Video plays nicely in VLC, poor quality in QT/iMovie/FCE etc.

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Lycanthrope, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. Lycanthrope macrumors 6502a

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    Brussels, Belgium, Europe
    #1
    Hi folks

    I've a 54 minute film that was imported onto a Windows laptop via firewire using Movie Maker. The camera is old with a legacy Canopus codec, filesize is 11GB.

    The file as-is won't play on Quicktime but plays very nicely on VLC. I tried some tools on the windows laptop (as there's no codec for Mac) and was able to convert to a "DV Type 2" which plays with the same quality (to my eye) on VLC and also plays on QT but looks much worse.

    So my question is, what's going wrong here? How come VLC plays it back so well and yet all the video editing tools I've tried it looks bad? I've tried the VLC transcode wizard but that doesn't seem to help much. I've got an MPEG Streamclip ongoing now to see if that comes up with anything.

    I'm a total novice on video, I must say I fond it deeply confusing...

    Cheers
    Dave
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #2
    Could you post screen grabs (with CMD + SHIFT + 1 (whole screen) through 4 (part you choose)) from VLC, QT, iMovie and FCE?

    As I think, the video is in DV quality (as 1 hour of DV encoded video takes up to 13 GB of storage) and it should normally look okay.

    VLC has a very good upscale quality, so even a 640x480 video looks quite good in fullscreen.

    Are you using NTSC (USA and Japan) or PAL?

    And do you watch the video in those applications you mentioned in full screen or in its native resolution (720x576 in PAL, 640x480 in NTSC I think) or in a smaller window?
     
  3. LaDirection macrumors 6502

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    Jul 14, 2006
    #3
    More importantly, open your film in QT, PRESS CMD+i and provide use with all the information provided.

    VLC uses it's own set of codec, you are not reading the same file the same way twice here.

    As it comes down to, your video quality is garbage. Exporting something of crap quality like canopus to DV is the final nail in the coffin. DV is a HIGHLY lossy codec that re-records your material to 720X480 @ 25mb/sec creating tremendous artifacting and aliasing.What you are seeing in FCE is what your video really is and what it will look like.

    I would recommended that you use a good windows-based tool such as cleaner to export your material to it's native resolution in a more robust codec that is available for QuickTime OS X. Leave it as it, import it on your Mac and go from there.
     
  4. Lycanthrope thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Thanks for the quick response.

    Attached DV Type 2 file in QT and VLC - you can clearly see the QT is inferior - VLC introduces horizontal lines into the picture on playback, I have no idea why that is, but otherwise the picture is quite sharp.

    This is on my MacPro with 5GB RAM and stock 7300 video.

    Also attached is a conversion I made using VisualHUB from the DV Type 2 file to MP4 using "Go Nuts" setting - the picture is now comparable in QT to VLC but has more of these horizontal lines. In fact I often get these also when I rip from DVD using Hand-brake...

    Video should be PAL...

    I've watched in all resolutions, doesn't seem to change much.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Lycanthrope thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    No my camera and the footage is from last year, then I didn't have a MacBook Pro, maybe now I can try the same upload using that rather than Windows - should this be possible directly into something like iMovie?

    I must admit, the camera is quite an expensive one and I was surprised at the poor quality...
     
  6. Lycanthrope thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    QT Info as requested...
     

    Attached Files:

  7. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #7
    The info pane shows that the video is DV material.

    If you're able the re-capture the material with your current MBP using iMovie or FCE, then do it.

    The whole encoding from one format to another and again is deteriorating the image quality.

    The lines you see are normal, as a video image recorded in PAL or NTSC (or SECAM) is build of horizontal lines (625 in PAL, the one you have).
    The video image (one frame) consists of two fields, which are alternating, one line is field A, the next line field B, the one after that field A again - sone one second of video consist of 25 frames and 50 fields (50 Hz).

    Those lines only appear on computer monitors as they often have a different frequency (60, 65, 70, ... Hz) than a tv monitor (50 Hz in PAL, and multiples of that) where you won't see those interlacing effect.


    Can you tell us, what camera you used?

    Btw, digitized video material almost always looks worse on a computer display than on a real TV set. Display have resolutions of 1024x768 and upwards, SD TV only has 768x576.
    I work with uncompressed Digital Betacam material (the standard in SD) and sometimes I still think how ****** that looks.
     
  8. Lycanthrope thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Thanks a lot for the feedback... I'll contact the person that too the film and see if she still has the footage. I'll ask her camera model too - it's a reasonably decent 3 CCD model but I can't remember which.

    I don't have a video camera myself so have very little experience with uploading the film. Will I get as good a quality with iMovie as FCE? What about inputs, I guess Firewire will be superior to USB and FW800 better again?

    Cheers
     
  9. qpawn macrumors member

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    California
    #9
    In Quicktime Player, make sure you enable "Use high-quality video setting when available" and then open the file again. If you happen to have Quicktime Player Pro, you can access the high quality setting under Window->Show Movie Properties and click on the Video Track.
     
  10. Lycanthrope thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Thanks, I wasn't aware of these settings - in fact it plays back as good as VLC now :)

    Will this also improve the quality in iMovie? Does it use QT as a plugin??

    Secondly, in the property field I checked de-interlace and it made the lines dissappear albeit with a slight loss of definition and colour depth. Is there a setting to adjust the interlacing so the lines go but the rest is kept? Or, should I just not worry about them???

    Sorry for all the stupid questions :confused:
     
  11. qpawn macrumors member

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    #11
    Take a look at the quality settings in the iMovie preferences under Playback. I'm not sure how to handle your deinterlacing.
     

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