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  1. I used Pinnacle 18 to edit some HD footage (.m2ts format) and then exported it at 1920x1080 (12,000 kbps) using H264 MP4. Pre-Processing was set to Automatic in the Advanced Settings.

    The playback on my Samsung Smart TVs is smooth but the picture is too contrasty. Everyone's eyes in the video also seemed dark.
    Any suggestions for a better export file format for use on my TVs? Disk space is not an issue, image quality is preferred.
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  2. Don't use automatic. Adjust the levels then make your own preset and save it out.
    Use that preset on all subsequent conversions. It's not the format.
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  3. I experimented with exporting as MPEG-2 instead (with automatic adjustment off) and it looked much better than the MPEG-4 (even with automatic adjustment off) so I think I'll be taking that route.

    On a related topic, I've tried the MPEG-2 vs. MPEG-4 experiment using SD footage (source files are Sony DV AVI) and I noticed that the MPEG-2 was out of focus for the 1 minute clip whereas the MPEG-4 has a lot of artifacts and just looked awful. The footage was shot outdoors in well lit conditions. I don't understand why the MPEG-2 had focus issues. Neither had automatic adjustment enabled. My settings for the MPEG-2 (via the advanced menu) were as follows:

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  4. Also rather interesting and unexpected...the HD MPEG-2 files that looked fantastic on the TV are actually larger in size than my source files. For an ~8 min video clip the combined file sizes of the .m2ts files is about 1.5 GB whereas the exported MPEG4 output file is 2.1 GB. Is this Pinnacle Preset (see below) overkill? Any suggestions to customize? I want my exported file to be no larger than all of the source file clips combined.

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  5. Should I be using export settings as close to my source settings as possible?
    My source settings are:

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  6. I'm a MEGA Super Moderator Baldrick's Avatar
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    Maybe try another h264 encoder. Export to some lossless format or mpeg-2 with very high bitrate and then shrink again with a x264 encoder like vidcoder.
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  7. Originally Posted by njitgrad View Post
    Disk space is not an issue, image quality is preferred.
    Originally Posted by njitgrad View Post
    I want my exported file to be no larger than all of the source file clips combined.
    First, make up your mind.

    I suspect the contrast issue is because your camera source files are in the rec 709 color space (16-235 RGB) and your export is expanded to the RGB color space (0-255 RGB.) No idea if Pinnacle's exporter allows you not to make the conversion. This is also assuming your monitor and TV are correctly set up.
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  8. Originally Posted by smrpix View Post
    Originally Posted by njitgrad View Post
    Disk space is not an issue, image quality is preferred.
    Originally Posted by njitgrad View Post
    I want my exported file to be no larger than all of the source file clips combined.
    First, make up your mind.

    I suspect the contrast issue is because your camera source files are in the rec 709 color space (16-235 RGB) and your export is expanded to the RGB color space (0-255 RGB.) No idea if Pinnacle's exporter allows you not to make the conversion. This is also assuming your monitor and TV are correctly set up.
    To clarify things that have transpired since my OP.....

    1) The contrast issue with the HD footage is no longer an issue when I uncheck "automatic pre-processing" in export options. Case closed.

    2) Disk space is not an issue HOWEVER exported footage IMHO should NEVER exceed my source footage for the simple reason that it is shorter due to the video editing process. The only reason I realized it was exceeding it was because the bit rate selected by the Pinnacle 18 export preset "HD1080p" was 30000 kb/s and my source footage was only encoded at 16800 kb/s.....so that seems to be the reason why the files were larger than I expected.

    3) Last night while I was continuing the HD footage experiment I produced very good MPEG-4 quality once I changed Pinnacle's default MPEG-4 encoder from MPEG to H264 AND tweaked all of the advanced settings to match the original footage from my Panasonic HD camcorder (H264, 16800 kb/s, top field first, etc). The MPEG-4 actually looked better than the MPEG-2, especially during panning and recording non-stationary objects. So I think I have the solution for my HD footage at least.

    4) So now the only issue now remains is how best to export my SD footage (for viewing on a Samsung Smart TV)? As I wrote earlier in this thread, an exported MPEG-2 seems out of focus (to the point that it is not watchable). However the MPEG-4 doesn't look much better (I just have to check today if I used the default MPEG encoder or the H264 encoder).
    Last edited by njitgrad; 21st Jan 2015 at 10:34.
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  9. It may help to see a short sample of your original SD footage and a short sample of your encoded SD footage to determine what the problem is.
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  10. Originally Posted by smrpix View Post
    It may help to see a short sample of your original SD footage and a short sample of your encoded SD footage to determine what the problem is.
    How do you suggest I go about doing that? If I upload to YT, the format gets converted anyway.
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  11. Click "Upload files/Manage attachments" at the bottom of the message box. It will add a downloadable link directly in your post. I believe the limit is 100mb, but most of us would appreciate something smaller.
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  12. You can upload samples to this website. There is an "upload files/manage attachments" button
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    Originally Posted by smrpix View Post
    Click "Upload files/Manage attachments" at the bottom of the message box. It will add a downloadable link directly in your post. I believe the limit is 100mb, but most of us would appreciate something smaller.
    The limit is 500 MB. But, yeah, who needs a 500 MB sample? 10 seconds or so of encoded video would be far less than that!
    - My sister Ann's brother
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  14. Great! I will definitely do this later tonight.
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