Join Larry Jordan for an in-depth discussion in this video Choosing a DVD format, part of DVD Studio Pro 4 Essential Training.
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So let's get started by choosing the right DVD. There are two broad categories of disks. There are DVD-R and DVD+R. In general, on the Macintosh, my recommendation is that you use DVD-R. They are the most compatible on the most machines and the reason we are creating our DVD on the first place is we want somebody else to watch it. Recording it to -R format makes a lot of sense. Then we have go different formats of DVDs themselves, we have got single side single layer, single side double layer, double size single layer, double size double layer. Well the double-sided disk have principally fallen out of favor right now. Mainly because there are very, very few players that have lasers on both sides of the player, which means that the Viewers got to get up and turn the disk over and second, marking, it doesn't have any place to put a label if you have got media on both sides of the disk.
So things are pretty well standardized to a single side disk. A single side single layer disk when burned holds 4.3 gigabytes of data but when you replicate it, holds 4.7. A double layer disk, remember it is still single sided when you burn, holds about 7.9 gigabytes, but when you replicate it holds 8.5. The technology doesn't quite give us double the storage; it just gives us close to double the storage. But there's a bigger issue with these double layer disk and the bigger issue is the fact that when you burn the disk it is not particularly compatible with other players that are out there.
If you are going to do a double layer disk then use the burned version just as a way of testing your concept. But plan on replicating any double layered disk, we have seen based upon what is happening in the market right now single side, single layer burned disk are about 60 % to 70% compatible. That means one in four won't work on somebody's machine, single side double layer disk when burned are about 30% compatible only one out of three will work on somebody else's machine.
Replication on the other hand is about 99% compatible, which means the replicated disk, a mass produced disk, whether it is single or double layer is going to work on just about everything. So use the double layer is a way of testing but I would not recommend using the double layer as a way of actually distributing your finished work. There's a way too much opportunity for it not to work on somebody else's machine. Oh and by the way there's one more DVD that DVD Studio Pro supports and that is a HD-DVD holds 30 gigabytes of material and it is designed specifically to be replicated. We cannot reliably burn an HD-DVD disk but we can create it on DVD Studio Pro. And we can send the resulting files over to a replicator who can then mass-produce it for us. Currently DVD Studio Pro doesn't suppose the blue-ray format.
Remember when I was talking about the definitions and I said the Bit rate measures the speed of data transfer coming of the DVD disk on to your computer. Well here's the key concept; your total file size of all the different elements on to your DVD cannot exceed the space available on the DVD. That is that 4.3 gigabyte limit if you are burning the disk or 4.7 gigabyte if you are replicating the disk. Or it may seem obvious that you can't have files that are bigger than the DVD will hold, obvious it is but unfortunately we are always hammering up against that 4.3 gig limit because video is just playing so much bigger than 4.3 gigs.
So bit budgeting is the process of determining how much space your files will take before you go to all the effort of creating a DVD. And where's the bulk of your space it is in your video, so how you compress your video determines how big the files, determines how good the quality is, determines whether or not it is going to fit on to your DVD. If you are only putting on minute or two it doesn't make really whole lot of difference, you have got plenty of room to spare. But if you are trying to squeeze on an hour and a half or an hour and 45 minutes or two hours, every possible thing you can do to squeeze those files is important. So bit budgeting helps you determine how much to squeeze and what to set your settings at.
Now there's simple bit budgeting built into DVD Studio Pro, it is little thermometer that shows you how much space is involved but there are also bit budget calculators. Bruce Nazarian has one at www.recipe4dvd.com and another one is at creatspace/bitbuget and the DVD Studio Pro manual starting on page 633 has a number of pages devoted to how to calculate the size of your video before you actually compress it, so you have got room to make changes. Bit budgeting is critical because your files size on the DVD is locked and your files, no matter how much you want them to, cannot exceed 4.3, 4.7, or 8.5 gigabytes depending upon how you are replicating or burning your DVD.
- Project planning
- Preparing video, audio, and graphic assets
- Setting up and exporting a project from Final Cut Pro
- Creating a DVD from start to finish
- Creating advanced buttons and menus
- Making a chapter index template
- Working with markers
- Building a story
- Creating and formatting subtitles
- Working with HD media
- Working with dual layer discs