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Dustin Brown
Distributable DVD
on Aug 6, 2008 at 4:49:13 am

I'm going burn my reel off to some DVDs soon, and I'd like to get some recommendations from you guys on how to do my best to insure that it will play in just about whatever player or computer it gets stuck in. Standalone players (both new and old), PCs, Macs, digital televisions, CRT televisions...you never know what an employer is going to use to try to view your reel.

Here are some things I'm already considering:

1) Use high quality blank media:

http://www.digitalfaq.com/media/dvdmedia.htm

2) Regarding the question of DVD-R or DVD+R, Wikipedia has this to say:

"[...] However, because the DVD-R format has been in use since 1997, it has had a five-year lead on DVD+R. As such, older or cheaper DVD players (up to 2004 vintage) are more likely to favor the DVD-R standard exclusively, and when creating DVDs for distribution (where the playing unit is unknown or older) the DVD-R format would normally be preferable."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD%2BR

Adding to that, I would just assume stay away from rewritable discs altogether.

3) Use CBR instead of VBR when encoding, to support older players.

4) As far as I know, there are no considerations to bear in mind for making a DVD compatible with both PC and Mac.

Any corrections or additions are welcome and appreciated.



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Dustin Brown
Re: Distributable DVD
on Aug 7, 2008 at 1:00:45 pm

Don't all rush to help at once ;)

Perhaps someone has an anecdotal story about the time Company XYZ tried to watch their demo reel DVD, and it made that companies DVD player catch fire.

I love learning from other people's mistakes. Do share :)

-Dustin



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John Cuevas
Re: Distributable DVD
on Aug 14, 2008 at 2:21:05 pm

I've been using DVD's to send to prospective clients and employers for years---not many problems to report. I'd expect that perspective employers in production are going to be a little more savy than the average client, but here are some anedotes/problems I have encountered, all with clients.

Because it's round and shiny and fits into the little tray on the computer they assume that automatically means it will play, despite it being a CD player(older computer) or just not having DVD software to play a DVD on their computer.

For players, I haven't run into any problems using DVD-R but---some clients have older DVD's and if I burn faster than 2x their players have problems. LOL---for one client I actually sent my DVD player over for a presentation cause I got tired of listening to them tell me...it's skipping. Funny they spend 8K on a video but won't pony up 50 bucks to get a new DVD player.

Again most perspective employers in the industry aren't going to have a problem figuring out how to use a DVD---make sure it's clearly marked as such, burn at a lower speed and I tend to keep the bit rate in the 4K area---can go higher, but I tend to get less people complaining about skipping or problems that way.

Last thing, test...test and test all your menus, links everything, then find someone else to do the same thing, nothing looks less professional than sending out something that's buggy.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
http://www.ckandco.net


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Dustin Brown
Re: Distributable DVD
on Aug 14, 2008 at 3:05:52 pm

Thanks John! The low burn speed was something I overlooked in my original post, and that's the exact kind of info I was looking for. Cheers.

One way I like to do my testing is to go to a Circuit City in the middle of the day, when most people are at work and things are slow at the store. The electronics salesmen are usually cool with me testing my disc on five or so of the display setups they have on the floor. It gives me a chance to see it on various TVs and also test on multiple players.



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Brendan Coots
Re: Distributable DVD
on Aug 20, 2008 at 7:13:20 am

- Definitely 100% go with DVD-R
- Stick with a reputable brand. Ritek Ridata discs are great IMO
- stay away from RW
- keep the burn speed to 8x or less (2-4x is preferable)
- CBR is a good idea

And finally, I would advise against using a program like Nero to burn the discs from your VIDEO TS folder. This has resulted in major problems for me in the past. Just let your DVD authoring app do all the burning for safety's sake.

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

http://www.splitvisiondigital.com


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Dustin Brown
Re: Distributable DVD
on Aug 21, 2008 at 3:35:20 pm

I'm curious, why do you advise against Nero? I don't own a professional DVD authoring application, and Adobe removed the ability to export to DVD from Premiere. I guess they want you to buy Encore. I'm on Windows XP, so I don't have anything native to burn with.

Personally I don't like Nero, but that's more because I don't like the Toy-R-Us interface. It's grandma-friendly which makes it decidedly unfriendly for me. I use CDBurnerXP. It's free, open source, and the interface is clean.

-Dustin



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Brendan Coots
Re: Distributable DVD
on Aug 21, 2008 at 9:52:01 pm

Sometimes consumer disc burning apps that make playable DVDs fail to write the required header information to the disc correctly. This can result in SOME players seeing it okay (such as built-in computer DVD players which are much more tolerant), but then consumer DVD players can't read the disc when it's inserted. It doesn't always happen, which makes the problem even more sketchy.

I don't know much about the app you are using (CDBurnerXP) so it may or may not suffer from this issue at all.

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

http://www.splitvisiondigital.com


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Dustin Brown
Re: Distributable DVD
on Sep 12, 2008 at 7:05:53 pm

What about audio? PCM, MPEG, Dolby Digital?



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