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HD to SD DVD with multiple formats.

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Cal Thorley
HD to SD DVD with multiple formats.
on Jul 11, 2013 at 3:09:35 am

Hi,

Over the next week I have to produce a 90 min DVD and as it's not entirely straight forward I thought I'd ask for advice as to the best approach.

- Basically the DVD is a compilation of short films which are mastered in ProRes in both 1080i and 720p.
- The DVD will be duplicated and the majority of copies will be played in New Zealand, home of PAL and mostly interlaced footage. Much of the footage is suited to interlacing too with fast movement.
- I would much prefer the DVD to run as one big feature, rather than individually selected via menu.

So, the questions...

Compressor's effort of HD to SD looks awful so far. I'm planning to buy BitVice. Is it that much better?

Will I run into trouble with 576i and 576p films on the same DVD or am I best to chose a side now?!
Had planned to encode them all separately and either put them on separate tracks in DVDSP with the end jump going to the next track (but chapter skip won't work I'm guessing) or possibly lining the encoded m2v and Ac3 files one after the other on the same track. I'm really not sure how DVDSP would deal with that though?

Any suggestions most appreciated.

Thanks,
Cal


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Bill Stephan
Re: HD to SD DVD with multiple formats.
on Jul 11, 2013 at 5:55:30 pm

PAL DVD encodes are 720x576@25frames interlaced. Progressive footage will look fine when encoded, since both fields of each frame will contain the same image information.

Before you spend money for another encoder, check your encoding settings in Compressor. Two settings affect encoding quality -- one is "motion estimation" and I forget what the other is called (haven't been in Compressor for awhile). The encoding process will take a lot longer, but it should be noticeably better. Test using a short video.

The default settings in Compressor produce a quick and mediocre encode.

Bill Stephan
Senior Editor/DVD Author
USA Studios
New York City


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Cal Thorley
Re: HD to SD DVD with multiple formats.
on Jul 11, 2013 at 9:55:39 pm

Hi Bill,

Thanks a lot for your help.
That's great clarification on the interlacing issue. I suspected that was the case but didn't want to assume anything.

In regards to compressor, I've got motion estimation to best and 2 pass variable bit rate with the target well above the defaults. I'm getting a lot of compression noise around detail and from what I've read it has a lot to do with the HD to SD downsizing. So I guess I need to either convert the footage to SD first, or use something like bitvice which apparently has a high quality downconvert in the encode process.

Thanks again,
Cal


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Bill Stephan
Re: HD to SD DVD with multiple formats.
on Jul 11, 2013 at 10:08:46 pm

Many people report better results by doing a high quality downconversion and then encoding. So the first step is the downconversion; then determine whether you want a better encoder.

Bill Stephan
Senior Editor/DVD Author
USA Studios
New York City


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Cal Thorley
Re: HD to SD DVD with multiple formats.
on Jul 12, 2013 at 12:16:55 am

Thanks, Bill.
Yes, certainly seeing improvements with the SD downconvert and max quality compressor settings.
Not perfect but we are talking SD DVD and lower end compression programs.
Cheers,
Cal


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David Eaks
Re: HD to SD DVD with multiple formats.
on Jul 11, 2013 at 11:28:40 pm

There has been much discussion about HD to SD for DVD, without ever reaching a concrete "this is the absolute BEST way to do it" (that I'm aware of). In my experience, following a recent article from Larry Jordan describing a method for downscaling HD to SD, provides an excellent SD file to use for compressing mpeg for DVD-
http://www.larryjordan.biz/convert-high-definition-to-standard-definition-v...

Here's a recent thread discussing details of that method and some other methods, along with some examples that I posted-
http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/8/1176066#1176171

I'm interested to hear others opinions, with real world examples/advice. As this discussion never seems to end with a real resolution or feedback on the results from the original poster.

*I don't work in PAL and can't advise on any specifics to that format


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Cal Thorley
Re: HD to SD DVD with multiple formats.
on Jul 12, 2013 at 12:11:41 am

Thanks a lot, David.

I've done a SD downconvert which just so happens to be the same way Larry recommended. I'd say "great minds think alike" but would be a horrible insult to Larry!
And I've used the settings outlined in this tutorial to create the DVD files:
http://lumenosity.blogspot.co.nz/2010/07/best-apple-compressor-settings-for...

Certainly the frame settings have made an improvement and I can probably live with it now. I would try BitVice but it seems like a $200US gamble.
There are still noticeable compression blocks around text but I am watching it on a big HD LCD so the SD quality has to show up somewhere I guess!

Thanks again.
Cal


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Bill Stephan
Re: HD to SD DVD with multiple formats.
on Jul 12, 2013 at 4:49:18 pm

Cal,

Note that titling and graphic elements will suffer in every HD downconversion, whether you use software methods or expensive hardware systems.

Bill Stephan
Senior Editor/DVD Author
USA Studios
New York City


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David Rehm
Re: HD to SD DVD with multiple formats.
on Jul 11, 2013 at 11:56:10 pm

Hi Cal,
I've posted these articles before but will do so again.

http://www.precomposed.com/blog/2009/07/hd-to-sd-dvd-best-methods/
http://www.precomposed.com/blog/2010/10/hd-to-sd-dvd-cs5-revisited/

The popular editors (Premiere, FCP, etc...) cannot produce great results when downscaling from HD to SD (the articles will explain why). To get even remotely better results using these programs will require many hours of encoding and the result still won't be of pro quality.

The methods used in the above articles (and the one below) are absolutely excellent and a major time saver - and all the programs used are free.

Warning - the process seems intimidating but take it step by step and after a few times it will seem like second nature.

Jeff Bellune also explains this process on his website. http://bellunevideo.com/tutlist.php

David


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Cal Thorley
Re: HD to SD DVD with multiple formats.
on Jul 12, 2013 at 12:14:14 am

Thanks David.
I did see those links but my access to windows machines is zero. Unless I buy one!
I think it was in relation to one of those threads that the BitVice app came up for mac.

Appreciate the suggestion though, thanks.
Cal


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David Rehm
Re: HD to SD DVD with multiple formats.
on Jul 12, 2013 at 4:21:23 pm

Can't you run these programs on a Mac with Bootcamp?

David


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Cal Thorley
Re: HD to SD DVD with multiple formats.
on Jul 14, 2013 at 8:33:19 am

I guess so. I'd really prefer to leave my already stressed system minus windows though!
If it's at all possible to get a good result with OSX friendly applications.


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Cal Thorley
Re: HD to SD DVD with multiple formats.
on Jul 14, 2013 at 8:47:05 am

Well, a bit of an update.

I've downconverted all the short films separately to SD ProRes. Most look 'ok' but a couple are proving to be problematic and doesn't quite add up. Both I believe were shot on an old Panasonic HVX202 and although the master looks fine in ProRes, when I downconvert to SD it looks really blocky.
Out of interest I've converted to a 1920 x 1080 square pixels pro res my end just in case there was something weird going on with the 1440 stretch, and also while that looked ok in HD, that too looks awful converted to SD. If anyone has any ideas?

I'm now in the process of trying to compare a DVD encoded straight from HD ProRes master (2 pass VBR, 7.1 target, 8.3 max, best motion, and best everywhere in frame controls) with the same settings from the SD ProRes version. Will see what I get.
The HD encode is saying 10 hours for a 4 minute clip!!
And annoyingly, the tutorial advises to set anti aliasing to '6' but I get a "failed" everytime I add an aliasing value. I've followed lots of advice, uninstalled and reinstalled FCS (and in the process stuffed up all my I/O drivers, plugins, etc!) but no luck. I actually suspect it's too much for my old Mac Pro.
So I may be compromising that encode anyway.

If anyone has anything to say regarding BitVice, I'd love to hear it?

Thanks a lot again for the advice.
Cal


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