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Old March 21st, 2008, 12:28 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Barber View Post
OK, here's another one for you. I have a successful build, burned fine and plays well in both my Samsung and Panasonic DVD players (and fine on both Macs through DVD Player). The only oddity is playback on the Samsung, one of the tracks (the same one, every time) seems to skip a bit as if it was playing back at 2x speed. Not in the Panasonic, not on the Macs...
On subsequent builds/burns I have had problems getting the track to play at all on my Panasonic DVD player! The Samsung will play, but seems to stutter ahead a few frames (as if shuttling at 2x), but the Panasonic won't even play the track -- it jumps to the next one instead.

I don't know what to glean from this. I don't have the knowledge to know what cause, or at least possible causes, might be. Of what is this symptomatic? Data rate too high? (I most recently tried a 2-pass VBR, average=4.4, max=6.8) Could it be GOP issues?

The three video streams for this track is 24:12 each, and on my dinosaur system takes me >5 hours to do a 2-pass VBR encoding, which is a bit demoralizing to go through such debugging.
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Old March 21st, 2008, 04:29 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
Without knowing the model number you're most likely referring to the combo models that have DVD-VHS-MiniDV built in? Those recorders are designed to capture and record *tracks* not create a fully authored disc with menus, subtitle functions, alt-angles etc.

Important too, is that since those devices burn tracks only bitrates can be higher all around.

Compressor nor any other software-based encoder can replicate what a hardware encoder can do, which is what you've got in those combo machines. In fact, if it were possible (and it's not, so don't worry about trying to figure out how) to take these hardware encoders and grab the MPEG-2 file it creates and then import that into DVDSP4 you'd have a superior looking output.
Actually that's essentially what I do by recording with these low-cost machines and demuxing the files for import into DVDSP. Works great, costs the price of a DVD blank and I don't have to spend time and money on a dedicated computer with a hardware board in it.

Most DVDs that people create lack multiple angles, subtitles, alternate audio tracks and slide shows. And many DVDs have less then 1 hour of video material on it. A small request of the Apple programmers who may be reading this, please provide us with some optimized presets for the short form project.
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Old March 21st, 2008, 11:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Barber View Post
On subsequent builds/burns I have had problems getting the track to play at all on my Panasonic DVD player! The Samsung will play, but seems to stutter ahead a few frames (as if shuttling at 2x), but the Panasonic won't even play the track -- it jumps to the next one instead.

I don't know what to glean from this. I don't have the knowledge to know what cause, or at least possible causes, might be. Of what is this symptomatic? Data rate too high? (I most recently tried a 2-pass VBR, average=4.4, max=6.8) Could it be GOP issues?

The three video streams for this track is 24:12 each, and on my dinosaur system takes me >5 hours to do a 2-pass VBR encoding, which is a bit demoralizing to go through such debugging.
Just to make sure I am giving as much information about my problem as I can:

I was previously experiencing issues with incompatible GOP structures on the very same track. The issue was some variances on where cuts were made between the three angles (front, side, back).

The way this issue was resolved was by outputting the entire sequence for each version/angle (one for the front, side, and back) as FCP movies (without any markers), then brought those FCP movies back into FCP and placed them in new timelines with identical chapter markers. It is these new "workaround sequences" that were then put through Compressor and into DVDSP for the DVD.

Following me so far? Just in case, the workflow went like this:

1. Drills_front, Drills_side and Drills_back sequences are exported as FCP movies, retaining timeline settings, no chapter markers. Filenames are Drills_front_4import, Drills_side_4import and Drills_back_4import respectively.

2. The FCP movies are imported into FCP and each placed into new sequences Drills_front_workaround, Drills_side_workaround and Drills_back_workaround respectively, which already have identical chapter markers.

3. These new workaround sequences are exported directly to Compressor, where they are processed with a 2-pass VBR (latest test was with 5 Mbps average, 6.4 Mbps max) with the "Include Chapter Markers only" option in the Extras tab checked.

The resulting .m2v and .ac3 files are brought into DVDSP. When I compile the build, it goes off without a hitch. When I open the TS_FOLDER in Apple DVD Player, it plays just fine. However, if I try to open the same TS_FOLDER with DVDAfterEdit -- the application crashes (I tried DVDAE on some other build folders I know to be good, and it opens fine... telling me there is an issue with the suspect build). If I burn the suspect build to DVD, the problem chapter will exhibit different issues as I have already described in the quote above.

This is causing me to be unable to make the delivery -- which is making me look like an incompetent amateur. Perhaps rightly so. The deadline has been blown; but I still need to get it finished, and finished correctly.

I really need help.
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Old March 22nd, 2008, 12:47 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Mike Barber View Post

The resulting .m2v and .ac3 files are brought into DVDSP. When I compile the build, it goes off without a hitch. When I open the TS_FOLDER in Apple DVD Player, it plays just fine. However, if I try to open the same TS_FOLDER with DVDAfterEdit -- the application crashes (I tried DVDAE on some other build folders I know to be good, and it opens fine... telling me there is an issue with the suspect build). If I burn the suspect build to DVD, the problem chapter will exhibit different issues as I have already described in the quote above.
Does the DVD play in the computer or are you using a DVD player? It's possible that the total Mbps of your three angles exceeds the ability of the DVD player to handle. I have never attempted multi-angle but I seem to remember that the tracks couldn't exceed 7 or 8 Mbps when added together. The last multi angle DVD I played was an extra on a major studio film and each track (there were four multi-tracks) was very compressed. If each of your tracks average 5Mbps then the total is around 15Mbps, too high.
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Old March 22nd, 2008, 01:46 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
It's possible that the total Mbps of your three angles exceeds the ability of the DVD player to handle. [...] If each of your tracks average 5Mbps then the total is around 15Mbps, too high.
I understand your theory, but I'm not sure it is true.

For 5 angles or fewer, 8 Mbps is the maximum for a track’s combined bit rate. We calculate the combined bit rate by adding the highest bit rate video stream + all audio streams + all subtitle streams.

According to DVDSP manual (page 70):

Quote:
When calculating the combined bit rate for a track, you only need to add in the bit rate of one video stream, but it needs to be the stream with the highest bit rate.
If it was a matter of having a bit rate that was too high, DVDSP wouldn't complete the build anyway.
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Old March 22nd, 2008, 11:21 PM   #21
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I'll plead technical ignorance on how a DVD player deals with multiple angle tracks.

(edited techno-garble)

I plead ignorance no longer. This link provides some helpful information:

http://books.google.com/books?id=98d...l=en#PPA222,M1

In short, the author of this link states that the DVD can switch between the angles live as long as the tracks are burned on the disk within a certain distance from each other so the laser reader head can successfully switch between them. Bit rate is calculated by adding the highest rate video track with the audio track plus tracks such as subtitles, subpictures, etc. Since you have problems before a disk is even burned, I now suspect that one of your tracks is causing the problem. You'll now have to ferret out which track is doing this. Are the FCP movies you made self-contained or just reference files?

You have my sympathies, this is not a good place to be.
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Last edited by William Hohauser; March 22nd, 2008 at 11:49 PM. Reason: Ignorance removed.
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Old March 23rd, 2008, 11:13 AM   #22
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Have you tried contacting the publisher of DVDAfterEdit? I'm not sure why it would be crashing on your machine, unless you have directory issues on the boot drive. (time for disk warrior?)

Based on all the steps you've taken I really feel like there's something simple being missed here but unfortunately without being able to see the entire build of your project there's no way to fully ascertain the issue or offer further help via the web.

I'd highly suggest locating a DVD specialist in your area and have them look over your project. You might also check out the Apple forum pages for additional help since there are tons more people doing DVDSP work there than on this forum alone.

http://discussions.apple.com/forum.jspa?forumID=952

I wish I could offer more help but there's too much info that can't be had by just web-descriptions.
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Old March 23rd, 2008, 05:49 PM   #23
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Holy Cow!

Last night I stumbled upon a workaround. I was convinced that the issue was not with the bit rate, but something else... perhaps GOP, or some other technical issue I was blind to. Nothing scientific; pure hunch.

The problematic track is 24 minutes and 12 seconds in length. I decided to output my sequences in segments. So, rather than having one 24:12 QT/FCP movie for each angle, I broke it up to four shorter (4-7 minutes each) chunks, then placed them sequentially on the track timeline in DVDSP (having gone through Compressor as 2-pass, 5 Mbps/6.5 Mbps average/max bitrate, etc.)

Worked like a charm. I was able to open the TS_FOLDER with DVDAfterEdit just fine, burned and played in all my players without a single issue.

Happy time! I broke open my reserve bottle of El Tosoro Platinum (best tequila... EVER) and enjoyed a glass.

I found a workaround, but still have no answers as to what was going wrong to begin with. Do the methods of my workaround shed any light onto the issue?

I know it is hard to dissect these technical issues across the net, I appreciate and deeply thank you, Robert and William, for lending your aid.
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