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Old April 11th, 2004, 06:44 AM   #1
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Bulletproof playable DVD?

How do you make a DVD with selectable subtitles, that will be fully compatible in 99% of set-top DVD-players?

How important is the encoding process?
What about the disc itself?
The authoring program?

Will Scenarist be worth the price regarding compatibility issues (I don't need the fancy stuff the program offers except for subtitling) ?

Why do the commercial DVDs work every time?
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Old April 11th, 2004, 08:08 AM   #2
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Commercial DVDs are extruded into a mold made from a glass master. Each is identical, like a vinyl record.
The encoding process is important to the extent that the source files are MPEG-2-standards compliant. The authoring app will reject or perhaps accept but create problem outputs from deviant source files. Beyond compliance, high end encoders allow for bit budgeting selectively, a sort of hand encoding, affordable only for big budgets and Hollywood releases.
Good quality media gives you a higher success rate. This doesn't mean only consumer-recognized brands. Many commercial shops use Princo and other brands no one outside of the business (or serious enthusiasts) has ever heard of. Burn speed and data rate are also implicated in success rate.
Authoring programs address varying degrees of the DVD spec, from basic wizard-driven approaches to Scenarist and DVD Studio Pro which address most if not all of the specification's capabilities. Unless there's a version of Scenarist I haven't run across you're looking at a lot of money and a major time commitment to the learning curve. Anyone who's mastered it is probably working full time on authoring, not dabbling in it.

David Hurdon
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Old April 11th, 2004, 09:23 AM   #3
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You also don't have to author with Scenarist to get a glass master made and do a replication run.

I use Encore for my authoring (you can do subtitles with it) and you can output to whatever you want to send to the replication house for mastering.
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Old April 11th, 2004, 03:53 PM   #4
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are you sure that your target market needs subtitles? i have sold over 450 dvd's that i've made myself, with no returns yet, and no requests for subtitles.

i've used reeldvd and a sony dru 500 in a generic firewire case... always maxell or taiyo yuden dvd-r inket-jet printable dvd-r media, encoded with the mainconcept encoder in premiere 6.5, average vbr bitrate of 6.9mb, with peak vbr limited to 8.6mb(?), because of the demanding material that i encode.

what i'm going to now is dvd-lab pro, it'll do things that reeldvd and adobe encore won't do, for a fraction of the cost... not sure how it handles subtitles.

i would not spend $$ for encore without first reading the adobe encore support forum... there are a lot of complaints about it out there.
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Old April 11th, 2004, 04:29 PM   #5
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Yes, I do need subtitling, because I make nature documentaries with subtitled translations. This is what the customer wants.

What I don't need is hundreds or thousands of copies. I usually need less than ten. But they really need to be reliable and work in all players.
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Old April 11th, 2004, 10:45 PM   #6
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http://www.mediachance.com/dvdlab/index.html

the pro version will do subtitles... there is also a next-gen pro beta version that just came out, take a good look at the support forums... dvd-lab pro is the way to go.

the reason i can't use reeldvd, encore, etc., any more is because i need to put video with two different frame sizes on the same dvd... different kinds of audio will have the same limitations... you can read the dvd-lab help files for the details on why these fully dvd-legal types of discs are difficult to author.

taperesources.com has both kinds of media that i listed above... my discs are real simple, no moving menu's, ac3 only, etc... you'd have to test out the subtitle functions for compatability.
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Old April 12th, 2004, 06:19 AM   #7
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Dan, I've seen many recommendations for DVDLab, and visited the Pro site thanks to you post. The one feature I don't see listed is export to DLT. Do you know whether it can do that, and does it encode AC-3 or just accept it? Thanks.

David Hurdon
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Old April 12th, 2004, 07:23 AM   #8
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So, once again this turned into a thissoftwareisbetterthanthat-kind of conversation with no actual facts.

I have a very good authoring program, Pinnacle ImpressionDVD Pro. It does everything I want, and more. Works flwalessly, and I've found a good and reliable workaround to do the subtitling (Impression doesn't have a built-in bmp-generator).

I'm aware of the -R/+R issues, I've encoded the video by the standards etc.

But the problem is (and I don't know if this has anything to do with the authoring program) that too many of my DVD's are not playable in too many DVD players.

In some players they work perfectly, in some they are not even recognized. Some work for two minutes, some have strange audio problems.

What I originally asked for was a bulletproof recipe for the most reliable, subtitled DVD and why does the recipe include just the ingredients it does.
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Old April 12th, 2004, 05:53 PM   #9
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<<<-- too many of my DVD's are not playable in too many DVD players.-->>>

all i can do is give you my bulletproof setup... i've even sold a couple of ntsc discs to people in finland :-)

i've had my discs play perfectly in the new game stations, and at least one dvd player that was made in 1999.

the reason i only use the very best name-brand discs is because the very best name-brand discs are well known to be the most compatible... what brand of dvd-r discs are you using?

the dvd players your discs failed on... were they old? new? what brand? multi-standard? are you doing pal or ntsc discs? etc.

hi david, the situation with dvd-lab pro is kinda confusing, but here is the planned list of features:

Here is the list of planned features for DVD-lab PRO.
DVD related:
- full real Multiple VTS support without the need to compile then import (unlike we seen in beta 1.4). We will have 99 VTS's, each can have 99 movies.
- 8 audio channels
- 8 subtitle channels with a simple editor and import from standard sub formats.

Later to be added:
- optional access to pre and post commands for movies and menus
- dummy object
- segmented movie (each chapter is a separate mpeg)
*** - DVD9 with layer break point and output to tape ***

http://www.mmbforums.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=4628&start=0

for dolby digital, i've used the scenarist dolby encoder, but people on the dvd-lab forum are using the latest version of the $29 besweet ac3 encoder... and there are some other ac3 options as well, finally the price has dropped on dolby encoders.

learning dvd-lab pro has been a hassle for me, partially because it's such an immature product and i know so little, but in the long run, i'll be much further ahead because i'm having to learn some of the minor nuts and bolts of dvd authoring.
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Old April 13th, 2004, 03:22 PM   #10
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All serious authoring applications should generate 100%
compliant disc structures. Get the one with the easiest to use
titling support because it can be a real pain in the *ss. Scenarist
has almost no support for it whatsoever (really unbelievable).

The most important factor to get compatability with almost every
DVD player out there is to get your disc pressed like the movie
studios do as well. Burning is where the problems start coming.
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