30 Replies Latest reply on Dec 20, 2010 2:32 PM by Studio673

    HDV to SD which is better quality?

    lou4uandme Level 1

      Hi all,

      I'm getting close to finishing a large project and I am afraid of the DVD blues.

      The last time I rendered out a dvd from an HDV project, my DVD looked no better than a 1985 Camcorder.

      I found a lot of website posts that all agree that Premiere HDV to DVD is not good at all.

       

      Some talk about Cineform is the best way to go, others say,a hardware device SDI ,etc..

       

      SO I have some questions:

       

      1. What would give better results?

      Taking my HDV footage and putting it into a 720X480 timeline. Then resizing it down 50%

      Then send that timeline to Encore.

       

      2. Leaving it at 1440 X 1080 and having premiere transcoding it down to 720 X 480

       

      I just don't know what premiere is doing to the footage to make it go from 1440 to 720.

       

      For example, If you take a 1440 x 1080 movie clip that is kind of crappy in quality.

      then shrink it down to 320 X 240. When you look at the image, it looks so much better because all of the pixels are squeezed in 320 X 240 .

      The saturation looks better, it appears sharper, etc.

       

      Also, if you take a movie clip that is only 320 X 240, and blow it up to 1440 X 1080, it will look horrible & blocky.

       

      So my point is, If my end results are going to be 720 X 480 on a DVD, will resizing HDV footage down to a 720 timeline work better?

      Wouldn't I be squeezing 1440 pixels down to 720, making it look better right from the start?

       

      Thanks,

      Lou

        • 1. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
          Kona Bob Level 2

          The underlying problem is that PPro doesn't do a very good job of rescaling- particularly if the footage is interlaced.

          I have tried rescaling HDV on the timeline several years ago and was not impressed with the results.

          I use Cineform for all of my HD editing. The HD Link module of the Cineform suite does an excellent job of rescaling the CFHD.avi to a standard def master .avi. This CFSD master .avi can then be transcoded to a very high image quality .m2t for DVD, with very little, if any, interlace artifacts (if you are shoting 60i).

          Getting really good quality DVD from HD is always a lot more difficult, and less intuitive, than it seems like it should be

          • 2. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
            Curt Wrigley Level 4

            Scaling in PPRO prior to CS5 was indeed poor; espcially interlaced footage as mentioned.

             

            But this is one of the areas that was vastly improved in CS5.  Ill put it this way; I would not use adobe tools to scale HDV to SD in CS4.  But with CS5; I simply scale it on the timeline like you would think you can do and export it to DVD via encore; and it is OK.    Try a short sample yourself first so you can be confident prior to exporting your whole project. 

            • 3. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
              Anthony Abegglen Level 1

              Here is something I use and maybe applie to your sitution even though it is Canopus Edius  , you may fine a work around to Adobe PPro, The results are stunning in SD. Hope this helps

              http://www.videoproductions.com.au/html/virtualdub-hd-sd.html

              • 4. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                lou4uandme Level 1

                Well that sounds like good news that cs5 has improved, But I still don't know which way is the "better" workflow. In general, if you're planning to go to DVD, should you setup a 720 X 480 timeline, and resize it down , Or, keep it in native 1440, X1080 and let the trancoding convert it? As for the canopus, I will look into that.

                 

                Also, Isn't this very counter-intuitve? I mean, I went out years ago andd bought my first HD camera (Hdv canon xha1) thinking to  myself, well, now my dvd's are going to be 2x's  better in resolution.  When I played the results, I was disappointed. I was then told, "dvd is standard def" if you want to view it in true HD, then you have to buy a Blueray (at the time ,$1000.00 & unsupported). But I keep asking myself, Well ALL DVDs are SD DEF, and THEY look great when I watch a movie. With HD, I should at least get that quality.

                • 5. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                  Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                  In CS5, it shouldn't matter any more.  Edit in an HD sequence and export to SD, or edit in an SD sequence by scaling your HD down to frame size and then export to SD.  Just make sure to enable Maximum Render Quality in the Export Settings dialog.  That's the critical step.

                   

                  Try a short segment of your program both ways to convince yourself that it doesn't matter.

                   

                  -Jeff

                  • 6. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                    Harm Millaard Level 7
                    Just make sure to enable Maximum Render Quality in the Export Settings dialog.  That's the critical step.

                     

                    That is only necessary if you do not have hardware MPE turned on. With hardware MPE all the scaling and rendering is done with maximum quality, using linear color, so there is no advantage in using the MRQ settings.

                    • 7. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                      RDA972 Level 3

                      An alternative route you might take : edit in HD, send the timeline to Encore via DL, author in Encore as a Blu-ray and output a DVD letting Encore do the transcoding. The resulting DVD looks great to me. As others suggested, try this on a short timeline and see if this method suits your needs.

                      • 8. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                        Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                        Harm Millaard wrote:

                         

                        Just make sure to enable Maximum Render Quality in the Export Settings dialog.  That's the critical step.

                         

                        That is only necessary if you do not have hardware MPE turned on. With hardware MPE all the scaling and rendering is done with maximum quality, using linear color, so there is no advantage in using the MRQ settings.

                        True enough.  But sometimes you have hardware MPE turned on, and sometimes turned off.  Since MRQ only affects software MPE export times, if you get in the habit of checking MRQ every time you scale or deinterlace footage, then you'll never have one of those "Oops!" moments we all dread.

                         

                        -Jeff

                        • 9. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                          Curt Wrigley Level 4

                          Harm Millaard wrote:

                           

                          Just make sure to enable Maximum Render Quality in the Export Settings dialog.  That's the critical step.

                           

                          That is only necessary if you do not have hardware MPE turned on. With hardware MPE all the scaling and rendering is done with maximum quality, using linear color, so there is no advantage in using the MRQ settings.

                          Technically true.   But there is no disadvantage to checking max render quality; other than if you dont have a cuda card it is slower.  So, its best to let people know to just check it.

                          • 10. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                            Kona Bob Level 2

                            "But I keep asking myself, Well ALL DVDs are SD DEF, and THEY look great when I watch a movie. With HD, I should at least get that quality."

                             

                            Commercial grade DVDs (Hollywood movies, T.V. shows, etc.) are usually transcoded using time consuming multipass processes done with very expensive hardware encoders. It's hard to match that using the sort of software/hardware systems available to most of us on this forum.

                            The closest I have come to that standard personally is:

                            1) I needed to begin with well shot 1920x1080 footage using a Sony EX1

                            2) Editing with Cineform DI- 10 bit, 4:2:2

                            3) Rescale with CF to SD master CF.avi

                            4) Transcode to m2v with Pro Coder 3

                            5) Play the DVD on a good quality "upscaling" DVD player, HDMI out to HDTV.

                            There are so many different workflows that can get you to an acceptable quality of DVD.

                            That's why there isn't a simple, single answer for the "best" way to do it.

                            If you are going to be regularly producing DVDs from HD material, it will be worth it to you to edit a short project (maybe 3 min) with a variety of shots (bright light, low light, hi contrast, motion (panning), fine linear features- looking for line twitter & interlace artifacts, and so on). Then transcode to DVD using a variety of workflows, put all of it on a single DVD and watch it many times on a good HDTV (not your computer monitor).

                            When you find the workflow that is satisfactory, write it down, and you are home free. 

                            • 11. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                              lou4uandme Level 1

                              wow, all of this feed back is so helpful. Thanks a bunch.

                              I will try some of the suggestions. However, that cineform thingy sounds expensive.

                              "edit with DI ",  does cineform have it's own linear editor? Which package are you talking  about?

                              Neoscene, NeoHD, etc?

                               

                              Either way, I am in for a long weekend. I haven't even gotten to "the Best" data rate settings to transcode in yet..

                              Oh..brother...Being a 1 man show really sucks.

                              • 12. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                                shooternz Level 6

                                Have you tried exporting your existing native sequence using the  'DVD mpeg 2' preset and dropping that in

                                an Encore Project.

                                • 13. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                                  Kona Bob Level 2

                                  Sorry for the shorthand. DI is "digital intermediate" codec- the format that you convert your original footage into for the purpose of editing.

                                  In this case we are talking about the Cineform.avi codec. I am editing on CS5.

                                  NeoScene is the "lite" version of Cineform, NeoHD, Neo4K are the "pro" versions.

                                  My advice, before getting your life more complicated with things like Cineform, set your big project aside for the moment, put together a short project- maybe just some existing clips from the big project, and try out some of the workflows that have been suggested. Burn the various results onto DVD and watch it on TV.

                                  I haven't had the need to try it myself, but the word is that PPro CS5 has much better rescaling now, both in timeline and Adobe Media Encoder.

                                  As far as data rate settings go: A common setting is 2 pass VBR, 6mbs target, 8mbs max. This gives a good balence between image quality, program duration, and playability on a wide variety of DVD players.

                                  Good luck

                                  • 14. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                                    Pijetro Level 1

                                    Before this happens again, i'd like to mention, that i've gone through this a million times, and have spent a million hours in the same shoes as you...

                                    If you choose to shoot 1440x1080, at least use Frame mode (Progressive)...AME indeed crops, and scales this correctly, and produces passable results.

                                     

                                    However, if you choose to shoot interlaced, and you choose to stay on CS4, then you need to go to a third party source for deinterlacing..

                                    Once you get deinterlacing to a satisfactory level (VirtualDub or AVISynth), then you can apply a proper resize...

                                     

                                    I believe Jeff Bellune, or somebody on these forums went through the painstaking task of making some tutorials...Search is your friend..

                                    • 15. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                                      lou4uandme Level 1

                                      Hi guys,

                                      Ok bob, I will try those settings , thanks,

                                       

                                      And yes Pijetro, I use Progressive. On the canon XHA1, I set it to 24p.  When I drop it on the timeline, I get NO interlace lines.

                                      But a while back (cs4) I was sooo disappointed with the results on dvd. So I figured I better do my homework before I render out this 45 min Short.

                                       

                                      While we're on the subject., Can you guys please answer me this......

                                      I have several shots (8) that require a Pan & zoom move. All 8 shots are locked down & shot VERY WIDE. I have to zoom in about 180% (ppro default is 100) . I  hate that I have to do this but I have no choice.

                                      So I'm thinking... If I create a 720 project & resize down 50%, when I have to do those Pan & zoom shots, they would not have to zoom in because of the 1440 footage in a 720 project.

                                      Would I benifit in quality this way or do you think it's the same sh_t both ways?

                                       

                                      Thanks

                                      • 16. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                                        Kona Bob Level 2

                                        If you enlarge your video image by 180% it will likely look very bad, unacceptably bad.

                                        Rescaling the entire project to 720 would enable you to put the original 1080 clips in as a "zoomed in view", but you may run into unexpected snags resizing the entire project.

                                        It's a really tough problem with no great solution if you can't reshoot the scene.

                                        • 17. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                                          lou4uandme Level 1

                                          Yeah, I am very aware of the degrading issues with a 86% zoom. But I have no choice but to zoom & degrain and prey.

                                          As far as a reshoot,....no way.  That's why a 720 project would allow me to to NOT zoom in at all.

                                           

                                           

                                          "But you may run into unexpected snags"

                                           

                                          I see your point and you're 100% right.

                                           

                                          Here's why:

                                           

                                          90% of the footage on the timeline will be exported via DPX or Targa to several softwares. Nuke, Mocha, and Scratch for Color grading.

                                          After all that, It will come back to cs5 .

                                          So I am saying to myself,... (self) ....If my timeline is 720 with a 1440 down resize, Do I EXPORT out 720 X 480 or do I expand the footage back to 1440 for export.

                                           

                                          Is this some of the"snags" I will run into?

                                          • 18. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                                            Bob Dix Photographer Level 2

                                            Hi Lou,

                                             

                                            Harm is right, I change the settings to Custom High Quality , use the slider in the window and change the top speed from 8 to 7, it may play better on some DVD players ie., 1920 x 1080 or 1440 x 1080  to 720 x 576 PAL16:9 Widecsreen to fit on a DVD. Some minor loss of quality and some artifacts in horizontal lines only , but, generally not bad at all out of Premiere Pro. Better to retain the quality and go to blu-ray or even HD Pro Tape ????????????????? 

                                            • 19. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                                              Kona Bob Level 2

                                              "So I am saying to myself,... (self) ....If my timeline is 720 with a 1440 down resize, Do I EXPORT out 720 X 480 or do I expand the footage back to 1440 for export."

                                              If you scale down to 720, add your "zoom" clips, there is no going back to 1080 without image degradation.

                                              IMO, once you are in 720 you are stuck there- you would need to export to DVD from the 720 timeline to maintain the image quality.

                                              Those extra pixels you had in 1080 are thrown away when you rescale to 720, so they do not reappear if you size back up to 1080.

                                              What I would consider doing- if you are only going for DVD delivery- no HD delivery at all- would be to finish the project completely and render it out as a DV.avi (720x480 DV) movie. Open a NTSC DV widescreen project, put the movie on the timeline, cut the movie at the edit points and insert your very large HD clips- which you can now resize to your likeing. Now transcode your NTSC DSV.avi movie to DVD. Quality should be aacceptable, you should have gotton away with your zooms in fine fashion, and should end up with decent DVD output.

                                              As a matter of fact, I will routinely render to a standard def DV.avi master, and use that to encode to DVD. It's not unheard of at all.

                                              • 20. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                                                lou4uandme Level 1

                                                Wow, Bob, very helpful advice. But of

                                                course That leads me to more questions...

                                                "Render to AVI first"

                                                Ok, I understand the reasons for this, but I always had an "impression" that AVI codecs were crappy and 1980's-ish.

                                                I remember years ago, when ever I rendered to AVi, the quaitiy was crappy. I then moved to quicktimes for previews or downsizes.

                                                 

                                                Is there any reason why AVI is doing a better job than QT? I also noticed that cineform Neo,  also renders out to an AVI (although i'm sure with a Cineform Codec) .

                                                 

                                                You may have opened up a discovery door for me

                                                 

                                                "Once you zoom in, you can't go back"

                                                 

                                                So, If I zoom in on my timeline to 180%, save my project, go back to my timeline, type 100% in the Motion tab, ( returning it to default)

                                                Your saying that the pixels are already lost?????

                                                 

                                                If this is true, boy am I in big trouble.  For example, I have a time line that an editor zoomed 117 %, I took the clip, brought it back to 100 %, rendered as TGA, did motion tracking, etc.. re-rendered  back to cs5, then added BACK the 117% zoom.

                                                 

                                                Are you saying.......This is very bad?

                                                • 21. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                                                  Powered by Design Level 4

                                                  I say go with 720x480 SD

                                                   

                                                  When you bring in your HDV at 1440x1080 and resize it down, it will be just fine.

                                                   

                                                  You can then do a zoom in and pan all you want and have all the HDV file there.

                                                   

                                                  You dont lose any of the HDV file info when zooming in and out.  Its never lost.

                                                   

                                                  It seems like people are saying that if you encode your final version at 720x480 SD that, that version can not be upscaled to be HD anymore.

                                                   

                                                  If I am getting what you want, you just want to be able to do some pan & zooms.

                                                   

                                                  Isnt your whole goal a standard DVD ?

                                                   

                                                  Your not trying to to make a DVD & Blu-ray right ?

                                                   

                                                  If you do all your editing in HDV then you have to zoom in over 100% and that gets ugly if you go to far.

                                                   

                                                  Putting HDV inside SD will let you never go over 100% for your pan & zooms.

                                                   

                                                   

                                                   

                                                  GLenn

                                                  • 22. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                                                    Curt Wrigley Level 4

                                                    lou4uandme wrote:

                                                     

                                                    Wow, Bob, very helpful advice. But of

                                                    course That leads me to more questions...

                                                    "Render to AVI first"

                                                    Ok, I understand the reasons for this, but I always had an "impression" that AVI codecs were crappy and 1980's-ish.

                                                    I remember years ago, when ever I rendered to AVi, the quaitiy was crappy. I then moved to quicktimes for previews or downsizes.

                                                     

                                                    Some of the advice you are getting here is based on past Pr limitations. 

                                                     

                                                    Dont render at all.  There is no need any longer to even create an intermediate file.  You can DL to Encore; or DL From encore without ever having to render or export from Pr.

                                                    • 23. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                                                      RDA972 Level 3

                                                      That's exactly what I suggested but my voice was drowned out.

                                                      • 24. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                                                        lou4uandme Level 1

                                                        yes I tried that in cs4, and  all I got was a weird error when I D>Link. into encore. For some reason, it hated 1440 timelines into encore DVD SD.

                                                        So what I use to do was transcode to DVD using Premiere, dropping THAT render into Encore, make menus, and it skipped transcode and when straight to BURN. (cs4)

                                                         

                                                         

                                                         

                                                        But  just to be clear...

                                                        Bob said, he took his HD timeline, rendered a MASTER AVI 720 x 480 and used that for Authoring.

                                                         

                                                        Because of my pan & zooms, I think I will go with a 720 timeline , pan & zoom with freedom, Yippy!...then....What?

                                                         

                                                        Do I have to render a Master AVI like bob said or only if I have a 1440 timeline?

                                                        Remember, it's still 1440 footage,resized down,   wil I have the same issues?

                                                        • 25. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                                                          Ann Bens Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                          DON'T render a HD timeline to DV-avi for encoding to mpeg2-dvd. (DV-avi is ok when your source is SD)

                                                          Encode straight to mpeg2 either from Premiere or direct via DL in Encore.

                                                          CS5 downscales a lot better then CS4 did.

                                                          I have a Canon A1, film in 50i and capture as Cineform avi.

                                                          Edit and export to Cineform Avi 1440x1080i.

                                                          Downscale to SD interlaced with TMPGenc, it looks great.

                                                          Maybe force of habit, like the MRQ, still leave it on.

                                                          • 26. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                                                            Huntrex Level 2

                                                            Here is the best workflow I have found for producing quality HDV to DVD in Premiere Pro CS5:

                                                             

                                                            1. Create a new SD sequence in Premiere. If you're in NTSC land (North America, Japan and some other areas) this needs to be 720x480. In PAL, 720x576. Match the frame rate to that of your source footage (if it's a standard frame rate such as 60i or 24p NTSC or 50i PAL). Turn on "Maximum Render Quality".

                                                             

                                                            2. Nest the finished HDV sequence into the SD sequence you just created.

                                                             

                                                            3. Right click the nested sequence and choose "Scale to Frame Size".

                                                             

                                                            I usually export directly from Premiere.

                                                             

                                                            I recommend the following export settings using MPEG2-DVD: 2 pass VBR, target 6 mbps, max 8 mbps. You may need to adjust the bitrate, depending on the length of your video. Again, match the frame rate to that of your source footage. Important! Make sure that "Maximum Render Quality" is turned ON. Then go to the Multiplexer tab and select "None". Then to the Audio tab, select Dolby Digital as the audio format and use a Bitrate of 224 or so.

                                                             

                                                            Your video and audio will be in separate files; insert both of them into a timeline in Encore.

                                                            • 27. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                                                              lou4uandme Level 1

                                                              That is soo funny,..I just turned on my pc and said to myself,  "crap, if I copy & paste all of my 1440 clips to my 720 timeline, I am going to have to  down -resize EVERY CLIP, boy that going to suck."

                                                               

                                                              Then I went to the forum and read your post. THANKS Huntrex ! I never knew that PPr had that feature.

                                                               

                                                              I am making some custom settings named "Forum Presets" that you guys recommended as "Great" settings for DVD.

                                                              I can't wait to try out all of these great tips.

                                                              • 28. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                                                                Kona Bob Level 2

                                                                This thread is getting sort of confusing because it has split into two unrelated topics:

                                                                1) How to get from HDV to DVD- One obvious route is to try all of the above suggestions on a short ptoject, burn to DVD and see what you like the most

                                                                2) How to incorporate HDV footage that must be enlarged by 180% in a project that will be delivered on DVD- One approach is to render the project to NTSC 480 (downscaled from HDV), then insert the HD clips requiring "enlargement", pan n' scan to satisfaction, and render the now complete project out to DVD.

                                                                 

                                                                My comment re "lost pixels" is directed to rendering a 1080 project out to 720. The resulting 720 footage cannot be then be rendered back to 1080 without taking an image quality hit.

                                                                Any footage can be resized within a frame on a timeline, then sized back to original without loss, because there was no actual change made to the origional footage.

                                                                • 29. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                                                                  lou4uandme Level 1

                                                                  "This thread is getting confusing because it has split into 2 topics"

                                                                   

                                                                  I like to think of it as....This thread has "Evolved"

                                                                   

                                                                  In any event, This thread was very "educational"

                                                                  • 30. Re: HDV to SD which is better quality?
                                                                    Studio673

                                                                    Why not just render the HD sequence out using Media Encoder?