Mad Men Season One Post-Processing - Is it Worth the CPU Cycles?

General questions or discussion about HandBrake, Video and/or audio transcoding, trends etc.
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jblagden
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Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:41 pm

Mad Men Season One Post-Processing - Is it Worth the CPU Cycles?

Post by jblagden »

I just bought the first season of Mad Men on Blu-Ray a few days ago. I've noticed that there's a fair amount of grain and it could be a bit sharper as well. Is the grain in the first season of Mad Men from the film transfer or was it added digitally? I'm curious because the review for the second season Blu-Ray set says that the grain gives it a "lived-in feel". I've already transcoded it with RF18, NLMeans set to Medium, and Lapsharp set to Light, but I'm not sure if the quality improvement is worth the extra encode time - 1-1.5 hours per episode vs 15-20 minutes. When I was trying the different settings in Handbrake, I really thought I was making a difference, but when I do a direct comparison on my PC, I can't really tell that much of a difference. Has anyone else been through this?

I'm asking because I'm debating between copying the unmodified copies back over to my server or if I should leave the "improved" versions on it, and also because going by the reviews, it seems like the second season might have the same grain problem.
mduell
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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 8:54 pm

Re: Mad Men Season One Post-Processing - Is it Worth the CPU Cycles?

Post by mduell »

Absent an authoring error, which I don't think is the case here, the grain and/or softness is the intent of the creator.

I'd drop the filtering, tune grain, and just eat the larger file size output to preserve what it's supposed to look like.

OTOH if you want the grain gone, try hq3dn instead of nlmeans; it's not as good, but it's way faster.
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