# Thread: VIDEO_TS Conversion - Poor quality

1. Hi

I've got some home videos recorded from my Sony Handycam that I wanted to convert from the Video_TS folder so that I can edit the videos in iMovie or any other editing software. I've tried using Toast and Handbrake etc but I'm not getting the same quality as the original source. The videos are of sporting action with a ball moving at high speeds, which plays fine with the original Video_TS files but when I convert it doesn't result in the same smooth movement of the ball as it did in the original and is a little bit patchy. The conversion is decent but not quite good enough.

Would appreciate any help with the issue and is there any way I can convert those videos for editing with perfect quality?

Thanks
2. This should be in the Mac forum ??

Multiple re-encodes to lossy formats = quality loss. Always. No exceptions. Level of loss depends on how it's done.
3. Wouldn't mind a Windows solution. Seems like it's impossible to keep the original quality.
4. The source as recorded on your Handycam (there are many. Which one?) would be the place to begin. What format/encode was the original recording? How did the vid get from your SONY to VIDEO_TS? Why are you using Handbrake? I think we need more info before anyone could advise, whether for Mac or Windows.

In any case, welcome to the forum.
5. I've got the files from the mini-DVD in the camcorder on my computer contained in a VIDEO_TS folder. That includes the .IFO, .BUP and .VOB files.
I've tried using Handbrake/Toast to convert the video into something I can edit using iMovie or any other editing software. So far I'm not getting a good enough quality result after converting using a number of different settings. The result isn't the same as when I play the video in my MAC's DVD player by selecting the Video_TS folder. The difference, although only small, is still very noticeable since the video is of sporting action with a ball moving fast, which becomes patchy and not as smooth after converting.
Are there any other methods I can try?

Thanks
6. Can your editing programs handle mpeg2? If so, you can use Vob2Mpg to get the audio and video streams into an mpeg file without any loss of quality. It is a Windows only program however.
7. Originally Posted by WG_Grace
I've tried using Handbrake/Toast to convert the video into something I can edit using iMovie or any other editing software.
Bad idea. If Kerry56's solution doesn't work, at least convert it first into a lossless AVI (Lagarith, UT Video Codec, etc.) for editing.
8. I guess it depends on what the owner means by "edit". If it's simple cut and join, moving video sequences around, etc., there are smart rendering editors that can do the work without re-encoding the entire movie. As for getting the VOB files onto the computer, VOB2MPG can do that with no quality loss because it's simply a copy, join and rename -- not a "conversion", not a re-encode. None of the "editors" the O.P. mentioned are smart-rendering editors; they re-encode everything and likely do it more than once. Re-encoding = quality loss.

If it's more extensive editing such as color grading, noise reduction, adding multiple audio tracks, etc. -- even the pricey "Pro" editors will damage MPEG. Advanced hobbyists and pros would decode the VOB/MPEG into a lossless format using no-loss compression such as Lagarith or huffyuv, which are designed for no-loss video processing. After all intermediate processing is done, run a final high-quality encode to MPEG or h264 with a better encoder than those mentioned earlier. Then author and burn a new movie to disc.
9. Originally Posted by WG_Grace
The videos are of sporting action with a ball moving at high speeds, which plays fine with the original Video_TS files but when I convert it doesn't result in the same smooth movement of the ball as it did in the original
Don't deinterlace. Or if you do, use double frame rate deinterlacer (a smart "bob").
10. Originally Posted by sanlyn
Advanced hobbyists and pros would decode the VOB/MPEG into a lossless format using no-loss compression such as Lagarith or huffyuv, which are designed for no-loss video processing. After all intermediate processing is done, run a final high-quality encode to MPEG or h264 with a better encoder than those mentioned earlier. Then author and burn a new movie to disc.
Thanks for the replies everyone. As you can probably tell I am a complete newbie and I have no idea how to start converting the video into a lossless format using UT video codec/huffyuv etc. If anyone can guide me through the process and how to get started, I would be grateful.

Thanks
11. Decoding to lossless media isn't always necessary. It depends on what you mean by "edit". There are MPEG editors that work cut and join operations without entirely re-encoding the video. They are referred to as smart-rendering editors because they only re-encode the few frames involved at the cutting points. The better and "smarter" smart-rendering editors are frame-specific, which means that they cut exactly where you tell them to cut rather than on GOP segment limits only. Some of these are freebies, some are budget apps with a few more features and a somewhat cleaner job on the joined parts. The resulting MPEG would still have to be re-authored for burning to disc (menus, chapters, proper file organization, etc.), but author-only programs are preferred for this task because they don't do any re-encoding.

If by "edit" you mean time-line NLE's that let you use masks,multiple audio tracks, color correction, superimposed titles, noise reduction, resizing, picture-in-picture, etc., etc., then your best bet is lossless. Almost every complex time-line NLE, even pricey ones, will re-encode MPEG input. And their encoders aren 't all that great.

Again, it depends on what you mean by "edit".
12. Originally Posted by sanlyn
If by "edit" you mean time-line NLE's that let you use masks,multiple audio tracks, color correction, superimposed titles, noise reduction, resizing, picture-in-picture, etc., etc., then your best bet is lossless. Almost every complex time-line NLE, even pricey ones, will re-encode MPEG input. And their encoders aren 't all that great.
This is the type of editing I want to do so I guess that would require a lossless format. Could you guide me through the process?
13. Ouch. Well,you certainly have ambition. There is still another way around this: re-encode MPEG input at very high bitrates to minimize your losses. Such a high bitrate would give you about 1 hour on a standard DVD disc. You can double that by using Verbatim DVD+R dual-layer. Don't be afraid of dual-layer: chances are, every retail DVD in your collection is dual-layer. That's in contrast to "double-layer", which is one of those pesky discs that you have to turn over like an LP record to play the whole video. "Dual-layer" just plays straight through, no manual labor required.

Again, you're up against that "it depends" business. The major factors are how gorgeous your original sources are (or not), and what you expect from them. That's a judgment no one could make without seeing a short sample of what you're working with. You can make such a sample directly off a VOB from disc (or an MPG that's already on your PC) with the free DGIndex utility that you can get with DGMPGdec (http://www.videohelp.com/tools/DGMPGDec). It has a simple viewer/editor you can use to cut 10 or so seconds from a VOB or MPEG and post here. It will produce several files, one of which is an m2v (that's MPEG video with no audio). We don't need the audio. If you need help with that, ask here. The app can be used on a very simple level.

In any case, to decode VOB from disc to lossless AVi on a computer, you need a few things. Free. You would need DGIndex anyway to create lossless media. It's better to get that DVD video transferred to disc with the free VOB2MPG. All it does is copy video+audio from your DVD folders to your hard drive, then joins all the VOB's into one big file and calls it "MPEG".

You then use DGIndex to create a .d2v project file, which is an index to the data in the MPEG. It will also save the audio as a separate .wav (uncompressed PCM) file. Because you don't want MPEG compressed audio to be re-encoded any more than you want your video to be re-encoded again and again, work with the audio as uncompressed as well. Your ears will be happier for it.

You need a free frame-serving script-driven program called Avisynth. It reads the .d2v project file and decodes the associated MPEG into a lossless AVI media file. That lossless file can be reduced in size at the same time by using a lossless compressor called Lagarith -- similar to ZIP or RAR, but many times faster and designed for video. The audio .wav can be rejoined later.

That Avisynth script would be executed by opening it in VirtualDub. VirtualDub lets you view the results of the script and save it as Lagarith-compressed AVI. Then you can load it into any NLE you wish, change the heck out of it and add all kinds of gimmicks and add-ons and dissolves and sparkles or whatever. Then send it through a final encode and authoring step without incurring a lot of intermediate re-encoding loss.

An advantage: once you have a lossless copy of something, you can change it again and again and encode it to any of several encoded formats (DVD, BluRay, DivX, whatever) without ruining the lossless original. However, at 720x480 a lossless Lagarith 90-minute video will be about 40 to 60 GB in size. One reason for this size difference is that your MPEG will no longer be stored as key frames (which are full images) partnered with P and B frames (which is only data that has changed since the last previous key frame, not as a complete image). It's been decoded into a few hundred thousand full-size images. The fact that you are dealing with full images and 100% of the image data with each frame is one reason why working with lossless media gives superior results.

So here is a taste of an Avisynth script that would open a .d2v project file and decode/expand it. You would type this script in Notepad. An Avisynth script is just a text file with ".avs" on the end instead of ".txt". Save the file as "Open_d2v.avs".

Code:
MPEG2Source("path\to\your\project.d2v")
Open that .avs file in VirtualDub, tell VDub it to compress the results with Lagarith as YV12 color, tell it where to save your file and give it a name. Voila! Give it some time, depending on how long your video is. A 90-minute vid would take maybe an hour or less, depending on your CPU.

Beyond that, there's not much detail we could give without a sample of one of your intended sources.
14. Ouch. Well,you certainly have ambition. There is still another way around this: re-encode MPEG input at very high bitrates to minimize your losses. Such a high bitrate would give you about 1 hour on a standard DVD disc. You can double that by using Verbatim DVD+R dual-layer. Don't be afraid of dual-layer: chances are, every retail DVD in your collection is dual-layer. That's in contrast to "double-layer", which is one of those pesky discs that you have to turn over like an LP record to play the whole video. "Dual-layer" just plays straight through, no manual labor required.

Again, you're up against that "it depends" business. The major factors are how gorgeous your original sources are (or not), and what you expect from them. That's a judgment no one could make without seeing a short sample of what you're working with. You can make such a sample directly off a VOB from disc (or an MPG that's already on your PC) with the free DGIndex utility that you can get with DGMPGdec (http://www.videohelp.com/tools/DGMPGDec). It has a simple viewer/editor you can use to cut 10 or so seconds from a VOB or MPEG and post here. It will produce several files, one of which is an m2v (that's MPEG video with no audio). We don't need the audio. If you need help with that, ask here. The app can be used on a very simple level.

In any case, to decode VOB from disc to lossless AVi on a computer, you need a few things. Free. You would need DGIndex anyway to create lossless media. It's better to get that DVD video transferred to disc with the free VOB2MPG. All it does is copy video+audio from your DVD folders to your hard drive, then joins all the VOB's into one big file and calls it "MPEG".

You then use DGIndex to create a .d2v project file, which is an index to the data in the MPEG. It will also save the audio as a separate .wav (uncompressed PCM) file. Because you don't want MPEG compressed audio to be re-encoded any more than you want your video to be re-encoded again and again, work with the audio as uncompressed as well. Your ears will be happier for it.

You need a free frame-serving script-driven program called Avisynth. It reads the .d2v project file and decodes the associated MPEG into a lossless AVI media file. That lossless file can be reduced in size at the same time by using a lossless compressor called Lagarith -- similar to ZIP or RAR, but many times faster and designed for video. The audio .wav can be rejoined later.

That Avisynth script would be executed by opening it in VirtualDub. VirtualDub lets you view the results of the script and save it as Lagarith-compressed AVI. Then you can load it into any NLE you wish, change the heck out of it and add all kinds of gimmicks and add-ons and dissolves and sparkles or whatever. Then send it through a final encode and authoring step without incurring a lot of intermediate re-encoding loss.

An advantage: once you have a lossless copy of something, you can change it again and again and encode it to any of several encoded formats (DVD, BluRay, DivX, whatever) without ruining the lossless original. However, at 720x480 a lossless Lagarith 90-minute video will be about 40 to 60 GB in size. One reason for this size difference is that your MPEG will no longer be stored as key frames (which are full images) partnered with P and B frames (which is only data that has changed since the last previous key frame, not as a complete image). It's been decoded into a few hundred thousand full-size images. The fact that you are dealing with full images and 100% of the image data with each frame is one reason why working with lossless media gives superior results.

So here is a taste of an Avisynth script that would open a .d2v project file and decode/expand it. You would type this script in Notepad. An Avisynth script is just a text file with ".avs" on the end instead of ".txt". Save the file as "Open_d2v.avs".

Code:
MPEG2Source("path\to\your\project.d2v")
Open that .avs file in VirtualDub, tell VDub it to compress the results with Lagarith as YV12 color, tell it where to save your file and give it a name. Voila! Give it some time, depending on how long your video is. A 90-minute vid would take maybe an hour or less, depending on your CPU.

Beyond that, there's not much detail we could give without a sample of one of your intended sources. A sample might allow a way to avoid all this lossless stuff.
15. The guy is using a Mac.

WG_Grace: Better editors can deal with MPG files as input. So there's no need to convert MPG to AVI for editing. Unless you're using several programs sequentially there's no need to use use lossless AVI as intermediates. You should post a short sample of the file you created so we can verify what went wrong with your conversion.
16. The O.P. said he would accept Windows suggestions. Also stated he wants to do stuff like color correction, noise reduction, superimpose titles, work in a timeline to add extras, and all that. If you can suggest a way to do that without re-encoding on a Mac, it would be excellent for the O.P.
17. Any decent NLE has all those abilities. Even iMovie has most of it -- at least the basics. FCP is probably his best bet on the Mac, where choices are limited. The OP's motion problem is almost certainly from deinterlacing.
18. iMovie and FCPX will transcode to ProRes by default. It's not the greatest intermediate codec, but since Apple owns it, it's widely used. As suggested above, FCPX is your best lowish-cost bet if you want to do anything serious. Adobe Premiere Pro is excellent, but it doesn't have the automatic toys and tools of FCPX.
19. imovie will use apple intermediate codec, not prores . But problem you're having with imovie is it won't export an interlaced DVD. You need a really old version of imovie to do that
20. As I noted earlier, there's no critical need to use lossless processing if a good encoder or better NLE is available, either Mac or Windows. I don't think the O.P. wants to take the lossless route anyway. So far there have been two requests for a sample video of some kind that someone can assess for better suggestions. So I'm posting my earlier request again.
21. So shall I post the .m2v sample from DGIndex?
This action doesn't seem to be as smooth as when played in Media player classic as the original when played in Mac's DVD Player but that's probably just me being a bit too picky I suppose.
Thanks for the help so far everyone btw.
22. A sample would be more illuminating that just guessing. Also note that many media players deinterlace or smooth out telecine and whatnot, while editors play a source as-is. If you want to do any serious processing, viewing a video both ways is usually the way it's done.
23. Here's a sample.
24. As expected, that's normal interlaced video (50 fields per second packaged as 25 interlaced frames per second). What about the conversion you made? Does it look something like the attached file?
25. Originally Posted by jagabo
As expected, that's normal interlaced video (50 fields per second packaged as 25 interlaced frames per second). What about the conversion you made? Does it look something like the attached file?
Yes it's similar
26. Originally Posted by WG_Grace
Originally Posted by jagabo
As expected, that's normal interlaced video (50 fields per second packaged as 25 interlaced frames per second). What about the conversion you made? Does it look something like the attached file?
Yes it's similar
Then what you are seeing is normal 25 fps jerkiness and flicker. You'll need to encode at 50 fps to get smoother motion -- like in your 50 field per second interlaced MPEG 2 video. You can also encode 50 fields per second interlaced h.264 with handbrake if you're careful.

27. [/QUOTE]Then what you are seeing is normal 25 fps jerkiness and flicker. You'll need to encode at 50 fps to get smoother motion -- like in your 50 field per second interlaced MPEG 2 video. You can also encode 50 fields per second interlaced h.264 with handbrake if you're careful[/QUOTE]

The 50fps.mkv sample you made looks very good. What settings shall I use to get that sort of result and in what program?
28. Originally Posted by WG_Grace
The 50fps.mkv sample you made looks very good. What settings shall I use to get that sort of result and in what program?
I used AviSynth's QTGMC() to deinterlace and x264 CLI to encode. You can get the same motion smoothness with Handbrake using the Bob deinterlacer filter and specifying 50 fps output -- though the picture quality won't be as good. Or you can leave the video interlaced, the frame rate "Same as Source", and add "tff" to the Extra Options (without the quotes) to encode interlaced. Most players should play that properly (don't change the frame size or the interlacing will get messed up).
29. The 2nd option using tff didn't really work but BOB filter worked nicely and it is now smooth, though as you said the picture quality isn't as good. Is the "same as source and tff" settings supposed to produce better quality?
If not, could you guide me through the Avisynth and x264 CLI method to produce an editable file in iMovie (preferably) or is that too complicated for beginners?
Thanks
30. Originally Posted by WG_Grace
Is the "same as source and tff" settings supposed to produce better quality?
The quality will depend on the player if you use that method. How well it deinterlaces. No player is as good as QTGMC though. Did you see comb artifacts on the 25i video I uploaded? Did it play smoothly? When played properly motions should have been as smooth as the 50 fps file I uploaded, quality a little less.

Originally Posted by WG_Grace
If not, could you guide me through the Avisynth and x264 CLI method to produce an editable file in iMovie (preferably) or is that too complicated for beginners?
QTGMC is one of the worst filters with which to start leaning AviSynth. Start with installing AviSynth and learning how to create a basic script.

http://avisynth.nl/index.php/Main_Page#New_to_AviSynth_-_start_here

Then get and install QTGMC and all the other filters it requires (put them in AviSynth's plugins folder):

http://avisynth.org/mediawiki/QTGMC

For MPEG 2 videos you should use DgMpgDec:

http://neuron2.net/dgmpgdec/dgmpgdec.html

Build and Index file (*.d2v) with DgIndex, then create an AviSynth script to import your video:

Code:
Mpeg2Source("video.d2v")
AssumeTFF()
QTGMC()
Finally, open that AviSynth script with an editor or encoder that supports AviSynth scripts. I use VirtualDub to preview scripts. You can make an AVI file with VirtualDub too.

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