Burning DVDs at home vs outsourcing at DVinfo.net

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Old January 14th, 2008, 12:31 AM   #1
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Burning DVDs at home vs outsourcing

How many of you outsource the burning of your wedding DVDs?

Some of the DVDs that I've produced have had differing glitches and others have skipped on the customer in their player, but not either of ours. Outsourcing to a DVD (typically duplication) company is an option.

I like the idea of liability shifting to them, so I don't have to chase my tail troubleshooting or re-burning. I'm wondering what they know/do/have that I don't to make a universal DVD.

In the future, producing HD DVDs is another factor, as they take me forever to produce on my system.
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Old January 14th, 2008, 07:32 AM   #2
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I keep a "sticky" note on my desktop that has "suggestions" for burning your own DVD's. Not all of these apply to everyone, but I've never had a problem with these:

-keep video+audio bitrate <= ~7.5mbps
-keep the total size <= ~4gb (on dvd5)
-use Dolby Digital (AC3) audio for a good mix of "global" compatibility, and a lower audio bitrate to allow for higher video bitrate (mpeg audio can use the same low bitrates as DD audio, but not all NTSC DVD Players will play mpeg audio)
-use quality discs instead of no-name generics (Taiyo Yuden's get excellent reviews)
-don't use sticky labels on your dvd's
-Burn as DVD-VIDEO (not just a data dvd -- the files must be written in the proper order on the dvd)
-if you only have a prepared DVD Folder, then use software that can properly format a DVD IMAGE file (*.ISO), and then burn the image file.
-for DVD+R discs, see if your burner supports bitsetting the booktype to DVD-ROM
-keep burner firmware up-to-date (follow instructions carefully when updating firmware)
-keep burning software up-to-date
-if space for your video allows a high bitrate (say >= 7mbps), then try CBR instead of VBR (VBR encodes can have bitrate "spikes", and depending on how high the "spike" is, it might be enough to cause a hiccup during playback)
-don't always burn at the max speed of your burner/media combo (I've had great success burning at 4x, but others have had better results burning at max speeds like 8x or 16x -- it could depend on your dvd disc quality and how well they work with your burner)
-try different media (brands and types) Not all DVD±R/RW will work with every player, or some will work better in some players than others...
-disable any non essential background programs (i.e. virus scan, anti spyware, etc... -- of course, if your machine is connected to the internet, you might not want to disable these applications)
-don't do anything else on the machine during the burn (or keep activity at a minimum - especially heavy disc-related tasks)
-uninstall any "packet writing" software (the kind that lets you drag-and-drop files to a dvd RW disc as if the disc was just another storage drive)
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Old January 14th, 2008, 08:40 AM   #3
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well I did not read all of the above info, but I'm sure there are some good tips : )

A few from me
(1) have a nice burner (usually the length of the warranty says a lot)
(2) use quality DVD's
(3) maybe try burning at the second fastest speed, rather than the fastest
(4) remember that DVD-R is usually more compatable than DVD+R
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 06:38 PM   #4
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I follow John's rules. Today it's pretty simple to burn a good DVD. FWIW, I've good luck with Verbatim 16x -R printable. They have some media you can print all the way in to the spindle. Looks sharp/more professional and fives you more room.
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 10:20 PM   #5
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most outsource houses will DUPLICATE no differently than you do at home on quantiies of less than 1000. Then at that number they will do a glass master and replicate so outsourcing will really get you nothing different than you already have.
As for glitches in your discs then look at the media you're using, look at your bitrates, the speed of your burn, also keep in mind that some players simply don't do well with burned media while others will play literally anything you put in it. Generally the newer the player the better it does but I have a couple of 5 and 6 year players that would play a pancake without syrup while I have a 2 year player that is very tempremental. Go figure.

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Old January 30th, 2008, 01:45 PM   #6
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What about economics? I'm thinking of switching to outsourced and have them sell through amazon.com. I won't have to spend time burning, labeling, purchasing DVD blanks, cases, paper, ink etc. Just hand someone a business card and a amazon.com website and info link to my section. Sending to one of the DVD authoring companies with a finished DVD plus artwork on seperate CD, and have them deal with producing and posting with amazon.com. I havn't done any real research, but it seems like an interesting way. Make a little less per sale, but possibly more sales. Perhaps even downloads through i-tunes might be another good alternative.. especially for HD projects (720p 24fps max)

I would expect if you are selling more than 15 or 20 DVD's per project, it might make sense to sell via outsourcing and even to amazon.com (whom take a huge chunk of change, but handle the sales and shipping and also add an element of respectability to anyone's work)

Has anyone done the math or are using an outsource option and working with amazon.com or i-tunes?
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Old January 30th, 2008, 02:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Humphrey View Post
What about economics? I'm thinking of switching to outsourced and have them sell through amazon.com. I won't have to spend time burning, labeling, purchasing DVD blanks, cases, paper, ink etc. Just hand someone a business card and a amazon.com website and info link to my section. Sending to one of the DVD authoring companies with a finished DVD plus artwork on seperate CD, and have them deal with producing and posting with amazon.com. I havn't done any real research, but it seems like an interesting way. Make a little less per sale, but possibly more sales. Perhaps even downloads through i-tunes might be another good alternative.. especially for HD projects (720p 24fps max)

I would expect if you are selling more than 15 or 20 DVD's per project, it might make sense to sell via outsourcing and even to amazon.com (whom take a huge chunk of change, but handle the sales and shipping and also add an element of respectability to anyone's work)

Has anyone done the math or are using an outsource option and working with amazon.com or i-tunes?
If i print and burn my own discs, my cost is around 75 cents each, including disc, print on disc, dvd case, and printing full color on glossy paper. if I sell it on amazon for 19.99 each, amazon charges me $3.80 each sale in fees, and gives me $2.98 to ship it. I make about $19 per video. If I outsource to amazon, from what i understand, I could expect to earn less than $3 per video, however, they will handle all aspects of the sales. I purchased a robotic burner, I stick a stack of 100 discs, and a few hours later I have 100 burned discs. my only time is in the printing on the discs, I multitask that job. I am home enough to be able to mail out discs every day, especially considering the $16 dollar difference in profit. even if you outsource, and replicate discs 500 at a time, cost per disc is around $3? last time I checked, and is still much more affordable than outsourcing 100% of the work. it all boils down to the quantity you expect to sell, the profits you want, and the time you have. keep in mind, many of the places such as amazon are buring the discs, not replicating, and the quality issues they might have are virtually identical to the ones I might have. I sell several different instructional videos, and not enough volume to make it profitable for me to replicate, hence my purchase of the robotic burner.
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Old January 30th, 2008, 04:02 PM   #8
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One rule I follow is burn slow. I've been very grateful to have been error free since our birth. But I've found errors when I preview the video via DVD. I burn on one burner, preview on several pc and home based options. So during that, I have found errors I've been able to correct.

One thing I have found out is, rw media will create duplicatable errors, so if you burn a master, burn it to a -r media, not a rewritable. I still use rw, just for preview, not masters. I'm used to the skipping of rw media, and can recognize it.

So update your burning software, keep you computer clean etc. And worse case scenerio, buy your client a 50 dollar dvd player, that's cheaper than a 200.00 outsource.
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Old January 30th, 2008, 04:06 PM   #9
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I always burn the master on a dvd-r, and I never burn faster than 4x. I also copy compare each disc burnt (this is all done automatically on my burner). I check each disc at least to make sure the menus are there, right before I package it. I have an old dvdrom that came in a cheap computer, it seems adept at finding every unreadable disc.
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