VHS to DVD quality

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by wthack@aol.com, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. Guest

    I made my first DVD and when doing an A/B compare to the source VHS I
    am very disappointed with the degradation in both video and audio
    quality. The video lacks sharpness and saturation and the audio seems
    to saturate when compared to the 20 year old VHS tape.

    I am moving old VHS home movies thru a Canon ZR70 camcorder using it as
    an AV to DV converter. The DV stream is being sent to my Dell over a
    Fireware port. The video is captured as a .avi file using Sonic MyDVD.
    I use Microsoft MovieMaker to do any editing and save the file as a
    ..avi again, and then I use Sonic again to burn to DVD.

    Where in this chain am I losing my fidelity? What is a resonable
    expectation for video/audio quality in a DVD made from a VHS tape?
     
    , Mar 24, 2005
    #1
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  2. PTRAVEL Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I made my first DVD and when doing an A/B compare to the source VHS I
    > am very disappointed with the degradation in both video and audio
    > quality. The video lacks sharpness and saturation and the audio seems
    > to saturate when compared to the 20 year old VHS tape.
    >
    > I am moving old VHS home movies thru a Canon ZR70 camcorder using it as
    > an AV to DV converter. The DV stream is being sent to my Dell over a
    > Fireware port. The video is captured as a .avi file using Sonic MyDVD.
    > I use Microsoft MovieMaker to do any editing and save the file as a
    > .avi again, and then I use Sonic again to burn to DVD.
    >
    > Where in this chain am I losing my fidelity? What is a resonable
    > expectation for video/audio quality in a DVD made from a VHS tape?


    Almost certainly, the weak point in your work chain is the post-editing
    conversion from avi to mpeg for burning to the DVD. Try a stand-alone
    transcoder like tmpgenc, set for 2-pass vbr and tweaked as found here:

    http://dvd-hq.info/Compression.html

    Note that high-quality avi-to-mpeg transcoding in tmpgenc is very slow. On
    my 3 GHz 512 meg P4 system, it can take up to 24 hours to transcode 2 hours
    of dv-codec avi. However, the results are spectacular and produce DVDs that
    approach commercial DVD quality.

    >
     
    PTRAVEL, Mar 24, 2005
    #2
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  3. Ken Maltby Guest

    "PTRAVEL" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >>I made my first DVD and when doing an A/B compare to the source VHS I
    >> am very disappointed with the degradation in both video and audio
    >> quality. The video lacks sharpness and saturation and the audio seems
    >> to saturate when compared to the 20 year old VHS tape.
    >>
    >> I am moving old VHS home movies thru a Canon ZR70 camcorder using it as
    >> an AV to DV converter. The DV stream is being sent to my Dell over a
    >> Fireware port. The video is captured as a .avi file using Sonic MyDVD.
    >> I use Microsoft MovieMaker to do any editing and save the file as a
    >> .avi again, and then I use Sonic again to burn to DVD.
    >>
    >> Where in this chain am I losing my fidelity? What is a resonable
    >> expectation for video/audio quality in a DVD made from a VHS tape?

    >
    > Almost certainly, the weak point in your work chain is the post-editing
    > conversion from avi to mpeg for burning to the DVD. Try a stand-alone
    > transcoder like tmpgenc, set for 2-pass vbr and tweaked as found here:
    >
    > http://dvd-hq.info/Compression.html
    >
    > Note that high-quality avi-to-mpeg transcoding in tmpgenc is very slow.
    > On my 3 GHz 512 meg P4 system, it can take up to 24 hours to transcode 2
    > hours of dv-codec avi. However, the results are spectacular and produce
    > DVDs that approach commercial DVD quality.
    >
    >>



    Not bad advice, but you might want to try both "PTravel's"
    time consuming approach and a good single pass encoder like
    the Ligos GoMotion encoder in Magix's "Movie Edit Pro 10".
    When it works it will outshine both MovieMaker and MyDVD.
    It has a camera noise print sample for the Canon ZR, also. It
    usually takes some effort to get everything you want working,
    but it can do a whole lot for only $50. It will even do Surround
    sound, HD, and widescreen. www.magix.com

    You may find that any slight improvement provided by the two
    pass process, cost you more than it's worth. I don't have a link
    to any optimized settings but you could do the comparison using
    those provided by "PTravel's" link. (except the two pass, of
    course)

    Luck;
    Ken
     
    Ken Maltby, Mar 24, 2005
    #3
  4. PTRAVEL Guest

    "Ken Maltby" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > "PTRAVEL" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >>
    >> <> wrote in message
    >> news:...
    >>>I made my first DVD and when doing an A/B compare to the source VHS I
    >>> am very disappointed with the degradation in both video and audio
    >>> quality. The video lacks sharpness and saturation and the audio seems
    >>> to saturate when compared to the 20 year old VHS tape.
    >>>
    >>> I am moving old VHS home movies thru a Canon ZR70 camcorder using it as
    >>> an AV to DV converter. The DV stream is being sent to my Dell over a
    >>> Fireware port. The video is captured as a .avi file using Sonic MyDVD.
    >>> I use Microsoft MovieMaker to do any editing and save the file as a
    >>> .avi again, and then I use Sonic again to burn to DVD.
    >>>
    >>> Where in this chain am I losing my fidelity? What is a resonable
    >>> expectation for video/audio quality in a DVD made from a VHS tape?

    >>
    >> Almost certainly, the weak point in your work chain is the post-editing
    >> conversion from avi to mpeg for burning to the DVD. Try a stand-alone
    >> transcoder like tmpgenc, set for 2-pass vbr and tweaked as found here:
    >>
    >> http://dvd-hq.info/Compression.html
    >>
    >> Note that high-quality avi-to-mpeg transcoding in tmpgenc is very slow.
    >> On my 3 GHz 512 meg P4 system, it can take up to 24 hours to transcode 2
    >> hours of dv-codec avi. However, the results are spectacular and produce
    >> DVDs that approach commercial DVD quality.
    >>
    >>>

    >
    >
    > Not bad advice, but you might want to try both "PTravel's"
    > time consuming approach and a good single pass encoder like
    > the Ligos GoMotion encoder in Magix's "Movie Edit Pro 10".
    > When it works it will outshine both MovieMaker and MyDVD.
    > It has a camera noise print sample for the Canon ZR, also. It
    > usually takes some effort to get everything you want working,
    > but it can do a whole lot for only $50. It will even do Surround
    > sound, HD, and widescreen. www.magix.com
    >
    > You may find that any slight improvement provided by the two
    > pass process, cost you more than it's worth. I don't have a link
    > to any optimized settings but you could do the comparison using
    > those provided by "PTravel's" link. (except the two pass, of
    > course)


    Given the OP's intended application, I agree with your points above.

    >
    > Luck;
    > Ken
    >
    >
     
    PTRAVEL, Mar 24, 2005
    #4
  5. Susan Guest

    wrote:

    >I made my first DVD and when doing an A/B compare to the source VHS I
    >am very disappointed with the degradation in both video and audio
    >quality. The video lacks sharpness and saturation and the audio seems
    >to saturate when compared to the 20 year old VHS tape.
    >
    >I am moving old VHS home movies thru a Canon ZR70 camcorder using it as
    >an AV to DV converter. The DV stream is being sent to my Dell over a
    >Fireware port. The video is captured as a .avi file using Sonic MyDVD.
    >I use Microsoft MovieMaker to do any editing and save the file as a
    >.avi again, and then I use Sonic again to burn to DVD.


    NOTE: you are staying DV throughout the editing process aren't you?
    Then transcoding directly from DV-AVI to MPG2.
    >
    >Where in this chain am I losing my fidelity? What is a resonable
    >expectation for video/audio quality in a DVD made from a VHS tape?


    Hi,

    There are a number of places where a source tape and the resulting DVD
    can vary. It might be in the coding, which others have suggested, but
    that is the least likely place unless you are trying to cram a lot of
    material onto a DVD. (In other words, if you are trying to put six
    hours of VHS onto one DVD you are going to have to do a lot of
    tweaking to get reasonable results.) You can get one or two hours on
    a DVD pretty easily, but more than that can really take a lot of
    effort.

    Probably what is happening is that when you run your VHS output
    through the SR70, it is expecting the video to have standard DV
    saturation levels. However, VHS saturation is standardized at about
    1/3rd the DV level, therefore, you end up with really washed out
    color. To make matters worse, hue, brightness and contrast are all
    different on VHS than on DV.

    Another big source of trouble is that your Camcorder is really
    expecting to get the color signal through it's S-Video input, and you
    are probably sending the signal composite. Your TV can do a great job
    of handling a composite signal from VHS, but converting to DV/DVD from
    composite can lead to the loss of much of the color information.

    The next loss of saturation occurs when converting the 4:1:1 DV signal
    to the 4:2:0 MPG2 for DVD. If you started out with a low saturation,
    it is only going to suffer in the conversion.

    The easiest way to fix this difference is to use something like a Sima
    Color corrector to boost the saturation, sharpness, brightness and
    contrast of the VHS signal before it is encoded by your SR70 and
    recorded to an AVI file. What you would want to do is capture short
    (5 min?) segments at different settings and run them through your
    editing setup until you get the best settings.

    Your sound problems appear to be over modulation. You may have to
    reduce the volume of the audio stream before it is captured. Unlike
    analog recording which has a lot of spare overhead, digital recording
    has essentially no safe overhead at all. The moment you move past the
    maximum volume level, you immediately get massive distortion. Also,
    VHS tape is normalized at -3Db, while DVDs are normalized at -20Db,
    so, unless your editing software is properly set up, you are likely to
    be recording your sound levels much to loud on the DVD. Also, make
    sure you are recording from the "HiFi" track, if your VHS is HiFi.

    There are many places that problems can come in when converting analog
    video (VHS) to DV or DVDs. You have to work through your system and
    see what is going wrong. One of the biggest problems can come from
    expecting to have a soft 6 hr. VHS tape look great on a DVD,
    especially on a new higher quality TV. What you discover is that you
    don't notice how bad your VHS recordings looked until you get them all
    sharp and crisp, then you discover that they really look like hell.

    Hope this helps,

    Susan
     
    Susan, Mar 24, 2005
    #5
  6. Just for grins I did a test with original captured video imported into Movie
    Maker and then created a new video file. There is a slight bit of
    compression but not that noticable from the original. The original file was
    709MB and the result 708MB. Movie Maker is recompressing the DV video.
    Trouble is there are seemingly no settings to choose from outside of DV-AVI
    in the output dialogs. I don't use Movie Maker so I don't know anything more
    than what I found, but it seems with my experience of using NLE programs
    these settings dialogs should be rather easy to find, if they exist.

    Though this recompression from Movie Maker may not have altered your video
    very much at a single MB off of over 700 I can't say what it does on larger
    (longer) video files. It is not yielding a one-to-one though.

    What settings are you using for encoding in MyDVD. It could be you are using
    a bitrate too low for yielding good quality video. I don't use MyDVD but
    have several copies of DVDit! LE hanging around here and the video encoded
    using it is pretty nice overall. I would assume MyDVD is using the same
    Sonic encoder core as their other products.

    Try using the encoding the video using another program and the settings that
    match those used in MyDVD. That in a nutshell will tell you if their encoder
    is bad, or you are simply adding too much compression to the MPEG-2 files.
    The little freeby program everyone suggest around here...TMPGenc or whatever
    it is. They say it's really good. It's worth a try.
    --
    Larry Johnson
    Digital Video Solutions

    http://www.digitalvideosolutions.com
    877-227-6281 Toll Free Sales Assistance
    386-672-1941 Customer Service
    386-672-1907 Technical Support
    386-676-1515 Fax
     
    Digital Video Solutions, Mar 25, 2005
    #6
  7. Grizz Guest


    >Note that high-quality avi-to-mpeg transcoding in tmpgenc is very slow.
    >On my 3 GHz 512 meg P4 system, it can take up to 24 hours to transcode 2
    >hours of dv-codec avi. However, the results are spectacular and produce
    >DVDs that approach commercial DVD quality.
    >


    Hmm what version of TMPGenc?

    I use TMPGenc Express 3.0 on a 3 Ghz Hyperthreading P4, 800 Ghz FSB, 512
    meg, Win Xp system. My encoding times are alot better than that.

    I recently upgraded from a PII 350Mhz win 98 system, 6 hours to encode
    20 min there, but IIRC it's about between 1.5 and 2x the clip length to
    encode with my new system.

    (I normally do a 2 pass encode from progressive scan dv .avi files ->
    high res (8000 avg) bitrate dvd Mpg2)

    Either you are on an older release of TMPGenc, or compress more or ...?
    Somthings gotta be different, cause I know take me closer to 4 hours
    than 24 hours to encode 2 hours of video.

    Grizz
     
    Grizz, Mar 30, 2005
    #7
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