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Old March 8th, 2009, 11:44 PM   #1
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Editing HDV in Pinnacle 12

We recently upgraded from SD to HD (Canon XH A1) and we did a bunch of test shots this weekend. We have found great success doing all of our editing in Pinnacle studio, and we'd like to keep it if we can, but right now we're not loving the quality of the HD video on DVD.

This is the process we are currently using--where is the quality falling apart?

1) Capture HDV in pinnacle 12 using the pinnacle capture card (1080x1440 60i)--we shot in 30f, but there is not 30f/30p setting. ..
2) Edit project in Pinnacle
3) Create DVD disk of project. I'm guessing where it down-converts to SD?

When we watch it on our 32" 720p LCD tv, everything seems blurry and shaky. When we watch it on the computer it is awesome--every frame is like a photograph.

We also created HD mpeg and I watched it on my HD laptop and itwas pretty awesome, too.

We tried DVD compatible mpeg and it took forever to render and it was blurry.

We film weddings and will be working on HD cameras but giving DVDs to clients this year. Can somebody who has had success downconverting in Pinnacle please let us know how you do it?

Thank you!!
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Editing HDV in Pinnacle 12-bad-video.jpg  
Jennifer Eidum Zinchuk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9th, 2009, 01:30 AM   #2
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Keep in mind that DVD is by definition a Standard Definition format. Period.
Regardless of what you started with as source, HD or SD.

I myself shoot HDV using a Sony HDR-HC9.
I currently edit using Studio 11.

I do think starting with HDV as source produces a better quality DVD product.

But it isn't going to change the fact that at some point your footage is being down-rezzed to Standard Definition 720x480 (NTSC) 4x3 or 16x9 anamorphic widescreen. To go onto a DVD, it has to. That's what DVD is.

You mention that you shot footage in 30f mode on the XH-A1.
I believe 30f is shooting progressive footage inside an interlaced 60i bitstream wrapper.
I would suggest that as a test you try setting the XH-A1 to shoot interlaced footage.
Shoot some test footage, import that, render to DVD, and see what it looks like.

I would be suspicious that Studio doesn't understand that it is getting progressive vs. interlaced video.
And given DVD is your end target, keeping things consistent (interlaced) I think is in your interest.
And interlaced is most likely what Studio is expecting.

What do you set your Setup --> Project Preferences --> Project Format to?
Given that you are shooting High Definition and delivering on DVD, I would hope it is 'NTSC Widescreen'.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 01:41 AM   #3
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The DVD that we got from our HD footage is much worse than what we got from our XL2. If we're going to be downconverting to SD, I would hope it would be comparable or better than what you'd get out of a SD camera.

Bill, do you follow the same process as we do? edit in HD and then just make a DVD disk? Our SD footage appears like the HD footage is playing underwater.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 01:47 AM   #4
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Also, ideally we would create a set with a Blu-Ray disk for our clients AND a couple DVDs--we were hoping to leave the project HD and downconvert at the last minute. Is that possible in Pinnacle?

Tomorrow we'll test the 60i setting and import it into a regular NTSC widescreen project.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 01:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer Eidum Zinchuk View Post
Also, ideally we would create a set with a Blu-Ray disk for our clients AND a couple DVDs--we were hoping to leave the project HD and downconvert at the last minute. Is that possible in Pinnacle?
Do not know. I don't have Blu-Ray to render to :-(

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer Eidum Zinchuk View Post
Tomorrow we'll test the 60i setting and import it into a regular NTSC widescreen project.
With this test, I think you will start getting answers.

For comparison, my HDR-HC9 shoots interlaced. Period. Progressive is not an option.
The source footage looks excellent when played on my computer.
And my DVD's don't look like they're underwater.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 01:54 PM   #6
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I almost forgot...

When you set or change your Setup --> Project Preferences --> Project Format

Immediatly thereafter, save the project, exit Pinnacle, then reopen the project.

My experience has been when changing Project (Target) Format,
Pinnacle does not propagate that change around internally properly.
Doing the change, save, exit, re-enter forces that.

Any luck yet?
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Old March 9th, 2009, 11:58 PM   #7
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I use Pinnacle Studio 12 Plus (actually Ultimate but I haven't installed the Ultimate content yet) and routinely edit in HD and burn to standard DVD for distribution.

First off be sure the timeline is set for 1440x1080, you can do this in project preferences or you can set it to set the format by the first clip dropped on the timeline. After your first clip is in place put the cursor on the gray bar above the orange bar on the timeline at the beginning and see if it reports:

HD 1440x1080/60i
1440x1080 29.97 frames/sec
16:9 interlaced
Codec: mpeg-2

This means your timeline is HD and you can edit as normal, when done go to the Make Movie tab and then click on the disk icon, select automatic quality or best quality (The latter if you have 1 hour or less on the timeline).

Any downres to standard def on DVD takes place automatically and my experience is that it looks better than SD from a DV camcorder. How much better depends on some factors, my DVD player upconverts to 1080p and is connected to a 1080p LCD TV so to me SD never looked so good.

Now, if the disks you burn look good when played on the computer that tells me Studio is doing it's job. Try playing the disks on someone else's setup to see how it looks over there.

Previous advice to set the camera to 60i might be a real good idea, that appears to be a default for Studio, and feeding Studio a 30p format when it is looking for 60i may be part of the problem. Usually our DVD players and TV's are pretty good at sorting out this interlaced vs. progressive thing but try it at 1440x1080 60i and see what happens.

If for some reason you feel you must use 30p, then Studio has a setting for that. Under the Setup pulldown menu go to Project Preferences. Under Project Format I leave mine at "Set from first clip added to project", click on the button below that and in the pulldown menu look at the all the different setting options. One will be 1280x720/30p, you can run a test using this one and see if your TV "likes it" being 720p.

But most other people's TV may be looking for 1080i.

My guess is the "culprit" is not Pinnacle Studio, but a combination of your shooting in 30p and how your TV is handling it after Studio is through with it.

Typically I edit in HD, from the HD timeline burn my SD DVD disks (but the timeline remains HD and that is the way I save my projects), then I render (from the same timeline) HD WMV (for viewing on my TV with a WD TV media player), and to any other HD file formats I may have to deliver to others. I have no Blu-ray player or burner and at present have no plans to buy such.

I'm having too much fun viewing my HD content from a thumb drive plugged into the WD TV.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 12:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer Eidum Zinchuk View Post
Also, ideally we would create a set with a Blu-Ray disk for our clients AND a couple DVDs--we were hoping to leave the project HD and downconvert at the last minute. Is that possible in Pinnacle?
If your project format is set to HD 1440x1080/60i in Project Preferences that is the way it will happen normally. As explained above YOU don't downconvert. It happens automatically if you select DVD as your destination.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer Eidum Zinchuk View Post
Tomorrow we'll test the 60i setting and import it into a regular NTSC widescreen project.
NO!

Import it into an HD 1440x1080/60i project. If you import into a regular NTSC widescreen project you will get 720x480, standard definition.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 02:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Foreman View Post
If your project format is set to HD 1440x1080/60i in Project Preferences that is the way it will happen normally. As explained above YOU don't downconvert. It happens automatically if you select DVD as your destination.

NO!

Import it into an HD 1440x1080/60i project. If you import into a regular NTSC widescreen project you will get 720x480, standard definition.
Bruce,

If you go back to the original post, you will see the original objective is to produce a DVD.
Setting the Project Type does a number of things.
1. When playing video from within Studio, this is the size/aspect ratio that will be used, regardless of the source format.
2. If background rendering is enabled, this is the destination format/aspect ratio that will be used.

That comes direct from the Studio11 Help File. So in setting the Project Type to NTSC Widescreen we are getting things lined up for Studio to produce a NTSC Widescreen DVD, long before we get to the formal Make Movie phase.

The real point being Project Type is not about the files you are feeding Pinnacle. Pinnacle can look at them directly to see what type they are. It is about your eventual output format and what, if any, resolution and aspect ratio conversions will need to be done to get there.

I strongly suspect their problems are coming from feeding progressive frames to Pinnacle when it is expecting interlaced and things are getting mangled. Or it could be that the 30f they were shooting with the Canon switches the field order. And again, things get mangled. Or it could be both.

I shoot interlaced HDV all the time and use this procedure for producing NTSC Widescreen DVD's and so far have had no problems.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 09:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Koehler View Post
Bruce,

If you go back to the original post, you will see the original objective is to produce a DVD.

I shoot interlaced HDV all the time and use this procedure for producing NTSC Widescreen DVD's and so far have had no problems.
True. But when you go back and try to render to an HD format, you get standard definition because you set your project format to NTSC Widescreen (720x480). This happened to me until I started fresh with an HD 1440x1080/60i clip first on the timeline, which reset the project to HDV. Then when I copied the original edited project (from the clipboard) back to the timeline after that first HDV clip, deleted that first HDV clip (because the original edited project was now there with the properties reset to HDV), then I had to wait while the whole project went through background rendering before I could do anything with it.

So I shoot interlaced HDV or interlaced AVCHD, edit in HD, and then I can do anything I want with it in the way of output with no further changes.

The original poster had said, "we were hoping to leave the project HD and downconvert at the last minute. Is that possible in Pinnacle?"

Your procedure of changing project format, saving the project, exiting Studio then coming back and opening the saved file never worked on my computers. That may be one of those "it works on some and not others" things, but if shooting in HD, editing in HD and rendering to whatever you need seems to work.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 10:23 AM   #11
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Hello all. I just finished a test using HDV footage from an FX7, downloading the stuff into Pinnacle 12 Ultimate.

What I have run into is this:
1. When burning the HDV footage to make an AVCHD DVD, I can't include menus with the chapters in the footage. Pinnacle will not burn the disc into anything that is playable. But if I delete the menu/chapters, then Pinnacle will burn the AVCHD DVD. Producing an SD DVD does not have this problem.

2. For whatever reason, about half my footage turned out in letterbox format with terrible resolution, while the second half appeared in full screen with much better resolution. Not sure what caused this. Will have to recheck all the original footage and see what it was shot in.

3. My Pinnacle program recognizes the FX7 as a DV cam. Is this normal?

4. The better half of the AVCHD DVD resolution was OK, but it did not seem any better than the SD DVD that I burned of the same footage. I am disappointed. All this was viewed on a 42" plasma.

5. I do like the fact that Pinnacle downloads the cams' footage and seperates each shot into seperate files. Makes editing easy. I also have Nero 9 and it does not do that.

Mike
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Old March 17th, 2009, 10:37 PM   #12
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Sounds like you are capturing in DV Capture.

Power down BOTH computer and camcorder (THIS IS IMPORTANT! You risk "frying" your firewire port if you do it any other way. Log onto Canon HV20, HV30 & HV40 User Forum - Powered by vBulletin and do a search on "fried port" to read many tales of "woe").

Many will argue that firewire is "hot swappable" and they are right, except enough camcorder ports get fried that way to make it a VERY WISE precaution to power down BOTH before connecting or disconnecting. In one instance an employee "fried" the ports on 5 ENG and pro grade camcorders by connecting one after another to the same computer after the first did not respond.

Expensive.

Connect firewire cable to camcorder and computer. Power up both components.

Be sure your camcorder is configured to output HDV over firewire first, then launch Studio. Click on the Capture button (top left of Capture, Edit, and Make Movie) and then click on Setup and from the pulldown menu click on capture source.

That probably says "DV Camcorder" because you probably had your cam setup to output DV or that was a default on your camcorder. Click on the down arrow button at the right of that window with "DV Camcorder" and see if the pulldown menu offers you a choice that identifies your camcorder as HD or HDV, when I had a Canon HV20 and finally got the cam configured right one of the choices was "Canon HV20" for me.

Click on that and if that same choice also shows in the audio window below that you should be set for HDV capture. Also your screen format choice should show in the window to the right.

Good luck.

Now on burning HDV as an AVCHD disk to standard DVD media, you are limited to 20-about 22 minutes program length and you cannot have menus. If you do they will not function. But you can burn HDV to standard DVD disks and they will play in most Blu-ray players, best player for this may be the Sony Play Station 3 because the firmware is upgradeable each time the Blu-ray standards are changed. The test disk I tried had both an HDV project and an AVCHD project on the same timeline and it worked fine at Best Buy (I don't have Blu-ray, I may purchase when the price comes down a lot more).

However there is another route you may really enjoy. I picked up one of those Western Digital WD TV media players. Small box with remote, has 2 USB 2.0 inputs and and HDMI out to your TV. I render my HD content from Studio 12 to an HD WMV file (other HD file formats will work too) and play them from "thumb" drives plugged into the media player and view them on my 42" LCD. Looks great.

Rendering time can be a bit long from Studio, a 26 minute program I did of a military remembrance ceremony at Lackland AFB in Sept did take 12 hours, started it around midnight and went to bed and it finished up around noon. But it looks amazing on the TV.

So don't give up. Hope this info helps you.
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