DV-AVI to MPEG2

vbimport

#1

I’ve just treated myself to a Sony TRV33E digital video camera (lovely toy), one of the reasons being to use it to convert my 8mm. home videos to digital (it does analogue in - digital out, on-the-fly). However, I thought I’d try filming something on tape first, transfer to the PC via Firewire, edit and burn to cd.

I did this using Ulead MediastudioPro 7 to edit and create the MPEG2 file and used VCDeasy to burn it as SVCD. Problem is that VCDeasy tells me it needs to “autopad”. I ignored this, the resultant cd works ok, but what is “autopad”? I’ve found others on the 'net with the same problem, and no-one seems to have a definitive answer.

I was a little unhappy with the video quality (although I suspect I’m being too picky), so I borrowed a copy of Premiere 6.5 to try. Another vertical learning curve!
I used the MPEG encoder in Premiere and VCDeasy to burn, but this time it didn’t mention “autopadding required”. Picture quality appeared similar to MediastudioPro.

I then tried making a VCD with Premiere, same digital source, man, what a crap result - blocking, pixilation, artifacts - in general, yuk!

So, before I start consuming copious quantities of time converting my home movies, am I using the right proggies? Is there a better way to do it? Is a DVD burner the only way to get a better result than I already have?

Anyone care to offer their experiences using Ulead or Premiere?

And WHAT is autopadding??? (couldn’t find it on VCDeasy homepage).

Cheers, cobbers.


#2

Hmm not an easy case, since the bad result can be caused by numbers of influences.

First of all: the source tape itself; condition (noise etc). You can check this by playing the 8mm tapes on a TV. Although it will always look better on TV than captured, it gives you an idea. (when the images are bad on TV, it’s time to panic ;))

Second: the conversion analog -> digital by your camera. I don’t have such a camera, so I can’t compare it with the capture quality of my pinnacle DV500. But it could be that the camera chip is not good enough. Only way to test this, is by recording a small part of the 8mm in DV quality on your harddisk (like you said; on the fly) and check out the quality of that file. If it’s still good, you can start testing various encoding options with Premiere.

Premiere: VCD will always look blocky on a PC-monitor. However, it could still be a good and fast option to watch on a standard TV. I won’t use VCD for archival purposes though.

S-VCD can be an option for archival, although you’ll be limited to 30min storage/cd.
You could also try one of the other mpeg-options (mpeg1, but better mpeg2; not VCD/S-VCD compatible but good for PC-playback and archival)

Premiere offers various options for both VCD/S-VCD and mpeg1/2 files (bitrate, constant/variable bitrate, sound compression,…)

As a matter of fact, I’m digitizing some analog tapes at this very moment. I’m using 10 year old S-VHS camera tapes and I’m capturing them at 720 x 576 with the DV500. I don’t have the time to edit them at the moment (about 30 hours of footage :s), so I just want to preserve some quality. I export the captured files with DivX5, at 3500 - 4500kbps (Adobe Premiere). The result looks very good to me, even fullscreen on a 19" LCD monitor. I compared the DivX compressed files with the same files in mpeg2 (DVD) compression and I like the DivX better.
One of the clips displays the date of the recording. For the DivX movie, the borders from the numbers are very sharp. For the mpeg2, the borders are blocky. Not that those numbers are that important, but it gives you an idea of the difference mpeg2 <-> high bitrate DivX :slight_smile:


#3

Thanks for your thoughts, Wannez. I probably didn’t make myself very clear, but I recorded a recent holiday on a brand new digital tape, and this is the source I’m working from - probably as good as I’m going to get. I’ve ripped a couple of DVD’s to vcd and thought the results were pretty good, which is why I’m surprised at the crappy result from a digital tape. (This was viewed on a 67cm. TV).

I normally rip to SVCD, which gives excellent quality. Again, I expected my edited/burnt SVCD to give almost identical results, as the source is digital tape, with no analogue conversion to degrade quality. I know that the DV-avi format is compressed compared to a normal avi, and am beginning to suspect this may be having some effect, but I’m not sure.

Everything I’ve been able to read indicates that the analogue - digital conversion capability of modern cameras is on par with dedicated capture cards.

I’m also assuming that the Premiere encoder is a good one, and it’s file is obviously more compliant than Ulead (no autopadding required).

I have captured a trial section of an 8mm. tape, using Ulead, and, while I haven’t yet tried encoding it, the video within the editing proggie is excellent. The same with the digital tape, the captured video looks great.

It seems to point to the encoding process?
Does anyone know anything about the encoders used by Ulead/Premiere? Are there any known problems with them?

Aaarrggghhh…brains hurt…


#4

tmpgenc does a good avi to mpeg2

but you first need to get the dv-avi on your hdd


#5

Getting it to the hdd is not a problem, capturing via firewire is pretty straightforward. It’s the other end of the process that I’m concerned about, i.e. encoding to MPEG2. I’m just not sure that what I’m getting, using the encoders in MediastudioPro/Premiere, is as good as I can expect, using DV-AVI as my source.

I’m not interested in Divx, etc. as I want to view my movies on TV via a DVD player.

(Btw, I thought TMPGenc was generally recommended for MPEG1 and was not considered as good as CCE for MPEG2).

Cheers.

OK, more info.
A work colleague and I have just examined the SVCD’s more carefully (and critically!). The Ulead is definitely slightly better quality output than Premiere. There is, however, noticeable blocking on much of the encoded video, once you know what to look for, and a sparkling effect on object edges, particularly where there is high contrast. Movement is also a problem, with an apparent loss of resolution and blocking evident (e.g.trees blowing in a strong wind).

I’m certain it’s the encoding that’s the problem. I used the default settings in Ulead, but can someone with more experience suggest what settings could cause these symptoms?

Ta.


#6

cce is very good and fast

tmpgenc is much slower, but has lots of settings. It can be uses for mpeg1 and 2


#7

Just follow the AVI to DVDR or the DivX to SVCD Tutorial, DVD2SVCD with CCE is so darn simple to use, fast and top quality.


#8

Don’t know why I didn’t think of that before…

Unfortunately, using TMPGenc came up with “cannot open or unsupported file”. I think this relates to the DV-AVI format, which is a compressed AVI and is obviously not recognised by TMPGenc.

DVD2SVCD recognised the format and processed the file (8mb), but all I got was black level for 7 seconds then it froze.

This is all getting too hard!

A colleague who does video editing/burning to DVD as a business agrees that, from my description of my procedure I should be getting better results than I am, but he has no idea what’s wrong either.:confused:

PS. my avatar says it all…


#9

Hallo Dik, and fellow CD Freaks,

Just treated myself also to a Sony TRV33E. Did you get anywhere in the end with your SVCD and archving attempts. At this stage I am in need of archving all the digital home movies that I have recorded on DV tape.
Using the USB streaming option to dump either AVI or MPEG1 does not seem to be good quality even when playing them back using Win Media Player 7.x. The AVI File Properties/Summary is attached.
Using IEEE 1394 or Firewire does however seem to dump a good quality AVI when viewing it via Win Media Player 7. The AVI File Properties/Summary seems to be incomplete/unknown/no detail.
I will be going ahead and try Chickenman’s tutorial to create VCD , SVCD or DVD-R (Mpeg2) from this AVI file. Did you have any luck using the tutorials and recommended software on this Sony Video Camera version of an DV-AVI file. :bow:



#10

The screenshot you attached says resolution 320 x 240 :confused: That’s no way DV-quality; should be 720 x 576.

Verify the capture-settings, since I doubt the Sony can’t output more than 320 x 240.

good luck!


#11

As indicated, if you read my original reply, the attached summary on the file was the one which was dumped using USB. This usb one is poor quality when viewed with Media Player.
When doing a DV dump the quality seems good with media player. The summary does not show any detail!!!. Attached now is the summary on the AVI file ??. What other simple tool besides File/Properties/Summary can I use to view/detect/examine the DV AVI quality details??.



#12

Load the AVI into VirtualDUB and go to File Properties.


#13

I use adobe premiere to capture from dv camera, then export it using 5000 kbit/second divx or xvid or whatever, then use virtualdub to cut out whatever and change audio to mp3 if i wish, after that is done DVD2SVCD will gladly accept the format and convert it to MPEG-2 for burning, will even make a cdimage if you like. I use CCE in DVD2SVCD using VBR and 4 passes, and get excellent quality. Then I use VCDeasy to burn because that way I can put in chapters. DVD2SVCD will not accpet DV-coded files, which is how they are after coming off you camera. So you must encode to divx first. With that high of a bitrate, there is no quality loss. So there ya go;)


#14

Chiken Man Wannez and others, please comment/Advise/Help if you can

  1. Attached is the error I get when using Virtualdub.??
  2. I assume the Sony TRV33 and its firewire software that comes with the camera(ImageMixer) are made for each other. It could be that this Software does not create a good or compatible AVI file. On the other hand, Windows Media Player plays the AVI file with good visual quality.
  3. My interest is of cource to dump my home movies on the hard disk or CD or DVD ASAP so that I can start recording over the Camare Tape. I obviously want to dump them in good quality and in a usabe convertable format for the future. (DVAVI, MPEG1?)
    4)I tried to usu Nero as a tool to see the file properties of the DV-AVI file. Unlike VirtualDub it did read the AVI file. Result based on Nero was the same as my earlier USB attachment (352x240NTSC, 29,97Hz. Can I believe and trust this Nero feedback.
  4. Is the camera dumping low quality or is it ImageMaker software. I dont Know. The camare is a 1 Megapixel Sony TRV33E Handy Cam.
    Is there any software (free or not expensive that I can use to capture the DV via firewire). Just to test if I can dump it and maybe get a better DV AVI File.
    6)There is an Option to for the camara to dump an MPEG1 file in stead of the AVI file. I automatically assume this will be worse quality that the AVI file. Should I pursue this option. What can I use to analyse the MPEG file for quality and what mujst I look for.



#15

a 352x240 resolution is not a good size, thats 1/4 size of DVD and same as VCD (MPEG1). Check your camera to see if you can increase the pic size (but movie taking time will be a lot less also).

GSPOT as a good free analyser of avi’s as to its codec, size, frame rate, etc.


#16

The more I read about this and the more I find with google about this camera, makes me think it’s a camera-limitation…
Are you 100% sure that somewhere in the manual is stated something like:
“can convert analog video to 720x576-DV that can be streamed through firewire”?
It it doesn’t, I’m almost sure the analog -> digital conversion is limited to low-res (352x240).
That would sure suck, but it’s not really that strange though, since many analog -> digital capture boards (720x576) cost more than the TVR33 :s.

So check the manual, I hope I was wrong…


#17

Originally posted by louisvanwyk
[B]Chiken Man Wannez and others, please comment/Advise/Help if you can

  1. Attached is the error I get when using Virtualdub.??
  2. I assume the Sony TRV33 and its firewire software that comes with the camera(ImageMixer) are made for each other. It could be that this Software does not create a good or compatible AVI file. On the other hand, Windows Media Player plays the AVI file with good visual quality.
  3. My interest is of cource to dump my home movies on the hard disk or CD or DVD ASAP so that I can start recording over the Camare Tape. I obviously want to dump them in good quality and in a usabe convertable format for the future. (DVAVI, MPEG1?)
    4)I tried to usu Nero as a tool to see the file properties of the DV-AVI file. Unlike VirtualDub it did read the AVI file. Result based on Nero was the same as my earlier USB attachment (352x240NTSC, 29,97Hz. Can I believe and trust this Nero feedback.
  4. Is the camera dumping low quality or is it ImageMaker software. I dont Know. The camare is a 1 Megapixel Sony TRV33E Handy Cam.
    Is there any software (free or not expensive that I can use to capture the DV via firewire). Just to test if I can dump it and maybe get a better DV AVI File.
    6)There is an Option to for the camara to dump an MPEG1 file in stead of the AVI file. I automatically assume this will be worse quality that the AVI file. Should I pursue this option. What can I use to analyse the MPEG file for quality and what mujst I look for. [/B]
  1. You need to install a vfw compatible DV codec, like Mainconcept DV codec or Canopus DV codec to open it in virtualdub. It should also be DV type2 avi to work.

  2. to 6) You can capture via firewire with a software called DVIO which is freeware or use Scenalyzer live (shareware that inserts logo until registered). I like scenalyzer live because it can split the scenes automatically to individual files. The format will be DV AVI because that is what a digital video camera use. This is a high quality full resolution format (720x576 PAL or 720x480 NTSC). One hour will need around 13 GB hard drive space. The firewire connection is the same thing as Sony iLink.

  3. MPEG1 may be like 352x240 in NTSC resolution and the quality is much worse than DV avi format. It’s probably like VCD or worse.
    You can use Bitrate Viewer to get the properties of a mpeg1 (or mpeg2) file.


#18

Originally posted by dik
[B]I’ve just treated myself to a Sony TRV33E digital video camera (lovely toy), one of the reasons being to use it to convert my 8mm. home videos to digital (it does analogue in - digital out, on-the-fly). However, I thought I’d try filming something on tape first, transfer to the PC via Firewire, edit and burn to cd.

I did this using Ulead MediastudioPro 7 to edit and create the MPEG2 file and used VCDeasy to burn it as SVCD. Problem is that VCDeasy tells me it needs to “autopad”. I ignored this, the resultant cd works ok, but what is “autopad”? I’ve found others on the 'net with the same problem, and no-one seems to have a definitive answer.

I was a little unhappy with the video quality (although I suspect I’m being too picky), so I borrowed a copy of Premiere 6.5 to try. Another vertical learning curve!
I used the MPEG encoder in Premiere and VCDeasy to burn, but this time it didn’t mention “autopadding required”. Picture quality appeared similar to MediastudioPro.

I then tried making a VCD with Premiere, same digital source, man, what a crap result - blocking, pixilation, artifacts - in general, yuk!

So, before I start consuming copious quantities of time converting my home movies, am I using the right proggies? Is there a better way to do it? Is a DVD burner the only way to get a better result than I already have?

Anyone care to offer their experiences using Ulead or Premiere?

And WHAT is autopadding??? (couldn’t find it on VCDeasy homepage).

Cheers, cobbers. [/B]

You can not expect the same quality from a home movie as in a DVD copy because your home movie is shot with a much cheaper camera maybe not completely stable if you don’t use a tripod and in dark scenes there is much more noise. Video from a camcorder is also interlaced which makes is harder to compress.

If you want to put it on a CD and play it in a standalone player you may concider using a non-standard SVCD (XSVCD or CVD). You can decrease the resolution to 352x576 (PAL) or 352x480 (NTSC) and fet less pixels per frame which makes it easier to encode. Then burn this as a non-standard SVCD with Nero or VCDEasy. You may also want to try higher bitrates above the standard. You’ll probably need 3000 kbit/s to get good quality in half D1 ressolution (352x480/576) when encoding to interlaced mpeg2 if your video comes from a handheld camera. SVCD format is limited to around 2600 kbit/s. If your player does not support non-standard resolution or higher bitrates then you may want to deinterlace and maybe use some denoising filters to make it easier to compress as standard SVCD.

I played a lot with DV to SVCD and came to the conclusion that the quality o standard SVCD was too low for me and the non-standard SVCD was too much non-standard to have acceptable compability. So I bought a DVD-burner and now I am satisifed with the results using 8 mbit/s mpeg2 at full resolution. So I would say it’s not worth trying to make SVCD, it’s better to make DVD.