10 Replies Latest reply on Jul 23, 2010 1:01 PM by the_wine_snob

    HD quality source going blurry...plus m2ts issues...


      Hey everyone -


      I have some HD video that will ultimately be output to 720x480 DV NTSC Widescreen.  When I take the source video, increase the scale to 135 for a bit of zoom (want a closer shot), and output the video...it's blurry.  Am I not understanding how this works?  I know increasing video size typically results in blurring...but my source material is 1920x1080, crystal clear...  Is that not more than enough resolution to get that out sharp?


      What am I doing wrong here?  I'm sure it's not my output settings, as if I output the video without scale, it's perfect.

        • 1. Re: HD quality source going blurry...plus m2ts issues...
          RyanSpaulding Level 1

          My m2ts issues stem from my home pc.  On my work PC, I can play and edit M2TS files, though they are slooooooow.  At home, I have a faster computer.  VLC will play the M2TS files, but Premiere will not edit them.  It brings it in, but there is no audio...and video is slow to unresponsive.  ANyone know specifically what codec (or program that brings the codec with) handles this?  Can't figure it out...

          • 2. Re: HD quality source going blurry...plus m2ts issues...
            Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

            Well, a lot depends on a lot.


            Are the HD videos hi-def videos? (As opposed to hard drive video) And are the HDV tape-based or AVCHD hard drive based?


            Editing AVCHD is a tremendously intensive process. I don't know how powerful your computer's are, but even a quad core computer can barely work with them. Do you have at least a quad core computer with 4 gigs of RAM?


            As for the blurriness issue -- you're going from hi-def (over 2,000,000 pixels) to standard DV (345,000 pixels) so OF COURSE its going to be only a fraction of the definition of the original footage. So I guess it depends on how you define blurry. If you mean that you're watching it at full-screen on your computer then, yes, standard def video is going to look way over-rezzed.


            Finally, I'm concerned with your note that you scaled it to 133%! If you're using hi-def video in a project set up for hi-def video -- well, I'm just not sure why you're blowing it up.


            But, for what it's worth, increasing the scale over 100% only further over-rezzes your picture -- which could also be contributing to your blurriness.


            In short, what kind of camcorder is your video coming from?


            Which project settings are you using to set up your project in Premiere Elements?


            How are you judging the quality of your output?

            • 3. Re: HD quality source going blurry...plus m2ts issues...
              the_wine_snob Level 9



              Welcome to the forum.


              Whenever one Scales, either up, or down, there will be a loss in quality. There are internal algorithms used to either create pixels, where none existed (Scale up), or eliminating pixels (Scale down). The amount of quality loss will depend on how much of each Scaling operation is employed.


              Many users feel that Adobe editing programs do not do the best job of Scaling, and some use another workflow, when going from HD to SD material. The links in this ARTICLE will give you one possible workflow, though it is designed around PrPro CS4.


              Also, the method used to determine the quality of the output material can be very important, especially with SD material. The ultimate test is to display this material on a calibrated NTSC (or PAL) CRT monitor. The next best is to output to DVD-Video and test on a set-top player hooked to an SD TV. When one tests on a high-rez computer monitor, it's impossible to really determine the final output, especially if one is viewing at full-screen, as this will then Scale up that SD footage and display it on the high-rez monitor.


              As for the files not working on one computer, but on another, it is very likely a missing CODEC on one computer.


              What camera did the source footage come from?


              Good luck,



              • 4. Re: HD quality source going blurry...plus m2ts issues...
                RyanSpaulding Level 1

                Hye all -


                Well, looks like things got more complicated with video since the introduction of HD...ha!  I used to be fine with video editing.  Meh.  Thanks for the responses.  I'll address them now.


                The camera is a Canon HG10 AVCHD. 


                Steve -

                Not sure what you mean by 'is the Hi-Def video HD?'  I believe so.  It outputs mts files at 1920x1080 (the m2ts file is from a different videographer).  The home computer is a Quad Core with 6 GB ram.  I actually just got the IT dept to give me a new Xeon with 20GB ram.  The blurriness is when played at the native size - 720x480.  I think I'm applying graphic design/still practices to video...and it doesn't work that way it seems.  The scaling...I was thinking thats how you do the pan and zooming...but that may be controlled a different way.  I may be misunderstanding project settings...I was setting it up for output...I was going to output 720x480...so that is the project setting I picked...DV NTSC 720x480.  If I have HD video to start, I need to pick an HD project setting, right?  Quality of output is judged by playing the file in it's native resolution in VLC.


                Bill -

                Thanks for the info.  I'll check out the workflow.  Right now, my only intention is to take my source video, make cuts from scenes, add some pan and zoom action to the clips, and output a file that will work well on a medium-powered laptop in PowerPoint.  I'm not so much concerned about color as I am clarity.


                HTH!  Thanks guys.  It's greatly appreciated.

                • 5. Re: HD quality source going blurry...plus m2ts issues...
                  RyanSpaulding Level 1

                  One addition question -


                  Since I may have done a lot of cutting/trimming work in a wrong project setting, is it possible to easily change this so I don't have to go through the whole cutting process again?  That will ruin my day if not...just not around Premiere Elements right now to see.

                  • 6. Re: HD quality source going blurry...plus m2ts issues...
                    the_wine_snob Level 9



                    If your Project Preset matches your source footage (AVCHD in your case), things should be as good as they will get. If you have chosen the wrong Project Preset, then the only sure way of doing things is to completely redo the Project with the proper Preset. Some have hacked their Project file (PREL), but I cannot vouch for the success of that method.


                    If you have still images, I would Scale those to about the Frame Size of your Project, in PS, before you Import. PrE can Scale large still images, but the quality will be better from PS/PSE. This ARTICLE will give you some tips. Note: the pixel x pixel dimensions are basically for an SD Project, so you will need to do a bit of math, for your HD Projects.


                    Also, as mentioned, many do not feel that Adobe programs do the best job, when down-rezzing from HD to SD.


                    Good luck,



                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: HD quality source going blurry...plus m2ts issues...
                      RyanSpaulding Level 1

                      Oof.  Not what I would have hoped for...redoing all cuts.    I was up at 3am making them for a work deadline.


                      So, how does one...if a camera is stationary...how does one take a clip and have it zoomed in?  Not necessarily animated...but I'd like some shots to be far back like was recorded, and others to be closer to the subjec.  Is that an effect that is editable or something?


                      And is there a preferred way to convert HD footage to SD footage?  I don't need the HD aspect for this...the output will be 720x480 and am not liking how the HD footage affects performance on my computer.  These mts files are quite heavy to work with.

                      • 8. Re: HD quality source going blurry...plus m2ts issues...
                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                        Going back to the shooting, the quality will be better if one frames (and chooses the lens setting) the scene to show the tighter image. That can be a zoomed in (providing that one has a zoom lens and most current cameras do).


                        If that was not a consideration at the time of the shooting, then one can zoom with the fixed Effect>Motion>Scale, though the quality will degrade, based on the amount of zoom employed. A little, and one will likely not detect things, but a lot, and the quality will take a hit.


                        When one has HD footage, and a camera that allows it, the best way to go to SD is to use the DV Lock on the camera to do the down-rezzing, at the time of Capture. Much depends on the camera that one has. If there is no capability for DV Lock and the in-camera down-rezzing, then other methods will need to be employed. That HD to SD workflow, that I linked to above, has proved very good for many, though there are extra steps involved, and other software to do the down-rezzing.


                        Some users have found that various other software will do a better job with the down-rezzing, than will the Adobe programs. I do not have any personal recommendations on which ones might be better at this.


                        A few users, of PrPro CS4 and CS5, like using Adobe Media Encoder (now a stand-alone program, though bundled with PrPro) to do the down-rezzing, and then Exporting to a DV-AVI Type II SD file, prior to Import, basically using AME as a conversion program. Unfortunately, PrE does not have AME. It is part of PrPro and also Adobe Flash, though with the latter, I do not think that it installs with the necessary CODEC's for the full video Export - only with what is required for Flash production.


                        It seems that Neale, Steve G, and ATR, have all made some recs. on HD to SD converters, but I cannot recall their recs.


                        Good luck,



                        • 9. Re: HD quality source going blurry...plus m2ts issues...
                          RyanSpaulding Level 1

                          Ah, yeah, that was what I did originally.  Crazy to me to think a 1920x1080 video becomes super blurry at 720x480 with a tiny bit of zoom.  Simply crazy. Doesn't work like imagery at all.  To me, a video that is zoomed in 135% should only need to be 972x648 to maintain it's quality.  Ah well.  Thanks for your help.

                          • 10. Re: HD quality source going blurry...plus m2ts issues...
                            the_wine_snob Level 9

                            Now remember, you are working in an HD Project, so you are still zooming in on that. You are then Exporting/Sharing to the SD settings.


                            Good luck,