Need help on DVD setup
OK, here is the situation. I am a freelance dvd author for one post house. I was basically brought on to do this as I was the 3rd editor and they didn't want to pay a "real" dvd author. I've been trying to learn for the past year and would call myself an intermediate. I work with a Sonic SD-1000 hardware based encoder and author through DVDSP3. I don't know the burner off hand but it isn't the superdrive that came with the G4, but it is a cheap burner from what I understand.
The company has had problems with compatibility with clients playback, etc. I burn using toast at 1x speed with Verbatim inkjet printable media. The company is basically at a crossroads of either getting rid of the DVD side as it is kind of rinky dink or stepping up and making it more professional. We do the authoring and give them a master on DVD-R's and there is often playback problems on laptops and various players. This doesn't seem to happen with the bigger post houses in town and they don't have a replicator or anything like that.
My question is basically what kind of burner should we get and what kind of equipment we should have for a professional DVD authoring setup. They have given me the first shot of trying to fix their DVD woes and step up to the plate and learn as much as I can or they will either hire a DVD expert or can the whole thing. I would really like to keep this position so any help would be highly appreciated.
Hey, I feel your pain. I've been at DVD now for almost 8 years and compatibility problems are still very frustrating.
There are a number of things that can cause discs to not play in various players. Cheap media is one of them, but the Verbatims you mention I believe should be fine. I have heard some good, and some bad things about burning with Toast. I'll let others who have more experience with that software chime in there. I will ask, though, if you make sure you have both a VIDEO_TS and an AUDIO_TS folder that you burn? Even though the AUDIO_TS folder is empty in a a DVD-Video title, some earlier DVD players experienced playback problems when they did not find an AUDIO_TS folder present. Of course there are a number of things that can go wrong in authoring. I'm just assuming that everything there is done correctly. How about your bit rate? Bit rates above 6.5 or 7 mbs can cause playback issues on some laptops, particularly older ones. And some real cheap DVD set top boxes just never have played DVD-Rs very well (again especially older ones). And finally, the burner. That very well may be a problem. There are lots of cheap burners out there these days. And while it's not necessary to have one that costs $16,000 like the first DVD burner I used, I still think Pioneer makes the best burners (they started the whole burner thing after all). You might check into their products - either the 108 or 109 I think is the current version.
Hope this helps. Have fun!
R&R Media Producttions
Thanks a lot drumrob. I do use both the audio and video ts folders when using Toast. I have found that Toast is a little more reliable than burning straight from DVDSP. I do try to keep the bitrates at a maximum of 7. I do know that older players just can't handle the DVD-R's, but my main concern is the laptop issues. The Mac laptops can normally play them back using VLC, but when they just use Mac DVD player it causes a lot of artifacts and playback problems. It just doesn't seem professional to say "make sure you use VLC when playing back."
I'm going to look into those burners you suggested...I really hope that is all it is, but I am just wondering (not looking an inexpensive gift horse in the mouth) but are they more a prosumer burner or do post houses use them?
Thanks a lot for replying to this drumrob and I must seem like the dumbest actual "dvd author" ever, but I'm just trying to keep this gig and all of your help is really appreciated. I'm glad I stumbled across this site.
I don't know if this is relevant but footage that has been shot on video (interlaced) always looks fine on a TV but on computer monitors can look a bit jagged when there is motion in the shot. This is to do with the refresh rate of your computer screen, the fact is that you are actually playing back 50FPS in PAL or 60FPS in NTSC because there are two fields to refresh for each frame. As I understand it the computer monitor refreshes slightly faster than the footage and causes a coming effect on the picture. If you look at an encoded video that has originated from a progressive scan source i.e. film or HD you will find it plays back much smother. I don't know the exact technicalities of this but I think because each refresh of the interlaced fields are derived from the same frame but split into two somehow it does cause the same lagging/coming effect. Sorry if my explanation is a little unclear maybe someone else could explain it better
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