How do I create MPEG2 videos using Final Cut and Compressor?

Below are step by step directions for exporting MPEG2 content from Final Cut and Compressor for playback on BrightSign players. You can also use these settings and template files directly with Final Cut and Compressor.

Final Cut Pro:

  1. Open an existing sequence or create a new one.
  2. Add HD content to the sequence as needed.
  3. Select the portion of the sequence to export.
  4. Select File > Export > Using Compressor.

Compressor:

  1. Go to the Settings tab in the Settings window.
  2. Find Apple:Formats:MPEG-2:Program Stream and drag it onto your file in Compressor (where it says Drag Settings and Destinations Here).
  3. Select the Program Stream that you just dragged onto your file.
  4. Select your file and check in the Inspector window that the resolution, frame rate and aspect ratio are correct (click on the Encoder button in the Inspector window -- second from the left). Most HD sources (HDCAM, HDV etc) will have set the resolution to 1440x1080. It will need to be changed to "HD 1920x1080" if you’re creating 1080p/1080i content or “720p” if you’re creating 720p content: Click the change button to the right of the Video Format value, then select the correct value from the pull down list. The frame rate and aspect ratio (usually 16:9) can be changed the same way.
  5. Once you are sure the settings have the correct values, click Submit.

Creating a video from the Finder:

  1. Select the movie to compress (typically the exported master program): 
    1. Ensure that the movie contains an audio track. To verify, open the movie in the QuickTime Player. Select Window > Show Movie Properties and check that a SoundTrack is displayed in the Properties window.
    2. If you want an audio track when exporting a movie from Final Cut Pro, be sure that Include is set to Audio and Video in the File > Export > QuickTime Movie > Save dialog.
  2. Launch Compressor.
  3. Drag the movie file and drop it into Compressor (where it says Drag Settings and Destinations)
  4. Find Apple:Formats:MPEG-2:Program Stream and drag it onto your file in Compressor (where it says Drag Settings and Destinations Here).
  5. Select the Program Stream that you just dragged onto your file.
  6. Select your file and check in the Inspector window that the resolution, frame rate and aspect ratio are correct (click on the Encoder button in the Inspector window -- second from the left). Most HD sources (HDCAM, HDV etc) will have set the resolution to 1440x1080. It will need to be changed to "HD 1920x1080" if you’re creating 1080p/1080i content or “720p” if you’re creating 720p content: Click the change button to the right of the Video Format value, then select the correct value from the pull down list. The frame rate and aspect ratio (usually 16:9) can be changed the same way.
  7. Once you are sure the settings have the correct values, click Submit.
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