8 Replies Latest reply: Apr 7, 2012 7:04 PM by Alchroma
Fisheye16HP Level 1 (0 points)

I have a question that I think is going to be pretty simple for you guys to answer, though I have looked around on the net for a solid answer . . . not having found much consistency.


My question deals with a 79 min. sequence to use in iDVD.


I exported as a Quicktime Movie (NOT Quicktime conversion), not self-contained.


There is a slight loss in video quality when the Quicktime window is small (about the size of a YouTube screen). When I increase the Quicktime window to full screen, the movie is jumpy, and the quality drop off is even more obvious. Also, the audio and video is slightly (very slightly) out of sync when a subject is talking. Overall, the Quicktime Movie is just not nearly as good as watching the sequence in the canvas, no matter what size the canvas is.


Some information about the project and footage:


Sequence properties:


Vid Rate - 29.97 fps

Frame Size - 1440 x 1080

Compressor - Apple Int. Codec


Pixel Aspect - HD (1440x1080)


I think I used the HDV-Apple Intermediate Codec 1080i60 Easy Setup  . . .. .  format was "all formats," and rate is 29.97.


The audio files in the sequence are 48 khz and 16 bit.


All footage was HDV 1080i on a Sony HVR-A1U


Obviously, I am a novice . .  done a lot of small videos, but this is my first big project, and I am beginning to get worried it is going to be poor quality.  Thank you very much, in advance, for any help.

  • Alchroma Level 6 (18,260 points)

    Welcome Fisheye16HP,


    iDVD can only produce SD quality no matter what you start off with, HDV or AVCHD.

    HDV and AVCHD Sequences directly exported to iDVD do produce unwanted artifacts.


    You have two choices.


    Copy/Paste your HDV Sequence into an NTSC Anamorphic Sequence, render and export as Quicktime Movie.


    Downconvert the original HDV footage through the camera to SD and edit into an NTSC Anamorphic Sequence, export as Quicktime Movie, this would require a re-edit of your work.


    The first choice is probably the course of least resistance.


    Be aware that the export needs to be set correctly for iDVD 16:9 to work with SD.

    See here:




  • Fisheye16HP Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you, Alchroma.


    I think I understand what you are saying, but maybe I shouldn't have mentioned iDVD. iDVD is where I eventually want to go, but just exporting the sequence as a Quicktime Movie (NOT conversion) caused the unwanted results described above. I thought just the export to Quicktime would have produced better results . . . I haven't even brought it into iDVD yet.  For example, if I wanted to screen this movie straight from my laptop, I thought a simple export as a Quicktime Movie would be ideal.  Then, later, going into iDVD would produced some issues going from HD to SD, and your choices above will certainly come in handy.


    As you can tell, I have no idea what I am doing at this stage of editing!!  Thanks again, and please let me know if what I said above makes sense . . .

  • Alchroma Level 6 (18,260 points)

    From the info you supplied it would seem that all should be well.


    Where are the source files (captured clips) stored and what type of drive is being used?


    Also can you right click on the Sequence icon in the FCE Browser and select Item Properties, post a screen shot.


    Do the same for a clip in the Browser.



  • Fisheye16HP Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the reply.


    The sequence properties are here:



    The clip properties are here:



    The source files are on a LaCie external hard drive, connected through Firewire.  The LaCie is one of those "rugged" silver ones with the orange rubber around it.


    Thank you!

  • Alchroma Level 6 (18,260 points)

    I can't see any obvious problems with the Sequence or clips????


    Do your clips play correctly in the Viewer when entered from the Browser?


    How about the Timeline?


    Try a test using a Self Contained file rather than the Referenced File.


    If the Self Contained file is still out of sync then I have no idea why.

    PAL/NTSC crossups can cause this but all the info says you are NTSC all the way!!



  • Fisheye16HP Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, everything plays perfectly in the viewer, as does the timeline in the canvas.  I will have time later today to export it as a self-contained movie, and will let you know how that turns out.  Thanks for your help. 

  • Fisheye16HP Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks, Alchroma!  Exporting as self-contained did the trick!  I always thought you could do either one, that it didn't matter as far as quality and syncing are concerned. I learned something. Thank you.


    A couple other things as a result (I may have to begin a new thread):


    (1) the resulting file is 58 GB. Seems way too big to me. It is a 79 minute documentary, and there are a lot of photos and scanned images in the timeline/sequence. I used .tiff for all these images based, I think, on a thread from this discussion board. What do you think?


    (2) When playing the self-contained QT movie, sometimes it plays all the way through with no glitches, sometimes it stalls. I am guessing this is my aging MacBook Pro . . . . I also use the free version of QT. Would the upgrade help?


    Thanks again!!

  • Alchroma Level 6 (18,260 points)

    Glad your export worked out OK. 


    This sometimes occurs when exporting and the Self Contained usually sorts it.

    Why the Referenced files sometimes do not work, I don't know. I've never had one fail.

    It may be that you did not Mix Down the audio causing your system to lag chasing up/referencing files???


    1. HDV statrs out as Long GOP and when decompressed blows up to be frame editable, hence the lager size.

    This occurs when FCE turns the HDV footage into AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec)

    58 gig sounds about right for 79 minutes.


    2. Coud be your system.

    QT Pro is worth every penny you spend for the added fuctionality, I don't think it will help playback.


    If you run a Macbook with a 5400 drive or an an External USB, they are likely suspects for playback issues.