Ok, I am a self diagnosed video nut now, I admit it...but a year ago this little obsession started out with one thing on my wish list-to be able to watch the ORGINAL Episodes 4,5,and 6 on my DVD player in WIDESCREEN. Now I have been scouring many forums trying to learn all that I can to make this happen and get the best quality.
On this site are two tests from my long hours of toil and I want some opinions from the people that surf this board:
My FTP site:
robbins.dns2go.com l/p : vcdhelp/vcdhelp
Now a few notes-
These files are LARGE-the first clip is 45 MB and the second is 108 MB...so if you are on a modem I guess you miss out...sorry
I captured the clips with my WinTV card through the composite cable with Huffy at 352x480.
The first clip has NO noise reduction filters on it whatsoever and if you can tell, the red-green levels are a bit off.
I used a low setting of temporal smoother on the second clip and I believe that I got my level problem straightened out.
These were encoded with CCE with a CBR (for time purposes).
Comments? Suggestions? All are welcome....
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Yeah I got a suggestion.......How about you post the entire movie next time........ LOL
I'm probably missing the point, but why dont you just rent/buy the original star wars DVD's and then rip them to vcd. The quality, etc. will be much better than anything you'll get from a vhs source? Or are you wanting to use vhs as the source regardless (as evidenced by your bolding "original"?)
He can't because the original 3 (ep 4,5,6) haven't come out on DVD. I've heard lucas plans on releasing them after episode 3 has come out, but that's just a rumor. Although the DVD's haven't come out, you can get the VCD version from vcdgallery.com
@macloed - also the quality I get from my LD player is great! What I meant by ORIGINAL is simply NO special editions. I don't like them. And macloed, if you can find VHS of the ORIGINALS in letterbox I would love to see them
@Donny661 - yes he has said that he is going to realease them, but that he wants to do "something special" with the six film set. My guess is that he wants to go in and add more crap and then just have like 7 different releases with more stuff in each release. Also he is planning a little break after episode 3 so we are talking 2006 and MAYBE 2007 before we will see a DVD release...
(cough!) ****** (cough! cough!), ************ (cough! cough!)...
S'kews me frog in my throat...
Warez items deleted. Please read AUP.
You are in breach of the forum rules and are being issued with a formal warning.
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Funny this post should come up now. I just purchased the Definitive Collection on LD with the intent of doing what you are doing therick. I too want the original in a widescreen format. Now I have to find a good LD player. What kind of player do you have? I have a Pioneer DVD player and am really happy with it and think I might go that way on the LD player.
As for the trilogy, I am a self-professed Star Wars nut. The DVDs for the original trilogy are slated for 2005 or 2006. The rumor is that Lucas wants to go back and mess with the orchestra arrangements to the first three scores the more represent a six part opera type score with repeating themes. Also, it is rumored that Natalie Portman is going to film something to be dropped into one of the first three.
If you want WS try Ebay and Half.com, but beware because there are several different versions and not everyone describes them correctly. There are four different versions on LD and three on VHS. All of the "DVD" versions of the original trilogy on Ebay are Special Edition LD captures.
Go with a pioneer, dual side if possible and with Digital Filters, it really cleans up those laser disc, I have the pioneer LD 900 series the best LD player out there, went for someyhing like $800 in its hey day, I completely rebuilt mine with new parts from Pioneer about 2 years ago, still have over 125 LD's most you can not and some will never get on DVD, say like Disneys' "Songs of the South" have every Disney Animated Full length filem they ever released. I regret getting rid of over 500 LD's, like the complete Raiders of the lost ark series, only have Last Cursade now, one time I owned all four sets of Star wars on LD, even the crappy non letterbox version they 1st released, now I just own the last special edition box set, pitty. LD was a great format that never took off, its soundtracks still beat the crap out of DVD's digital compression versions and some Laser disc look better than the DVD, I know I traded in the Laser Disc to purchase the DVD replacement was not very happy with the quality on the DVD compared to my THX version on LD.
Also while shopping for a LD player if you have 5.1 digital AMP make sure to get one that has AC-3 out on it, mine has AC-3 and Coxial outputs.
Well I have reviewed the first file, the lightsaber duel. The only things I can compare your file to is the Special Edition VCD set and the Pan and Scan VHS Special Edition. It looks good to me. From what I could tell with the WS edition you lose some of the clarity because the characters are not up front like in the Pan and Scan. I never really realized how much I was missing from the WS to the PandS version. You mention using CCE to encode. I don't use CCE so I don't know how to do what I am about to describe. With TMPGEnc you can use something called Clip Frame. Basically with it you can cut the top and bottom portion of the video out and it is replaced by black when encoded. This would greatly improve the WS/Letterbox look of your film giving you a truely black top and bottom instead of the off-black color. If this is possible with CCE or if you use TMPGEnc you could worry more about getting the color right without worrying about the border if you could cut it out and replace it. I just finished downloading the second clip so I will give it a look now.
PS Which LD version(s) did you use to capture from?
@sullen - yes the letterboxing is awful. I don't use TMPEGEnc but there is is something like that in AVISynth that I use called letterbox(int,int)....but the catch is that with the LD version the subtitles (Greedo, Jabba, etc..) are over the bar at the bottom of the screen...I don't know how to add subtitles so I just left it alone. That really does piss me off though...those black bars are stealing my damn bitrate!
The LD version is the black THX remaster release-NOT the definitive with the AC-3 sound.
Also, those downloading the clips, could you post your download speeds? On another post someone asked and I was curious whether it might be better just to put these on my FTP server. Thanks
Oh and I have a VERY old Sony LD player that I got for $30 on ebay...
WOW! The second clip from Empire was really good. Mind you, I don't have an original LD reference so I am going by my PanScan VHS.
1. My Pioneer had some stuttering at times. You said you used CBR so I am not sure why it was doing that. I noticed it in the beginning when Vader is talking and the clouds are rising behind him, at times they weren't smooth which really showed the ever so slight stutter.
2. The audio is too loud on this one. I was getting distortion when I was using the amp and surround sound with it set on what I consider a normal DVD listening level. Run the audio from this clip through a wav editor and normalize it to see how much of a reduction you get. If the reduction is marginal I would drop the capture level on the audio.
With the letterboxing you mentioned and it eating your bit rate, can you just cut the top and up to the subtitles to save bit rate? Or better yet, letterbox all of the movie except the scenes with the subtitles and then splice them back in. I know that is probably "the hard way" but it is the best I can come up with right now.
As for speed of download, mine was pretty slow. I have uncapped cable and have gotten speeds of 700kb/s before, but for your two clips I got only as high as 20, averaging around 12-15.
As for the LD version, do you mean the version of A New Hope with Luke holding up his light saber and Leia is beside him or the one with Vader's head and the Tie-Fighter being chased by an X-Wing.
@sullen - yes I should have mentioned the audio...it does suck. I have been having a hell of a time capturing audio...yes the empire clip is better than the new hope clip...I solved some contrast and color issues with the second encode. I was thinking of doing the letterboxing this way...actually as I think back....are there any subtitles in empire? I can't remember...
and I have noticed the thing with the smoke...it does that on my computer so I am not sure what that is...weird...I did IVTC with AVISynth, but I have never had that problem before...I don't know...
since these clips are so big I AM going to move them to the FTP...I will change the original post...sorry about the web server, it is my first time with Apache...
robbins.dns2go.com l/p : vcdhelp/vcdhelp
so you can get them there from now on...
There are import (bootleg) SW DVDs made from the laserdiscs. Asian subtitles are in the black bars, so you zoom in on your widescreen set (or suffer with a normal set). The up side is that the conversion from LD (and it is, it even has the THX Laser Disc trailer) is rather good.
I plan to convert Empire off LD myself since that is the one of the three that has artifacting etc.-MPB/AZ
If your on Ebay or links from an affiliated trading site with amazon.com you can find a "FiveStar Video collection" conversion in NTSC of the Special Edition this has been done from the Laser disks and distributed on a pressed disk.
The quality of the conversion is very very good but they must have used a hardware converter as you notice moiré effects and some aliasing with jagged lines as if one field had been captured.
If anyone can do a better quality conversion from the laser disk or if anyone has access to the film reel and can do a flyingspot conversion I'll be very interested in acquiring these from you.
If your doing your initial capture with something like AVI_io using huffyuv Bring the audio in from your aux connector not your microphone connector which is amplified. You can always Normalise the audio after capture.
Load the video into virtual dub
Use Donald Grafts http://sauron.mordor.net/dgraft/smart.html "smart deinterlace filter" disable motion processing and set the advanced processing options for your card. This can be tested by capturing some normal TV footage before you begin.
The next filter to have in line is Donalds decomb filter which is a combination of his telecline http://sauron.mordor.net/dgraft/telecide.html and decimate http://sauron.mordor.net/dgraft/decimate.html filters which use AViSynth http://sauron.mordor.net/dgraft/decomb.html
After that you might want to frame serve from Virtual dub to your mpeg encoder for DVDs i.e. TMPenc or eqivalent.
If your capturing from your disk. Input from you composite will be no better than the s-vhs input on the more expesive players as the video is recorded in a composite form to the laser disk.
Remove the black boarders with the null transform filter and re add them to the video this way you can be asured off having one black level for them and it will help conserve the bitrate for the rest of the movie
First, I'm trying to figure out how to D/L ANY of your sample clips.
Which by the way, I'M a great fan of Star Wars, he, he.... he.. he.....
Ever since you switched to FTP, I can't figure out how to D/L any sample
let alone, even get to anywhere I can see files. I did type in my URL text box
the following, "robbins.dns2go.com" and got some files to display, but none
had any *.mpg files. Note, I did manage to D/L your first ST sample on Friday,
when you had them on the webspace. It took about 2 1/2 hours to D/L all 45MB
of it, but the speed fluctuated a bit between 3kb to 57kb via my works
internal internet hookup. It's still faster than my 56k here though.
ALSO, I don't know if you know this, or anyone else for that matter, but you
can actually increase the D/L speed tremendiously IF you compress them into
*.zip (not *.rar) files. For some reason, *.zip files fly, even when they
are *.mpg compressed into *.zip files (though they don't really save any space)
but, somehow, the encryption/decryption process of the D/L'ing almost at times,
exponentially make my *.zip files fly at work!! I know this to be true for most
files, cause I tried a sample. The only problem I have with this is that I don't
know weather it will work for everyone's different type of connection. It doesn't
really do anything for my 56k since it's really slow, but will sometimes go to
6K vs 4k - not much for speed noticing, but for faster connects like DSL or Cable
I'm sure a dramatic improvement can be noticed - I'm hoping. Well, this was my
experience with some *.mpg-to-*.zip file D/L'ing, and thought I'd share it with
you and your rather large MB files. I don't know if this will work or not for
you, but perhaps you could give this a try with a smaller MB file of yours and
do a trial run with some people her that have DSL/Cable connects the next time
you get the chance. I know it's kind of anal but couldn't help notice the speed
improvement I rec'vd, and thought I'd just share this out in the open in hopes
that others here might have an better explanation (even if this is not the
thread to post in)
I'm sorry you went the "FTP" route. I"ve since unstalled my various "FTP" apps
because they were the cause of my many systems failures, crashes, or just not
allowing other apps to work correctly, and, NOT to mention, depending on which
one installed, and, weather or not, they are running (cause they don't have to)
they WILL cause slight clock delays in certain crushial running apps, like, say
for instance, CAPTURING. I found this out in one of my fed-up crashes.
I decided to let go of "FTP"ing around and I did notice an improvement in my
captures - no, not quality of caps, but rather, LESS framedrops. But, this may
be dependant on each individuals PC/Software setup. I mention this for TWO
* cause you went to FTP, and
* cause I found this out through trial-n-error and thought I'd share this little
but very important tidbit, just in case you are experiencing some framedrops!
If you are having those framedrops in your captures, my suggestion would be to
unstall ALL those FTP apps you got running. Believe me when i say this, that they
don't have to actually be running, to cause framedrops (or steal clock ticks)
A VERY GOOD EXAMPLE is "Cute FTP" This mother, installs a number of driver files
(though I couldn't not figure out which one or set of ones that were the cause)
Now, (in reference to above) case experience:
* I did not have CUTE FTP up and running, but my system showed cpu utilized, and
I did record the numbers. AFter, as an experiment (again) I uninstalled ALL my
FTP (cuase I could just reinstall them) Guess what, cpu numbers went down!
ie, CUTE FTP had ben stealing clock cyles for reading the Internet combo of
commens, ie, when you click on an LINK that CUTE FTP might want to interpret as
a command to open the FTP client, and start a D/L automatically. CUTE FTP does
In any case, and after digesting the above, how else am I able to D/L via your
FTP, even if it means to install a very CHEAP ftp app that I can just install
and then unstall w/out much fuss??
Thanks in advance.
Use Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher to ftp. In the URL use ftp:// at the start of the URL. CuteFTP & most others have spyware or adware, yuck.Panasonic DMR-ES45VS, keep those discs a burnin'
@ironwood321 - thanks for the tips...I can honestly say I have downloaded other attempts at what I am doing from various sources and mine are better (as I toot my own horn). To reply to a few of your statements:
Why would you deinterlace and then decomb? Doesn't IVTC remove interlaced frames and leave you with a Progressive (23.976 fps) stream?
"Remove the black boarders with the null transform filter and re add them"
We already spoke about this before-the subtitles (Greedo, Jabba) on the LD are over the black bar on the bottom-I will have to go through (I use AVISynth) and do each scene that has subtitles only on the top...so it is going to take some serious time...I believe (I think) that empire doesn't have any subtitles-so that one will be easy
>Why would you deinterlace and then decomb? Doesn't IVTC remove interlaced frames and leave you with a Progressive (23.976 fps) stream?
If your using a brooktree or other chipset based card there can be a slight fault in the captured field order i.e. the top one get captured before the bottom one etc For more detailed info refer to the documentation which comes with the filter.
I assuming when you set your correct setting for your card the Inverse Telcine filters will get less confused. As your field will be in proper capture order.
Subtitles if you cut them out and save them as gif and perhaps clean them up a bit. Reinsert or overlay them onto your new black boarders. you might have to use something like premiere to do this. You just need a time code so you insert them at the right places. With new black boarders you could even recreate them from text. Just get an approximate looking font.
The following might help for virtualdub. I have not read the documentation so I am not familar with this filter http://www.virtualdub.org/downloads/subtitler-2_3.zip
As far as I can gather it processes subtitle scripts from "Sub Station Alpha" which is a very good freeware subtitiler http://www.eswat.demon.co.uk/
Nothing wrong with tooting!
I've D/L'ed your first 45MB file while I was at work on Friday, and it took
about 2 or so hours (if memory serves me) due to traffice or something, but
it fould flux at 3kb to 50+kb.
Anyways, I'm d/l'ing it again here, so I can view it, etc. I've seen some
LD samples before, and thought that the quality was pretty bad, even much worse
than VHS, though I do VHS a lot these days. Anyways, this is my hobby, as well
as archieving and LUXury purposes.
Anyways, I'm curious to see how yours came out though. I couldn't play your
sample on my pc at work cause we all have NT and NT doesn't have MPEG-2 support.
I know, you gonna say "not so" But, since I don't have admin rights, I can't
install an MPEG-2 codec - - UNLESS SONE OME HERE W/ NT KNOWLEDGE KNOWS HOW I
CAN ? ? ? ? ?
I know its a matter of placing the *.drv files in the right place, but then
I have to register it in NT?? Anyways, this is what I've done, in order to get
a glimps at therick's sample, I ran it through TMPG (since it doesn't need to
be installed admin'wise) and I have the VFAPI mpeg-2 plugin installed. The
only thing is, I don't have sound, as the plugin doesn't allow for sound to
be encoded in TMPG
Ok, then I just File/Preview and watch the sample clip this way. Works, but
I also encode to VCD just to get a better idea how quality looks, though I
don't do any tweaking what-so-ever. I just load the default NTSC Film VCD
template and hope that it comes out fair. Ok, I have 21" monitors, so this
allows me to see pretty much everything - - blokcs and all. But, since it
was a re-encode, I couldn't make this judgement, so therick, you're off the
hook this time around, he, he.... Nah, serious though, that's what I do to
in order to view an MPEG-2 clip. Unless someone here w/ NT knowedge is willing
to guide me into getting MPEG-2 codec installed w/out any admin issues. I
would greatly appreciate it. And, no, media player in NT doesn't play the
MPEG-2 files, only the MPEG-1 files.
>> Remove the black boarders with the null transform filter
I do have a question on the "null transform" filter in vdub.
What is it? and, why/when should you, as I don't see any reference to it
at graphs site. Thanks.
Has anyone else D/L'd any of the sample yet?
therick, can you tell if there are many others D/L'ing your clip, traffic'wise?
this may be a tip or not, but first, you do know that when you capture from
DVD player, weather its RCA or S-Video, that your colors (though quality'wise is
great) is off ie, reds bleed, etc. So, capturing from DVD player is NOT the
way to go, and RIPping is. Ok, but capturing from VHS is different, and works
out great. Now, as far as capturing from LD. That's another question. I
know that you are doing this and all now, but wonder if this route suffers
the same fate as DVD?? ARe your colors saturated or bleeding??
Ok, my next step is this. If you have a DV cam, and I'll assume that they
didn't have macrovisoin protection back then, that if you connect the DV cam
to the LD, you'll or you should get much better quality out of your captures
IF you capture from your DV cam. I've done a few of these via a few tests I've
run over the weekend here. ie, the Matrix, being that it's soo dark, it suffers
the color washout/bleeding etc even worse, and but when I hook up my AD-1500
to my DV cam (I have its MV off) it records to miniDV tapes in exellent quality
and, caputures come out looking like a DVD rip, believe it or not. So, my
point is this, if you ARE having color issues w/ your LD, and if you do have
a DV cam, then your next route could be to record to miniDV and capture it
via analog or firewire it to your hd, though personally, I prefer the analog
capture (yes, a 2nd dup step) as the quality of colors are much better, and
as you know (and other, or not) that once the DV data leaves the DV cam to
your HD, that the color quality goes down some, due to the codec conversion
that is done on the fly via firewire. But, capturing direct from the DV cam
via analog leave me w/ perfect color quality. I don't know how this handles
via direct PASS-THROUGH routes, but I would assume that its color is still
washed out. In any case, the only solution to the color washout is to turn
on the 0-255 color space convergence in TMPG's Settings/QuantizeMatrix/
[x] Output YUV... to help colors stand out. Usually does the trick,
but for some already "light colored" video source, you have to tweak even more,
the color, under the settings/Advance filter area. In CCE, all you do is
[x] 0-255 check this box instead of the 16-235 box, but on those
"light color" video sources, you don't have the tweaking abilities as you do
in TMPG. And, no, vdub can't rally handle the colors very well, even using
the "White Balance" filter doesn't really help much. OH, wait a minute, there
is an RGB** that did help me out in my early days of vdub filtering. That mihgt
help a bit though, but you'll hvae to frameserve yet again ie, if you're
using AVIsynth to CCE, you'll have to do it this way now, ie,
AVIsynth --> vdub [color filters] --> CCE
** that's Donald Graph's Red/Green/Blue filter, not RGB.
Well, that's it for now... I'll continue later perhaps.
Ok, currently, I at 49% complete ~4.8kb to 5.1kb, so I'm making some headway.
ok, after almost done (halfway) my link was severed - thanks therick!!
I even tried searching for the partially D/L'd file - FxCK! I guess IE just
deletes the file anyways, I think. I just can't seem to find it anywheres!
So, I give up here! Waisted enough already, he, he...
Anyways, i'm bailing out here. Hope you can utilize what I posted above,
should it pertain to your LD process though, and good luck!
PS: and may the force be w/ you! (it wasn't for me lttle while ago)
@vhelp - sorry man - this cable modem keeps fing up...I think I am just going to have a T1 set up at my house... - every two weeks it just loses my connection REALLY annoying...
Just an update-I have posted a smaller part of the empire clip (1:11) without sound-and I zipped it so it is only about 21 MB-it is on the web and FTP so you 56K kids should be able to get it.
I'm doing the same thing with my Def Collection LD's but going about it differently. I'm using a Sony DV cam w/firewire into Premeire for capture @ 720x480, VDub for vid/audio split, TMPGEnc for video encoding with a CQ VBR (and a whole mess of filters for color correction, etc making evey 1/2 hour side take ~12 hrs to encode on a 1.7Athlon 512mb DDR RAM) and VDub frameserving to TMPGEnc with the subtitler to move the subtitles into the film frame and out of the letterbox bar on the Greedo scenes.
I'm now working on authoring with DVD Workshop and running into some problems there. I think I may end up using DVDWS for menu creation (I'm emulating the look and feel of the Def Col LD box set, complete with 80 chapter stops, production notes, supplemetal materials for all three movies on a fourth disc) and some other softwares to retain the alternate audio track (the commentary track-I've mixed the normal soundtrack with it and lowered the level wayyy down when there is commentary but DVD WS doesn't like two audio tracks) and all.
Initial tests? Well, on the PC you can definatley tell that Laserdisc is an analog source. It just *looks* analog-y. Horizontaly grainy-ish. I dunno how to explain. On my standard TV it is indistiguishable from the LD (I've tested with my friends/family by playing both simultainously and flipping between the two). I'm now trying to hook up with a HD TV to view it on.
Good luck on your project! I'll keep an eye on this post...
@mcdermd - I know that what you are doing is pretty complicated, but could you post a brief outline of what you are doing and if it is working? I thought my clips looked good enough for a low level temporal smoother and spatial soften via AVISynth, but I am at a loss after that...
I`ve just finished recording these movies myself from VHS, i got great quality with my ATI rage fury vivo, capturing through Virtual dub, video compression with Divx 3.11 alpha Low motion at 1500kbps, Audio PCM stereo. (Lock video to audio selected) Capture at 640x480 to get both fields.
Then use Tmpgenc to convert to VCD advanced settings, De-interlace.
Capturing at a higher res definately helps quality, compression the audio later keeps everything in sync. I used Divx to capture as it gave great quality with a small ish file size.
if you're serious about getting the best you can from star wars, you should use pal copies of the discs. why you ask? well, ntsc ld is approx 425 lines, pal is 440. extra resolution. the other advantage, is the pal copies are 25fps, progressive. this means no problems with ivtc, as you just slow the 25fps to 23.976 fps. after doing that, you can simply attach the ntsc audio track for a much better quality transfer! also, don't capture the audio as analogue, capture it as digital, the sound is redbook pcm afterall! simply get a standalone cd recorder, plug it in, record, rip and encode. or if you have a sound card with digital ins, plug straight into that!
I too am a STAR WARS nut. Wanted to add that 6-8 months ago I found a online store that sold episodes 4,5 and 6 on pressed profesional DVDs. From what I understand they were conveted from old LD releases. Quality is great! They are the enhanced version of the movies. But I now enjoy the crispness of the effects without the VCD pixalation. I have ripped them to SVCD to protect these jewels from my kids.
I will try to dig back and find where I purchased them.
I'm really interested in seeing the progress you guys are making. I'm considering doing the exact same thing with those movies as well as Indiana Jones, but I will have to buy the laserdisc set and an ld player. I do have widescreen VHS sets of both versions of the Star Wars trilogy.
I don't know if I have the right kind of videocard to do the captures. I use a GeForce4 Ti4200 128MHz. It does have connectors for TV-out connector (NTSC and PAL support) support S-VHS mini Din and one RCA jack. It also has DVI on board support up to 1600x120 resolution.
I don't know if that will be enough, but it would be nice if I could handle it with that card. I know the rest of my system could though.
Let me know how you guys are doing with the LD captures though. Also, someone mentioned VHS captures. Which versions are they (Original or SE)? Also, are they WS or P&S?