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Old June 6th, 2006, 08:27 PM   #1
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My first video DVD.....auuughhhhh!!!HELP

Late last week I finally burned my first DVD and was so very dissapointed!Yes,I have an old version of AP 6.5 but had much higher expectations because in my book quality is very important.The issue here is a high loss of video quality,excessively so.I used a Staples + DVD,burned at 8 speed on U-LEAD's DVD workshop Pro SE or whatever it was called.I did not burn this at home using my own pc but at a friends and do not know their system specs. I do know he had plenty of ram.

Of course when it was ready I first exported this to the standard MPEG-4 format which creates seperate audio and video files from a project.Maybe that was my mistake right there but don't know what options there is besides that so here I am.Ok so here's the beef!

Checked the preburn file/project size which was around 9.2 gigs or 45 minutes of footage.The resulting MPEG combined file was compressed to only around 1.7 gigs or so and what a difference in quality that appeared to make to the worse!!By that I mean this:BEFORE...watching the finalized production by:
1)hooking up the GL-2 to the TV and playing it on minidv tape it looked very good.Preburn size/non-compressed video.
2)Playback on my computer was almost as good.Again preburn sized video.

AFTER:as directly compared to.... playing the freshly burned disc in the dvd player which was connected to the tv.To me it very clearly lost significant resolution,sharpness,color,brilliancy and looked dull,greyish and shadowy!What went wrong?How can I get back as much as the original quality possible the next time around?Is there a better process and method available in Premiere 6.5?Can I export to another format and then burn a dvd?

does the brand of the dvd disc make any difference?
does the speed the disc is burned at contribute one way or the other?
does using a "plus" versus a "minus" disc meaningful?
Does the format its exported to make a huge difference?
What dvd program do you use to burn dvd's?
What should I do the next time around?

Please guys,I'm asking for any positive workarounds,possibilities,suggestions,reccomendations and commentary because this is being shoen on cable tv?

Thanks,

Bruce has done it once..but hopefully not again if at all possible!
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Old June 6th, 2006, 10:55 PM   #2
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does the brand of the dvd disc make any difference?
does the speed the disc is burned at contribute one way or the other?
does using a "plus" versus a "minus" disc meaningful?
Does the format its exported to make a huge difference?
What dvd program do you use to burn dvd's?
What should I do the next time around?

Bruce,

Yes, the brand of disc makes a difference, but I doubt that is your problem.
Yes, the speed of burning also plays a role.
The plus/minus issue is primarily a compatability issue with various dvd players.
The format should be mpeg2. Different programs use different trancoding software. (transcoding converts your dv into mpeg2 for dvd discs.) Your Ulead software should do a decent job of transcoding, but you must use the proper settings. I'm not sure if it offers 2 pass as an option, but you need to set it to the highest quality. It will probably take a few test runs at various settings before you find the optimum setting. Unfortunately, it is a time consuming endeavor to transcode video into mpeg2. Don't expect to achieve the same quality of your original footage on a dvd disc using standard dv. Mpeg2 is compressed. The settings used when transcoding it, and the software you use will play a role in the final outcome. However if done correctly, you can achieve fine results.

I am no expert, but do a search on these forums and there is plenty to learn.

Good luck

Bob
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Old June 7th, 2006, 12:37 AM   #3
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Bob offered good advice. As he said, use MPEG-2, not MPEG-4. MPEG-2 is the only format used for DVD-Video disks.

And yes, the manufacturer of the DVD media you use can make a definite difference, but not in the way you may expect. Unlike with, say, VHS videotape used for analog recordings where the quality of the media can affect the actual sharpness and color quality, DVD Video is all digital, ones and zeros. So in this case the quality of the DVD affects the ability of the DVD burner to achieve a good quality DVD burn, and the DVD player to read those ones and zeros, as well as the overall longevity of the DVD. It also affects the general compatibility of the DVD media with DVD burners and players.

In general you will get good DVD media if you buy only DVD media that is manufactured in Japan. Check the package each time before you purchase, as you can't rely on any particular brand name. Most brand names source from a variety of manufacturers, some good, some bad.

But you can use this information for future reference, because as Bob said - and I fully agree with him - it is doubtful the media you are using is the cause of this particular problem.
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Old June 7th, 2006, 01:34 AM   #4
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U-LEAD's DVD workshop is IMHO not a good program. It almost alway recompresses the video, even if you input a fine MPEG2.

General rules:

1. Do only ONE conversion, that is AVI -> MPEG2 suitable for DVD
2. Make absolutely 110% sure that the DVD creating program do NOT recompress the video

and some hints:

3. Make chapter points
4. Make sceneselections from the chapter points


Good luck!

// Lazze

ps. there are like a 100 threads here discussing quality of different MPEG2 encoders ds.
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Old June 7th, 2006, 03:50 PM   #5
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If you only used up 1.7 gigs of the entire DVD your data rate may have been set too low. While it is best not to exceed around 7000kb/s if you want the final result to be playable on most set top players and computer drives, you can probably stand to go up on your settings.

By my calculations, you were encoding somewhere around 3500kb/s on average.
Test with the most difficult to encode (the fastest moving) scenes on your video.
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Old June 7th, 2006, 07:41 PM   #6
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Thanks all for your tips and suggestions

In between workhours I've been trying to give myself a crash course on MPEG 2's but still have a lot of unanswered questions.

First of all some rejoinder and some additional comments.

George,As far as the data rate goes,since I was at a friends place and watching him use U Lead to burn the dvd I have no idea what settings were used.Based on the results it wouldn't surprise me if it was half of the possible quality.I wish Pro 2.0 didn't cost an arm and a leg because then I could use dvd templates and see what works best for my particular situation.Is there any such thing for Premiere 6.5?What export settings are there do pick from?What's reccomended?Are their settings within Premiere or are they contained in the dvd program?Do I need a software video convertor/transcoder program or plug-in of some sort?Can't afford expensive hardware right now.

Lars,when choosing a DVD program,how will I know if it will do additional compression even on top of the already compressed video/MPEG 2 file assuming I can get to the point where I can create an MPEG 2 file? What programs do you suggest to avoid this issue?Since apparently,the default and only selection I have with the 6.5 built-in Adobe Media encoder is MPEG and the resulting file always comes out as an MPEG 4 (which is undesirable) what can I do to have another option upon attempting to export the timeline for dvd authoring?

Is it possible to change the codec,or to add more in ap 6.5?If so,I have no clue how it's done.

Another stupid question but it must be asked.If a plug-in or a transcoder is the answer,how do I incorporate them to work with? Premiere.I wish there wasn't a huge learning curve ahead of me!

What do you gentlemen reccomend for a solution given my older edition of premiere which has limitations apparently?Really,anyone please feel free to wade in in any way despite particular names being addressed.

At least I'm somewhat closer to solving the problem.

Thanks guys!

Bruce
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Old June 7th, 2006, 08:21 PM   #7
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There's no need for you to purchase a DVD authoring program, as Premiere 6.5 comes bundled with Sonic DVDit LE for DVD authoring. As far as exporting MPEG-2 from Premiere 6.5, I can't tell you. You should really check the section on exporting in the Premiere manual/help file.
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Old June 7th, 2006, 09:23 PM   #8
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Actually,right now I have no dvd authoring software

Nor do I have Sonic DVDit LE.

Version 6 of their full edition lists for $300 at their website which is pricey.

Maybe I can find it free or close to it somewhere.

Bruce
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Old June 8th, 2006, 02:11 AM   #9
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I seriously doubt that you only can do MPEG4 with premiere - read the manual/help file. There are a good MPEG2 encoder included.

IMHO, ULEAD DVD is hard to please - if possible: choose "never transcode/recode", so that it burns your files exactly as you deliver them.

Do a google on "Tutorial for making DVD with prorgam xxxx" - you'll get numerous of hits.

//Lazze
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Old June 8th, 2006, 07:19 AM   #10
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Bruce,

I don't know if your version 6.x Premiere has a mpeg 2 trancoder built in, but if it does not, you can upgrade to Premiere Pro 2.0 for $199. That will allow you to transcode to mpeg2 and burn dvd's right from the program. I have also used Ulead to burn dvd's, that program came free with my Pioneer $69 dvd burner. I could not see any difference between the results from that program, or the results which came from the built-in Main Concept transcoder inside Premiere.

Bob
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Old June 8th, 2006, 08:24 AM   #11
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Bruce,

The best way using ULEAD is probably to give it the AVI file directly, maybe that was what you did?

Then you'll only have ONE encoding - and that is the most important thing!


// Lazze
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Old June 8th, 2006, 11:31 AM   #12
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Well..can I do this then?

How about I skip the timeline export function entirely and save the whole project as one huge avi file..anotherwords.. pretend that the whole thing is a super long "clip" saving it as a movie without the MPEG 4 encoding?Of course that assumes there are no titles which are not saved as an avi file when they are created,it's.prnt or something like that.Then using Main concepts encoder application it gets directly compressed to MPEG 2 format?Of course I'd have to buy that.Any free encoders out there that can do the job?Sorry that money counts.. the budget is running out since I just spent a bunch on the GL-2 and other equipment.

Recently I just got an internal DVD/CD combo burner but that came with Nero software which I am not all that crazy about.Anybody have anything to say about it one way or the other in relation to its dvd burning capabilities/rate of success or lack thereof?

I'm waiting for an acquaintance to be available so he can install the thing and have no idea when that will occur.

Whats you favorite brand of dvd disc?

More latter.

Thanks.
Bruce
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Old June 8th, 2006, 01:02 PM   #13
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Bruce,

There is a good DVD blank comparison by brand here: www.digitalfaq.com/media/dvdmedia.htm (for which I do not assume responsibilbity but so far it coincides with my experience). Try TDK DVD+Rs from Costco, they are one of the highest rated in this document and affordable if you're on a budget.

As far as the mpeg2 encoder, since your burner came with Nero, give Nero a try! You might be pleased with it. So do just what you asked: export the timeline as a movie and then use Nero to burn the DVD using the resulting file as source. I have done it and it works fine. Later on as you gain experience, you will find better ways of doing it (better mpeg2 encoders), but this is a good way to start.

And don't get discouraged... we've all been there...
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Old June 8th, 2006, 01:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Pelley
Nor do I have Sonic DVDit LE.

Version 6 of their full edition lists for $300 at their website which is pricey.

Maybe I can find it free or close to it somewhere.

Bruce
You said you have Premiere version 6.5. Adobe Premiere version 6.5 did come bundled with Sonic DVDit LE. It may well require a separate install, however. It could be on the Premiere 6.5 install CD, or it may be a separate CD on the back of a swing out tray in the same jewel case (that was how SmartSound QuickTracks for Premiere 6 was bundled).
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Old June 8th, 2006, 01:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Pelley
Recently I just got an internal DVD/CD combo burner but that came with Nero software which I am not all that crazy about.Anybody have anything to say about it one way or the other in relation to its dvd burning capabilities/rate of success or lack thereof?
The Nero suite is good, though I've never tried it's DVD authoring capabilities. However, if you can't find your bundled version of Sonic DVDit LE I would recommend trying Nero, as Ervin said. You may be pleasantly surprised.
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