5 Replies Latest reply on Mar 25, 2014 7:43 AM by A.T. Romano

    Why is playback video quality not as good as the source?

    kcarter84095

      Hi.  I'm not new to PrE but am new to the forum.

       

      I've been using PrE 2 for about 7 years.  I got a newer computer running Windows 7 and basically was forced to upgrade to PrE 12 because PrE 2 didn't run very well on the newer machine. Once I installed PrE 12, I was eager to jump into my first project on this machine.

       

      I expected that with a newer machine and the latest software, I would get outstanding results--hopefully much better than what I always got with PrE 2 on the old machine.  With PrE 2, it was not uncommon that the imported video seemed lossy on playback or for whatever other reason seemed not as good as the source video.

       

      Unfortunately, the results on the new/new were no better than the old/old.  So I switched to my wife's (even newer) machine running Windows 8 and got the same results.  Then I thought that perhaps the output to DVD would be better than what I saw in the PrE editor.  No dice.

       

      The video quality of the source isn't the greatest (see below), but I expected that the PrE 12 would be no worse.

       

      What went wrong?

       

      Here's what i'm working with on the current project:

       

      Machine 1:

      HP EliteBook 8560w

      Intel Core i7-2640M 2.8 GHz CPU

      Window 7 Enterprise SP1

      2 GB RAM

      360 GB available HD space

       

      Machine 2:

      Dell Inspiron 3521

      Intel Pentium 2117U 1.8 GHz CPU

      Windows 8 Touchscreen

      4 GB RAM

      400+ GB available HD space

       

      Video Source:

      iPhone 4 video (MOV format)

       

      Thanks for ANY help you can give me.

       

      BTW, I noticed that Steve Grisetti is one of the frequent commenters on this forum.  In case you're reading this, Steve, I want to thank you and Chuck E. for your PrE books.  I purchased one several years ago and found it extremely helpful.  And surprisingly, I found that with PrE 12 I could still use the book that I purchased before because most of it was still relevant to the new software.  Still a great purchase!!

        • 1. Re: Why is playback video quality not as good as the source?
          A.T. Romano Level 7

          kcarter

           

          Please excuse if I mention things you may already be aware of, but I did not want to take anything for granted.

           

          The installed RAM on Machine 1 is too low for HD work, and I wonder about the processor on Machine 2 even though it has more installed RAM than that on Machine 1. For now, I will bypass the usual drills and get to the source media and project settings.

           

          1. From what I can put together, your source media from iPhone 4 are 720p up to 30 frames per second. That usually translates into a variable frame rate which can be problematic for Premiere Elements. The variable can lead to audio out of sync, but not necessarily. If all else fails, then it is onto HandBrake or the like to change the variable into a constant frame rate.

           

          2. One of the features of version 11 and 12 is the program taking over the setting of the project setting based on the properties of the first video drag to the Timeline. Some times it does it OK, sometimes not. When not, then you set the project preset manually yourself based on what you know to be the properties of your source media. Please refer to the following which includes how to set the project preset manually.

          http://www.atr935.blogspot.com/2013/04/pe11-accuracy-of-automatic-project.html

           

          Based on what I have read about the properties of the iPhone 4 video, I would suggest the project preset (assuming a NTSC set up)

          NTSC

          AVCHD

          AVCHD-LITE 720p30

           

          One of the important things to remember is that Premiere Elements 11 and 12 have as their default project preset

          NTSC

          AVCHD

          Full HD1080i30

          and not the NTSC DV Standard of versions earlier than 11.

           

          When 11 and 12 do not get the automatic project preset correct, they do not give you the closest fit, rather they give you their

          default NTSC AVCHD Full HD1080i30 which is not going to be appropriate for 720p video.

           

          Classically it is written if you have the correct project preset you should have no colored line over the content when you bring the video to

          the Timeline manually set. But, just the variable frame rate can trigger the unrendered indicator (orange instead of red in versions 11 and 12).

          So, rendering the Timeline would be indicated to get the best possible preview under these circumstances.

           

          Do you have the latest version of QuickTime installed on either of your computers?

           

          More later.

           

          ATR

          • 2. Re: Why is playback video quality not as good as the source?
            kcarter84095 Level 1

            A T Romano,

             

            Thanks for the helpful info.  I did as you suggested and it seems to have worked.  (I won't know for sure until I start my next project but playback is definitely better.)

             

            One follow-up question.  If two video clips being used on the same project are from different sources with different frame sizes and frame rates, what general guideline is given to select the optimal project setting since only one setting can be selected for the project?

            • 3. Re: Why is playback video quality not as good as the source?
              kcarter84095 Level 1

              ATR,

               

              Just realized I missed a couple of points.

               

              1.  To answer your question, yes I have the latest version of Quicktime.  Why do you ask?

               

              2.  Do you recommend HandBrake even if the correct project setting is manually set on the project so as to eliminate the problem with variable frame rate?  If so, what output format is recommended using HB?

               

              Thanks again

              • 4. Re: Why is playback video quality not as good as the source?
                A.T. Romano Level 7

                kcarter

                 

                Thanks for the follow up and update.

                 

                You wrote in post numbered 2

                If two video clips being used on the same project are from different sources with different frame sizes and frame rates, what general guideline is given to select the optimal project setting since only one setting can be selected for the project?

                For me that depends of priorities in view of the situation of one project preset and the resolution and aspect ratio of the videos involved. Generally downscaling is preferred to upscaling. And scaling up can be used to get around the 4:3 vs 16:9 matter.

                 

                If you had 720p30 video plus 480i (widescreen) and were heading for DVD-VIDEO on DVD disc, I would probably set the project preset for NTSC DV Widescreen, keep the preferences "Default Scale to Frame Size" with check mark, import the videos, assure that the video images filled that 480i widescreen Edit area monitor space provided by project preset, and, when I got to burn to, use the NTSC_Widescreen Dolby DVD preset.

                 

                Also sorts of variations. If you supply the combinations of source media properties going into the project, I can customize my respond better.

                 

                Thanks.

                 

                ATR

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                • 5. Re: Why is playback video quality not as good as the source?
                  A.T. Romano Level 7

                  kcarter

                   

                  Referring to your post numbered 3.

                   

                  QuickTime is an Adobe requirement and especially important for using .mov which would be associated with your iPhone video.

                  Also consider, if you do not have QuickTime installed, when you get to Publish+Share/Computer/QuickTime, there will be no QuickTime presets there if you wanted to export your Timeline to .mov file. More on this later if you have questions on this.

                   

                  I have been using HandBrake to create a H.264.mp4 from iPhone video only if there is an audio out of sync problem with the video in Premiere Elements that cannot be corrected by selecting the proper project preset and rendering the Timeline content. There are other choices of programs for changing the variable to constant frame rate, but this HandBrake is free, effective, and quick and has worked for me and others.

                   

                  The basic steps would be

                  a. Open program to page with tabs displaying for Picture....Video.....etc.

                  (I typically set the Source top row of that opening page to seconds and set the Destination with a Browse to Desktop for the save of the end product. Container = .mp4).

                  b. Video Tab

                  Video Codec = "H.264 (x264)

                  Framerate (FPS) = 29.97

                  Dot next to Contant Frame Rate

                  c. Hit Start button and wait for display of "Queue Finished" at bottom of interface.

                   

                  Please let us know of your progress when you get the time.

                   

                  Thank you.

                   

                  ATR

                  1 person found this helpful