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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old November 4th, 2005, 07:45 AM   #1
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Dual layer disks for wedding coverage

Before I commit to doing dual layer DVDs, rather than two singles, for the next wedding, I'd appreciate comments about what complaints, if any, to expect from the end users.

The disks will be burned, not commercially pressed.

In the past couple of years, I've only had a few requests for replacement of single layer disks because of some problem with the burn. Safer to stick with two singles, or are home-burned DLs working out okay?
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Old November 4th, 2005, 08:12 AM   #2
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I strongly suggest you try it and see before you commit to anything like offering it to customers.

I, in common with many others I know - see here, have completely given up on Double Layer recordable DVDs - and the industry seems also to have given up, now concentrating on HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.

BTW: You will find recordable DVDs are referred to and labelled as "double layer" (not "dual") presumeably to avoid legal complications with the pressed dual layer disks and the DVD forum.
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Old November 5th, 2005, 06:45 AM   #3
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'Double' layer disks...

I should have mentioned that I've been burning 'double' layer disks for several months for my own use. No problems burning nor playing back on any of my home dvd players. I've also handed out about a half-dozen DLs, and no playback problems reported.

But, I consider this limited personal experience worthless. Three or four years ago when I first started burning dvds, I didn't have any problem playing them at home, but had a large percentage of "failures" reported by clients. Back then, the manufacture date of the player hardware, brand, and even model # made a difference whether or not a home-burned dvd would play. The disks were good, but those earlier players lacked whatever to play them.

Now that almost everybody has at least one dvd player purchased within the past couple of years -- and maybe because burners & software are better -- I've had virtually no failures reported with single layer disks.

I've read thru various discussions here at DVi and other forums where some report total success with DL and others have tried and quit. (BTW, thanks for that link.) But it's hard to tell just what volume or range of distribution they've had, or even how critical the recipients were. (It seems wedding party people can be super critical of playback issues.)

So, I was hoping to get feedback here from anyone & everyone who recently packaged several copies of their wedding coverage on DL. Was the "failure" rate reported by recipients bad enough to discourage you from using DLs, or was most everyone happy with the product?

So far, based on what you wrote Martin, I might order some more 2-disk cases.
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Old November 5th, 2005, 10:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Tomkowiak
Before I commit to doing dual layer DVDs, rather than two singles, for the next wedding, I'd appreciate comments about what complaints, if any, to expect from the end users.

The disks will be burned, not commercially pressed.

In the past couple of years, I've only had a few requests for replacement of single layer disks because of some problem with the burn. Safer to stick with two singles, or are home-burned DLs working out okay?
Tom, question, how much product (in hours) are you delivering the you require 2 discs for a wedding shoot?

Miguel
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Old November 5th, 2005, 04:20 PM   #5
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Miguel,

For the wedding I'm referring to, they want coverage (not highlights) of the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, photographer's photo shoot (the paid photog is okay with this), full ceremony and the reception plus interviews. Then there's a life story to be included in its entirety.

Except for the ceremony & life story, there's the usual dead space that can be pruned out of everything else, so I'm estimating it'll boil down to two or two and a half hours max.
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Old November 5th, 2005, 05:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Tomkowiak
Miguel,

For the wedding I'm referring to, they want coverage (not highlights) of the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, photographer's photo shoot (the paid photog is okay with this), full ceremony and the reception plus interviews. Then there's a life story to be included in its entirety.

Except for the ceremony & life story, there's the usual dead space that can be pruned out of everything else, so I'm estimating it'll boil down to two or two and a half hours max.
Are you running compression like TMPGenc on your final AVI files before you plop them onto the DVD?

2.5 hours should be ok on 1 disc if you compress it, I typically run between 4 and 5mbs for dvd's that I produce and 2 hours is nothing.

BTW the last DVD that I purchased, I ran a Mb/s checker on it and it was averaged at 5Mb and that's a Hollywood disc.

I have a DL burner, haven't purchased one disc yet, have a shoot this coming weekend that is very similar to yours in the amount of coverage that I need to shoot, tell you what, we should compare notes next week once I'm done and see where we are based on a compressed final output.

ML
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Old November 5th, 2005, 06:59 PM   #7
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No, I'm a Mac guy.

Final Cut Pro -> Compressor -> DVD Pro -> Toast

To make sure an occasional high bit rate doesn't choke someone's player, I usually compress around 6.2 at a constant bit rate (CBR) rather than use a variable bit rate.

I settled on that number more than a year ago since for me it consistently produces a great picture with zero pixilation even during extreme motion.

If this project ends up being around 120 minutes or so, I'll run a test on some of the more critical scenes to see how they look in the 4 to 5 range you use. If okay, I'll let the Mac crunch on the whole thing at that rate, and let you know how it turns out.
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Old November 6th, 2005, 01:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Tomkowiak
No, I'm a Mac guy.

Final Cut Pro -> Compressor -> DVD Pro -> Toast

To make sure an occasional high bit rate doesn't choke someone's player, I usually compress around 6.2 at a constant bit rate (CBR) rather than use a variable bit rate.

I settled on that number more than a year ago since for me it consistently produces a great picture with zero pixilation even during extreme motion.

If this project ends up being around 120 minutes or so, I'll run a test on some of the more critical scenes to see how they look in the 4 to 5 range you use. If okay, I'll let the Mac crunch on the whole thing at that rate, and let you know how it turns out.

Give it a shot, you might find that it works very well in the 5's, again like I said before, I check some studio DVD's from time to time and the last one that I checked was CSI: NY the 1st season and it was in the 5's so I was feeling pretty good that I wasn't too far off with my stuff.

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Old November 6th, 2005, 12:36 PM   #9
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Isnt a typical wedding about 4hrs.

Wow does the raw cut plus, highlights, and reception fit on one disc... or are there more than one I've always wondered??
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Old November 7th, 2005, 11:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Tomkowiak
No, I'm a Mac guy.

Final Cut Pro -> Compressor -> DVD Pro -> Toast

To make sure an occasional high bit rate doesn't choke someone's player, I usually compress around 6.2 at a constant bit rate (CBR) rather than use a variable bit rate.

I settled on that number more than a year ago since for me it consistently produces a great picture with zero pixilation even during extreme motion.

If this project ends up being around 120 minutes or so, I'll run a test on some of the more critical scenes to see how they look in the 4 to 5 range you use. If okay, I'll let the Mac crunch on the whole thing at that rate, and let you know how it turns out.
Tom,

Any mpeg compression engineer will tell you that CBR encoding is, in general, considered inferior in quality to 2-pass VBR (assuming good VBR paramaters/settings).

As long as the combination of compressed audio and peak bitrate doesn't exceed the 9.8 kbps max spec, I think fears about playback issues are overstated. I've cranked out atleast 150 discs in the last 2-3 years with no problems. Only one issue I ever had with was quickly determined to be an early DVD player, and some of those first release DVD players were not fully compliant with the DVD spec - as we all know.
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Old November 7th, 2005, 01:25 PM   #11
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Craig,

No argument from me that 2-pass VBR is better quality than CBR.

And, considering that the $19.99 (after $20 rebate) dvd player I picked up on Black Friday last year breezes right through dvds that sometimes choke the mega-hundred dollar Pioneer player I got about 4 years ago, I agree that past playback issues are now only bad memories as the number of old players still in use shrink to an insignificant percentage of the total.

But when the comments roll in from non-mpeg engineers about how wonderful the video looks and when several recipients don't ask for a replacement disk (or, horrors, request a VHS tape as replacement), it's hard to abandon my past success with CBR. ;-}
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Old November 7th, 2005, 02:44 PM   #12
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Are there printable dvd-r dual layers?
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Old November 7th, 2005, 03:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Davis
Are there printable dvd-r dual layers?
NOPE -just DVD+R
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Old November 7th, 2005, 03:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Tomkowiak
Craig,

But when the comments roll in from non-mpeg engineers about how wonderful the video looks and when several recipients don't ask for a replacement disk (or, horrors, request a VHS tape as replacement), it's hard to abandon my past success with CBR. ;-}
Tom,

Were just a bit off-subject but it's good discussion... Have you viewed the results of your encodes on a large screen TV? I highly recommend it. An increasing number of my customers have large screen TVs, as do I. If our customers are watching their DVDs on a bigscreen, it only makes sense that we take it upon ourselves to make sure our medium accommodates. I stopped using Compressor after doing test encodes (video with movement, fades, cross-dissolves) at various settings and comparing them with BitVice. I quickly figured out that many of Compressor's test clip's imperfections were not too noticable on my 32" set, while my 53" screen exploited them all. In order to get a satisfactory encode out of Compressor (one that looked acceptable on my 53" set) I had to jack up the average bit rate to 7.5 with a 9.2 ceiling. Test clips in the 4 to 6 range looked aweful in my opinion - they looked very compressed.
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Old November 7th, 2005, 05:11 PM   #15
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Craig,

My wife and I will be going thru GA down I-95 this Thurs. Mind if we stop in at your place and watch some of my disks and some of your disks on your 53" screen? Would it make any difference if we brought beer & pizza? .... I didn't think so. :(

I've tried different versions of the BitVice sampler over the years and read a lot of good stuff about it vis-a'-vis Compressor, but just haven't had the motivation to switch. I imagine seeing pixels spread across 4+ feet of screen could be a motivator.

I guess what I'll have to do is encode a minute or so of the same scene at different rates with Compressor & the latest BitVice sampler, take the disk to one of the big box electronics stores, and watch it on a big screen there.

What I'd really like to know is why I've only had one response to my original question about double sided disks. Does this mean few if any of the wedding videographers who frequent this board use them, or, even tried them?
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