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Old January 3rd, 2009, 10:01 AM   #1
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Getting HDV to DVD or Blu-Ray in HD

I'm wondering if anyone knows the answer to this. I'm using Edius 5.0 and I'm curious if anyone has gotten HDV to either a DVD or Blu Ray and retained the HD quality.

I tried converting HDV to an m2t stream (Sony AVCHD codec in Canopus) and even on my 22" computer monitor I can see a hit to picture quality compared to the original. Is there a way to get the original quality on either a DVD or Blu Ray? Obviously DVD would be preferable given the price difference and I know you can do that with native AVCHD, but it seems converting HDV to AVCHD takes a quality hit.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 04:26 PM   #2
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Ken I edit multicam ( 2 tracks of FX1's and 1 track SR11 AVCHD converted to Canopus HQ) in EDIUS 4.61. my work flow is then to export using Speedencoder to a HDV file. I then import into Vegas Pro8 for final audio and setting of markers with names then export from Vegas with embedded markers for DVD Architect with Bluray preset( modifying data rate as needed to get on a 25G disc. Author in DVD Architect as the markers now create menus etc, makes life reasonable straightforward. I use the HDV file in TMPGenc Express 4 ( prefer this for mpeg2 encode over anything else) this new file can then be substituted in the same Architect project to create a SD DVD version. Though the menu navigation of DVD Architect 5 has a bug in it at the moment!!!( see my comment in the Vegas section). I see little difference between the tape playback from an FX1 or the Bluray disc on my Panasonic 42" Plasma. In fact the upscaled image of the SD version from the PS3 is not bad though does obviously lack fine detail when one looks closely.
I have just upgraded to V5 so have yet to do a project but I do not expect any difference in file quality. I do not think it sensible to put HDV on a DVD. The PS3 will play it but nothing else that I know of. You can put most video files on a disc and get the PS3 to play them!!!!
I have been happy with the above work flow in making a number of 2 hour Bluray disc that look stunning.

Ron Evans
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 04:32 PM   #3
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Thanks Ron. Actually I was successful in using Ulead Studio to encode HDV to AVCHD on to just a DVD. It played perfectly on my Pioneer BD player.

The problem is you take a hit in quality with the conversions. It still looks HD, but the fine detail is somewhat lost. However, what I always thought was essentially 'lossless', the Canopus HQ converter, is not. I had never tried it, but I encoded some HDV using the HQ converter and then simply output to tape using the TS Converter.

When played on my 60" 1080p Pioneer Kuro, you can clearly see the HQ codec is not lossless. I may not have noticed it before since I had been using a 50" Fujitsu, 768p plasma. The Pioneer is much more revealing.

What I'm surprised about is I don't see the Blu Ray output path in Edius 5.0. I was almost certain it had that capability...I must be missing it.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 08:14 PM   #4
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I assume you converted HDV to HQ then back again from HQ to HDV in Edius timeline outputting with HDV preset to HDV file before outputting to tape using TSwriter? TSwriter will only output HDV to tape, an m2t file. HQ is an avi file normally several times the size of the HDV or AVCHD file that is usable in most NLE programs, but to my knowledge not recordable to tape for playback. I only use it to make editing easier for AVCHD but I know that most people using HDV capture and convert on the fly. Most tests have shown little to no degradation for HQ in several encode/decode cycles certainly not just two. I have only just upgraded so haven't tried the exports of V5 yet. Edius 4.61 had a Speedencoder for HDV output but this has been replaced in V5. There are also encoder options for AVCHD too for Sony, Canon and Panasonic.

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Old January 3rd, 2009, 09:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
I assume you converted HDV to HQ then back again from HQ to HDV in Edius timeline outputting with HDV preset to HDV file before outputting to tape using TSwriter?
Yup, that's exactly what I did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
TSwriter will only output HDV to tape, an m2t file. HQ is an avi file normally several times the size of the HDV or AVCHD file that is usable in most NLE programs, but to my knowledge not recordable to tape for playback. I only use it to make editing easier for AVCHD but I know that most people using HDV capture and convert on the fly. Most tests have shown little to no degradation for HQ in several encode/decode cycles certainly not just two. I have only just upgraded so haven't tried the exports of V5 yet. Edius 4.61 had a Speedencoder for HDV output but this has been replaced in V5. There are also encoder options for AVCHD too for Sony, Canon and Panasonic.

Ron Evans
Ron, Edius 5.0 is a very different animal, no more Procoder as I'm sure you know. There are tons of export options and I've tried most of them with HDV files. The best looking one is the "HDV HD2 25mpbs" option.

I too thought that the HQ codec was essentially lossless, but I was always viewing on a 50" 768p plasma that probably masked the differences. The 60" 1080p Kuro is FAR more revealing. Many people come to the conclusion that HQ is lossless just looking at their computer monitor. I've learned that's no way to draw any conclusions.

I'm sure most people wouldn't be too worried about the loss in quality even on a 60" 1080p plasma, but I do admit it bothers me a bit being anal as I am. I haven't tried burning to Blu Ray and I'll give that a shot and see if it's better. Unfortunately I can't find a Blu Ray burning option which I thought existed in Edius 5.0. I may not be looking in the right place.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 10:07 PM   #6
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No I don't think Edius has a Bluray burning option, only an SD DVD option. I have so far used Vegas to encode as I find it more convenient. I have always used Vegas for audio but prefer Edius for video editing. Vegas for instance is better at AVCHD editing as native files can be edited on the timeline. But for multicam there is nothing to touch Edius and since all of my projects are long multicam the choice is clear.
Ron Evans
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Old February 27th, 2009, 10:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post
I'm wondering if anyone knows the answer to this. I'm using Edius 5.0 and I'm curious if anyone has gotten HDV to either a DVD or Blu Ray and retained the HD quality.

I tried converting HDV to an m2t stream (Sony AVCHD codec in Canopus) and even on my 22" computer monitor I can see a hit to picture quality compared to the original. Is there a way to get the original quality on either a DVD or Blu Ray? Obviously DVD would be preferable given the price difference and I know you can do that with native AVCHD, but it seems converting HDV to AVCHD takes a quality hit.

Yes, going to DVD is very possible. However, you will have to adjust your bitrates for it to play. These will play in set top players as well. With a dual layer DVD you can get about 40minutes and 20 for a single. Depending on your encoding package and the quality of the initial video, you will have limitations on quality. Motion and quick pans will look horrible with the lower bitrates. If you are using mostly static shots, you will be fine.
I would say the converter in Ulead is the 1st place to look for a problem.
If you do not have PC3, you can download TMPGE trial and see if the quality is better.

Personally, I use PC3 and author with Encore CS4, this version allows for pop-up menus as well).

If you have moved to HD, and can afford a 60" Kuro, you can certainly afford to buy a 10 or 11 dollar disc. I have been burning blu-ray for about 2.5 years now. It is much easier, cheaper and quicker than it was in the beginning. The correct bitrate selection will sink or swim you.
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