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Which Do I choose - DVD or Blu-Ray for SD or HD projection??

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Andrew Wilson
Which Do I choose - DVD or Blu-Ray for SD or HD projection??
on Oct 4, 2011 at 11:10:11 pm

I'm doing some work with an independent filmmaker who just completed a feature length documentary and he's starting to show it in theaters and festivals. Due to extensive use of Standard Def archive TV footage - the film was posted in 4:3 standard def.

Now, theaters that want to show the film say they'll support playback from either DVD or Blu-Ray.

Given compression and bitrate and stuff like that, what's the best option?

1. Give them a good old-fashioned DVD

2. Take the SD movie and blow it up (in Final Cut) to a 1280x720 Sequence and create a Blu-Ray from there, leaving black bars on the left and right to preserve the 4:3

3. (this is something he mentioned and I thought I would ask) Take the SD film, drop it into a 1280x720 sequence but don't blow it up. Effectively giving you the screen size of the SD DVD but with the added bit-rate of Blu-Ray. The blu-ray would have black all around the image but let the projectionist deal with that.


I have all the toys at my disposal. FinalCut 7, Compressor, Toast, Production Premium 5.5 and a blu-ray burner.

Thanks so much!

Andrew Wilson
WestView Digital Video & Design
http://www.westviewdigital.com


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Michael Sacci
Re: Which Do I choose - DVD or Blu-Ray for SD or HD projection??
on Oct 5, 2011 at 2:22:52 am

#3 would probably piss off every projectionist that receives the disc.

If you have SD just send a DVD or just put SD on a BluRay. Double check me on this but if you put the SD on BR you can at least increase the bitrate and you maybe even be able to use AVC codec.

FCP does a horrible job of upresing so don't even try that.


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Andrew Wilson
Re: Which Do I choose - DVD or Blu-Ray for SD or HD projection??
on Oct 5, 2011 at 4:00:05 am

I thought option 3 was a bad idea but was intrigued about getting the better bitrate.

If and when the time comes, what's the best way to uprez the image other than Final Cut?

Andrew Wilson
WestView Digital Video & Design
http://www.westviewdigital.com


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Michael Sacci
Re: Which Do I choose - DVD or Blu-Ray for SD or HD projection??
on Oct 5, 2011 at 6:17:11 am

Hardware but that means a 2 computer system with something like an AJA (or other) video device. Or use compressor with Frame Control turned on and set to Best.


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Bill Stephan
Re: Which Do I choose - DVD or Blu-Ray for SD or HD projection??
on Oct 5, 2011 at 10:21:28 pm

Because the project is already in SD and the venues can use it, I vote for good old-fashioned DVD. Don't screw around with the project any more than is necessary.

Bill Stephan
Senior Editor/DVD Author
USA Studios
New York City


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Michael Slowe
Re: Which Do I choose - DVD or Blu-Ray for SD or HD projection??
on Oct 6, 2011 at 8:18:30 am

There is no doubt that Blu-Ray beats DVD every time all other things being equal. However, when I've had stuff projected in cinemas they asked for DVD but played it through a Blu-Ray player because the modern BD players upscale DVD's automatically. In most cases the image looked fine.

Michael Slowe


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