Sony Vegas Platinum Pro 9 Rendered Image Quality - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-08-2008, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I posted this in the SR11/SR12 thread but it really doesn't belong in that topic so I'll just make a new one.

I just picked up an SR12, and paid a bunch of money for the latest version of Vegas Platinum Pro 9. It imports my clips just fine, and I can edit them just fine. I've set my project up to the highest quality settings and when I render my edited movie as an AVCHD (m2ts), with the video renderer set to Best and 1920x1080@16Mbps I'm still noticing some quality loss (blocking, etc). It's not extreme, but it is obvious when I play both the original clip (which looks great) and the new one in PowerDVD. The original does look better than the other. Any suggestions on how I can improve the visual quality of the video's I edit? I want them to look as close to the raw footage as possible. The format doesn't really matter. I don't need to burn these on disks or anything. Just a file to playback on the computer. Even if I need to use different software, that's fine. As long as too many steps aren't involved, I can train my wife to do it on her own.
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-08-2008, 04:05 PM
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I too noticed a significant difference, but it's in the playback software on the PC. When I rendered to DVD+R using the same render settings, the playback is as good or better than watching it straight from the camera when playing the disc back on a blu-ray player. I know that doesn't help your situation, but I have never seen a PC playback match a dedicated player - DVD or Blue-ray.
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-08-2008, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Hmm, that's strange, doesn't really make any sense, other than your BD player working some post-processing magic to get rid of those errors. But ya, doesn't help me. I'm certainly not going to waste a BD disk every time I put together a small video. Perhaps I'll try different playback software. I had thought PowerDVD was the best. Before someone suggests it, I tried VLC and it runs like crap. But PowerDVD is smooth as butter.
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-08-2008, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scbundy View Post

Hmm, that's strange, doesn't really make any sense, other than your BD player working some post-processing magic to get rid of those errors. But ya, doesn't help me. I'm certainly not going to waste a BD disk every time I put together a small video. Perhaps I'll try different playback software. I had thought PowerDVD was the best. Before someone suggests it, I tried VLC and it runs like crap. But PowerDVD is smooth as butter.

How are you playing the mts file? What kind of monitor?

I concur with tshirk above. I frankly wouldn't examine any image unless it's played through a dedicated player to a large HD screen. There are simply too many codec, filter and interlacing issues involved with AVCHD.

IME (and I stand corrected), a PC is fine for editing but not for appreciating the final product.
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-09-2008, 07:04 AM - Thread Starter
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I play it with PowerDVD on a 21 inch widescreen LCD with a resolution of 1680x1050. So not quite at the native resolution of the final product.

I managed to clear it up a bit more by adjusting some of the settings in Vegas. I believe it falls in the realm of "good enough".

I did give PowerDirector a shot. It's considerably faster than Vegas and looks just as good. My only issue with it is you're limited to 12Mpbs for a bit rate, and it doesn't like the Dolby5.1 audio in my source video so it won't Smart Render any of it. Which is a shame.

In 4 years I plan to buy a BD burner, HDTV and the rest. So no testing on that equipment for a long while yet.
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-09-2008, 11:04 AM
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i've had good luck playing back 24Mbps .mts files with nero showtime, with the interlacing set on strong... it's pretty smooth on my pc 24" crt monitor... remember that smooth-looking playback is very dependant on shutter speed and frame rate, even with the right computer setup.

what you want to retain the picture quality is an editing program that'll do smart rendering, as in, it won't re-render the entire timeline, just the transitions and titles... i'm not exactly sure what sony vegas platinum 9 is, but i know that the high-end sony vegas 8 video editor will not smart render avchd.

from what i've been reading, right now it's the cheap editing programs that smart render and create dvd discs...
Nero
ArcSoft Total Media Extreme
Corel Video Studio X2 Pro
Cyberlink Power Director 7 Ultra

download the free demos and see what works for you.
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-09-2008, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I'll give Nero a shot and see if it improves the playback. My SR12 only records at 16Mpbs but the m2ts files from the camera look pretty good.

Ya I've looking into Smart Rendering. The only one I've tried is PowerDirector. But it only smart renders if your bitrate is low. 16 is far to high. Hopefully they'll patch that.

I'll try Nero next, I've heard it does, but we'll see.
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-09-2008, 04:42 PM
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is your powerdirector the latest version? is it the ultra version? because it doesn't make sense that they would cripple the smart rendering like that... it should work with any legal avchd bitrate.

i think that this is the cyberlink forum:
http://forum.cyberlink.com/forum/forums/list.page
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-09-2008, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scbundy View Post

I play it with PowerDVD on a 21 inch widescreen LCD with a resolution of 1680x1050. So not quite at the native resolution of the final product.

I managed to clear it up a bit more by adjusting some of the settings in Vegas. I believe it falls in the realm of "good enough".

I did give PowerDirector a shot. It's considerably faster than Vegas and looks just as good. My only issue with it is you're limited to 12Mpbs for a bit rate, and it doesn't like the Dolby5.1 audio in my source video so it won't Smart Render any of it. Which is a shame.

In 4 years I plan to buy a BD burner, HDTV and the rest. So no testing on that equipment for a long while yet.

I currently use a Sony laptop with a dual core 2.3 GHz chip and a 1600x900 screen and before, I had a Toshiba with a dual core 1.83 GHz and a 1280x720 screen. All things considered, Picture Motion Browser gives the best playback on a PC. I've played around with codecs (CoreAVC), mplayer, VLC as well trial downloads. I think that the interlacing of AVCHD is the most serious problem followed by the sheer size of the files. Some posters here have put emphasis on the graphics card but I'm not certain that's the problem.

Bundy, since you seem interested in this, here is a link to a post I made (in the Sony SR11/12 thread) with links to other posts about these issues.

----

BTW, I have revised my thinking since that post I'm currently using Sony Vegas Platinum 9.0 to create Blu Ray files (burned on to DVD-R discs, about 25 minutes of video) and then I play them through a Samsung BD player on to a Samsung HD 1920x1080 screen.

My laptop is fine but a bit slow for editing but I don't think you can use a laptop or even PC for a playback of the quality you'll get through a BD player with HDMI link to a HD screen. The software of both the BD player and the HD screen are designed specifically for decompressing AVCHD files. The same can be said about connecting your SR11 directly by mini-HDMI to a HD screen. Current PCs are simply too generic to match the requirements imposed by AVCHD files.

To make a comparison, I bought my first portable CD player in 1985. No PC at the time could ever have matched its sound quality for the simple reason that the software/CPU inside the CD player (a Technics) was dedicated to decoding the compressed files. Nowadays of course, a standard PC has no problem dealing with cda files.

I'm no engineer so I stand corrected on all of this.

-----

As to your point about the cost of buying a BD burner, I agree. There's an external LG BD burner available for about $350 and BD discs go for about $10 a pop. For the moment, I'm willing to keep my videos to 25 minutes and burn them to a 5GB DVD-R disc which costs me less than 20 cents each.

I do have a BD player though. They're now around $200.
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-09-2008, 09:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes it is the latest version and the ultra version. But I'm holding out hope it'll be more complete in a few patches. You can check out the Cyberlink forums if you want more info. People aren't very impressed over there with a few of these lingering issues like the low bit rate and semi working SVRT.

The graphics cards can indeed make a big difference. ATI cards have AVIVO in their drivers and do a great job with video rendering. NV cards do a worse job, even if you purchase and install PureVideo, which is where I'm at. If I had an ATI 4870X2 I probably wouldn't be here complaining.
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post #11 of 11 Old 12-13-2008, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scbundy View Post

Yes it is the latest version and the ultra version. But I'm holding out hope it'll be more complete in a few patches. You can check out the Cyberlink forums if you want more info. People aren't very impressed over there with a few of these lingering issues like the low bit rate and semi working SVRT.

The graphics cards can indeed make a big difference. ATI cards have AVIVO in their drivers and do a great job with video rendering. NV cards do a worse job, even if you purchase and install PureVideo, which is where I'm at. If I had an ATI 4870X2 I probably wouldn't be here complaining.

yeah, sadly it is still locked into articifical contrstraints, a real shame, since it is the only one that seems to smart render AVCHD/h.264/mpeg4 at all, but for some ridiculous reason they lock it to a max of 20 bitrate and 1440x1080p for progressive. Silly because you unlimited bitrate and 1920x1080p might take a bit more time to seam together but it sure takes a heck of a lot LESS time than re-render a 1920x1080p by 40 bitrate to 1440x1080p by 20 bitrate. I just don't get why they are adamantly refusing to lift the bitramte limit or the 1440 limit! I had to request a refund and I see other people are as well. The code to allow 1920 and unlimited bitrate must be a trivial change but they won't do it even preferring to lose sales. weird.

i'm almost getting to the point where i'm considering trying to write a very basic cuts and splices only smart render for h.264 1920x1080p and unlimited bitrate, although even the most trivial of editing would still be a majro project, don't think i have time just yet to try it.
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