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Old September 27th, 2015, 05:04 AM   #1
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Will TMPGEnc Mastering Works 6 Improve My DVD Quality?

Hi all,

I've just completed a video project which uses many formats of video as source video, such as:

.avi (SD 720x480 and 640x480 29.970 interlaced)
.m2t (HDV 1440x1080 29.970 progressive & interlaced)
.MP4 (HD 1280x720 119.880 progressive)
.MP4 (UHD 3840x2160 29.970 progressive)
.MP4 (HD 1920x1080 29.970 progressive)
.MXF (HD 1920x1080 29.970 progressive)
.MXF (HD 1280x720 59.940 progressive)

My current workflow for this project is to set Vegas Project properties to 1280x720 @ 29.970, progressive.
I then render out an uncompressed .avi file at 1280x720 @29.970 progressive.
I take that into Virtual Dub and use Video/Filter/Resize to downscale to 720x405.
I bring this VD'd .avi into Sony DVD Architect Pro 6.0 and burn my DVD using the default settings.
Quality is good.
What I'd like to know, is whether using TMPGEnc software can improve on this workflow of mine.
Any other suggestions are welcome. Ideally, I'd not need to get TMPGEnc Authoring Works 5, instead continuing to use DVDA, as TMPGEnc apparently requires a constant internet connection for it to work. That won't work for me, but I can get on the internet for long enough to create my master file, then go on the road (where internet may or may not be available) and continue to use that master in DVDA to burn as many DVDs as I need to.

Mark
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Old September 27th, 2015, 10:53 AM   #2
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Re: Will TMPGEnc Mastering Works 6 Improve My DVD Quality?

I don't know much about VirtualDub and TMPGEnc.

But, your workflow isn't getting the best out of Vegas & DVDA.

As I understand it, and maybe I'm missing something... I'm a little rusty on DVD workflow...

Generally, we don't want to have DVDA doing *any* encodes. There are few controls, and DVDA's automatic settings all seem to be sort of "draft" quality. Additionally, giving it a 720x405 source means that it is also rescaling, after you've gone to so much trouble to get out of Vegas for the scaling operation! That might be a *big* ouch right there!

Ideally, at that last step, you'd give DVDA a 720x480 MPEG2 file that is correctly formatted for widescreen with a 1.2121 pixel aspect ratio, and a Dolby AC3 sound file. That's how to get the most out of DVDA; don't let it encode anything! To do this you'll have to assure that these two files fully conform to the DVD spec, otherwise DVDA re-encodes them.

How to get to that point? Well, I know where I'd start - rendering the original Vegas timeline directly to a DVD-compliant MPEG2, being sure to set it up using the custom rendering dialogs, using a bitrate calculator or table to determine the compression settings, and being sure to select "Best" rendering quality since this render requires rescaling. But if you've already got a 1280x720 you like, you could start there, same settings.

But like I said, I'm ignorant of what VirtualDub and TMPGEnc can deliver. But with the workflow you describe, you ain't getting that goodness, whatever it is.

I suspect it's a state of the art rescaler in VD. Vegas' rescaler *can* be improved upon. And a state of the art MPEG2 encoder in TMPGEnc. Here it's harder to improve, Vegas' MPEG2 encoder from MainConcept is really quite good.

Don't take everything you read on the internet as gospel, I say. (including this post!) I'm all for testing those products to see if I can get higher quality into my workflow, but I'd want to be darn sure I was getting the best I could out of Vegas/DVDA first to serve as a benchmark. Your work, your standards, your audience are going to be different than anybody elses.

PS. The most accessible best references for Vegas/DVDA workflow can be found in forum moderator Edward Troxel's jetdv.com site. There are a series of old newsletters that go through the complete workflow, and include a bitrate table. And don't forget "Best", which engages Vegas' better rescaler.
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Old September 27th, 2015, 11:52 AM   #3
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Re: Will TMPGEnc Mastering Works 6 Improve My DVD Quality?

Seth,

Thank you for your reply. I will perform some more testing, taking your advice to heart, and see what I come up with.

The reason I set properties and rendering to 1280x720 is because I had a lot of high frame rate footage I shot on the FDR-AX100, which was saved to memory card as 1280x720 @120fps progressive. I did lots of testing and decided to make the slow-mo footage look as good as possible, and that happened when properties and render settings matched the video file properties.

I'll post back after some further experimenting.


Mark
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Old September 27th, 2015, 12:12 PM   #4
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Re: Will TMPGEnc Mastering Works 6 Improve My DVD Quality?

Let TMPGenc do the downscale and encode using Lanczos3 and these files can be used without DVDA doing any encoding as long as you select ES ( elementary streams for separate audio and video files). You can see how much you are filling the disc so no bit rate guessing either just adjust the values in TMPGenc and see how much fill is desired. I usually settle at just over 4G on the scale.

Ron Evans
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Old September 27th, 2015, 12:21 PM   #5
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Re: Will TMPGEnc Mastering Works 6 Improve My DVD Quality?

Thanks Ron,

A couple questions on your recommended process:

Should I render out as uncompressed .avi as I am now, and then I'd bring that into TMPGEnc, do a rescale and output as MPEG-2 for DVDA to burn to disc? ( or do I need to render out as MPEG-2 with separate sound file, or some other format altogether??)

Will TMPGEnc let me resize from 1280x720 to 720x480, or does it come out as 720x405 like Virtual Dub makes it?

Mark
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Old September 27th, 2015, 12:46 PM   #6
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Re: Will TMPGEnc Mastering Works 6 Improve My DVD Quality?

Yes render out as uncompressed ( I use EDius so render a HQX file from that) TMPGenc. In the filters section click and select Picture Resize ( uncheck keep aspect ratio so make sure there are no black vertical lines at sides when shown on a computer ). Under format select DVD and this will set size to 720x480. You will get a choice later if you want 702x480 in settings.

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Old October 23rd, 2015, 08:26 PM   #7
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Re: Will TMPGEnc Mastering Works 6 Improve My DVD Quality?

I switched to Authoring Works because I kept getting mad at DVDA's menu-building. The version I have doesn't need constant internet contact, though. I've found their downsampling to be superior to just about anything else I've tried.
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Old October 23rd, 2015, 10:06 PM   #8
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Re: Will TMPGEnc Mastering Works 6 Improve My DVD Quality?

TMPGenc is my go to software for DVDs. Follow Ron's advise and you will get great results.
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Old October 24th, 2015, 05:08 AM   #9
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Re: Will TMPGEnc Mastering Works 6 Improve My DVD Quality?

Update: I sprang for TMPGenc Mastering Works 6 and their Authoring software as well. I tried a couple different ways with it and quality was horrible, so I'm assuming I need to play around with the settings more.
I also tried rendering a MPEG-2 straight from the Sony Vegas Pro timeline for DVD Architecture and that was poor quality, as I already knew it would be. I have gone ahead and burned several dozens of DVDs with my video using my tried and true method; uncompressed .avi out of Vegas, resize in VirtualDub, bring into DVD Architect as SD-sized .avi. I don't have an internet connection on my personal laptop right now, so TMPGEnc doesn't work (they weren't kidding about needing an internet connection.... every time you open the program!!). I think I have older versions of all their stuff that doesn't need an internet connection but I'm trying to stay legit these days.

More testing required, and if I find anything that beats my current workflow I'll post a powerpoint about it so the next poor bastard doesn't have to reinvent the wheel.

Mark
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Old October 24th, 2015, 05:49 AM   #10
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Re: Will TMPGEnc Mastering Works 6 Improve My DVD Quality?

I render hqavi's out of edius and use those in authoringworks and the results are good, I just use the default settings for my dvd's and blu-rays.
Quote:
they weren't kidding about needing an internet connection.... every time you open the program!!
Not everytime, it requires periodic connection. A year ago I moved to a new home and was without internet for a month, I had to drive to a family member taking my entire desktop with me to connect it to the net because just during that time the program wanted to phone home...Really fun when you have deadlines.
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Old October 24th, 2015, 05:55 AM   #11
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Re: Will TMPGEnc Mastering Works 6 Improve My DVD Quality?

My TMGenc doesn't go to the internet every time I use it. There is a timer not sure how long but likely about 30days I think. I have tried Virtual dub a few times when told it was better but always thought TMGenc was just as good and a lot easier to use. Using the same rescale ( Lanczos3)they seem to perform the same, Since my programs are always about 2 hours I always get TMPGenc to downscale and encode 2 passVBR for best quality at low bit rates.

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Old October 26th, 2015, 05:49 PM   #12
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Re: Will TMPGEnc Mastering Works 6 Improve My DVD Quality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Watson View Post
Update: I sprang for TMPGenc Mastering Works 6 and their Authoring software as well. I tried a couple different ways with it and quality was horrible, so I'm assuming I need to play around with the settings more.
What are you feeding into it exactly? You also have to be careful when viewing your 720x480 DVDs on an HD monitor. I let Authoring Works do all of the down-converting. I render my timeline out to the same format my original clips were in (so except for transitions and titles and whatever I've color corrected, it speeds through the timeline and says "no compression necessary" or whatever the popup says). I add that file into authoring works. Go through and set my chapter points. Build the menus. Make sure to select the type of disc you're burning (single or dual layer DVD). It adjusts the bitrate to be the max that can fit on the type of media you've chosen. Then I hit go. I've rarely been disappointed in the results.
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Old October 26th, 2015, 10:37 PM   #13
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Re: Will TMPGEnc Mastering Works 6 Improve My DVD Quality?

JR,

I fed it the uncompressed .avi file from Sony Vegas, about a 240GB file, 1280x720 29.970p.

It's got to be a setting or something else on my end since you all are getting good results. I'll be able to play more with it shortly.

I opened the program with an internet connection and did my work and then shut it down and disconnected the internet and tried to open it again right away and it wouldn't open due to no internet. Maybe just a one-time deal, I don't know. If it can run for 30 days off the leash than that would be nice.

If anybody else has done a comparison between the VirtualDub resize round-trip from Vegas and found TMPGEnc better at it, that would be good to hear as well. Hopefully I can report that fact myself by next week.

I am starting to use the chapters feature in DVDA and whenever I change out the media file (like when I make some changes and re-insert the file), I have to re-enter all the chapter stuff. Not a big deal right now, but there's gotta be a better way.

Mark
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Old October 27th, 2015, 07:27 AM   #14
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Re: Will TMPGEnc Mastering Works 6 Improve My DVD Quality?

I have been using TMPGenc to encode for the last week and it hasn't been to the internet to check once. As to chapter marks in DVDA I always save with a different name ( before I do anything ) if I am going to change source files.Select the little green file icon under menu, then under media properties select, track media, then video and under the dropdown arrow on the right of the file name, select replace. Go find the replacement file and select. Everything should stay the same on the timeline including chapter marks with the new file there. Can do the same for audio. That way if you have an audio change you don't have to reset everything. Now you can save as the new name again to set the new files.

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Old October 27th, 2015, 10:18 AM   #15
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Re: Will TMPGEnc Mastering Works 6 Improve My DVD Quality?

My Tmpgenc DVD settings for low motion scenes. For high motion and short video that will fit on one disk I use constant bitrate at 8250kb/s.
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