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Old June 18th, 2007, 06:28 PM   #1
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How do I get my DVD's to look good on HDTV's

Hi,

When watching DVD's from blockbuster, I notice how good the video looks on large HDTV's.

When I play one of my DVD's, I notice more of the staircase effect. It just doesn't seem like their is quite enough resolution.

My source footage is HDV 1280x720p which gets downconverted with Compressor 2 to 720x480i for DVD compatability; which looks great on standard TV's.

I wonder what the hollywood movie makers are doing to make their DVD's look so good on the larger HDTV's. Do they just have better encoders?
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Old June 18th, 2007, 09:42 PM   #2
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I think it's mostly up to the bitrate. DVD's that you buy have bitrates of around 5 mbps. Also, alot of the time, a commercial DVD will be shown in a Progressive format, not Interlaced.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 12:38 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Lennon Aldort View Post
I think it's mostly up to the bitrate. DVD's that you buy have bitrates of around 5 mbps. Also, alot of the time, a commercial DVD will be shown in a Progressive format, not Interlaced.
I'm using the highest bitrate setting in compressor which is around 6 Mbps.
I don't think DVD's actually store progressive video, they can only output de-interlaced footage for those with plasma/flat screen TV's. It's a software trick, just like watching a DVD on your computer.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 12:49 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Scott Jaco View Post
I'm using the highest bitrate setting in compressor which is around 6 Mbps.
I don't think DVD's actually store progressive video, they can only output de-interlaced footage for those with plasma/flat screen TV's. It's a software trick, just like watching a DVD on your computer.
Some movies, like The Godfather, are shown in a clearly interlaced format for some scenes, and they are definitely progressive for others.

Movies like The Lord of the Rings are shown in a progressive format for sure, from beginning to end. There's a difference between de-interlaced and progressive.

So, all I can say is, the difference in quality that you're seeing is in the "i" part of your 720x480i.

I'm very frustrated with the "i" myself, because i'm about to film my first short movie, but I have a Sony DCR TRV-950 which doesn't have a progressive mode. No matter what I do to it, it won't look like a movie.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 01:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lennon Aldort View Post
Some movies, like The Godfather, are shown in a clearly interlaced format for some scenes, and they are definitely progressive for others.

Movies like The Lord of the Rings are shown in a progressive format for sure, from beginning to end. There's a difference between de-interlaced and progressive.

So, all I can say is, the difference in quality that you're seeing is in the "i" part of your 720x480i.

I'm very frustrated with the "i" myself, because i'm about to film my first short movie, but I have a Sony DCR TRV-950 which doesn't have a progressive mode. No matter what I do to it, it won't look like a movie.

If there is a way to put progressive footage on DVD from my original 720p timeline, I would love to know how.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 01:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Jaco View Post
I don't think DVD's actually store progressive video, they can only output de-interlaced footage for those with plasma/flat screen TV's. It's a software trick, just like watching a DVD on your computer.
Sure they can. The DVD 'player' will add pulldown to 60i upon playback. There are also progressive scan DVD players (probably all of them are now). You can write a true 24fps video (23.98) to the DVD and gain about 20% more space. That space can be used to increase program running time, or, more importantly, to increase the encode quality.

The other thing you should know is that the quality of encoders varies widely. Many have complained about the quality of Compressor and have opted for the higher end 'Bitvice' encoder. Hollywood movies are known to have 'compressionists' working on the DVD encode whereby they go in and tweak individual frames for optimal encoding results. IOW, they spend big bucks to make that movie look good on your HDTV.

-gb-
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Old June 19th, 2007, 01:57 AM   #7
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Indeed there exists quite a variance even with respect to off-the-shelf software encoders, let alone hardware and dedicated machines. I got quite interested in all of this last year when I moved to the Mac Pro. Here are some of my findings on using a few encoders:

http://www.netspeed.com.au/mark/enco.../encoders.html
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