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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 March 9th, 2007, 01:03 PM   #1
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HDV to SD - disappointing

Hi,
I was planning to film a doc using HDV and then downgrading it to SD so I could burn DVDs. I have made 20+ attempts with different settings and the best I could come up with was to go from HDV - MPEG2 to MPEG/DVD using Premiere Pro 2.0 (with VBR target at 6.0) and then burn a DVD

The results were not good. The resolution was not good and the color saturation was way over done. I get better resolution recording in SD in the first place. I even toned down the color saturation with helped a bit - but not enough

Sooner or later the world will catch up with HD and I wanted to record that way, but I also want to cut DVDs

How do you all get around this problem? Is there some magic software I'm missing?

ChrisG
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Old March 9th, 2007, 01:29 PM   #2
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Chris, in my experience Premiere Pro is terrible at downrezzing. I used Vegas with great results.
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Old March 9th, 2007, 01:38 PM   #3
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I am not sure what your work flow is, but I had similar issues with a recent project. I ended up taking a different tact, because for some reason the direct from hdv to mpg route was yielding bad results. Try going from HDV to SD DV first, deinterlacing in that process, then going from there to your DVD product. I had pretty nice results that way. Of course your results may vary, or my standards not be as high. I also actually render my dvd material in another product, the Consumer level Pinnacle Studio 10, simply because I like the simple menu building program it provides.
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Old March 9th, 2007, 01:54 PM   #4
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I just compiled a raw .m2t file and let Sony DVD Architect recompile it to exact settings... it worked pretty well, it had black bars and looked a little funny (should have resized in vegas)

But I always had good luck w/ Vegas...
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Old March 10th, 2007, 06:40 AM   #5
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Last weekend i had my first good day out with my A1 and shot an hour of stuff at London Zoo in 25f HDV. I made a 6 minute dvd via FCP/compressor/DVDSP downrezzing at the final stage and everyone who's seen it is very impressed. It looks a lot better than the DSR camera footage i sometimes bring home from work to check out on my TV.

I used Prem pro for 5 years and often came accross the wierd saturation issue with colours having a hypereal irridescent look even with SD. Eventually i wised up and got a final cut system and have not looked back. I realise this is an entirely irrelevant post and that you probably aren't in a position to change NLE's, but if that's not the situation i recommend you SWITCH ASAP. I had nothing but headaches with prem pro and since my main workplace has both i occasionally have the opportunity of revisiting that tedious programme. In many ways Prem pro is a very user friendly editor; the trim edit window is far simpler to use that FCP's and i miss it, as i also miss the simple way you can move video and audio around the timeline. FCP can be a PITA in this respect.
Grading is a joy in FCP, and makes the prem pro colour corrector look like something that came free in a cereal packet. It used to drive me nuts when everything came out of PP with smudged colours, while adobe media encoder is a window i would be very happy to never see for the rest of my days.
Sorry. I'm not trying to start a platform war - there are some excellent PC NLE's around - but after five years i'm not convinced Prem Pro is one of them.
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Old March 10th, 2007, 09:29 AM   #6
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It's true that PPro's Adobe Media Encoder is not up to the task of HDV downrezzing. But there are indeed other options to output clean PPro HDV. Cineform is one, of course. A cheaper alternative is to frameserve via a program like Debugmode (free) into the encoder of your choice. Presently, TMPGEnc Express ($99) seems to be able to downrez and transcode just about anything you throw at it. You can also just export uncompressed or HuffyUV from the timeline... but file sizes can get HUGE fast.

Frankly, the NLE is a very personal choice. FCP, Avid, Vegas, and PPRo are all quite capable programs for working with HDV footage. Each has their strengths, weaknesses and quirks.

HTH,
Brian Brown
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Old March 10th, 2007, 12:35 PM   #7
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one other option that seems to work pretty well for me is to edit in hdv (no color correction, effects, etc.) and then take your final locked picture and convert to DVCPRO 50. Uncompressed would also work well, but my computer can't handle it. Do all of your color correction, effects, transitions, etc in the DVDPRO 50 file and then convert to DVD out. DVCPRO 50 retains more organic color information for the MPEG out.
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Old March 10th, 2007, 02:30 PM   #8
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PPro

I've been using PC/PPro for many years now, and it was never as perfect as I hoped it to be, with SD 4:3 PAL I have gone through a lot of crashes and corrupted projects, without any explanation.

I've a lot of difficulty to understand why so many people see this software as some kind of 'a standard'.

And the same applies to Encore, sometimes this piece of software s*t feels as a plain beta. Or in which state do you get when you need to deliver tomorrow a DVD, and you're project refuses to open with silly error messages nobody can decipher?

With HDV I suffered enough in a few months time, first in PPro 1.5.1, and occasionaly in 2.0, to get convinced that this is no longer good for your nerves. Any doctor would subscribe you not to look at PPro's SD downconvert results. Neither the way native 16:9 is handled. And certainly not allow you to wait many long hours on the rendering results.

I've always disliked the PC/Mac war, but after a few experiences I now agree that natively on any recent Mac, NLE's do with HD what they need to do with a lot less headaches.
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Old March 10th, 2007, 03:33 PM   #9
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I have run a ton of tests and find that exporting the full HDV via Cineform and then importing the full HDV into TMPGEnc Express ($99) and exporting as a 16:9 DVD works great. Very sharp and MUCH better than Premier Pro.
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Old March 10th, 2007, 06:49 PM   #10
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I just tried a quick test rendering a quicktime HD (motion jpeg) file exported from PP2.0 (source was HDV from an XH-A1). I used mpegstreamclip (free download) to convert the quicktime file to DV25, 16:9 format and it looked excellent. Maybe give that a try.

It's too bad that PP2.0 still has these encoding woes, but I've always treated the program as an editor exclusively, and have alway encoded using third party externals.
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Old March 11th, 2007, 09:47 AM   #11
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Steve, Chris, Joe, Dom, Brian, Dave, Dirk, Devon, and Dennis

I have a lot to try out – this will take me some time – I’ll let you know what happens.

Moving to a MAC based system is not in the realm of reality – the funds are limited and I have put all my eggs in the PC basket. I’ve been pleased with PPro editing capability, but not the resizing – so as many of you have said – I need to look elsewhere.

Thank you all for your input,
ChrisG
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Old March 11th, 2007, 01:24 PM   #12
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Well if you still want to stay on a PC, and use one of the best scaling NLE's out there, Vegas would be your best bet. To this day I have not found an NLE that through it's own software can scale an image up or down like Vegas can. While some people don't like the layout of Vegas, I personally love it, and have to say it is one of the easiest programs to pick up, it just intuitively works. Might be worth checking out the free download trial version at least.
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Old March 11th, 2007, 05:44 PM   #13
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Sounds like a good idea Chris.
As i said, i quite miss prem pro as an editor and think there's a number of features that FCP seems to make a fuss about that were a joy in Prem pro. I did spend a few hours on a vegas system a couple of years ago and was impressed. Another good option in PCland.
All the best.
D
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Old March 11th, 2007, 06:30 PM   #14
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If you have to stay within Premiere, you'll get much better results if you open your HDV sequence in a new Widescreen SD project, scale down the clips to the proper size, then encode. As you have discovered, letting the Adobe Media Encoder downconvert your footage will leave it looking like mush.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 09:42 AM   #15
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Ive heard good things about the ouput from Vegas.

I have delivered a range of jobs on the A1 which delivered in SD DVD and the results were fantastic. (Using FCP and compressor).
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