sequence.

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If you are having trouble playing back the mp4 you might want to look at the profile in the Video tab of the encoding settings. Simply put, this determines how comlex the task of de-encoding the file is. For lower-powered or older machines use the Main profile, but if your playback machine can support it use High Profile.

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High10 lets you use 10-bit encoding. For a final playback file this is usually unnecessary, unless you're using a 10-bit monitor (if you don't know then you're almost certainly using an 8-bit monitor) it won't make any perceivable difference, and will limit the compatibilty for playback.

  • or just plain 'mp4' --> let's not contribute to confusion between codecs and containers. – Gyan Aug 16 '18 at 5:08
  • @stib Thanks. I tried what you suggest but the width does not match the sequence setting (5760). It is set to 4096. When I try to set it manually I cannot go over 4096. How to get the right width of 5760? – user3384674 Aug 16 '18 at 11:11
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    Oh yeah, Premiere uses a H264 encoder which only allows frame sizes within permissible limits of the highest level. Although the standard now goes upto 6.2, it went upto 5.2 at the time of development. You'll need to export using some other codec and then use ffmpeg/Handbrake..etc to transcode to H264. @stib will have a better idea which codecs in Premiere allow 4K+ output. – Gyan Aug 16 '18 at 12:01
  • That's annoying. Hmm, If you're on a mac use prores 422, on Windows use goPro Cineform or Avid DNxHR. I can't remember which of these are already installed with premiere, and I can't guarantee that Premiere will let you encode at your desire size, so have a play. Then use ffmpeg or handbrake to do the conversion. If all else fails use uncompressed and delete after your done. – stib Aug 16 '18 at 12:19

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