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Best compression settings for DVD authoring?

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Jemina Macedo
Best compression settings for DVD authoring?
on Jul 16, 2014 at 12:29:25 pm


- I have created 14 HD videos that go for an average of 4min/piece in FCP X, these have been exported H.264
- I have created jpeg images for the main menu and 3 sub menus 720 x 480
- I have compressed all video files through Apple Compressor so that they are converted into MPEG-2
- I have created a DVD menu and sub menus in Adobe Encore
- I am working in PAL

The quality that is coming out is AWFUL. Jagged/pixilated menus and horrible video. I am new to DVD authoring and have attempted to educate myself through reading through various forums online - many from cow. I understand that in DVD authoring (unless you are using Blu-Ray, which I am not) there is a real issue in downsizing as a HD image is essentially transformed into a SD video and the quality suffers. I understand that the image is never going to look as amazing as the HD video that I originally created, however I do want to do the right steps in trying to achieve the best result with the tools at hand.

I need to understand the following:
1) What are the best compression settings for a HD video that only runs for 4min/piece?
2) Any mainstream advice in achieving the best quality output from Adobe encore.

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Oki Pienandoro
Re: Best compression settings for DVD authoring?
on Jul 16, 2014 at 2:39:01 pm
Last Edited By Oki Pienandoro on Jul 16, 2014 at 2:49:36 pm

Your first mistake is to export the intermediate files from FCP into h.264.
h.264 is a lossy compression.
Instead, you should directly export to MPEG2, this way you can avoid one lossy chain.
I rarely use fcp/compressor, so maybe someone who use compressor daily can chip in.

Jagged /pixelated result is called macro blocks.
This is the way MPEG2 to compress, they group the pixel into "blocks".

Most of the times this occur because you use a very low bitrate.
On most cases you can get good result with minimum bitrate at 2 Mbps, Average at 5 Mbps, Max at 9 Mbps. Use 2 pass.
If there's motion estimate option in compressor, set that relatively high (at the expense of longer encoding time, but the file size is not affected). Motion estimate IS the heart of mpeg encoding.

Your total runtime is about 56 min. This is actually very low runtime and can fit DVD perfectly with a very good result.

edit :
If you use Adobe Media Encoder, there's option "Use Maximum Render Quality". What this actually do is resize the HD source into SD using higher samples/method, the result is crisper image.

Sorry if that doesn't help you much. I work almost exclusively with Premiere, Encore and Adobe Media Encoder. I very rarely use FCP and compressor unless the client demands it.
Sorry for the english, not native speaker.

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Gary Milligan
Re: Best compression settings for DVD authoring?
on Jul 18, 2014 at 4:57:04 am

Adding to the good information that Oki has given, if you are judging the finished quality solely by the image you see in Encore then that will account for your disappointment. The very best way is to burn your project to disc and watch it on a TV. If you're concerned about possibly wasting a disc, you can save the project as a file on your computer and play that using DVD Player on your Mac. I use re-writable discs to check my burns - if there's a problem or I'm not happy with something I can simply fix the authoring, erase the disc and write to it again.



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