Question about old tape>DVD transfers

larry-peter wrote on 7/23/2013, 7:45 AM
I have been given some important archival material for a project - scenes shot of a peace-keeping mission during the SriLankan war in the 1990's. The original tapes were apparently transferred to DVD when that process was still in infancy - or just plain done wrong. The transfer was done by a photo printing shop well over a decade ago. It looks like the conversion of the footage from 486 height to 480 was done by rescaling rather than cropping, so the fields have been rescanned. I haven't been able to find a way to deinterlace this footage because there are two sets of interlacing involved - the original footage and the transfer to DVD. The original tapes are not available. Has anyone run into this and if so, discovered any process to improve the look?

Edit: There may be more problems involved than I've stated, but the DVD footage looked the same as when a production house gave me some 480i footage that they had rendered out to a 486 .avi file. When I realized what they had done I was able to fix that footage by rescaling to 480 and deinterlacing. That procedure isn't working on this footage. Interpolate fields results in a pattern of some lines being soft and some lines with enhanced interlaced artifacts. Blend fields makes everything soft but interlacing is still apparent.


johnmeyer wrote on 7/23/2013, 1:52 PM
If you can do a lossless cut of one of the VOB files and post that footage, I can take a look and see what is going on.

I have often seen scaling of interlaced video done by people who don't have the correct tools or who don't know what they're doing, and the results can be devastatingly bad. With the help of the people over at, I have sometimes been able to improve this footage to the point where it is watchable and no longer calls attention to itself. However, the specifics of what needs to be done usually must be customized to the unique problems of a specific source.
larry-peter wrote on 7/23/2013, 3:25 PM
John, thanks for the reply. As I input the remaining DVDs I found he had the shots he thought were the most important transferred at a real post house and that DVD contained all the footage I needed. It's good to know someone has tools to deal with this though.

Thanks again,