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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old May 8th, 2009, 01:55 PM   #1
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Workflow for best quality to DVD

What settings will provide me with the highest quality DVD for viewing on a table top DVD player?
I edit my footage on a iMac using either iMovie 09 or Final Cut Express 4.0. My computer has the current operating system and latest upgrades.

I am of the opinion that Apple's editing programs prefer the footage to have been shot progressively but the XHA1 only shoots interlaced consequently, I loose resolution and get unsightly artifacts and aliasing.

Canon technicians say that it is a editing problem and Apples techs say to use progressive video. There must be an answer because they are both large players in this arena.

I am perplexed
Thanks
Kent
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Old May 8th, 2009, 02:44 PM   #2
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Probably you will get more involved answers from DVD experts --- we just burn a dvd copy of our videos when somebody needs one for something, but our workflow is fairly simple and the results are good: We edit xha1 1080 60i originals in Final Cut, outputting a Quicktime movie, using the current settings :i.e, full-res file from the timeline in HDV.

We just drop it into DVD Studio Pro where the file is recognzed as an hd file and is transcoded appropriately for dvd output. I assume you can do the same from iMovie and iDVD. Being Apple products, they like Quicktime files.

We archive our hi-res quicktime files and then make web-appropriate compressed files in Sorenson Squeeze. My point is, if you output a full-res file to repurpose, like making a dvd, instead of repurposing a compressed file, you can do more with it. I don't know how DVD Pro handles the interlacing question, but it's not an issue in the dvd's we see. Hope this isn't confusing.../Battle Vaughan/miamiherald.com video team
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Old May 8th, 2009, 04:13 PM   #3
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Kent,

I have pretty much the same setup that you have. I shoot XH-A1, use Final Cut Express 4 on Macbook Pro and occassionally use iMovie on the same box. I've had the best luck in burning the DVD using VisualHub, which is now being developed out of an open source group, or something like that.

When I shoot video, I tend to shoot with the 30f setting on the camera but have used 60i in some cases. With either frame rate, I have not had to do anything special to get the video to the DVD. I edit with FCE, export as Quicktime and then use VisualHub to burn the DVD.

As far as I can tell, Visual Hub is really ffmpegx at the core with some Apple Script on top to make it pretty for folks like me. So the burn can be managed through ffmpegx if you are so inclined.

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Old May 8th, 2009, 06:12 PM   #4
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Thanks for the responses:
My problem seems to be in iDVD as the quality going in is fine but after the burn the problems are present. I do not have Final Cut Pro and quite frankly at the moment I have to many things to learn to tackle that mountain.

As for Visualhub it is no longer available. That web site no longer has the program to download. It apparently has somewhat been reborn as FilmRedux. Does anyone have any experience with it?
Thanks Guys
Kent
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Old May 8th, 2009, 06:47 PM   #5
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You haven't said how long in minutes your content is. Generally speaking, anything longer than 2 hours and quality starts to suffer. Also, are you encoding constant bit rate or variable bit rate. You might want to play around with that.

I'm on a PC and don't know Macs so I don't know how much you can play with that.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 08:35 AM   #6
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I think your main problem is with iDVD. If you want professional looking video you need to edit and output with professional software. If you do get Final Cut I would recommend getting the Studio package becuase Compressor with give you very sharp looking mpeg 2 dvd files.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 09:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Myers View Post
If you want professional looking video you need to edit and output with professional software.
If I may be a "differ beggar", I output DV files from Premier 6 and authored DVDs in an ancient version of Nero with great video quality. The menus were rubbish, but I wasn't doing it for the menus back then.

My point is that if the NLE or authoring tool renders MPEG 2 with spiky quality, there are other tools that can get you around that without making your wallet and major cash strangers.

Whilst being on a Mac might limit the choices, I suspect that there are a few options that will get you where you want to be keep your retirement account from going on the critical list.
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Old May 10th, 2009, 08:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripp Woelfel View Post
If I may be a "differ beggar", I output DV files from Premier 6 and authored DVDs in an ancient version of Nero with great video quality.
I don't think that we really differ that much, I would consider Nero a step up from idvd for DVD burning.

Last edited by Patrick Myers; May 10th, 2009 at 08:35 AM. Reason: oops early morning.
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Old May 10th, 2009, 07:13 PM   #9
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Probably not. My point was that a US$99 tool like Nero can do good work. I just wouldn't consider it a "professional" product. But the lines are blurring.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 03:14 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the helpful answers.
Has anyone tried Toast 10? Since I posted this I came across an add that infers Toast as an alternative to iDVD.
Enjoy

Kent
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Old May 11th, 2009, 06:14 PM   #11
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They don't bundle Compressor with FCE?

It's a shame, because it does do a really good job for my XH G1's HDV files to standard DVD. I'm shocked Apple didn't bundle an encoder with FCE.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 02:47 AM   #12
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Would MPEG Streamclip work as an encoder in this situation. It has the great benefit that it's free and, where it does work, it works very well.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 12:00 PM   #13
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If you feel your artifacts are due to interlacing, then try this voodoo. I shouldn't matter but maybe it will. Open the movie in QuickTime Pro, open the movie properties command-J. On the Visual tab, click the video track and check the Deinterlace checkbox. THen put the file into iDVD.

Also, hate to ask a dumb question but did you use the Professional Quality Setting in iDVD? It has a limit of one hour but produces better output.
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Old May 16th, 2009, 09:06 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the info. From your responses Final Cut Pro seems to be the answer.
I edit on a iMac
Model Identifier: iMac5,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2.16 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 4 MB
Memory: 3 GB
According to FCP specs this computer is adequate, but is it really?
Would I need a capture card? Any other bumps in the road to be aware of or additional tools needed? FCP does not have a trial period so after the check is written it's my baby and I better like it.
Enjoy
Kent
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Old May 17th, 2009, 03:54 AM   #15
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That's the same spec as my iMac (mines a 6.1, but same processor speed and memory).

I run FCP and the other Studio apps OK. I'd like everything to run faster (how radical is that :-) ), but I'm happy with it.
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