DVD Help at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 17th, 2009, 08:41 AM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Danvers, MA
Posts: 10
DVD Help

I have always been relatively happy with my footage but can't help but be disappointed/ let down when trying to burn it to DVD. I recently bought an EX1 and have a few clients looking to have their final product on DVD. I am unfamiliar/nervous about going from a piece edited in FCP to a DVD. Can anyone shed some light on getting the best quality export/compression etc. for DVD. I shoot mostly 1080p 24p but do not have the money to purchase a Blue Ray burner just yet so my final output would be standard DVD. Thanks!
Zach Salsman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 17th, 2009, 09:45 AM   #2
Vortex Media
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 2,483
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach Salsman View Post
I have always been relatively happy with my footage but can't help but be disappointed/ let down when trying to burn it to DVD.
I would suggest NOT shooting 24P if your final output is for DVD. You don't say WHY you are disappointed with the results that you've been getting, but 24P could be a part of it. Try 30P instead.

Although I don't talk about post-production too much in my EX training DVDs, except for importing, I still get a a lot of questions about my workflow. I posted this on my website a few months ago. You might find some help there.
Vortex Media: VIDEO & PHOTO Tools and Training

Good luck. It should be very simple. If you're not getting good results, then you're doing something wrong someplace in your workflow.
__________________
Vortex Media http://www.vortexmedia.com/
Sony FS7, F55, and XDCAM training videos, field guides, and other production tools
Doug Jensen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 17th, 2009, 11:23 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Hamilton Ontario
Posts: 769
The fact that you're shooting 24FPS has nothing to do with it..
Most Hollywood films are encoded to 23.98FPS, and simply have a flag in the Mpeg stream to tell the DVD player to emulate 60i playback.

The biggest challenge is to get a clean downconvert from 1080P to 480P..
There's many threads about downconverting, and requires you to go the freeware route..
VirtualDub is the easiest to use, followed by perhaps AviSynth (if you're comforatable).

One way or the other, there's a common misconception, that somehow, HD material downconverted to SD produces better quality...Not the case.

Give the right person some nice glass, good lighting, and a camera, and you'll receive stunning SD footage..
Peter Manojlovic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 17th, 2009, 12:02 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bracknell, Berkshire, UK
Posts: 4,957
The OP is using a Mac so Virtual Dub and AVISynth are not going to be much help. HD material properly converted to SD can look stunning and many, many, big budget programmes are shot in HD even though they may only be seen in SD as done right the quality can be superior. Take some of the BBC's Natural History programmes. These have been shot in HD for years and always made some of the most visually stunning SD programmes. Only recently have they been broadcast in HD.

First off for best results going from an EX to SD it is a good idea to go in to the picture profiles and reduce the detail level to -8 or lower. This will help reduce aliasing (patterning on fine detail) in any SD downconverts and IMHO gives a more pleasing HD image.

I find I get the best results by exporting from FCP via compressor. First choose the appropriate DVD preset. I don't do any 23.98 so I'm not sure if this is necessary but in the inspector window of compressor click on the encoder button and select the Video Format tab. Click on the little gear button next to video format and set to NTSC. Next click on the gear button next to Frame Rate and select 23.98.

Now select the frame controls button, then click the gear button next to Frame Controls and set frame controls to ON. Set the resize filter to BEST.

Save this as a new preset so you don't have to make the changes next time and away you go.

If you find you are still struggling, maybe because you have not backed of the detail setting then you can apply a Gaussian Blur filter set to 0.5 to your clips or timeline before you render them to soften the HD before it gets down converted.
__________________
Alister Chapman, Film-Maker/Stormchaser http://www.xdcam-user.com/alisters-blog/ My XDCAM site and blog. http://www.hurricane-rig.com
Alister Chapman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 17th, 2009, 12:07 PM   #5
New Boot
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Danvers, MA
Posts: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Manojlovic View Post
One way or the other, there's a common misconception, that somehow, HD material downconverted to SD produces better quality...Not the case.
Peter,

Thanks for your reply. I was under the assumption that HD down-convert did produce better quality, I was unaware that this was a misconception as you pointed out. If this is true and my final product is Standard DVD, than what is the point of me, or anyone who can't burn to Blue Ray, to shoot in 1080p? Why not shoot 480p in camera if the final product will be the same? This seems really disheartening.
Zach Salsman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 17th, 2009, 12:30 PM   #6
New Boot
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Danvers, MA
Posts: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
T
Now select the frame controls button, then click the gear button next to Frame Controls and set frame controls to ON. Set the resize filter to BEST.
Alister,

Thank you so much for you detailed response. I went through the steps in Compressor, most weren't necessary like you said the changes were already made for me. I did have to change the resize filer to BEST, man there are SOO many more settings in the Frame Controls it is overwhelming! Do the de-interlacing settings matter in frame controls even though my source footage was shot progressive?

Also, once this thing is compressed with all these settings, do you normally just bring it in to DVD studio and burn it from there? Does DVD studio encode it a second time? It has always made me nervous that DVD Studio has its own compressor settings. I'm new at the whole HD down convert burn haha sorry for all the questions.
Zach Salsman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 17th, 2009, 01:37 PM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bracknell, Berkshire, UK
Posts: 4,957
Just bring the files into DVD studio. It will not re-encode them although it will multiplex the video and audio together.

Don't be put off by Peter's comment re the quality of down converted HD. When shot well and down converted correctly HD is quite capable of being as good as the very best native SD. Plus of course there are all the advantages of being able to zoom into the HD image with no loss of quality, improved keying (by Keying in HD) plus finer noise and grain structure.
__________________
Alister Chapman, Film-Maker/Stormchaser http://www.xdcam-user.com/alisters-blog/ My XDCAM site and blog. http://www.hurricane-rig.com
Alister Chapman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 17th, 2009, 01:46 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Hamilton Ontario
Posts: 769
I'm not trying to put anybody off here....
It's just that there's a whole generation of newcomers buying into HD, just to realize that when it's time to produce SD, there' no "Easy" button. Well, there is, but the "Easy" button creates a horrible product. In fact, there's more than enough threads showing people's frustration with the downconverts speaks for themselves.


Unfortunately, since i'm a Matrox RT.X2 user, i've found it disheartening to have to revert to extra processes to produce a DVD..

The biggest advantage to our situation, is that when you finally can afford the BluRay burner, and BluRay players are $50 at Walmart, and most customers expect BluRay you can simply reload your project footage, and output for proper encode...

Well, i can.....I simply recapture my tapes :)
Peter Manojlovic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 17th, 2009, 03:13 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Moab, UT
Posts: 264
Use Share

The new FCS3 offers a very easy --and far from horrible--solution. Use Share to burn a DVD. I'd downloaded all the tips on which codecs to use to get a good sd dvd from hd, including the "dump to sd timeline" workflow (yes, field dominance set to none), and no disc I've made looks better, including on an HD monitor, than the simple mpeg2 compression disc that FCP burned from my xdcam timeline via Share.

For xdcam users, that and the new Log & Transfer utility with advanced clip naming make the upgrade well worth it.
__________________
www.packcreekproductions.com
EX3, Mac Pro, FCP
Mike Chandler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 17th, 2009, 07:22 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 528
I shoot 1080p24 all the time on my EX-3. I never use anything else. My SD DVD's look fantastic. My customers always remark on the quality.

Edit in HD (EXDCAM EX 108024 in FCP). I output a self contained movie in this HD codec. I check the movie at this stage. Bring into Compressor and apply Apple SD DVD setting. I only tweak the 16:9 settings and check that the movie size is OK at 720 x 360 (or whatever it scales). I do raise the quality to as high a bitrate as the standard 4.6G DVD will hold. You can calculate this bitrate to get the maximum allowed. This gives me the mv2 file to bring into DVD Studio Pro. I mix audio separately in Soundtrack Pro into a Dolby Surround Sound File.
That's it. I sell hundred's of DVD's each month direct from my website and in six years not one has been returned for poor quality!
Jon Braeley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 17th, 2009, 09:38 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Hamilton Ontario
Posts: 769
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Braeley View Post
I shoot 1080p24 all the time on my EX-3. I never use anything else. My SD DVD's look fantastic. My customers always remark on the quality.
Great!!!
Perhaps Zach could use your advice.

I realized i was in the wrong subforum, and brought up some issues related to those of us that shoot 1080i.
Good luck...
Peter Manojlovic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 17th, 2009, 10:59 PM   #12
New Boot
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Danvers, MA
Posts: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Chandler View Post
The new FCS3 offers a very easy --and far from horrible--solution. .
Mike,

I have heard that about FCP3 but unfortunately I can't afford it yet, I have the academic version so an upgrade isn't possible, which sucks. But if there is somewhere that shows the settings/compressions for the magic "share to DVD" and or "convert to SD timeline" I would be interested in checking it out.
Zach Salsman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 17th, 2009, 11:04 PM   #13
New Boot
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Danvers, MA
Posts: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Braeley View Post
I do raise the quality to as high a bitrate as the standard 4.6G DVD will hold. You can calculate this bitrate to get the maximum allowed.
Jon,

Thanks a lot for the info. I have never exported from FCP self contained, I'll have to try it out. Would you mind explaining a little about bit rate? What is it exactly? How do I know how much a standard 4.6G DVD will hold and how do I calculate the bitrate to get the maximum allowed?
Zach Salsman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 17th, 2009, 11:32 PM   #14
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,321
I shoot in 720/50p or 1080/25p and keep everything progressive right through to encode. I also encode @ a constant bit rate 8meg with frame controls turned on and the resize filter set to best. Most of my work is 30mins spots or under 60mins and is able to be encoded at a high bit rate. This way it looks good and can still fit on a SD 4.7g DVD.

Sure, going from HD to SD you will loose resolution but if shot correctly it should still hold up. Another way is to get youself a 2/3" SD camera.

Cool
Simon Denny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 18th, 2009, 08:33 AM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 528
Zach - you can download an app for the bitrate size here - Bitrate Calculator or go here Bitrate Calculator

I use trial and error - I select the best quality DVD setting in compressor (90mins) and then raise the bitrate to its max allowed.
I think exporting a self contained file is key for you, as I think exporting direct from FCP to compressor is your weakest link. I am running the new FCP3, and this has now been totally reconfigured in the new FCP upgrade, so it was obviously not a good method. Import the self contained movie file into compressor and you can compare the results of SD compression in the preview window.
Going from HD to SD is a perfectly good workflow. I shoot HD because sometimes my footage is purchased as stock from cable networks, however all my DVD's, which is 99% my income are SD.
Jon Braeley 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 > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:26 PM.


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