I compare four H.264 encoders in this article on OnlineVideo.net. Here’s the gripping introduction:
OK, so you’re cheap and in a hurry and you just want the answer to a single question, “What’s the best free H.264 encoder?” Well, you’re in the right place, in this short review; I compare HandBreak, Miro Video Converter, MPEG Streamclip, and Apple Compressor 4. No, Compressor isn’t free, but since it’s now sold standalone for $49.99, I thought it worth a look.
When comparing the products, I considered the following scenarios; encoding for viewing on an iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad, compressing interlaced SD footage like that ripped from a DVD, and freeform encoding for general purpose use. I performed all comparative tests on a 2.93Ghz eight-core Mac Pro.
Here’s the video that accompanies the article.