Can I add a codec

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RobP_V8_Guy
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Can I add a codec

Post by RobP_V8_Guy »

Hi,
I've been having a Hell of a time trying to increase the quality of a DVD I'm trying to create with videostudio x8. The quality is absolutely horrendous, to say the least. I have seen on other posts about different codes to retain better quality. Can you just download a codec and somehow install it into vs?
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Re: Can I add a codec

Post by Ken Berry »

Your question is likely to get more answers if it appears in the Video Studio forum, so I am transferring it there.

IIRC much earlier versions of VS had the capacity to recognise different mpeg-2 codecs. But for at least the past three (and perhaps more) versions, Corel have limited mpeg-2 production largely to DVD making. AFAIK Video Studio uses the good and well respected Main Concept mpeg-2 codec and that is what the Video Studio underlying code instructs the program to look for and use. So if you're talking about a DVD-compatible mpeg-2 codec, then I think you are out of luck.

You can certainly add other codecs for other formats -- DivX and XVid spring immediately to mind, as does the now somewhat questioned Quicktime .mov codec. But these are not DVD-compatible codecs and are meant for other purposes. The DivX/XVid codecs appear under .AVI within VS, and .mov has its own separate listing in VS.

But if you describe exactly what you are doing which results in your horrendous DVD, maybe we can offer some help. What are the properties of the video you are using in the project (right click the clips in the VS library or timeline and select Properties)? What editing are you doing -- filters, transitions, anything else? Are you first converting the project to a DVD-compatible mpeg-2 file within the Editing module before opening the burning module, or are you finishing your editing then going straight to Share and selecting the DVD disc option? How long is your project in hours and minutes?
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Re: Can I add a codec

Post by RobP_V8_Guy »

Thanks for the response and move. I don't remember if I opened the project first in the project properties or after I tried making the dvd files on my computer. Ive also attached a screen shot of the quality. I totally understand you lose quality going to dvd. But from what I've searched on google, everyone excepts the reason, "it's a dvd, it'll look bad." But a have a hard time excepting that. Why do DVD's you buy from the store look like HD (in comparision to mine of coarse)? I really try hard in everything I do to give my all, including this dvd I am creating and can't except such an easy, flat answer like that. Please help. I attached a screen shot.

The project file is 1:48:17 (almost 2 hours). I have just fade out transitions bewteen scenes and some custom motions in the beggining and end of the dvd. My dvd menu also suffers the same quality.

The video was also shot from approx 20 feet away.

Here is my video according to VS:
File Format: NTSC HDMV
Video Type: H.264
Attributes: 24 bits, 1920 x 1080, 16:9
Frame Rate: 59.940
Data Rate: Variable bit rate (Max. 25999 kbps)

My Project Settings are custom:
MPEG files
24 bits, 720 x 480, 29.97 fps
Upper Field First
(DVD-NTSC), 16:9
Video data rate: Variable (Max. 9800 kbps)
Audio data rate: 128 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio, 48 KHz, 2/0(L,R)
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Re: Can I add a codec

Post by lata »

Hi

A dvd disc video properties have to use specific settings adjustable within a certain range.

You show those typical properties in your reply above as Project Settings, ultimately your output video properties. Notice the difference between the original.

a couple of issues………..

1 / The duration being 2 hours will use a data rate of approx. 4000kbps, that in itself is VHD quality. We can only get approx. 70 minutes of footage to a DVD at full quality 8000kbps.
You should consider using two DVD’s or burn to Bluray.
Dual Layer DVD discs are also available to hold 2 hours at full quality, however many users have had problems using these types.

2 / The frame rate is 59.94 (60P), for a DVD has to be 29.97fps, that change effectively removes every alternate frame, impacting on quality.

3 / The original frame order is Progressive, I would change Upper Field First for Frame Based.
Interlaced may cause jagged edges?

These are typical settings I would use.

MPEG files
24 bits, 720 x 480, 29.97 fps
Frame-based
(DVD-NTSC), 16:9
Video data rate: 8000 kbps (approx. 75 minutes) (2 hours using Dual Layer Discs)
Audio data rate: 256 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio, 48 KHz, 2/0(L,R)

MPEG files
24 bits, 720 x 480, 29.97 fps
Frame-based
(DVD-NTSC), 16:9
Video data rate: Variable (Max. 4000 kbps) (approx. 2 hours)
Audio data rate: 256 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio, 48 KHz, 2/0(L,R)

Ok, I would create a short 10 minute project to check the quality as render times will be long.
When you are happy go for the full project.

1 / First go to Preferences (F6) – Edit Tab set Best for Resample Quality
2 / Edit your project properties to one of the above settings.
There is a Speed / Quality slider, (compression tab) you could try at 100%, longer render times.
3 / Convert project to Mpeg2 – Share – Same as project properties (tick the box)
4 / Play to check quality
5 / repeat 2 to 4 with other settings.

To burn a disc
6 / Start a new project – nothing on the timelines
7 / Share Create Disc – DVD opens the burner module
8 / Add Media – Add Video using file created I 3 above.
9 / Create Menu
10 / on last window choose to Create Disc Image, deselect Create to Disc, don’t need those coasters….
This saves the movie as an iso, play that file using VCL Media Player to check quality, if ok
11 / Use Tools – Burn to Disc Image to create that disc.
Regards Trevor
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Re: Can I add a codec

Post by RobP_V8_Guy »

Thanks for the specific steps. I will try these shortly. I did forget to mention that I am using dual layer discs, and instead burning them, I create dvd video folders. Correct me if I'm wrong, but creating DVD folders will be exactly as Senn in DVD?
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Re: Can I add a codec

Post by canuck »

Trevor,
why do you suggest Variable bit rate? I assume this is a 1 pass encoding process and I believe that gives a smaller file then a constant bit rate but at a lower quality.
Does VS do 2 pass encoding?
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Re: Can I add a codec

Post by lata »

Hi canuck

Its Video Studio that uses variable for all its DVD Mpeg2 templates, even when the duration is small, 30 minutes will fit a disc without problems so why use variable?
Although the original recorded footage does use variable.

As you say variable bit rates are used to reduce the size of the video allowing more minutes to a disc whilst retaining quality.

At 8000kbps the bit rate can be constant as the duration will be lower than 70 minutes, with a file size below 4.3 Gb.
At 6000kbps or lower then Variable should be used, allowing those extra minutes.
So I suggested variable for a 2 hour video fit to a single layer DVD, although I would use two DVD’s.

I was unaware that Rob was using Dual Layer, he should be able to render to full quality using 8000kbps Constant for a 2 hour video will produce a file size about 8 Gb, and fit to disc without further rendering.

The interlacing or progressive is probably the cause of quality issues here.
Only Rob can try a few tests with a shorter project to test different options.

Best option would be to record to 29.97 fps and burn to Bluray.
Regards Trevor
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Re: Can I add a codec

Post by lata »

RobP_V8_Guy wrote:Thanks for the specific steps. I will try these shortly. I did forget to mention that I am using dual layer discs, and instead burning them, I create dvd video folders. Correct me if I'm wrong, but creating DVD folders will be exactly as Senn in DVD?
Creating DVD Folders and Disc Images ISO are identical to burning a disc.
We can then play the files including menu to test quality.

Then burn the folder or iso to disc retaining the same quality as there should be no further conversions when burning the disc.

The other option would be to retain the HD standards by rendering to MTS, same as original properties, save the file to USB to play directly on TV, assuming the TV is HD and has USB.
Regards Trevor
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Re: Can I add a codec

Post by RobP_V8_Guy »

I'm still trying different settings with little to no results. But I'd like to ask again, why is a 2 hour DVD you buy from the store with a movie look amazing, and I can't even use a 1 min clip (I've cut the project down for testing) at the best DVD bit rate, look so ridiculously horrible, I probably couldve drawn on paper a better picture with a pencil? I apologize, but I'm just getting frustrated. I just can't find anyone to explain this. There are several amateurs posting on YouTube that look good captured from just a cell phone. Something isn't adding up.
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Re: Can I add a codec

Post by canuck »

Don't even try to compare video on commercial DVDs to those produced by consumer programs. Those commercial DVDs are created by programs that cost 1000's of dollars while we are working with "peanuts".

I don't know what you define as " ridiculously horrible" but the DVDs I have created I would definitely describe as excellent. It is obvious that you are doing something wrong or your expectations are too high.
Going from HD video to standard DVD video will lower your quality. There is no getting around that fact.

Can your create a Smart Package of the 1 minute "horrible" project and upload it to a site from which we can download it and see if we can determine what you are doing wrong.
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Re: Can I add a codec

Post by RobP_V8_Guy »

I have posted a screen shot above. I will have to wait about an hour or so before returning home to create a smart package. I believe I am doing something wrong. So thank you for any help.
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Re: Can I add a codec

Post by lata »

Hi

Smart Package

We would be best in having a sample of the original video file and a sample of your converted file or at least the properties you used to convert the files.

I did have a lot of quality issues converting MTS to Mpeg2 with a lot of jagged edges.
Changing the Resample Quality to Best seemed to improve things.
Retaining progressive (frame based) also helped.

although my files did not use 60P progressive but Interlaced at 25fps (pal)

We did find using a program called Format Factory did a very good job of creating those mpeg2.
You may wish to try that.

Take care in installing the program as it wants to install other bits and pieces, only install Format Factory
http://www.pcfreetime.com/
Regards Trevor
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Re: Can I add a codec

Post by RobP_V8_Guy »

Sorry about the delay, I've been fitting with a error "ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT", everytime I tried uploading the smart package from VS. So I thinnk, it finally attached.

I did download smart studio. What are the settings I should use? What file type? I've tried a few things but VS would not import the converted clip.

Thanks.
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Re: Can I add a codec

Post by RobP_V8_Guy »

Maybe it didnt upload the smart package, I don't see it on my post. Hmmm...
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Re: Can I add a codec

Post by Ken Berry »

Where are you trying to upload the smart package to? Dropbox? If you are trying to upload it here, it will never work...

And what do your mean by 'smart studio'? Is that another video conversion program?
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