Help needed with fuzzy iMovie 09 from MiniDV

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by mope489, May 9, 2009.

  1. mope489 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 9, 2009
    #1
    I am using a Canon ZR830 MiniDv camcorder and a mix of tapes and SD cards and a firewire cable to my iMac. Using iMovie 09, the resulting movies after burning to IDVD are terrible - very fuzzy and highly pixilated. What am I doing wrong ?
     
  2. AVR2 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    #2
    If the video looks OK on your Mac and only looks pixilated on the resulting DVD, then the most likely cause is setting too low a bitrate for the MPEG-2 encoder.
     
  3. mope489 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 9, 2009
    #3
    Thanks AVR2. No, the video is fuzzy on my MAC before I burn it to DVD.
     
  4. AVR2 macrumors 6502

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    Jan 16, 2006
    #4
    What does the video look like when you plug your camera straight into your TV?
     
  5. giffut macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Location:
    Germany
    #5
    This ...

    ... very likely is due to the captured DV video being interlaced. TFT displays can´t cope with this kind of material - it´s made for CRT devices.

    Keep to the advice already mentionned and check your material on a real CRT TV (no plasma, no TFT or LCD) - produce a DVD from a clip and play it on a DVD player and onto a TV.
     
  6. mope489 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 9, 2009
    #6
    Thanks Guys. Therein lies the problem. I live in Australia (PAL TV's) and I bought the Camera in the US (NTSC) so I can't plug it into a TV to see what the picture is like. However, if it is any help, when I playback a tape and view it through the Camera's viewing screen it seems to be fine. Giffut, if your theory about interlacing is the problem, any ideas how I can get around it. I also have a Sanyo Xacti VPC-C6EX (MP4 Digital Video) and I don't have any problem with that through iMovie 09.
     
  7. AVR2 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    #7
    Sorry, but that's not correct at all. Most TFT, plasma and LCD screens handle interlaced video perfectly well, unless you're unlucky enough to have a crappy display with poor image processing, or you have the refresh rate set inappropriately (in which case interlaced video will appear to be filmised).

    My Panasonic plasma is intelligent enough to be able to mix interlaced and progressive video on the same screen while retaining the characteristic look of each. I was very impressed the first time I saw that.
     
  8. giffut macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Location:
    Germany
    #8
    Yes ...,

    ... some may do the deinterlacing 480i/576i content quite well, nevertheless it doesn´t fit the new technology and is not a permanent solution. Deinterlacing is not just putting the two frames together, so you are dependand on your TV´s good hardware deinterlacing algorithms. Don´t forget, the image needs to be upsampled, too, as PAL is 720x576 (which really is 2 pictures with 720x288 dimensions) pixels, to fit todays LCD TVs resolutions. Last but not least it solely depends on the displays you have at home - if it is one of the older LCD TVs, you won´t have good results, so it´s better to adapt the movie to the screens you throw it at.

    If you just watch it on computer screens - your particular screen - then render it for progressive 25fps (PAL)/29,97fps(NTSC) video with your codec of choice (H.264, DIVX/XVID, MPEG2). Having 16:9 content you could either use 720x408 or 1366x576, for 4:3 content the ratios 720x576 or 640x480 (the smaller ones are better for low quality content, but it also relates to the quality of the codec you use; stay with bitrates between 1000kbs to 1500kbits for XVID or H.264).

    If you want to show the content on a TV, produce a DVD - I think literally any DVD player out there on earth will be able to play PAL and NTSC content and depending on where you live it exits the player with either one and therefore will fit your TV quite perfectly. With a good MPE2 encoder you can make progressive 25/29,97fps content, too.

    I would recommend ffmpegX (http://www.ffmpegx.com/), MPEG Streamclip (http://www.squared5.com/svideo/mpeg-streamclip-mac.html) and Handbrake (http://handbrake.fr/) for those tasks. ffmpegX is somewhat more complicated, but offers a wide variety of different codecs; MPEG Streamclip is an excellent video tool and very good for preparing content to work well with Quicktime/Finalcut etc.; Handbrake gives you the best handling and quality available for H.264 encodings. You should - if you haven´t already - install Perian (http://perian.org/) to give Quicktime much more codecs to show off.
     

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