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  1. Here's a sample from a torrent I saw:

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  2. Member Randombit's Avatar
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    I just found a torrent, 720p, H.264, 3.7 GB. Lets see how it looks like ...
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    3.7 GP for 2 hours of a 720p movie? That's a very very very low bitrate. You might get lucky with that one if the owner knew what they were doing (poor odds of that). It's a shame what people do to these great movies.
    - My sister Ann's brother
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  4. It's not great but it's a shitload better looking than the source he currently has (or anything he'll ever get out of it).
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  5. I must be missing something. Isn't 3.7 GB the typical size of a single layer DVD? It should look as good as just about anything, unless someone did an HD transfer from the original film. Even if the original was dual layer, a DVD Shrink reduction typically introduces almost no degradation.

    Also, that original video clip looks about like what you can get on YouTube (I watched a little), which is just plain awful.

    I don't think you'll do any better than the DVD version (which I'll have in my hands in a few days).
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  6. Member Randombit's Avatar
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    Great. Will wait. (It is a single mkv file, BTW, don't know yet what exactly, the first chunk is currently missing.)
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    Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    I must be missing something. Isn't 3.7 GB the typical size of a single layer DVD?
    Since when is 3.7 GB typical for a DVD movie that runs just under 2 hours? Sure as heck not a retail DVD, but I'm starting to suspect that you probably never buy or watch anything retail but subsist almost entirely on low-bitrate reworks. Seriously, you keep saying you're in the restoration business but what do you restore to? Also question where you get the idea that DVD is 720p. Get a lot of confusing signals here. The last VHS tape capture that I cleaned up was 1hr 25 minutes at telecined 29.97fps and encoded at 704x480 onto 5.8 GB on a dual-layer disc.

    Anyway, the O.P. appears to be in a bind at acquiring decent material or affording it. I think it says something about the state of digital video that today looks as cruddy as bad VHS. There's no excuse for anything that looks like the typical borked download except that they're so ugly they have to be free. I feel sorry for people who think they're getting some kind of deal.
    Last edited by LMotlow; 14th Jul 2017 at 22:13.
    - My sister Ann's brother
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  8. Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    I must be missing something. Isn't 3.7 GB the typical size of a single layer DVD? It should look as good as just about anything, unless someone did an HD transfer from the original film. Even if the original was dual layer, a DVD Shrink reduction typically introduces almost no degradation.
    The torrent is an MKV file with AVC video (984x720) and AAC audio. It's obviously higher (real) resolution than DVD. I didn't see any station logos, and it has full credits start and end, so it's probably downscaled from Blu-ray or HD streaming (amazon has an HD stream).
    Last edited by jagabo; 14th Jul 2017 at 22:22.
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  9. Originally Posted by LMotlow View Post
    Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    I must be missing something. Isn't 3.7 GB the typical size of a single layer DVD?
    Since when is 3.7 GB typical for a DVD movie that runs just under 2 hours? Sure as heck not a retail DVD, but I'm starting to suspect that you probably never buy or watch anything retail but subsist almost entirely on low-bitrate reworks. Seriously, you keep saying you're in the restoration business but what do you restore to? Also question where you get the idea that DVD is 720p. Get a lot of confusing signals here. The last VHS tape capture that I cleaned up was 1hr 25 minutes at telecined 29.97fps and encoded at 704x480 onto 5.8 GB on a dual-layer disc.
    I do not understand at all why you adopt a hostile tone towards someone who just spent a fair amount of time helping a person with his problem and, if you looked at the result, did indeed solve the problem that was the topic of this thread. I have also offered to help him find a better copy of the movie.

    Also, everything you said about me is wrong. You must be thinking of someone else.

    What prompted you to make the snarky comment that "you probably never buy or watch anything retail"? What a strange statement, completely made up and out of the blue. A total flight of fantasy. You could not be more wrong. I actually have a huge collection of retail material. I purchase everything and do not torrent or download videos. Everything I own is high quality. I think you must be confusing me with someone else.

    I also don't appreciate the remarks about my restoration business. I restore all manner of media, not just video. This includes film transfers done with my frame accurate 8mm, Super 8, and 16mm equipment. I do reel-to-reel audio tape transfers and restoration, using iZotope RX Advanced. I do LP and 78 rpm records. I have a Nikon scanner for slides and film and use Lightroom to do color grading, and then a proprietary photo editing program to do do all the usual photo fix ups. I transfer and restore every single consumer video format, including Beta.

    My equipment and software are top-shelf and they cost money. I am not bragging about what I have spent, but instead am pointing out that my restoration is quite professional and not some schlock junk. Yes, I do sometimes get low-bitrate awful looking stuff to work with, but if that is what the client wants me to restore, and there is no other source (which is what I'm trying to help the OP find, since he doesn't have the budget to do it himself), then I'll try to encourage the client to solve the quality problem by taking that much better approach.

    And I don't know what you are smoking that makes you think I ever said that DVDs are 720p (i.e., 1280x720)??? That is completely and totally wrong: I have never once, in any post in any forum, made such a statement. DVDs are standard definition (720x480 is one of several SD resolutions that is part of the DVD spec). Your statement is actually quite bizarre. I have no clue what prompted you to attribute such a completely false statement to me.

    I also think you need to look at more commercial DVDs before you say that they are all encoded for dual layer (DVD9). I own hundreds of DVDs and many of the commercial DVDs for older material are pressed onto single-layer discs, and even those on DVD9 often have the main movie encoded at a bitrate that would let allow it to fit on a 4.7 GB single-layer disc. This is done partly to save a little money, because the market for these older discs is quite small, but also because many of them have very low motion and therefore can be encoded at a lower bitrate, and still look just fine. To take an extreme example, you can take a talking head film, like "My Dinner With Andre," and encode it with a professional MPEG-2 encoder (which is what DVDs use) at about 2 Mbps, and it would still look spectacular.

    I refer you to an old article by one of the sponsors of this forum:

    A few myths being repeated by our own members


    I have ordered the movie that is the subject of this thread, and will have it in a few days. I will post the exact media information in this thread when it arrives.

    So, before you post next time, make sure you get it correct who you are talking to. You got it totally wrong this time.
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  10. Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    I do not understand at all why you adopt a hostile tone towards someone who just spent a fair amount of time helping a person with his problem...
    Don't take it personally. He's like that to everyone. He can be very helpful and he can be a prick. He was being a prick to you.

    But, since DVD-5's can hold up to 4.37 GiB, and since commercial DVDs don't fill the disk, and since they might have menus and maybe some previews. I'd say they usually use about 4.0 GiB, more-or-less, for the main movie. Also, he's wrong in saying retail DVDs never use DVD5's. I can show him a hundred or more that do. They're not top quality, of course, but some companies don't care.

    I do agree with him that our standards have taken a nose dive of late, thanks to YouTube and TV networks cutting back on the bitrates used for television broadcast, and the spreading online of sub-standard videos made by incompetent fools.
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  11. Originally Posted by manono View Post
    Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    I do not understand at all why you adopt a hostile tone towards someone who just spent a fair amount of time helping a person with his problem...
    Don't take it personally. He's like that to everyone. He can be very helpful and he can be a prick. He was being a prick to you.

    But, since DVD-5's can hold up to 4.37 GiB, and since commercial DVDs don't fill the disk, and since they might have menus and maybe some previews. I'd say they usually use about 4.0 GiB, more-or-less, for the main movie. Also, he's wrong in saying retail DVDs never use DVD5's. I can show him a hundred or more that do. They're not top quality, of course, but some companies don't care.

    I do agree with him that our standards have taken a nose dive of late, thanks to YouTube and TV networks cutting back on the bitrates used for television broadcast, and the spreading online of sub-standard videos made by incompetent fools.
    Yeah, I was obviously really stung by his comments, primarily because he had been so helpful and then, suddenly, wham!

    You are right about the decline in quality. I've actually thought of writing a book (I'll probably never do it) called "The Death of Quality." The opening chapter would be about how, from the introduction of HiFi audio in the 1950s, through the introduction of stereo in the 1960s and, finally, the advent of CD audio in the 80s, many of us obsessed about getting the ultimate audio reproduction. We read stereo magazines, went to high-end showrooms where we'd audition preamps, amplifiers, turntables, cartridges, and speakers. We'd shell out (some of us) thousands of dollars (it would be much more today) just to get that great sound.

    Today it is all about convenience, and people readily accept raspy MP3 reproductions, listened to on a pair of Bluetooth speakers that put out the fake bass invented by Amar Bose, or worse, are content to listen to it on a pair of $10 earbuds playing audio from their phone.

    I understand all about the convenience and portability, but my point is:no one cares anymore about the sonic quality of what they listen to. Your point is that it is the same for what they watch, and I completely and totally agree.
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    I'm saying that I get inconsistent messages at many points, but take it with a grain of salt. There's still a lot to learn from johnmeyer's work and I'm glad he's around.
    And, yeah, all the bad video that keeps showing up is not just annoying, it's depressing. Gives me new respect for my VHS tapes, as bad as some of them were.

    I stayed up late working more with that bad Light Brigade sample, made many improvements including using some of johnmeyer's tips, but all in all it wasn't worth the effort. There must be a better copy around somewhere, even it wouldn't be what it should be. I see decent internet work now and then, but it's few and far between. I'm afraid 4k is going the same way. Big frames stuffed with garbage.
    - My sister Ann's brother
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  13. Originally Posted by LMotlow View Post
    Gives me new respect for my VHS tapes, as bad as some of them were.
    It's a sad day, isn't it, when the best available sources for some films are 30 year old VHS tapes, even if there are DVDs available for the same films? In my own favorite genre (old Indian films) the DVDs are utterly atrocious (especially the NTSC ones, virtually all of which are field-blended trash) so that the VHS tapes, when available (PAL tapes, especially) are still miles ahead of what the home media companies release on DVD.
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  14. Member Randombit's Avatar
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    OK, thanks to everybody. Problem solved.
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  15. Originally Posted by Randombit View Post
    OK, thanks to everybody. Problem solved.
    Great!! Where did you get it? (And, I'll cancel the Brigade disc I ordered.)
    Last edited by johnmeyer; 15th Jul 2017 at 19:25. Reason: added parenthetical
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  16. Member Randombit's Avatar
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    Thank you very much for all your help. (rTorrent was my friend getting this one. While at it I also found a great copy of Dodge City, much better than I had before.)
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