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Is de-interlaced always worse than interlaced watching on TV ? Or do I do something wrong ?

239 Views 1 Reply Latest reply: May 2, 2012 12:13 PM by Russ H RSS
DocToby Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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May 2, 2012 7:12 AM

I am working with FCP X, using interlaced material (1080i) shot with a Panasonic TM900 Cam.

So the original footage is AVCHD 17Mbps.


Typically I apply the following workflow to export the film:

- Export from FCP X timeline without any conversion as master-file (i.e. ProRes 422)

- Process through Compressor 4 to h.264 Quicktime movie with average bitrate of 20Mbps keeping the orginal resolution and framerate (25 fps, 1080 res)

      a) with all frame controls switched off -> results in a 1080i movie

      b) with frame controls switched on for de-interlacing, using "better" or "best" filter and Output fields "progressive" -> 1080p movie


In case a), when watching the film on the media player of a Samsung LCD TV the output quality is extremely good and has no visible difference to the original AVCHD file (that I watch by plugging the camera via HDMI to the TV)


But: in case b) all scenes with fast movements are much worse in quality (played with the same media palyer as well as when playing with Apple TV3). Moving objects are no more sharp and there are "block artefacts" around fast moving objects. Same appears for scenes with fast zoom. Quality is really visibly worse compared to the original AVCHD.


The effect does not change when I use "best" filter settings.


I am now wondering:

Is a de-interlaced 1080p film "per defintion" worse in quality compared to the 1080i film, when being watched on a TV ?

For me this sounds strange, as I understood that at the end also my Samsung TV does some kind of "on-the-fly" deinterlacing, as the LCD screen is of course progressive.

Or do I do something wrong ?


Happy for any advice and help !

iMac, Mac OS X (10.7)
  • Russ H Level 6 Level 6 (12,905 points)

    You sure that the original footage was shot interlaced? The information I found on the camera is that it shoots progressive.


    Hard to generalize about what looks better – interlaced or progressive – except that interlaced can look pretty dodgy with computer play-back. Otherwise, much depends on the material that was shot.


    Bear in mind that de-interlacing per se throws away half the information. Frame Controls tries to compensate for that loss. Going from Pro Res to h,264 is a major compression step by itself; adding more filters in our attempts to improve results also can increase the possibilities for errors. Maybe that's what happened here.




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