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Old October 3rd, 2010, 12:30 PM   #1
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Stripes/Steps in HD to SD DVD - PP CS4

Hi,
I've read many many threads on how to convert from HD format to a SD DVD, and read many people that say the standard def DVD is almost indistinguishable from HD...so...I hope I am doing something wrong. I shoot alot of classical music performances, and when I have thin objects such as violin bows, they always look terrible on DVD. I attached some pictures from my TV to show what I mean (Panasonic 1080P Plasma TV). In these samples, look at the string holding the speakers name badge on, and it looks like discrete vertical segments with gaps. Also, look at the edge of the mic stand and you can see how the edge isn't smooth, but rather it is "stair stepped".

I have tried a variety of conversion methods, bit rates, CBR/VBR, etc... but they all seem to do this. Additionly the motion doesn't seem to be linear/smooth, it has a discernable "jump" to it.

I'm using Premiere Pro CS4, and can't seem to find the recipe.

Note, these particular samples were exported using the MPG2 DVD present, high quality, CBR 7, but as I mentioned I get similar results with everything I try.

HD exports in Blu Ray, or WMV, etc...come out very nice from the same source material, but SD looks terrible. I expect it to be a bit softer, but not like this.

Any suggestions?
Thanks,
Ken
Attached Thumbnails
Stripes/Steps in HD to SD DVD - PP CS4-hd-sd-sample-1.jpg   Stripes/Steps in HD to SD DVD - PP CS4-hd-sd-sample-2.jpg  

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Old October 3rd, 2010, 07:03 PM   #2
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A DVD is always going to look horrible on a 1080p plasma if your DVD player has no upscaling.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 07:38 PM   #3
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Hey Ken.....

If you've read many HS to SD conversion, then you'll know what you're up against.
The only true way to a proper conversion, is to do a deinterlace outside PPro, and then do the rescaling.
Ironically, the best deinterlacing methods are with freeware programs like VirtualDub or AVISynth..

In the future, if you can avoid shooting interlaced and stick to progressive, AME does a correct job in rescaling, and all the detail is kept in place..
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Old October 4th, 2010, 02:53 AM   #4
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Ken
This is a popular topic on these forums because getting from interlaced HD to good looking DVDs is not as simple as one would expect.
The absolute MAIN PROBLEM is rescaling HD 60i to DVD 60i.
CS5 is the first version of PPro/AME that really does an adequate job of rescaling, particularly interlaced footage. If you are using earlier versions, you will have these problems.
Some possible solutions:
1) Upgrade to CS5
2) Use third party software that does a better job of rescaling and transcoding (ProCoder 3 works well, and there are several others).
3) Deinterlace the HD movie- from HD 60i to HD 30p. With the interlace issue out of the equation, CS4 can rescale to DVD adequately- but you will pay the price of a softer DVD image.
Final HDTV image quality:
Assuming you have excellent quality footage to begin with, if you do a bulletproof job of rescaling, use a high quality transcoder, play the DVD on an upscaling DVD player, HDMI out to a HDTV, the images will look very close to HD.
Any flaw anywhere in the chain will result in a poor quality DVD image.
The bottom line- you can do it :)
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Old October 5th, 2010, 06:50 PM   #5
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Thanks folks, I'll have to do a little more playing. As you say, this is a popular topic, but I've read so much conflicting advice and nothing I've tried has really worked. Last night I tried letting Cineform do the scaling to SD before importing to PPCS4, but it still didn't look very good (similar).

I'm contemplating CS5, but hate to spend the money if it won't really look better.
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Old October 5th, 2010, 10:54 PM   #6
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Try this in Premiere Pro CS4:

1. Create a new SD sequence in Premiere. If you're in NTSC land (North America, Japan and some other areas) this needs to be 720x480. In PAL (most of Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and most of Western Europe), 720x576. Match the frame rate to that of your source footage (if it's a standard frame rate such as 60i or 24p NTSC or 50i PAL). Turn on "Maximum Render Quality".

2. Nest the finished HD sequence into the SD sequence you just created.

3. Right click the nested sequence and choose "Scale to Frame Size".

I usually export directly from Premiere.

I recommend the following export settings using MPEG2-DVD: 2 pass VBR, target 6 mbps, max 8 mbps. You may need to adjust the bitrate, depending on the length of your video. Again, match the frame rate to that of your source footage. Important! Make sure that "Maximum Render Quality" is turned ON. Then go to the Multiplexer tab and select "None". Then to the Audio tab, select Dolby Digital as the audio format and use a Bitrate of 224 or so.

Your video and audio will be in separate files; insert both of them into a timeline in Encore.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 01:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch Hunt View Post
Try this in Premiere Pro CS4:
One other important item to add to this workflow:
Your footage is 60i UFF field order. When you export from the scaled timeline to m2v for DVD, be sure that you specify that the m2v transcode is to be UFF as well. If you transcode to LFF it creates opportunity for artifact.
However, you are again relying on CS4 to do the rescaling for you- which it is not very good at.
If you have Cineform, there is an excellent workflow for HD 60i to DVD 60i:
1) Export your timeline to a Cineform.avi 1920x1080 60i UFF movie.
Now you have a very high quality master HD movie with a square pixel par (this rescales with higher quality than 1440x1080 60i 1.33 par)
2) Import your Cineform HD movie to a PPro Cineform 1920 60i sequence.
3) Now you export the CF master HD movie to Cineform SD.avi 720x480 60i UFF and create a master SD CF.avi. movie. Cineform does a terrific job of rescaling its own codec.
4) Finally, you can import the CFSD.avi movie into Encore and let it transcode to (for best quality) 2 pass VBR, 6 mbs, UFF, m2v., and author your DVD.
Seems like a lot of steps, but I have produced a heck of a lot of very good looking DVDs with CS2, 3, & 4 using this exact workflow.
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