Naive question concerning SD file formats

Post » Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:18 pm

There are a wide variety of video file formats for standard definition video. Is any one 'better' than the rest? For my purposes, I would define best as having either no compression or lossless compression of the video, regardless of the file size.
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Nicholas C
 
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Post » Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:50 pm

Since this is a Vegas forum, I'd say there is indeed one codec which is better for SD, and that is the Vegas DV codec. As long as your video is standard NTSC or PAL dimensions, you really can't beat DV for "editability," and you can actually create multiple generations without any visible quality degradation.

The only downside is DV's 4:1:1 color space, but unless your source is 4:2:2 or better, this won't be an issue.
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Jordan Fletcher
 
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Post » Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:29 pm

"For my purposes, I would define best as having either no compression or lossless compression of the video, regardless of the file size."

Uncompressed in an AVI wrapper. You could also use other codecs such as Cineform, Sony 10 bit YUV, etc. Bring lots of disks.


One minute of SD uncompressed:

Complete name : Uncompressed.avi
Format : AVI
Format/Info : Audio Video Interleave
Format profile : OpenDML
File size : 1.75 GiB
Duration : 1mn 0s
Overall bit rate : 250 Mbps
TCOD : 78411666
TCDO : 678677999

Video
ID : 0
Format : RGB
Codec ID : 0x00000000
Codec ID/Info : Basic Windows bitmap format. 1, 4 and 8 bpp versions are palettised. 16, 24 and 32bpp contain raw RGB samples
Duration : 1mn 0s
Bit rate : 249 Mbps
Width : 720 pixels
Height : 480 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 3:2
Frame rate : 29.970 fps
Standard : NTSC
Bit depth : 8 bits
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 24.000
Stream size : 1.74 GiB (99%)



One minute of SD Lagarith:

Complete name : Lagarith.avi
Format : AVI
Format/Info : Audio Video Interleave
File size : 505 MiB
Duration : 1mn 0s
Overall bit rate : 70.5 Mbps
TCOD : 78411666
TCDO : 678677999

Video
ID : 0
Format : Lagarith
Codec ID : LAGS
Duration : 1mn 0s
Bit rate : 68.9 Mbps
Width : 720 pixels
Height : 480 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 3:2
Frame rate : 29.970 fps
Standard : NTSC
Color space : RGB
Bit depth : 8 bits
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 6.652
Stream size : 493 MiB (98%)



One minute of Sony 10 bit YUV:

Complete name : Sony 10 bit YUV.avi
Format : AVI
Format/Info : Audio Video Interleave
Format profile : OpenDML
File size : 1.56 GiB
Duration : 1mn 0s
Overall bit rate : 223 Mbps
TCOD : 78411666
TCDO : 678677999

Video
ID : 0
Format : YUV
Codec ID : v210
Codec ID/Hint : AJA Video Systems Xena
Duration : 1mn 0s
Bit rate : 221 Mbps
Width : 720 pixels
Height : 480 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 3:2
Frame rate : 29.970 fps
Standard : NTSC
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:2
Bit depth : 10 bits
Compression mode : Lossless
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 21.333
Stream size : 1.54 GiB (99%)


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Killah Bee
 
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Post » Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:57 pm

There are some lossless codecs that work at SD resolutions; they are mostly reserved for cross-computer intermediate delivery, not playback. DV25 AVI and MOV are lossy.
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Lynette Wilson
 
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Post » Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:47 pm

Parallel question: is there a plugin for VP that will do an acceptable job of upscaling SD to 720 or 1080?
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Antony Holdsworth
 
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Post » Sat Jun 06, 2015 12:12 am

I'd be inclined to let the DVD / Blu-ray player or computer hardware do the upscaling and leave well enough alone.
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jenny goodwin
 
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Post » Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:48 pm

<< There are a wide variety of video file formats for standard definition video. Is any one 'better' than the rest? For my purposes, I would define best as having either no compression or lossless compression of the video, regardless of the file size.>>

The Sony DV codec that Vegas uses is a very high quality codec and the reason quite a number of users adopted Vegas in the early days. You can test a codec by repeatedly rendering to it. Make a small change so that it doesn't smart render. I remember tests where the quality of the Sony DV codec was holding up really well after many re-renderings while other DV codecs (e.g. Microsoft) were badly degrading.

DV uses intraframe compression (every frame is fully described) so quality tends to be better preserved than say HDV or AVCHD which use long-GOP compression (only some frames are fully described).

If you need to render DV outside of Vegas (e.g. In VirtualDub) then the Cedocida DV codec is a good choice.

There are near-lossless or "visually lossless" codecs around such as Cineform, Avid DNxHD and Canopus HQ/HQX. These are similar to Apple ProRes, which cannot be rendered on a Windows machine. But really I wouldn't bother with them for DV resolutions. If you're talking DV then stick with a DV codec unless you want to squeeze out absolutely every last ounce of theoretical quality, in which case look at uncompressed or a lossless codec.

Of the lossless codecs, I prefer the UT Video Codec to either Lagarith or HuffYUV. This is because it is more responsive for playback, which makes editing easier, as long as you have "Optimize for decoding speed (Predict left)" selected. Note also the check box for interlaced video at the bottom.

dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/21489814/UT%20Video%20Codec%20settings.png

<>

What is your delivery medium? I don't know of a plugin as such and I agree with John. I've not seen upscaling done in software as well as my DVD player and TV will upscale a DVD.

If I'm upscaling 4:3 PAL DV to 988x720p for the web I do a very high quality software deinterlacing with QTGMC in AviSynth and upscale with a Spline36 resize, followed by sharpening if necessary. Here's a simplified version of my AviSynth script:

Code Block:
#Frameserve out RGB24 with DebugMode FrameserverAviSource("d:\fs.avi")AssumeBFF()ConvertToYV12(interlaced=true)QTGMC( FPSDivisor=2, Preset="Slower" ) #25p outputSpline36Resize(988,720)#LSFmod(strength=500) #Sharpen if necessary#Open in VirtualDub and render to UT Video Code


You can see the results (post-YouTube-compression) in this video. Info (now a little out-dated) on how to set up this type of workflow can be found here. Be warned that it's rather complex. There are some other script examples in this thread. If Blu-ray is your target then a software DV > Blu-ray conversion done with a variant of one of these scripts would give better results than doing it in Vegas alone.
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Sheeva
 
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Post » Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:44 pm

I was wondering if a plugin like Red Giant upscale HD or something similar would provide adequate results with out having to jump through hoops for each conversion.
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Samantha hulme
 
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Post » Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:54 pm

Quicktime MOV is lossy if you use a lossy codec. It has as many options as AVI since it's just a container. I use QT MOV PNG when getting videos transferred or from a 3D program (or PNG sequence). It's small and lossless.
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Janine Rose
 
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Post » Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:53 pm

Upscaling is not advisable; as mentioned, hardware (player) upscaling is better.
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DarkGypsy
 
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Post » Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:13 pm

Great post, Nick!
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Emily abigail Villarreal
 
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Post » Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:07 pm

Sony's (Sonic Foundry's) DV codec is about the best DV there is out there, that's for sure. However, where it shines over everything else is in recoding. I've demonstrated that you can re-encode Sony's DV -> Sony's DV to 100 generations with very little loss.

BUT ... the 1st generation encoding into DV is awful, in any flavor of DV. Sony does this as well as or better than anyone else, but it's still DV which means it's still bad. There was *WAY* more quality loss going from an original uncompressed image into DV than in the succeeding 100 generations of re-encoding. Therefore, if your original source is better than DV, going into DV is a huge mistake.

So if you have to work with DV, especially if your original is already DV, then Sony's DV is the best choice. Personally, i find MPEG2 at 25Mbps to be far, far superior to DV. Heck, even MPEG2 at 10Mbps is better than DV as it's overall a much better compression algorithm. However, the downside is that you get more generational loss from MPEG2 -> MPEG2 than DV -> DV. So MPEG2 is only better if you're going to be using minimal generations. Then again, it's rare you should ever find yourself in a situation where you need more than a couple of generations, and if you do find yourself in such a situation then you should probably be reconsidering and restructuring your workflow.

Uncompressed is always a good choice for video transfer, as long as you have enough storage space and time to wait for the files to copy over. Lagarith helps keep the size down, but for the few times i've needed to use lossless i've spent more time doing the conversion than i would have spent copying the larger uncompressed file.

And yes, you can put uncompressed into a MOV file.
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MISS KEEP UR
 
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Post » Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:54 pm

So, if a TV's hardware can upscale better than software, where do I buy a hardware upscaler? Or is there a way to use a TV as a pass-thru upscaler?

Possibly a silly question, but...
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Andrew
 
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Post » Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:06 pm

Actually, hardware upscaling is software.. It is just burned into a chipset that does it on the fly..

I'm not sure why this can't be duplicated in an encoder program, there must be some drawbacks or it would have been done..

TV's that have video out, are very difficult if not impossible to find.. It's all about digital rights management...
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MARLON JOHNSON
 
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Post » Sat Jun 06, 2015 12:09 am

Not a silly question at all dxdy. I've often wondered why someone can't duplicate the hardware upscaling in a software program. Similarly I wondered why someone couldn't duplicate what Snell & Willcox hardware format converters can do. Maybe it's just because the sheer processing power would be too much???

lewist57, can you tell exactly what your source and target delivery formats are?
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james reed
 
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