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Old September 12th, 2007, 01:39 PM   #1
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My HDV > SD Test Conclusions

i've been testing various methods of downconverting HDV to SD (and ultimately MPEG2 or DVD burning) for a few weeks. i've inspected the results on various televisions, and zoomed in quicktime players. i thought it might be helpful to post what i've discovered.

the first thing i've learned is what works for one person might not work for another. i tried methods that seemed to work well for others, but then i thought they looked terrible. i'm not saying it's a matter of personal preference, but it seems depending on your footage and workflow, certain methods might look great for some and like crap for others. you just have to try them for yourself. but here's what i found...

i tried the following methods of converting an HDV (AIC) Timeline to SD MPEG2:
-Bonsai Method
-Nate Weaver Method (exporting to 10-bit/8-bit Uncompressed NTSC with Compressor from the HDV Timeline, then using Compressor or DVDSP to create an MPEG2 from the 10-bit/8-bit file)
-Exporting directly to MPEG2 from the HDV Timeline
-Copying the HDV Timeline to a SD Timeline, and exporting with Compressor directly to MPEG2
-Exporting a 10-bit/8-bit Uncompressed NTSC file using the "Export QuickTime Movie" then using Compressor or DVDSP to create an MPEG2 from the 10-bit/8-bit file
-Exporting a 10-bit/8-bit Uncompressed NTSC file using the "Export Using Quicktime Conversion" then using Compressor or DVDSP to create an MPEG2 from the 10-bit/8-bit file

and for me, the best looking result was achieved using the last method (8-bit looked better than 10-bit for some reason). i exported an 8-bit Uncompressed NTSC file using the "Exporting Using QuickTime Conversion" option, and it looked much better than any other option. the least amount of jaggy edges, and the movement was nice and smooth.

it was strange how different the results were when i used "Export Quicktime Movie" or "Export Using Compressor" or "Export Using Quicktime Conversion." i was creating an 8-bit Uncompressed NTSC file in all three cases, and they all looked different. but the best, hands down, was "Export Using Quicktime Conversion."

so if you're faced with HDV to SD MPEG2, give that method a try and see if it works for you.
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Old September 12th, 2007, 03:45 PM   #2
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Have you tried this?

http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/hdv_to_sd_dvd.html
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Old September 12th, 2007, 04:02 PM   #3
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yes, that is what i called "Exporting directly to MPEG2 from the HDV Timeline." it worked ok, but jaggy edges on diagonal lines were very apparent. i'll post some video stills later tonight.
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Old September 12th, 2007, 10:30 PM   #4
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When you report jagged lines, is it when you proof the DVD on a Computer monitor, or an actual TV?
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Old September 13th, 2007, 07:11 AM   #5
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i proofed every file in a quicktime player (100% and 200%), two SD televisions (13" and 27") and an HDTV (40").
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Old September 13th, 2007, 11:44 AM   #6
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Jon,

Thanks for that report.
Very illuminating and helpful.
I have been using 8-bit conversions in the same way you listed
and like it alot.

David
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Old September 13th, 2007, 12:46 PM   #7
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Hi Jon

I've tried several downres solutions other the downres out of the camera (Z1 in my case) and this is the one the I find the easiest and best quality...
1) Import HDV into Premiere and edit.
2) Save out as uncompressed HD file.
3) Import into After Effects and down size to SD 16:9
4) Save out as AVI uncompressed file..

This can then be compressed to Mpeg2, WMV, Quicktime etc.. and give very nice results...

Regards
Gareth
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Old October 20th, 2007, 10:47 AM   #8
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i'm finally posting some grabs if anyone is still interested. these are grabs from the final MPEG2 files, created in some of the different ways i outlined in my previous post:

Export -> QuickTime Movie - 8bit Uncompressed (200%)
http://thebrotherkite.com/downconver...movie_200.tiff

Export -> QuickTime Movie - 8bit Uncompressed (300%)
http://thebrotherkite.com/downconver...movie_300.tiff

Export -> Using Compressor to MOV - 8bit Uncompressed (200%)
http://thebrotherkite.com/downconver...r_mov_200.tiff

Export -> Using Compressor to MOV - 8bit Uncompressed (300%)
http://thebrotherkite.com/downconver...r_mov_300.tiff

Export -> Using Compressor to MPEG2 (200%)
http://thebrotherkite.com/downconver...mpeg2_200.tiff

Export -> Using Compressor to MPEG2 (300%)
http://thebrotherkite.com/downconver...mpeg2_300.tiff

Export -> Using QuickTime Conversion - 8bit Uncompressed (200%)
http://thebrotherkite.com/downconver...rsion_200.tiff

Export -> Using QuickTime Conversion - 8bit Uncompressed (300%)
http://thebrotherkite.com/downconver...rsion_300.tiff
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Old October 24th, 2007, 12:10 AM   #9
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Which were deinterlaced? It looks as though some were and some were not deinterlaced.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 11:51 AM   #10
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i didn't apply any filters, deinterlace or otherwise...i noticed that, too. i don't know why, just the way it turned out.
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Old January 14th, 2008, 02:22 PM   #11
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I have been shooting hockey games and have transfered them to DVD Studio Pro using Compressor in Final Cut Studio 2 and I must say the quality I get is awful compared to what I see on my Timeline in Final Cut. I'm shooting HDV 720/30p footage with my JVC HD Pro camera. I want the finest quality dvd to deliver to my client- same as what I see in my Timeline, which looks great but it's the transfer to dvd sucks. Is there a way of getting a better quality transfer? Something resembling what I have in my Timeline in FCP?

I have FCP Studio 2 and the workflow goes something like this;
I usually highlight and export my Timeline to Compressor then choose from my settings the options "best quality 90 minutes."
Once it finishes, usually about 7 hours later, I then drag from my desktop and drop it into DVD Studio Pro. I then choose 1st play in DVDSP and hit the burn button. Once this is all done I look at my finished product and cringe! Has anyone out there shot and burned beautiful looking dvd's using Final Cut Pro with any great success?
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