is it possible to transfer MiniDV video in a higher quality by any process? or once it's in the PC, to upscale/repair the video to get a better final file? I know to true HD would be impossible but even to enhance the video 15% i'd be willing to go through the trouble.
my wife and I had a modest budget for our wedding, so we paid a photographer but not a videographer. the entire thing was filmed on MiniDV using our inlaws' camera. you can imagine my horror when I finally transferred it to the PC and began working on the video.
I bought the Pinnacle box that does the whole importing process. supposedly it did so in the highest quality possible, which (i'm not at home so can't give you exact numbers but off the top of my head) was barely better than VGA quality.
I spent 4 weeks working on a full DVD thing with a lot of audio work, video transitions (done tastefully but to remove a lot of unnecessary footage), fully animated menus, chapters, montages, audio overlays, etc.
printable dvds with custom covers, custom dvd sleeves, etc.
it's all very nicely done, and i'm proud of the final product, but the video itself lacks in quality.
the software I used for all that processing had very basic "enhancements" were more gimmick than any true resampling/upscaling.
is there any software (free, trialware or paid) that I can use to repair and/or upscale the video even 15-25%? I know I can never end up with true HD but any improvement in quality would be great.
as of now my final DVD ends up at about 6.6 GB, but now I bought a Blu-ray burner and we have Blu-ray + 1080P TV so if it goes beyond 8.5GB I can burn it on a Blu-ray disc.
I'm very handy with software and typically just need to be shown the software that will do it and high-level instructions. don't need the step by step.
thanks for your help.
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Welcome to the desert of the real
the only way to transfer miniDV to the computer is by using a firewire connection. using a program like winDV captures exactly what is on the tape.
most likely it's not the DVavi that you are less than happy with the quality of, but rather the quality of the videocamera used. cheap miniDV cams had horrible tiny little sensors and produced poor video no matter what. expensive pro minDV cams create crisp full broadcast SD quality video.--
"a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
Short answer: NO.
Long answer: You don't actually say HOW you transferred the footage...this "pinnacle box", is it a Firewire transfer device or a Analog->Digital capture device, or some hybrid USB device? That can make all the difference in the world.
Easy question: does your footage look good on the camera's viewfinder? If so, it should look just as good on your PC (assuming appropriate interlacing support in the player app) and just as good on DVD and your TV.
DV footage is already compressed in-camera, but a good Firewire transfer loses NOTHING from that, just a simple streaming data dump of the camera's footage into an AVI file. MPEG encoding for DVD use will incur a little loss, but not really all that much, since DV's compression is very similar to MPEG2's I-frame compression.
That is not counting the color sub-sampling, which is the one area where you can either make it seem transparently lossless (not really, but it would look that way) through correct up-and down-sampling algorithms, or make it seem somewhat lossy (the normal methods), or very lossy (using cheap software or methods).
Burning SD material to Blu-ray won't do ANYTHING to help it, and if you don't do it right, it could worsen the quality. You probably will never get better quality (without a WHOLE LOT of effort) by doing any kind of software upscaling - the automatic upscaling in your TV is good enough.
How much are you trying to get onto the DVD - 1 Hour? 2 Hours? more? If less than 2, you should be able to get just fine quality from your DV camera onto a SingleLayer DVD disc. If you are trying for longer than that, to maintain the quality, you want to either break it up into 2 discs or use a DualLayer disc. And if you have more than 4 Hours-worth, you ought to be breaking it up into multiple discs anyway. Or that might be a point at which you burn to Blu-ray (but retaining the SD quality, NOT up-rezzing).
thanks for the comments. the pinnacle box interfaces via USB to the computer, and the camera to it via the RCA cables that came with the camera. not direct Firewire transfer.
however, i'm fairly certain the low quality lies in the crappy video cam used.
it doesn't look much better in the camera's crappy viewfinder than it does on the pc. don't get me wrong, on an old style tube tv it looks very decent, for the exception of the colors/saturation lacking a bit. but once you play that on a HD tv like the one in my home, it doesn't look as nice unless you switch the mode to original size and not stretch it to fit full sized.
this project is completed. I fit nearly 2 hours of stuff at the highest quality it came in a DL DVD. I was just hoping to improve on the quality of the video by using software.
while I don't expect the level of enhancement you see on TV...it can't all be fake. I was hoping to get in on that enhancement action. but not for an immediate project. just something I want to learn to do, and then do later with time.Welcome to the desert of the real
Interface to USB obviously means you are going Orig Compressed Digital -> Uncompressed Digital -> Analog -> Uncompressed Digital v2 -> Compressed Digital v2 instead of a firewire path where you would go Orig Compressed Digital --> Orig Compressed Digital. See the places where loss enters in?
Yes, some DV cams can be "crappy" but it ain't going to look better than it did in the camera, just possibly worse. Makes sense to me to keep it as good as possible, right?
However, if you're done, it's a moot point.
BTW, "Enhancement" is a double-edged sword. It can make great -> fantastic, or good -> great, or fair -> good, or maybe just maybe poor -> fair. Never going to make poor -> great. Just doesn't happen. And one cardinal rule: EVERY GAIN in one avenue of enhancement is accompanied by a LOSS in another area. The only way to get around this is to tailor the "areas" so they are perceptually unnoticeable (or less noticeable).
I would strongly suggest you enter into that "enhancement action" in baby steps. It takes most of us YEARS to acquire the skills necessary to discern what to do when and how much. Very, very little of it is automatic.