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A question of quality

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seminewbie
A question of quality
on Dec 15, 2006 at 12:31:03 am

Folks I guess that the first thing I am going to ask is that you don't laugh. I have been authoring DVD's for a couple of years now and feel that I have a fairly good handle on the technical pitfalls that can attack us at any time. So this is not really a technical question. I recently finished a project for a National Distributor and it was reviewed in a major magazine as "interesting to view if you can live with the LOW-RENT PRODUCTION VALUES".OUCH!! Yes....on a large tv it looked really lousy. Blurry. Not sharp at all.

I work in the Adobe Video Collection in 720x480 and always transcode using VBR 2 Pass Q5 5.5 MBPS.(anything higher from a MBPS point of view and I always seem to get playability issues) I guess that what I am looking for is some ideas on how to obtain a more professional, crisp look.

Is using larger format source material (stills and video) and squeezing them down the answer? If so then I am not looking forward to getting into HI-DEF.

I know that this seems like a vague post but if anybody has any ideas it sure would help. By the way I am not freaking out about 1 bad review. If you can't handle bad reviews you shouldn't be in this business. I have had concerns for awhile and feel it is now time to look for some answers.

Thanks;

Dan


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eric
Re: A question of quality
by
on Dec 15, 2006 at 1:20:04 am

Low productions values???? Those Bastards!! :-) Were they talking about the video quality or the value of the actual production.

Did you use the encoder that comes with Premier? You could think about trying a better encoder for sure. Also 5.5 is a little low for a software encoder. You said you used VBR? What were your exact settings - Avg , Low, Peak. Have you ever considered using a CBR mode at around 6.5 - this will fit almost 1 1/2 hours of video.


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seminewbie
Re: A question of quality
on Dec 18, 2006 at 1:18:13 am

I will try the CBR Mode Thanks. I use 5.5 based on my experience with the
National Film Board who use that as their standard.

Thanks again.......Dan


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George W.
Re: A question of quality
on Dec 15, 2006 at 7:51:46 am

[seminewbie] "I work in the Adobe Video Collection in 720x480 and always transcode using VBR 2 Pass Q5 5.5 MBPS.(anything higher from a MBPS point of view and I always seem to get playability issues)"

What type of audio are you using? LPCM, Dolby Digital, mpeg, other? If using LPCM audio, then that *might* push your bitrate high enough to cause stuttering on some dvd players (but your video bitrate seems low enough). As was already asked -- can you list the settings for min/avg/max bitrates?

If you are using LPCM audio, then the first thing you can try is using Dolby Digital audio instead (much lower bitrate). And also upping your video bitrate (if space on the disc permits based on the duration of your video).

Here are some tips I keep handy to avoid dvd playback issues:

-keep video+audio bitrate <= ~7.5mbps
-keep the total size <= ~4gb (on dvd5)
-use Dolby Digital (AC3) audio for a good mix of "global" compatibility, and a lower audio bitrate to allow for higher video bitrate (mpeg audio can use the same low bitrates as DD audio, but not all NTSC DVD Players will play mpeg audio)
-use quality discs instead of no-name generics (Taiyo Yuden's get excellent reviews)
-don't use sticky labels on your dvd's
-Burn as DVD-VIDEO (not just a data dvd -- the files must be written in the proper order on the dvd)
-if you only have a prepared DVD Folder, then use software that can properly format a DVD IMAGE file (*.ISO), and then burn the image file. (I like to use IMGBURN 2.x to create the IMAGE file)
-for DVD+R discs, see if your burner supports bitsetting the booktype to DVD-ROM
-keep burner firmware up-to-date (follow instructions carefully when updating firmware)
-keep burning software up-to-date
-if space for your video allows a high bitrate (say >= 7mbps), then try CBR instead of VBR (VBR encodes can have bitrate "spikes", and depending on how high the "spike" is, it might be enough to cause a hiccup during playback)
-don't always burn at the max speed of your burner/media combo (I've had great success burning at 4x, but others have had better results burning at max speeds like 8x or 16x -- it could depend on your dvd disc quality and how well they work with your burner)
-try different media (brands and types) Not all DVD


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seminewbie
Re: A question of quality
on Dec 18, 2006 at 1:24:23 am

WOW.....You give me a great many ideas to consider and I really appreciate the time you spent putting that together. I am printing your reply up so I can consider it off-line.

Once again thanks very much;

Dan


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