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Old November 26th, 2001, 11:53 AM   #1
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I'm currently using Pinnacle's Studio 7 to capture and edit DV Video. I occassionally use Premier 6 for things Studio 7 can't do. With either editing system, I use the MainConcept DV codec to encode/decode my video files because I've been led to believe this was the best PC based codec available. I struggle with de-interlacing artifacts like mosquito noise, jagged edges, and clipping in the whites(IRE's over 100), so, I'm constantly looking for a better DV codec, especially one that gives me the option to clamp the color mapping so I can avoid white clipping. I'm using Windows 2000, so Adaptec's DVsoft codec won't work. Unfortunately, I'm not running an Apple system, so Final Cut Pro isn't an option. Does anyone in this forum have a suggestion for available DV codecs? I would certainly appreciate input from everyone. Thax in advance.

Bill R.
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Old November 28th, 2001, 01:09 AM   #2
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Have you looked at Avid's Xpress DV?
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Old November 28th, 2001, 02:45 AM   #3
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Forgive my ignorance, but what is "mosquito noise"?

I can't really help you since I use a Mac, but I would like to ask a general question on the subject. On my Mac I have both Final Cut Pro and Digital Origin Edit/Moto DV. It doesn't matter which one I capture with, clips from one program work effortlessly with the others. Yet both supposedly use a different DV codec. I prefer capturing with MotoDV since it is so much easier and faster than FCP's capturing. But here is my question:

Why are there different DV "codecs" anyway? Isn't the camera transferring the information from the tape to the hard drive without loss or any changes in data? Kind of like copying a file from floppy to hard drive. That would explain why everything is cross compatible in my Mac universe, but it doesn't explain why you are seeing noise in yours.

I will state however, that Apple's Quicktime DV NTSC "codec" looks really blurry when presented in Quicktime form on your screen. It does this just so it can play at full speed. But the actual picture (export a Pict or BMP file of a frame) is much clearer and looks absolutely perfect on a television screen. My recommendation would be to get Quicktime 5 Pro ($30) and use that. The DV Quicktimes are cross-compatible on the Mac and PC, so you will still get the same great picture in the Windows world. The only requirement would be that your program is compatible with Quicktime and it's codecs.
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Old November 28th, 2001, 08:20 AM   #4
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Mosquito noise manifests itself as small haloes or ghosts around areas of sharp contrast, such as between horizon and sky, and really is a common artifact that results from the 5:1 compression DV codecs apply. All DV cosecs are not created equally, but. they are all written to comply with the digital video standard, which is why they can all work on a DV encoded tape. Note that there are actually 3 different DV standards, DV, DVCAM, and DV50. DV50 and DV are not interchangeable, DV50 being at twice the data rate as DV and DVCAM. What I am understanding about DV format is that different codecs tranfer luminance data differently, some use an RGB standard of 0-255, while others clip this to 16-235. For a full discussion of this subject, I'll refer you Adam Wilt's site:

I've written to MainConcept and asked them how they pass thru the luminance values, but, they have ignored my emails. I beleive Quicktime may handle luminance differently and am going to give them a try.

Other data I have run acroos shows that DV is not a lossless compression process. Different codecs show different errors, mostly chroma shifts visible after 4 or five generations. It 's only an urban legend that DV codecs are lossless.

Thanx for the info you provided.

Bill R.
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Old November 28th, 2001, 08:39 PM   #5
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Thanx for the ref. I checked out the Avid site....the NLE looks interesting, albeit pretty expensive. I read the product review, but, found not reference to the performance of the supplied DV codec. I hesitate to spend this kind of $$$ without seeing some footage produced by this codec.

Thanx again,
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Old November 29th, 2001, 11:14 AM   #6
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A better way to think of the "formats" would be DV25, DV50, and above.

DV25 used in: miniDV and standard form factors (although not the format, but rather the form factor), DVCAM (Sony's version of DV25), DVCPRO25 (Panasonic's version of DV25)

DV50 level: Digital-S and DVCPRO50

Above: HD, Digital BetaCam

Also check Adam Wilt's site for codec comparisons and a better explanation of DV formats.

- - -

The codec Avid XpressDV uses is a licensed Canopus codec - a highly regarded DV25 level codec.

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