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 Ways to get better looking video during playback

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DarkDream787
Jounin
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Join date : 2014-01-22
Posts : 900
Age : 31

PostSubject: Ways to get better looking video during playback   Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:02 pm

(UPDATE 4/12/2017)

If you are using a newer codec pack and or something that does not have FFDShow included, then this short tutorial may not pertain to you. You will either have to get FFDShow, or wait for an updated tutorial that shows how to adjust LAV accordingly. I will get around to an updated one soon.

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Chances are if your here to download stuff then you also tend to watch videos on your computer using proper codecs and media players.

Ill be sharing some tips and info on what I've found out through experience on how to get the most out of your video during playback. Im sure you would prefer to get the best picture you can or want to know how to alter it so it looks how you want it and is customized to your liking even if it isnt the best you can get. In the end, its what you like most that matters since your the one watching it.



First off Im going to assume you use one of the following Codec Packs or something with FFDShow included.
(Shouldnt matter what Media Player your using since this is codecs for them to use)
Combined Community Codec Pack
Combined Community Codec Pack (Recommended Version)
K-Lite Media Codec Pack

Those are the best 2 that I know of and I use the Combined Community Codec Pack myself.

These codec packs will make it so you can play just about any type of and any format of video with just about any media player so if you ever come across video that doesnt show up or wont work, usually these have you covered.
(You only need one of them, installing both can cause conflicts you dont need to put up with)



If you have it installed you will notice when you open a video a small red icon in the bottom right tray usually appears unless you have it set to stay hidden. (Image below)
You want to double click the one that says FFV and it will open up the video configuration.



As you can see I have ffdshow audio, ffdshow video, DirectVobSub, and my Haali Media Splitter which when I right click it shows all the video, audio, and subtitle tracks in the MKV file and I just select what I want.

If you cant find the icon or dont have a video file to open at the moment, you can also open it from your start menu. Just look for the FFDShow directory in the codec pack folder and there it will be.



The codec packs have decent default video settings and look okay but you might notice that your video usually looks like its got a little too much contrast or brightness and you can see a shade of gray or white over your video. Our goal here is to get rid of that and make the video appear more like it should and closer to its original source coming from a DVD.


DEFAULT SETTINGS


ORIGINAL SOURCE




If you dont have the video settings open then open them if you have the video settings open already then look for "Picture Properties" and click on it. Check the box in as well so the settings will show after you change them. If you dont have the box checked in, the video will just go back to its default. The nice thing is you can switch back and forth just by checking and unchecking that box in.


The default settings are usually this.




The settings I prefer are these




I raised the saturation a little bit because the color was kind of off and it needed more saturation. Your free to use whatever saturation level you wish but anything over 80 is too much saturation in my opinion. I wouldnt do that unless your source had barely any in it. I also lowered the brightness just a tad because it was causing the image to be too bright and I wanted to get rid of the white/grey picture causing the video to look to bright. The DVD's were more like brightness -8 or -9 instead of -5 but that made it too dark for my liking and there were some details you couldnt see in certain shows or sources that are darker in your media player. I didnt change gamma because it made the colors look darker than they were supposed to be. Yeah it got rid of the grey as well and I could raise the contrast to fix it but skin tones still looked too bright and started to look more white while everything else was fine.

Yeah its not too much of a change from the default settings, but it certainly looks better in my opinion. The goal here was to get it to look more like it should coming from a DVD without changing alot of stuff and to help get rid of the white over the image. I compared the original DVD video to the video with the new settings and its not perfect but its alot closer and better than the default settings, without ruining its compatibility with all types of shows with different brightnesses and colors to worry about. The DVD's had just a little bit darker image that was too dark for my liking but everything else was pretty close to the same.



Lets compare the 2 shall we?

Im going to use some screenshots from my ReBoot encode.

DEFAULT (Left) NEW SETTINGS (Right)


DEFAULT


NEW SETTINGS




DEFAULT (Left) NEW SETTINGS (Right)


DEFAULT


NEW SETTINGS




DEFAULT (Left) NEW SETTINGS (Right)


DEFAULT


NEW SETTINGS




Like I said above "I compared the original DVD video to the video with the new settings and its not perfect but its alot closer and better than the default settings, without ruining its compatibility with all types of shows with different brightnesses and colors to worry about. The DVD's had just a little bit darker image that was too dark for my liking but everything else was pretty close to the same."

"The DVD's were more like brightness -8 or -9 instead of -5 but that made it too dark for my liking and there were some details you couldnt see in certain shows or sources that are darker in your media player" You may prefer it darker like the DVD or to look different in some ways so feel free to change settings to how you like them when it comes to brightness.

Heres a comparison to show a little more only this time comparing to the DVD source instead of the different settings.

Ill compare the 2 side by side. Take into account the ones on the left are from my 250MB encodes, not from the DVD like the pics on the right, so of course theres going to be artifacts or it wont look as perfect because the video has been compressed and encoded to 250MB. (My monitor I took the screenshots on wasnt wide enough to see both of them fully side by side so the DVD one is covering up some of the left pic. No I did not crop that part of the picture off of my encodes, its just one window had to be slightly over the other window)


DEFAULT (Left)   DVD (Right)



NEW SETTINGS (Left)   DVD (Right)


In the first example you can clearly see the white over the image and that its much brighter with the default settings than the DVD intended it to look or has it looking.

In the second example we got rid of more of the white over the image and brightness and added a tiny bit more saturation to get it to look more like the DVD intended it to look. Its not perfect as I said above and I also said I didnt lower my brightness as much because it was too dark for my liking and some details were harder to see in some darker scenes, but it looks better than the default settings had it looking if you ask me. Like I said a bit earlier "You may prefer it darker like the DVD or to look different in some ways so feel free to change settings to how you like them when it comes to brightness."



I admit, that episode of ReBoot is pretty dark, I should have picked a brighter episode but its all I had at the moment.

Lets compare them with a brighter series and different animation type.

DEFAULT (Left) NEW SETTINGS (Right)


DEFAULT


NEW SETTINGS




DEFAULT (Left) NEW SETTINGS (Right)


DEFAULT


NEW SETTINGS




As you can see with just those few changes I did, the video looks more like it should and we didnt change so much that it looks way off.

You can play around with the settings if you like and find what you like yourself but these ones should do just fine.

If you wish to check it out yourself, just open up a video in any media player and while its playing just make adjustments to the settings and you will see the video change as you change them. (You have to have Picture Properties checked in or the changes will not show)

Just check the box in and uncheck the box to switch between default and your custom settings as the video is playing. Theres also a setting at the top that can be checked in that says "Only Right Half" if you check that in you will see default on the left and your settings on the right.

Thats how you can get your video playback to your liking. you dont have to go by the settings I prefer, those are just good settings with alot more compatibility to different types of video without making them too dark or too bright. These settings may have it looking more like the original DVD picture and not have the white over it as well, but you may also prefer it to look different even still so feel free to experiment to get what you like most in the end.



I am aware Media Players have built in adjustments and I liked to use those quick and easy ones but 90% of the time if its an MKV file, using those ones seem to blur the picture some, make it look like blinds are over it, or alias it plenty. Probly because I have overlays disabled so I can take screenshots if I want, but I havent verified thats the reason why. Changing the codec settings is easy enough and doesnt screw up the video. Seems to be more customizable as well, not to mention permanent untill you uncheck or change the settings. Your free to just use the media player adjustment capabilities if you wish and change them over and over each time you reopen the media player. In fact, you can use both if you want. Use the FFDshow to make it how you like it or with the settings I recommended and then if you need any further changes, use the media players ability to change it more.



SUBTITLES

Heres a nice little guide and info on subtitles. With this you can do pretty much anything to or with subtitles. If you ever have a problem with subtitles or wish to alter the way they look in any way this is a good place to start to learn and look.

http://codecguide.com/faq_subtitles.htm


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