8 Replies Latest reply: Nov 25, 2012 1:10 AM by anderssunesson
anderssunesson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hello,

 

I have digitzed some old VHS movie to quicktime using a simple USB video grabber. The quicktime movie that I got is of good quality. Then I have imported to iMovie, made the editing, finalized the movie, and shared to iDVD. The encoding is set to best performance, the format is PAL, 4:3, and then I have burned the DVD. When I look at the DVD on our TV the dark parts are really awful - digitizing noise all over the place.

 

I then connected the computer directly to the TV and this is much better in quality . the background has no or little flicker, and the dark parts remain dark.

 

What am I doing wrong? I refuse to beleive that this is as good as it gets - commercial DVDs are much better and this is from a €%&/# VHS, so there should not be any real degradation?!?


MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Bengt Wärleby Level 6 Level 6 (19,450 points)

    Hi

     

    This depends on two to three things

     

    • DVD is as standard - Interlaced SD-Video (at it's best whatever program used to author it)

     

    • iMovie'08 to 11 - can now way known deliver this as they all discard every second line in the picture when going from Event's to Project's - and this can not be mended in after hand. I use

    - iMovie HD6 - or -

    - FinalCut any version

    as they keep 100% to be sent to DVD authoring program

     

    • Video-Codec can in sometime mismatch what iDVD can use (even if it tries) - I use QuickTime .mov (NO QuickTime Conversion - when coming from FinalCut)

     

    of cause I keep same TV-standard trough out all steps from Camera to DVD e.g. PAL/25fps.

     

    Yours Bengt W

  • mishmumken Level 5 Level 5 (4,000 points)

    anderssunesson wrote:

     

    I refuse to beleive that this is as good as it gets - commercial DVDs are much better and this is from a €%&/# VHS, so there should not be any real degradation?!?

     

    You encoded the original video 2 times. There will most certainly be degradation.

     

    Can you give us the exact specs for the QT file? Just open in QT Player and hit Cmd+I to bring up the inspector.

  • anderssunesson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi,

     

    I made as you suggested and I get what is below:

    Format: MPEG-4 video, 720x576, Millions

    Linear PCM, 16 bit little-endian signed

    Integer, 2 channels, 44100 Hz

    FPS: 24.83

    Data Size: 4.39 GB

    Data rate: 8.25 MBit/s

    Current Size: 720x576 pixels (actual)

     

    I will next try to see if the different steps in the procedure causes degradation-. It is as if the even-coloured parts have become "pixillated"

  • mishmumken Level 5 Level 5 (4,000 points)

    Taking a guess here: The Mpeg-4 video probably contains square pixels (DVDs don't do square pixels) and that could be the problem. The other thing is that iMovie versions newer than 6 don't deal well with SD video, as stated before by Bengt.

     

    Here's what you can try:

    • when digitizing try to get the output to DV PAL in a .mov container or .dv

    • if you need to edit use iMovie HD 6 or FCE or FCP, then export a self-contained QT file.

    • if you don't need to edit bring the DV file directly into iDVD

  • anderssunesson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks,

     

    what I did was I imported to iDVD by moving the icon rather than sharing. This gave a smaller file. When I inspected on a huge flatscreen it turns out that

    -all the iDVD movies have TERRIBLE pixellation

    -the project in iMovie has the same pixellation, but maybe a bit better

    -the "event" in iMovie is fairly ok, and...

    -the raw digitized MPEG-4 movie is the best

     

    How can I burn the mpeg-4 to a DVD without incurring the loss in quality? How do studios do this? I know that this sounds silly. It is just that for a vinyl that you digitize, getting the same quality as you input digitized audio is not so hard, after all. There were some tips on round pixels vs square pixels. I will look into that. Do you need a special "DVD-digitizer" to save your old VHS movies??

  • mishmumken Level 5 Level 5 (4,000 points)

    anderssunesson wrote:

     

    When I inspected on a huge flatscreen it turns out that

    -all the iDVD movies have TERRIBLE pixellation

     

    Clearly when you look at a 720 x 576 DVD on a 42" LCD it will not look good unless you have good source footage AND a good encoder AND good upscaling from your player. iDVD does provide a good encoder but the other two may just not be up to the task.

     

    I personally made DVDs that looked good on a 42" Sony TV. But they were encoded in Compressor and played on a Blu-Ray player with excellent upscaling.

     

     

    anderssunesson wrote:

     

    How can I burn the mpeg-4 to a DVD without incurring the loss in quality? How do studios do this?

     

    You can't and they don't. First of, studios don't start out with highly compressed videos and secondly they have much better software encoders (which cost $$$$) like CinemaCraft or hardware encoders.

     

     

     

    anderssunesson wrote:

     

    There were some tips on round pixels vs square pixels. I will look into that. Do you need a special "DVD-digitizer" to save your old VHS movies??

     

    You can get something that goes from VHS to DV (instead of MPEG-4) like the Canopus converters and then edit in either iMovie 6 or FCE (both are EOL). In any case, bear in mind that you start out from VHS.

  • Bengt Wärleby Level 6 Level 6 (19,450 points)

    Why is the iDVD-burned CD of worse quality than the raw quicktime movie?

     

    forgot to say ( Most probably already said )

     

    on the DVD there is a (say 1 to 2 hour) highly compressed material in sort of .mpeg2 code

     

    the Raw QT.mov (.dv) (.mov is no codec it's a container and can hold about anything e.g. .dv as is a "near to zero compresses" video-codec - well it is but in a non-destructed way)

     

    on a DVD there might be 4.7GB .mpeg2

     

    in the QT.mov (2 hours) there is 27GB

     

    That's why a DVD never can be as good as Raw .dv video - ever.

     

    Yours Bengt W

  • anderssunesson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi and thanks for the suggestions.

     

    What I meant by the comparison with the huge flat screen is that the raw digitized video ALSO looks better on the flatscreen than the copy that has been run through iMovie and iDVD. The size of this file is only 4.2 GB, so it is no larger than an ordinary DVD. I tried to import the QT file directly into iDVD, and this worked. The quality, at first look, also seemed better than the processed copies.

     

    Anyway, this just shows to me how much more complicated video is than audio.