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Encoding for LCD display

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Stephen de Vere
Encoding for LCD display
on Feb 15, 2010 at 7:46:41 pm

I understand that DVD spec mpeg2 is old in the tooth and was designed for interlaced CRT TV viewing. Do you busy pros that deliver DVDs all the time have tricks to make it look better on HDready LCD TVs - presuming they are the majority in US and Europe now ?



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eric pautsch
Re: Encoding for LCD display
on Feb 15, 2010 at 8:21:38 pm

Not really any tricks but experience, good source material and good encoders.



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Michael Sacci
Re: Encoding for LCD display
on Feb 15, 2010 at 8:22:39 pm

Totally wrong, the question is how is your footage shoot, LCDs still display interlaced footage. HDTV uses interlace, HD cameras still shoot interlaced. HD is not a progressive format.

So if you shoot interlace, you edit interlaced and you author interlaced. If you want the progressive look you shoot progressive.




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Noah Kadner
Re: Encoding for LCD display
on Feb 15, 2010 at 10:25:38 pm

Not a lot of leeway in the DVD spec. Worst is 60i 4:3 720x480 NTSC. Best is 24p 16:9 720x480. Still very low resolution. Well shot/encoded will look decent on an HD display with good upconverter and a progressive DVD player. But nothing like a nice native Blu-ray at 1080p.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Visit my Editors Blog- Tips and Gear for Editors.


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Stephen de Vere
Re: Encoding for LCD display
on Feb 15, 2010 at 10:34:50 pm

Thanks for replies. Maybe I am asking the wrong question.

Really I am trying to understand why interlaced SD shot footage looks blocky in places on a 720 LCD but lovely on a Grade 1 CRT, using the same DVD player and connection type, whereas HD progressive (Varicam) originated stuff is good on both.

I just don't know if paying a lot of money for the encoding of my interlaced SD shot footage is worth it. How do I know if the artefacts I see in the encodes I have had done by a pro are caused by the source or by the encoding method/settings ?

The source looks so much better when I grade it and monitor it on my 21" Grade 1 CRT via SDI from the FCP timeline. (DVCPro50 shot, 10 bit U/compressed rendering). Just seems so disappointing after so many year's work that it is such a difficult transfer to make. I even begin to feel it was waste of extra expense to shoot the film DV50 instead of DV25.

I have serious doubts about the competence of the post house that did the encodes so perhaps I just have to try another.


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Stephen de Vere
Re: Encoding for LCD display
on Feb 15, 2010 at 10:59:48 pm

There is quite challenging footage in the film - like small furry things running around in big wides and in big close-ups. I think it may need some special attention in places - things that just the high bit rate (8Mbs CBR) can't help with entirely.


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Michael Sacci
Re: Encoding for LCD display
on Feb 15, 2010 at 11:01:48 pm

Exactly, the difference is not the encoding, it is the source video, one was shot on progressive, high end HD camera vs SD interlace.

But to deinterlace SD footage you are throwing away info. Once again 2 interlaced fields is not a progressive frame, So depending on how well the software deinterlaces your footage is always in question. There are plugins that do a great job but this will never look as good as if the footage was shot as progressive. The opposite is that progressive interlaces very easily but simply splitting the frame into fields, no quality lose and it keeps the progressive feel.

[Stephen de Vere] "film DV50 instead of DV25. "
Well I can tell you, you would be a lot more disappointed if you did. DV25 cannot be CC as well as DV50 and it really suffers when going to m2v.

[Stephen de Vere] "I have serious doubts about the competence of the post house that did the encodes so perhaps I just have to try another."
That is a totally different thing.





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Stephen de Vere
Re: Encoding for LCD display
on Feb 15, 2010 at 11:17:53 pm

Michael,

The other thing that troubles me about the result I am getting with the mpeg2 encode is that footage shot DV25 (DSR450s at best) for news and other low budget programming looks better on the same 40" LCD set coming over BBC Freeview SD channel than my DV50 footage coming off a DVD.

Isn't the data rate for the Freeview channels even lower than the DVD spec ? The transmission encoders have had an awful lot of R&D spent on them, I believe, but it is annoying to see a better picture than I can get with a DVD.


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Andrius Simutis
Re: Encoding for LCD display
on Feb 17, 2010 at 2:51:50 am

Data rate for the more modern codecs like H.264 can be much lower than MPEG2 and give better quality since the MPEG2 codec had to be locked in for DVD back in the mid 90's.
There are too many variables besides bit rate that will impact the quality. Using a higher end encoder with multiple passes and an experienced compressionist can give a much nicer picture using half the bit rate of a CBR encoder that came with your computer.


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Stephen de Vere
Re: Encoding for LCD display
on Feb 17, 2010 at 4:08:12 pm

"...... Using a higher end encoder with multiple passes and an experienced compressionist can give a much nicer picture using half the bit rate of a CBR encoder that came with your computer."

Thanks everyone - I suspect this is most likely the answer.



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Stephen de Vere
Re: Encoding for LCD display
on Feb 15, 2010 at 11:25:05 pm

Micahel,

Not quite sure if you are suggesting trying de-interlacing before encoding ? I know that is important step when scaling down eg. for web encodes but I was assuming no advantage otherwise for full DI DVD. Or is this wrong ?


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Michael Sacci
Re: Encoding for LCD display
on Feb 16, 2010 at 12:37:28 am

No I'm not suggesting it.



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Noah Kadner
Re: Encoding for LCD display
on Feb 16, 2010 at 12:53:11 am

Yeah I don't get why some people assume deinterlacing i.e. throwing away half your picture will somehow create a better image. Nope...

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Visit my Editors Blog- Tips and Gear for Editors.


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Stephen de Vere
Re: Encoding for LCD display
on Feb 16, 2010 at 9:02:04 am

I've only ever known it recommended as a pre-process step before scaling.
http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/preprocessing_hodgetts.html


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Stephen de Vere
Re: Encoding for LCD display
on Feb 16, 2010 at 9:41:42 am

"Totally wrong, the question is how is your footage shoot, LCDs still display interlaced footage......"

Michael,

But since LCD/Plasmas are progressive displays is it not better to feed it your 'best' shot at a progressive signal rather than leaving IT to do the job ? Or are they in effect disabled from handling progressive images by the inclusion of the de-interlacer in their hardware ?


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Michael Sacci
Re: Encoding for LCD display
on Feb 16, 2010 at 10:04:14 am

LCD and Plasma handle interlaced, once again, they are HD displays but not all HD is progressive so why do people think that SD DVD need to be progressive? Like Noah states you are throwing away 1/2 of the image. It is understandable to do this for the web, for one thing you are normally going to a low res and smaller size which can take the hit. WIth DVD stay with what you have. Just about all the computer software can deinterlace anyway.

But if you want to do it anyway go ahead, do your test, if you like it do it. I just think it is a waste of time for lower quality all the way around.

While I'm at it in the article they also say to crop 4:3 letterbox source footage to 16:9, that also is a waste of time, you are enlarging the video by 135% to do that, no video holds up well to that.



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Stephen de Vere
Re: Encoding for LCD display
on Feb 16, 2010 at 1:33:18 pm

I don't know about elswhere in the world but the majority of LCD/Plasma TVs here in UK are not true HD but termed 'HD Ready' and it's precisely because they show a progressive picture (albeit using an interlace scan signal) that I wonder what the sense of feeding them i/laced is, if you can avoid it (and I thought we all want to see the end of interlacing asap).

I guess it only makes sense if the set has a progressive input for progressive DVD players, thus by-passing the de-interlacer.


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Michael Sacci
Re: Encoding for LCD display
on Feb 17, 2010 at 4:05:29 am

Whatever dude. If you don't want interlace than you shoot progressive and then it all makes sense. If fact why not just make BluRay DVDs since we also want to get out of SD asap.

Once again if you like what you get do it. If others are reading my suggest is DON"T do it, you add time to the process and you are throwing away 1/2 of the image when you deinterlace. But if anyone likes the results then by all means do it.



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Stephen de Vere
Re: Encoding for LCD display
on Feb 17, 2010 at 3:29:03 pm

No, I don't want to de-interlace particularly, just trying to indentify exactly what the problem is in the workflow.

HD is a big part of the problem of course, but I don't want it to beat me here - it's caused me enough trouble in my life as it is.


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