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  1. Hello there,

    I've been away from the video scene for a while, but have recently been commissioned to do a friend's wedding. The capture and transfer all went well via my trusty Canon XL1s and Sony DV deck. I already own an old Vegas + DVD retail box (which cost a frickin' fortune), but PC World had an offer to get the Movie Studio HD Platinum bundle for 35, so I've installed this too.

    I've compiled identical timelines in both applications, with identical clips and audio.

    I'm doing a web quality render so I can show a rough-cut (with edits and FX) to folks before working on the final, which will be for DVD. My issue is that Vegas Studio Platinum's output is noticably better than my old Vegas Pro version, although the settings appear to be exactly the same.

    Project settings

    Custom 720 x 576 25 fps
    Field order: None (for computer viewing at the moment)
    Pixel Aspect Ratio: 1.4568
    Full Res Render Quality: Best
    Deinterlace Mode: Blend fields

    Render settings

    Audio: 96kbs, 48Khz, 16 bit, Stereo, AAC
    Video: 25 fps, 640 x 360 progressive, YUV, 2Mbps
    Pixel Aspect Ratio: 1.000

    Frame Size: Multimedia WS (640 x 480)
    Allow source to adjust frame size? NO
    Profile: Basline
    Frame Rate: 25.00 (PAL)
    Allow source to adjust frame rate? NO
    Fileld order: None
    Constant Bitrate (bps): 2,000,000
    Encode Mode: Automatic

    The Movie Studio version also has these 2 options:

    Video Format: AVC
    Entropy coding: CAVLC

    The Movie Studio render is considerably better with much less artefacts and a slightly sharper image.

    Can anyone shed any light on why this is occurring? Does Movie Studio Platinum use a different rendering codec or something? I'm playing the 2 files on VLC media player. I'm afraid I can't post any video examples as it's kind of sensitive but I might be able to output a few seconds to show the offending results though if anyone needs further evidence.

    Many thanks.
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  2. Here's a couple of screen grabs (at a fade, which is where it's most noticable). The more pixellated one (top) is Vegas.


    Okay, I've now taken a look at the videos in GSpot. I can confirm they're both using exactly the same codec (avc1 H.264/MPEG-4 AVC). Again, everything is identical except the kbps and Qf fields:

    kbps: 1962
    Qf: 0.340

    kbps: 2060
    Qf: 0.358

    (which means the Vegas file is also slightly larger - 200Kb to be precise). It also states 'Codec Status Undetermined' for both.
    Image Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

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    Click image for larger version

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    Last edited by Hegelian; 1st Aug 2012 at 03:14. Reason: More information
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  3. Sorted. It seems I had to select a different template (an NTSC one) to show the Video Format options in Vegas. Once I did this, I could select the 'AVC' format option and the 'Entropy coding' options. Strangely, the video is still slightly larger, but I think this might be due to using a constant bitrate.

    I'm still open to some education here though if anyone has any pointers with all this stuff - e.g. what's the de facto settings to keep MiniDV footage as good as possible from capture to render. You'll notice I'm already cropping to 16:9, which is isn't ideal, but I've heard talk that the Canon XL1s' native 16:9 feature is a bit iffy...

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