Help cleaning up interlaced footage taken from DVD at

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Old September 16th, 2010, 12:03 AM   #1
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Help cleaning up interlaced footage taken from DVD

I have a friend I occasionally do some pro bono work for, and he wants a video to display on his hdtv at home. He gave me two dvds of bald eagles, both originally copyrighted in the 80s and compressed interlaced footage.

I used iSkySoft iMedia Converter to rip the dvd to a mov file, then edited it down to the shots he wants in FCP. There are some fast-motion shots of eagles in flight that have the telltale lines of interlaced frames, even though I'm editing in an NTSC sequence. He thinks it looks like crap.

Am I right to tell him that those lines are going to be there regardless? Is there any way I can make this look better on a 40+ inch hdtv?
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Old September 16th, 2010, 05:50 AM   #2
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On most modern flat-panel HDTVs, the interlaced or combing lines shouldn't be noticeable as the IP circuit in the HDTVs will deinterlace the DVD input from the player and interpolate or create additional full progressive frames to display the pictures at 60Hz and upward to 240Hz or maybe higher. The key thing is by the time the pictures are displayed on the HDTV they have already been processed or "converted", whatever the correct wording is, from the original 60i NTSC DVD contents recorded on the disc. The extent of the processing and how well the processing is implemented to properly convert the legacy formats (such as NTSC DVD) fed into the HDTV from external sources (such as DVD players) vary from one HDTV to another.

On your computer monitor, which I assume to be an LCD rather than a CRT, the interlaced combing lines may look bad and annoying but they won't show up on current HDTVs. You could try deinterlacing the extracted .mov files and re-authoring a new DVD with the contents now in 29.98 actual progressive frames (deinterlaced and converted from the original 59.96 interlaced lines). The final DVD however has to be 59.96i or 60i to meet the NTSC DVD specs but now with only half the temporal resolution of the original DVD. In this case, getting rid of the combing lines could instead ultimately deteriorate the overall quality of the pictures once they are displayed on an HDTV. Try watching the original contents on an HDTV, not a computer screen and see if the actual pictures are acceptable.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 10:58 AM   #3
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Location: Austin, TX
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Are you previewing in Final Cut? If so, depending on various settings, the preview can look pretty awful.

Here's a link that's talking about text, but it might apply (Why Your Beautiful Motion Text Looks Bad in Final Cut Pro). Basically, make sure your preview window is set to 100% scaling and turn off "correct for pixel aspect ratio" and this might help some of the issues.

Another possibility, which it doesn't sound like this is the problem, but I thought I'd mention--I did a project a while back converting HD footage to SD NTSC, and as it turned out, Final Cut did a terrible job with the conversion. I ended up doing the conversion in After Effects. So if you're actually converting the files to HD for some reason, you might try using After Effects instead of Final Cut.
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