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Black Levels Using WME9

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rwalker
Black Levels Using WME9
on Jan 23, 2007 at 8:35:05 pm

Hi there everybody. I am new here but have been using the site for info for a while now. Anyway...

Does anyone know how to correctly compress a WMV with Windows Media Encoder 9 to preserve black levels?

My input file is an uncompressed AVI that has lots of beautiful blacks, but inevitably the exported WMV file is washed out and lacks alot of punch. I have had this happen before for other files but have ignored it due to time constraints.

I was wondering if there is a setting in WME I am missing or if I should pre-process the video file to darken the blacks before compression(which seems a bit eccentric).

Thanks for any tips!
Robert


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Danny2007
Re: Black Levels Using WME9
on Jan 24, 2007 at 11:50:54 am

Inexplicably, WME lacks any decent pre-processing, so you will need to perform that externally.

It's a London thing.


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Charles Simonson
Re: Black Levels Using WME9
on Jan 24, 2007 at 5:53:09 pm

How many systems have you played the encoded movies on? Often, with WMV and color issues, it has more to do with your graphics card's drivers than it does with the actual encode. In particular, systems that just use the onboard integrated graphics tend to exasperate this issue. Also, even if you have a dedicated GPU, if you open a movie in two different players at the same time, one of the players will use the GPU for rendering and the other will use DirectShow through the processor; this results in vastly different color rendering results (not that this is related to your issue - I just wanted to note this).

What codec are you encoding to? A couple of things to try is to go to the Troubleshoot tab in the Advanced settings from the Display control panel. If hardware acceleration is turned on, then turn it off (or vice versa). Also, if your graphics card's drivers have a setting to "accelerate WMV decoding" like I think ATi does, then try enabling/disabing this.


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rwalker
Re: Black Levels Using WME9
on Jan 24, 2007 at 8:27:34 pm

Thanks for the info! Got me looking into Windows Media Player preferences and I think I found my problem... the hardware overlay checkbox was off. After enabling it the .mwv video plays as I intended it. I still am confused why software rendering would screw up the levels though. To verify I downloaded VLC and had the same levels increase when turning off overlay. Seems like the files I'm exporting are ok afterall, but will test on my home PC tonight. I was so stuck on the idea it was the encoder I didn't even consider the player hehe.




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Charles Simonson
Re: Black Levels Using WME9
on Jan 25, 2007 at 12:10:43 am

Yes, this has been a problem for a long time when using Windows Media and software rendering.


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Danny2007
Re: Black Levels Using WME9
on Jan 25, 2007 at 10:27:40 am

One of the reasons I avoid WMV if at all possible.

It's a London thing.


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Charles Simonson
Re: Black Levels Using WME9
on Jan 25, 2007 at 4:24:59 pm

Yeah, well good luck with that. Unfortunately, Windows Media has a pretty large audience, and if you want to reach that audience and still deliver very high quality video, you almost have to offer it as at least an option when delivering your media to the web. You can always force people to download whatever codec or player they will need to play back your media, but that is much easier said than done.

BTW, that is quite possibly the most annoying sig ever!


Its an America is much better than your tiny little island thing. :)


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Danny2007
Re: Black Levels Using WME9
on Jan 25, 2007 at 5:04:24 pm

Sorry you don't like the sig, you're obviously not familiar with the song it comes from.....
But hey, sigs are personal things - At least it isn't "I'm the worlds greatest....(whatever)"

WMV does indeed have a very large audience but from my expereince that's largely due to blinkered ignorance to the other available formats, and obviously the domination of the Windows OS. IMHO Flash will rule pretty soon.


'Spam will be a thing of the past in two years' time. Bill Gates, BBC News. January 2004.


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Charles Simonson
Re: Black Levels Using WME9
on Jan 25, 2007 at 6:25:04 pm

Only joking about the sig. I still don't like the quote, but I'm not one to rain to hard down on one's parade. I do find you're current one much better though.

Per WMV, ignorance pretty much hits it on the head as to why it is so pervasive. But it is also ignorant to think that the audience is cognizant enough to understand that when a video doesn't play well on their system, that they will blame themselves. Trust me, they aren't cursing the codec when a movie fails to load, they are cursing the site and the designer. And while Flash does have a lot of traction, and has made significant progess with VP6, it still has a ways to go before it competes in terms of quality with the best that VC-1 and H.264 have to offer at the same bit rates. Heck, even a really good MPEG-4, SV3, Real 10, or WMV9 encode is better than FLV most of the time.


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