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  1. Originally Posted by Purple2112 View Post
    I just tried saving a frame picture from the software itself, but the size is only 655x480, way too small to see any detail.
    Not surprising, considering that your original video is DV, and your tool saves frame grabs with square pixels.
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    This whole thread is veering into the absurd
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  3. Lossless h.264 encoding is only available with the x264 encoder. I'm not aware any other h.264 encoder that has a lossless mode. Using a quantizer of 0 (ie, qp=0) would not normally result in lossless encoding. x264 takes it as a flag to switch to a special lossless encoding mode, not just to use a quantizer of 0.

    And lossless x264 is lossless relative to the uncompressed YUV video it's given. It's only lossless relative to the source video if you avoid any other changes before encoding. If you're NTSC DV AVI is converted from YUV 4:1:1 to YUV 4:2:0 (as far as I know, no other encoder support 4:1:1, so you will be changing the color format) there will be losses before the encoding. And since DV is interlaced you need to convert to 4:2:0 with an interlaced algorithm and encode interlaced, bottom field first. If you are seeing differences between the source and a lossless x264 encoded video it's because of those issues.

    For A/B switching I use AviSynth with a script like:

    Code:
    A = LWlibavVideoSource("source.mp4").Subtitle("source")
    B = LWlibavVideoSource("encoded.mp4").Subtitle("encoded")
    Interleave(A, B)
    ConvertToRGB(matrix="rec601", interlaced=true)
    Then open the script in Virtualdub where you can flip back and forth between subsequent frames with the left and right arrow. I also use Windows' built in Magnifier to zoom into the details.
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  4. Originally Posted by ConsumerDV View Post
    Originally Posted by Purple2112 View Post
    I just tried saving a frame picture from the software itself, but the size is only 655x480, way too small to see any detail.
    Not surprising, considering that your original video is DV, and your tool saves frame grabs with square pixels.
    Yeah, don't even get me started on the whole rectangle/square pixel thing. When viewing the original DV videos they look grainy and I can actually see the pixels moving around. I'm fine with that because it's still a sharper image/better detail than after encoding to mpeg2/H.264. When I encode to mpeg2/H.264 the picture appears less grainy, but the pixels also seem to be much smaller and with that comes a loss in picture sharpness. When I encode to (in my case) VP9 lossless (because I don't have H.264 lossless with my software) it gives me that original grainy look with the floating pixels. Is this because lossless is keeping the original DV rectangle pixels VS mpeg2/H.264 changing them to smaller square pixels as part of the compression process?
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  5. Originally Posted by davexnet View Post
    This whole thread is veering into the absurd
    Well, I'm learning something new with every new post and isn't that the whole point of using this forum. Unfortunately, sometimes the answers can lead me in another direction ( I try to stay on track) or create even more questions.
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    I thought you might have had, by now, some results to share with us.
    Your goal, as far as I can see, is to find the best format/quality that will play on your playback device.
    Seems relatively straightforward. Looks of of hints and direction in this thread
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  7. Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Lossless h.264 encoding is only available with the x264 encoder. I'm not aware any other h.264 encoder that has a lossless mode. Using a quantizer of 0 (ie, qp=0) would not normally result in lossless encoding. x264 takes it as a flag to switch to a special lossless encoding mode, not just to use a quantizer of 0.
    Like I said in a prior post, unfortunately, I don't have H.264 lossless, I have VP9 lossless & the VP9 quantizer with the QP setting. The whole writing script thing scares me, I've used command prompt before, but I was just copying the command directions from the internet, I have no idea how to come up with my own script.

    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    And lossless x264 is lossless relative to the uncompressed YUV video it's given. It's only lossless relative to the source video if you avoid any other changes before encoding. If you're NTSC DV AVI is converted from YUV 4:1:1 to YUV 4:2:0 (as far as I know, no other encoder support 4:1:1, so you will be changing the color format) there will be losses before the encoding. And since DV is interlaced you need to convert to 4:2:0 with an interlaced algorithm and encode interlaced, bottom field first. If you are seeing differences between the source and a lossless x264 encoded video it's because of those issues.

    For A/B switching I use AviSynth with a script like:

    Code:
    A = LWlibavVideoSource("source.mp4").Subtitle("source")
    B = LWlibavVideoSource("encoded.mp4").Subtitle("encoded")
    Interleave(A, B)
    ConvertToRGB(matrix="rec601", interlaced=true)
    Then open the script in Virtualdub where you can flip back and forth between subsequent frames with the left and right arrow. I also use Windows' built in Magnifier to zoom into the details.
    I understand that the encode will never be an exact match to the source, but what I'm seeing is not just some fuzziness or artifacts. I ended up just taking two screen captures from the exact same point in a video and used the Windows Magnifier that you mentioned to zoom in on it. I know it's not the best way to check for differences, but hopefully you can still get an idea of what I'm talking about. All my videos are of nude female friends and girlfriends so I had to blackout 98% of the captures. What you will be looking at is a crease under a breast. The 1st one was taking from a standard H.264 (constant bitrate) encode. You should notice that the crease is a solid, dark, brown line.
    Image
    [Attachment 64782 - Click to enlarge]

    The 2nd capture was taking from a VP9 VBR(Constant Quantization) encode with QP set at 10. (The same thing happens when encoding to VP9 lossless) You should now notice that the line is no longer solid, it looks more like a white and brown striped snake. This is very noticeable when watching the video, it almost looks like a brown and white strobe light.
    Image
    [Attachment 64784 - Click to enlarge]

    I don't expect you to know why it's happening, just wanted you to see what I was talking about. The other two problems with the lossless that you might have answers for is that the picture looks stretched. I tried changing it to 640x480 and 720 x540, but when I do that it still doesn't look right and I'm getting a small black bar on top and bottom, instead of just on the sides where they belong. When using the standard H.264 encoding I don't have this problem it just somehow comes out correct, not sure if BD player or TV is auto correcting it, but it plays correctly even though it's 720x480 resolution.
    Lastly, the outline of everyone is covered in little Z's which as far as I know is an interlaced issue. I can notice this in the source file a little if I really look for it, but after encoding it looks really bad. I've been encoding all of them as bottom field first as you mentioned, could the interlaced algorithm with my software be that bad?
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  8. I did not know this, but apparently VP9 and AV1 do not support interlacing. This is why you have your problem #3 ("little Z's") and problem #1 ("striped snake").

    Problem #2 ("the picture looks stretched") is not because of the codec, but because you have failed to specify correct pixel aspect ratio for your video. The way you specify it depends on the tools you use to render the video, and on the container.

    I thought you wanted to watch it on your TV? Render into H.264 either as interlaced, or deinterlace it into 60p and render as progressive. Then either burn a BD or put it on a thumb drive. Does your BD player support VP9? If you want to use VP9 you must deinterlace first.

    If you use standard authoring tools for DVD or BD, they will take your DV video and package it in the format your BD player can understand. Do you watch Hollywood movies off BD? They are not uncompressed, but they look good enough, do they?
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  9. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Maybe I missed something along the way but I fail to see any actual video before/after samples.

    Given that I have too much free time on my hands I conducted a wee experiment using the 30-day trial of this s/w.


    I do not have a NTSC sample to use but I do have a PAL one which I have used in other topics. The first clip is the DV.avi and the second just throwing some s/w settings at it. Is the resultant mpeg-2 any worse - visual wise - than the original ?
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  10. Member DB83's Avatar
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    And another experiment pumping up the bitrate. Does this look any better than the earlier mpeg-2 sample ?
    Image Attached Files
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  11. Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    And another experiment pumping up the bitrate. Does this look any better than the earlier mpeg-2 sample ?
    Yes. There are far less blocking artifacts in the higher bitrate video.
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  12. Originally Posted by Purple2112 View Post
    The 2nd capture was taking from a VP9 VBR(Constant Quantization) encode with QP set at 10. (The same thing happens when encoding to VP9 lossless) You should now notice that the line is no longer solid, it looks more like a white and brown striped snake. This is very noticeable when watching the video, it almost looks like a brown and white strobe light.
    Image
    [Attachment 64784 - Click to enlarge]

    I don't expect you to know why it's happening, just wanted you to see what I was talking about.
    The video was poorly deinterlaced. Either before encoding or during playback.

    Originally Posted by Purple2112 View Post
    The other two problems with the lossless that you might have answers for is that the picture looks stretched. I tried changing it to 640x480 and 720 x540, but when I do that it still doesn't look right and I'm getting a small black bar on top and bottom, instead of just on the sides where they belong.
    You should not be resizing the video at all if you want lossless encoding. Use aspect ratio signalling (that is what your DV source does) and the player will do the appropriate aspect ratio on playback (although some players may ignore the signal depending on the codec/container).

    Originally Posted by Purple2112 View Post
    Lastly, the outline of everyone is covered in little Z's which as far as I know is an interlaced issue. I can notice this in the source file a little if I really look for it, but after encoding it looks really bad. I've been encoding all of them as bottom field first as you mentioned, could the interlaced algorithm with my software be that bad?
    This is definitely an interlacing issue. Without before/after samples I can't tell you exactly what.

    But all those problems either occurred before encoding, by incorrect encoding, or are playback problems.
    Last edited by jagabo; 12th May 2022 at 20:32.
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  13. Here's DV83's DV AVI file encoded losslessly with x264 (no audio). PAL DV actually has a sampling aspect ratio of 12:11 but I've encoded it here as 16:15 because most players will play the PAL DV that way.
    Image Attached Files
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  14. Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Here's DV83's DV AVI file encoded losslessly with x264 (no audio). PAL DV actually has a sampling aspect ratio of 12:11 but I've encoded it here as 16:15 because most players will play the PAL DV that way.
    VLC plays OK, but MPC-HC and Splash do not. I realize that these are old versions, there is new better and free Spash, but I don't feel like upgrading every time a non-compatible video comes along. I like my Windows 7 install with all the old stuff (including Photoshop 6.0). This is not even H.265 or VP9 or whatever, so I expect Splash to play AVC in MKV.

    Also, I don't see what is the point of re-encoding 36 MB DV as 55 MV uncompressed AVC. DVD-legal MPEG-2 with less than 10 Mbps is more than enough for enjoying naked bodies on a TV from a sensible viewing distance. After all, the original DV has been captured and is not going anywhere.
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  15. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Here's DV83's DV AVI file encoded losslessly with x264 (no audio). PAL DV actually has a sampling aspect ratio of 12:11 but I've encoded it here as 16:15 because most players will play the PAL DV that way.
    Well I could not play that even in VLC - total picture breakup. Granted that my system - given specs are accurate - is slow, memory-starved and ancient but it is all I need.


    Of course all that matters is what the OP sees. 'Best' settings may not work for him.
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  16. Originally Posted by ConsumerDV View Post
    VLC plays OK, but MPC-HC and Splash do not. I realize that these are old versions, there is new better and free Spash, but I don't feel like upgrading every time a non-compatible video comes along.
    I warned you in post #55 that not all players support x264 lossless.

    Originally Posted by ConsumerDV View Post
    Also, I don't see what is the point of re-encoding 36 MB DV as 55 MV uncompressed AVC. DVD-legal MPEG-2 with less than 10 Mbps is more than enough for enjoying naked bodies on a TV from a sensible viewing distance. After all, the original DV has been captured and is not going anywhere.
    You where the one asking for lossless encoding. I even asked why you needed it in post #59. You replied:

    Originally Posted by Purple2112 View Post
    Why wouldn't I want lossless, I started this thread asking for help getting the best possible quality regardless of bitrate and finished file size.
    All lossless codecs will deliver larger files than DV and MPEG.
    Last edited by jagabo; 13th May 2022 at 09:20.
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