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VHS (C) settings in Elements 11

Jun 27, 2013 3:08 PM

Hello

 

I have recently download a VHS (C) tape onto my PC with the free software that came with the hardware. The tape is saved as .mpg. There is a qualitative difference in the VHS tape when played via a VCR connected to my TV and the .mpg file when viewed through Windows Media Player. That is secondary, but the .mpg file was saved to the PC with the following settings:

 

MPEG2 format/codec with a resolution of 720x480 and an aspect ratio of 16.9. It is a UK camcorder tape so there are 25fps and a video bit rape of 8.0Mbps. The audio format has a MPA Codec and a audio sample rate of 48KHz. The audio channel is 2 and the bit rate is 192Kbps.

 

 

I attemped to emulate this in Elements 11 - that is the application I have bought - to see if I could obtain a similar quality. In Elements 11, I firstly went to File | New | Project and in 'Change Settings' I clicked on PAL (under Available Presets), the DV, then Standard 48KhZ (see _Settings screenshot).

 

_Settings.jpg

 

I then added the movie. Then, to export it, I used the following settings (Settings4Elements screenshot).

 

settings4Elements_MPEG and widescreen.jpg

 

The result, also an .mpg file and also played through Windows Media Player, is of a significantly lower quality. Most noticeable is that there are soldiers with trumpets (during a Disneyland parade) and, unlike the movie I can see when the VHS tape is played via a VCR connected to my TV, and unlike the finished movie from the free software that came with my VHS (C) tape hardware, I cannot hear the band AT ALL in the finished Elements 11 .mpg file. Moreover, the figures move a little like something out of the Keystone cops.

 

How may I improve the quality of the Elements 11 .mpg file, please?

 

The following, for information purposes, is information from MediaInfo about this particular movie:

 

General
Format                                   : MPEG-PS
File size                                : 1.04 GiB
Duration                                 : 31mn 17s
Overall bit rate mode                    : Variable
Overall bit rate                         : 4 746 Kbps
Writing library                          : ArcSoft MPEG-2 PAL

Video
ID                                       : 224 (0xE0)
Format                                   : MPEG Video
Format version                           : Version 2
Format profile                           : Main@Main
Format settings, BVOP                    : Yes
Format settings, Matrix                  : Custom
Format settings, GOP                     : M=3, N=10
Duration                                 : 31mn 17s
Bit rate mode                            : Variable
Bit rate                                 : 4 427 Kbps
Maximum bit rate                         : 7 500 Kbps
Width                                    : 720 pixels
Height                                   : 576 pixels
Display aspect ratio                     : 4:3
Frame rate                               : 25.000 fps
Standard                                 : PAL
Color space                              : YUV
Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:0
Bit depth                                : 8 bits
Scan type                                : Interlaced
Scan order                               : Top Field First
Compression mode                         : Lossy
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)                       : 0.427
Time code of first frame                 : 00:00:00:00
Time code source                         : Group of pictures header
Stream size                              : 991 MiB (93%)
Writing library                          : ArcSoft MPEG-2 PAL
Color primaries                          : BT.601 PAL
Transfer characteristics                 : BT.470 System B, BT.470 System G
Matrix coefficients                      : BT.601

Audio
ID                                       : 192 (0xC0)
Format                                   : MPEG Audio
Format version                           : Version 1
Format profile                           : Layer 2
Duration                                 : 31mn 17s
Bit rate mode                            : Constant
Bit rate                                 : 224 Kbps
Channel(s)                               : 2 channels
Sampling rate                            : 48.0 KHz
Compression mode                         : Lossy
Delay relative to video                  : -34ms
Stream size                              : 50.1 MiB (5%)

 

Many thanks.

 

Steve

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 27, 2013 3:43 PM   in reply to SteveH59

    What is the software that came with your digitizer? I suspect that MPEG is a default format but that if you investigate the software settings there are other formats you can choose that would give you better quality.

     

    MPEG is already compressed, so when you then export it again from PRE you are further compressing a compressed original - and as you have seen the quality deteriorates.

     

    You should also be aware that when viewing on a high resolution computer monitor you aren't getting a true feel for how it may look when played back through a TV via a DVD player.

     

    Cheers,
    --
    Neale
    Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 27, 2013 5:40 PM   in reply to SteveH59

    Steve,

     

    Does that ArcSoft program allow for the capture to be saved as a DV-AVI? That would be optimal.

     

    If you can list all of the ArcSoft capture options, that might be a better way to go, as we might be able to help you tweak one of those.

     

    Good luck,

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 28, 2013 1:56 PM   in reply to SteveH59

    If your computer has a Firewire port, http://www.grassvalley.com/products/converters sells converters that create DV AVI type 2 files

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 28, 2013 2:22 PM   in reply to SteveH59

    >How would that work with a VCR?

     

    I have a Pinnacle DV500 card (bundled with Premiere 6) so you will have to read at the Grassvalley site for directions on how you hook your VCR to their device

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 28, 2013 2:48 PM   in reply to SteveH59

    Quite a few people have posted recently with the same issue that are using the Arcsoft Showbiz software. I'm guessing Arcsoft have recently agreed bundling deals with the digitizer manufacturers.

     

    In  many ways it is a competitor product to PRE. If you look at the technical specs at http://www.arcsoft.com/showbiz/techspec.html it supports many formats besides mpeg. Capture direct to the Showbiz Timeline then exporting  as one of the other formats (e.g. AVI, MOV, MP4 or WMV). You should find settings in those formats for greater control over the output quality and get a better quality within PRE.

     

    Cheers,
    --
    Neale
    Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 28, 2013 3:30 PM   in reply to SteveH59

    Read Bill Hunt on editing a VOB/MPG file http://forums.adobe.com/thread/464549

     

    Editing and sharing (exporting) a compressed file gives you TWO compressions... and lower quality... since PreEl does not do "smart rendering" http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1080719

     

    Using a Grassvalley device will let you start with a file that is easier to edit

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 28, 2013 4:16 PM   in reply to SteveH59

    Steve,

     

    Since a fair number of people have posted here about this same issue, would it be fair to say that Elements 11 is more geared to the demands of camcorder (whatever their guise) owners who use Elements 11 to capture and edit their work, as opposed to those who may have boxes of old VHS tapes stored somewhere and wish to burn them to DVD?

    Not really. PrE works perfectly fine with digitized analog footage, BUT will only do so directly from an A-D Bridge, like the GrassValley/Canopus, hooked up to the computer via FireWire. When using many other digitizing devices and cards, thre can be issues, and usually with the software that they use. Before my Canopus, I had a high-end Turtle Beach card, but had to use it's software, since it was PCIe, and not FireWire. I always ended up with OOS of 12 Frames, even though that software could capture to DV-AVI Type II files - just a common problem with the software, that comes with most of those devices/cards.

     

    With the Canopus units, one just basically plugs in the composite cables from the VCR deck, to the Canopus, and then use the FireWire to connect to the computer. The beauty of that arrangement is that one can then Capture directly into PrE. The only limitation is that one does not have Device Control, since the VCR deck is hooked up via its composite cables, which are one-way. With but a bit of practice, one will soon learn to hold the VCR remote in one hand, and the mouse in the other - start Capture with the mouse, then hit Play on the remote. You will get a few blank Frames, but those are easily Trimmed out of the Clips.

     

    Good luck, and if John T. did not link to it above, please see this article: http://forums.adobe.com/message/3748554#3748554

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 28, 2013 5:50 PM   in reply to SteveH59

    Steve,

     

    Video can be a bit overwhelming. Also, new CODEC's and specifications seem to be introduced on a quarterly basis. Even the pros have difficulty keeping up.

     

    I'm busy reading up on the H.265 CODEC, which offers some big promise. Will be interesting to see how it is implemented, and how it might/might not affect existing NLE programs.

     

    Happy editing,

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 28, 2013 7:05 PM   in reply to Bill Hunt

    >reading up on the H.265 CODEC

     

    What we can all HOPE is that Adobe will either be part of the codec writing effort, or at least have access to the codec while it is being written, so by the time the codec is release, Premiere Pro and/or Premiere Elements will actually be able to edit video created with the codec

     

    Or, if 265 is not a camera codec, the two P's will at least be able to output h.265 files

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 28, 2013 7:53 PM   in reply to John T Smith

    John T.,

     

    We can all hope, can't we?

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 29, 2013 3:11 PM   in reply to SteveH59

    Steve, My primary use of PRE is for VHS conversions. I capture my VHS with a Canopus ADVC300 unit using WinDV or Exsate Capture Live software (both free products) and edit / burn from Premiere Elements.

     

    Cheers,
    --
    Neale
    Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 1, 2013 3:30 PM   in reply to SteveH59

    Steve,

     

    I have not seen much success with the Dazzle products. Going back to when I used Pinnacle Studio, their forum was filled with posts from people trying to get the Dazzles to work with the packaged softwre - Pinnacle.

     

    From time to time, we do see a Dazzle post around here, and the OP is usually having issues with them using PrE. The normal rec. is "just use Pinnacle," and the common reply is "I have been trying, but can't get that to work either."

     

    Based ONLY on my years of reading of the Dazzle products, I could not recommend them, even with the use of Pinnacle. Now, things might have improved between Dazzle and Pinnacle software, but I have not seen any evidence of that. Head over to the AVID/Pinnacle Forums, and see if recent experiences have been better, before you buy.

     

    Good luck,

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 1, 2013 4:20 PM   in reply to SteveH59

    If you ONLY want to go one way, from tape to computer... and your tapes are in "good" condiction... the ADVC55 (click the grassvalley link) is all you need

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 1, 2013 5:24 PM   in reply to SteveH59

    The Canopus ADVC-300 was worth the $, if one had a lot of older VHS tapes, since one could do Time Base corrections, on the fly. That said, one could also apply most of those same corrections in the NLE (Non Linear Editor). For me, it was basically spend the $, or the time later. As I was doing most of the VHS to Digital conversions for $, time = $, for me.

     

    Were I buying now, in retirement, I would probably go with the ADVC-110, and save the $. However, I sort of missed the VHS thing, staying in film, until I went digital. While I still have some friends, with VHS, I will digitize those for free, so Time ≠ $ for me, anymore.

     

    Actually, I have more tapes in Umatic, that were converted from my films. In retirement, I probably should look for a Umatic deck (used to be a half-dozen per major TV station) on eBay, and digitize some of those old films. I'd love to have digital masters of all footage on one, to completely re-edit that, but heck, it did get nominated for an Academy Award, so guess that it wasn't all THAT bad. It did not get past the first round for an Industrial Short, but I had the tux at the ready, just in case. Still, given the raw material, I would make some major changes to Reaching Out, sort of like a Director of Photography's Cut.

     

    Good luck in your search.

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 2, 2013 11:32 AM   in reply to Bill Hunt

    Yes, I got mine at a substantial discount where it had been sold and returned and so was in an opened box. I couldn't have justified buying one at full retail price (mind you have you seen their HD Digitizer price!).

     

    My biggest frustration with it is the appalling manual. It describes how to set options but gives no real indication as to the effect of changing options - i.e. what they do. Whenever I've asked I usually get a reply along the line of 'most people just use it at its default settings and get good results' (which is true - but could I get BETTER results with tweaking?).

     

    Cheers,
    --
    Neale
    Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 2, 2013 12:46 PM   in reply to nealeh

    Yes, I have seen that price. B&H Photo has the ADVC-1000 for a mere US$ 1,800.

     

    Were I buying today, I would need to have a lot of digitizing sitting on my desk, with a bunch of checks for that work. Now, it may have a better manual, or maybe not?

     

    Hunt

     
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