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Render settings for a DVD?

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Oliver de MorasséRender settings for a DVD?
by on May 6, 2013 at 9:43:56 am

We have shot some HD422 25P footage on a video camera which produces .mxf files. These import into AE CS5 no problem and I set my project's working space to be HDTV (Rec.709) and selected Linearize Working Space. All post-editing has been completed.

I need to produce the output for a DVD, which can be played on a normal widescreen TV (here in Europe). What render settings do I need to use i.e. Format, video output settings etc.

Many thanks for your help.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Render settings for a DVD?
by on May 6, 2013 at 7:18:20 pm

I'd use Adobe Media Encoder and Encore for the task.

DVD's are capable of Standard Definition only: no HD. HD is not in the DVD specification.

But you can navigate to the proper AE project in AME, open the appropriate comp, and use the appropriate preset to create a 720x576, 25fps file in mpeg2 plus the appropriate audio file to be used in authoring the 16x9 SD DVD in Encore.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Oliver de MorasséRe: Render settings for a DVD?
by on May 8, 2013 at 11:25:19 am

Hi Dave, thanks for your feedback.

I use AME CS5 to render my compositions. The following presets are shown:


Unfortunately, I see nothing for a DVD. I want the videos to be at the best possible quality for the DVD. Hence, I selected "H.264" Format and preset "HDTV 1080p 24 High Quality":


You mention I should create a "720x576, 25fps file in mpeg2". I don't quite understand why - sorry, but I have never created a DVD before. Also, which settings should I change on this preset (pixel aspect ratio, profile, level, bitrate settings/encoding etc).

Regarding DVD authoring software, have you had any experience of 'free' tools such as DVD Flick or DVDStyler - what speaks for Adobe Encore?

Many thanks, Oliver


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Oliver de MorasséRe: Render settings for a DVD?
by on May 8, 2013 at 1:59:11 pm

Another thing, I can't find out where I can purchase Adobe Encore - is this only part of the creative suite or in the Adobe cloud?


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Dave LaRondeRe: Render settings for a DVD?
by on May 8, 2013 at 2:05:23 pm

You don't HAVE to use Encore: I thought you might have it already. There are other DVD authoring applications, like Toast. Google "DVD authoring Software" and you will find them.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Jeff PuleraRe: Render settings for a DVD?
by on May 8, 2013 at 2:15:05 pm

Hi Oliver,

Adobe Encore cannot be purchased by itself - it comes with Premiere Pro, or if you buy a suite such as Production Premium that includes PPro then you get Encore of course.

As Dave pointed out, DVD content must adhere to specific...specifications. DVD is always MPEG-2 standard definition, basically 720x480 for NTSC and 720x576 for PAL. There are a few uncommon variations, but the NTSC and PAL settings are pretty firm.

So, your DVD cannot be "HD", nor can it be "H.264", or anything other than "MPEG-2 for DVD". Period. If you were to import a video into Encore that was HD and/or H.264, Encore would simply Transcode it to the proper standard definition MPEG-2 anyway, no way around it.

Thank you

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Dave LaRondeRe: Render settings for a DVD?
by on May 8, 2013 at 2:03:38 pm

[Oliver de Morassé] "I use AME CS5 to render my compositions"

Judging by the look of the presets, you are on a Mac. You may have to create your own custom preset in AME that uses mpeg2. If you don't FIND mpeg2 after a thorough search in AME, you may have to 1) buy the mpeg2 encoder for Quicktime (about $20 US) or 2) use your DVD authoring software to encode a lossless file or 3) use a free application like MPEG Streamclip to encode the lossless file for use in your DVD authoring software: you will need to make both a video AND an audio file.

You can either compress to mpeg2 directly from AME for use in your authoring software, or you can make a lossless file so another application can compress to mpeg2 for use in your authoring software, or the authoring software may also be able to compress to mpeg2. Ultimately, you have no other choice than mpeg2 to make an authored DVD.


[Oliver de Morassé] "...I selected "H.264" Format and preset "HDTV 1080p 24 High Quality":"

Bad idea. H.264 is a lossy delivery codec. DVD's will ONLY accept mpeg2 video files: it is the technical standard. If you insist on making a file that is NOT mpeg2, make a quicktime movie in the PNG codec: it is lossless.




[Oliver de Morassé] "You mention I should create a "720x576, 25fps file in mpeg2". I don't quite understand why - sorry, but I have never created a DVD before"

ALL DVD's -- it doesn't matter if it's a PAL or NTSC country follow the same technical standard: mpeg2 video with the audio embedded in the video track. The embedding process is called multiplexing, or muxing.

ALL DVD's are standard definition. There are NO high-definition DVD's. But there are 16x9 DVD's, and you can specify in your DVD authoring software to make a 16x9 DVD.

If you MUST have high-definition, you need a Blu-Ray burner and authoring software that can make Blu-Ray disks. You have no choice.


ALL DVD's to be played in a DVD player must be authored: you can NOT simply burn a file to a DVD and expect it play in a DVD player. This is why you must use DVD authoring software.


[Oliver de Morassé] "...what speaks for Adobe Encore?"

Encore comes bundled with many Adobe software packages. You may already have it. So it would be free to you already. I have no experience with free authoring software. I have limited experience with Encore, and intermediate experience with Apple's DVE Studio Pro, my DVD authoring software of choice.



I see you are in Munich. Please go to the Paulanergarten and enjoy a Mas of my favorite beer in the world for me -- it's Salvator.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Oliver de MorasséRe: Render settings for a DVD?
by on May 8, 2013 at 4:21:50 pm

Thanks Jeff and Dave for your replies. Now it all makes a little more sense!

In AME I found under Format the following choices:


... and here we go, there is a MPEG2-DVD option with the following settings!!!:


To get the best possible quality video (I shot at HD422 25P), dod I need to set Quality to the maximum (i.e. 5) and what about the bitrate settings? BTW, what are GOP settings?

Thanks for all your tremendous help!

P.S. @Dave - Yes I am in Munich and the beer is great... especially on nice hot sunny days like today ;O). I will send greetings to the Paulaner biergarten and also the Wiesn (Oktoberfest).


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Oliver de MorasséRe: Render settings for a DVD?
by on May 12, 2013 at 4:21:01 pm

I have done a little experimenting over the weekend.

I used the "MPEG2-DVD" format preset and then changed quality to 5 and bitrate settings to CBR, 9 Mbps. The video looks just fine - however, I am not 100% happy with the quality of output. On my 46" TV, the whole movie is pixelated and not as high quality at what I actually shot. If I render to a .mp4 and view it on a PC, the quality is much higher. Am I doing something wrong here?


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Dave LaRondeRe: Render settings for a DVD?
by on May 13, 2013 at 1:33:44 pm

Yes: the maximum bit rate for a DVD is 6 megabytes/sec.

Please realize that an SD image will NEVER look as good as an HD image. That's why they call one STANDARD definition and the other HIGH definition.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Oliver de MorasséRe: Render settings for a DVD?
by on May 13, 2013 at 7:58:01 pm

Thanks for your feedback Dave.

Sorry, I am still a little confused...

1. I tested several DVD Authoring Programs - I was able to create DVDs with 9 megabytes/sec. (not 6) - however, the quality did not really improve.

2. When I look at a film on DVD on my TV - the quality is great... why can't I create something similar?

Sorry for the dumbo questions - I have never created a DVD before and the learning curve is steep!


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Dave LaRondeRe: Render settings for a DVD?
by on May 14, 2013 at 1:39:31 pm

[Oliver de Morassé] "When I look at a film on DVD on my TV - the quality is great... why can't I create something similar? "

You didn't see the image quality of the film on DVD BEFORE it went to DVD. How do you know what the original image quality was like?

A high-definition image can never retain all its image quality when it is encoded to DVD. It is a physical impossibility. This is what I believe you are seeing.

If you are seeing something other than a general reduction in image quality, you have to specify in detail what you are seeing. A simple statement like "it looks bad" tells no one a thing.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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