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Blu-ray DVD authoring for cinema scope/flat projection

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Charis Hoo
Blu-ray DVD authoring for cinema scope/flat projection
on Mar 20, 2016 at 7:47:23 pm


I have some standard 1080p square pixel footage which needs to be burned to Blu Ray and DVD for viewing in cinematic scope (2.39:1) and flat (1.85:1) formats, minimizing letterboxing, preserving or maintaining best possible aspect ratio. and I need some help with the disc authoring end of the process in Encore.

I've done a bit of research, but my experience in this area is minimal. I found out from the theater that the projectors will display at 2048x858 scope and 1998x1080 flat, that my Blu Rays have a maximum resolution of 1920x1080, and my DVD's have a standard 720x480 resolution.

I've figured out that I should transcode my footage to 1524x858 for scope, and leave it at 1920x1080 for flat in Media Encoder before importing it into Encore. But I'm most worried about my aspect ratio getting screwed up during this step of the authoring process, the transcoding from 1080p to 1524x858, and then encoding back to Blu-Ray at 1920x1080. The same goes for the DVD's where the final encode resolution carries a 1.5:1 aspect ratio.

Also, is there a program or media player I can use that can mimic the theater projection at various resolutions so I can look at my exports and check if the letterboxing or aspect ratios are correct?

Any advice, tutorials, educational reading will be greatly appreciated.


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Jeff Pulera
Re: Blu-ray DVD authoring for cinema scope/flat projection
on Mar 21, 2016 at 8:46:08 pm

Video encoded and burned to Blu-ray is going to have to be full HD (1920x1080) or 720p - the other dimensions you noted are not part of the Blu-ray specification.

This means if you want to deliver an aspect ratio other than 16:9, you must simply letterbox the image inside the 16:9 frame. When I view HD movies online or on Blu-ray, they often have letterboxing added to deliver the same cinematic aspect ratio they had in the theater. But the source going to my TV is still 1920x1080.

The only way to give your 16:9 source material the cinematic aspect ratio (for Blu-ray delivery) is to edit and encode as 1920x1080 sequence, and add letterboxing (black bars) in the edit process - meaning some of the original image will HAVE TO BE CROPPED.

Also, DVD Widescreen does not have a 1.5 Aspect Ratio. It is 16:9, just like HD video. Note that both 4:3 and 16:9 DVD use the same resolution of 720x480. The wide screen version uses wider pixels to get the widescreen playback

NTSC DVD 4:3 uses 0.9 PAR, widescreen is 1.21

PAL DVD 4:3 is 1.09 and 1.4587

Now, if you were going to deliver an .mp4 file to the theater, then maybe their system would accept some non-standard resolutions. But for Blu-ray, must be 1080i, 1080p, or 720p.


Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers

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