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  1. Hello everybody.

    I usually play my videos with VLC or PotPlayer. Is there a deblocking filter that I could turn on and adjust when I play low quality movies?

    Something that gives results such as these (please have a look at the pictures in the webpage - but this is for VirtualDub):

    http://www.compression.ru/video/deblocking/smartdeblocking_en.html

    I don't know, I imagine a plug-in that I could install for this purpose or an option like the other preincluded filters such as frame resize, playback speed adjusting and color correction?

    Thank you very much

    P.S.: In case my question has been already solved in the past and I missed the related thread in the forum search results, could you please suggest me where to read it? Thank you again.
    Falco2000, video newbie.
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  2. VLC -> Video -> Post Processing
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  3. Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    VLC -> Video -> Post Processing
    Thank you for your answer Jagabo. I tried you suggestion. It's a menu of 7 values: "disabled", and numbers from 1 to 6. I set several values but the result is quite distant from what I expected (the screenshots in the URL in my first post) because the whole picture seems to be blurred and moreover many parts of it becomes flickering, even at "1". Maybe I'm doing something wrong?
    Falco2000, video newbie.
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  4. I think MSU just cherry picked their shots. Deblocking is not a cure-all for very blocky video.

    If your sources are Divx/Xvid you can use the codecs built in deblocking and deringing filters (in another player, VLC doesn't use system installed decoders). ffdshow also has post processing settings. The results will be much the same though.
    Last edited by jagabo; 4th Jan 2013 at 16:48.
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  5. Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    I think MSU just cherry picked their shots. [...] The results will be much the same though.
    Maybe you are perfectly right, but in this post of yours I can see a much better result if compared to mine...

    I mean that in your two pictures it's clear that the blocks have been blurred and don't appear anymore, while details are kept quite well. In my post-processed playbacks, instead, the blocks are still very visible (though blurred) and details also are not so good.
    Falco2000, video newbie.
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    You cannot expect to have the processing capability that you'll find in a good encoder ... that BTW was designed for people who know what they're doing ... in a software player.

    And if vlc etc had it, people would complain because they didn't understand how to use it.

    Actually I think the vlc filters are pretty well designed. The potplayer and mpchc ones are a good example of poor interface design. The best filters I've seen are in smplayer.

    But you have to know what you're doing to be able to tell which one will work best.

    And crap video is crap video. There's not really that much you can improve them.
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  7. Here's an example of what I'm seeing:

    Without deblocking:
    Click image for larger version

Name:	org.png
Views:	5160
Size:	225.1 KB
ID:	15548

    VLC screencap (post processing = 6):
    Click image for larger version

Name:	vlc.png
Views:	5511
Size:	309.9 KB
ID:	15549

    I believe VLC's deblocking algorithm works on 8x8 blocks and that those blocks must be aligned on 8 pixel boundaries. If your video has been reencoded and cropped more than once the blocks may not be aligned any more. In which case the deblocking won't work as well.
    Last edited by jagabo; 5th Jan 2013 at 08:04.
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  8. Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    I believe VLC's deblocking algorithm works on 8x8 blocks and that those blocks must be aligned on 8 pixel boundaries.
    Maybe my problem is that I often cut for example 2, 4 or 6 pixels away from the movie sides (and not simmetrically, for example CROP 12 16 8 2), without respecting the 8x8 blocks grid...
    Falco2000, video newbie.
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  9. Originally Posted by falco2000 View Post
    Maybe my problem is that I often cut for example 2, 4 or 6 pixels away from the movie sides (and not simmetrically, for example CROP 12 16 8 2), without respecting the 8x8 blocks grid...
    It's only a problem if your source was blocky before you cropped away the edges. The deblocking will only be able to remove blocks created by the second encoding.
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  10. Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Originally Posted by falco2000 View Post
    Maybe my problem is that I often cut for example 2, 4 or 6 pixels away from the movie sides (and not simmetrically, for example CROP 12 16 8 2), without respecting the 8x8 blocks grid...
    It's only a problem if your source was blocky before you cropped away the edges. The deblocking will only be able to remove blocks created by the second encoding.
    No, the source was not blocky. It was a 720x576 MPEG-2 movie with an high video bitrate. It's the output of my conversion that's obviously a little blocky. Quality 28, framesize 320x256 pixels, encoded in MP4/h.264 with Handbrake for archiving purposes: quality in my case is not so important, but the results of the deblocking filters I saw made me think that I could benefit using them when I (rarely) re-watch one of these archived movies (tv series episodes, actually) months later I watched the original ones at full quality.
    Falco2000, video newbie.
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  11. h.264 decoding has its own deblocking. A second deblock filter probably isn't going to help much. The combination of a small frame size and low quality/bitrate settings is going to look bad when played back full screen. At least be sure you're not turning down the deblocking setting when you encode. CFR=28 is insanely poor quality in my opinion. Also make sure you haven't disabled the in-loop deblocker in the players.
    Last edited by jagabo; 7th Jan 2013 at 07:44.
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  12. Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    h.264 decoding has its own deblocking. A second deblock filter probably isn't going to help much.
    I already tried the h.264 deblocking and I also tried the VLC deblocking filter on a "non-deblocked-with-h.264-deblocking" movie.

    CFR=28 is insanely poor quality in my opinion.
    It's a real luck that I can enjoy a movie even at so low resolution while most of the people on the internet say they can't and that I'm crazy

    Here's a full-screen CRF=28 screenshot from my 1280x800 screen:



    Is it really INSANELY poor?

    What should have people said when the first black and white TVs were created some decades ago?

    But that's only my humble opinion...
    Falco2000, video newbie.
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  13. Originally Posted by falco2000 View Post
    Is it really INSANELY poor?
    It is if you're complaining about artifacts.
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    Originally Posted by falco2000 View Post
    No, the source was not blocky. It was a 720x576 MPEG-2 movie with an high video bitrate. It's the output of my conversion that's obviously a little blocky. Quality 28, framesize 320x256 pixels, encoded in MP4/h.264 with Handbrake for archiving purposes: quality in my case is not so important, but the results of the deblocking filters I saw made me think that I could benefit using them when I (rarely) re-watch one of these archived movies (tv series episodes, actually) months later I watched the original ones at full quality.
    Quality 28, framesize 320x256 pixels, encoded in MP4/h.264
    Are you "archiving" your videos in floppy disks?

    Just for the notes, lately I've been re-encoding some Hi-Def videos to 960x540 at "VCD bitrates" (around 10MB/min) with the VC-1 codec.

    Originally Posted by falco2000 View Post
    It's a real luck that I can enjoy a movie even at so low resolution while most of the people on the internet say they can't and that I'm crazy

    Here's a full-screen CRF=28 screenshot from my 1280x800 screen:



    Is it really INSANELY poor?
    Certainly it is MUCH poorer than my typical re-encodes.

    What should have people said when the first black and white TVs were created some decades ago?
    You're comparing apples to pineapples alright.
    Last edited by El Heggunte; 7th Jan 2013 at 21:13. Reason: typos
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  15. Originally Posted by El Heggunte View Post
    Quality 28, framesize 320x256 pixels, encoded in MP4/h.264
    Are you "archiving" your videos in floppy disks?
    My typical size of 50 minutes of video (an episode + some tv ads that I can't remove since it would take me other time) is 60 MB with an average (variable) video bitrate of 80 Kbps and constant audio bitrate of 64 Kbps (MediaInfo values).

    A classic 3 1/2" HD DS floppy disk contained 1.44 MB, so I'm not archiving on them

    My current archive is 70GB large stored on a 1TB hard disk that I also use to record my movies from the digital terrestrial tv, and other 100GB are occupied by full quality and framesize 2h MP4/h.264 movies. The rest of the disk space is almost entirely taken up by heavy MPEG-2 recordings created by my DTT receiver (it's the only available format since the recorded movie is exactly what each channel transmits). So the point is that I can't afford higher bitrates for my archive if I want to keep on recording... I only have 60 GBs free at the moment and I can't afford a new storage device.

    Anyway, if you tell me that:

    Just for the notes, lately I've been re-encoding some Hi-Def videos to 960x540 at "VCD bitrates" (around 10MB/min) with the VC-1 codec.
    [...]
    Certainly it is MUCH poorer than my typical re-encodes.
    ...well, that's good news for me! I don't know anything about VC-1 (it's the first time I read about this name), but first I have to know its speed: on my old notebook I encode 50 minutes episodes in about 20/30 minutes with Handbrake. Do you think that the VC-1 would perform the same or better, keeping the high quality you're talking about? If so, I will immediately look for it!

    Thank you so much

    EDIT: I just found this guide in the videohelp.com forum and it looks promising:

    It is not meant to debate the quality of VC-1 vs H264 vs DivX or XVID. Taking encoding time,
    filesize, & quality all into consideration, WMV9Advanced (WVC1) in MKV containers is my personal preference. [...]
    -- Using this method, on an Intel-Core2Duo 6300, 7300GS nVidia, & VistaSP1 a typical 2 hour movie will take
    approximately 45-50 minutes to complete. The same process on the same system, using x264 with comparable quality
    will take approximately 2.25 hours to complete.
    Last edited by falco2000; 8th Jan 2013 at 10:02.
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  16. Originally Posted by falco2000 View Post
    Just for the notes, lately I've been re-encoding some Hi-Def videos to 960x540 at "VCD bitrates" (around 10MB/min) with the VC-1 codec.
    [...]
    Certainly it is MUCH poorer than my typical re-encodes.
    ...well, that's good news for me!
    How is that good news for you? He's using more than 10x the bitrate you are. VC-1 is worse quality than x264 (at the same bitrate). And the encoder is slower.
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  17. Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Originally Posted by falco2000 View Post
    Just for the notes, lately I've been re-encoding some Hi-Def videos to 960x540 at "VCD bitrates" (around 10MB/min) with the VC-1 codec.
    [...]
    Certainly it is MUCH poorer than my typical re-encodes.
    ...well, that's good news for me!
    How is that good news for you? He's using more than 10x the bitrate you are. VC-1 is worse quality than x264 (at the same bitrate). And the encoder is slower.
    I just caught the sense of his words, I actually didn't make the conversion from 10MB/min to Kbps, that's the reason for what I wrote... I'll do it now... Well, I don't need it: I just have to think that my 50 minutes movie il 60MB large, so if I should apply the 10MB/min rate I would get a 500MB file. Just the "10x" you said. Thank you, I won't read that guide, you made me save time (I'm not so smart in mathematics as you see)

    Anyway, you say that VC-1 is slower than x264, while that guide says that VC-1 is at least two times faster than x264. I should make some test myself to know the truth.
    Falco2000, video newbie.
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  18. Originally Posted by falco2000 View Post
    Anyway, you say that VC-1 is slower than x264, while that guide says that VC-1 is at least two times faster than x264. I should make some test myself to know the truth.
    The difference between very fast and very slow settings in x264 is greater than 10 fold. So both can be true, depending on what settings you use in x264. The only people that use VC-1 are those streaming with SilverLight.
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Originally Posted by falco2000 View Post
    Anyway, you say that VC-1 is slower than x264, while that guide says that VC-1 is at least two times faster than x264. I should make some test myself to know the truth.
    The difference between very fast and very slow settings in x264 is greater than 10 fold. So both can be true, depending on what settings you use in x264.
    @falco2000:
    VC-1 is easier to decode than H.264, no doubt about this. Accordingly, it also should be easier to compress with VC-1 than with H.264. But in practice, and AFAIK, there are zero VC-1 compressors optimized speed-wise, differently from x264.

    The only people that use VC-1 are those streaming with SilverLight.
    OTOH, "the only people that use H.264 are the Adobe Flash Player fanboys".
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  20. Well, if anybody knows an encoder (the decoder is not so important since I'm archiving) with better performances and that would allow me to get better results compared with the x264 that I'm using (see my posts above for details), she/he is welcome, I'm here ready to learn.
    Falco2000, video newbie.
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  21. h.265, aka HEVC, encoders should exceed h.264. But there aren't any that are ready for prime time yet.
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