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Old July 25th, 2007, 07:46 AM   #1
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Burning HD-DVDs @1080i in FCP 5.1.4

I hope I am not going against some sort of forum rule by posting this thread a second time, but I just realized I previously posted it in the wrong category. I am happy to remove it if anyone objects.

Camera: Canon XH-A1
Computer: MacBook Pro, 2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Software: Final Cut Studio, Final Cut 5.1.4 and DVD Studio Pro 4.1.2

I have been experimenting with burning 1080i60 and 1080p30 HDV footage to DVD-R discs and thought I would post my results and work flow. I have found that it is possible to burn progressive HD-DVDs @ 1080p provided you use 1080p30 footage (DVD SP does not seem to import 1080p24 footage). Both the 1080i60 HD-DVDs and 1080p30 HD-DVDs I have created have played perfectly on my Toshiba HD-A20 HD-DVD player. As expected the 1080i60 HD-DVD is interlaced, but the 1080p30 HD-DVD appears to actually be progressive.

Work Flow:
1) Export your 1080i60 or 1080p30 sequence from Final Cut 5.1.4 as a Quicktime Movie to your hard drive (You can edit 1080p30 footage in a 1080i60 timeline without having to render the sequence). Leave "Setting" at "Current Settings", check "Make Movie Self-Contained", and click "Export".

2) Start DVD Studio Pro 4.1.2 and open the "Preferences". Under the "Project" tab set the "DVD Standard" to "HD-DVD", and the "Video Standard" to "NTSC". Click on the "General" tab, and under "HD-DVD Menus, Tracks, and Slideshows", set the "Resolution" to "1920 x 1080i", the "Display Mode" to "16:9 Letterbox", and apply these settings.

Note: You can also change the "Video Standard" of your SD Project from SD-DVD to HD-DVD in the "Disc Inspector" window without opening the "Preferences".

4) Next, "Import" your 1080i60 or 1080p30 Quicktime Movie into the "Assets" window of DVD SP. The Quicktime Movie will usually take a few seconds to load and then a green light appears under the "Status" column.

6) Now simply place the imported sequence into the "Track Editor" window, add your menus, buttons, etc. to your project, and you are ready to burn.

Hugh
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Old July 25th, 2007, 10:07 AM   #2
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So it's that easy? You're exporting an HDV Quicktime file and it's HD-DVD compliant?
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Old July 25th, 2007, 10:43 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Chris Harris View Post
So it's that easy? You're exporting an HDV Quicktime file and it's HD-DVD compliant?
DVD SP 4 User Manual (Page 22):

HD Video Assets
There are a variety of sources for HD video assets to use in your HD projects, with the most common being DVCPRO HD and HDV camcorders.
• With DVCPRO HD, once you have finished editing the video, the result will need to be encoded to the HD MPEG-2 or H.264 video format.
• With HDV, which is already compliant MPEG-2 HD video, you can edit the video in Final Cut Pro 5 and import the result directly in your HD projects.

I can't believe it myself, but in retrospect it makes sense. My Canon XH-A1 records to Mini-DV tape using HD MPEG-2 and DVD SP 4.1.2 requires HD MPEG-2 or H-264 files to burn HD-DVDs. What this means is that there is no need to encode using compressor, and that the footage captured from my camera will be identical to the footage displayed on the HD-DVD. The encoding happens only once in camera and thats it. No transcoding of any kind is needed.

Hugh
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Old July 26th, 2007, 04:05 PM   #4
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That's interesting, Hugh, thanks, I'll have to try that. Until now I've been using compressor to encode my 1080i60 HDV projects to an HD DVD file using the "30-min. HD DVD" preset ... have you tried it this way, and if so, was there any qualitative difference between that and just exporting to a QT movie as you explained above?
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Old July 27th, 2007, 07:54 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dave Lammey View Post
That's interesting, Hugh, thanks, I'll have to try that. Until now I've been using compressor to encode my 1080i60 HDV projects to an HD DVD file using the "30-min. HD DVD" preset ... have you tried it this way, and if so, was there any qualitative difference between that and just exporting to a QT movie as you explained above?
I have not tried encoding the captured footage using Compressor, so I can't tell you from personal experience if there is a difference in quality. If the camera compresses the footage to tape using the MPEG-2 HD codex and then you further compress the footage using Compressor with new bit rate settings, I have to assume that the resulting file would be degraded. The greatest news about this discovery for me is the amount of time saved by not having to encode my captured footage and the fact that what the camera encodes to Mini-DV tape is what I see when I burn my HD-DVD. As lossless a process as HDV can get. I am also amazed that you can produce a progressive (1080p30) HD-DVD despite the fact that the DVD SP 4 literature does not specify that it can handle 1080p30 files.

From:
Late-Breaking News About DVD Studio Pro 4.1 (Page 3)

DVD Studio Pro Does Not Support All HDV Formats
The following HDV formats are not supported by DVD Studio Pro:
720p24
720p25
1080p24
1080p25
You can convert these to supported HDV formats (720p30, 720p60, 720p50, 1080i60, and 1080i50) for your HD projects using Compressor.

You might want to re-encode your footage using Compressor if you had more than 25 or 30 minutes of HDV footage that you wanted to fit on a DVD-5 HD-DVD, but I am not sure about that.

Hugh
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Old July 28th, 2007, 10:23 PM   #6
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Wow Hugh, this is pretty huge. I've been wanting to try the same thing but haven't got the HD-DVD player to test with. Personally I hesitate to buy the first version of anything but the Toshiba HD-A20 seems pretty solid and not too much $$$.

How about all your titles and menus? Everything works the same as a standard def DVD?
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Old July 29th, 2007, 09:08 AM   #7
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Wow Hugh, this is pretty huge. I've been wanting to try the same thing but haven't got the HD-DVD player to test with. Personally I hesitate to buy the first version of anything but the Toshiba HD-A20 seems pretty solid and not too much $$$.

How about all your titles and menus? Everything works the same as a standard def DVD?
The HD-A20 is from Toshiba's second generation of HD-DVD players, so a lot of the bugs have been worked out. Constant firmware updates by Toshiba help to keep the device operating smoothly. As far as menus, etc. I have only been burning HD-DVDs that play immediately when inserted in to the player and loop continuously, so I am not sure how well the menus, etc. work. As soon as I have the time to make a disc with a full menu, etc. I will post the results. Judging from what I have read I am pretty confident that the entire disc will play properly.

The Toshiba HD-A20 (1080P max output) is down to $325 with free shipping on Amazon and the HD-A2 (1080i max output) is down to $240 with free shipping. The price sure beats any Blu-Ray player out there (approx. $525). I love my HD-A20 and would especially encourage those who use the Final Cut Studio to consider getting one. There is no cheaper way to output high definition content on DVD that I know of.

Hugh

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Old July 30th, 2007, 11:00 AM   #8
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Hi Hugh,

Thanks for the tip. I have a question. Are the HD DVD that you created playable on normal DVD players?
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Old July 30th, 2007, 11:12 AM   #9
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Hi Hugh,

Thanks for the tip. I have a question. Are the HD DVD that you created playable on normal DVD players?
I don't think so. They are encoded using the MPEG-2 HD codex and as far as I know you need a HD player capable of playing this format. The DVDs I use to burn my HD-DVDs are regular DVD-R discs, but the content is MPEG-2 HD. SD DVD players can play MPEG-2, but not MPEG-2 HD.

Hugh
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Old July 31st, 2007, 10:13 AM   #10
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You can burn an HD DVD w/ a macbook? I've done that same thing with a G5, and went to the apple store and put it in a mac mini. I told the salesman that I want to buy a computer that can play my HD DVD, he said they do not exist yet (5 months ago) BUT the "HD DVD" was playing fine. He said it's actually playing back in SD, and didn't even think one could burn an HD DVD yet. Can you confirm that this HD DVD you made can't play back on computers or standard DVD players?
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Old July 31st, 2007, 11:56 AM   #11
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If you don't have an HD-DVD burner, you're just burning an HD-DVD compliant file to a regular DVD. It SHOULD play in Macs and PCs with HD-DVD software installed (I heard Apple DVD Player might be able to). It will NOT play in regular hardware DVD players. This is similar to people burning DVD compliant media to a CD to play on DVD hardware, which was wildly incompatible, but worked in some cases. It MIGHT play on a hardware HD-DVD player. Anyone with an HD-DVD player want to try this out? I think I'll try this out and see if they'll let me use an HD-DVD player at Best Buy.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 12:53 PM   #12
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You can burn an HD DVD w/ a macbook?
I have burned HD-DVD files onto regular DVD-5 media with my Macbook Pro that play on the MBP (I think it looks like HD quality playback) and on the Toshiba HD DVD players. These "HD DVDs" that I create with my MBP do not play on regular set-top DVD players.

Last edited by Dave Lammey; July 31st, 2007 at 02:51 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old July 31st, 2007, 02:01 PM   #13
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I have burned HD-DVDs with my Macbook Pro that play on the MBP (I think it looks like HD quality playback)
The best way to check that, (I would think) is to look at the dvd in actual size instead of full screen mode, and compare that window's size to that of a standard DVD.
So MacBooks come with a built in HD-DVD player/burner, and apple's DVD program can now play HD-DVDs? What type do they play, Blue Ray?
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Old July 31st, 2007, 02:25 PM   #14
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So MacBooks come with a built in HD-DVD player/burner,
No, we're burning HD-DVD files on a regular DVD.

Quote:
and apple's DVD program can now play HD-DVDs?
It looks like it does, since it's playing the HD-DVD files off of a regular DVD.

Quote:
What type do they play, Blue Ray?
Not sure about Blu-Ray, but definitely HD-DVD.

Last edited by Chris Harris; July 31st, 2007 at 02:39 PM. Reason: more info
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Old July 31st, 2007, 06:07 PM   #15
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The best way to check that, (I would think) is to look at the dvd in actual size instead of full screen mode, and compare that window's size to that of a standard DVD.
So MacBooks come with a built in HD-DVD player/burner, and apple's DVD program can now play HD-DVDs? What type do they play, Blue Ray?
The HD-DVDs that I have burned on DVD-R discs play in HD (1920x1080) through DVD Player on my MacBook Pro. The HD-DVDs (using regular DVD-5 discs) also play on Toshiba HD-DVD players in HD as if they were formatted to HD-DVD media. I have tested all of this and DVD SP can in fact burn HD-DVDs using DVD-5 discs and these discs can be played back on Apple's DVD Player (in HD) and on Toshiba HD-DVD players (in HD). I was even able to burn 1080p30 footage to a disc and it played back progressively and in HD on my Toshiba HD-A20 player.
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