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Mp4 To Dvd - Quality Lose


dbouchon

Question

Hello,

 

I created a DVD disk based on MP4 original files, and selected the 'best' quality setting in Toast.

 

The result is disappointing as the quality of the images is way worse on the DVD that on the MP4 files, as you can see below. If you magnify the images, you can clearly see the pixels on he DVD version, but the original looks much smoother (not a great quality, but at least no visible pixels).

 

Any idea on how to improve the quality of the DVD movies?

 

Thanks.

 

ORIGINAL: http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/mhyWB...feat=directlink

 

DVD: http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/G3BwA...feat=directlink

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Animation is a challenge for interlaced MPEG 2 video. I suggest clicking the More button in the Toast Video window, and go to the Custom Encoder settings window. Turn on Half-Pel.

 

Also, if you MP4 file is not 720 or 640x480 be aware that Toast is zooming the size of the image so pixelation is more apparent. It is possible to use other MPEG 2 encoders to encode at lower resolutions (if your source also isn't full resolution) and let the DVD player zoom the picture to full size in playback.

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Thanks for the info.

 

Actually, here is my problem (and I know I have a few threads opened on this now, as I did not realize these were probably all the same issue):

- I am trying to put a few Tivo (non-HD from a Tivo series 2 if that does matter) files together to create a DVD

- While doing that, I am trying to remove the commercial ads

 

The way I would like to do it is:

- Create a project in Toast with, say, 7 Tivo files (each 30-minute long)

- Edit each file using the included elgato player/editor to 'cut' the commercial parts

- Choose the title image for each file by using the slider under each of the 7 files in the toast project window

 

This does not work for me as Toast just crashes. I have tries multiple times, with more or fewer files, but Toast crashes, except when I have few files (like 2) or no edits on the files. My believe is that when there are too many Tivo fragments (too many files or edited files), Toast just cannot handle it for some reasons.

 

I have read some threads about the same issue with eyeTV files and the suggestions are typically to first convert the eyeTV files to a more standard format, edit them, and then create the DVD.

 

I'd like to do that. The edit part is easy (using quicktime pro - or is there a better tool for that?). The creation of the DVD is easy using Toast and the edited files. My problem is the quality.

To sum up, there are 3 steps in this process:

1) convert files from Tivo to format X

2) edit files in format X

3) create the DVD with the edited files

 

My questions are:

a - what 'format X' should I use to avoid losing quality? I am guessing MPEG-2 as tivo files are just encrypted MPEG-2, right?

b - how do I perform step 1? Can I use Toast to do that? With which settings? I'd like to just remove the tivo encryption, not decode and re-encode the files, as this would affect the quality.

- I am fine with step 2 as I can use the 'pass through' option in quicktime, so I am not affecting the encoding nor the quality.

c - last, which setting should I use in Toast to optimize the quality for step 3? I am guessing your suggestion above with the 'half pel', correct?

 

Thanks for any inputs on optimizing this process.

 

Quick precision also:

- when I create a DVD based with one or 2 Tivo files and the 'best' quality setting, the quality is great.

- when I convert the Tivo files to MP4 with Toast and play the resulting MP4 files in quicktime, the quality is great. But then, when I create a DVD using the MP4 files, the quality is really deteriorated. Maybe this is due to the upscaling that Toast does, but again the quality stays great when the source files are Tivo files, but not with the MP4 files, so I am wondering is there is a better format of file to use as intermediary file format (as, again, adding many Tivo files to a Toast project crashes Toast).

- also: part of the problem I have may be due to the fact my Tivo recording are in the basic quality and the Tivo files are in 320 x 240 it seems. I have tried upscaling them using Quicktime (meaning: first converting the files from Tivo to MP4 using Toast and H.264 setting, and then using QT to upscale the resolution to SD still using H.264 and then creating the DVD using Toast) and the quality seems much better than when using Toast directly with the H.264 files. So maybe the resolution upscaling is not so good in Toast and much better in QT for H.264 format? What keeps me puzzled though is that the quality is really good with Toast when creating the DVD directly using the Tivo files (but, again, when adding many Tivo files or cutting too many pieces out of them, Toast crashes)....

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Ideally, if Toast worked the way it is supposed to with your TiVo transfers then you'll have no problem. There shouldn't be an issue with adding too many TiVo videos to Toast or whether or not they get edited with the Toast editor. The first thing I'd try is to go to the Custom encoder settings window and turn on Never re-encode. See if that takes care of the crashing problem.

 

If not, there is a workaround that's easier than what you're doing. Set up Toast to make a video DVD from as many TiVo videos as you can without it crashing. Choose Save as Disc Image. Do the same thing with another set of TiVo videos. When you have all the ones you originally wanted on one DVD, go to the Finder and control-click on each of the .toast disc images and choose Mount It. This may launch DVD Player which you can quit to get it out of the way (you can also disable auto launching of DVD Player in the CDs and DVDs panel in System Preferences).

 

Now drag each of the VIDEO_TS folders to Toast with Video Files selected as the format. Arrange and name the videos that appear and prepare the menu the way you want. Now burn your DVD (or create yet another Disc Image which you can burn to DVD using the Image File setting in the Copy window).

 

This eliminates any need for re-encoding.

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