7 Replies Latest reply on Sep 19, 2010 3:20 PM by nealeh

    Codec Issues and Poor Video Quality After DVD Burning


      My software is Premiere Elements 8

      My system is a Dell Studio 17, i7-720QM, 6MB Cache, 8GB DDR3 SDRAM.

      My video camera is a Sony DCR DVD100.


      I ran into two problems using PE8:


      1.  After importing video files into my system, the files play fine in Windows Media Player (good audio and video).  When I try to import the clips into Organizer using "File/Get Photos and Videos/From Files and Folders", I get the message "... file cannot be played because your system does not have the required codec installed".  The files will continue to import into Organizer, but the thumbnails show no image and cannot be played in Organizer, although they play fine in Windows Media Player.  How do I know what codec to get for the video files to play in Organizer?


      2.  Even though my video files are not recognized by Organizer, when I "Get Media" using PE8, the files appear fine and I am able to drag the clips into the timeline.  Previewing the clips by double clicking the clips in the timeline (a little preview window pops up) shows good video and sound quality.  By playing the clips in the Monitor, quality is reduced but good enough to preview the results of my editing.  I notice however that after I complete my editing and burn projects to DVD, video quality is greatly reduced after burning.  In Field Options, I tried Reverse Field Dominance, Interlace Consecutive Frames, Always Deinterlace, and None in all possible permutations.  None of the results compared to the video quality that I got when burning videos in ImageMixer (the software that came with my camera).  Note: I burned the same video clip in Imagemixer and in different PE8 Field Option combinations to compare apples to apples.  Is there anything else I can do to get sharper DVD video quality in PE8?  Are there any settings I missed?


      Thanks for any assistance.

        • 1. Re: Codec Issues and Poor Video Quality After DVD Burning

          My advice is to check the bitrate of the preset. If you're storing <=1h of video on a single-layer disc, you could set the bitrate at maximum (=9Mbps) to get better quality. If I recall correctly, there's also a quality slider, which isn't default at best quality. Adjust it.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Codec Issues and Poor Video Quality After DVD Burning
            nealeh Level 5

            So your Handycam is this one - DCR-DVD100? This is recording to DVD / DVD-RW so I presume the files are .VOB files. If this is so then follow the advice given here: Re: DVD burned in Premiere Elements 4 freezes on playback (don't worry about the discussion title, just follow the link). Following the links will allow you to convert your HandyCam files to the PRE friendly DV-AVI 2 format.


            If this does not solve your problem work through the following:


            Some basics:

            • Install all Windows Updates.

            • Install latest version of Apple QuickTime (v7.6.7 at time of writing). Even if you don't use QuickTime, PRE relies heavily on it.

            • Install most recent graphics and sound drivers from the manufacturers web sites.
            • Install most recent firmware for your burner.
            • Run Disk Cleanup.
            • Run Defragmenter.
            • Temporarily disable any anti-virus realtime scanning.
            • Use the GSpot Codec Information Utility to analyse the file and post screen image.
            • Post back here with the necessary information described in: Got a Problem? How to Get Started


            A couple of other questions:

            • What project preset are you using?
            • Have you tried to burn a DVD from the Sony supplied PIXELA ImageMixer software? If so how did it look?


            Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Codec Issues and Poor Video Quality After DVD Burning
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              Along with Neale's advice, here are some things to think about, and a bit of explanation on how "preview" images can differ.


              First, your material is already heavily compressed to MPEG-2 (the format/CODEC of DVD-Video). WMP and the Source Panel (what comes up, when you Dbl-click the Clip) are just players, and will play the MPEG-2 files, as is. When you drag those Clips to the Timeline, many things change. MPEG-2 is GOP (Group of Pictures) format, and to do Frame-accurate editing, PrE needs to convert the MPEG-2 to full I-frame format, basically DV-AVI, where each Frame is rendered. For some background on GOP, see this ARTICLE. Now, when you play the Timeline, you are seeing this converted file play in the Program Monitor (looks just like the Source Monitor, but is different).


              When you Export/Share to DVD-Video, you will now Transcode that material, internally converted, back to MPEG-2, re-compressing it yet again.


              Unfortunately, a miniDVD camcorder does not generate files that are meant to be edited - only played directly from the minDV disc on a computer with DVD software player, or a set-top player, hooked to a TV. Some software (might even be one shipped with your camera), will allow for simple cuts, etc., and will burn to DVD-Video, without the need to Transcode again - they use the original MPEG-2 footage. Now, if one does much editing, like overlay Titles, Effects, Transitions, etc., then even these programs must Transcode some of the footage, when going to DVD-Video.


              Good luck,



              • 4. Re: Codec Issues and Poor Video Quality After DVD Burning
                RIV2003 Level 1

                Nealeh, yes, that's my handycam.  When I transfer the footage from the camera to the laptop, they are actually in MPG format, not VOB.  Since the files are already in MPG format, is there still a need to convert to DV-AVI2 format?  Does editing in DV-AVI2 result in higher resolution video after burning?

                Note: Sony does not have a Windows 7 compatible driver for the camera yet so I have to download to laptop A (Windows XP) and then transfer the files to laptop B (Windows 7) via USB flash drive.


                In response to your question:

                Which preset function are you referring to?

                I have been using Pixela Imagemixer since 2003 on laptop A (Windows XP) and the video resolution after burning to disc is crystal clear.  Even after editing, adding transitions, titles, etc, there is no noticeable loss in picture quality.

                I have not been able to load Pixela Imagemixer into laptop B (Windows 7) because of compatibility issues.



                • 5. Re: Codec Issues and Poor Video Quality After DVD Burning
                  nealeh Level 5

                  To obtain the optimum file format for PRE you should load your MPG into a 'DVD/Hard Drive Camcorder' project (PAL or NTSC depending where you are in the world) then Share it to DV-AVI. Then add the new file to a Standard DV Project (PAL or NTSC depending on where you are in the world). That's as good as it gets for PRE and will edit beautifully. More information is here: What tools can I use to convert my video to DV-AVI?


                  Sony have replaced ImageMixer with Picture Motion Browser. It is Vista-64 compatible so should work on Windows 7. Check here: Sony eSupport - DCR-HC21 - Software Updates & Drivers


                  Each Project in PRE has a single project preset that should match the format of your footage. You set this once at the beginning of a project. Here is an image from PRE7:




                  Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children

                  • 6. Re: Codec Issues and Poor Video Quality After DVD Burning
                    RIV2003 Level 1


                    When creating new projects, I was using NTSC/DV/Standard 48Khz preset.  It seems I was using the wrong preset?


                    Here's how I have been using PRE8 to date...


                    My finished DVD project will usually have several family occassions burned into one disc (for example: son's birthday, daughter's ballet, piano recital and Aikido demonstration)


                    STEP 1:

                    I create individual movies/projects for each occassion.  Open New Project (NTSC/DV/Standard 48kHz), Get Media (import raw mpg files - assume 12 related to son's birthday - from somewhere on my hard drive), drag the files to timeline, do my editing, cutting, transitions, titles, credits, etc. and share to PC / MPEG / Preset: NTSC DVD Standard.


                    STEP 2-4:

                    I repeat the above process for daughter's ballet (assume 15 raw mpg files), piano recital (assume 4 raw mpg files) and aikido demo (assume 6 raw mpg files) each time creating a new project and sharing each movie to a PC file in MPG format.


                    STEP 5:

                    I open a new project (NTSC/DV/Standard 48kHz), Get Media (import the edited mpg's from the individual projects in STEPS 1 to 4), drag the 4 files to timeline, select the Disc Menu, add the menu markers, render and burn to DVD (Preset: NTSC DVD-Dolby).


                    Based on your post, it appears that before STEP 1, I need to add:


                    STEP 0:

                    Open New Project (NTSC/Hard Disk,Flash Memory Camcorders/standard 48kHz), Get Media (import the first file from the first occassion - son's bday), drag the file to the timeline, perform no edits, share to PC / AVI / Preset: DV NTSC Standard.  Then repeat this step for all 37 raw mpg files.


                    Then at the end of STEPs 1 through 4, I need to share to PC / AVI instead of PC / MPEG. Is this the best way to maintain original picture quality?


                    Sorry for the wordy post, but I didn't know how else to explain ... I'm just a rookie at PRE8 ...

                    • 7. Re: Codec Issues and Poor Video Quality After DVD Burning
                      nealeh Level 5

                      Your step 0 should do the trick. You could save some time by putting multiple mpg clips on the same timeline (e.g. all ballet clips) then exporting the lot to DV-AVI (or individually by setting the Work Area Bar). Check the converted files to be sure that there are no audio out of sync issues (can happen easily with mpg/vob files if they are not 100% compliant). There are a couple of other options in the FAQ entry I referred to. If you want to try out the Movie Maker option download this version that works for XP and W7 (even though it is described as being for vista) Download details: Windows Movie Maker 2.6


                      Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children