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Old April 30th, 2007, 12:19 AM   #1
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Windows Media Player vs Quicktime - video differences?

How do I explain this...

I render HDV clips in Vegas 7 to a 720p quicktime photojpeg .mov and preview it with quicktime...fine. Works but there is always a slight difference between what I see in Vegas preview and how it looks played back in quicktime. The quicktime version has slightly less contrast...almost a very subtle grey casting to the image that tones down it's 'pop' so to speak.

So I do things slightly differently. I take the same clip and render it as an 720p avi and watch it in windows media player. Again....there is a subtle difference between what Vegas shows in it's preview and what the media player playback will look like. Instead of a loss in contrast there is actually a slight increase in contrast and generally slightly more saturated colours.

What really confirmed it was I windowed both versions of the final render (AVI and MOV) and laid them around the vegas preview window to compare the same frame of each view.

There were very remarkable differences. The quicktime player had the lesser contrast compared to Vegas preview but pretty acurate colours. Media Player with the .avi showed the increase in contrast and just that hint of higher color saturation. All settings for each player were flat/default, latest versions, and the LCD monitor is calibrated.

So my question is this......Do the media players (Quicktime and Windows Media Player) apply something to the finished files during playback that would affect the look of the videos in these ways?

Bringing either of these files back into the Vegas timeline and previewing shows them as identical in all ways image wise so the players themselves are doing the change. Using the scopes in Vegas show insignificant differences...visually in the preview window they are identical.

Has anyone else seen this??? Does this happen with other editing software/media players??? What am I missing?
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Old April 30th, 2007, 07:36 AM   #2
 
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I've been aware of the not-so-subtle increase in saturation between the Vegas preview window and the avi final render, for a number of years. It's quite apparent. Guess I've gotten so used to it that I always desaturate my edit stream before going to print.
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Old April 30th, 2007, 09:34 AM   #3
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Possible contributing factors include:

Each media player using a different codec.
Each codec using different equations for converting color spaces (quite common!)
Each codec applying different IRE setups.

One media player using your computer display's hardware overlay feature, the other(s) using the OS to display the video.
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Old April 30th, 2007, 10:18 AM   #4
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Individual color response settings within the player are factors, too.

If Vegas is seeing its rendered video and its original video as the same (by the scopes), then the difference is in the players, because Vegas rendered correctly.
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Old April 30th, 2007, 02:20 PM   #5
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OK, at least I know other people are seeing the same results.

So....

What are people doing that helps them see their previews in editing show as close as possible to the differences that occur during playback in a media player?

It seems that in an ideal world the preview window of an editor would be adjustable to accurately show what it would look like in your final output file played on it's corresponding player. For television this is really a no brainer as you output previews to a calibrated studio monitor but for computer consumption there are these differences between media players.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Do I just go with the knowledge that things look different and guess at the appropriate adjustments to make during editing? Does anyone know any resources/whitepapers describing the actual colourspace/IRE playback settings for various players?

Thanks for everyones help...just trying to have my editing match my playback as close as possible.
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Old April 30th, 2007, 03:49 PM   #6
 
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As I've said many times, the biggest problem with player consistency is that there is NO standard amongst DVD players manufacturers that mandates even something so simple at IRE pedestal reproducibility. You're pyssing in the dark if you think you can get a handle on all those japanese manufacturers. They won't even tell you what they set their settop players to. There's no telling WHAT color mapping they use.
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