Improving digital video playback quality.

  Indigo 1 10:27 17 May 2005
Locked

My Mother has just bought a very cheap digital video recorder and I have managed to put some 'footage' onto Video CD for her (using Windows Movie Maker 2 and burning with Nero) but the playback quality is lacking (for obvious reasons). The best quality is 680x480 @ 25 frames per second which gives a jerky picture on a 32 inch widescreen.

I know she should not have wasted her money but I would like to try to help by improving picture quality as much as possible, does anyone know a way to smooth out the jerkiness a little on the PC before burning it to disc ? Are there any applications we could try (pref free or trialware) or any good sites that you can recommend that might help ?

  fazer 12:53 17 May 2005

Are you sure you have actually recorded at 25fpm because at this speed there should not be any flicker. This speed is afterall the normal benchmark.

What may be happening is that the DVD player is having difficulty reading the video and is therefore "stuttering" or jumping frames when trying to de-code for display purposes.

Does the VCD paly ok on your computer?

  Indigo 1 14:12 17 May 2005

There is a certain amount of flicker on the PC too, it's not too bad but I would like to reduce it if possible. The original files properties are 25fps and they too are a little jerky.

The 'footage' was shot in low light and fast moving objects are blurred and have trails which make them appear jerky. I know it's asking a lot of a cheap video camera but any help or advice would be appreciated.

Don't like to dissapoint Mum by telling her it's a load of **** and she should have asked someone who knows more about them before buying it 'off the telly' ! She's 73 and trying Digital Video for the first time and would like to help her get the most out of it.

  Indigo 1 14:35 17 May 2005

Sorry my mistake, I have just read the bumf that came with the camera properly and it appears that 25fps is only available at 320x240, at 640x480 it is 10 fps ! (I did say it was cheap), I don't suppose there is much I can do ... or is there ?

  fazer 14:48 17 May 2005

I'm afraid the old addage of "Crap in, crap out" applies equally to camera's. It would take some pretty expensive software to fully correct under exposure.

Just an idea and please bear with me, from an "artistic" point of view, why not try and make the footage look like an old "flick."

If I remember rightly, Movie Maker has a video effect that tints the footage a sepia colour and adds in those lines and speckles often found on the (very) old films. Perhaps you could then get away with explaining that you deliberatly designed your editing to make the video look like a pre-war film including the "stuttering" effect.
I am being serious !

  Indigo 1 15:59 17 May 2005

Thanks for that I will try it and see what she thinks.

I was afraid that it would be costly to sort out but was hoping there might be a simple way to 'blend' the frames by possibly adding an extra one in between made up of an image from the other two, if you see what I mean.

I know you can do it with animation to a degree but it would be very labourious to do it frame by frame on a long clip or series of clips.

I haven't the heart to tell her that her new toy is a load of dingo's cr*p, I will try the camera in 320x240 at 25fps and see if it is any better before I tell her.

  Border Collie 16:53 17 May 2005

Indigo 1, you'll find when you play back at 320 x 240 the flicker would have gone but the TV picture will be blurred. You can almost count the pixels.

Experiment with the Save Movie settings - Other Settings. First High Quality Video PAL then High Quality Video Large, if the are not acceptable try High Quality Video Small.

  Border Collie 16:53 17 May 2005

Indigo 1, you'll find when you play back at 320 x 240 the flicker would have gone but the TV picture will be blurred. You can almost count the pixels.

Experiment with the Save Movie settings - Other Settings. First High Quality Video PAL then High Quality Video Large, if the are not acceptable try High Quality Video Small.

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