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Old September 6th, 2006, 03:42 PM   #1
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Master Quality: DLT vs. DVD

I'm printing 3000 DVDs next month and the replication house said they can use DLT or DVD as the master. But they say the DLT will make for a higher quality video. Is this true?

The reason I ask is because in order to get it to DLT, I have to print my movie to DVCAM tape for the authoring/transfer house. It would seem to me that going from FCP Movie to DVDPro (both being digital) would lose less in the process than FCP Movie to DVCAM tape to DLT. Also, going straight to DVD is something I can do on my computer myself, while going the DLT route and having that place author the video (their equipment is not compatible with personal DVD software) is going to cost 1k+.

My top priority is to have the highest quality images possible, but I also don't want to complicate the process unnecessarily or spend money for a difference that no one can even see.
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Old September 6th, 2006, 04:25 PM   #2
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Someone give a howler if Iím wrong but from my understanding there is know difference in the actual quality of your encoded video.

However DLT is still the most reliable error free method for producing a glass master.

As long as you burn the DVD at 1x (some newer drives donít burn this low) and use good media, no one will ever know, or care.

In many applications DLT is required. In order to use CSS encryption you must master to DLT. Or some dup houses still require that you submit dual layer discs on separate DLT tapes.

Any dup house worth its salt will thoroughly test the disc you send them and will contact you if they run into and read errors from a dvd-r.

Good luck!
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Old September 6th, 2006, 05:24 PM   #3
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You're confusing a few issues here. I'll try to break them down:

1-DLT vs. DVD-R. If you give the replication house an already authored DVD-R, they read that master DVD of yours into the glass master machine. This process can introduce errors into the data because of dust on the DVD, etc. When the DVD-R you give them is burnt, sometimes that introduces errors also. All in all, using that process can introduce errors in the data that can't be fixed. So it is a quality issue, but not necessarily a video quality issue. DLTs circumvent this by using large amounts of error correction.

2-DVCAM/DLT etc. There is no such thing as going from DVCAM to DLT. Not directly. DLT is a data backup format. DVCAM is a video tape format. When you give a DVCAM tape to somebody, they are encoding it into MPEG2, then making an authored DVD data set, and THEN writing that out to DLT. It's a lot of work, and that's why it's a $1000 job.

If you're having 3000 DVDs made, you're a lot better off having a professional DVD authoring place make your DLTs for you. It's not just the issue of DLTs vs DVD-R...it's more that any place that knows how to make DLTs more than likely will be doing authoring that's top-notch, or close to it.

If you just make a DVD-R in iDVD or DVDStudioPro, and then replicate that 3000 times, you open yourself up to all sorts of issues.

(fyi, this is real-world experience talking, not conjecture. I worked for 3 years producing and authoring DVDs for replication runs at 10K+ units for each run. And I had to fix the problems my boss made manufacturing DVDs by DVD-R replication before he hired me. We had about 5 titles for sale that were done that way that we always had to send out replacement copies of to customers)
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Old September 6th, 2006, 10:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Weaver
If you just make a DVD-R in iDVD or DVDStudioPro, and then replicate that 3000 times, you open yourself up to all sorts of issues.
I believe you Nate, I was just wondering what kind of issues you have run into?

Iíve only done a few dub jobs, they where all authored by me in lower end authoring software. (DVD lab pro and encore) for each project the run was only like 1000, but I never got a complaint or new of any issues, even on older DVD players.

Do you find that the more complicated a DVD gets (menus, chapters, custom scripts) the more likely an issue?

So in Shaneís case its not about the medium used to get it to the dub house but the quality of the authoring job?

Sorry to highjack your thread Shane Iím just curious.
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Old September 6th, 2006, 10:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Weaver
2-DVCAM/DLT etc. There is no such thing as going from DVCAM to DLT. Not directly. DLT is a data backup format. DVCAM is a video tape format. When you give a DVCAM tape to somebody, they are encoding it into MPEG2, then making an authored DVD data set, and THEN writing that out to DLT. It's a lot of work, and that's why it's a $1000 job.
Can I encode into MPEG2 direct from my system and then bring that up to a DLT writing/DVD authoring house for transfer, rather than going the DVCAM route? What I don't get about the whole process is going from the original digital work to tape then back to digital (to be encoded on a tape, albeit not a video tape). Is there some steps that can be taken out of the process to preserve more of the original project (and maybe even make it cheaper)?
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 10:29 PM   #6
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Shane,
You can just buy a DLT tape drive yourself and copy the authored project onto that and save a lot of money. The drive are relatively cheap, I bought this one here and had it shipped out to me in less than a week.

http://www.pacificdatastorage.com/pr...D60033&cat=143


If you are authoring the DVD already then why send it out to an DLT authoring house? I use DVD Studio Pro and just have the DLT drive hooked up via a SCSI calbe to my G5. I'm sure any DVD authoring software that you use, at least the higher end ones will recognize the DLT drive and you can make your own DLT's. My company used to send out the DVCam tapes to have DLT'S made but once I started working here, I just hooked up the DLT drive and did it myself, it's pretty easy.

Hope this helps.
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Old September 23rd, 2006, 02:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rik Sanchez
Shane,
You can just buy a DLT tape drive yourself and copy the authored project onto that and save a lot of money. The drive are relatively cheap, I bought this one here and had it shipped out to me in less than a week.

http://www.pacificdatastorage.com/pr...D60033&cat=143


If you are authoring the DVD already then why send it out to an DLT authoring house? I use DVD Studio Pro and just have the DLT drive hooked up via a SCSI calbe to my G5. I'm sure any DVD authoring software that you use, at least the higher end ones will recognize the DLT drive and you can make your own DLT's. My company used to send out the DVCam tapes to have DLT'S made but once I started working here, I just hooked up the DLT drive and did it myself, it's pretty easy.

Hope this helps.
Thanks for the advice. And this all may change things, but up until now I was just planning on creating the DVD pages in Photoshop and then having the authoring house make everything work correctly. They are also going to do the compression. However, the quote for their work on my 105 minute project is about $2100.00.

As I've spoken with them about their different services (capturing the final project and compressing it to MPEG-2 being the most expensive part), I have tried to find ways to reduce the price by asking them what I could DIY. But, they have not been forthcoming with the information. When I said I wanted to give them an already compressed version of the movie, they said that they encounter nothing but problems form people who do this. It has me a bit deterred because the replication house says they are the best in the area.

But I suppose my main issue here is time. I have DVD Studio Pro, and could buy MainConcept, and the DLT drive you recommend for well under $2100.00, but I have to have this project complete in about 2 weeks and I don't know if that's enough time for the learning curve necessary for all of this stuff.

In a way, I feel like I'm getting suckered, but at the same time, I can't afford to make a mistake. These guys did a project for me two years ago and they found three errors (in my project and menu) that would have gone unseen had I just done everything myself.

As you can see, I'm still on the fence about all of this, but I don't have long to decide which direction to take...
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Old September 24th, 2006, 06:54 AM   #8
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Shane,
If you have authored DVD in DVD Studio Pro before then it shouldn't be a problem. You just have to burn a dvd-r of the project and test it on a set top player to make sure all the links work. You can also do that with the simulator in DVD SP.

I think the authoring house is just trying to make it seem like it is a difficult job and it is best left to them to do your project. If they told you how to do it then they would be out $2100.

I have a friend in L.A. who makes dvd's all the time, he was going to buy a DLT drive to make them himself so I'm sure he know how to do it. Do you want me to get a hold of him and see if he could author the dvd for you? Too bad I live way over here in Japan or I could show you how to do it. Once you make your first DLT, then you won't ever use an authoring house again. I didn't know it costs so much to author a 105 min. project. I think I'm going to have to ask my boss for a raise, with what they pay me to author a dvd it is practically free compared to the price they are charging you.
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Old September 24th, 2006, 07:33 AM   #9
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I agree with Rick. I have had thousands of DVDs replicated by "Disc Makers" using a DVD-R as the master. As long as the master looks good the end product by them has looked good. Never had one returned so far.

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Old September 26th, 2006, 10:00 AM   #10
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Mpeg 2

This is all great information as i'm dealing with this process now. I know a director who has secured distribution for his film and wants to use me and my company for the DVD authoring and design. He will have greater control over the look locally with us and we go back. The catch is I need to know if i should attempt it or not. Can my software (Mac, DVDSP, compressor, FCP5) encode the best mpeg2 for his film. I'm very good at making DVD's from studio pro but have always considered them to be not quite "the real thing" through no fault of my own i just assumed there was some black magic involved in mastering/authoring DVD's for hollywood films and wide distribution. If i am wrong I would love to do things myself, but I have to make SURE the compression will be top-notch, then I'll feel comfortable outputting a DLT for the dups to be made at a facility. Any other information is welcome with this. Will the dup house test my DVD beyond what I can achieve? Are many people doing it themselves this way for DVD authoring? etc. I think this is a crucial concept, the idea of filmmakers being able to trust off-the-shelf software to make their film look as good as humanly possible using DVD Studio Pro software (or some other similar) and controlling their final delivery themselves or with those they trust most.

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Old September 26th, 2006, 10:01 AM   #11
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Mpeg 2

sorry double click.
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Old September 26th, 2006, 10:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rik Sanchez
Shane,
If you have authored DVD in DVD Studio Pro before then it shouldn't be a problem. You just have to burn a dvd-r of the project and test it on a set top player to make sure all the links work. You can also do that with the simulator in DVD SP.

I think the authoring house is just trying to make it seem like it is a difficult job and it is best left to them to do your project. If they told you how to do it then they would be out $2100.

I have a friend in L.A. who makes dvd's all the time, he was going to buy a DLT drive to make them himself so I'm sure he know how to do it. Do you want me to get a hold of him and see if he could author the dvd for you? Too bad I live way over here in Japan or I could show you how to do it. Once you make your first DLT, then you won't ever use an authoring house again. I didn't know it costs so much to author a 105 min. project. I think I'm going to have to ask my boss for a raise, with what they pay me to author a dvd it is practically free compared to the price they are charging you.
I actually haven't authored a DVD yet. Well, just a quick sample disc for a commercial I had done, but that's it.

Thanks for the offer regarding your friend, but I am behind schedule on this now, and can't afford any more hiccups at this point. I will have to explore this option after this project is done when I have the time. Thanks for your input...it will be valuable down the line.
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Old September 26th, 2006, 06:04 PM   #13
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If you turn in a DVD-R to a replicator as a master. You will get back pressed DVD-R discs (not compatible in all DVD players and not a True DVD-V disc. If you turn in a DLT master to the replicator, then you will get a True DVD-V pressed disc. The quality is exactly the same otherwise. But the issue is compatibility.
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Old September 26th, 2006, 07:56 PM   #14
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Michael,

I think you are referring to duplicated and not replicated discs. Replicated discs involve using a glass master, and with my manufacturer meeting the DVD licensing standards that allows display of the DVD logo which assures that the disc was made to be compatable with DVD players. Definitely not pressed on DVD-R discs.

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Old September 26th, 2006, 09:04 PM   #15
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No, i'm referring to replicated DVD-R's. If you create a DVD-R master and send it to the plant to have pressed. They create an image of the DVD-R including all of the sectors and blocks which will be formated for a DVD-R since that is what you delivered the master on. If you deliver it on a DLT, then it will be formated correctly for a true DVD-V disc.

"For DVD-5 the replicator may say they will accept burned DVD-R as a source. However if you don't have special Authoring DVD-R drive (cost about $4000) what you will get back could be just an exact copy of your DVD-R; a molded DVD-R with 2048 bytes per sector not a true DVD-Video. For small releases that may not be a big problem, but there are still few players out there that will have trouble playing DVD-R even if it is molded. By using DVD-R as a source, the replicators are in normally addressing creating of the DVD-ROM with data, not a DVD-Video, which the manager personnel you probably deal with may not know."

http://www.mediachance.com/cowboywho...fer_to_dlt.htm
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