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.: The X0 Project Discussion Thread :.

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I have posted some early tests at www.mudgee.net/ot/
Nothing too exciting, just some frame tests, all very early stuff, just thought I'd throw it up there to stop the flood of PMs asking about it.

Be aware, if your monitor is not calibrated some images will look far too dark. Load them into photoshop and adjust your monitor until you can see the detail in dark areas to get some idea. Zoom in on them and compare to see what I am on about.

Enjoy.

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"Below is a blowup of a test of the X0 player with NTSC disc vs the 925 player with PAL disc."

Holy cow! When you first sent me that pic, I assumed the PAL pic was on the left side, and the NTSC was the "noisy" one on the right. Interesting to see that the PAL version got spanked there.
MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
JediRandy: They're certainly beyond any repair you're capable of making.


MeBeJedi: You aren't one of us.
Go-Mer-Tonic: I can't say I find that very disappointing.


JediRandy: I won't suck as much as a fan edit.
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I think it is the player causing the difference. The X0 is hard to beat. I am hopeful that the 2950 or 925 PAL players can be modified to give a cleaner output, then the PAL disc should really shine. Fingers crossed!
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yowza! this is looking good.

I assume these are the japanese LD's. Seeing as NTSC-J has a black level of 0 IRE and North American NTSC is at 7.5 IRE

these look amazing.

Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabris, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam.

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I have just adjusted the site - I had the wrong leia image loaded.
I will only do a PAL capture if I can get a player that doesn't introduce noise/combing problems to the image.
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"I have just adjusted the site - I had the wrong leia image loaded."

LOL...I was wondering about the quality of that pic.
MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
JediRandy: They're certainly beyond any repair you're capable of making.


MeBeJedi: You aren't one of us.
Go-Mer-Tonic: I can't say I find that very disappointing.


JediRandy: I won't suck as much as a fan edit.
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Incredible! That is the best I've seen Star Wars on LD look outside of a very expensive home theater demo setup.
originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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Those white lines are intentional, but they won't be there in the final.
Yeah mebe, the original pic was the prescan (oops).
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@Laserman, I have sent the pic you requested and also a material screener dvdr
Egon "Don't Cross the streams it would be very bad"

Peter "i'm fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing"

Egon "lmagine the 97 Star Wars Special Editions"
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Just to let you all know, the X0 project is going to take a while. The reason is the same as it is for anyone doing a LD rip, the process is long and involved.
To give you an update of where it is at, and what is involved:
We are doing all of this with lossless compression. This means its over 80GB per movie, so doing anything to it takes some time, money and a turdload of storage.

The video has been captured, but now has to be inverse telecined, to get back to a 24fps progressive master, and then joined into a coherent whole, removing side changes etc. This has to be done for each movie.
Then we need to go through them and fix any glitches, and sync the audio. This is just to get to the point where we have a clean, lossless master to begin with. (i.e. Now we can actually start). This has meant a lot of hard drive purchases, and hundreds of bux just in shipping costs alone for each person involved.
Then it will need a colour grade, perhaps some filtering in some scenes, a final check and then finally a transcode to DVD-9 to make a more easily playable version on home equipment. Perhaps even a WMV9 version for HTPC users. From there it will be up to all of you. If it turns out to be better quality than the currently available archived versions, then perhaps other versions will come out based on this capture (Like mebejedi's work on fixing sabre mistakes, and mverta's work on removing matte lines etc.), but at the very least an untouched archive will be made.

So hang loose people, it won't happen overnight, but we will get there. It should result in a very good archival copy. It will be theoretically possible to make a better archive (by playing with the capture settings a bit more, and recapturing) but the difference would be outrageously small, and anyway this version should look better than it did on your laserdisc player unless you are lucky enough to own an X0 or x9.

Now of course you could make a better version by attempting a a de-SE style project, but to do that you will need as good a laserdisc transfer as possible to use for inserted scenes, so the X0 project is still an important part of future projects as well.

TR47s new project will probably be finished before ours, and may look as good or better, so hopefully we will be spoiled for choice!

(BTW. The reason for this post is not trumpet blowing, its just to stop the flood of PMs and e-mail asking when will it be ready, and 'Why are you doing this when there are already LD transfers out there'. Its also to let people know whats involved - another common question is 'How can I make my own LD rip' I hope this answers some of that. Feel free to e-mail me with other questions/suggestions though. )

A big thanks to everyone that has helped out so far - its much appreciated.
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"its just to stop the flood of PMs and e-mail asking when will it be ready, and 'Why are you doing this when there are already LD transfers out there'."

The first part I can understand, but have you really get getting much of the latter? I only got asked that question once...by Dr. Gonzo, no less.
MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
JediRandy: They're certainly beyond any repair you're capable of making.


MeBeJedi: You aren't one of us.
Go-Mer-Tonic: I can't say I find that very disappointing.


JediRandy: I won't suck as much as a fan edit.
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Seriously, I got a lot of questions as to 'Why'
However, The questions were more in the vein of 'Why spend all this time and effort on a straight transfer rather than a restoration effort like mverta'.
The answer is of course that we need a better transfer than what is currently available to restore *from*. In the absence of another original source, the LD set is all we have, so eeking the best quality out of it is all important.

And also, I can only sleep at night once I know there is an archive of the original laserdiscs that is as good or better than the laserdiscs themselves.
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Re: X0 vs 925

The results I am getting with my 925 are pretty comparable with Karyudo's - as you would expect.

The X0 certainly looks to p*ss all over the 925 wrt chroma artefacts/combing. However, I suspect there is something more than just the player. Laserman, didn't you say you were using a "broadcast-quality" capture system? What are you using Karyudo, a BT-878 card?

As I understand it, the 925 applies a comb filter to the composite signal from the disc, does a bunch of processing, and re-combines the signal for the composite output. It would be preferable to get an untouched composite signal and process it with "broadcast-quality" comb filters, which I assume is what is happening with the X0 captures?

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To add to your already full plate...

You may want to capture a couple of scenes from the '97 SE LD:
1) The original Emperor scene from ESB
2) The Sebastian Shaw ghost scene at the end of ROTJ
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Originally posted by: Daniel
To add to your already full plate...

You may want to capture a couple of scenes from the '97 SE LD:
1) The original Emperor scene from ESB
2) The Sebastian Shaw ghost scene at the end of ROTJ

I don't see why -- the German DTV or Fox TS captures are far, far better. In my opinion, there is no point in capturing any part of the SE from LD anymore.

Originally posted by: Moth3r
What are you using Karyudo, a BT-878 card?


Nope. It's a Philips SAA7133-based card. The 7133 is actually a newer (ergo maybe better, despite similar specs on paper?) chip than the 7118 that's used in the card that Laserman's using -- but as we all know, it's not just the chip that's important, it's the implementation. Or maybe not: it is not clear whether it's the card or the player that's doing a poor job in the comb filtering department. In fact, since it's not perfect I think we know it's at least partially the player.

The 925 converts the video signal to digital pretty early on (8-bit ADC, compared with the Philips' 9-bit) and then eventually runs it through the now-obsolete Sony CXD2024 8-bit, three-line (cf. Philips' 9-bit, 4-line PAL) comb filter. That looks to be downstream of other stuff such as the frame store. Ideally, it would be nice to grab the video signal just before it's converted to digital, and output it as composite -- maybe using a little daughter card add-on to the 925? I hope it's not some pipe dream, but might actually be possible.


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Originally posted by: Karyudo

I don't see why -- the German DTV or Fox TS captures are far, far better. In my opinion, there is no point in capturing any part of the SE from LD anymore.

Do those contain the full-width 2.35:1 image ?
For some reason (not by watching them) I thought the sides were cropped to fill a 16:9 screen.

However, in practice you must take into account the “fuckwit factor”. Just talk to Darth Mallwalker…
-Moth3r

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"I don't see why -- the German DTV or Fox TS captures are far, far better."

True, but is there anyone out there that has all 3 films?

"For some reason (not by watching them) I thought the sides were cropped to fill a 16:9 screen."

Even if that's true, we have to be more concerned with what is in the middle at this point. There's not a whole lot left to us in terms of pristine quality materials.
MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
JediRandy: They're certainly beyond any repair you're capable of making.


MeBeJedi: You aren't one of us.
Go-Mer-Tonic: I can't say I find that very disappointing.


JediRandy: I won't suck as much as a fan edit.
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Originally posted by: MeBeJedi

True, but is there anyone out there that has all 3 films?


Me. I have everything that was broadcast. (Note: Ep 4 was never broadcast by Fox.)


Originally posted by: Darth Mallwalker

Do [DTV caps] contain the full-width 2.35:1 image? For some reason (not by watching them) I thought the sides were cropped to fill a 16:9 screen.


Yeah, they're all OAR. The only thing I have that isn't OAR is Ep 2, which is a native 1080i 16:9 crop.

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Yeah as far as I know, there is no OAR hidef version of ESB - But then I've been well and truly wrong in the past.

Karyudo and I discussed the SEs in the past and came to the same conclusion - there is no point in playing with the SE on laserdisc as the HDTV broadcasts are ridiculously better quality wise, and are our best bet at a DVD deconstruction as at least the resolution is comparable. And as he has them (somewhere in his vast collection of stuff) it seemed pointless to waste time on doing SE captures.

I still believe a PAL capture would give us the best available image from laserdisc, if only we could get it right...

If anyone wants to help *fund* or help in some other way with a PAL capture, let me know, I would need the following.

1. Access to the best PAL version of the laserdiscs for about a week.
2. A bit of financial help (I am currently maxxed out with my spend on the X0 setup, and some film transfer I'm doing for another OT'er)
3. Some storage, I have nearly a terrabyte of drives, but not enough space to do yet another capture.

I have purchased a CLD-2950 to do the capture with - the advantage over the 925 is that it doesn't have a digital store, so access to the 'raw' composite signal is much easier. Too quote from a review of the 925 that talks about the 'torturous path' of the video...

"The composite signal retrieved from disc enters the digital domain, goes through the frame-store stage, gets filtered into RGB, and is then converted into separate luma and chroma for the S-Video output. The composite video output is simply the separated chroma and luma of the S-Video output combined."

It truly amazes me that the picture is so good after all that (Now if you could tap the digital stream from the store, that would be interesting) Also, it would be possible to tap the RGB signal, which would in theory give a cleaner image than the 925 composite out.

I am hopeful that with the 2950 I could get a relatively tamper free composite video signal, and then use todays better capture systems to get a comb free picture. I can tap the signal very early, and run balanced mini coax straight out to a 75Ohm BNC connector and get that into my broadcast gear. The problem is I have to pay for the time in the edit suite, and I am just simply outta cash.
Alternatively I can spend some money and mod the 2950 for RGB out and capture to the RGB inputs on the PDI card - but once again it is a spend without any guarantee of a result, something I can't afford at this point in time.

And of course, there is the possibilty that we won't be able to get a noise free/comb free capture even after all or any of that - but there is only one way to find out, and if nothing else, we would probably end up with the best capture possible with todays equipment.

The card we have been using for the X0 is a PDI Deluxe card, unfortunately I couldn't transport my broadcast gear to where the X0 lives, (About 12,000km away) so I had to make do with a PC solution, and the PDI was the best I could find on short notice (and under $1000) to use with the X0.



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Im curious about this X0 raw capture. I know effectivly nothing about video capture/editing but if its not too much trouble had a couple questions.

What format is the raw capture in? Is it mpeg2 (i believe thats the one that everyone talks of using to source dvds) and can it be watched as is on a computer? if yes, is it watchable? meaning does it require any color correction or anything like that to have the quality which you said would be better than that of most people watching the actual laserdiscs on their own player?

also, as far as comments you (Laserman) made earlier about the process of making this capture. You said something about putting it on a dvd9. going from an 80gig file to a 8.5 gig dvd isnt that gonna require alot of compression, thereby reducing the quality significantly? Would anything else be done with prior to putting it on a dvd, or is the put on dvd step only part of individual projects?

-Darth Simon

sorry for any of the real newbie-ish questions...but as i said my knowledge of video capture/editing is probably somewhere around a -5 on scale of 1 to 10
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some or all of the above comments are partially exaggerated to convey a point, none of the comments are meant as personal attacks on anyone mentioned or reference in the above post
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I will be away for the next two weeks spending some analogue time with my family, so you can all have a break from my rants until then

Happy editing.

-LM
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Nice one with the 2950 purchase, I convinced you right?

I have just ordered a 300gb drive for myself but its a SATA version don't know if thats any good for you ?

Egon "Don't Cross the streams it would be very bad"

Peter "i'm fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing"

Egon "lmagine the 97 Star Wars Special Editions"