Sounds simple, but isn’t – DVD Render Settings

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    • #47520

      Ok, so I have 1080 60i footage shot on my TM900. It looks great on
      the screen, but then when I render at MPEG-2 it looks grainy, slightly
      pixelated and blurry. WHY?

      I played with the settings to try to
      make it better, but have had no luck. I use:

      • DVD ARchitect NTSC Widescreen Video Stream
      • I increase the VBR so the minimus is 6,000,000 and max is 9,500,000, I’ve even tried a high CBR.
      • Field Order is Upperfield First
      • Project settings Video Rendering Quality: Best

      I am rendering only the video
      stream and when I play it back on VLC, Mediamonkey, or Windows Media
      play, it just looks bad.

      What should I be doing differently?

    • #195883

       Field Order is Upperfield First

      I don’t know how important this is . . .  but I always see in specs that the lower field should be ” first “.

      Rick Crampton

    • #195884

      How are you playing back the MPEG-2 file? If on your monitor then chances are it has a resolution of 1920 X 1080. Remember, DVD targetted MPEG2 files are 720 X 480 (1.212 PAR) so if you’re playing it back any larger about 1/4 the size of your monitor then it won’t look optimal. DVD blanks are cheap – burn the file to one and play it on your DVD/TV and see how it looks.

    • #195885

      I just did a search and found this:

      For my footage 1080 60i, is stays upperfield first… so I think that’s right.

      It just looks quite a bit more blurry. The crispness is totally gone.. what can I do?

    • #195886

      I just tried it birdcat and maybe it is ok, I’m just used to seeing HD on my monitor, that watching SD just doesn’t look that great. My only TV is a 52″ rear projection that is about 6 years old… so that probably doesn’t help.

      However, when I watched it, that exposed another huge issue… the color saturation. UGH! Looks good on my computer, but all highlights were blown out.. going to start a separate thread on that issue.

      Still curious if there’s ANYTHING I may be able to do to increase the quality of my footage as it’s rendered down to an MPEG2?

    • #195887


      I too bought a ‘900’ series camcorder, in my case a SD-900. I am delighted by its image-quality. Like you, I wished to put my stuff onto DVD, and at first, I took the easy-way-out and used the software which came on the disc with the camcorder. Big mistake, as it happened, because, nothing I did would secure me decent results. Finally, I reverted to what I ‘usually-did’, used TMPGEnc ‘Video Mastering Workshop 5’ software and did it the ‘hard-way’, one clip at a time, taking the opportunity to get rid of any substandard footage, at the same time. Result, an almost unbelievable improvement in quality. A day’s shooting can be teed up for re-processing in a long evening’s work, and batches assembled for processing overnight, as I sleep. By breakfast, it’s generally ready for indexing and giving the alpha-numerical coding I use.

      The whole thing is dictated, it seems, by ‘The DVD-standard’. it is possible in VMW5 to simply use their ‘preset’ for that purpose, however, I became interested in how far that could be tweaked. You can make the settings pretty-much what you like, but if you set the scan-rate, for instance, too high, your DVD’s will not be playable on all DVD-players. Additionally, you may find that settings too high, will not work with your authoring software, when delivery to DVD is the desired outcome.

      I would be wary of increasing the ‘top’ setting above 8000b/s very much, I change the settings so that 8000 is the ‘average’, and about 8300 the ‘peak’ which may call for you to settle on a rather low setting at the bottom end of the scale, but that is largely irrelevant. I also sacrifice disc-capacitysomewhat, by setting ‘quality’ high. The outcomes on a 32inch ‘Panasonic’ flat-screen, using the PALraster of 720 x 576, are very good indeed, especially in 16:9 widescreen, which is all I have ever used since the 1970’s, film and anamorphics. In fact, there is no difference, that I can see, between what I obtain that way, and High-definition ex my DVD-recorder’s hard-drive (as 720 x 576 mpg2, of course). I always use double-pass and VBR to keep quality to a maximum. It seems that with scan-rate, above 7000, or so, you begin to enter an environment of ‘diminishing-returns’.

      The ‘colour’ discrepancy might be due to you having selected a ‘simple’ setting when it comes to colour alternatives. I usually use the ‘simple’ setting in TMPGEnc software myself, then at an advanced stage, I go through the video, clip by clip, doing a final check on colour fidelity and ‘tone’. It’s a bit tedious, but it makes for great results. A crude way of doing that, would be to corral the entire video content within a ‘rubber-band’ (I use Magix MEP-MX currently), and darken the entire video content en-masse, using the settings available in the software as ‘video-effects’. That way, should colour-balance correction be needed, it’s right ‘next-door’ and is easily invoked at the same time.

      Plus, I use ‘top-field-first’, always have.

      Ian Smith – Dunedin, New Zealand

    • #195888

      Thanks Ian, that’s helpful. However I’ve done a bunch of research today and it seems that what folks are doing is some combonation of:

      VirtualDub ->Avisynth -> MPEG2 Encoder

      So I’ve been working of figuring out a work flow that I can use with any of my TM900 series footage (AVCHD 1080 60i) to convert down to MPEG2 and get the best results.

      I’d love to hear if anyone does something similar and what their exact workflow is from Sony Vegas to the final DVD Authoring software.

      I’m at 12 hours on my computer working on this today and losing my mind… I know I’m close.. but my deadline is closer… so I”m pushing on. Would love to hear if anyone has experience with this method.

    • #195889

      Here are two recent threads from the Sony Vegas forum that get into this subject in some detail.

      HD to SD DVD what am I missing

      HD to SD Challenge


    • #195890

      Thanks, read through those. I’ve been testing this myself and have found a method that works pretty good.. it’s better than Vegas, though Vegas did seem to do an ok, job, but the method I’m finalizing now is def. superior.

      It is much more cumbersome for sure and involves:

      Sony Vegas 11
      Debugmode Frameserver
      Virtual Dub
      Logarith Codec

      The only thing I had to buy one TMPGEnc for $100. Maybe there’s a better free one out there… but I didn’t have time to test that. If anyone else has, please let me know. I’m still just using the trial of TMPGEnc.

      I’ve seen a lot of threads, but none could answer exactly what I was asking.. I watched a bunch of tutorials on the above programs and found a way to put it all together… still testing, but I’m happier that I was 48 hours ago.. that’s for sure.

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