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VHS to DVD quality

 
 
wthack@aol.com
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      03-24-2005, 02:14 AM
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?

 
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PTRAVEL
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      03-24-2005, 02:45 AM

<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
>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.

>



 
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Ken Maltby
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      03-24-2005, 03:29 AM

"PTRAVEL" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
>>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


 
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PTRAVEL
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      03-24-2005, 01:41 PM

"Ken Maltby" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> "PTRAVEL" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>>
>> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>> news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
>>>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
>
>



 
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Susan
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      03-24-2005, 09:55 PM
(E-Mail Removed) 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

 
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Digital Video Solutions
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      03-25-2005, 12:15 AM
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
(E-Mail Removed)
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


 
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Grizz
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      03-30-2005, 07:00 AM


>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
 
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