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Old May 15th, 2011, 06:45 PM   #1
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Need help troubleshooting DVD authoring problem.

I recently completed a short film and have to submit to various film festivals.

A problem I encountered is that when using Toast 9.0.4 it is brutal in it's compression of the video making it look really bad. A friend suggested DVD Studio Pro, and I tried it out, but find that while it operates on computers to perfection it is not recognized by my DVD player in the living room at all. I've tried various DVD Players and it seems to be strictly Computers vs DVD Players.

I was told it is due to using DVD+R blanks, but I've tried DVD-R blanks and the problem persists.

I was told you have to export to Mpeg 2 before burning, which I tried. I found that FCP 7.0.3 exports to Mpg 4 (not 2) and when doing so, it compressed the video horribly. After burning the DVD with this crappy copy, the problem vis-a-vis DVD Players not recognizing the disc persisted.

Can somebody suggest the best way to (1) export my short; (2) Burn to DVD with as little compression as possible; and (3) in a manner that will play on any DVD Player (within the US).

Sorry if this has been asked before. I looked around, but did not see any similar threads posted previously.
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Old May 15th, 2011, 09:04 PM   #2
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Re: Need help troubleshooting DVD authoring problem.

Export the sequence from FCP directly to Compressor File > Export > Using Compressor
Compressor will open, drag one of the DVD settings folders from the settings tab (90 minute is good setting).
Open DVDStudio and import the two files generated by Compressor (mpeg file for the video, ac3 for the audio)
When you are finished authoring you can burn directly from DVDSP or create a build folder (which then can be burned using Toast as Data DVD Rom UDF.
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Old May 15th, 2011, 10:56 PM   #3
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Re: Need help troubleshooting DVD authoring problem.

Welcome to the forums, Hector.

Try this tutorial I put together about Compressor settings for DVD:

Lumenosity Reviews & Workflows: Best Apple Compressor Settings for DVD Widescreen Downconversions

However, playback problems don't have anything to do with Compressor settings but hardware compatibility. If you've successfully authored a DVD and you're not getting error messages either during or after the burn then it's time to change up the burning method.

Normally, playback errors come from the actual final burn process in which error correction isn't doing it's job. That usually happens when the burn speed is too fast and the data-cache in the software can't keep up with the errors that normally occur between the burning laser and the media it's burning.

I've found on most Mac's that the best method for getting a reliable disc image is to create your final encode in DVD Studio Pro and export/save that to an ".img" data file - which by the way actually does conform to ISO standards for making glass-masters (replication process).

Then import that into Toast or any other DVD-burning application that allows you to control the BURN SPEED (which DVD Studio Pro does not). Make the burn speed 1x - and no faster. This should eliminate any burn errors and player compatibilty issues.

There is a detailed tutorial on Lynda.com and at one time there was also a white-paper on this process on the Toast website also.

Also, RIDATA and Taiyo Yuden brand discs are known to be the highest quality/reliability in the industry; either one of those will give you the best burner/player compatibility also.

Try that burn method and see if your playback errors continue - and lest us know either way.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 09:14 PM   #4
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Re: Need help troubleshooting DVD authoring problem.

The problem most likely lies in Toast. Either he was burning the Mpeg2 file which need to be muxed, or he was burning it in the wrong way in Toast which is easy to do. If you burn the build folder as a video, Toast tries to re-encode it.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 10:00 PM   #5
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Re: Need help troubleshooting DVD authoring problem.

Also good points, Pete. I think there still is a tutorial on the Toast support site about taking an ISO .img file and having toast burn the DVD image - and the proper steps on "how to".
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Old May 17th, 2011, 12:53 PM   #6
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Re: Need help troubleshooting DVD authoring problem.

Looks like I have hit a wall. I followed Robert's tutorial (screen grabs are a great help) I 'submitted' after saving my settings. I did not pay attention to the destination however. I performed an 'apple F' search and could not find where compressor put the files. So, I tried it again this time selecting the desktop for a destination. It failed. I created folders in a pair of external hard drives, and tried each separately and each time I got a 'failed' message from Compressor.

Argh!
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Last edited by Hector Miranda; May 17th, 2011 at 05:06 PM.
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Old May 18th, 2011, 07:13 PM   #7
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Re: Need help troubleshooting DVD authoring problem.

With a great deal of 'Toil Toil and Trouble' I seem to have broken through and completed my DVD Burn. I followed both of your advice and found that Compressor would repeatedly fail. For some reason unbeknownst to me I just kept trying it. I tried a great deal of things. I checked for updates and got a FCP update called ToolKit. My film was shot in Spanish and I used English subtitles and for some reason I had re-rendered my finished film at that point without the English subtitles. compressor immediately worked. I went back into FCP and re-activated the tracks with my subtitles and Compressor immediately began failing miserably again.

After several hours of attempts I got an Mpg-2 and AC3 that rendered out completely. I took this into DVD Studio Pro and it worked on the first attempt. It plays and looks great on my DVD player downstairs.

I can only guess what I did differently to make it work that time.

I think my problem was systemic as in Snow Leopard in that at one point My computer screen went black and would not respond to key strokes or mouse. I powered down, and restarted and still struggled for hours until it finally and mysteriously worked.
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