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  1. Member
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    Hi,

    I have reveived a file which is 1080 X 1920 MOV in 25fps. I encoded the file in Premier CS4, as CS5 and CS6 dont have the option of MPEG1. I am not happy with quality after encoding. I am looking for a quality which i get from a hardware encoder like optibase.

    What are the other good options to encode such files to make a good quality VCDS.

    Please help.

    Thanking You.

    Zerohash
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  2. Originally Posted by zerohash View Post
    ...good quality VCDS.
    There's no such thing as a good quality VCD. In this day and age you shouldn't even be thinking of making VCDs. Yes, I know they're still released by the Indian home video companies, but they're run by fools and idiots who know nothing about good quality video and care even less.

    But to answer your question, take your pick:

    www.videohelp.com/tools?toolsearch=&Submit=Search&convert=to+VCD
    Last edited by manono; 13th Mar 2013 at 02:18.
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    [QUOTE=manono;2226628]
    Originally Posted by zerohash View Post
    ...good quality VCDS.
    I know they're still released by the Indian home video companies, but they're run by fools and idiots who know nothing about good quality video and care even less.


    Hi,

    Thanks for your reply. I am one of the idiot and doing Indian Films for Indian companies. The VCDS are still selling more than any other format in India. Which encoder will you select if you have to convert MOV or AVI. Will appreciate you help.

    Zerohash
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  4. Originally Posted by zerohash View Post
    I am one of the idiot and doing Indian Films for Indian companies.
    Hehe, I said they're run by idiots, not that the people working for them were idiots.

    Which encoder? I use CCE fed by AviSynth scripts for everything, but I never made a VCD even 15 years ago. I made a few SVCDs, but not VCDs. In India Moserbaer makes about the best quality ones I've seen (which isn't saying a whole lot). Just smooth the hell out of it so it doesn't break up into blocks when the dancing begins.
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    Hi,

    thanks again. I got a very bad file made in Cinemacraft. Premier was better. Moser Baer is selling all cheap stuff for cheap audience. Indian film market is ruined by selling movies in cheap price.

    Zerohash.
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  6. Originally Posted by zerohash View Post
    Indian film market is ruined by selling movies in cheap price.
    I grant you it's ruined, but there are more reasons than that. When foreign companies try to get the rights to market the best films to their own markets, they are met by nothing but resistance by the greedy rightsholders. As a result the greatest films by such directors as Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt, Satyajit Ray and others are mostly only available in absolutely horrible editions produced by Indian companies. And then people wonder why the Indian film industry has no respect in other parts of the world. And it's not because they're all musicals.

    If you're an encoder for one of those companies, how many times have you or your friends taken a 25fps source and run it through a cheap standards conversion box to create an interlaced, blended, blurry, nasty looking movie for the NTSC DVD your company then markets? It doesn't have to be that way but no one cares at all.
    I got a very bad file made in Cinemacraft.
    I already told you there's no such thing as a good VCD. Surely you didn't expect a VCD to look anything remotely like your 25fps Hi-Def source? But I don't know what Optibase is or how it might make better-looking VCD MPEG-1 video. Nor do I know the steps you took in CCE for your encode.

    You're not working for Shemaroo, by chance?
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    No i dont work for Shemaroo. They are the copyright holders for many films and they have their own authoring studio.

    Here we get PAL 25fps tapes and then convert them to NTSC DVDS so that the same DVD works n USA and rest of the world.

    Zerohash
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  8. Originally Posted by zerohash View Post
    Which encoder will you select if you have to convert MOV or AVI.
    TMPGEnc Free was always considered one of the best MPEG 1 encoders for VCD.
    http://www.tmpgenc.net/en/download.html
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  9. Originally Posted by zerohash View Post
    Here we get PAL 25fps tapes and then convert them to NTSC DVDS so that the same DVD works n USA and rest of the world.
    Aha! So you're the ones! Maybe it's time someone taught you guys how to make a proper progressive NTSC DVD from a PAL source? Because whatever you've been doing so far isn't working.

    Yours are encoded interlaced, aren't they, and not progressive?
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  10. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    That's a bingo! I believe you accurately described the problem with relying on one sole transfer method to serve as a master for multiple distribution types.

    However, manono, I disagree with your assessment of vcd looking like crap. It only looks like crap the great majority of times. I have my own examples of encodes that look "fair" (like soft dvds). Will provide examples another time (I'm working a show this week - too busy).

    @OP, you need to go back to a better quality master, and I'd use a snippet to make MPEG1 encode comparisons from ALL the available encoders first. A difficult, motion scene.

    Scott
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  11. Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    However, manono, I disagree with your assessment of vcd looking like crap. It only looks like crap the great majority of times.
    OK, fair enough. Maybe I should have said all the ones I've seen look like crap. Maybe I should have said they look like crap compared to a decent DVD (which Indian companies are also incapable of producing). I did recommend he smooth the source to cut down on the blocking during complex scenes:

    Originally Posted by manono View Post
    Just smooth the hell out of it so it doesn't break up into blocks when the dancing begins.
    Since he's not smoothing with AviSynth, this may mean he should boost the default setting for the low-pass filter if using CCE. Maybe the TMPGEnc one jagabo mentioned has some filtering built in.

    As for getting a better master, it's not going to happen. They have to work with what they're given. As a matter of course 25fps masters are used even for NTSC DVDs. Heck, for the classic films they often use 25fps PAL VHS tapes as sources. I have no idea why 25fps sources are used for DVD. Maybe so it can be used for the VCD or for broadcast as well. India's even a PAL country but the DVDs they produce are NTSC.
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    Manono, Yash Raj Films usually produce decent DVDs. Many of the newer ones are often encoded with soft pulldown @ 23.976 fps. But as you mentioned, I've also seen my fair share of field-blended Indian DVDs.
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  13. Originally Posted by Island_Dweller View Post
    Manono, Yash Raj Films usually produce decent DVDs.
    My interest is in classic Indian films and for those Yash Raj is as bad as the rest - field-blended from PAL sources. Except they charge more, maybe because somewhere along the line someone decided theirs were better. Yes, with newer films the quality is sometimes better, and, as you say, sometimes progressively encoded with decent subs (I'm American). But even today, 15 years after the DVD format began (20 years?), the vast majority of Indian DVDs are of very poor quality and even the best are only mediocre. For example, compare the quantization matrices used on Indian DVDs with those of good DVDs from the US or Europe. Why do they make absolutely huge menus taking up space that could better be used to improve the video quality? Why for classic films with Mono audio, do the DVDs have DD 5.1 audio with all the channels the same? I could go on and on. Progressive encoding (23.976fps with soft pulldown), while being a huge step forward from the usual garbage, does not by itself a good DVD make.
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  14. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Island_Dweller View Post
    .... I've also seen my fair share of field-blended Indian DVDs.
    Another thing that sucks is you have to have like ten discs per "movie".
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    Manono, I can't deny any of what you're saying, I've seen it with my own eyes as well. They waste space on menus and when their source is mono or stereo, they do a hack job of producing a 5.1 mix, when they could just have produced the disc with just mono or stereo audio. They also can't seem to consistently reproduce color, even on newer releases.

    budwzr, I'm not sure what you mean. With VCD, Indian movies require 3 discs usually.
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  16. Originally Posted by zerohash View Post
    The VCDS are still selling more than any other format in India.
    Really??? Wow...
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  17. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Island_Dweller View Post
    budwzr, I'm not sure what you mean. With VCD, Indian movies require 3 discs usually.
    Oh, maybe that's the Chinese ones. They come in a fold out pack.
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  18. Originally Posted by poisondeathray View Post
    Originally Posted by zerohash View Post
    The VCDS are still selling more than any other format in India.
    Really??? Wow...
    Yeah, that surprised me too. And the VCDs aren't even significantly less expensive than the DVDs, 10 or 20 cents maybe. I've never seen a dedicated VCD player. I guess there is such a thing and the installed base is so high that people don't want to upgrade to a DVD player? That's about all I can think of.


    Originally Posted by budwzr View Post
    Originally Posted by Island_Dweller View Post
    budwzr, I'm not sure what you mean. With VCD, Indian movies require 3 discs usually.
    Oh, maybe that's the Chinese ones. They come in a fold out pack.
    Hehe, there are the epics and TV series and collections where you get a ton of DVD discs.
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    I used to own a VCD player. Bought it used from for about $80 circa 1994?. Got it because my Pioneer DVD player couldn’t play VCDs. I used it quite a bit until the drive failed (mechanically).

    Been meaning to post this for years. As bad as VCD generally is, I’m surprised at how good it can be. Here’s a link to a clip from a Japanese VCD from 1997. I was so impressed by the quality (of the disc as well as the concert) that I bought the Laserdisc also.

    I suspect part of the quality is because of the high cost of the discs. I remember the VCD was half the price of the Laserdisc (which is why I bought the VCD first), but was still about $30-$40 back in 1997. They just put more effort into ensuring a high quality transfer.

    For the curious, the group is MAX and that’s (in order of closeups), Mina, Lina, Nana, Reina.
    Last edited by lingyi; 15th Mar 2013 at 01:35.
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  20. The group may (or may not) be good, but I see nothing special about the VCD video quality. It's blocky, full of mosquito noise, and blended all to hell and back with deinterlacing artifacts. I'd take the laserdisc over this. I'd take a VHS tape over this. At least those can remain interlaced.

    But thanks for mentioning the existence of VCD players even in the US, a country where VCD never took hold, thank goodness.
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  21. Originally Posted by manono View Post
    I see nothing special about the VCD video quality. It's blocky, full of mosquito noise, and blended all to hell and back with deinterlacing artifacts.
    I agree.
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  22. Originally Posted by manono View Post
    I'd take a VHS tape over this.
    That speaks volumes!!



    I've got some old kung fu flicks on VCD, Shaw Bro's etc... I had a look just now and they are terrible, but I never thought so when watching them years ago (now granted they probably aren't "high quality" by VCD release standards) . Maybe it's just a matter of perspective - we're "spoiled" by higher quality formats and content these days


    Anyways, why don't I see any 2013 VCD encoder shootout anywhere ?....
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    where i live dvd disc cost like $18 for 10 but i can get 25 cdr for the same price sometimes less so i when i download old movies in mpg 720x480/720x576 dvd mpeg2 online i just do them to vcd and it uses like 2 disc and i always do 2pass vcd mpeg1 1200kbps and audio 128kbps and it looks very good also have my own printer and cheap dvd cases so i also make a case for the disc

    and if i want to add some bonus features i sometime can depending on how long the movie is and how much space is left on disc 2

    so i have like 10 vcds i made here and they work fine and look great on my 21'' lcd tv
    Last edited by jamespoo; 22nd Mar 2013 at 20:56.
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  24. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    So, I got curious about something and couldn't leave it until I showed it (but other things got in the way before I could).

    @manono, you were talking about MPEG1/VCD looking like crap. Well, I believe it has less to do with MPEG1 than it has to do with bad encoding & bitrate starvation.

    My example is a quad split between MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4-ASP (aka Xvid) and MPEG4-AVC/h.264. All took the opensource clip "Sintel" and downrezzed it to 352x240 but kept at exactly the original 24fps, and all were encoded using the nominal expected "VCD" bitrate of 1150kbps. I did slightly cheat by doing all of them as VBR (max = 2300, min = 575), instead of leaving the Mpeg1 as CBR, but other than that they should have had nearly identical parameters. And it wasn't too far off the mark, because I was still able to create a valid, playable VCD out of the VBR'ed mpeg asset. Of course there isn't a universal encoder that does all 4, so there was some variability translating & matching the settings, and I didn't carefully control the colorspace/gamma setup on them, so there is slight but noticeable variation.

    What I find interesting is that MPEG1 holds up fairly admirably, considering.

    The encodes were done thus: MPEG1 & MPEG2 using TMPGEnc 2.54 (tried HCenc, but for this material it didn't do any better). Xvid & h.264 via most recent MeGUI. I tried to find a section that had Noisiness, some contrast, plus some flat pastel parts, a little action, then darker & richer sections. Since it's animation, there's not a whole lot of roughness & sharpness that you might find in live action stuff, which would have been an even more demanding test. But it's what I had available (and non-copyrighted/proprietary) at short notice.

    They were then decoded, colorspace matched-to-commonYV12, subtitled, and arranged/composited via AVISynth and sent to Vdub to be encoded as Lagarith. So what you are seeing should mainly just be the variability in the encoding of that small size at that small bitrate. And I think your "blockiness" description probably has more to do with difficulty uprezzing from such a smaller size than anything else. It also supports the assertion that one should start with highest quality & bitrate masters (I used the 2k one for this) to maintain the quality in the reencode.

    Tell me what you think...

    Scott
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    Last edited by Cornucopia; 2nd Apr 2013 at 03:04.
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  25. Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    Tell me what you think...
    I think the discussion was about retail VCDs which all use CBR encoding at 1150kbps. Also, the 50 or so I own are Indian and, for the most part, were made from PAL VHS sources with no clean-up at all so all the noise was encoded as well. They look nasty during complex scenes.

    And I think your "blockiness" description probably has more to do with difficulty uprezzing from such a smaller size than anything else.
    They're blocky in the source - very blocky. I remove the blocks (mostly) when making DVDs from them.

    I'm sure yours look fine, and I appreciate you taking the time to make the samples, but it's apples to oranges.
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  26. Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    @manono, you were talking about MPEG1/VCD looking like crap. Well, I believe it has less to do with MPEG1 than it has to do with bad encoding & bitrate starvation.
    Of course it's about insufficient bitrate. MPEG family encoders all use the same basic techniques (DCT, motion vectors) to compress video and all deliver close to the same quality given enough bitrate.

    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    My example is a quad split between MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4-ASP (aka Xvid) and MPEG4-AVC/h.264. All took the opensource clip "Sintel" and downrezzed it to 352x240 but kept at exactly the original 24fps,
    NTSC VCD will always be 29.97 fps. So with film sources you usually have jerky motion with a duplicate every 5th frame. Or even worse, two blended frames out of every five from simply downscaling interlaced 3:2 pulldown video.

    Your example uses noiseless animated material with a 2.35:1 movie letterboxed in the 4:3 DAR frame. Both those things require a lot less bitrate than your usual 4:3 source. That's not representative of your average VCD.
    Last edited by jagabo; 2nd Apr 2013 at 11:26.
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  27. Member AlanHK's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    NTSC VCD will always be 29.97 fps. So with film sources you usually have jerky motion with a duplicate every 5th frame. Or even worse, two blended frames out of every size from simply downscaling interlaced 3:2 pulldown video.
    I had some high quality, legal, Hong Kong VCDs.
    They were 23.976 fps.
    It was confusing the authoring app when I was ripping them and burning to DVD (so as to combine all the parts and add subtitles).
    There is no pulldown in MPEG1.
    They played fine in my DVD player, though it reported a wacky time remaining.

    See https://www.videohelp.com/vcd
    Video:
    1150 kbit/sec MPEG-1
    352 x 240 pixels
    29,97 frames/second
    23,976 frames/second NTSC Film
    It's odd this is one feature of VCDs superior to DVDs, though few producers take advantage of it.
    Last edited by AlanHK; 2nd Apr 2013 at 08:57.
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  28. Originally Posted by AlanHK View Post
    There is no pulldown in MPEG1.
    I meant when a source with 3:2 pulldown (DVD, analog tape, etc.) is downscaled to make VCD. Often a field was thrown out or the fields were blurred together.
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Originally Posted by AlanHK View Post
    There is no pulldown in MPEG1.
    I meant when a source with 3:2 pulldown (DVD, analog tape, etc.) is downscaled to make VCD. Often a field was thrown out or the fields were blurred together.
    Yes. My point was that 23.976 VCDs really are 23.976 and have no pulldown and don't need it. So it would be far preferable when converting PAL to NTSC to just slow it to 23.976 rather than duping and blending frames to 29.97.

    Of course, you also have to wonder why they don't just make PAL VCDs and forget all the conversion hassle.
    Seems they go out of their way to degrade the product.
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  30. Originally Posted by AlanHK View Post
    My point was that 23.976 VCDs really are 23.976 and have no pulldown and don't need it.
    The player does the pulldown automatically. There's no other way they could produce a standard interlaced NTSC output. Yes, it's slightly different than DVD pulldown in that the same field is repeated twice.
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