DV-picture quality difference in iMovie3 vs iMovieHD 5 ??

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Cox Orange, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    My question may be stupid.

    If I use iMovie3 (3.0.3) and iMovieHD 5 (5.0.2), will there be a quality difference in the raw unedited DV-material of film 1 and film 2?
    The source material is analogue.
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Wow! Just wow. First, your movie editor cannot change your source footage. Second, DV is Digital Video. If you have analog video, then it impossible for it to be DV.
  3. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    No need to be condescending. A simple explanation would suffice, especially when it's obvious he's looking for help.
  4. Cox Orange thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    If my source is VHS then its analogue.
    If iMovie is software running on a computer an the data format iMovie saves in is DV, then it is DV, isn't it?

    And to the point of changing picture quality I ment: if the software got better over the year it may handle recording the source in a different way (e.g. filtering noise while recording, bettering line time base...).
    I know there is software that does things one does not know of without asking, for example EyeTV records in mpeg2 and calculates which of the frames it can omit, because it is the same as the frame before.
    Maybe iMovie does things I do not know of and it does it different in Version 3 than in Version 5. Maybe Version 5 is better in saving the correct PAL-solution not adding pixels that are not needed, while recording. Another thing one could imagine is that maybe one version records defective areas of the tape while the other will stop recording and you have to start recording again.

    See what thought was behind my question?
  5. alph45 macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2010
    to get your VHS source onto your computer it would have to be digitized first. So either you digitized the video or someone did it for you. How this was done determines the base quality of your DIGITAL source. It can't be better than your source, but it can be converted to a more useful or less useful digital format (h.264 = more / mpeg2 = less for example).

    it seems your asking how imovie handles video import for various versions. I don't use imovie, but i can tell your quoting some rather old versions (think it's up to 11 now). this should help with version history and what you can expect: http://tinyurl.com/6gk3p57

    I'm really scratching my head. You not recording, your importing a digital file or your capturing from a digital source such as DV tape.

    Noise filtering would be a filter...that's a post process.

    Have no idea what a "line time base" is.

    There are plenty of products out there for cleaning up old / damaged / noisy video, but they are plugins for the most part (build-in or otherwise).
  6. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    If you've got your VCR hooked up to a DV camcorder and the DV camcorder attached to your Mac via Firewire, you can think of capturing it in iMovie as a file transfer. The camcorder is encoding the VCR's output to standard PAL DV, and your Mac is just recording that data.

    If you try to do any colour correction or what have you in iMovie, a different engine in different versions might result in different quality. But these versions are so old I don't think you'll find much comparison online — probably best to just suck it and see.
  7. Cox Orange, Apr 15, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2011

    Cox Orange thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    Thanks to both of you.

    Ah, I'm stupid. Actually I knew this, do not know how I forgot it when explaining what I am asking. I forgot that I know, that it is the hooked up hardware that changes the source from analogue to digital. Why else should I use this type of thing here called "A/D-converter". (Btw, the A/D-converter I am using is ADVC-300 via firewire and some times EyeTV250 via USB).
    I can't explain to myself why I mixed up the hardware's job with what the software does. :eek::confused:

    Yes, that's it.
    I am using Vers. 3 and 5, because I have two PPC-Macs, that I possess for a long time, but never had any need to use iMovie before. I use my Macs 5-6 years (from the day on they were bought). The next buy (first Intel) is actually due, but I am still procrastinating it, but decided to start saving my VHS to an external disk better now then later and so I use my PPC-Macs with the old versions of iMovie they came with.

    ... - in the software not the hardware, ok.

    ah, baseline time correction was the word I was searching for. ADVC uses TBC, EyeTV not. I thought Maybe iMovie does this too, on the fly.

    In iMovieHD 5 you can choose that it saves the incoming material as mpeg4. I do not mean the converting to mpeg4 or whatever type after editing (chopping parts in between and all that stuff).
    I thought the ADVC-300 changes the analogue one to DV and iMovie puts it in mpeg4.
    After that I would cut/edit the film and convert it to h.264.
    I choose to let iMovie5 record as DV, because I could not see the sense in capturing it as mpeg4, when I plan to convert it to h.264 afterwords.

    Ok, thanks.

    I am assuming this now, (right?): If I plan to save the films on an external disk and convert them to h.264 later, it does not affect the quality, if I use DV coming from iMovie2 or 5.
    1. capture VHS in iMovie
    2. save them to disk
    3. forget about them
    4. buy an Intel-Mac at the end of the year (because I do not want my PPC spend nights with converting DV to h.264
    5. open DV file on external disk in mpegstreamclip(converter-app) on new Intel Mac, choose "convert to h.264", setting bitrate and everything I like.

    It does not matter if iMovie2 saved it as DV or iMovie5 saved it as DV, right?

    PS: I know, me using an ADVC-300 after my questions, sounds like a kid with one guitar lesson playing a Gibson guitar. :)
  8. alph45 macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2010
    to be frank, i would wait for the new computer which will have imovie11 bundled. i have no idea what early versions of imovie do to footage on import, but it's probably not nice. If you were using FCP it wouldn't be an issue.

    fyi, mpeg4 is h.264 (kind of). h.264 is actually mpeg4 part 10, but the terms are often used interchangeably. Both however, are delivery formats.

    I would import as DV since it would be the native tape based format and has less compression.
  9. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    It's coming out of the ADVC300 as DV and iMovie is simply saving that as a file on your computer.

    It's the newer versions of iMovie that "do stuff" to your video on import. The last version of iMovie I used was '06, and that would import DV like a file transfer from tape to hard drive. You'd need to fetch the fainting salts if you were to tell me '05 and earlier meddled with DV footage on import.
  10. Cox Orange thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    Thank you both very much!

    OK, to avoid problems when handling old PPC-Mac DV files on an Intel Mac it might be the safest way to just wait for the new Mac and do it on it from the start.

    [quote:]It's the newer versions of iMovie that "do stuff" to your video on import.[quote/:]

    whether it "does" good or bad to it, might be another question someone who uses iMovie may perhaps have to answer to me, I guess...
  11. alph45 macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2010
    keith is probably right re: dv import, i don't use imovie so i don't know (thus the version history link). There shouldn't be any qualitative difference btwn DV files imported on older / newer machines and the import from tape is in real-time, so an old machine will crank away just as well as anything. The new machine will make a big difference when actually transcoding, editing, and exporting.
  12. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    Seconded. No need to wait.
  13. Cox Orange thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    I know this thread is old and not really needs and answer anymore. But for what it is worth, I found this on google and saw I had not answered a finishing post.
    As Keith said, newer versions of iMovie do something to your video. iMovie08 upwards wwill interlace every incoming material, no matter, if you want it or not. Also some mention it threw away half the fields. Especially HD is crappy on iMovie11, because it does something to it.

    As to using DV. If you see my very first post, you see that using DV was my intention from the beginning for the very reason of having the most untouched source quality as possible. (h.264 was meant to be the format later, post processing, when needing disc space or preparing it for a mediaplayer on TV that plays h.264. ;)
    My question was only, if the different version of old iMovie "do" something to the movie (other than saving as DV).
    it was about different versions of old iMovie, not about newer and older machines (let alone not about newer versions of iMovie). Of course it happens realtime, at the moment I was asking I had actually done several imports via an iMac G3 (running iMovie 3) and and ibook G4 running iMovie5 and I saw that it is real time, I don't know of any other capture devices (i.e. A/D-changers) that do it not real time. But no problem.
    It would make sense to wait or lets say not make a difference, if the person is still only importing/capturing the files, so he (me back then) could have used the time, waiting for the new machine, to do all the real time capturing on the old Mac.
    Hence my note about somewhen later converting it to h.264, once I get an Intel-Mac (the G4 wouldn't be capable, or otherwise would take 12h for 22min. DV video to h.264, a G5 2x2,3GHz takes 1h inHandbrake for the same file! A Mac Mini 2012 i5 takes 7minutes).

    Thanks for the input!

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