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Poor VCD quality

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I just bought my new Dell inspiron 530S preinstalled with EMC 9 (OEM version) one month ago.

I had done more than 20 times clean unintalled/reinstalled with activation and only managed to get it run properly recently.

My problem is when I burned my old video file into VCD, the image looked grainy and jerky, and the quality of image was poor. I have burned the similar video file into VCD with my old PC with Window XP Home edition preinstalled with Sonic, the image quality looked great, both in PC and TV. But if I burned it into DVD, the image looked fine. Any suggestion?

 

My parameters:

System-Window Vista 32bit (1024X768) (75Hz)

Processor-Intel Core 2 Processor E4400(2.0GHz, 2MB L2 Cache,800MHz FSB)

Memory-2GB NECC Dual Channel DDR2 667MHz SDRAM Memory

Video card- 256MB PCleX16 ATI Radeon X1300 Pro w/TV-Out, VGA and DVI

Graphic adapter-1.256MB ATI Radeon X1300 PRO (Dell E228WFP)

Sound card-Integrated Sound Blaster Audigy ADVANCED HD Audio

DirectX version 10 ( Direct Draw Acceleration, Direct 3D Acceleration & AGP Texture Acceleration enabled)

Driver- 16X DVD+/-RW with Dual Layer Write Capabilities

 

Source of video files:

Format-MPEG1, PAL

Size-ranging 30-50MB

 

Output format:

 

VCD

-used default settings (no selection available)

-Disc CD-RW 4-12x 700MB 80min

-rendering with "software"

 

DVD

-used "high quality"

-Disc DVD-RW 1-2x 4.7GB 120min

-rendering with "software"

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With that graphics card, presuming you have the latest drivers from ATI and also the latest DirectX from Microsoft you should be able to burn in hardware rendering.

 

That being said - VCD is always poor quality anyway when compared to DVD

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Your source was mpeg1 or VCD as Daithi noted. Your output will never be better than that!

 

You can never increase quality of video. There are some eye tricks like a 1% blur but without some software that would pour over rendering for 2 or 3 days, it isn't going to come out better than what went in.

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At one stage, MyDVD failed to launched.

I got the following suggestion from Roxio Technical Support agent:

 

"The following driver update may be helpful:

http://game.amd.com/us-en/drivers_catalyst.../common-vista32

In MyDVD or Videowave, click on tools, options and check what render mode you are using.

If it's set to hardware try the software mode and if it's set to hardware please try software."

 

I have tried to changed back to "rendering using hardware" and burned my VCD, but the image quality was still poor.

 

I have done many video editing (video from Sony DVD videocam) using 3rd party software and burned it into VCD for my relatives, friends and colleagues for free. As each of the video file just took up 30-50MB space, therefore it is cheaper to use VCD (in my country Malaysia, one CD-R costs about US20c, and one DVD-R costs about US$2).

 

I am not sure whether by changing the setting in the ATI Catalyst Control Centre or DirectX 10, the image quality will improve.

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Understand your situation better now and we do lose sight of the conditions of others. (how much is a gallon (3.78L) of gasoline there?)

 

Software rendering will always yield the best results. Hardware is faster in render time, but causes more quality problems that makes the 'wait' worthwhile.

 

However, nothing is going to let you go from a mepg1 (352 X 240) to mepg2 (720 X 480) without it looking poor!!!

 

I have never tried this but here are a few things you can try if you are going to use DVDs.

 

One is in MyDVD, File – Project Settings. Set the output to VCD (352 X 240) quality. I suggest you try this on DVD RW to start with to see how it looks.

 

Next is to use an black panel in VideoWave and overlay your movie clip onto that panel. Try setting it at 80% of the panel size. – by keeping the clip small the blown-up pixels will not be as noticeable to the eye.

 

While it will cost more disc space, do all of your future captures as mpeg2 or AVI. You can always reduce quality, DVD to VCD, with no ill effects but you can never increase quality.

Edited by james_hardin

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James, I have tried your method but my VCD quality still looks poor. I keep my old video files (mpeg1) in portable hard disc. I just wonder why if I play this video with WMP10, it looks OK. And when I burn it into VCD using my old PC with Window XP - Sonic MyDVD, it also looks OK, but when I burn it into VCD using Window Vista-Roxio MyDVD, the is a some lost in quality(?) But when I burn it into DVD with Roxio MyDVD, again the image looks OK.

 

I think I will save my future video file in mpeg2. Thanks for your advice.

Is the quality of AVI same with mpeg2? Any advantage in using AVI code?

 

(A gallon of gasoline here costs US$2. But see this, an average worker here earn about US$350-700 per month. I spend 40c for a cup of coffee, 70c for a hamburger and 35c for a daily newspaper.)

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Always interesting to compare prices but not always an apples to apples comparison… I expected gasoline to be cheaper given your proximity to a source. Of course our gasoline includes about $1.00 per gallon in taxes. Your coffee was a lot more than I would have expected…

 

I have not played with VCDs in ages. I only have one DVD Player that will even accept them anymore. I seem to recall that I thought the results were equal to my old V5 VCDs…

 

DV-AVI offers this advantage. It is huge because it is not compressed. As a result it will always yield the greatest quality.

 

MPEG2 on the other hand is compressed. Thus every time you use it, it has to be uncompressed (even to go into VideoWave) then compressed again. With all these passes through algorithms, there are loses.

 

You do want to stick with Software Render. Hardware offers more transitions but will often result in blurry or jerky video scenes with movement. (we have been pushing to get Roxio to drop hardware render) Now if you don't get these problems with HW render, by all means use it!

 

Clear up one thing for me. Are the new VCDs also inferior to your old ones? Is this with software render and using the same source files?

Edited by james_hardin

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James, I have tried your method but my VCD quality still looks poor. I keep my old video files (mpeg1) in portable hard disc. I just wonder why if I play this video with WMP10, it looks OK. And when I burn it into VCD using my old PC with Window XP - Sonic MyDVD, it also looks OK, but when I burn it into VCD using Window Vista-Roxio MyDVD, the is a some lost in quality(?) But when I burn it into DVD with Roxio MyDVD, again the image looks OK.

 

I think I will save my future video file in mpeg2. Thanks for your advice.

Is the quality of AVI same with mpeg2? Any advantage in using AVI code?

 

(A gallon of gasoline here costs US$2. But see this, an average worker here earn about US$350-700 per month. I spend 40c for a cup of coffee, 70c for a hamburger and 35c for a daily newspaper.)

A VCD is both mpg1 and a smaller video frame -- you have less data stored than with DVD spec mpg2 which is full frame normally. With less data stored, it's like comparing the pictures from a 1 mega pixel still camera to one with 5 or 6 mega pixels. You might be able to get away with SVCD, which while still using CDs, stores a full height picture but 480 pixels wide using mpg2 compression. You still have less data stored, but enough to get by with, and retain the use of CDs and many (most?) DVD players. IF DVD player compatibility is not an issue, go to DivX or one of the other mp4 varieties.

 

Video will always appear differently on a TV versus a PC monitor. Part of the reason is software enhancing the picture, and part of the reason is many graphics cards automatically enhance the picture. That said, you could be getting poorer VCD performance than before because of many reasons... The encoder settings, the encoder itself, and the source video can make a VCD look better or worse. Or maybe you have a problem with the media (the blank CDs) or the player is getting old?

 

Vista adds a few more wrinkles... Encoders and decoders along with other Direct Show filters might or might not work properly, and before an update Vista didn't write avi files properly. Before Roxio software can encode it, it has to decode your source video, and something there might be your problem. IOW maybe your Roxio software isn't getting a good picture to work with?

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Thanks James & Mikiem, I take your advice.

I tried my own experience.

 

I have 2 same sources of file:

One is photo file (JPEG) from my Sony camera (5.1 mega pixel)

Another one is video file (VOB + IFO) form my Sony Handycam DVD-RW (0.9 mega pixel)

The photo file I copied directly from card reader and stored it into my hard disc.

The video file I copied it using Sony Picture Package software and converted it into MPEG2 file and stored it into my hard disc.

 

I used 2 different video editing software.

First, I used EMC 9 MyDVD videovawe and created video file (for photo & video) by using the following settings:

PAL, MPEG-1 for video CD

Video-Roxio MPEG-1, Video Encoder, 352X288, 25 fps,1.15mbs

Audio-Roxio MPEG-1, Audio Encoder, Stereo 44.10kHz, 16 bit, 224kbs

 

Then I used Ulead Video Studio 10 to create video file (for photo & video) from same source of file by using the following settings:

24bits, 352X288, 25fps, Frame-based, (Video CD PAL), 4.3

 

I compared all the movie clips I have created by playing them using WMP11. I noticed the movie clips created by Ulead Video Studio looked good, but the one created by EMC the image looked jerky every 2 seconds.

 

I went back again to MyDVD videowave, this time I changed to "Generic MPEG-1, normal quality" and created the movie clip again, but the image still looked jerky. I tried the 3rd time, this time I changed it to "Generic AVI" and the image looked good, there was no more jerky image. It seems that EMC9 is not so good in creating a VCD file (by the way, I couldn't select the DVD quality mode as the key was not there, missing? Was it supposed to be there?)

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