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SD project converted to HD quality

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Josh Woll
SD project converted to HD quality
on Jul 2, 2010 at 7:25:03 pm

Okay, this may be a novice question, but I would appreciate any feedback.

I have a project shot on the Canon XL2 30p 16:9 with a Letus Ultimate adapter. The project looks great on a SD television of course, but the quality is horrible on an HD television. Even a smaller HD television. I understand there are completely different sizes involved, but how do feature films come out with a DVD-5 and the quality looks incredible on my HD television? Is there a way I can format my project through compressor or DVD Studio Pro to play the project in it's true quality on an HD television?

Thank you for your time and information!


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Jeff Pulera
Re: SD project converted to HD quality
on Jul 2, 2010 at 10:47:43 pm

Hi Josh,

Converting your video to an HD format won't make it look any better. One option is an "upconverting" DVD player that has a hardware converter built-in and sends the HD signal out via HDMI. Another option is a device from Western Digital, the WDTV. It plays video clips from a connected USB drive out via HDMI, and the upconvert to 1080i looks great to me.

If you have a standard DVD player connected to the HD display, the display itself may be simply "blowing up" the image to fill the screen, and that can and will look nasty

Jeff Pulera


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Michael Sacci
Re: SD project converted to HD quality
on Jul 2, 2010 at 11:16:47 pm

[Josh Woll] "but how do feature films come out with a DVD-5 and the quality looks incredible on my HD television?"
They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in production and post.

There is no way anyone is going to match the look of downconverted film to any format.
They have the resolution of film to work with. Every shot is perfectly focused, graded and compressed.


[Josh Woll] "Is there a way I can format my project through compressor or DVD Studio Pro to play the project in it's true quality on an HD television?
"

How can you expect something to play in its "TRUE" quality while being blown up. Even the hollywood stuff is losing quality.

So the question is how do get BETTER results, understanding you can never match hollywood, without spending their type of money.

1) The camera source, sorry DV is the bottom of the rung, it is a prosumer codec, it gets killed in the grading and compressing process. If you want better results you have to move up.

2) In production, your exposure and focus needs to be spot on, if the shot is soft at all it will never look good enlarged, even if it looks okay in SD. Exposure is also a must, underexposed scenes will get grainy very fast.

3) Final movie has to be graded well. At least with FCP 3-way CC and levels.

4) You have to test your encodes, there is not a lot you can do with Compressor other than bitrate, but messing with gamma and contrast type filters while encoding can help but that all takes time and testing. There is no "Do this, set that" here you have to get in there and test and evaluate. Once again DV is the killer here. BitVice can often give better results from DV source material.

5) 24p would probably be a better frame rate to use, at the same bitrate as 30 you get 20% higher quality.


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