What to look for when judging picture quality

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Brian, Dec 28, 2003.

  1. Brian

    Brian Guest

    I've been trying out different programs that create a video DVD.
    I'd be interested in knowing what to look for when judging picture
    quality. I have recorded using a variable bit rate.

    One thing I did notice that when the camera is panning with bright
    vertical lines in the picture then the lines flicker, is this due to a
    lower bit rate?

    Regards Brian
     
    Brian, Dec 28, 2003
    #1
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  2. The final product should look as close to the original as possible,
    and with the best encoders with 1-hour DVD recordings, the
    picture can look VERY close to the best Mini-DV original with
    no motion present, and close to the original with fairly fast motion
    and a lot of fine detail present, the hardest to encode well (and it
    should not break up into "squares" with this, appear to vibrate, or
    show any other image anomalies [ideally...;-]). I tried several
    programs, and did not like one highly-rated "pro" one (it softened
    the image to make encoding easier) and liked the results from Sonic
    MyDVD and Ulead's Video Studio/Factory (we could not get the
    often-recommended TMPGEnc to not crash - but the other two
    good ones are easy to use and excellent, so.....;-).
     
    David Ruether, Dec 28, 2003
    #2
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  3. Brian

    Vance Green Guest

    Brian-

    You're likely going to get a LOT of responses to this, and
    a bunch of good info, BUT...

    Unless you're gonna resell your content, YOU are the ONLY
    person to which you must answer when judging
    how a clip looks.

    What anyone else thinks is irrelevant, and often leads to an unnecessarily
    complex and frustrating processing chain based on THAT person's preferred
    method of rendering video.

    Experiment on your own, with a short high-motion clip (so you can
    repeatedly try different settings and not spend hours waiting for
    the clip to transcode) using the responses here as guidelines,
    and have fun, rather than becoming obsessed with making some
    other user's methodology work, when it may not be possible
    to do so on your particular hardware/software setup.
     
    Vance Green, Dec 28, 2003
    #3
  4. Brian

    Brian Guest

    Thanks Vance,
    for your reply. I'd sooner fine these
    things out now than discover them later after burning many video
    DVD's.

    Regards Brian
     
    Brian, Dec 29, 2003
    #4
  5. Brian

    Sanman Guest

    I did extensive tests with mpeg2 encoding before I committed to putting my
    old home videos on dvd. I encoded a clip of a clown in a high contrast suit
    with many complex patterns, and he was running. The clip had close-ups and
    wide shots, and high motion of complex patterns, plus the fast panning when
    I followed him running along.

    I used Tmpgenc and Vegas's Main Concept encoder to encode clips at various
    bitrates, then burned them onto DVD, with appropriate names. When I played
    the DVD back in my stand alone player on a large TV using S-Video, I saw
    several things at lower bitrates, then knew what to watch for at the higher
    bitrates. If you encode a fast moving clip at 2000kbps, you'll see what to
    watch out for. Encode the same clip at 4000, 6000, and 8000 kbps and watch
    the difference. It helps to pause during fast moving scenes to really see
    what is going on in each frame. At 2000kbps - what a mess. At 4000, it's
    still a mess but not so bad if you don't pause it. At 8000, it was almost
    the same as the original during pause, and so, so close, if not exactly the
    same at full playback speed. I did find that the Main Concept codec handled
    the fast moving scenes much better than Tmpgenc, but I'm sure that Tmpgenc
    gooroos can tweak the program to do just as well. I also encoded a clip at
    10,000kbps, too high for maximum compatibility, I feel, but it looked
    absolutely identical to the original. You'd need an oscilloscope or a total
    freak to see any difference.

    If you grab a DVD RW and do these experiments using as many codecs as you
    can get your hands on, burn a 1 minute high contrast, high motion clip, you
    will be able to feel good about your final choice.

    Sanman
     
    Sanman, Dec 31, 2003
    #5
  6. Brian

    Brian Guest

    Thanks Sanman,
    I took have many bits on VHS that
    I want to transfer to DVD. One thing that interested me that you said
    at 8000 kbps you did not notice much difference. I have always found
    that a VHS recording is not of good quality, compared to SVHS or DV. I
    would have thought that at 4000 kbps you would not notice much
    difference but that might only apply to a non moving object.
    I have tried writing a short video clip I recorded off TV directly to
    my DV video camera to VCD using different video filters to try and
    improve the quality. I've seen a very good VCD video which looks close
    to SVCD or better quality. I'm certain that it was improved by using
    video filters.
    I've also tried difference video bit rates when recording a home movie
    to CD-RW. At lower bit rates vertical lines seem to shake when the
    camera is panned.
    I've recently brought a DVD recorder so I'm hoping for better results
    and as you suggested I'll try writing a short video clip several times
    to a DVD-RW disk.

    Regards Brian
     
    Brian, Dec 31, 2003
    #6
  7. Brian

    Sanman Guest

    VHS has much less quality than DVD, but the video noise on VHS is hard to
    encode to mpeg, especially at low bitrates. When copying VHS to the
    computer, I have had the best results running it through a D8 or DV camera
    that has pass-through, and sending it through firewire to the hard drive.
    This gives a nice stable video and the camera I use (Sony) seems to filter
    out some of that noise. I then burn to DVD at a variable bitrate of 2000,
    4800 and 8000kbps. That gives me about 2 hours on a DVD and still gives
    the encoder room to handle those rough spots on VHS. A constant 8000kbps
    bitrate will guarantee the best results, but I am very happy with the VBR
    settings I use. VHS is not as sharp as DV, so that works in favor of
    getting you good encoding results.

    If you are pleased with your VCD experiments, you will be throwing a party
    when you see your new DVD results.

    Sanman
     
    Sanman, Dec 31, 2003
    #7
  8. This gives a nice stable video and the camera I use (Sony) seems to filter
    Sanman, note that there is a menu setting for both DNR (Dynamic Noise
    Reduction) and TBC (Time Base Corrector) in the menu of Sony DV cams. Sounds
    like you allready have those selected, but you might check. Does wonders for
    VHS pass thru.

    Craig H.
     
    HighPeaksVideo, Dec 31, 2003
    #8
  9. Brian

    Sanman Guest

    Thanks Craig. Actually, it's a Sony D8 that I borrow from my sister. My D8
    doesn't do pass-through (Sony TRV-103) I have bounced VHS off of tape with
    it and got great results that way too. It doesn't have those settings, so I
    assume they are turned on (?) I know the TBS is on because the DV transfers
    are WAY more stable than the original VHS. I'll check that out when I
    borrow sis's camera again.

    Sanman
     
    Sanman, Jan 2, 2004
    #9
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