Converting NTSC to 1920x1080i

MrVideo

Active member
Does anyone know of any software that can do the two following conversions:

Source will be 720x480 NTSC Quicktime DV or 720x480 NTSC MPEG-2 via D-VHS (non-ATSC)

1) Convert NTSC 720x480 full frame to Pillarboxed 1920x1080i

2) Convert NTSC 720x480 letterboxed to 16:9 1920x1080i (720x360 centercut)

The idea is to take some NTSC source material I have that I want to put on the front and rear of some 1080i HD material. The NTSC material is recordings of master tape material that has the front end tape slate of the program and the real closing credits of the program. The idea is to edit those onto the real HD material.

Of course, the LPCM audio will have to be converted to match the AC-3 2.0 audio as well.

Thanks for any pointers to such a conversion program.
 

bits

New member
DrP said:
avisynth + a reasonable MPEG/2 encoder could do it.
I am not aware of any mpeg encoder that will do 1080i resolution. Also, I think stretching 480 material to 1080i will result in some pretty crappy looking stuff.
 

MrVideo

Active member
bits said:
I am not aware of any mpeg encoder that will do 1080i resolution. Also, I think stretching 480 material to 1080i will result in some pretty crappy looking stuff.
It is done by every broadcast station and network that has HDTV programming. They upconvert the NTSC material to either 1080i or 720p, depending on the standard they've chosen.

It actually looks pretty dam good.

Hidden away somewhere there is probably an encoder somewhere, hopefully.

Thanks for the response.
 

bits

New member
MrVideo said:
It is done by every broadcast station and network that has HDTV programming. They upconvert the NTSC material to either 1080i or 720p, depending on the standard they've chosen.

It actually looks pretty dam good.

Hidden away somewhere there is probably an encoder somewhere, hopefully.

Thanks for the response.
Upconverting is not re-encoding! There is no recording in upconverting! Upconverting is done electronically (not with software) on the fly. You could record the upconverted signal but you would need an HDTV tuner/cap card that caps HD material as a HD transport stream.

Taking SD material and re-encoding it (this is NOT upconverting), stretching it to 1920x1080 and is no different than blowing up a low res digital photo, it will look like crap!

Do a google on what you are looking for and see what you come up with. My bet is that you will come up with zip.
 
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bits

New member
phd said:
bits,

Please keep it friendly.
Sorry, way too much coffee!

BTW how about a little help on this one.

MrVideo:

I still stand by what I said but toned way down. The intent was not to attack you personally but to get you to do some investigating and learning of your own.
 
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MrVideo

Active member
bits said:
Upconverting is not re-encoding! There is no recording in upconverting! Upconverting is done electronically (not with software) on the fly. You could record the upconverted signal but you would need an HDTV tuner/cap card that caps HD material as a HD transport stream.
I'll agree that local broadcast station and broadcast network upconversion isn't a recording, and I'll agree that the conversion is done via hardware, very expensive hardware, there is re-encoding going on.

Taking SD material and re-encoding it (this is NOT upconverting), stretching it to 1920x1080 and is no different than blowing up a low res digital photo, it will look like crap!
The SD material still involves re-encoding. If you take the 720x480 SD MPEG-2, or DV, and upconvert to 1920x1080i (adding pillar bars for 4:3, or expanding centercut 720x360 letterbox), it has to be re-encoded to the new 1920x1080i MPEG-2. When you change from one format to another, it is re-encoding, no matter what you do between the two formats.

Do a google on what you are looking for and see what you come up with. My bet is that you will come up with zip.
I'll have to do that later. Gotta run to see the tax accountant :(
 
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MrVideo

Active member
bits said:
I still stand by what I said but toned way down. The intent was not to attack you personally but to get you to do some investigating and learning of your own.
Never saw what you originally posted.

That is what forums like this one is for... to pick the minds of those that have already gone through this. Why reinvent the wheel, if someone has already done what I am trying to do.

If no one has, then I go looking and then report back success or failure.
 

DrP

Member
I've toyed upsampling SD to HD and encoding to MPEG/2 (yes, it really can be done, despite what has been said above). It'll never look as good as a native HD broadcast, nor will it look as good as an upsample done by a decent TV network unless you are prepared to put an awful lot of effort into getting it right.

Having said that, avisynth + dgdecode and a bit of simple scripting will produce 'HD' from the SD video and then feeding it into a decent MPEG/2 HD encoder for your PC will give reasonable results which given what MrVideo is trying to do will probably be good enough.

There are quite a few software HD encoders out there for a PC, google will turn them up.

MrVideo, if you have any questions, probably best to PM / email me.
 

bits

New member
DrP said:
I've toyed upsampling SD to HD and encoding to MPEG/2 (yes, it really can be done, despite what has been said above). It'll never look as good as a native HD broadcast, nor will it look as good as an upsample done by a decent TV network unless you are prepared to put an awful lot of effort into getting it right.

Having said that, avisynth + dgdecode and a bit of simple scripting will produce 'HD' from the SD video and then feeding it into a decent MPEG/2 HD encoder for your PC will give reasonable results which given what MrVideo is trying to do will probably be good enough.

There are quite a few software HD encoders out there for a PC, google will turn them up.

MrVideo, if you have any questions, probably best to PM / email me.
I stand corrected! Now that you have peeked my curiosity how about sharing a bit more information?

I googled and found a few very high end (expensive) software offerings but nothing reasonably priced. What software do you use?
 

bits

New member
I did find that TMPGenc Plus ($37) will let you use a resolution of 1920x1080.
It does not look very good and the audio is messed up but I have not had much time to learn all of what can be done.
 

MrVideo

Active member
DrP said:
I've toyed upsampling SD to HD and encoding to MPEG/2 (yes, it really can be done, despite what has been said above). It'll never look as good as a native HD broadcast, nor will it look as good as an upsample done by a decent TV network unless you are prepared to put an awful lot of effort into getting it right.
I'm not expecting perfect results. I just need to replace the closing credits that the network uses, with the real credits from a master tape, which is SD letterboxed. I have one section of leading video that is not available in HD (my screwup) that needs fixing as well. Of course, the audio has to match for VRD to join the pieces together.

Having said that, avisynth + dgdecode and a bit of simple scripting will produce 'HD' from the SD video and then feeding it into a decent MPEG/2 HD encoder for your PC will give reasonable results which given what MrVideo is trying to do will probably be good enough.
avisynth I know of, but have never heard of dgdecode.

Thanks for the info, it is a start.
 

Digital Dave

New member
MrVideo said:
Does anyone know of any software that can do the two following conversions:

Source will be 720x480 NTSC Quicktime DV or 720x480 NTSC MPEG-2 via D-VHS (non-ATSC)

1) Convert NTSC 720x480 full frame to Pillarboxed 1920x1080i

2) Convert NTSC 720x480 letterboxed to 16:9 1920x1080i (720x360 centercut)

The idea is to take some NTSC source material I have that I want to put on the front and rear of some 1080i HD material.
Any decent HD-capable video editor can do this. I have done this in Vegas, for example, when I've included bits of SD video in HD projects. In general, I can combine any mix of video and audio on a Vegas timeline, and get a result that's based on the specs of the project and output target settings. No biggie, pretty standard these days I think.

Of course, if you're just using cut editors (VideoReDo, VirtualDub, MPEG Video Wizard, etc) you're not working in a tool designed to deal with multiple source inputs. Of course, for quick cut editing in MPEG-2 HD/HDV, VideoReDo is dramatically faster than Vegas. Thus the old saying, "the right tool for the right job."
 

Digital Dave

New member
bits said:
Upconverting is not re-encoding! There is no recording in upconverting!
That's incorrect... at least from a broadcast prespective. Think about it... you're not dealing in the analog world here. An upconverter takes an MPEG-2 TS SD broadcast stream and converts it to an MPEG-2 TS HD broadcast stream. This is a re-encoding process. And these are used all the time, both for upconversion to HD for network broadcast, and for various kinds of downconversion (for example, dropping resolution and/or bitrate for Echostar or DirecTV rebroadcasts).

bits said:
Upconverting is done electronically (not with software) on the fly.
Nope. Yes, there are dedicated format conversion boxes at the various head-ends in questions, but they're running software. You couldn't parse and reformat an MPEG-2 TS without software. This isn't the same thing as, say, a DVD player with upconversion, which absolutely could be done in fairly simple hardware (though you'd get better quality upconversion with a software based solution).

bits said:
You could record the upconverted signal but you would need an HDTV tuner/cap card that caps HD material as a HD transport stream.
Oddly enough, I use one of these all the time. You'll notice that sometime, all the video is delivered at full HD; at other times, you get a mix of resolutions in the same stream within the TS. There's no actual problem cutting in SD material, it's more of an appearance thing.

bits said:
Taking SD material and re-encoding it (this is NOT upconverting), stretching it to 1920x1080 and is no different than blowing up a low res digital photo, it will look like crap!
While it's certainly true that you can't get more resolution that you start with, there are certainly better and worse algorithms. For example, for stills, running something like True Fractals, or for that matter, a series of 10% blowups with bicubic or similar upconversion algorithms, and you'll get a blowup that looks as good as the original, or close to it. Other algorithms will deliver something that's very pixelated, or even incorrectly scaled.

Anyone who was around in the early days of HDTV knows well that different upscalers (TV models/brands, you TV's upscaler vs. the one in the STB, etc) would deliver very different SD quality on your HD display.

bits said:
Do a google on what you are looking for and see what you come up with. My bet is that you will come up with zip.
Again, any old HD-capable multitrack video editor will do this just fine, for media authoring. You'll need a dedicated conversion box or at least encoding hardware on a PC to do it in realtime, but that's not the question.
 

MrVideo

Active member
I was going to start looking into this project this weekend when a thought came to mind that could easily kill it dead in its tracks.

If the original HD video I have is DD2.0 or DD5.1, the upconverted video isn't going to be, which means VRD will refuse to let the two be joined together.

I may be dead even before I can get started. :(
 

DrP

Member
There are free ac3 encoders out there, the quality may not be so good, but since its you've said that the video quality doesn't have to be 100%, the same probably goes for the audio too.

besweet
 

Anole

Moderator
I don't have time to experiment to see if WinAVI will upconvert the picture, but I'm pretty sure it will convert the sound to AC3.
 

MrVideo

Active member
DrP said:
There are free ac3 encoders out there, the quality may not be so good, but since its you've said that the video quality doesn't have to be 100%, the same probably goes for the audio too.
I have no problem creating the AC3 file, in either DD5.1 or DD2.0. The problem is how do I get the upconverted 720p/1080i MPEG-2 video joined with the AC3 audio so that VRD and use it?

In other words, I need to create TS material from non TS material.
 
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