View Full Version : Yet another HD to DVD Thread!!! - Not what you think.

Tim Snyder
December 13th, 2011, 12:02 PM
Ok, so I have maximized my HD to SD DVD material. I get what I think is a pristine picture. VERY little mosquito noise, great color depth, etc. Now on to my but part of the post.

I feel like the picture motion isn't quite right. It feels more film like. However, it doesn't have the 24p or 30pm jitter you might be thinking. Its a smooth picture. But when I compare it another product that I know is done well, mine looks like film (its the only description I can come up with).

The other product has a workflow like this:

Ingest HDCam to Avid
Edit in Avid
Export to DVCPRO HD Deck via PCIE Card (KONA) in realtime
Use DVCPRO HD Deck to downconvert to SD
Ingest from DVCPRO HD via PCIE Card (KONA)
Take SD Ingest to DVD Encoding

With all of that said, I feel like my encoding (picture quality) is superior. However, his way has better motion. His looks like video. I want mine to look like video as well.

So my question is:

Is this process creating this look or is the Avid codecs vs Final Cut Pro. I do video and people want video in my genre of product. So I want to keep my picture quality and create better motion. Is it better to go out to a tape format for this process? Etc, etc. I want the best way to make video not a documentary or film or anything like that. My main delivery source is DVD. BTW / My blurays are amazing, its just the DVD.

My setup is:

8-Core Mac Pro
Final Cut Studio v3

His setup is (guessing)

Randall Leong
December 13th, 2011, 02:02 PM
First off, Tim, are you shooting 60i to begin with? Or is your source video 24p or 30p? Or 60p?

If your source video is 24p or 30p, you will never get the video-like motion no matter how hard you try. On 30p source video, the best that you can do is 30p encoded as 60i using PSF.

If your source video is really 60p, the encoding software using available DVD presets will default to the 30p encoding, which drops every other frame. You will need to interlace this footage using third-party software just to do this correctly (as most NLEs by themselves cannot interlace 60p footage at all).

Tim Snyder
December 13th, 2011, 04:39 PM

Yeah, we film everything at 60i. We use Sony NX5U cameras set on the highest setting 1080FX60i

I have avoided any progressive formats for this reason.


I have been contemplating using a kona card with an old DVCam deck I have laying around, however, its an awfully expensive test to get a kona card just to hope I get the motion right. I am thinking that somehow the NX5U is the culprit here, but I see the interlacing in the raw file so I don't know if I am ready to blame the camera just yet.


Ron Evans
December 13th, 2011, 04:59 PM
I can't help on the MAC but I also use NX5U together with mix of EX3 and some Sony consumer cameras in our projects. Downscaling is the real big issue and my workflow is edit in Edius downscale and encode in TMPGenc author DVDArchitect. DVD or Bluray look much the same on a Bluray upscaling player.

Not sure if you have Windows on your MAC but could try encoding with a Windows program like TMPGenc which has a trial to see if the motion you refer to is different.

Ron Evans

Tim Snyder
December 13th, 2011, 05:10 PM

Sorry, I don't have a windows machine. If I did, I would have already tried some of this stuff as this has me more gray than my wife and kids at this point. I even splurged for cineform to help with the conversion.

The only thing that helped was to export from Final Cut as quicktime conversion to Apple Prores 16X9 SD file and then encode that file.

It was a process to get to that point. Even the cineform remaster couldn't downscale as well as FCP conversion.


Ron Evans
December 13th, 2011, 07:51 PM
You may want to try a trial of Adobe Premiere Elements 10 | Movie editor, Movie editing software ( and see the difference Adobe to Apple makes to the end result. Just take an AVCHD file native from the NX5U and let Elements encode and make a DVD. Adobe encode in my mind is not as good as Edius or TMPGenc but it would give you an idea as to differences. CS5.5 is just the big brother and I do not think that encodes are any different for the Pro version.

Ron Evans

Les Wilson
December 13th, 2011, 09:33 PM
Everyone usually is bending over backwards to get the film look. I can't say I ever remember hearing someone they wanted their stuff to look more like video. What is your workflow (including how you shot it)?

Ron Evans
December 13th, 2011, 10:06 PM
He is likely like me. I do not want the film look either. My goal is to make the video look exactly as if the viewer was there looking through a glass window at the live event. It is why I would like 1920x1080 60P with deep depth of field.

Ron Evans

Shaun Roemich
December 13th, 2011, 11:56 PM
Ron: I suspect I know what look you are going for and what I can tell you about 1080P60 (having shot it on the Sony FS100 but being unable to edit it as I work in FCP) is that it doesn't look "real"... It looks more like a high resolution video game with a high frame rate.

Ron Evans
December 14th, 2011, 09:00 AM
My CX700 shoots 60P and it certainly looks real to me played back directly over HDMI to my Sony 240Hz TV or the Panasonic Plasma. I shot some skiing video coming down next to my grandsons and it is lovely just as I remember it. Active SteadyShot on the CX700 is great.

Edius , Vegas and Adobe CS5.5 will all edit 1920x1080 60P from native files. I mainly use Edius but have the others too all work great with 60P in both 60P projects or as media in 60i projects. I expect we will see some changes soon in the player specs to take account of 60P as well as 3D etc.

Ron Evans

Tim Snyder
December 14th, 2011, 09:20 AM
Thats right. It doesn't look "REAL" thats a better description than mine I think. My video looks great. Not having any issues with that, but it just doesn't have life like movement.

Yeah, I wanted that same look a while back also. Then I realized that great pictures were great regardless of film look, video look etc. So I finally learned that the look of the project was dictated by the story. Since we don't tell too many stories here and most of our productions end up on DVD and require it to look like video.

Our main stay of business is shooting marching band events. I would liken this to a sports event. I just don't think the film look or non-real look would work for the NFL, NBA, etc. Lots of high motion and lots of camera movement.

So on to your question:

We shoot NX5U - 1080i60 FX Setting
Ingest to Prores LT or Prores (via clipwrap) - sometimes HDV on smaller less critical jobs
Export to Prores
Export via Quicktime Conversion to Prores SD 16X9
Encode in compressor for both BluRay and SD DVD

Thats basically it. We have tried ingesting via content utility and get the same results as clipwrap only slower.

I hope this helps you, because I am literally tearing my hair out trying to figure this out. I never had this problem before. Either I'm better at my craft and I am noticing issues I didn't before, or somebody broke something along the way.

Thanks for the all the help guys. I really do appreciate it.


Ron Evans
December 14th, 2011, 09:43 AM
What were the shutter settings on the NX5U ? Did you manually set it to 1/60 ? A fast shutter would make the video have a little stutter which may be the case in bright light and make the result unreal on playback, not smooth. This may be exaggerated on the downconvert/encode. All my NX5U stuff is in the theatre but the CX700 is used outside for family stuff and I use a variable ND to make sure shutter speed stays at 1/60 and iris open enough to stay in the lens sweet spot of around F3 to F4 with reasonable depth of field. On the CX700 I can only tell by data code on playback so have got used to what it looks like !!! I try and keep the NX5U in this same sweet spot too.

There are really only two options. How the video was shot and how its is edited/encoded. You can try both by shooting with different settings and also try Adobe Elements to see if the encode is different.

Ron Evans

Tim Snyder
December 14th, 2011, 09:55 AM
I am maniacal about maintaining 60i in the camera. So yeah, we made sure we stayed at 60i.


Ron Evans
December 14th, 2011, 10:59 AM
Hi Tim
I realize you were shooting at 60i but at what shutter speed? If you were in auto mode the camera would decide what exposure and like all the Sony's will vary shutter speed to maintain the iris in the sweet spot. If its bright then gain can only go to -ve if you have set that up in the menu. So the only choice the camera has is to increase the shutter speed. If you were in auto then look at the data code for the clips to see what the camera had set the shutter speed. You may find its 1/125 or even 1/250 which would give the effect you mentioned. In bright sunlight the NX5U would need to have all the ND filters engaged, negative gain to keep shutter speed down.

Ron Evans

Tim Snyder
December 14th, 2011, 12:14 PM
It was all 60 - We always run full manual. The camera is always in -3db and the shutter always reads 60.


Ron Evans
December 14th, 2011, 01:35 PM
I can't think of anything else at the moment Tim.


Les Wilson
December 14th, 2011, 04:43 PM
I don't know if you've looked at it, but at what point does it not look like video on your system? Before or after the down convert to SD? That is, does the prores have the film look? What about the AVCHD from the camera?

Tim Snyder
December 14th, 2011, 05:18 PM
Actually, it looks great on my computer and on BluRay.

The problem comes on the DVD. The downconverted SD files look good also.

Its really just the DVD. And in all actuality, that looks good too. Its just the motion.


Randall Leong
December 14th, 2011, 06:52 PM
The only possible suspect is in the DVD authoring software settings. Some such programs automatically deinterlace the video by default even if you're going from 480i to 480i - and then fail to re-interlace the video correctly. And if it does, the resulting video will be more like 30p PSF than true 60i.

Tim Snyder
December 28th, 2011, 01:25 PM
OK ... so after a ton of research I think I have figured this situation out.

Its pretty simple ... you need to record back to an intermediary. This is an example workflow, let me know know what you think:

#1 - Edit Project in Native Resolution (HDV, ProRes, etc.)
#2 - Export to ProRes for BluRay
#3 - Play to tape or other intermediary as SD file. Let Matrox, Kona, etc to downcovert and scale the file.
#4 - Recapture / Import footage back into edit station.
#5 - Export to Compressor for DVD encoding
#6 - Final DVD master created

I have found that this gives more national motion than before. Does anyone have an issue with this workflow or have a better idea on how to speed this up and make it more streamlined?

Thanks for your help upfront.