How much running time can you put on a DVD-R? at

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Old September 14th, 2008, 05:46 PM   #1
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How much running time can you put on a DVD-R?

I have solved all the set up and render problems with the Sony DVD Architect program that came bundled with my Sony Movie Studio Platinum program.

I have been able to successfully create DVD's that will play on both a computer and a home DVD player.

I know there are variables as far as rendering which effect the final file size and they will vary from project to project. For example I have a clip that has a lot of back lit trees behind much of the video and when I render the clip to WMV for Web delivery it ends up being a very large file in relation to the running time. There is too much variation in the backgrounds and the compression has to account for it and the file size is much larger. Similar length clips with less busy backgrounds render to smaller files.

However, is there a rule of thumb to shoot for in terms of total running time that will fit on a single layer DVD-R? Are there charts that I can reference? I don't want to finish edit a program and then find it will not fit a 4.7 Gig DVD.

Any help would be appreciated.

I am going to add this to my post.

In a previous post regarding the creation and rendering of DVD's several people mentioned that the final product would be a MPEG-2 format. I know when I render video that the program will indicate an approximate file size for the finished render.

If this is the case then using the render setup function I would be able to have some idea of the approximate file size. Right?

How much more is added to the file size by the addition of the frames and segment titles etc? It can't be much.

Right now I project that I am working on is 1 hour and 4 minutes. When I did the render setup on it the file size was indicated as 2.8 gig. The finished project will probably be a hour and 20 minutes tops. So, I am assuming that the render will still be under the 4.7 limit.

Last edited by Michael Dunn; September 14th, 2008 at 06:26 PM. Reason: fix typo
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Old September 14th, 2008, 07:57 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
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First a 4.7 gig DVD will really only hold 4.34 gigs so don't get fooled by that.
Second I have sucessfully put 3 hours on a DVD. Granted it does take a hit but it can be done. As for 1 hour and 20 minutes go right ahead.
Set the correct bitrate render and burn it!

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Old September 14th, 2008, 09:42 PM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: North Conway, NH
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What Don said about getting 1:20 on DVD... that's dead on. I think that 2 hours is the watermark for maintaining high quality video on a DVD. More than that gets a bit dodgy. You have to set the encoding parameters based upon the source material to get the best quality. I've stretched it up to 2:30 of motor racing footage without losing enough quality that would be noticed by my audience.

To put it another way, you could probably put 4 hours of video on a DVD of grass growing without losing quality. But action footage encoded with a constant bit rate might start to fade in quality after 90 minutes with CBR settings. Getting the encoding settings right is key and is requires the same kind of subtle understanding as mixing the perfect martini. Think James Bond. Not something with fruit in it.
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