14 Replies Latest reply on Dec 6, 2013 12:26 PM by AFM21

    DVD/BD Quality Tradeoff for source movie from SVHS

    AFM21 Level 1

      I imported a 2.5 GB MP4 home movie into Elements 12 on my Mac.  The original source was a SVHS home movie from over 10 years ago.  I had encoded it to MP4 using a third party application/cable.  I did no editing in PE, just had it add the automatic chapter breaks every 10 minutes.  I have a DVD/BD burner attached to the Mac.  I selected Share -> DVD.  The popup window gave me an option to adjust the quality (slider).  I could vary it from the lowest (somewhere around 2 GB) to the highest (8+ GB).  I chose 4.2 GB (the most that it would let me fit on the DVD).

      My question is this....is it worth burning it at the higher encoding rate onto bluray?   I have Bluray disks, so I could burn it at the higher encoding rate.  But given that the original MP4 file was 2.5 GB, going to an 8+ GB file seems just like extra bytes of noise....and when you consider that the original source was SVHS, seems like it would add little value....just longer burn time.

      BTW, thanks Adobe ...Encoding the 2 hr video took just over 10 minutes.


      Thanks in advance for any suggestions from the experts.....I plan on burning the same thing to BD tonight, but I don't know that I would know enough to notice any artifacts.

        • 1. Re: DVD/BD Quality Tradeoff for source movie from SVHS
          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          I'm not sure if it includes SVHS as well as VHS, but this Comparison picture of video screen sizes http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1120039 may help


          Trying to scale UP from VHS/SVHS to HiDef will, as you surmise, produce a picture that is not really HiDef... and which may be VERY fuzzy

          • 2. Re: DVD/BD Quality Tradeoff for source movie from SVHS
            A.T. Romano Level 7



            What is the frame size and frame rate of this .mp4 that had its origins in S VHS? If you have 720 x 480 NTSC or 720 x 576 PAL, taking that to Blu-ray (1920 x 1080) is likely a not so good idea, pixelation expected??


            I am coming from a Windows perspective; nonetheless, Premiee Elements Windows and Mac basic operations are essentially the same.


            1. We need to define the properties of the video that you imported into Premiere Elements. Based on that, we need to make sure that we or the program are setting the project preset to match the properties of that source media.


            2. When you get to Publish+Share/Disc/DVD disc, you want to be working with a check mark next to Fit Content to Available Space. The only time I would leave that option unchecked is if I were getting a data rate error message and was forced to set the bitrate lower to a value that will allow me to continue The maximum bitrate is 8.00 Mbps (megabits per second). With the option checked, the program automatically lowers the bitrate, when necessary, from 8.00 downward to allow the fit. With your manual bitrate, I am not sure what you set since there is no bitrate 4.2 GB, possibily 4.2 Mbps?? And, if 4.2 Mbps, that low value would compromise the quality of your results.

            a. When you got to the burn dialog and, if you had a check mark next to "Fit Content to Available Space", what did the burn dialog Quality Area show for Space Required and Bitrate?

            b. What did you select as the preset? If your .mp4 footage was 4:3, did you select NTSC or PAL Dolby DVD; if you .mp4 footage was 16:9, did you select NTSC or PAL_Widescreen Dolby DVD?


            Let us start by sorting out the basic information. With that we can better plan workflow strategy.


            Thank you.



            • 3. Re: DVD/BD Quality Tradeoff for source movie from SVHS
              AFM21 Level 1

              The original SVHS is NTSC 4:3. It was shot on a Panasonic tape camera.


              When the DVD parameter window came up, the fit to content to available space check box was selected and the slider was all the way to the left (maximum content). The slider was grayed out.


              I unchecked the fit to space checkbox and moved the slider towards the right (highest quality).  Somewhere around 4.2 it displayed a warning saying it wouldn't fit on the DVD. So I left it there.


              I was doing this late last night and assumed what it was showing me was size of the resulting file in bytes, but from what you said below it must have been bit rate.


              Sounds like I should not have messed with the slider and just left it as fit to disk.


              Thanks for your help.

              • 4. Re: DVD/BD Quality Tradeoff for source movie from SVHS
                A.T. Romano Level 7



                Premiere Elements 12 Mac - assuming NTSC

                (please correct any Windows tones to these comments if necessary)


                Your project preset should be


                NTSC DV Standard (I am assuming that the original 4:3 was converted to a .mp4 4:3 which you imported into Premiere Elements.


                Premiere Elements 12 may be setting a 1080i project preset for this NTSC DV Standard project. So, see what it is setting, Edit Menu/Project Settings/General Editing Mode, Timebase, Frame Size. If it is 1080i, start a new project, set the project preset manually, and then import the .mp4 into that project.


                To set the project manually, File Menu/New/Project and NTSC DV Standard. Before exiting the new project dialog, put a check mark next to "Force Selected Project Setting on this Project". Then back in the Expert workspace import your .mp4, Add Media/Files and Folders/Project Assets from where you drag your .mp4 to the Timeline.


                Please let us know the readings for Quality area in the burn dialog for your burn to DVD-VIDEO on DVD disc. You want to go with the check mark next to "Fit Content to Available Space" and preset = NTSC Dolby Digital.


                Apparently you have 4:3 footage and NTSC Dolby Digital is 4:3. However, all the HD footage is 16:9. So, keep in mind that, if you take your 4:3 Timeline to Blu-ray, you are going from 4:3 to 16:9. Then there is the possible pixelation factor going from 720 x 480 to 1920 x 1080. But, it is worth a look to see for yourself what works or does not work for you.


                Looking forward to your results.



                • 5. Re: DVD/BD Quality Tradeoff for source movie from SVHS
                  Ann Bens Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Next time you want to preserve old footage, dont convert to mp4. Its quite heavily compressed.

                  Get yourself a Grass Valley converter and capture the footage as dv avi, edit and burn that to DVD. 2 hours will fit nicely on a dual layer dvd disk.


                  No point in burning it to HD op a BD disk; results will be very disappointing.

                  You can however burn it to BD disk in Standard Definition if it wont fit on a dual layer dvd disk.

                  • 6. Re: DVD/BD Quality Tradeoff for source movie from SVHS
                    A.T. Romano Level 7

                    Ann Bens


                    Could you elaborate on

                    You can however burn it to BD disk in Standard Definition if it wont fit on a dual layer dvd disk.


                    Where are you doing this "burn to BD disk" to "Standard Definition" format? If you have a Premiere Elements Timeline content and use Publish+Share/Disc/DVD disc and that disc is a Blu-ray disc, you will end up with Status = Incompatible Disc whether the preset is NTSC or PAL Dolby DVD or NTSC or PAL_Widescreen_Dolby DVD.


                    Are you talking about using 3rd party software, BD disc, and disc image or something else?



                    • 7. Re: DVD/BD Quality Tradeoff for source movie from SVHS
                      AFM21 Level 1

                      I checked the settings under Edit->ProjectSettings->General and it was set to 640x480...so 4:3 as you assumed.....yeah, now that you mention it, BD probably makes no sense at all due to the HD 16:9 format.  I'll skip toasting my BDs.


                      Thanks for your help.  The capture software also supports H.264 variation, so I am going to try that.  Beyond that, I am happy with the resolution of the DVD content.  I will do one with the defaults as your recommend (" fit content to available space" checked). 


                      After I get through this set of home movies, the next set came from a Sony DV camera (about 4 years of video).  Those I had already imported with an earlier version of Adobe on an old Dell XPS.  So I am least starting with .avi files.  After that, I have about 3 years from a Panasonic HD camera which created m2ts files.  Finally the last couple of years are on .mov files from a Nikon D800.  So this should get progressively easier although probably more time consuming with the larger files. 

                      • 8. Re: DVD/BD Quality Tradeoff for source movie from SVHS
                        A.T. Romano Level 7



                        Sounds like great progress and planning ahead. Good job.


                        Focus is getting off on the right foot with the project set up with the properties of the source media matching the project preset. Any questions about the settings, please do not hesitate to ask.


                        When you get a chance, please update us on your progress. The rewards will be great when your view the results of your work.



                        • 9. Re: DVD/BD Quality Tradeoff for source movie from SVHS
                          AFM21 Level 1

                          ....nothing is ever easy.  So I loaded the project from last night up again and selected Share -> DVD.  I checked the "fit content to available space".  This time I payed more attention and noticed that what I had done yesterday was as you had pointed out, changed the bitrate to 4.56 Mbps which resulted in a 4.27 GB file on the DVD....about the same as if I had left the default of "fit content to available space" (this was 4.66 Mbps). 

                          So I fired it off and it got to 98% encoded (prior to disk burn) and crashed PE.  Tried this a couple more times with different variations (different DVD, selecteding the encode rate manually, etc.).  Changed one thig at a time, no luck.

                          Finally started a new project with the same file  selected Share -> DVD with the default values and it worked.  I remember my much older version of PE doing this every once in a while.  I guess that bug is still there.  I let PE send the report to Adobe.  After I finished burning the another DVD and quit Adobe, I noticed that the Mac thought that Adobe had terminated abnormally and popped up a dialog asking if I wanted to restart...weird, since i had done quit from the Adobe menu.  So maybe this was the cause of why I couldn't burn the disk today.  It is possible that it did the same thing last night.  So I am going to fire it up again, open the project and try to burn it to disk again.  If I get the same issue from earlier tonight and crashes at 98%, I will send the info in.....as I said, nothing is ever easy.

                          • 10. Re: DVD/BD Quality Tradeoff for source movie from SVHS
                            the_wine_snob Level 9



                            One quick question, regarding the Project that stopped at 98% - do you happen to have a Stop Marker at the end of that Timeline? If you do, remove that last Stop Marker.


                            Good luck,



                            • 11. Re: DVD/BD Quality Tradeoff for source movie from SVHS
                              AFM21 Level 1

                              I did not have an explicit stop marker.  Does PE insert one automatically?  I looked for one but did not find one in the new project.  I had selected the automatic menu markers every 5 minutes. There may have been one close to the end.

                              I will keep an eye out for that. Thanks.

                              • 12. Re: DVD/BD Quality Tradeoff for source movie from SVHS
                                A.T. Romano Level 7



                                Just to make sure that we are in sync on this, are you saying that, when the project was in the burn dialog and your blank DVD disc in the DVD burner tray


                                a. the bitrate was 4.66 Mbps (megabits per second)...but what was the Space Required when that bitrate was displayed?


                                Let me back up for a moment...with the DVD-R disc 4.7 GB/120 minutes, in reality that 4.7 GB is 4.28 GB....with the DVD Double Layer One Sided 8.5 GB/240 minutes, in reality that 8.5 GB is 7.95 GB.


                                Everything that I have seen so far suggests to me that you have too much on that DVD 4.7 GB/120 min disc. To prove the point,

                                a. make a copy of the project...delete 1/2 the content of the copy and burn that to DVD....is it a go or no go?

                                b. burn to Double Layer One Sided disc...is it a go or no go?


                                For best results (besides being able to get a successful burn to), you do not want the bitrate of 4.66 Mbps.


                                When you are doing the troubleshooting, please keep note of what is displayed Space Required and Bitrate with Fit Content to Available Space the choice.


                                We will be watching for your results.





                                • 13. Re: DVD/BD Quality Tradeoff for source movie from SVHS
                                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                                  Excellent news. We can rule that out now.


                                  Thanks, and good luck,



                                  • 14. Re: DVD/BD Quality Tradeoff for source movie from SVHS
                                    AFM21 Level 1

                                    a.  Bitrate was 4.66 Mbps, space required was 4.37 GB.


                                    A did the test as suggested.  I loaded the original project, did a save as to create a copy.  Then trimmed about half from the end.  Regenerated the chapter markers and created the DVD.  The data for the new one was:

                                         - Bitrate : 8 Mbps

                                         - Size : 4.05 GB


                                    I watched both and then had my wife and kids watch them while I toggled back and forth between the two (connected to identical bluray players to the tv, both through HDMI).  Neither my wife, one of my kids nor I could could tell the difference.  My one daughter said the lower bitrate one looked better (I think she just picked randomly so I would stop bugging her).  For grins I also compared it to the tape version...the DVD looked better, but I was probably biased.


                                    I am guessing that because the original source is an analog 4:3 video from 1997 on SVHS tape, the poor quality of the source video makes any artifacts introduced by the lower sampling irrelevant. 


                                    I may burn 1 copy of each to BD at the highest bitrate for storage; but won't bother with the other copies. 


                                    Now when I get to the digital content, I will stick to the highest sampling rate, which I guess means either make shorter videos on DVD or the full two hours on BD. 


                                    Is there a "lowest sampling rate" you would recommend for content originating from digital video (the old Sony small DV tapes)?  That is my next project. I can use the highest bitrate for storage on my Taiyo Yuden BD, but for sharing with family, I would like to go through the spindles of lower quality DVDs I already own.


                                    ...again thanks for all your help.