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XDCAM EX 30P to SD DVD Questions

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Andy Bissonnette
XDCAM EX 30P to SD DVD Questions
on Dec 17, 2009 at 7:10:43 pm

Hey everyone,

I've been researching and researching with no luck on this. I have a bunch of footage shot with the EX-3 set to XDCAM EX 1920x1080 30p. I am using fcp6. What is the best way to get this onto an SD-DVD. Here are the options I've tried.

Export as ProRes 1920x1080 30p, then let DVDSP do the encoding?

Export using Compressor, DVD Best Quality 90 minutes?

The biggest problem I'm having is how my progressive footage will look once it is on a DVD. Is it even possible to put progessive footage on an SD-DVD? I've heard of "progressive DVD's", but is it true that only certain players will be able to play them? And how would you do this in DVDSP?

Should I export the 30p footage out of FCP as interlaced?

I'm really confused about putting progressive footage on SD-DVD's. Also, what if it is shot in 24p? Is it possible to make DVDs in 24p?

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enrique orozco
Re: XDCAM EX 30P to SD DVD Questions
on Dec 17, 2009 at 7:44:56 pm

... 24p full progressive DVDs are within the DVD std. specs. but NOT 30p... if you shoot 30p (as I do...) you can render to 60i for DVD, or try rendering to 24p with your NLE (not sure about the results, better shoot in 24p if you want progressive DVD).... I even render progressive 30p and got excellent results for my DVDs, but sorry I'm on PC land (Vegas & DVDarch)....

good luck

Enrique Orozco R. >iDEA DigitalVideoStudio

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Craig Seeman
Re: XDCAM EX 30P to SD DVD Questions
on Dec 17, 2009 at 7:49:29 pm

30p becomes 60i in the downconvert so that's not a big issue except you don't regain lost temporal resolution.

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Andy Bissonnette
Re: XDCAM EX 30P to SD DVD Questions
on Dec 17, 2009 at 10:21:45 pm

Very interesting, maybe I've been living under a rock but I never knew you could burn 24p DVD's. And does every DVD player play that back just fine?

Thanks for the info btw...

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Craig Seeman
Re: XDCAM EX 30P to SD DVD Questions
on Dec 17, 2009 at 10:41:07 pm

24p on DVD
DVDs, however, are capable of storing the native 24p frames. Every Hollywood movie is laid to disc as a 24p (actually 23.976p – see below) stream. With a progressive-scan DVD player and a progressive display, such as an HDTV, only the progressive frames are displayed and there is no conversion to an interlaced format – eliminating the appearance of any interlace or de-interlacing artifacts. When displayed on a standard NTSC TV (which only display 60i) the DVD player will add 3:2 pulldown to the signal.

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Craig Seeman
Re: XDCAM EX 30P to SD DVD Questions
on Dec 17, 2009 at 7:47:51 pm

Doug Jensen (VortexMedia) EX training DVDs were shot at 1080p30, editing in an SD timeline which went to DVD so if you've seen his training DVD you've seen the results. He once posted his step by step on some forum but I don't have that readily available.

The real issue centers around the scaling on downconvert to SD.
I've seen so many formulas for this and have had issues with each depending on content (except for editing in SD timeline) that I can't say which works best.

I'm sure each person on this forum will post a success story.

I'd use ProRes self contain, put in Compressor, and turn up the features in Frame Controls that relate to scaling. One issue I've had is line twitter on thin lines in 1080p downscaled to SD. Some suggest adding a small blur on the source video to soften the thin lines.

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Rafael Amador
Re: XDCAM EX 30P to SD DVD Questions
on Dec 18, 2009 at 5:33:17 am

All the Hollywood movies we watch in DVDs are progressive.
The advantage of progressive footage is that you can read it as Progressive, Lower or Upper without any glitch.

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Dean Sensui
Re: XDCAM EX 30P to SD DVD Questions
on Dec 18, 2009 at 6:40:06 am

Here's my setup:

I export a file as Apple ProRes 422 HQ. It's what's output by Color so that's what I'm exporting.

In Compressor, here are my settings:

"DVD 16:9 SD, sharpened 90-min." This is a slightly modified version of the "90-min best quality" setting.

-- 2.0 Dolby Digital -31 dBFS, no compression
-- DVD 16:9 MPEG-2, 6.2 Mbps, 2-pass. Detail 20

The frame aspect is 16:9 widescreen. Audio is passed through without any level changes.

Note that setting "detail" to 20 will dramatically increase encoding time. Do a test to see the results before committing a large project.

In DVD Studio Pro:

Click on "Outline" window.
Set the title of the main disk as desired.

In the Outline window, click on "Menu 1" icon.
-- Under Menu editor in the Inspector window, set "display mode" to 16:9 Letterbox.
-- Do the same for Track 1.

This will create a letterboxed version that will work with 4:3 televisions.

Dean Sensui -- Hawaii Goes Fishing

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Kevin Jones
Re: XDCAM EX 30P to SD DVD Questions
on Dec 18, 2009 at 5:14:42 pm

Here's Doug Jensen's workflow:

Many people have written to ask me about my Final Cut Pro workflow for creating DVDs from XDCAM footage. Let me start by saying that I do not claim to be an FCP expert, and my workflow is so simple that I'm surprised I get this question at all. I don't use any special tricks or extra rendering steps or anything. I just edit and render. Here are the steps I follow for Final Cut Pro.
1) I shoot most footage with the HQ1080/30P Video Format.
2) I open a new Sequence in FCP and use the "DV NTSC 48Khz Anamorphic" preset.
3) I change the Field Dominance to "NONE"
4) I edit the entire program within that Sequence.
5) When I'm done editing, I then Export a QuickTime movie of the Sequence. I choose "Current Settings" and I do NOT choose to "Make Movie Self-Contained".
6) I then take that QuickTime movie and bring it into Compressor.
7) I then choose the Compressor preset for DVD Best Quality and modify a few of the settings (such as bitrate), but nothing major.
8) After that file is finished rendering, I bring it into DVD Studio Pro and author the DVD normally
These steps are exactly how my EX1 and EX3 DVDs were produced, and it's the workflow we've been using with XDCAM HD and HDV for over three years.
I hope that helps.
Good luck.
Doug Jensen

2.5GHz Quad-core PowerPC G5
Final Cut Studio 2

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Chris Babbitt
Re: XDCAM EX 30P to SD DVD Questions
on Dec 18, 2009 at 5:53:43 pm


Why do you choose to shoot in 1080/30p instead of 720/60p?

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Craig Seeman
Re: XDCAM EX 30P to SD DVD Questions
on Dec 18, 2009 at 6:15:45 pm

I can't speak for Doug of course but I've watched his DVD and I had already come to a similar aesthetic.

In most cases I prefer the greater detail of 1080p30. The temporal resolution is better than 24p and if you're not shooting a high motion subject it's still good.

I shoot 720p60 for sports where having the temporal resolution (less motion blur between frames and possibility of faster camera movement) is important.

1080 also gives you more "frame" to play with when editing in a Standard Definition timeline. It has greater ability to reframe pan, zoom, etc.

It's basically frame size vs temporal resolution and it really depends on your subject matter and which you think is more important for the shoot at hand.

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Dean Sensui
Re: XDCAM EX 30P to SD DVD Questions
on Dec 18, 2009 at 6:18:28 pm

The only caveat about editing HD content on an SD sequence is the inability to easily repurpose the program if you want it in HD later. And you'll have to render the entire program anyway.

Simply re-scaling will result in rough-looking graphics and titles.

For what I do, which requires both HD and SD versions, I let Compressor handle the scaling.

And for any fish caught on the show, I let the fishermen handle the scaling...

Dean Sensui -- Hawaii Goes Fishing

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Michael Slowe
Re: XDCAM EX 30P to SD DVD Questions
on Dec 20, 2009 at 2:07:48 pm

Firstly can I ask Doug how he thinks Compressor compares in quality with BitVice for encoding DVD's if he's ever used it. I find it's terrific.

As to the question of making SD DVD's but retaining an HD version I edit in an HD timeline and export a QT .Mov and let BitVice do the downscale. That way my HD programme remains intact.

How are people making Blu-Ray DVD's? That has to be our distribution format in a year's time surely?

Michael Slowe

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Nicholas Bierzonski
Re: XDCAM EX 30P to SD DVD Questions
on Dec 21, 2009 at 4:28:45 pm

This link is old but still might be of use to you.

Also when you encode you must decide if you are encoding for an anamorphic 16:9 TV or a 4:3 TV

There is a difference in pixel shape.

Lately we've been shooting with the EX1 in full HD 1920x1080

but we'll compress two different versions for the DVD.

The first will be compressed for an anamorphic 16:9 TV and
the second will be letter boxed for a 4:3 TV

Of course there is no way to guarantee the final DVD player is setup correctly.

But somethings are ultimately out of our control.

-Nicholas Bierzonski
Senior Editor/DVD Author/Java Boy

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Bob O'Brien
Re: XDCAM EX 30P to SD DVD Questions
on Jan 2, 2010 at 3:40:39 pm

Ken Stone's advice is good, but I do two things differently with excellent results:

1. After editing in an HD timeline with render settings set to Pro Res, when I create my SD timeline, although I do use an anamorphic 720x480 frame size with fields set to NONE, I use an Uncompressed 8bit compressor setting. (Why recompress your footage to the very lossy DV before creating M2V's for your DVD?).

2. Instead of doing a copy/paste to get the HD timeline into the SD one, I drag my HD sequence from the browser into the timeline. (I don't know if this makes any difference at all, but I remember reading that recommendation somewhere on the Cow that said this method was better).


Sony EX3 & Sony DXC637/PVV3 Betacam-SP

*MacBook Pro - 2.33Ghz - 2Gb RAM
*Matrox MXO / 23" Cinema Display

*DualG5 2Ghz w/2.5Gb RAM
*HMV800 DualMax RAID0
*Sony 2800

*OSX10.4.11, QT 7.5, FCP 6.0.4, Livetype 2.1.3, Soundtrack Pro 2.0.2, DVDSP4.2.1, Adobe CS3 Prod Suite

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