What are the parameters for the highest DVD quality?

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rickragan
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Location: texas

What are the parameters for the highest DVD quality?

Post by rickragan »

Hi Corel Forum folks;

Properties of your source files (format, file size, where did you get it?):
Sony Hi8 Digital Video (digital tape)

What devices are involved and their mode of connection?:
Sony Video camera DCR TRV840, Dell Computer 8300

Project Properties (important):
edit file format: avi
TV standard: NTSC drop frame 29
yes-peform non-quare pixel rendering
Data track: audio and video
Frame rate 29.97
Frame type: lower field first
Frame standard: 20x480
Compression: none (and also tried DV Video Encoder type 1)
Data type 24-bit rgb
audio format PCM
Attrib: 48 khz 16 bit stero
Output: DVD onto DVD+R Memorex


Output format (file, DVD, VCD, SVCD):
DVD

PAL or NTSC:
NTSC

Error Codes (if any):
No

Product Version: e.g. VS10 or VS11+
Ulead Video Studio, 11.5 plus

Capture Properties:
DV type-1
Capture to library.

QUESTION:
What can I do to get my quality up higher? I expect to see more detail in the DVD when I play it, but the image is a bit fuzzy.

Thanks.

Rick Ragan.
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Ken Berry
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Post by Ken Berry »

Hi Rick. And welcome to the forums...

Thanks for all that detail. But I am afraid that you did not tell us exactly ow you captured the video. It should have been by Firewire, but can you confirm exactly how you did it?
Ken Berry
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Post by GeorgeW »

First, let me thank you for providing alot of pertinent information :)

What are your DVD Authoring settings? Those are the settings that will be used to compress your video to mpeg for SD-DVD?

How much video (run time) do you have on the DVD?

Is the source original dv capture in the camcorder you listed, or is the source an "older" analog recording that is being converted to dv by your camcorder?

Regards,
George
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Post by Devil »

[b][i][color=red]Devil[/color][/i][/b]

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rickragan
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Firewire -- how I did it

Post by rickragan »

Hey Ken;

Hum, yes, I did use firewire, I plugged it into my Sony camera, it goes into an adapter (card). I used Ulead VS to put the movie into the computer. The Sony camera uses DV tape. The result was 3 1G VOB files.

Is that what you were asking? I feel like you are asking about something more technical that my reply above?

I have to go home this evening before I can reply to the other technical questions from the replies to my original post.

Rick.
Ken Berry wrote:Hi Rick. And welcome to the forums...

Thanks for all that detail. But I am afraid that you did not tell us exactly ow you captured the video. It should have been by Firewire, but can you confirm exactly how you did it?
Last edited by rickragan on Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
rickragan
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Some answers - the taping of the DV

Post by rickragan »

Hi George;

Here are the DVD Authoring settings:

--------------------------------------------

TV System: NTSC

Disc type: DVD

Properties:
MPEG files
24 bits, 720 x 480, 29.97 fps
Frame-based
(DVD-NTSC), 4:3
Video data rate: Variable (Max. 7000 kbps)
Audio data rate: 256 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio, 48 KHz, 2/0(L,R)

Preferences:
VCD player compliant --yes
Anti-flicerk filter --yes
Max 30MB menus for set top DVED +VR recorder --yes
Create Index file for MPEG --no
NTSC/Pal safe color --no
TV safe area: 10%

Diaplay: 16:9 (is this for the display i am using on the computer or for the DVD - TV? and which should I choose?)

---------------------------------------

Answers your other questions:

video run time: 50 minutes on the DVD

source of the original capture -- yes it is DV, not analog, but I suppose I need to go look at my Sony DV tape camera to see if I had the output settings correct (not analog output, but DV output into the firewire). This Sony camera can playback both DV and analog tapes. I will check that tonight.

Thanks,
Rick.

GeorgeW wrote:First, let me thank you for providing alot of pertinent information :)

What are your DVD Authoring settings? Those are the settings that will be used to compress your video to mpeg for SD-DVD?

How much video (run time) do you have on the DVD?

Is the source original dv capture in the camcorder you listed, or is the source an "older" analog recording that is being converted to dv by your camcorder?

Regards,
George
Last edited by rickragan on Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Ken Berry »

First, your camera is a Digital 8 model and not a mini DV model. As such, it will NOT play a mini DV tape. Instead, it will play either digital 8mm tapes (roughly the same size as an audio tape) or analogue 8mm or Hi8 tapes as you originally said it was. (I have in my collection a Sony digital 8 DCR-TRV480E so know this type of camera well). Of course, it still connects via Firewire and you capture in DV format, which is a great way of capturing your analogue tape collection (which is what I use mine for).

Anyway, if you are capturing in DV format, you will have the best quality for your captures. But it is what you do with that which will determine the final quality. What I do is capture my analogue tapes by playing them in the Digital 8, capturing them in DV format and then editing them in that format. I find that quality at this stage is excellent for what started life as analogue video.

To maintain that quality, I then convert the edited DV to DVD-compatible mpeg-2 but use a high quality bitrate of around 7500 kbps. You could use an even higher bitrate, but I have found that above 7000 - 7500 kbps, any improvement in quality is not detectable by at least my naked eye. And this bitrate means that I can burn about 75 minutes or a little more to a single layer DVD using Dolby or mpeg layer 2 audio.

Some people say this is a waste of space since analogue video is probably not improved much by using any bitrate over 4500 kbps. That might be so when capturing analogue video by any other means apart from using a mini DV camera as a passthrough device or a dedicated external DV capture device. But most definitely, analogue video tapes actually played in a Digital 8 camera and captured via Firewire very evidently give better quality with a higher bitrate in the final DVD.
Ken Berry
rickragan
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Post by rickragan »

Wow, Ken, it is a pleasure to chat with an expert!

Yes, I use a Sony Hi8MP tape in my Digital Video Camera.
These are digital images I am trying to get over into the computer. (Although I have used it to convert the older analog tapes I used years ago).

Questions:
Does the Sony's "A/V-->DV Out" setting make any difference in this case? Or stated more broadly, are there any settings on the Sony camera that I need to adjust to get the highest digital quality to the computer via firewire?

Secondly, I was told that AVI files are the gold standard (like a raw files). Is that true? It seems not, I believe you are recommending using MPEG-2 with 7500 kb?

And that conversion is done in VS in Project Properties > Project Options > Compression > Media type MPEG-2, and Video data rate: Variable / 7500?

What about the speed/quality setting, should that stay at 70 or should I adjust it to 100?

Thanks for your help.

Rick.

Ken Berry wrote:First, your camera is a Digital 8 model and not a mini DV model. As such, it will NOT play a mini DV tape. Instead, it will play either digital 8mm tapes (roughly the same size as an audio tape) or analogue 8mm or Hi8 tapes as you originally said it was. (I have in my collection a Sony digital 8 DCR-TRV480E so know this type of camera well). Of course, it still connects via Firewire and you capture in DV format, which is a great way of capturing your analogue tape collection (which is what I use mine for).

Anyway, if you are capturing in DV format, you will have the best quality for your captures. But it is what you do with that which will determine the final quality. What I do is capture my analogue tapes by playing them in the Digital 8, capturing them in DV format and then editing them in that format. I find that quality at this stage is excellent for what started life as analogue video.

To maintain that quality, I then convert the edited DV to DVD-compatible mpeg-2 but use a high quality bitrate of around 7500 kbps. You could use an even higher bitrate, but I have found that above 7000 - 7500 kbps, any improvement in quality is not detectable by at least my naked eye. And this bitrate means that I can burn about 75 minutes or a little more to a single layer DVD using Dolby or mpeg layer 2 audio.

Some people say this is a waste of space since analogue video is probably not improved much by using any bitrate over 4500 kbps. That might be so when capturing analogue video by any other means apart from using a mini DV camera as a passthrough device or a dedicated external DV capture device. But most definitely, analogue video tapes actually played in a Digital 8 camera and captured via Firewire very evidently give better quality with a higher bitrate in the final DVD.
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Post by Ken Berry »

I don't use my Digital 8 camera with digital 8/Hi8 tapes -- only analogue ones. As such, I have the camera set to A/V > DV Out. But I don't think this would affect capture from digital 8 tapes...

As for the gold standard of capture formats, raw .AVI is just too huge to make it easily manipulable on a standard computer as it runs to around 65 GB per hour of video. But Sony and Microsoft developed a special version of AVI which has some compression applied (5 times -- to give a file size of 13 GB per hour) but which is exactly equivalent to the quality of a DV tape (and digital 8 tape) in the camera. In fact, in terms of these cameras, it is not even correct technically to say you are capturing from them as you are simply transferring the video in exactly the same quality and in real time (i.e. one hour of tape takes one hour to transfer).

This is done over Firewire (again specifically developed for the format as its transport medium) and the format is of course DV/AVI. Easy to edit and it uses algorithms which make it essentially not a lossy format i.e. you can re-render it many times with no discernible loss in quality. So the idea is to 'capture' and then edit in DV and only when this is finished, do you convert it to mpeg-2.

Why the conversion if DV is the gold standard? Well, the simple fact of the matter is that you are wanting to transfer your project to a video DVD. And the international DVD standard uses only mpeg video and nothing but mpeg video. So a conversion is unavoidable. And yes, your workflow for setting the compression to 7500 is correct -- though if your original tape is indeed a digital 8/Hi8 one, then you could set it to 8000 if you want the best quality and can live with fitting only one hour of video onto a single layer DVD.

The speed/quality slider is something that I personally leave alone, though that is purely a matter of personal convenience. The default setting of 70 is supposed to represent an ideal balance of final conversion quality to the time which it takes for the conversion to take place. If you increase it to 80, 90 or 100, the conversion will take significantly longer to happen, though some people feel that they can perceive sufficient quality improvement to make the extra wait worth it.

If you reduce it below 70, the conversion happens more quickly, but quality drops off fairly rapidly the further down you go. Also be aware that some people have found that setting it to 100 often causes the whole process to hang. So if you try it and get a hang, then set it to, say, 95 or 90 and see if the hang is avoided.

And again from a quality point of view if time is not a concern, you could also select a two pass encode. Essentially, this means the program scans the project first (which takes about the same time as for a normal conversion) to work out the most optimal way of carrying out the conversion. Then it goes through it a second time when the actual conversion takes place. :lol: 8)
Ken Berry
rickragan
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> A few last questions

Post by rickragan »

Thanks Ken -- for all of your help. :D

Everything is working at expected quality levels now.

A couple of last questions:

1) Under "Capture" and then "Video Properties" > Template > Current Profile, what are the differences between "DV type-1" and "DV type-2"?

2) Under Share > Create Disk > DVD > Gallery of Templates pop up > Gallery tab > Drop down for Smart Scene menus... how can I get a Smart Scene into the "Favorites"? I would like to set a SmartScene up once the way I like it, and then use it over and over again.

Thanks again for all of your great help!!!

Rick Ragan.



Ken Berry wrote:I don't use my Digital 8 camera with digital 8/Hi8 tapes -- only analogue ones. As such, I have the camera set to A/V > DV Out. But I don't think this would affect capture from digital 8 tapes...

As for the gold standard of capture formats, raw .AVI is just too huge to make it easily manipulable on a standard computer as it runs to around 65 GB per hour of video. But Sony and Microsoft developed a special version of AVI which has some compression applied (5 times -- to give a file size of 13 GB per hour) but which is exactly equivalent to the quality of a DV tape (and digital 8 tape) in the camera. In fact, in terms of these cameras, it is not even correct technically to say you are capturing from them as you are simply transferring the video in exactly the same quality and in real time (i.e. one hour of tape takes one hour to transfer).

This is done over Firewire (again specifically developed for the format as its transport medium) and the format is of course DV/AVI. Easy to edit and it uses algorithms which make it essentially not a lossy format i.e. you can re-render it many times with no discernible loss in quality. So the idea is to 'capture' and then edit in DV and only when this is finished, do you convert it to mpeg-2.

Why the conversion if DV is the gold standard? Well, the simple fact of the matter is that you are wanting to transfer your project to a video DVD. And the international DVD standard uses only mpeg video and nothing but mpeg video. So a conversion is unavoidable. And yes, your workflow for setting the compression to 7500 is correct -- though if your original tape is indeed a digital 8/Hi8 one, then you could set it to 8000 if you want the best quality and can live with fitting only one hour of video onto a single layer DVD.

The speed/quality slider is something that I personally leave alone, though that is purely a matter of personal convenience. The default setting of 70 is supposed to represent an ideal balance of final conversion quality to the time which it takes for the conversion to take place. If you increase it to 80, 90 or 100, the conversion will take significantly longer to happen, though some people feel that they can perceive sufficient quality improvement to make the extra wait worth it.

If you reduce it below 70, the conversion happens more quickly, but quality drops off fairly rapidly the further down you go. Also be aware that some people have found that setting it to 100 often causes the whole process to hang. So if you try it and get a hang, then set it to, say, 95 or 90 and see if the hang is avoided.

And again from a quality point of view if time is not a concern, you could also select a two pass encode. Essentially, this means the program scans the project first (which takes about the same time as for a normal conversion) to work out the most optimal way of carrying out the conversion. Then it goes through it a second time when the actual conversion takes place. :lol: 8)
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Ken Berry
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Post by Ken Berry »

1) DV Type 2 encodes video and audio in separate streams, though in a single video file. Type 1 encodes video and audio in a single stream. Notionally, Type 2 is more demanding of computer resources, though most recent computers will have no difficulty with it. But in the past, under-resourced computers would typically have either the audio and/or video get jerky and erratic if trying to capture using Type 2. Some higher end and professional programs require DV to be only in Type 2, though most consumer level programs like Video Studio can deal with both. Video Studio seems to have a slight preference for Type 1, though I have consistently used Type 2 for several years with Video Studio with no problem. There is no difference in quality between Type 1 and 2.

2) I cannot give a precise answer to your second question because I am currently at my beach house and my computer here does not have Video Studio on it. However, from memory, once you select the SmartScene (or other) template you want, and then Customise it, a button labelled (I think) 'Add to Menu Template' becomes active. When you click it, the customised template is added to My Favourites. However, if I am wrong, I am sure someone will jump in quickly and correct me... :lol:
Ken Berry
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