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Best aquisition and authoring formats for worldwide distribution

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Jackie Starr
Best aquisition and authoring formats for worldwide distribution
on Dec 12, 2005 at 7:43:13 pm

I am a music concert producer who usually delivers on tape and lets the client handle authoring. I just took on a low-mid budget job were the client asked me to design menus and deliver a DVD master. They want one DVD master to sell worldwide. The DVD will be licensed to US, Japan, and Europe. They want as close to worldwide compatibility from one disc as possible.

I will probably outsource the authoring, but need to know what formats to use for the master. DVD DEMYSTIFIED says "NTSC discs (with Dolby Digital audio) play on over 95% of DVD systems worldwide".

We don't have access to NTSC cameras so the concert will be shot on PAL gear (in Europe). Should we edit our PAL master and then convert the finished program to NTSC?

Is there anyway to avoid NTSC conversion (by shooting 24P for example)? Are film originated programs encoded & authored at 24P using 720x480 pixel aspect ratio?

Are double sided discs (525/60 NTSC video on one side of the disc and 625/50 PAL on the other) a lot more expensive to encode/author?

And finally what audio format do I choose for my stereo & 5.1 mix?

I guess I am really asking for a master class in authoring distilled down to a couple of paragraphs...


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Noah Kadner
Re: Best aquisition and authoring formats for worldwide distribution
on Dec 12, 2005 at 11:08:32 pm

Film or 24p HD would definitely be the smartest bet for worldwide distrubution though of course not cheap.

Noah


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Jackie Starr
Re: Best aquisition and authoring formats for worldwide distribution
on Dec 13, 2005 at 5:08:43 pm

OK say we shoot at 24 frames a second. Would this then lead to a disc authored at 24 frames per second using either PAL or NTSC pixel ratios? Do set top players play back 24 fps DVD's worldwide?


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Noah Kadner
Re: Best aquisition and authoring formats for worldwide distribution
on Dec 13, 2005 at 6:49:50 pm

Not exactly- NTSC players can play at native 24p but you would need to create a 25p or 50i version for PAL. There's no format that right out of the box will play worldwide. Even film would need to be transferred to seperate PAL and NTSC versions- because it's frame rate as well as frame size. NTSC is 720x480 while PAL is 720X576.

It all comes down to budget. If you had unlimited budget, I'd say shoot in 35mm then transfer to 1080 HD for the edit. Then master to NTSC and PAL Digibeta and use those as a source for the DVD master.

If you were trying to get the most bang for the buck I'd say shoot in 24p NTSC and then create an NTSC master. Because just about all PAL DVD players can playback NTSC but the reverse is not true. PAL originated material needs to be converted to NTSC before NTSC players could play it. Here's a good primer:

http://www.michaeldvd.com.au/Articles/PALvsNTSC/PALvsNTSC.asp

-Noah


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Jackie Starr
Re: Best aquisition and authoring formats for worldwide distribution
on Dec 13, 2005 at 8:32:19 pm

Thanks for the info & link Noah. That looks like a good read.


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