I have a client who had requested I author some standard definition (SD) videos as blu-ray projects. One stipulation is that I always encode at the highest bit rate possible. Some of the videos are 3 hours long, so they won't fit onto a DVD9. Thus it makes sense to author them to blu-ray disc if max bit rate is a non-negotiable requirement. Of course, this is easy to do using DVD Architect. I have some questions about some aspects of it though.
1. Other than being able to fit considerably more SD video encoded at max bit rate onto a single blu-ray disc, is there any advantage to authoring SD video as a blu-ray? I ask this question because some of the videos are less than two hours long - but the client still wants them authored to blu-ray. I think if I can make a case for why a DVD9 would be just as good as a blu-ray disc, the client would go along with that.
2. As a follow up to the above question - can you achieve higher picture quality by encoding SD video at a bit rate higher than what is allowed for a DVD (9.8K)? In other words, would SD video encoded at an average bit rate of 12K and then authored to a SD blu-ray look better than the same video encoded at 9.8K and authored to DVD?
3. I've noticed when authoring a DVD with DVD Architect, the compilation and authoring literally only takes a few minutes to complete. If I take the exact same SD video and audio files and author them to an SD blu-ray disc, it will take an hour or more to finish. I realize the DVD is compiling several VOB files and the blu-ray is compiling all the video and audio into one .m2ts file. What I'm really curious about - is there any re-encoding taking place when authoring the SD video to a blu-ray disc (thus the significant difference in the amount of time it takes for the disc to finish)?
Fortunately, I don't have to do many Blu-ray discs, however I can provide some input.
A video encoded for Blu-ray is not only (able to be) encoded at a higher bit rate, but a different compression algorithm is used. So instead of 9 Mbps of MPEG-2, you're getting 9+ Mbps of H.264. You'll have higher picture quality at the same bit rate, simply from using the better compression standard.
That being said, you don't have a lot of pixels to begin with, so you really won't get any improvement for SD video at rates above 9 Mbps MPEG-2, even if you could put higher bit rates on a standard DVD.