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Answerman - Why Is Old Anime Still Released In Interlaced Format?


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DmonHiro



Joined: 06 Jan 2007
Posts: 3066
Location: Romania, Bucharest
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:24 pm Reply with quote
OK... wait a second. I know all about interlaced anime and how big of a pain in the butt it is to IVTC sometimes, but what's so hard about viewing it. If you're talking about putting a DVD in your computer and watching the VOB files, then most players do the IVTC-in automatically. I've never seen an anime DVD that didn't look de-interlaced on my computer.
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jsevakis
ANN Director of New Media


Joined: 28 Jul 2003
Posts: 1641
Location: Los Angeles, CA
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:30 pm Reply with quote
DmonHiro wrote:
OK... wait a second. I know all about interlaced anime and how big of a pain in the butt it is to IVTC sometimes, but what's so hard about viewing it. If you're talking about putting a DVD in your computer and watching the VOB files, then most players do the IVTC-in automatically. I've never seen an anime DVD that didn't look de-interlaced on my computer.

I think the asker was either using VLC, or didn't like how software/automatic GPU deinterlacing looks. And honestly, most graphics cards (ATI in particular) do a pretty crap job of it.
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HeeroTX



Joined: 15 Jul 2002
Posts: 1874
Location: Austin, TX
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:53 pm Reply with quote
I'm not usually into the "film snob" Q&As (like DVD/BD compression and such, fidelity is not usually a big hang-up of mine), but this was really interesting. I personally have not been bothered by older videos, but thanks for sharing the info.
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DmonHiro



Joined: 06 Jan 2007
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Location: Romania, Bucharest
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:03 pm Reply with quote
Now.... if you're trying to encode an old anime DVD to a mkv or mp4, and the DVD is interlaced... have fun in hell.
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Touma



Joined: 29 Aug 2007
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Location: Colorado, USA
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:10 pm Reply with quote
I had been thinking that all R-1 DVDs were interlaced. Is that not correct?
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rizuchan



Joined: 11 Mar 2007
Posts: 674
Location: Kansas
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:17 pm Reply with quote
Interlaced anime has been the bane of my home media server. I purchased an Amazon Fire TV to stream from my PC to living room but it never occurred to me it wouldn't be powerful enough to do IVTC. Of course it does 1080p just fine... Which, thanks to this article, makes more sense now, but it was frustratingly counter-intuitive that my SD video would stutter but not HD and it took me a long time to figure out. Mad

(For the record, I own all of my anime on physical media, but who wants to get up from the couch to change discs?)
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jsevakis
ANN Director of New Media


Joined: 28 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:38 pm Reply with quote
Touma wrote:
I had been thinking that all R-1 DVDs were interlaced. Is that not correct?

I can't speak for the other authoring people, but almost none of the DVDs I've made from HD mastered material are interlaced.
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Touma



Joined: 29 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:18 pm Reply with quote
^ Thank you for the reply.
I somehow got the idea that interlacing was part of the DVD specification. I probably had it confused with something else.

Can these new DVDs not be viewed on a CRT? Or does the DVD player interlace the signal?
I realize that not many people need to worry about that, I have not owned a CRT for several years, I am just curious.
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Shiflan



Joined: 29 Jul 2015
Posts: 98
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:34 pm Reply with quote
Great article, Justin. I knew most of the info about telicine, pulldown conversion, and such already. But I had incorrectly assumed that all DVDs were progressive and the output signal (interlaced or progressive) was a function of the player's capabilities or settings, not that the video itself was actually interlaced (or otherwise) in the actual encoding. You learn something new every day.

That being said, I've had some personal experience messing with various options to get older video to look good on modern TVs. I have several friends into retro video gaming and this is a major issue for that hobby: many older consoles look great when hooked up to a CRT TV but look awful on a modern TV. I still own a lot of anime on laserdisc and the same problem exists there: the only video output from the player is analog and the signal is interlaced. Some TVs do a better job handling the old-school signal than others. One thing that has worked well for me (and some of my gaming friends) is to use one of the video conversion units made by DVDO in between the old analog device and a modern HDTV with HMDI. The DVDO unit does the signal processing much better than most TVs do, and they are reasonably priced on the used market. Alas that wouldn't help those who want to view older programming on their PC.
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jsevakis
ANN Director of New Media


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:46 pm Reply with quote
Touma wrote:
I somehow got the idea that interlacing was part of the DVD specification. I probably had it confused with something else.

It sort of is. But what you can do is, you can feed the encoder a 24p video, and instead of adding the extra fields to make it interlaced, it will just add special flags that say, "oh, yeah, if you need interlaced video, repeat that last field." An old school DVD player will read it as interlaced, a progressive scan DVD player or BD player will read it as 24p. Problem solved.

A few expensive hardware encoders could IVTC and replace repeated fields with the flags as it encoded, but some of them didn't play well with anime for the reasons stated in the article. Shows that were only partially made progressive (due to scrolling credits, CG cuts, fades and the like) were made this way, and rips of them are what spawned variable frame rate MKV files in the piracy scene.
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Kalessin



Joined: 15 Aug 2007
Posts: 870
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:23 pm Reply with quote
I can understand leaving the interlacing in when producing a DVD, because it's SD, and your typical SD TV is a CRT and deals with interlaced video. But I don't see how it makes any sense on Blu-ray, regardless of the original content. HD displays aren't CRTs, and so they're progressive, not interlaced, and the video will have to be deinterlaced at some point in order to display it. It's just a question of at which step it's going to happen and how good a job the tool that does the deinterlacing is going to do. And that being the case, it makes by far the most sense IMHO for the video to be professionally deinterlaced with whatever the best technique and tools are for that video and then have fully progressive content on the Blu-ray. The alternative is that the resultant video quality is going to depend on how good the hardware or software that's processing the video to display it on the HD TV or monitor is. Best case, the result is as good as what could have been down with professional tools, and odds are, it will be worse. So, I really don't think that there's a good excuse for releasing interlaced video on Blu-rays.

But what's even more egregious than copping out and letting the TV or computer do the deinterlacing at a level worse than could be done professionally is when recent TV shows are put on Blu-ray as interlaced - e.g. the BBC does it with shows like Doctor Who and Sherlock. It's well past the point that the primary target of TV shows is interlaced displays, and since they're making the shows now and with HD quality, they definitely have the option to produce properly progressive content, but for some reason, they don't always. So, while I think that it's horrible when older content doesn't get deinterlaced professionally at the best possible level (even if that level isn't perfect), it's just plain stupid when it happens with recent content.
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TrailOfDead



Joined: 09 Aug 2012
Posts: 145
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:31 pm Reply with quote
the best thing is when there's a mix of 30p, telecine, and interlaced DV footage all in the same goddamn video
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Shiflan



Joined: 29 Jul 2015
Posts: 98
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:39 pm Reply with quote
Kalessin wrote:
And that being the case, it makes by far the most sense IMHO for the video to be professionally deinterlaced with whatever the best technique and tools are for that video and then have fully progressive content on the Blu-ray.


I agree with that sentiment. But I think the problem is that (as Justin explained) this process can be incredibly difficult--which means EXPENSIVE. So for an older show which is not expected to sell very many copies it just doesn't make financial sense and therefore it doesn't get done.

Quote:
they're making the shows now and with HD quality, they definitely have the option to produce properly progressive content, but for some reason, they don't always. So, while I think that it's horrible when older content doesn't get deinterlaced professionally at the best possible level (even if that level isn't perfect), it's just plain stupid when it happens with recent content.


Agreed 100%. If we're talking about a modern program that was already produced in progressive HD then there is no excuse for anything less than perfection.
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q_3



Joined: 02 Sep 2015
Posts: 4
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:53 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
The show will likely never be made available on streaming services (although Crunchyroll will put up with some frame blending if that's all that's available).


Are there shows that have been released on disc that aren't streaming because they're interlaced? I'd be interested to see a list of them - and I'd be more likely to buy the discs if I knew that's all we're likely to get!
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Shiflan



Joined: 29 Jul 2015
Posts: 98
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:02 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Are there shows that have been released on disc that aren't streaming because they're interlaced?


I would imagine that this list would be in the hundreds. There are countless older shows which are available on disc but not streaming, though I certainly don't know the specific reasons for each title.
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