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'High Quality' Flag Within Quicktime

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Mark Walczak
'High Quality' Flag Within Quicktime
on Aug 24, 2010 at 2:23:26 am

Hey Everyone,

So, I'm going through the process of digitizing all of my old miniDV tapes in hopes of selling my old gear, as I no longer need it.

My process for archiving involves simply hooking up my camcorder to iMovie and importing straight over Firewire. This method seems to be working wonderfully, but I was hoping that I could get some questions answered. I've done my share of researching online, but just wanted to be double-triple sure of a few things, since I hope to only do this once.

1) Are the .dv files that iMovie creates bit-for-bit replicas of the information on miniDV tape? The .dv files look significantly desaturated compared to the camera LCD and my TV.

2) Would importing .dv files through Final Cut Pro yield better-quality videos than iMovie?

3) Is there a way to enable the High Quality checkbox within Quicktime without having to save out another .mov file? I would like to simple enable that flag within the .dv file and only worry about handling one file...

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to this message. As I already stated, I pretty much know the answers to these questions, but just want to make sure I know what I'm doing.

Thanks again!


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Walter Soyka
Re: 'High Quality' Flag Within Quicktime
on Aug 24, 2010 at 2:59:37 pm

[Mark Walczak] "1) Are the .dv files that iMovie creates bit-for-bit replicas of the information on miniDV tape? The .dv files look significantly desaturated compared to the camera LCD and my TV."

Yes, they are bit-for-bit. Your computer screen will display video differently than a true video monitor, and can't be trusted for image evaluation.

[Mark Walczak] "2) Would importing .dv files through Final Cut Pro yield better-quality videos than iMovie?"

No; the video content will be identical, but the container will be different. iMovie's .DV files are a raw DV stream. FCP will wrap the DV stream in an MOV container.

[Mark Walczak] "3) Is there a way to enable the High Quality checkbox within Quicktime without having to save out another .mov file? I would like to simple enable that flag within the .dv file and only worry about handling one file..."

It's a player preference that won't actually change your files, but you can set Quicktime Player to default to high quality mode. In my opinion, this should have always been the default.

Quicktime Player > Preferences > General > Use high-quality video setting when available.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Mark Walczak
Re: 'High Quality' Flag Within Quicktime
on Aug 24, 2010 at 8:29:49 pm

Walter, thank you SO much for taking the time to provide a thorough response. It really helps to put my mind at ease, and the "Use high-quality video setting when available." setting is very, very handy.

Thanks again!

http://vimeo.com/explosivegraffix


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