DVD to 4K - best advice in upscaling for screening

Any recommendations would be extremely helpful from users with actual experience on media conversion for actual screening.

I’m working with the director of a film released in '96. The original versions were released from a very well known independent studio but the film will never see a professional remaster. There is a documentary being done on the director and I’m helping to ensure this early film is provided in the best format for a screening at a festival for the documentary release.

Though I’ve used TVAI since V2 I have never undertaken a task this significant.

Original content comes from DVDRIP via handbrake at 720x480.

  • The task is create a 4K 16:9 version.
    We know that scaling from the original SD content to 4K, nesting that into a 1920x1080 master will certainly CROP the original material but the director is would rather see it as framed for theatrical release vs Direct 2 DVD.

  • We have created a 4K upscale with a few different presents but at the end of the day is it worth it to use a second enhancement?

We’ve tried the following settings:

Output is to ProRes 422HQ which leaves masters at approximately 700 - 800GB which is recompressed in resolve.

I could share a number of other recipes but they all are somewhat just similar.

Could anyone share their experiences and best practices for remastering a DVD to 4K?

Thanks so much!

4K is going to be a tall order, especially if the original is 4:3 and you want to go to 16:9.
If there are trees, grass or things like gravel, Proteus Auto is going to mess those up. Iris is a gamble on if it will play nice with the content. You can get lucky, but the longer the movie, the more chances it has to mutilate instead of beautify.

You should be able to un-DVD the frame rate by converting it to something lossless in ffmpeg with the -r setting set to the original frame rate. (Since handbrake is mostly a wrapper for ffmpeg, you should be able to do that in there somewhere.)

The models do different things when upscaling to higher resolutions. So all the settings I’m going to suggest are only for going from DVD to FHD. If you can get that looking good, then it should be safe to try the next step and go to 4K. (If the screening is going to be on a projector, FHD is probably fine though. [But I am very unqualified to make that statement.])

For extremely grainy videos, I’ve had success with these settings:
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Then second pass. (I do it at another time, but it should work as a normal second pass.)
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For more standard DVDs, these settings are a good mix of enhancement without adding too many noticeable artifacts:
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If that adds patterns to the before mentioned trees, grass or things like gravel, try manual:
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Sharpen seems to be the main source of the unwanted added patterns on trees, grass and things like gravel so as a final option with the least enhancing I use this:
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I wonder why you picked Nyx fast and not Nyx 3…

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Simple. I don’t have TVAI 5.
The visual differences between 3 and Fast should be minimal.

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I been upscaling some of my older media to 4K to view on my 4k TV. The trees and foliage is the biggest issue I am having. I actually moved on from one set of media because I just couldn’t get it to come out right. These enhancements, do you do each of these in this order for best results or are these the ones to try individually to try to find the best result?

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I try them individually. I haven’t had any success getting better results with multiple passes yet.
If they’re still messing things up, you can turn down the revert compression.

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Just a question, it’s mentioned that the source is from a DVD. Is the DVD interlaced or progressive? I have upscaled several DVD’s from SD to FHD and found out all the DVD’s were interlaced. As a result the Dione model is a more logical choice and I’m very happy with the results.

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TVAI uses the ffmpeg deinterlacing filter bwdif. No point in using Dione when Proteus 4 tends to do better.

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Qtgmc and proteus is best. Dione is bad :blush:

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I cannot thank you enough for all the help and suggestions with what we were struggling with.

I think certainly we’re going back and I’m running an entirely new output from the original source again.

The most significant issue was that there were small elements of time being dropped between the VOB conversions. I didn’t understand if there was a way to have a timeline where all 5 VOB files were seen by TV as 1 timeline conversion project.

I’m going to take the advice from this and I’ll report our success.

Thank you all again!

I really appreciate the suggestions here…

The director doesn’t mind the CROP. In essence I’ve done a few rounds of tests…

Round 1 (Standard 1080p / 4:3) conversion which was ok
Round 2 (Upscale to 4K > Output to ProRes 442HQ > Into Resolve master sequence at 3840x2160 and output new master .mov.

        Results of Round 2 looked ok but having to export separate .VOB files caused issues.

I’m trying your suggestions with an output through FFMPEG as one single file with a running length of almost 90 minute to mitigate any audio sync/slip.

Honestly - going with ProRes 422HQ is a waste of space and probably time in your project.

DVD to 4K? Eeek. Especially if you have nature.

I would de-interlace with a very high quality program and use the native resolution moving forward.

Whatever option you choose – you will want to include a certain percentage of the original video in the 4k version to make it look like it has real detail (unless CGI / Anime / Etc).

If you have the budget – use this as one tool to up-rez. And go at least scene-by-scene in Adobe or similar to fix unnatural things.

Going past 720p won’t yield better detail – it will just increase the size of the video.

This is where you need many tools and talent and hopefully a good budget! lol

Nice to know, last few I been doing have been interlaced and I been using Dione under the enhancement settings. So should I be picking interlaced and then Proteus for testing ? I think I am gonna do some presets with the settings you posted before to also test out.

I strongly recommend it.
Of course, you can try Dione out, just in case.

Those settings I shared are a good starting point for most DVDs, I think. Today I did a DVD that looks like it was really poorly digitized. I tried all three of those, ended up going with the last one and turned Fix Compression down to 30. It’s no Blu-ray, but it’s better than the DVD.

Often it doesn’t make sense going to 4k with a DVD source, which is limited to 720 × 576 (PAL) or 720 × 480 (NTSC). Compared to 1080p you gain no additional details. Yes enhancing needs additional pixels, but the gain is achieved from 200% enlargement. Make the test and upscale once to 4k and same to 1080p, then compare both at full screen. If 4k is ok and artefact free but 1080p is too blurry, then give more sharpness when rendering the 1080p, if you have made it sharper often it looks at fullscreen same as the 4k