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video quality for DVD

Specific to Premiere Elements Version 10.

video quality for DVD

Postby peggig » Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:28 pm

I recently recorded an interview that lasted over an hour. When I save the file in MPEG2, the file size is over 16 GB, which won't fit on a DVD. (A DVD holds 4.38 GB, according to the Properties in Windows Explorer.)

If I save it in standard definition format, it will fit on a DVD, but the video quality is terrible. What I don't understand is how they can fit a two-hour commercial movie on a DVD, with extra features, and the video quality is great. It may not be as good as blu-ray, but it's a lot better than the video quality I get when I save as MPEG2 in standard definition. Not only is the video quality much better, but the file size must also be smaller because my standard definition video is almost 4 GB, and is nowhere near 2 hours.

How do they do it? Do they just have much better compression algorithms than are available in consumer NLE software? Is there any way I can get decent quality video and still fit an hour and a half of video on a DVD?

Thanks!
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Re: video quality for DVD

Postby Steve Grisetti » Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:41 pm

What model of camcorder did you shoot your video on and what video resolution and format is it?

When you started your Premiere Elements project, which project settings did you select? You can see -- but can't change -- your project settings under the Edit menu. Which settings are listed?

The quality of your finished video will be the result of how closely your video specs match your project settings.

You can't just put an MPEG on a disc and have it become a DVD. You must use Share/Disc/DVD to to output a DVD.
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Re: video quality for DVD

Postby peggig » Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:04 pm

My camera is a Canon HV40, shooting at 1440x1080i. That's the preset that I'm using for PRE10.

I haven't copied any files to a DVD yet, I've just saved them on my computer in both high-definition and standard-definition formats. For the high-definition version, I used the MPEG2 1440x1080i output format, resulting in a 16.6 GB m2t file. For the standard-definition version, I used the NTSC DV Widescreen output format, resulting in a 3.7 GB mpg file.

I intend to copy the video file to a DVD and mail it to someone who will copy the file from the DVD onto their computer. I'm just using the DVD as a file storage/transport medium; I'm not trying to make a playable DVD.

The 3.7 GB standard-definition file will fit on the DVD, but the video quality looks really bad. I know the point of high-definition is that it looks better than standard-definition but, when I buy a DVD of a movie, that's standard-definition video, and it looks fine. If standard-definition movies that you buy on DVD looked as bad as the standard-definition video that I export from PRE 10, nobody would ever buy them! Also, they wouldn't be able to fit a two-hour movie plus extra features on a DVD.

So I'm just wondering why I can't get the same kind of video quality or size in a standard-definition video that you see in commercial DVDs. Is it because I shot it in high-definition and I'm down-converting it?

I'd just like to be able to fit it on a DVD so I can mail it without having the quality look really poor. And I wonder how they get standard definition movies to look so good and still fit on a DVD.
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Re: video quality for DVD

Postby Chris B » Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:47 pm

All commercial movies are shot in high definition of one format or another and downconverted for DVD. They will have a better downconverter and encoder than you (probably costing tens of thousands of dollars) and dedicated person to make it look good. The source footage will also be significantly better quality (again at the cost many thousands of dollars). Also most/all commercial releases are dual layer (and therefore 9 GB in size) doubling the bitrate available.

However...

Source footage from an HV40 should look reasonably/very good on a DVD so some initial questions. Can you describe how it looks worse - blurry, blocky, dull - or how?

Not knowing the answer to the above here are some suggestions:

Are you comparing like for like. I.e. when you say commercial DVDs look good - is that played back on the same device. A commercial DVD played back on a PC monitor often looks far more blocky than when played back on a TV as it will be upscaled to the monitor resolution. HDTVs have lots of dedicated hardware to make standard definition sources look good.

I find that a little sharpening applied to the final render can make it look significantly better. I posted a worked example a while ago here:
viewtopic.php?f=89&t=12026&p=102494&hilit=sharpening#p102494
There are also some other suggestions in the same thread to improve the quality of the output.
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Re: video quality for DVD

Postby Peru » Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:29 pm

The physical process of creating a commercial disc is different than a home produced disc. It is not burned:
http://hometheater.about.com/od/dvdbasi ... asics3.htm

Also, as mentioned above, they have commercial software that may cost tens of thousands of dollars or more.
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Re: video quality for DVD

Postby Kent Frost » Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:49 pm

It sounds like you're trying to burn a Data DVD to be used to transfer files from computer to computer rather than to be played in a DVD player, correct? If so, I would suggest using something other than a disc, such as a usb jump drive, or perhaps burning to a Blu-Ray disc if you have a burner for that. Those will probably be your best options.
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Re: video quality for DVD

Postby peggig » Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:09 pm

Thanks, Chris, I guess that explains a lot. What looks bad is just that the image is not nearly as crisp. Not blocky, but blurry. Also, in the standard-definition MPEG2 version, the motion is stuttery.

I also tried saving it as a standard-definition MP4 format and, in the MP4 SD version, the movement is less jerky, but you can see the interlace lines. However, the interlace lines aren't nearly as distracting as the jerky motion.

Interestingly the file size is smaller for the standard-definition MP$ than the standard-definition .mpg file. But, if I save it as a high definition MP4 file, the file size is even larger than the high-definition MPEG2 file.

So, what I'm going to do is use the standard definition MP4 file on the DVD, and make a very short clip of the high definition video that will fit in the remaining space on the DVD, just so they can see what it looks like in high definition.

Thanks for the suggestion about sharpening. I'm trying that now.
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Re: video quality for DVD

Postby Steve Grisetti » Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:23 pm

As long as you're aware that this disc will not play on a DVD player, Peg.
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Re: video quality for DVD

Postby peggig » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:20 pm

Yes, I'm aware of that. Thanks! :)
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