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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old December 11th, 2008, 09:26 AM   #46
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You guys sound like you're looking for problems. When I need to produce an SD DVD from my EX HQ 1080/25p material in Vegas, I simply use the DVDA PAL widescreen video stream template for my final (and only) render; it produces gorgeous DVD image without any additional tweaking etc.

The only FX I add at the track level is slight Unsharpen Mask (forcing it to act only after downconversion), and - if the DVD is going to be delivered to a wide audience - the Broadcast safe colours on the Project level.

That's it; never encountered soft picture or line twitter... From what you're saying I'm beginning to suspect there is some weak link in your viewing hw/sw chain...
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Old December 11th, 2008, 09:31 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
When I need to produce an SD DVD from my EX HQ 1080/25p material in Vegas, I simply use the DVDA PAL widescreen video stream template for my final (and only) render; it produces gorgeous DVD image without any additional tweaking etc.
Piotr, what stands that template for? I'm on a Mac... P.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 09:36 AM   #48
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Piotr, what stands that template for? I'm on a Mac... P.
Nothing special; obvious things like frame size, fps, pixel aspect ratio. Of course it has the quality settings - I'm always using the highest possible (including bitrate).

Interestingly, this produces 50i version of my 25p material, but in fact it's really 25PsF so no problems with either authoring DVD (as it's flagged 50i), or watching on a progressive flat displays (as it's really still progressive, with no time shift between fields).
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Old December 11th, 2008, 01:18 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Andy Nickless View Post
No Dominik, I mean Blur - so bad that if I watch for more than a few seconds, my eyes feel strange.
I don't have clue what's going wrong, but believe me: It's not the downscaling-quality of compressor. ;)
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Old December 11th, 2008, 08:03 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Dominik Seibold View Post
Compressors rescaler is better than mpeg-streamsclips. But you have to set the scale-quality to best, as shown in the attached screen-shot.
Indeed, when I set Compressor to all "best quality" parameters, recorded on DVD picture came up as good as one can expect for SD.

PS. The only problem that i do not know how to overcome is INTERLACING. I shot with 1080p24 and in FCP I turned Interlacing to De-Interlace. In compressor I did the same and yet final DVD has this problem. Any advice?

Last edited by Mark Krichever; December 12th, 2008 at 12:24 PM. Reason: new info.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 02:05 AM   #51
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Don't know a lot (barely anything) on making DVD:s.

But does somebody have knowledge of the quality of the SDI out from the camera?

You could edit in FCP and export the MP4 film back to the SxS card via Transfer manager and play it out from the camera via SDI or composite.

Thanks for an informative thread. I've been battling with exactly this issue since I bought the camera. The way I downconvert now is simply to change the timeline setting to a DV Pal timeline and then export it (FCP). Just switched from Avid to FCP and find the import and export routines a lot simpler and faster on FCP.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 04:23 AM   #52
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Interestingly I have tried Mpeg streamclip and the results I have got out of it have been dire. looks like a badly compressed dogs dinner. Blocking, blurry and rubbish. Obviously doing somethig wrong as its just unusable.

Andy, I think one of the problems is that you are viewing it in simulator in DVD studio pro. it looks great on your monitor. All nice and compact. then you burn it to dvd and play it in your dvd player onto your tv ( not sure what TV you have? Plasma? LCD? Screen size?) and its blown up to 32 inches? less more? thats a lot bigger screen than the simulator on the apple monitor.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 04:53 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Steve Shovlar View Post
Interestingly I have tried Mpeg streamclip and the results I have got out of it have been dire
My best result with MPSC (if I remember rightly) was converting ProRes422 to DV. Then I put that into DVDSP.

Quote:
I think one of the problems is that you are viewing it in simulator in DVD studio pro. it looks great on your monitor. All nice and compact. then you burn it to dvd and play it in your dvd player onto your tv ( not sure what TV you have? Plasma? LCD? Screen size?) and its blown up to 32 inches? less more? thats a lot bigger screen than the simulator on the apple monitor.
Yes I realise that, but I think the difference is too great to be explained that way. In the past, I've read many posts from people far more experienced than me, telling us not to pay much attention to the DVDSP Simulator because the resolution's very low.

The more serious comparison I'm making is with a previous DVD we made a few years ago - shot with PD170 (SD) - with a very similar subject, scenes etc etc.

Viewed on the LG CRT, the old SD footage is vastly superior to the downconverted EX1 footage - but on the DVDSP Simulator, the downconverted EX1 footage looks slightly better than the SD!

(The mind boggles).
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Old December 12th, 2008, 05:04 AM   #54
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Have you thought about Bootcamp and chucking a copy of Vegas/Architect on it to see how that compares to FCP/Compressor. There's a 30 day trial available and if it still looks like a dogs dinner........
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Old December 12th, 2008, 05:41 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Steve Shovlar View Post
Have you thought about Bootcamp and chucking a copy of Vegas/Architect on it to see how that compares to FCP/Compressor. There's a 30 day trial available and if it still looks like a dogs dinner........
Thanks Steve - but I'm running one of those vintage (barely 2 year old) G5s.
I want to get a Mac Pro quite soon but not really before I finish this project.

I may have to though - it would open up other possibilities - including Bit Vice (2.4), Episode etc etc

But really, I'm exploring the possibilities of a hardware downconversion now.

Quite soon, I suspect there will be an EX1 on eBay UK!

Fabulous camera, but it's a complete dud if I can't get my footage on DVD at a reasonable quality.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 06:35 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Andy Nickless View Post
it's a complete dud if I can't get my footage on DVD at a reasonable quality.
As a fellow Mac toting FCP user, I can absolutely positively attest at getting great SD DVDs from EX1 footage using Compressor. And I'm assuming up to date FCS 2.0 here, bets are off on earlier versions.

Edit in FCP using the native XDCAM-EX format, export a self contained QT in the native format, plunk it into Compressor and drag one of the standard presets (I tend to use 120 even for short movies because the data rate is client-friendly.

And that's pretty much it for most of the time, and clients noticed the step up from Z1 to EX1 from the DVDs.

In the early days, I tried doing the downconvert in FCP and this required some chicken-waving regarding fields, output quality and scaling quality, as I could see aliasing problems with near horizontal lines. But certainly not eye crossing blurriness.

The only thing I can think of regarding your previous comment about CRTs is that somehow your progressive footage is being treated as interlaced, and is having a very savage deinterlace done to it.

Note that if you want 'video' motion, it means shooting 720p 50fps, turning on the advanced controls in Compressor and turning interlacing ON (IIRC - don't have access to my cookbook). There are also some times when extra fiddling IS required (perhaps a bit of blur etc) but right now most of my stuff has been treated very nicely by Compressor.

FWIW I've also found Clip Browser to do nice things with downconverted rushes, but I stick to 720p25 for almost everything now. I can deliver native 1280x720 WMV added to an SD DVD, and enjoy the benefits of 60fps when required.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 05:58 AM   #57
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Andy:
I am sorry that You still don't get satisfying results. But I wonder why You are ignoring the solution like editing in hd, adding a little vertical blur and the downconvert in Aftereffects or something like that. Or have a missed something in this meanwhile long discussion ?

I wouldn't sell the ex1. There's nothing better at the moment - except ex3 :)

Peter
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Old December 13th, 2008, 08:56 AM   #58
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I wonder why You are ignoring the solution like editing in hd, adding a little vertical blur and the downconvert in Aftereffects or something like that
Peter (and everyone else who's been kind enough to try to help me with this) please understand that the situation is fairly desperate here so if I don't reply to every post, I hope you'll forgive me.

We've been working on this project solidly from May 2008 until the present time. It never occurred to me that we'd have trouble downconverting footage to SD and now, with the project way behind schedule we have to do whatever we can to get it back on track.

I have a G5 Mac (not Intel) so many options are closed off to me, including, I believe, AE. But I would buy a new Mac Pro on Monday morning if I was convinced:
a) It would mean the footage could be converted to a suitable standard and
b) there would be time to do all that was necessary to get our DVD released in early January (nearly three months later than we announced originally).

At the moment we are anxiously awaiting test footage from a Hardware Downconversion which I am hopeful will give us a better result. I've tried dozens of different encoding methods and to be perfectly honest, the difference in the quality has been barely discernable.

I have also sent test footage away for others to work on (with software) all with similar results to mine with Compressor and MPEG Streamclip.

Quote:
I wouldn't sell the ex1. There's nothing better at the moment - except ex3 :)
I think the likelyhood of me owning an EX1 beyond early January is very slim. The camera (with certain reservations) is superb for the money, but I need excellent quality footage I can put on DVD for my customers - the EX1 doesn't give me that, I'm afraid.

I owned a Sony Z1 for a while and loved it. Now I see the Z7 will record HDV to tape and SD to Compact Flash . . . SIMULTANEOUSLY.

Now THAT sounds like a good idea!
(Interchangeable lenses too).
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Old December 13th, 2008, 10:04 AM   #59
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xdcam>hdv>dvd

Desperate times call for desperate measures. I don't normally edit or create DVDs but I have to send six hours of material out on DVD Monday. After a number of false starts, a couple dreadful attempts and a lot of reading on this thread, a friend suggested simply exporting HD Pro Res timeline>Quicktime movie> HDV self contained. Then I dragged the HDV.mov into idvd. The results are not stunning (like original hd video) but it looks pretty good and the workflow was comparatively quick.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 02:10 PM   #60
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Andy.......... So very briefly, I am as ready as you to be rid of the EX-1 for DVDs..please see the post in this forum, I began, "How to Convert EX-1 to SD for DVD???"....this has had a superb response in suggested solutions. I'm on PC, but exact same problem as you. Again, personal issues will keep me off this board for at least another week. Good luck to us all.
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