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Old November 21st, 2010, 10:05 PM   #1
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Blu-Ray troubles

G'day all,

Four years ago I paid big bucks for a Vaio laptop with a blu-ray burner. Well, one thing and another led to that laptop being rarely used until just recently, when I decided that it was time to deliver a project in blu-ray format.

The project was shot in 1440 x 1080 50i and thinking that I could reduce rendering and recompression times I decided to output my blu-ray disk in the same resolution. All good so far.

I use Sony DVDA and have the latest version, V5.2. I also use Sony Vegas Pro (V10) and when it came time to render the final project I chose an MPEG2/AC3 combination that was "legal" when choosing the "Blu-ray 1440 x 1080 50i" template from the list of many that I could output. All good so far.

Once the video and audio streams were rendered I moved them into a DVDA project, set up the menus etc and then prepared for burning to disk. The dialog box that normally tells me that "this and that" need to be "recompressed" didn't have anything to say (because of the wise decisions I'd made back in Vegas Pro). All good so far.

The Blu-Ray prep went well, the burning process went well. Finished product in my hand. Yay! All good so far.

Now, the problem I have is that I don't actually have a blu-ray player. The only one I've got is the laptop software player (Intervideo WinDVD BD), so I put the newly created disk back in the tray and close it and wait....... Hmmm Intervideo didn't start by itself. OK, point Intervideo at the disk....still nothing. Hmmm, All not so good now.

OK, the laptop is 4 years old and hasn't had a software or firmware update in that time. 4 hours, 5 optical drive firmware updates and three software ugrades/updates later I'm thinking that I should be able to play the Blu-ray disk now. Nope. All that happens is that the disk whirs and does some seeking and then the word "Stop" comes up on the player screen. Hmmm things getting worse now.

OK, I figure that maybe I made a wrong turn when making the disk in the first place. I don't have a single commercial Blu-ray title that I can try and play, just to see whether it is the player or my disk building methods, so I do some research on the 'net. Wikipedia comes to the rescue. I found a page that lists all of the legal (meets the standards) formats and resolutions for Blu-ray.

It tells me that for 1440 x 1080 50i, I can only render the video stream as an AVC stream. So, 3.5 hours later, I've rendered a new stream, plonked it into my project in place of the previous mpeg stream and burnt new disk. All good so far....

OK, put the disk in the player and yoohoo! the Intervideo player opens by itself.....and then comes up with the word "STOP" on the screen again. Nothing else happens or can be made to happen. Now I'm stuffed. My disk may work in a hardware Blu-ray player, but I don't have one and I don't know anyone whom does have one. I don't have a commercial blu-ray disk to try and live 45 Kilometres from any place where I can get hold of one.

I'm starting to hate Blu-ray......

Cheers

Russ
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Old November 21st, 2010, 11:00 PM   #2
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I'm sorry man, but that's like getting mad at a camera because you don't have any tapes for it. Since I do a lot of BluRay work, I'll recommend a couple things to you:

1. Purchase a rewriteable BluRay disk. This you can test on time and time again, so you don't have to burn up a real disk.

2. Buy a BluRay player. You can find them for US$100 these days.

3. Buy a movie on BluRay. They look nice, and many are under US$15 these days.

If you have any intent on delivering BluRay for clients, or even for yourself, spend some time and learn the workflow.
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 12:35 AM   #3
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Hi Perrone,

I understand where you are coming from BUT.....

When I hand over my $$$$ to a software company for a product to render projects and a kindred product to create Blu-ray disks, I would expect them to have done the research for me. For instance, if, as Wikipedia indicates, 1440x1080 50i MUST be rendered as AVC, then I would expect that to be the only option available (for that resolution and frame rate) when I select a template in Vegas Pro.

Equally, when I go to process the streams in DVDA, the program should be able to tell me that I have chosen codecs that are not the standard for blu-ray creation (for that resolution and frame rate.) I don't want to have to read the Standard for everything I do when using software. Who does? This is aside from the issue of the player software not working, which I can sort of live with.

Believe it or not, I'm not actually technically inept, the reason for the post was to emphasise how frustrating and time consuming these things can be. I know I will have to get a hardware blu-ray player sooner or later (I don't have to deliver a project to a customer in HD until next February) and next time I'm in town I'll borrow a Blu-ray movie title from my daughter.

It just would have been nice if the thing had worked after the time and effort that have been expended thus far. I thought that the workflow was pretty good given that I had no reason to believe that the software was letting me do something that wasn't within the Standard. For all I know, both disks that I've created may work. It's just that I don't know.

And no, I've never tested the Blu-ray burner/player before because I've not had a need to. I don't actually see that as being unusual. I've got a multi-function printer/scanner/fax that I've never used the scanner on - because I've never needed to - is that unusual?

I like the idea of using an RW disk for testing. I have some somewhere so I'll dig them out any try some other things. (Wish I could remember where I put them....CRAFT again!!!)

Cheers

Russ
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 01:10 AM   #4
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Instead of spending money again, why not download a 30 day trial copy of Adobe Encore to get the job done?

And you can always purchase a full copy with the profits made from 30 days of deliverables.

Andrew
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 11:44 AM   #5
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Actually, since CS3, Encore is now no longer available separately. One must purchase the entire Adobe Premiere Pro program in order to get Adobe Encore. The current release of the main Premiere Pro program is CS5 5.0.2. And IIRC Encore is partially locked (disabled) in the trial version of Premiere Pro; the Premiere Pro program must be fully paid for before you can save any of the Encore projects to disc.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 04:00 PM   #6
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1440 x 1080 50i can also be mpeg2 or vc1 encoded for blu ray.
Blu ray is still relatively new and hoping to produce a compatible blu ray disc without lots of trial and error will lead to frustration.
How many people had problems with dvd compatibility only a few years ago. Lots.
I still have some issues with dual layer blu rays playing on clients players even though i have tested them on 2 hardware players and one PC.
Buy a player and as perrone said a blu ray Rw and spend some time working on it.
I now always encode to vc1 using sorenson squeeze. Its very good.
I use roxio dvdit pro hd now that is a frustrating piece of software but ok with lots of effort.
Cheers john
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 10:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Estcourt View Post
1440 x 1080 50i can also be mpeg2 or vc1 encoded for blu ray.
Not MPEG-2. Not if you want a compatible disc it can't:
http://www.blu-raydisc.com/Assets/Do...2955-15269.pdf

...but you may luck out. My PS3 will play almost any loose files sitting on a disc, so I would not be surprised to find that a raw HDV MPEG-2 stream fresh off the tape would still play when wrapped in a Blu-ray disc structure, it's just not a requirement!

So, if you want 1440x1080i50/60 on your Blu-ray, and you care whether your friend/client/mom can play it, you want AVC or VC-1.

Best,
Aaron
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 12:52 AM   #8
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Aaron you are quite correct about the mpeg according to the specs however sony have templates for this format under bluray and ive not found a player that wont play it (yet).
Dvdit is very picky about legal streams but allows it without recompress.
Its good ive now moved to Vc1 encoding for all my blurays. Saves any worry.
Cheers and all the best
John
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 08:09 AM   #9
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Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised at all if it worked in the majority of players, but like you I'd rather not worry! :)

Best,
Aaron
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Old December 4th, 2010, 03:37 PM   #10
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Hey Russell, there's a few things to note...

Watch out for outdated documents on the Wiki, and remember that the hardware on your computer is a bit older by now...I doubt very much that the authouring software would create an illegal stream..Could you imagine the outcries from users everywhere??


I personally think that the WinDVD BD would be the culprit..It probably doesn't recognized BD discs, and can only respect BDRom discs..
I've got PowerDVD, and i've got similair issues...

If you don't/can't get your hands on a set top player, then you might be out of luck...Until then, don't worry. Your BD should play properly for future reference.

Workaround.

When you create an ouptut for Bluray, save it out as an .ISO image..Not as a burn to disc.
Mount the .ISO image with Daemon, or any other .ISO software, and let it become a virtual drive.
If WinDVD doesn't recognize the separate drive as a DVDRom, then navigate to the virtual drive's folders, and find the Streams>.mt2s files...Double click on any of the files, and playback should be fine..

You won't see menus, or chapter points, but at least it's viewable.

Good luck!!!
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Old December 15th, 2010, 06:24 AM   #11
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Well what do you know! Both disks are OK!

Thank you all for the replies. I finally bit the bullet and purchased a Blu-ray player and guess what? Both the disks that I authored (see the original post) worked fine. Indeed, it would seem that the Player software in the Sony Vaio is the issue.

Thankfully, I won't need to go out and buy a different burner as the Vaio unit is creating viable disks. To ensure compatibility with older players I think I'll stick to the AVC codec when creating 1440 x 1080 Blu-ray disks in future, even though the mpg-2 worked OK in my new player.

My next challenge is to knock out a full HD 1920 x 1080 disk with footage from the new EX1R camera! Just wish I had a huge screen telly to watch it on. (You can only fit so much into a caravan.)

Thanks again,

Russ
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Old December 15th, 2010, 07:39 AM   #12
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I made over 50 blu-ray disc using MPEG 2 with 1440X1080 and never had one came back.
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