DV playback looks bad? Go High Quality! at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Open DV Discussion
For topics which don't fit into any of the other categories.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 31st, 2004, 06:35 AM   #1
RED Code Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Holland
Posts: 12,514
DV playback looks bad? Go High Quality!

Per default the two often used players (Windows Media Player
and QuickTime) on the Windows platform default to a low
resolution presentation when playing back DV.

Edit: it seems this "issue" exists also on the Mac platform, see
the posts below!

The problem is two-fold. When you play back QuickTime footage
the file looks like full resolution but very poorly. With the Windows
Media Player (WMP) it will only show 50% of the available
resolution which reduces the picture size by half.

So if you have been asking yourself why the footage looked so
small or so bad in comparison to a TV you have just found ONE
of the reasons. There are more reasons like color accuracy of
a computer monitor versus a TV or production monitor. A TV
(interlaced) also works differently than a computer monitor (progressive).

Just check the following QuickTime player screenshots on my
Windows XP Professional computer to see for yourself:(files are in jpeg format)

Now that's a scary difference! Look at how much blurring
happens and the complete loss of interlacing artifacts which
you usually really want to see to check whether footage is
interlaced or progressive or whether your de-interlacing did
its job correctly. QuickTime's default settings is by far the worst
of the two. Windows Media Player will just half the resolution
(which also looses interlacing information etc.).

You want a fix?

Fix for QuickTime
Unfortunately this will only work if you have upgraded to
QuickTime Pro. The free version does not allow changing the
needed setting.
  1. Open the QuickTime player and load a DV movie
  2. Select "Get Movie Properties" under the "Movie" menu
  3. Select "Video track" under the first (left) pulldown
  4. Select "Quality" under the second (right) pulldown
  5. Select "High Quality Enabled"
  6. OK out of all the Windows
The change is instant. However, this change is on a PER FILE
basis. So you will need to do this again for each file. You have
an option to save this preference with your file (QuickTime
player asks you to save changes when you exit) so it will stay
enabled for that specific file. If you do not save it you will also
need to re-enable it when you open the file again.

Fix for the new Windows Media Player (wmplayer.exe)
This player comes with newer Windows versions like XP and
probably Windows 2000 as well.
  1. Open the Windows Media Player, no need to load a file
  2. Select "Options" under the "Tools" menu
  3. Go to the "Performance" tab
  4. Under "Video acceleration" click "Advanced"
  5. The slider under "Digital Video" should be set all the way to the right ("Large")
  6. OK out of the windows and close the player
Fix for the old Media Player (mplayer2.exe)
This player comes with older versions of Windows like Windows 98.
  1. Open the Media Player and load a DV file
  2. Select "Properties" under the "File" menu
  3. Go to the "Advanced" tab
  4. Select "DV Video Decoder" under "Filters in use:"
  5. Click on the "Properties" button
  6. Make sure it is set to "Full (NTSC: 720*480, PAL: 720*576)" under "Decoding resolution"
  7. Enabled the checkbox "Save as default"
  8. Click apply and OK out of the windows and close the player
Notes
As indicated the fix only works with QuickTime Pro and must be
done for every file.

Windows XP also has the older Media Player installed and it looks
like changing the setting in one program effects both.

The screengrabs came from a test Kaku Ito shot with an XL2
camera and are being used with his permission. You can view
the original movie in the following thread:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=31215

Thanks Kaku! If you want to see the difference uncompressed
you can download the following BMP files (1.3 MB each):

Normal playback (uncompressed)
High Quality enabled (uncompressed)
__________________

Rob Lohman, visuar@iname.com
DV Info Wrangler & RED Code Chef

Join the DV Challenge | Lady X

Search DVinfo.net for quick answers | Buy from the best: DVinfo.net sponsors
Rob Lohman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 31st, 2004, 08:24 AM   #2
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,543
Re: DV playback looks bad? Go High Quality!

<<<-- Originally posted by Rob Lohman : To the best of my knowledge this problem does not happen on the Mac platform -->>>

Actually Mac QuickTime files also default to low quality playback (or at least they have on all the versions of QT Pro that I've used, but I don't have the newest). There's a little free app available on the Synthetic Aperture website as a free download which lets you drag and drop files to enable the high quality playback flag.

Even at high quality setting, I find DV looks significantly worse on my computer monitor than it does on an NTSC screen.
Boyd Ostroff is online now   Reply With Quote
Old August 31st, 2004, 10:00 AM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Posts: 1,189
As boyd wrote, the mac does default to lower quality playback using quicktime. If you're not into free plug-ins.....Robs procedure for hiQ on QT windows is the exactly the same on the mac.

Barry
Barry Goyette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 31st, 2004, 10:03 AM   #4
RED Code Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Holland
Posts: 12,514
Thanks guys! I've updated the post to point to your posts for Mac info.
__________________

Rob Lohman, visuar@iname.com
DV Info Wrangler & RED Code Chef

Join the DV Challenge | Lady X

Search DVinfo.net for quick answers | Buy from the best: DVinfo.net sponsors
Rob Lohman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 31st, 2004, 03:34 PM   #5
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,543
Yeah, I usually just go to the movie properties and manually set high quality myself also. But note that Synthetic Aperture freeware is not a "plug-in." It's a small stand-alone application. You just drag the quicktime file to its icon, high quality is enabled, and the program exits. Have never really put it through its paces though myself, other than trying it once or twice.
Boyd Ostroff is online now   Reply With Quote
Old August 31st, 2004, 04:09 PM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Posts: 1,189
thanks boyd...wasn't dissin' the hi-qual program...although it doesn't seem to work on my machine...I just wanted any unaware macUsers that they could set it themselves...but back to Synthetic Aperture hiqual...I'm running 10.3.4 on a g5, QT 6.5.1...what are you running?... cause when I drag a movie over the icon...nothing happens.
Barry Goyette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 31st, 2004, 04:28 PM   #7
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,543
Hey, diss away, I have no agenda :-) Like I said, I never really made much use of it, but just remembered it after reading Rob's post. I just downloaded from the link I gave. Took a short QT file and dragged it to the HiQual icon. You see quick zoom rectangles as the program opens and closes. That's all that should happen. But if you then try opening the movie file in Quicktime Pro you'll see that the high quality box will be checked.

Does this not happen on your G5? Entirely possible it isn't compatible, the program was written in 2002. But it works fine on my G4/1.25 under MacOS X 10.2.8 with Quicktime 6.3 pro (I'm still running FCP 3 and recall reading about problems with it under newer versions of QT, so if it ain't broke... ;-)
Boyd Ostroff is online now   Reply With Quote
Old August 31st, 2004, 05:00 PM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Posts: 1,189
My guess is it's not compatible with 10.3...you can click on the icon, and it tells you to.....wait a minute....ok...my bad..... it works with .mov files...but it doesn't work with the .dv file that kaku posted earlier. I had tried several times with it, but didn't think to try something else....jammin!

BG
Barry Goyette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 31st, 2004, 05:12 PM   #9
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,543
What's a .dv file? Is that a DV stream like iMovie uses? Yeah, I was using a .mov Quicktime file compressed with the DV codec, as captured in FCP without any alteration.
Boyd Ostroff is online now   Reply With Quote
Old August 31st, 2004, 05:40 PM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Luis Obispo CA
Posts: 1,189
I don't really know the difference between a .dv and a .mov...the dv file is what I got when I downloaded kaku's file...it opens and acts like a .mov in QT...and i have seen them before...I tried renaming it, but it didn't make a difference to hi-qual. I noticed that the data rate on kaku's file was 6.8 mb per sec...doesn't that sound high...I thought DV was 3.5 mb per sec...

Barry
Barry Goyette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 31st, 2004, 05:48 PM   #11
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,543
My guess is that .dv was his own shorthand for something because I think real extensions have 3 letters. Actually the extension shouldn't make any difference on the Mac. And the existence of .mov doesn't tell you what the codec was, just that it's a Quicktime file.
Boyd Ostroff is online now   Reply With Quote
Old August 31st, 2004, 10:36 PM   #12
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Shibuya, Tokyo
Posts: 1,381
Boyd, no it's not my own shorthand.

.dv is a native dv stream codec within QuickTime instead of Apple's own "not really the same" dv codec. So I thought I should provide it as close as naitive dv stream. I don't know if it is effective yet, but you all know Apple tends to try to set its own standard, becoming like Sony a bit. So, I would rather provide the file as close as "industry standard". I regret to say, as long as I'm using Final Cut Pro HD, it would be not the same as industry standard.
Kaku Ito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 1st, 2004, 04:24 AM   #13
RED Code Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Holland
Posts: 12,514
I think you aren't entirely correct on that Kaku. What happens
(as I know) is this.

The DV stream comes from the camera and if you capture it is
a .DV file this stream is one-on-one copied to the file.

The difference with QuickTime .MOV and .AVI on Windows is that
a wrapper placed AROUND this data so players can read it more
easily. The data is NOT altered (with multi channel audio it MAY
be shifter around in place, but the content itself is NOT changed).

So a DV AVI, QuickTime DV or native .DV is exactly the same
content wise.

The reason why the Mac SA program doesn't work with a .DV
file is that it can only change this setting for a .MOV file since
a .DV file (which is JUST the basic stream) does not have a HQ
property to set.

The wrapper .MOV format does! However, when playing the .DV
in QuickTime the player allows you to set the option since it is
basically a codec setting. Has nothing to do with the original data.

Hope this explains some.
__________________

Rob Lohman, visuar@iname.com
DV Info Wrangler & RED Code Chef

Join the DV Challenge | Lady X

Search DVinfo.net for quick answers | Buy from the best: DVinfo.net sponsors
Rob Lohman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 2nd, 2004, 10:53 AM   #14
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Shibuya, Tokyo
Posts: 1,381
I see. But I read someone's article explaining QuickTime's DV codec is loosing some signal characteristics slightly from original DV stream.
QuickTime and Final Cut Pro improved its quality when they updated both a year ago(?), before that, the DV video quality on FCP was not good, but Apple still claimed as native DV.

You can clearly tell Avid XpressDV and Adobe Premiere are not seem to loosing much from native DV stream, but since Apple want to say everything is standard quality and running real time all the time, they must be tweaking the codec a little. What do you think?
Kaku Ito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5th, 2004, 03:48 AM   #15
RED Code Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Holland
Posts: 12,514
Each DV codec is a little bit different, probably both in quality and
efficiency. On modern computers this shouldn't make too much
of a difference. And since native .DV on a Mac plays with QuickTime
as well I can't imagine a different codec is being used when the
DV stream is encapsulated inside a .MOV file.
__________________

Rob Lohman, visuar@iname.com
DV Info Wrangler & RED Code Chef

Join the DV Challenge | Lady X

Search DVinfo.net for quick answers | Buy from the best: DVinfo.net sponsors
Rob Lohman is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:44 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network