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SD QT Videos on Our Blog Look Terrible

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Thomas Hughes
SD QT Videos on Our Blog Look Terrible
on Aug 10, 2009 at 6:45:12 pm

We shoot and edit HD and we shoot and edit SD. When I shoot SD, it's DVCAM using a DSR-400, a nice camera with 2/3" chips. When my DVD/web guy posts a video on our blog that's produced HD, it looks fabulous. When he posts a video that's produced SD, it looks so much worse than what was shot and edited. He always has some excuse for why that is, but I'd like to get another opinion about this. Is there any possible way to keep my SD videos looking fantastic when they're posted to our blog. I know there's compression involved, but the simple idea that the picture is so much smaller than the beautiful picture I see on my 20" monitor when I cut it. It just seems that we're doing something wrong.

Here are the specs he wrote down for me that he uses when posting SD QT on our blog: H264 - MPEG 4. Limit data rate @ 1450 kbps. Multipass. These specs mean nothing to me, that's why I need another opinion or two.

Please take a look at the second video from the top on my blog. It's titled "Ruth and Todd" And you'll see the picture quality. The sharpness and colors are so muddy, it looks like it was produced on a one chip consumer camera.

Any input would be greatly appreciated. The way I look at it is we produce videos. If the videos I'm producing look like crap then I have to fix that or I'm not going to stay in business. Thanks.

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Craig Seeman
Re: SD QT Videos on Our Blog Look Terrible
on Aug 10, 2009 at 8:43:11 pm

I see interlacing issues. You need to use Frame Controls and set Deinterlace to Better.
Unless you're doing something with the colors, what you see is the result of the codec implementation in Compressor. You can always use the Compressor Color Correct filters to adjust.

The impact on sharpness is also the nature of the implementation and data rate. You could add the Compressor Sharpen Edge filter but in most cases I don't like it.

You need to keep in mind the data rate limit you set relative to overall quality. You can raise the data rate limit, the quality improve, fewer people will be able to play back the video in "reasonable" time given the faster internet connection needed.

Can the typical viewer in your market handle 1450kbps download? You need to know that.

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Daniel Low
Re: SD QT Videos on Our Blog Look Terrible
on Aug 10, 2009 at 9:38:35 pm

I see cropping issues. Incorrectly aligned composition layers and rather too high data rates for the frame size.

Get your workflow to follow the following when shooting on HD (and SD)

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance."

Steve Ballmer To USA Today

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Richard Keating
Re: SD QT Videos on Our Blog Look Terrible
on Aug 17, 2009 at 1:49:37 am

You say that you're web guy's spec means nothing to you. For a really good overview of H.264 encoding for the web check out Ken Stone's excellent post on the subject:

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