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MEDIA 100HD horrible compression quality? What's going on?

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Michael C.MEDIA 100HD horrible compression quality? What's going on?
by on Sep 30, 2005 at 9:36:12 pm

I'm having a pretty big problem with my new M100 HD system...

We have a number of projects that require us to capture HUGE amounts of media (offline) and store indefinitely.

In the past (on the M100i system) we would capture at 5 or 10kb HDR and the quality of the image was just fine. Obviously a bit pixelated, but nothing that a client would be distracted by understanding that it was an "offline".

After moving the the M100HD, we have just started capturing some film footage and we are having problems achieving the same quality of compression at the low rates. Using the M100i codec and the 5, 10, or even up to 30kb data rates, the media is horribly pixelated and really not viewable. I don't want to have to go up to 50kb or more because that will obvioulsy mean 5X more storage space needed for this stuff.

What happened to my 5kb and 10kb HDR draft quality options? (I tried the 8bit draft settings and the files sizes are way larger than they have been in the past with the 5kb settings).

What can I do to capture something useable at the same small data rates that I was able to in my Media 100i?


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FlohRe: MEDIA 100HD horrible compression quality? What's going on?
by on Sep 30, 2005 at 11:15:49 pm

[Michael C.] "In the past (on the M100i system) we would capture at 5 or 10kb HDR and the quality of the image was just fine. Obviously a bit pixelated, but nothing that a client would be distracted by understanding that it was an "offline"."

I


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Michael C.Re: MEDIA 100HD horrible compression quality? What's going on?
by on Oct 1, 2005 at 12:35:56 am

Thanks for the quick response...

Floh... Maybe you are thinking of the "Natural" settings at the low rates? Because the HDR settings are usually much better and often useable even at 5kb. Most of the time we do use 10kb and sometimes have been forced to go up as high as 30kb on the M100i... but that is only in rare instances when we are not working with film or there happens to be a lot of crowd shots or something.

What I'm seeing on the M100HD is similar to when we digitized at 5kb and accidentally left the natural setting on. There is no HDR option on the M100HD codec controls.

Anyway... I'll link some examples that I just quickly captured for you to see what I'm talking about. You can see that even up to 30kb, the M100HD stuff is utterly worthless. Meanwhile the M100HD even gives you something of better quality even at 5kb!

http://gandernook.com/m100test

Something with mostly close ups, we'd use 5 or 10kb and be fine with it. It is offline and it is usually just to show clients very early ideas... they get that it isn't perfect. But if I tried to get away with the M100HD stuff, they'd think I'm crazy.

I was hoping to retire my xr system... This is our first project on the HD... It is starting to look like they have lost some capturing functionality that was very important to us. We'd have to have file sizes 5X or more what we are used to... And with the volume of material, that would be a bad thing for us in the long run.

Thanks for any thoughts you might have on this.

-Mike


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Arthur DentRe: MEDIA 100HD horrible compression quality? What's going on?
by on Oct 3, 2005 at 1:24:27 am

Why not use your old XR as a capture station... Media from iXR should be compatible with iHD. At those data rates you'd have NO problem capturing to an external FW drive and moving that across to your iHD to edit.


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Dave JenningsRe: MEDIA 100HD horrible compression quality? What's going on?
by on Oct 3, 2005 at 2:06:07 am

If the Media 100 HD system is just using the software codec, and the software codec behaves like the old hardware codec (meaning, "the hardware codec used via QuickTime") then it probably is using "Natural" for the low data rates like 5KB/10KB and not the old "HDR" setting. That's the way the old, hardware QuickTime codec always worked. Below some threshold (something like 30 or 40 KB) it used Natural, above it was HDR. If I'm remembering my history right, this change happened way back around Media 100 4.0, when they rolled the HDR and non-HDR "QX" codecs into a single codec.

Do the clips recorded on your old system at the lower rate play back with the quality you expect on the HD system? If so, you could always use your old system as a capture station for your rough footage.


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Michael C.Re: MEDIA 100HD horrible compression quality? What's going on?
by on Oct 3, 2005 at 5:05:34 pm

Yeah... the clips captured on the old system play back as expected...

But that doesn't help me retire that system (as was the purpose of my purchacing the M100HD). I agree that it is probably defaulting to the Natural setting... I just don't know why they would choose to do that since, as you can see, that would be useable for pretty much nothing.

I'm going to have to capture on the old station, but that is not ideal. I'd like for my new Media100 HD to be able to capture at the same quality as my old one. After all, I was told I would still be getting the Media100i capture codec capability. (They just didn't mention that it wouldn't be fully functional).


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Bobby MosaediRe: MEDIA 100HD horrible compression quality? What's going on?
by on Oct 3, 2005 at 7:55:25 pm

i have never tried using the offline capture settings using the m100i codec in HD system, but that sounds dissapointing. i have always enjoyed the fact i could digitize hours and hours of very descent looking footage at 20kb, especially talking heads. i think part of the problem could be that the m100hd has no hardware compression support for m100i codec like it used to. doing it all in software can probably be pretty taxing on resources, especially if there is more involved in HDR processing. im no engineer and i could be totally wrong, but it seems like either it was overlooked or maybe just not possible to acheive the same consistency and reliability using software than our vincent or p6000 cards.


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editologyRe: MEDIA 100HD horrible compression quality? What's going on?
by on Oct 4, 2005 at 3:31:32 am

Just bought the HD system too.....the very first thing that I noticed was the huge difference in quality at 15 kb (my low rez of choice)....gotten years of compliments on how good your rough cuts look! Well, I'm going to take advantage of that and use the old machine to digitize while I'm editing on the HD machine.....it does have it's advantages....

but I hear what your saying.....upgrade with a downgrade.

Good luck with your new Boris editing machine....

Ron


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Michael C.Re: MEDIA 100HD horrible compression quality? What's going on?
by on Oct 4, 2005 at 4:45:44 pm

[editology] "but I hear what your saying.....upgrade with a downgrade."
Yes, I'm not really happy with the work-around (using the old M100i to do the digitizing). I need this to be a stand alone editing and "acquiring" station.

I'm hoping they can tweak the code and either default to HDR or give us back the option to select HDR. I don't buy that the hardware/software can't handle matching the compression quality of the P6000 board. We are talking about extremely low data rates here. Eventually we all get jobs where we've got to capture a TON of footage. I've gotta think more will run into this issue if they keep using M100 HD.



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FlohRe: MEDIA 100HD horrible compression quality? What's going on?
by on Oct 4, 2005 at 10:32:02 pm

Michael,

I


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Michael C.Re: MEDIA 100HD horrible compression quality? What's going on?
by on Oct 5, 2005 at 6:32:55 am

[Floh] "from your examples it seems like you did digitize in draft/full frame mode in Media 100 i and that this is not supported in Media 100 HD."

Not sure I understand what you mean by this? What do you mean, "draft/full frame mode in Media 100 i"? Let me know what you get when you test it out... I'm at a loss here... (and back on the XR) :-(


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FlohRe: MEDIA 100HD horrible compression quality? What's going on?
by on Oct 8, 2005 at 1:35:13 pm

[Michael C.] "What do you mean, "draft/full frame mode in Media 100 i"?"

Okay, I finally found the time to check it. When digitizing clips in Media 100 i (using the "HDR Online" quality and Media 100 HD at the same data rates they look identical on our systems (PAL). In Media 100 i you are able to use the "HDR Draft" settings for low data rates, which drops the second field but obviously has then more resolution for compression on the first field. These look better for still images, but we never used this setting since we could not get used to the full frame look of video in motion. That


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Michael C.Re: MEDIA 100HD horrible compression quality? What's going on?
by on Oct 14, 2005 at 6:06:16 pm

Floh,[Floh] "And since storage is extremely cheap these days you could probably digitize much much more material at 40-60k for the same money you had to spend for 5k resolution some years ago. I really would suggest either getting some additional FireWire drives for storage or to digitize in Media 100 i and edit in HD."

Floh, you usually have great advice, but the above statement is just ridiculous.

Why should the technology be going backwards? Why should the Media100HD drop working features that have already been perfected in their past products? This is a programming oversite, and one that I should not be expected to just "deal with".

For me to get the equal quality low res footage on my M100HD system, I have to WASTE approximately 5X more hard drive space than I did on M100i.

I've already mentioned that I deal with high volumes of offline low res media (and I'm only getting more everyday). Are you really suggesting that instead of storing my data on just 1TB drive I should have to go get 5 1TB drives? That's about $4K more of storage costs. (And what about backups?!?!)

What is the point of even having the low kb draft resolutions on M100HD? They are utterly worthless (as you can see in my examples). At least in the past, even 5kb could be useable at times (talking heads, footage with little motion, etc). But 5kb will never be used by anyone on MEDIA 100HD.

I would have rather they didn't advertise that M100HD was capable of digitizing at ALL the media 100i resolutions... I would have known not to buy a system... Since I'm not using High Definition video yet, and I'm now forced to have to have 2 systems (unless I want to just do everything on the old M100i), the only benefit I've gotten from the M100HD is the faster computer. But that benefit is neutralized by not being able to have 2 independent stations... For me this makes the Media100HD dependent on my old Media100i. And that is not acceptable.

But this is a programming oversight by Media 100 that you are telling me to just accept the fact that it will cost me 5X more $$ for storage.... Or "pretend" that I'm living 5 years in the past when storage space was more expensive.

No way.


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FlohRe: MEDIA 100HD horrible compression quality? What's going on?
by on Oct 14, 2005 at 8:42:30 pm

[Michael C.] "Why should the technology be going backwards? Why should the Media100HD drop working features that have already been perfected in their past products? This is a programming oversite, and one that I should not be expected to just "deal with"."

The problem is, that although you maybe "should not be expected to just deal with" you obviously have to deal with it. There is some functionality that did not migrate from Media 100 i to HD, and obviously the "Draft" compression for Media 100 i codec is one of them. Unfortunately this functionality seems to be important to you, but not to many other users. And since decisions have to be made which features get implemented into a new system and which not, it seems that not enough people thought that this "Draft" compression would be important these days. There are other examples, like the audio out functionality where you could use the Media 100 i outputs under OS9 for system sounds that never made it to OSX, or the fact that with the Media 100 i hardware you could watch files from QuickTime player on your SDI screen. Or the S-Video connectivity. Or...

So while it may be "not acceptable" for you that this Draft compression is not included I tried to help you find ways to work with your system. Maybe I did tell you to "just accept the fact that it will cost me 5X more $$ for storage...", but just because it is your only choice right now. If you have other ideas how to handle it, no problem, do it as you like.
As you may know I


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Michael C.Re: MEDIA 100HD horrible compression quality? What's going on?
by on Oct 17, 2005 at 11:31:14 pm

But they did provide a draft mode. It just doesn't work. The other things you mentioned were not advertised to be in the later products. This one was. I bought the product and had no reason to expect that the Media100i codec was not going to work like Media100i codec.

And I appreciate your trying to help and find solutions, you are a one man tech support department for Media100 and don't even get paid by them to do it. And like I said, your advise is typically great.

But in this instance, there were a couple of people who already posted in this topic that they used the lower resolutions and also ran into the same bad quality issues. They too need to use their old system to supplement the M100HD if they want to be able to digitize at low res. I guess I was hopeing someone might know a way to get this flaw fixed...

I've talked with tech support and they said they'd call me back... Haven't heard anything still... I guess I'll call again.

But does anyone want to take a shot at answering the question: Why is there a 5kb draft quality option in Media100HD? Could there even be a use for it? Maybe capturing 2 hours of a still fruit basket? <--- I don't know how that would even look. :(


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