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Understanding DVD Compression? 114

canyon289 asks: "My friends and I created a full length movie using a regular Sony Camcorder. After importing and editing all of the video and audio in Adobe Premiere, the exported AVI comes out to 19 gigs. The length of the movie is 90 minutes. We tried compressing it with Nero Burning Rom to a 4.7 single layer DVD but when played in a standard DVD player theres pixelation and frame skips aplenty. Does anyone know how to fit the movie into a DVD (preferably 4.7) and still maintain adequate quality?"
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Understanding DVD Compression?

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  • No problem! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Wavicle ( 181176 ) on Friday August 11, 2006 @09:23PM (#15892635)
    Just download your movie off the net. Someone will have shrunk it to fit on a CD-ROM.
  • Burn it slower (Score:1, Informative)

    by delidana ( 994721 )
    Try to burn it slower, if you noticed will run smoothly in your PC's dvd player but not in home dvd-player.
  • Don't use nero (Score:3, Informative)

    by arodland ( 127775 ) on Friday August 11, 2006 @09:26PM (#15892644)
    The full version is pathetically slow and not very good; the bundled versions are pathetically slow, not very good, and force you to use LPCM audio. ffmpeg + mplex + dvdauthor will do nicely. And there are tools that will wrap them all together for you in some sort of graphical thing, I think :)
    • Feel free to adapt (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, 2006 @09:35PM (#15892667)
      ffmpeg -i INPUT.avi -target ntsc-dvd 01.mpg
      mkdir dvd
      dvdauthor -o dvd -t -v 4:3 01.mpg
      dvdauthor -o dvd -T
      growisofs -Z /dev/dvd -dvd-video dvd
      rm -r dvd 01.mpg
      • by julesh ( 229690 ) on Saturday August 12, 2006 @03:49AM (#15893555)
        ffmpeg -i INPUT.avi -target ntsc-dvd 01.mpg

        I'd recommend, as a minimum:

        ffmpeg -i INPUT.avi -async 1 -hq -b 5000 -ab 224 -target ntsc-dvd -y output.vob

        Play with the numbers 5000 and 224 until you have an output file that'll fit on your 4.7gb disc. The formula is (number_of_seconds * total_of_bitrates) / 8 / 1024 / 1024 = megabytes of output. You'll need it to be less than about 4400. Aim for 4200 if you don't want to have to reencode if it runs too high, because ffmpeg is a variable-rate encoder that just aims for the target you specify and often seems to overestimate how much data it can put in.

        DVDAuthor's a great way of mastering the DVDs and learning to produce menus with it can be fun. Both of these programs work fine on Windows.
      • My method is similar, but looks like this:

        lav2yuv INPUT.avi | yuvdeinterlace | mpeg2enc -f 8 -o VIDEO.mpg
        ffmpeg -i INPUT.avi -ab 384 -o AUDIO.ac3
        mplex -f8 VIDEO.mpg AUDIO.ac3 -o OUTPUT.vob
        dvdauthor -o dvd -t -v 4:3 01.mpg
        dvdauthor -o dvd -T

        This will produce a set of directories like you normally find on a DVD. Now, you need to branch on whether or not the dvd directory is over4.7GB.

        If not:

        growisofs -Z /dev/dvd -dvd-video dvd

        ...will burn the DVD.

        If it is, then you can use DVDShrink under WI

  • Cinema Craft Encoder (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, 2006 @09:28PM (#15892647)
    CCE is the standard used in the rampant legal archiving of DVDs. Best DVD encodes I've seen of any of the major products. Nero has a quick and dirty encoder that is fitting 1hr-1:30 on a DVD5 with decent quality, but CCE sets the standard.
    • by svunt ( 916464 )
      Seconded. Cinema Craft Encoder is the professional standard. Nero's compression, or that used by dvdshrink etc will drop frames to make your video fit. CCE will re-encode your film to the size you want, with excellent quality. It's not cheap, but there are some er....'unlimited trial' versions around, knowhatimean?
      • by karnal ( 22275 )
        I've used DVDShrink on my many... ahem.. movies, and I've NEVER seen it drop frames to get the compression to the level it needs to fit a disc to a DVD-R....
        • I've been using dvdshrink too. I think it is not an mpeg encoder, but a transcoder. It compresses mpeg2 to mpeg2 which is an entirely different (simpler) process. So you cannot compare it with tools that encode some other format into mpeg2.
      • by Sancho ( 17056 ) on Friday August 11, 2006 @10:42PM (#15892838) Homepage
        You're incorrect, sir.

        First of all, DVDShrink doesn't drop frames. It modifies the coefficient data in the stream to reduce the overall file size. It leaves the motion vector information (which is really the hardest part of encoding) untouched. It is extremely fast compared to re-encoding because the bulk of the work is done. Nero has a very similar product, but it doesn't work on CSS-encrypted discs. In neither case are frames dropped--in fact, because they maintain the motion vector information, every frame is necessarily maintained in the output. These are considered transcoders.

        Nero also has an AVI to MPEG encoder you can use. This one might "drop" frames (or more accurately, there may not be a 1:1 correlation in frames between the two products) but it will still produce roughly 30fps NTSC output. This is a true encoder and will go through roughly the same steps as any other MPEG encoder (including CCE). The difference is that it's not really made for high-quality encodings. It's made for your average Joe to put his videos on DVDs.
    • CCE is the standard? that's a $2,000 program... maybe in YOUR world of legal archiving using illegal software... not to mention the interface is more the kind video compressionists understand (or hardened /.ers) TMPGEnc has a slightly less geeky interface. 2.5 is powerful and has a 15 or 30 day trial... 3.0 Xpress has a very user friendly interface (but can't do HD). i hear HC is good, but a knowledge in AVISynth may be required... (and the interface is CCE-like, too). there's also all sorts of other enc
      • TMPGEnc [] 2.524 has been free for a while.

      • TMPGEnc seems like a really good tool. However, I register for the full version of a tool that I can't burn the install binaries of onto a CD and archive, so I can use it five years from now on a machine that doesn't route to the Internet. The creators of TMPGEnc have decided to copy Microsoft and tether their software to an internet connection, and to an 'authorization' process that I avoid like the plague.

        I have a CD that I label 'registered shareware' with a sharpie. It has hundreds of dollars worth o
    • CCE is exceptional for progressive video, but for interlaced material like home DV recordings Canopus ProCoder is generally considered better.
  • Multiple passes (Score:5, Informative)

    by tomstdenis ( 446163 ) <tomstdenis@gm a i> on Friday August 11, 2006 @09:30PM (#15892652) Homepage
    MPEG only specifies the decoder not the encoder. So

    1. Choose a quality encoder
    2. Use a high quality mode (if it has one) usually this enables more MV searches
    3. Use multiple passes if supported. This helps distribute the bandwidth where it is needed more.

    Mencoder [part of mplayer] can encode DVDs using lavc that look [for the most part] just as good as the original on a CD. It'd be trivial to get near losslessness in the size of a DVD.

  • iMovie (Score:2, Flamebait)

    I believe iMovie and other Apple movie-making tools are able to do that from the tapes
    • Re:iMovie (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 )
      Apple makes it easy but their software is also aggravating in some respects. iMovie's titling system is extremely constricted, most titling themes don't allow you any control over placement. iDVD is the program you use to author a DVD from a video file, and its audio and video encoding is basically single-threaded, so despite having a dual processor system, that program won't be any faster than if you had a single processor system.
    • The actual MPEG-2 encoder isn't part of iMovie, it's part of iDVD.

      iMovie just outputs an edited DV file and chapter information; the heavy lifting is done in iDVD.

      I haven't really followed the progress of iDVD very closely over the past few years. Once upon a time, the compressor that it used was pretty miserable: it was a CBR thing at a very high bitrate, which was great if you just wanted to put 60 minutes of DV footage onto a disc, but useless for anything else. If they've improved that at all, it might
      • iDVD works reasonably well with Final Cut Express. FCE is quite cheap, but a whole world better than iMovie (which is really designed for moving-picture photo albums, rather than any project more complicated). If you add chapter markers in FCE and export as a QuickTime movie (don't recompress, just export one with links to the real content) then you can drop it in iDVD and go.

        iMovie '05 added a better MPEG-2 encoder and the ability to write disk images. This was particularly useful, since it meant tha

  • by Sancho ( 17056 ) on Friday August 11, 2006 @09:30PM (#15892660) Homepage
    You want a multi-pass, high quality encoder to create your output files. For video and on Windows, I suggest Tsunami Mpeg Encoder (TMPGEnc). It's been a few years since I've messed with any of this, but it was quite good and inexpensive 3-4 years ago. It does 2-pass encoding and can output any number of DVD-compatible formats.

    If you're still having problems, you might try reducing the resolution. DVD supports 704(720) or 352 vertical lines. Obviously quality suffers as you reduce resolution, but if you're having problems squeezing your content onto a DVD at 720 lines, you may just get an overall increase in quality this way.

    Also, you don't talk much about your audio. Is it raw audio (which is really big and uses up lots of room on the disc that could be devoted to video)? You may have good results compressing this, as well.

    I like [] for all things video/dvd/vcd. They have a number of guides which detail the various methods of compression and burning. It's pretty likely that you'll find the tips you need there.
    • by towzzer ( 733077 ) on Friday August 11, 2006 @09:36PM (#15892671)
      Like the other comments i recommend a high quality encoder, my preference is Cinema Craft Encoder. I've tried the nero encoder and anything i put it comes out looking quite horrible. If there is alot of noise you might need a bit of a smoother filter to help the mmpeg-2 compression. Try getting a program called avi2dvd, it does everything for you and you only need to input which encoder you'd like to use (free ones are provided).
    • I've used Tsunami for a number of years as well now. Very good encoder at a reasonable price point. Plus they do offer AC3 compression (not sure if it's still only 2-channel).

      Audio is a big bit hog. PCM is 1536kbits/sec while AC3 can be down around 256kbits/sec. That could be the difference between 4000kbits/sec for your video stream and 5200kbits/sec for your video stream.

      (I find that 4000kbits for full-D1 video is really pushing the lower limit of acceptable. Unless you have a super clean source
  • by seinman ( 463076 ) on Friday August 11, 2006 @09:36PM (#15892670) Homepage Journal
    Basically, you need to author your DVD. Authoring takes the AVI file output of Premiere, compresses the video to MPEG2, the audio to AC3, creates menus (if you want them) and prepares and burns the entire thing. Good authoring software does a MUCH better job at compression than the crappy encoder in Nero, since these programs are designed to create only video DVDs, whereas Nero is designed to do everything (and none of it particularly well). As you're already using Adobe products, you may want to try Encore. It's their DVD authoring application. However, if you're open to other options, I highly recommend Sony DVD Architect. Both of those programs will create splendid quality results; the difference is that Adobe's Encore will give you more options (but is harder/more confusing for beginners) while Sony's DVD Architect will be much easier to learn and use (however lacks some of the fancy features that Encore provides).
    • I second the recommendation of Sony DVD Architect.

      I bought the Sony Vegas Movie Studio + DVD Architect bundle and have been very satisfied. I use Vegas Movie Studio to import from my DV Camera (a fairly inexpensive entry level JVC) and edit everything together. You then "Render" your final movie... and then fire up DVD Architect.

      DVD Architect allows you to create all of the menus and add media to the disk (including moving menus, stills galleries (for jpegs), and easy Chapter menus). Then you just hit "b
    • The load time and UI responsiveness is so poor in Sony Vegas. I'd rather use any other product besides that bloated POS, personally. It also inserted something in the codec registry that causes an error everytime I load up certain files with ffdshow, saying I need to login as Administrator to register a codec I'm not even using. Nice DRM Sony. Too bad it breaks other products.
  • Slightly offtopic: I created a video with kino that is of mpeg2 format, in a .mpeg file. How would I author a DVD (or create a DVD style .iso) from this?

    I can't seem to find a good answer with the typical google searches (too many false-positives by mentioning mpeg and mpeg2) :-(
  • Wrong URL (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Friday August 11, 2006 @09:50PM (#15892705) Journal
    You entered the wrong url in your browser. Instead of try [].

    Dan East
  • Hey guys. No of course its not a rip if you guys are wondering. What kind of rip would be twice the size of the commercial dvd? Please don't think youre supporting piracy by giving me suggestions. I'd really appreciate any help I can get and thank you to whoever has already given me more possible solutions. I'll also bring you up to date on what I've done. The nero compression barfs during the credit and theres pixelation everywhere. However the audio and picture stay in sync. I've also tried Winavi but the
    • Just save the movie and send it into iDVD. It compresses for you.
    • The nero compression barfs during the credit and theres pixelation everywhere. However the audio and picture stay in sync.

      If your audio/video synchronization is good, then you're having much more luck than you know. :) I've made a few DVDs out of content from a Sony DV camcorder. I use some Linux programs, Kino and Transcode, for editing and transcoding. The a/v synch gets so bad that I have to chop up the projects into 5-minute (or so) segments to keep it manageable. :/ I haven't done this in a co

    • I was surprised that nobody else said "Go with Apple" so I guess I will. I've worked with DVD production on both macs and pcs and find the macs to do a better job. iDVD should fit the bill considering you haven't done the process before. However, DVD Studio Pro can be really easy if you use the templates and provides a great deal of extra power/detail if you need. I haven't tried most of the PC programs mentioned by other posters but I can't stress the Mac option enough if you're new to the process and have
  • I like Womble MPEG [] for editing MPEG-2.

    It imports AVI, uses a timeline editor with a really fast seek, and my favorite: it can do stream copy for portions you don't want edited. Then there's transitions and other bells and whistles. I use it for anything I can't do in VirtualDub/AviSynth or Nero Recode. It's also recommended in the doom9 forums, for what it's worth.
  • File info (Score:4, Informative)

    by canyon289 ( 848746 ) on Friday August 11, 2006 @10:02PM (#15892727)
    Oh yes. Im very sorry that I forgot to mention the details. Here they are. Pixels: 720 x 480 Duration: 1:30:32 Audio Bitrate: 1536 Kbps Audio Sample Size: 16 bit Audio Format: PCM Framerate: 29 frames a second (can't lower this anymore, The movie gets too choppy) Video Sample Size: 24 bit
    • You have a really bad encoder if it can't look good at 7mbps (4.7 GB * 1024 GB/MB * 8Mb/MB) / 5432 seconds. Standard DVDs are usually around 5mbps and Superbit are around 9mbps. Is it doing all I-frame encoding?

      If you are looking for best encoder for the money, I'd say TMPGEnc 12j. Canopus is also a good choice if money isn't an issue.
    • Re:File info (Score:3, Interesting)

      by forkazoo ( 138186 )

      Oh yes. Im very sorry that I forgot to mention the details. Here they are. Pixels: 720 x 480 Duration: 1:30:32 Audio Bitrate: 1536 Kbps Audio Sample Size: 16 bit Audio Format: PCM Framerate: 29 frames a second (can't lower this anymore, The movie gets too choppy) Video Sample Size: 24 bit

      Don't mess with the frame rate. It won't get you anything, because an NTSC DVD will always be 29.97 Frames per second. As for your encoding troubles, somebody already mentioned TMPEGEnc, and ffmpeg. I like both of them.

      • Don't mess with the frame rate. It won't get you anything, because an NTSC DVD will always be 29.97 Frames per second

        NTSC DVDs are not always encoded at 29.97 FPS. They are sometimes encoded at 24fps or 23.976 fps. This kind of DVD is typically a digital conversion from film since movies have traditionaly been filmed at 24FPS. It's a lot harder to encode (and maintain quality) on a digitized version of a 24fps movie converted to 29.97 than it is to just do an inverse tecline (24->29.97) after decod
        • NTSC DVDs are not always encoded at 29.97 FPS. They are sometimes encoded at 24fps or 23.976 fps.
          ...and then soft-telecine flags are added to give you a real framerate of 29.97.

          Still, you can telecine from any frame-rate, to any other frame-rate. NTSC DVD is still always 29.97fps.
          • The data on the disc is encoded at 23.976 fps. This saves you quite a bit of disc space.

            Telecine is used *by an NTSC player* to convert to 29.97. Unless you're playing back on a PC, at which point it will actually play at 23.976 without performing a telecine conversion. A PAL player might choose instead to simply speed up playback by 4% to get the required 25fps there (although I don't think most do this, it is certainly a possibility). There are probably also digital projection units that will play back
            • The data on the disc is encoded at 23.976 fps.

              It could be encoded at 14FPS if you include the proper soft-telecine flags for that. There's nothing special about 23.976fps. That was my point. The framerate (header) of soft-telecined material is still 29.97fps (though it only contains 23.976fps typically). A DVD can't handle 23.976fps video any better than it can handle 17fps.

              A PAL player might choose instead to simply speed up playback by 4% to get the required 25fps there (although I don't think most do

              • I dare say none do that. If you speed-up the video, you also have to resample the sound, and hopefully pitch-shift it as well.

                I'll admit I've never seen one that does do it, but neither of those steps is particularly difficult, and it would be a better approach to take than the one my player seems to take (3:2 pulldown to take the framerate to 29.97 and then drop frames to get to 25).
              • It could be encoded at 14FPS if you include the proper soft-telecine flags for that.

                IIRC, the DVD spec only allows for 23.97 -> 30 telecine. I could be wrong though...

                I dare say none do that.

                Actually, this is exactly what they do do (depending if it's a PAL-region or an NTSC-region disc).

                PAL DVDs are all 25 FPS on the disc. NTSC DVDs are either 23.97 FPS or 30 FPS on the disc, but play out at 30 FPS, regardless of the framerate of the encode (as you say, 24 FPS film is slowed down to 23.97 at encodin

                • If they're from film source (e.g. movies), the film is sped up to 25 FPS at encoding time - we don't dick around with telecine and other kludges.

                  Yes, that's encoding. We're talking about PAL DVD players, playing NTSC discs.

                  Which means, yes, their run-time is slightly shorter (by 4%), and the pitch is slightly higher (less than a quarter-tone, IIRC).

                  The telecine judder should be unnoticable in most situations, on decent TV sets, and is going away as PCs and HDTVs become popular.

                  The 4% speed-up, however, is

        • I definitely agree with the audio. He needs to quite using uncompressed audio and use MP2 at the minimum and preferably some form of dolby if possible.

          For NTSC discs, that should be Dolby AC3 at a minimum, as MP2 is an optional part of the spec that might not be supported on all players. For PAL players, AC3 is optional and MP2 is mandatory. Fucked up, but true.

    • As I suspected (and noted in another comment) you're losing lots of bits in your audio. Try compressing it into .ac3 (not sure if there are any legal, free tools for this) or .mp2 (not NTSC compatible in the spec, but generally works in most DVD players I've tried). PCM is uncompressed and huge, leaving little room for your video. Nero might even make your DVD look ok if you can compress the audio a little, but I'd still use a better encoder to make the actual MPEG.
    • Audio Sample Size: 16 bit Audio Format: PCM

      PCM is uncompressed audio, half your file size is probably the audio. Demultiplex the audio to a separate (.wav) file, encode it to even the highest quality AC3 or MP2 at 48000 sample rate; you'll save several gigs. PCM audio is used to make the AVI easier to edit and keep in synch, but you don't need that for playback.

    • Audio Bitrate: 1536 Kbps Audio Sample Size: 16 bit Audio Format: PCM

      There's your problem. You're using up a huge chunk of your space for uncompressed 2-channel PCM audio. Encode it to 192K AC3, and you'll have far more room for video. You can use MP2 if you want to avoid patent licensing, but you should know it's only standard for PAL DVD players, not NTSC ones (ridiculous, I know).

      And though you haven't mentioned it, since you're encoding audio to PCM, I suspect you're encoding video to MPEG-1 as well

    • Two things:

      First, even if your program allows you to fill in an arbitrary number for frame rate, it is not a number, but a binary choice. You have the option for 25 in Europe, or 30 in America. Your TV cannot do anything but 30 FPS, so will have to double-display one frame per second if your source material claims to be 29. This is visible. Your movie should shorten to about 87 minutes. Sorry. (the same is done for movies on TV in Europe: They play on TV at 25 FPS instead of the 24 FPS in the theatre, shor
      • First, even if your program allows you to fill in an arbitrary number for frame rate, it is not a number, but a binary choice. You have the option for 25 in Europe, or 30 in America. Your TV cannot do anything but 30 FPS, so will have to double-display one frame per second if your source material claims to be 29.

        Not true. You can have 24fps and the player will use telecine (interlacing) to produce a smooth playback. This is the way it is done for most commercial DVDs.
  • Using a decent encoder is certainly the method of choice, but another solution, though not overly elegant, is let the DVD authoring app save an oversize file set (if it will let you--Ulead Video Studio will) and then use an app like CloneDVD2 to compress file set into a 4.7GB file set. Not sure how the quality will be, but apps like CloneDVD are designed to create decent compressed DVD's from dual layer source disks, and the results DVD's has been excellent....

    -Jim []
  • assuming you do have an apple, final cut & dvd studio- it's pretty straight forward. final cut will import directly, compressor will encode and dvd studio will author the dvd. i had no idea what i was doing and was able to do it in a day.

    do as few encoding/decodings as possible and burn the disk slow. make sure your (total) bit rate is below the dvd spec for stand-alone players. at least that's what i figured out...

    • WOW! The usual Slashdot super-geek crowd must be on a date. No scratch that they are all out watching Clerks2.

      1. Variable Bit Rate 2 Pass.
      2. Set Bit Rate High I like 6.9 Mbps
      3. Set Maximum Bit Rate to 8.0 Mbps or slightly higher ( If you go higher some DVD player will not playback).
      4. Lastly use a better Camera next time. Some of the issue my be your Camera if it is 1 Chip.

      Try to avoid programs the auto pick bit rate based on 2,4,6 hour. As far a Final Cut get it if you don't have it. The enti
      • I have to echo your sentiments. However, it is quite expensive. I ordered the current Final Cut Studio ($1299) and a Mac Pro to run it on ($2999 w/2GB RAM (recommended by the software) and 500 GB drive (you'll need the space)).

        A refurb G5 can be less expensive, but doesn't have as many internal drive bays. Unless you're going to build an external RAID, I recommend lots of internal drive storage. In my experience, consumer-level single-PATA-drive Firewire 400 enclosures don't use all the available bandwi
  • The Doom9 site is simply one of the best sites you could go to for anything video-encoding related. Read through some of their DVD encoding guides [], they'll walk you through how to get decent encodes and point you to the software you'll need.
  • This is need to just wait a little while, affordable bluray & hd-dvd burners that can handle your 19GB movie are surely just weeks away!
  • DivxtoDVD (Score:5, Informative)

    by 1u3hr ( 530656 ) on Friday August 11, 2006 @11:17PM (#15892930)
    There are a bunch of forums to get you going. Slashdot isn't one of them. VideoHelp [] is one of the larger, and friendlier, ones, with links to tools and such. Afterdawn [] has a very good archive of software.

    Simple, free, one-click solution: DivxtoDVD []. Fast and easy, quite good results.

    If you want to get into it more, you need Avisynth (to load the AVI, scale it, apply filters); a video encoder (I like HCenc), an audio encoder (like BeSweet), an authoring app (like GUifor DVDAuthor, finally a burning app (use Nero or whatever came with your burner).

    These are all free Windows software, you can do it all in Linux, but it's not so user-friendly. Most Mac users tend to use commercial software.

  • A lot of the comments here suggest that you buy a several thousand dollar encoder to fix this problem... not really the best solution. In reality, TMPGEnc (already mentioned) has long been on par with CCE quality-wise. Furthermore, it's free.

    However, the problem probably is less the encoder than the source. DV is usually incredibly noisy, and thus very very difficult to encode. This can be helped a lot by good filtering. TMPGEnc includes some filtering options that may work for you, but if you're looking fo
    • TMPGEnc (already mentioned) has long been on par with CCE quality-wise. Furthermore, it's free.

      The free version only encodes MPEG1; i.e. VCDs, not DVDs.

    • However, the problem probably is less the encoder than the source
      I'd disagree (though you're right - DV is noisy; and worse, it not even noisy in the same domain that MPEG is!). Being on a Mac, if the poster doesn't have QuickTime Pro, the MPEG encoder used by iMovie/iDVD is incredibly bad. And, even if he does buy QT Pro, I don't know if iMovie/iDVD uses the better (but still not real flash) QT Pro encoder...
  • Max bitrates (Score:3, Informative)

    by sakusha ( 441986 ) on Saturday August 12, 2006 @01:27AM (#15893336)
    There is a fixed limit on the max bit rate, some older DVD players don't have the horsepower to decode and play high bitrate files. You can lay down high bitrate files just fine, but the player might not be able to play them. This is especially problematic for PCM files, you really should encode them as AC3, which are far lower bitrates but are essentially the same quality. There is a fixed limit on the total (audio + video) bitrate in the DVD spec, don't exceed it or you end up with stuttering files just as you described.
  • If you're a Mac user [], the iLife [] suite includes two tools that greatly simplify just such tasks, iMovie HD [] and iDVD []. These tools follow the Apple mantra of ease of use, straightforward, and simple - while codec and compression settings are there, they are unnecessary for most things. These tools are relatively cheap, especially compared to Adobe Premiere [], they don't have the features either. Seriously nonlinear editing comparable to Premiere is available on Mac OS in Final Cut [], but the use case you presen
  • I have to ask - did you buy Premiere Pro, or did you pirate it?

    Because Premiere Pro 2.0 at least (and probably other versions too) exports direct to DVD if you want:

    File - Export - To DVD

    Pick your options and burn.

    If you have Encore you can instead export from Premiere Pro using Adobe Media Encoder. Choose MPEG2-DVD format, pick your options again (VBR 2-Pass is best, max bitrate 7MB), export demuxed and then put the resulting .m2v and .wav files into Encore. Create a fancy menu, whatever you want. Encore w
  • I've been recording F1 Grand Prix (and movies etc) digitally through a Canon DVD camcorder that has an analog to digital pass through mode. This gets captured on a Sony Vaio laptop (with firewire in) using the free WinDV.exe. I then edit as required using Adobe Premiere, then encode the resulting DV avi file to MPEG-2 using TMPGEnc. I usually encode using 2 pass VBR, and with this method I can get a quality result. The maximum video length for decent quality is around 2 hours for a 4.7Gb DVD. You can get mo
  • Since you're getting dropped frames, maybe your PC isn't up to the job. A camcorder can spit out a LARGE amount of data.

    Have you considered a standalone, entertainment-center-type DVD recorder? I think you can get one for pretty cheap with firewire in. So you would hook your firewire output to the DVD recorder (to avoid digital -> analog -> digital conversion losses), and just record to a blank disk.

    A brief look online found the Panasonic DMR-ES15S for about $150. There are probably cheaper, and I
  • Hi

    You'll definately want to use MPEG2 Variable Bitrate encoding. That's a two-pass encode, it takes its time, but the result is worth it. I managed to get more than two hours of lecture recordings on one 4.7 GB DVD, with perfectly fine quality. Your 1½ hour should fit well. Since you have 1/3 less playtime than I had, you could increase the average bitrate (or the audio bitrate) to maximize quality.

    I used Ulead DVD authoring products - Movie Factory for simple stuff, DVD Workshop for complex. They b

  • by aquowf ( 977465 )
    why did you render into avi, isnt the standard for dvds mpg?
  • Use a better encoder (Score:3, Informative)

    by Xesdeeni ( 308293 ) on Saturday August 12, 2006 @12:50PM (#15894684)
    90 minutes on a single-layer DVD should look excellent. You will use a bitrate of about 6 Mbps, which is plenty for high quality SD. But you must use a decent encoder.

    Nero's, as well as those on most all-in-one DVD edit/encode/author software are crap. The one that comes with Premiere is actually very good, but I prefer CinemaCraft Encoder Basic [] available at Visible Light for a mere $58 []. (Understand that the full version retails for over $2500 and has been used on commercial DVDs for many years.) It's not only quite good, but it's very fast. And it will plug directly into Premiere so you don't have to save that 19 GB intermediate AVI (or go through the associated additional encode/decode cycle, which also degrades the quality).

    After encoding, you must author your DVD. Adobe's Encore is good, but at $350, it's pretty expensive. I recommend DVD-Lab [], the standard version of which is only $99.

    Both of these are available for trial download, so you don't have to take my word for it.

    Note that for audio, you can use MP2 for PAL destinations, even for commercial DVDs, and CCEB will do this for you. But for NTSC destinations, MP2 is not required to be supported by the players. You'll need to obtain a DolbyDigital (AC3) encoder, which is a different story (or you can use PCM, but this would force you to use a lower bitrate on the video, which would degrade the quality, so I don't recommend it).

  • by Ilgaz ( 86384 ) on Sunday August 13, 2006 @11:09AM (#15898217) Homepage
    There are 3 simple rules not to lose quality:

    1) Perform effects, fade in,fade out etc on non compressed source never overwriting it. E.g. use "edited.avi" as output file

    2) Never upsample. E.g. don't convert to DivX, it is lossy, "final" format. Decide what media you will need and compress using regular TV specs, don't delete the source if you can. For example, if you want to output to NTSC/Progressive (which in case, camera is not HD), here is resolution specs. Anything lower loses quality, higher won't work.

    648 x 486-->Standard NTSC ( .html [] ). If the program allows it, select also "progressive scanning" option. Near all TVs,DVD players support it. It becomes dubbed as "480p"

    3) Do not transcode. E.g. do not convert something to DivX (mpeg 4 variant) and re-convert it to Mpeg 2..

    4) Always use "multi pass" encoding. Not only the result will be smaller, it will be better quality as the bandwidth is used wherever needed.

    Your problem was, single layer DVD. As the output media lacks space , the program you used lowered quality to fit 4.7 gb media. You should use dual layer DVD or 2 DVDs (which seems like bad idea)

    I am on Mac so I really forgot/don't watch Windows/Linux programs but there is one program I can blindly suggest: TGMpegEnc. I have even seen it used in purely professional production work on windows based studios. Don't let its "plain" look trick you. It is a very advanced solution which I heard "basic" version is free.

  • I have ran into this issue before.

    Nero, while it works, is a HORRIBLE way to encode DVDs. There are many alternative solutions.

    First, instead of exporting your project in Premiere as an AVI, try exporting it to DVD, or to an MPEG2 format. Adobe Encore is pretty user friendly for creating DVDs, with the menus and interaction and stuff, but it will also rerender your movie to fit your target media.

    What I usually use is Canopus Procoder, and it has a Premiere plugin. In Premiere, export to Canopus, then choose
  • I use nero 7 (specifically NeroVision) to make dvds. The quality is good, but unless I did the following to disable the nero codecs the audio was out of sync with the video. Also, turning off the "smart audio transcoder" (something like that) is a good idea because a bug in the "auto" (default) video quality option means that it calculates quality to fit the video and audio to the disk assuming re-compressed audio, and then "smart transcoding" decides not to re-compress the audio and it goes over the size o
  • Make sure you are exporting in a standard DVD resolution/format/framerate.

    Some export utilities will allow you to export resolutions that are valid MPEG-2 but not compliant with the MPEG-2 subset used with DVDs. The end result is usually that PC-based players will play it fine, some standalones play it fine, some standalones will do weird things when playing it, and some standalones won't play it at all.
  • Some people mistakenly say that MPEG encodes in 30fps. This is not true. It only encodes in interlaced mode; specifically, it encodes 60 fields per second, but each field only has half of the scan lines on-screen. There are situations where the DVD player has to "fill in the blanks" and convert the 60 fields per second into a true 60fps. They are as follows:
    • When playing an anamorphic (widescreen) DVD on a 4:3 TV
    • When playing a DVD on a progressive scan TV. (Old TVs draw even lines on one frame, and od

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.