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Old April 23rd, 2013, 12:36 PM   #1
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Which Blu-Ray format for sample discs

I have completed a short documentary entitled Outlands - Wild Places of the Lothians, and I intend to distribute sample Blu-Ray copies to wildlife and environmental organisations in case the film may be of use in their educational programmes.

I normally encode my work using the H264 Blu-Ray preset on Premiere Pro CS6 and the playback looks excellent, I think better than MPEG-2 encoding - but have had one instance where a recipient could not play the disc on his player.

Do most current commercially available Blu-Ray players handle H264 or should I just encode the discs using the MPEG-2 Blu-Ray preset for distribution ?
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Old April 24th, 2013, 08:13 AM   #2
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Re: Which Blu-Ray format for sample discs

Neil,

I came across this very situation myself. I had an mp4 and an mpeg-2 Blu-ray disc and the mp4 version just would not work on a customers player. This was a few years ago but it scared me into always using mpeg-2. In my testing, high bitrate mpeg-2 looks just as good as mp4. It is when the bitrate has to go under 25,000kbps that the mp4 starts to pull ahead. I use Mastering Works 5 for my encoding.

So I would stick with mpeg-2. Sad, but the unknown will never change when dealing with mass ditribution of "burned" discs. You just do not know what player will be used, old or new. The commercial discs are poured and like DVD have a lot more room to work with, so bitrates are not as taxed.
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Old April 30th, 2013, 12:46 PM   #3
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Re: Which Blu-Ray format for sample discs

Actually, Tim, BD-R does have a maximum practical total bitrate that's significantly lower than those of replicated (pressed) Blu-ray discs. A friend's Blu-ray player has trouble reading any content on burned BD-R whose maximum video bitrate is over 21 MB/s regardless of the file format (even MPEG-2). This is largely because BD-Rs tend to have much lower reflectivity than replicated Blu-rays.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 07:32 AM   #4
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Re: Which Blu-Ray format for sample discs

Randall, I can't think why your friend's Blu-ray player would not play a 21 Mbps Blu-ray when the spec goes all the way up to 48 Mbps. This was an area that was improved over DVD. The players are spec'd to play up to 48Mbps but the encoding is up to 40 Mbps so there is always headroom.

Sounds like the player is faulty.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 08:19 PM   #5
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Re: Which Blu-Ray format for sample discs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
Randall, I can't think why your friend's Blu-ray player would not play a 21 Mbps Blu-ray when the spec goes all the way up to 48 Mbps. This was an area that was improved over DVD. The players are spec'd to play up to 48Mbps but the encoding is up to 40 Mbps so there is always headroom.

Sounds like the player is faulty.
No, that player is not faulty. Hollywood-produced Blu-ray discs play back flawlessly.

That means that the official Blu-ray maximums are applicable only to factory-replicated (pressed) media. With BD-Rs, on the other hand, it varies largely by both the quality of the media and the quality of the burn. And maybe I was using a low-quality (4x) burn on mediocre-quality (RiTEK) media to test that player's BD-R bitrate limit (because it was all that I had at the time I visited that friend's place).

Maybe I should retest that player again with Verbatim non-LTH BD-Rs (I didn't have them with me at the time).
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