The results of last night's transcoding test are in....
Don't ever, EVER transcode from one MPEG format to another.
I did this last night, taking a copy of "Our Lady's Shrine" from MPEG-2 to H.264 (MPEG-4 basically) in an MPEG-TS container, and I got the same problems I had when trying to transcode from .mov files to .avi files back in about March or so. Really choppy, really jittery, and just not good.
So, I'm taking an .avi file and seeing how it comes out. This time, it's my episode of "The Catholic Hour: Rome Eternal Part III". Hopefully, taking it from uncompressed video to compressed will be better.
Oh, and in the midst of transferring my next client's videos, I found some footage of an old Mexican cathedral (the name eludes me right now - I saw a picture of the same cathedral up in the old La Hacienda restaurant in Fishers, IN before they moved, though), and equally as important, a few seconds of a memento mori. Since this footage belongs to some friends of ours, they may be willing to "donate" the clips that I need.
I'm pretty sure we can work something out.