Best settings to capture for DVD conversion?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John_Berger, Sep 14, 2002.

  1. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    Okay, I'm really getting annoyed here.
    I'm trying to convert some of my VHS tapes to DVD, partuclarly those tapes that are not expected to be out on DVD for a long time if at all. Unfortunately, the stair-stepping on any slightly angled surfaces is horrendous. I've heard that stair-stepping will happen because an interlaced image is being displayed on a non-interlacing monitor. Where I have a problem with this is that the image on the screen WHILE capturing is gorgeous (as gorgeous as VHS can be anyway). However, as soon as I play it back on the screen the stair-stepping even in low-contrast areas makes in almost unwatchable.
    I've been trying to play with MSP 6.5's video capture options, and my only two options for the raw capture format are uncompressed AVI (about 1.1 GB/minute, which is unacceptable) or MPEG-2. (Once the capture is finished I can save the file in whatever format I want, including compressed AVI, but the actual capture itself can only be uncompressed AVI or MPEG-2 from what I can tell.)
    So, I've been capturing in MPEG-2 with field order A at a video bit rate of 14,000. My field options are progressive frames, field order A, and field order B. I also have several other capture options available. To help in this, I have all of my current settings listed in the screen shot below.
    [​IMG]
    What kind of settings should these be set to for the best quality capture with no or minimal stair-stepping? BTW, my capture card is the ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon 7500.
    I will also say that I am not against using another product for capturing, but I will be using MSP 6.5 for editing and the final DVD-ready rendering. Are there any programs (even Premiere) that can capture and compress AVI in the various codecs on-the-fly and then write the capture file? I'll be glad to do it that way if I need to. My priority right now is getting rid of the stair-stepping since that's the only consistent problem that I've been having.
    Jeff! Someone! Help! [​IMG]
    UPDATE: As per the Help file, I also tried setting the GOP count to 4 and headers to 1 with no discernable effect.
     
  2. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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  3. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    I've been trying some AVI settings and although there is no stair-stepping, there is a very bad solarization effect on similar, contiguous color shades, like on a blackboard or other solid color that has shading to it. It looks absolutely terrible when it's there and is just as distracting as stair-stepping.
    I'm going to play around some more tonight. Based on what I saw last night, the situation looks very promising, but we'll see what happens when I convert those captures from a progressive raw MPEG-2 file to a field order A DVD-ready file. For all I know, the nasty stairs will return, although I doubt it.
     
  4. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    Okay. After some testing, the upgrade to the Ulead.NOW codec produced a much better picture with no stair-stepping; however, I did notice one problem. If I can eliminate this, I think I'll actually be a happy camper.

    The capture images by default are progressive. When I convert them to a DVD-read format, any parts of the screen with movement have severe combing. Movement is very, very jittery and not smooth at all. Severe movement will show combing effects, identical to what is specified in the link that Ken has above. Will captuing in Field Order A instead of Progressive get rid (or reduce) this problem?
     

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