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Old February 19th, 2009, 05:27 PM   #1
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Obtaining best SD DVD quality - revisited

Hot topic for sure, but rarely a consensus.

1) What are thoughts firstly on ProCoder vs Squeeze 5 for Mpeg mastering into Encore?

2) Do you get better results exporting from premiere to a SD resolution CFHD file and then putting that into Procoder/Squeeze - or is it better to just put the full 1920x1080 exported CFHD.avi file into these apps?

3) Prior to Mpeg mastering in Procoder/Squeeze should the input CFHD file be interlaced or progressive.

4) Or forget above and just export the 1920x1080 timeline in premiere direct to Encore.

THank you
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Old February 20th, 2009, 03:25 AM   #2
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What I do (for what it's worth)...

to jump straight to (4), I'm nearly always disappointed in Adobe Media Encoder as compared to Procoder, so I only use it for quick and dirty viewing or interim copies.

As you might gather from the above, I like Procoder a lot (except for its propensity to allow sync to drift during a long - 60 mins plus - conversion from PAL to NTSC). I've never used Squeeze, so can't comment.

2) downconverting first - generally, I haven't noticed any dramatic difference. But it can depend on the material. Yesterday I did a wmv involving a scene with fine haze/smoke in it. The Premiere export was totally spooked by it and I ended up with massive pixellations from the smoke. Procoder handled it fine, and slightly better from the HD than the already-downconverted PAL SD file.

3) If I start progressive, I leave interlacing to the last moment, so I let Procoder do it. That also means I have a high quality single master file that I can also use for progressive encodes like the Internet.

But your mileage may differ...

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Old February 20th, 2009, 08:58 AM   #3
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Look towards the bottom of David's blog.... see if this will help you out....

CineForm Insider
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Old February 20th, 2009, 11:48 AM   #4
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To take CFHD 30i to DVD
1) Use the CF compresser (in Premiere:Export Movie) to rescale to 480 30i. This will ensure the cleanest image and least interlace artifacts (including twitter).
2) I get best results with Procoder 3, 6mbs, 2 Pass VBR. I use their Color filter to boost saturation around 10% (the color vibrance always seems to take a hit going HD to SD), and I use the Sharpen filter. The default setting is a bit harsh, so I reduce the radius setting from 6 to 2.5-3. I get nice sharpening, but subtle.
Viewing on an upscaling HDMI DVD player to HDTV, the DVD looks almost HD, and free of artifact.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 05:03 PM   #5
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After much experimentation I found a solution that produces results far better than any other for PAL DVD.

1. render out the 1920x1080 50i premiere timeline to matching CFHD.avi and import back into a new timeline.

2. Export direct from the timeline using Procoder3 plugin via their DVD master preset.


Letting Procoder do the downscaling and the converison to MPEG2 produces a very sharp result on screen. Compared to letting Cineform downscale and then running through Procoder,my approach gave far better results and saved a whole render pass.

Try it.
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Old February 21st, 2009, 01:08 PM   #6
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I just did that on a 50 min project ready for delivery. I was in a hurry to get it out so I went directly from 1920 30i CFHD.avi to ProCoder m2v. Popped it in a DVD player/ HDTV to review and noted an unacceptable amount of line twitter. Images were otherwise quite good.
Went back and rerendered to 480 CF.avi, then to ProCoder m2v. On DVD review- good imagery, no artifact, and particularly no line twitter.
The appearance of twitter is dependant on the subject matter. My video had images with lots of parallel horizontal lines, so the twitter was present enough to bug me. If the subject material happens not to have this feature, there will be no twitter to notice.
Some of this is certainly viewer dependant. I hate line twitter and always notice it- I'll spot it occasionally on broadcast TV shows, iTunes downloads, etc. Maybe I'm a bit over the top about it.
I have definitely noticed that with 1920 sq. pix. CFHD, I can get away with direct transcode to smaller formats (SD, Flash for Web, etc.) much more frequently and cleanly than with 1440 HDV.
But I do keep hearing repeatedly from the Cineform guys (David Newman, et.al.) that the CF compressor does the best job of downscaling CFHD. I believe them.
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