Interlaced video vs. Progressive in Compressor 3.5 (FCS 2009)

Interlaced video vs. Progressive in Compressor 3.5 (FCS 2009) (December 31, 2011 04:54PM) BrandAparte
Hello all!
I am a new to this website, and fairly new to Final Cut Studio.
While I can edit in Final Cut Pro, it's the export output that I am concerned with. Because though I have a basic understanding of video capture, frame rates and sequence settings, I understand that the output video needs to confirm to certain broadcasting thumb rules. Whether I need a DVD or a file for web sharing, or just a good quality output file (with a not too bloated size) I need a bit of guidance.
I have done a LOT of research, I wil tell you that, and I am not looking to have the thinking done for me. While, for Compressor 3.5, I have read tons of online guides and tutorials, including this websites countless incredible tutorials, I just can't understand one thing. Which is the difference between Interlaced and Progressive video. Is this a video format, or viewing quality thing, or a playback thing, or a screen format thing? I just can't get it.
And so when it comes to encoding in Compressor, I don't know if I'm selecting the right frame control settings for my video. The resulting output has sharp jagged lines when played back either on a computer, or on a TV.
I'll get to the specific project I'm dealing with. I have edited on footage shot on a Sony Z1 camera. Footage was shot on HD. When I captured using FCP7's log and capture, I used the HDV 1080i 60 FireWire Basic (All Frame Rates) setting to do so. At that time, I didn't know anything about Interlaced and Progressive, and I'm not sure if this was the best setting to capture on, but after initial research on the web, I used this setting.
Now the entire project is ready - I have edited on a HDV 1080i 60 sequence, and it's all done. As long as I export it to a Quick Time self contained file, I am getting the highest quality export. Which is fine, except that it only plays on my Mac and on Quick Time Player alone. Even on VLC, there's some glitches. On Windows, it doesn't play at all. But on my Mac, with QT Player, it works good.
Now, the output file is HUGE in size, since its the highest quality export, and this file is useless for anything apart from personal viewing. I need 1. a DVD and 2. a H.264 encoded file for web sharing.
I have made a DVD through Compressor (and thereafter DVD Studio Pro) and I went through all the settings, experimenting with everything till I zeroed in on the one that suited my project the best. And I was quite happy with the DVD export, excepting one thing - I had used a de-interlacing filter (because without it, there were those jagged lines I refered to above) and with this filter, the DVD video has become tooo 'smooth'/blurred for my liking.
So while i was fiddling around with the H.264 settings, I noticed for the first time the Interlaced/Progressive issue. And that my orginal source video is Interlaced and that the H.264 encoder needs to know whether it should encode in Interlaced (Top First or Bottom First?) or Progressive.
Here I am totally foxed because no matter how much research I do, I can't understand this in concept. Therefore, I am wondering, is this the reason for the jagged lines? Is it okay to encode in Progressive a video whose source lies in Interlaced? If so, what are the frame settings I need to keep in mind? Will this smooth out the jagged video, or do I need an extra de-interlaced filter?
I can understand that these are basic questions to most people on this site, but I'd urge you to understand that these are the basic things everyone needs to learn to move forward.
Could you please guide me on this?
As I said, I don't need anyone to think for me and that's not what I'm looking for. What I need is for someone to help me understand the Interlaced/Progressive concept so that I can take it from there.
Thank you
Re: Interlaced video vs. Progressive in Compressor 3.5 (FCS 2009) (January 01, 2012 04:20PM) Craig Seeman
Interlacing examples

[www.axis.com]

[www.100fps.com]
Re: Interlaced video vs. Progressive in Compressor 3.5 (FCS 2009) (January 02, 2012 05:01AM) Ken Stone Admin
Different final destinations call for different export processes from FCP.

For HDV to SD DVD I have this.

[www.kenstone.net]

Have you tried it?

For YouTube and Vimeo,

[www.kenstone.net]

--ken
Re: Interlaced video vs. Progressive in Compressor 3.5 (FCS 2009) (January 02, 2012 10:41PM) BrandAparte
Thank you so much Craig and Ken, for responding so quickly!
Craig, the links you provided are really good, in that it answered me exactly what I needed to know. Simply, Interlaced is a video signal optimized for CRT TVs and Monitors, and Progressive seems to be the standard for Internet streaming and LCD/LED screens... Interlaced feels like a thing of past whereas Progressive feels like the present and possible future for Video broadcast, am I right?
And Ken, I had read both these articles, the links of which you have sent me. I had tried these settings on my own as well. These are really lucid and helpful. May I ask you just one more thing? In FCP7, the project I have, as I mentioned, is in the HDV 1080i60 sequence settings. The 'Field Dominance' was set to Top First. After reading these recent articles, am I right to conclude that if I turn the Field Dominance to None, that I am essentially turning off the Interlacing from the source settings? Or am I, in turn, making it Progressive too?
Here is exactly where I am unable to grasp the Interlaced/Progressive issue in my mind.
Because after turning off the Field Dominance, I am not getting the jagged lines when I send the project to Compressor. But, that being said, I am now unable to decide whether or not to further encode the video into Progressive (via the Frame Control settings of Compressor presets).
I am currently experimenting extensively in Compressor, so any advice would be much appreciated.
Thank you again for responding!
Re: Interlaced video vs. Progressive in Compressor 3.5 (FCS 2009) (January 04, 2012 05:05AM) Ken Stone Admin
As SD DVD is basically interlaced, if your going to SD DVD, there is no point in deinterlacing, so you should be able to leave those setting as they are.

H.264 for the internet is progressive. When you transcode to H.264 using QuickTime or Compressor, the video gets converted to Progressive during the transcode process.

--ken
Re: Interlaced video vs. Progressive in Compressor 3.5 (FCS 2009) (January 04, 2012 06:33PM) BrandAparte
Fantastic! Thank you for clearing this up :)
BrandAparte
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