DV-AVI too big; WMV too blurry

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Brian Holtz, Dec 8, 2003.

  1. Brian Holtz

    Brian Holtz Guest

    I want to archive DV home movies on my PC. Is there an
    encoding that is smaller than DV-AVI, but that doesn't introduce
    a blurriness that is noticeable when freeze-framing a higher-motion
    scene (like panning)? I've tried WMV, MPEG2, and Divx, and all
    suffer from this problem. Oddly, I even see it on the VOBs created
    when I burn a DVD image directly from DV-AVI, even though I can
    freeze-frame such a DVD just fine on my HDTV's DVD player.
    (Of course, when I frame-step the original DV-AVI, each frame is crisp.)

    Bonus points if the encoding preserves the timecode info that
    is available for each frame in DV AVI.

    I've Googled a ton for the answer to what would seem to be such a basic
    question, with no luck.
     
    Brian Holtz, Dec 8, 2003
    #1
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  2. Brian Holtz

    Samuel Paik Guest

    Windows Media Video, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4 (DivX) can achieve very
    low distortion if you give properly configured encoders enough
    bitrate. For example, have you tried using Quality 100% mode in
    Windows Media Encoder, DivX Pro, or XviD? You might try an MPEG-2
    encoder that can encode to the High Profile (at Main or even High
    Level).
    There is so much processing between DV-AVI and a VOB that calling
    it direct is pretty silly. Anyway, DVD quality is not the best that
    MPEG-2 can achieve.
    Sam
     
    Samuel Paik, Dec 8, 2003
    #2
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  3. Brian Holtz

    Brian Holtz Guest

    Can anyone recommend XP software that successfully allows such
    configuration?
    It does not seem to be available in Windows Movie Maker 2 or MovieStar 5.
    I've tried Divx5.1, Cinepak, and QuickTime in QuickTime 6 and Premiere 6,
    and at
    Quality 100% they make files that are noticeably lower-quality than DV-AVI
    and
    can even be bigger. The quality loss involves not only the motion ghosting
    that
    I see in the (nicely compact) WMV files, but also a sort of horizontal
    scanline
    graininess that the (much smaller) WMVs do not suffer from.

    Given how bad these encodings work, and how none of them seem able to
    keep the DV timecode information, I should probably just buy a huge
    firewire hard drive and keep all my home movies as DV AVI.
     
    Brian Holtz, Dec 8, 2003
    #3
  4. Brian Holtz

    ctrl-z Guest

    I want to archive DV home movies on my PC. Is there an

    You can't 'archive' anything on a hard drive. They can and do fail
    suddenly and without warning. Your miniDV tapes are your archives.
    Keep them safe. Any computer in the world can only be considered
    *temporary* storage.

    If you just want to capture stuff to watch on the PC, get something
    like a USB mpeg capture device. e.g.
    http://www.adstech.com/products/USBAV702/intro/usb702intro.asp?pid=USBAV702
     
    ctrl-z, Dec 8, 2003
    #4
  5. Brian Holtz

    Samuel Paik Guest

    I did mention Windows Media Encoder.

    Cinepak and the original Quicktime Video codec are designed for
    a different era (basiclaly, they had to run in real time on the
    equivalent of a 66 MHz 486 equipped with a 256 color paletted
    display). The DivX 5 codec can be configured properly if the
    encoding software supports it, VirtualDub, for example.

    They are probably better than you think
    You're not going to be able to store much...
     
    Samuel Paik, Dec 8, 2003
    #5
  6. Brian Holtz

    Brian Holtz Guest

    Sure you can -- just buy two, and mirror them.
    I want to have near-random-access to my DV movies for
    purposes of editing together various DVDs out of them.
    I don't want to have to recapture from DV tape every time
    I edit together a variant DVD (for family or friends,
    or editing in new stills, etc.).

    I'm still surprised that none of the popular tools I've
    tried allow me to find a happy medium between 13Gb/hr
    and ~1Gb/hr (never mind keeping the trivially small timecode
    info). Oh well, in a couple years, declining storage
    costs (and HD-DV) will make 13Gb/hr seem compact....
     
    Brian Holtz, Dec 9, 2003
    #6
  7. Brian Holtz

    Robmash Guest

    If the problem does not exist on the DVD played on a TV but is seen on
    the PC, it is possible that what you are referring to as blurriness is
    in fact interlacing artefacts.

    I won't go into details here because there is already many volumes of
    information on interlacing already floating around on the net (and
    this group).

    If the final destination for the files is PC instead of TV, then use a
    deinterlacing filter when you create the MPEG or WMV file.

    Regards,

    Robmash
     
    Robmash, Dec 9, 2003
    #7
  8. Brian Holtz

    - Guest

    I'm current working on a program which will be able to workaround this
    problem. It's not the highest priority feature so it will probably not
    be ready for 2-3 months.
     
    -, Dec 9, 2003
    #8
  9. Brian Holtz

    Brian Holtz Guest

    Yes, after reading up on interlacing, that's exactly what I'm seeing.
    If my TV's DVD player can step frame-by-frame through the DVD
    without blurring, why can't I do the same on the PC? (I tried WMP9,
    RealPlayer, and WinDVD.)
    I want to store on my PC video clips from which I can edit together DVDs.
    For both the clips when viewed on PC, and the DVDs when viewed on a TV,
    I want to be able to pause and not see the ghosting that
    apparently is caused by interlacing.

    I can do this if I keep my video clips as DV AVI. Is there any other
    compression/encoding/filtering regime that would satisfy these requirements
    at significantly less than 13GB/hr?

    As noted above, the MPEG2 on the DVD I create allows non-ghosting
    frame-stepping on my TV, so that would seem to imply that MPEG2
    could be a <=4GB/hr solution to my problem.

    I've tried WMV, AVI w/ cinepak and Divx, and QuickTime: all yield
    ghosting when frame-stepping on the PC, and a DVD generated from
    WMV suffered ghosting on TV.

    I've spent several evenings trying the de-interlace features of Windows
    Media
    Encoder, but every file I've created with it still has ghosting.

    I've read a lot about deinterlacing on doom9 and 100fps.com, and next I'm
    going to try VirtualDub.

    I still remain stunned that none of the tools and encodings I've tried
    default to
    creating output that one can pause without seeing ghosting.
     
    Brian Holtz, Dec 10, 2003
    #9
  10. Brian Holtz

    ctrl-z Guest

    I want to have near-random-access to my DV movies for

    This can be done with careful planning. But so what if you think
    you're finished with a tape only to have to recapture part of it
    again? It's easy to do.

    Especially with my smaller drives I work in stages. Edit tape1,
    render, delete the raw footage and edit tape2. Repeat.

    160gig drives ($90 after MIR) will hold 10 hours of DV25 with
    headroom.
     
    ctrl-z, Dec 10, 2003
    #10
  11. Brian Holtz

    David McCall Guest

    Video is interlaced. Normally this means that the 2 fields are
    taken at a slightly different time. Back when everything was
    tubes, every line of video was taken at a slightly different time.
    The ghosting is likely just that you are looking at a full frame
    of video (both fields at the same time). Some equipment, and
    some software, has the option to view Field 1, field 2, or a full
    frame of video when-ever you are paused. If you see no double
    image when paused, then you are only looking at half of your
    paused frame. Deinterlacing has it's place, but be aware that
    it reduces your resolution in two ways. Not only are you
    throwing away half of the lines that make up your video
    image, but you are throwing away half of the "motion"
    information, making motion jittery (more like film).

    David
     
    David McCall, Dec 10, 2003
    #11
  12. Brian Holtz

    Brian Holtz Guest

    When I pause or step the playback of a DV AVI file,
    each frame is crisp. When I play it, the motion scenes
    look much better and cleaner than the blurry
    motion in the highest-quality WMV or non-DV AVI
    that I encode it to. If this is reduced resolution,
    I like it.

    I take it, then, that the answer to my question is that
    no such alternative to DV AVI exists?

    -------------------------------------------------
    I want to be able to pause and not see the ghosting that
    apparently is caused by interlacing.

    I can do this if I keep my video clips as DV AVI. Is there any other
    compression/encoding/filtering regime that would satisfy these requirements
    at significantly less than 13GB/hr?
     
    Brian Holtz, Dec 11, 2003
    #12
  13. If you really see ghosting, it is already present in the interlaced
    source. Iow, you also see it when you look only at the odd or even
    fields. They are a product of messed up ntsc-pal conversions.
    False. (Ok, true if you deinterlace by throwing away one of
    the two fields.)
    False. (Ok, true if you deinterlace by throwing away one of
    the two fields.)

    But of course, if your source is trully interlaced, you
    throw away some information when deinterlacing. Since
    deinterlacing is basically interpolating lines.

    Wilbert
     
    Wilbert Dijkhof, Dec 11, 2003
    #13
  14. Brian Holtz

    David McCall Guest

     
    David McCall, Dec 11, 2003
    #14
  15. Brian Holtz

    Kelvin Guest

    Yes, after reading up on interlacing, that's exactly what I'm seeing.
    I use PowerDVD to view MPEG-2 files and AVI files on the computer
    screen without seeing the interlacing artifacts. The same files
    viewed with WMP9 look terrible.
     
    Kelvin, Dec 11, 2003
    #15
  16. PowerDVD deinterlaces your mpeg2 files. WMP doesn't.

    Wilbert
     
    Wilbert Dijkhof, Dec 11, 2003
    #16
  17. Brian Holtz

    Samuel Paik Guest

    Before DV, people used MJPEG. After DV, people still use MJPEG
    since it isn't locked to a data rate.

    Sam
     
    Samuel Paik, Dec 11, 2003
    #17
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