1080p PS3/XBox360 Adventures

The adventures of me trying to create a *proper* 1080p video to playback on PS3/XBox are continuing. Apparently the output of any lossless .avi codec from Vegas is washed out. It just doesn’t look good. Somehow when exporting in .avi changes the contrast to high & saturation to low.

Enter Avidemux2. I wouldn’t try it, but someone mentioned it on a forum so I gave its Windows version a try. So, I tried exporting my clip from Vegas using .avi uncompressed and Avidemux2 will render it with the wrong colors. You have to use a special filter to get the right colors… Lagarith, Cineform lossless codecs aren’t supported at all. Huffyuv with its default mode has wrong colors too, but as I said it’s fixable with an extra step. I was ready to delete the app, when I saw the “mplayer eq2″ filter that let’s you adjust the contrast and saturation and bring it back to normal levels. So, I decided to give it another try, as this plugin did fix the visual problem.

However, then, the de-interlacing won’t work properly. Again, I would get ghosting when trying to de-interlace the Huffyuv YUY2 file just like I originally got with ffmpeg, although the problem does not happen when trying to de-interlace mpeg2 streams instead of .avi. The application comes with about 6 different de-interlacers, and all of them had the exact same problem. On ffmpeg the undocumented “trick” was to put the -deinterlace argument before the “input file” argument, but avidemux does not use ffmpeg as far as I know, and yet, it still has the same bug. Changing the order of the filters didn’t help either. Even after ignoring the de-interlacing problems and exporting and creating a 1080p x264 file, the resulted mp4-avc/faac file wouldn’t playback with Quicktime Pro, but only with VLC. Moreover, for some weird reason too, all x264-created files are very slow to decode, while Quicktime’s created h.264 files are not so.

So basically, I am still stuck about all this. There is not a single free or low-cost app out there that can receive as input an HDV interlaced file in a lossless codec and transform it to 1920×1080 by stretching it, de-interlacing properly, keeping the right visual look, and exporting a proper h.264 file. There is always something that just doesn’t work well in the process. I know that Premiere Pro can do all that properly btw, but I can’t justify $1000 just so I can export videos for the PS3/XBox. Having thought about the problem a bit more, I think that the only real solution to this mess is for Vegas to add h.264 support and do the job properly from beginning to end with enough flexibility. I should not even be trying to export lossless files to do the job with external utilities and hitting the one incompatibility or inflexibility after the other. Sony Vegas should add support for the Sony PS3. It’s that simple.

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