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How to get the best out of 720p?
Hey guys,

I have few WEB-DLs and HDTV that are only in 720p and are pretty low bitrate (filesizes from 1.5GB-4GB), but details are noticeably better than DVD versions. I wanted to know what could I do to get the best out of these. Of course I will do Superresolution, but what after that? Regrain? Anything else?
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This really depends on the "condition" of the encode and how much the video image is degraded compared to original.

It's hard to say what needs to be done without actually seeing the footage. There is no "universal" "all-in-one" answer.

If you could post some screenshots and/or 1-2 minute samples, "we" would be able to give you more specific answers.

And, lastly, you have to keep in mind that sometimes there's very little/nothing that can really be done to get a "better" result than what you started with due to encoding/decoding/broadcasting/streaming damage.
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SuperRes won't help much with that. The reason why SR and other filters can bring out "detail" embedded in a source is because the source preserves that detail (or provides a downsample of said detail). Your average WebDL does not have extra detail hidden away, it uses more efficient codecs that throw away the least required detail. And depending on the codec used, you may not be able to reproduce the quality without increasing size using x264 (x264 is better than entry level AVC encoders, but not the serious commercial encoders that cost in the thousands to license). But with that said, many WebDLs are encoded with less sophisticated AVC encoding (and often below the 4.1 level) meaning that much of the time you could decrease size whilst keeping quality transparent to the source if you wanted.
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You know, it's funny though, because I have a few films that are web-dl in 720p and 1080p where the 720p will be a 4gb file and the 1080p will be a 4.5gb file. The result of this is that there are times where the 720p looks better and could be SR-upscaled to 1080p, overlayed with the 1080p source, throw a real grain plate on that and you end up with a much better looking final file which will "appear" to look better than either of the source files alone. Granted, the OP stated only 720p...

However, with some of the 720p stuff that is around 4gb, there "might" be some benefit to SR-upscaling if the material has a shorter duration/runtime. Adding real grain plate can help, but it never creates "new" detail, it just gives the "appearance" of more detail. Also, having two different sources, even if both 720p, and overlaying them with each other can help "bring" out some of the "lost detail."
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Just by checking out - the 720p WEB-DLs are better than 1080p (1080p was given horrible upscale with lots of artifacts and lost details - iTunes). SuperResolution to 1080p works far better for it.

Here is small example:

Let me know if you have any ideas how to get more detail out of this! Smile
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I think your results are rather decent considering the source. Did you apply a real 35mm grain plate to this? If not, that could help a little bit.
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This is raw 720p rip from iTunes - no filters added, not even Super Resolution used yet.
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Well, then that's a pretty decent place to start from. Good luck with your projectWink
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