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Making program shot in HD play in SD

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Susan Wilcox
Making program shot in HD play in SD
on Sep 3, 2008 at 5:18:58 am

My client hired me to edit during a three-day festival with the goal of putting out a DVD from the first day's activities to sell the final day. He has purchase all new equipment, so we are shooting in HD 1080i quality but we will be creating a DVD that will play standard definition on computers and television sets because people attending won't have HD sets yet. We have been troubleshooting for two weeks, and everything worked great right up until the DVD output would not play on his computer (where it was made) or his set top box (which is HD). I am confused about what settings I should be using and where I am going wrong (settings and details to follow) as I have never worked with HD before. I'm convinced that the problem is somewhere between HD and SD because the DVD we produced will play in my computer, where I regularly work with SD only. The files on the errant DVD are all HD type of files, not SD.

The cameras are shooting in 1080i HD, which are fed directly into Final Cut Pro for capture, and P2 cards, which we can capture for cutaways. We are able to successfully bring all through a switcher and Black Magic box into a Mac G5 and edit them in Final Cut Pro 6.0. I set capture in FCP to 1080i and output to SD 720x480. He is using USB ports, not Firewire, for connection to the Mac. I made the DVD files for the program in Compressor, using a maximum bitrate of 7.6 and average 6.0. Then I authored the program in DVD Studio Pro. As I said above, it would not play back in the DVD player on the very computer where all the editing and authoring was done. Nor would it play on his HD setup in his house. However, it did play on my Mac G5 when I brought the DVD home (we live about 60 miles apart).

I realize there are many ways this could go wrong, and I can't supply all the settings and equipment types here, because the equipment is not mine and is 60 miles away right now. So I am wondering if someone else has had this same goal in mind, shooting in high def and outputing so anyone can watch it on a standard TV or on a computer. What work flow would you or did you use and what settings to input and output of FCP and then Compressor and then DVDSP?

I appreciate any ideas and suggestions that I can take with me when I head back to tackle this problem during the Festival, which is this weekend. I won't be able to access the internet there for help either. It will be sink or swim!

Susan


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Michael Sacci
Re: Making program shot in HD play in SD
on Sep 3, 2008 at 12:57:10 pm

First - Make sure compressor settings field order settings are correct.

HD 1080i is top field first dominance so your preset in Compressor for SD DVD need to be set to top first also, even though SD is bottom first. If encoding is set to bottom first it will result in a field order problem that is most noticeable on fast actions and pans. If the preset is set to AUTO double check to set if it is choosing Top. I don't like to leave it on auto so change it to what I want in this case Top.

That said, your problem is probably not with your video encoding but your authoring workflow, which do not do into.

Make sure you are not making a HD DVD in DVDSP. Make your test systems can playback DVD-Rs.

Workflow.

From FCP - Export to Quicktime > Current Settings > Make self-contained

Compressor - m2v Top Field First / CBR 6.0 Mbps (not VBR for quicker encodes)
*** Audio to ac3 .192 Mbps (Dialog Norm set to -31 and compression set to none)

DVDSP needs to be a SD DVD.



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Susan Wilcox
Re: Making program shot in HD play in SD
on Sep 3, 2008 at 7:28:33 pm

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my question! Your comment about field dominance is definitely something I wouldn't have thought of and will check it out.

The option in Compressor for CBR only allows one pass. Is it necessary in this case to avoid VBR?

I don't see where to alter Dialog Norm or compression. I thought the bit rate of 6.0 would affect compression.

Thanks again for any help or hints you can give me. Susan




Full Duck Productions


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Michael Sacci
Re: Making program shot in HD play in SD
on Sep 3, 2008 at 7:39:39 pm

Yes, CBR is one pass only and that is why it is so much faster, but if you can use high bitrates you are fine.


[Susan Wilcox] " don't see where to alter Dialog Norm or compression. I thought the bit rate of 6.0 would affect compression."
these are in the audio ac3 (dolby digital) settings not the video.





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Susan Wilcox
Re: Making program shot in HD play in SD
on Sep 3, 2008 at 8:06:42 pm

Thanks! I got it! I appreciate your input! I have my fingers crossed that when I try this out tomorrow it will work. Susan

Full Duck Productions


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