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Converting HD to SD

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Tom Torrillo
Converting HD to SD
on Dec 18, 2009 at 1:55:55 pm

I'm having some difficulty getting 1080i60 content onto SD-DVD.

Basically, it looks awful when I try to downscale it.

Now, I'm not expecting it to look as good as the 1080i60 source files but the video just looks so soft and well, crappy, after the downscale.

Here are the settings I'm using for encoding out of Premiere that I got from a tutorial:

MPEG2-DVD
NTSC Widescreen High Quality
Use Maximum Render Quality
[Video]
Quality: 4
TV Standard: NTSC
Frame rate: 29.97
Field Order: Upper
Pixel AR: Widescreen
Encoding: VBR 2 Pass
Min bitrate: 2.8
Target: 7
Max: 8

Does anyone have any suggestions to make the video look better for SD-DVD or am I just so conditioned to HD that the best that can be done looks terrible to me?

Thanks.


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Converting HD to SD
on Dec 18, 2009 at 5:22:21 pm

Are you watching the finished product on an SD television?
If you're watching it on an HDTV or on a computer screen, it's going to look soft and terrible. All DVDs do.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Tom Torrillo
Re: Converting HD to SD
on Dec 18, 2009 at 6:37:29 pm

That's what I'm thinking.

To be honest, I haven't watched an SD-DVD in a couple of years so maybe I'm probably just used to HD.

I don't remember it looking this terrible though.

I'm going to dig up an SD-DVD later and see if it's as bad as my downscaled HD videos are.


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Jon Geddes
Re: Converting HD to SD
on Dec 22, 2009 at 7:34:44 pm

I highly recommend you read this article:

http://www.precomposed.com/blog/2009/07/hd-to-sd-dvd-best-methods/

It discusses the problems of common NLE's with downscaling HD to SD (with sample images) and provides an alternative workflow for near hollywood studio quality downconversions using completely free software.

Jon Geddes
http://www.precomposed.com


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John Rich
Re: Converting HD to SD
on Dec 25, 2009 at 3:56:26 am

Tom,
I assume you are using PremPro CS4 and some type of AVCHD footage on a Windows machine. Did you get your original settings from Jeff Bellune's excellent tutorial ?

Another way you could do downscaling is with a Cineform product, although it is a little pricey. Here is a long discussion of that
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/cineform-software-showcase/467607-hdv-dvd.html

Here is Jeff's link
http://bellunevideo.com/tutorials/CS4_HD2SD/CS4_HD2SD.html
Hopefully Jeff will have Dan Isaac's method put together in a video tutorial soon.
John Rich



JOHNR


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Tom Torrillo
Re: Converting HD to SD
on Dec 30, 2009 at 9:53:36 pm

John,

Yeah, it's AVCHD footage using PP CS4 but on a Mac and those settings are indeed from Jeff's excellent video. Thought I'd throw this question out there and see if anyone had any other workflows.

Regarding Cineform, that's an encoding application?

Thanks,
Tom


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John Rich
Re: Converting HD to SD
on Dec 31, 2009 at 2:01:41 am

Here's a link which explains Cineform better than I can. Check out
the "sticky thread" #4 and near the beginning is a thorough description. I'm not sure how well it works with a Mac, but according to this link it can work. Basically, it converts the AVCHD files to .AVI or .MOV files and also scales them pretty well (I think) as well as doing color correction, etc.
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/cineform-software-showcase/

It might be worth your while to post a question over there to see what they say about Mac's.

Also, interestingly, Jeff Bellune, just finished two video tutorials using the freeware virtualdub, etc which might be helpful.

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/546075?tstart=0
I would like to know how you work this out.

John Rich


JOHNR


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Tom Torrillo
Re: Converting HD to SD
on Dec 31, 2009 at 5:33:50 pm

Thanks, I will check out those threads.

Pretty sure there is no OS X equivalent of virtualdub though.

Tom


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