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Old March 7th, 2011, 01:02 PM   #1
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DVD Architect Pro: Blu-ray Menu Freeze

Ever since 5.0,I've been authoring BR discs using project settings of video MPEG-2 at 30mbps and PCM at 48kHz/24bit. These settings also pertain to menu media, and to the extent I throw into DVDa media that isn't compliant, DVDa recompresses. No problem.

Now I just authored my first BR in 5.2, burned it within DVDa to my usual BD-RE media, and popped it into my Samsung BDP-3600 BR player. The intro media plays fine and then transitions to the Main Menu that I created from a PS layered file and 96kHz/24bit music. (DVDa recompressed the audio, naturally.) Preview within DVDa is flawless.

But then the music started at a point later than the beginning and, after about 10 seconds, it stopped playing, the menu link disappeared, screen froze, then music resumed and looped normally. But all menu functions have frozen: it is totally unresponsive.

If, during that first 10 seconds, I hit "play" (my link for the main movie), then it plays with no problems until, at the end of the movie, I go back to the menu. 10 second...freeze... Only a disc eject/insert sequence will break the endless looping.

I created a simple 2 menu project: the menus linked to each other. Changing just one variable at a time, I removed/changed the video, changed audio properties (e.g., 48/16, 48/24). What "cured" the menu problem was REMOVING audio from the menus altogether. NOTHING else affected the freezing menus.

If I used AC3-Pro audio instead, the menus work perfectly with links and with music playing, but they loop too early. Example: 30 second menu, music full 30 seconds, but playback goes to 25 seconds only, then starts at beginning.

I've seen this problem described on the Sony forum (where I also posted). Has anyone else noticed this? Again, it has something to do with the the audio portion ONLY of ONLY the menu structure created by DVDa. Other media, e.g., intro, logos, and main feature, play flawlessly.

I spent a whole afternoon and evening isolating and (partially) diagnosing this problem. The only definitive solution that I've seen was: stop using DVDa.

Anyone else see this happening to their BR projects? Solutions?

Thanks,
Steve
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Old March 7th, 2011, 02:24 PM   #2
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Re: DVD Architect Pro: Blu-ray Menu Freeze

Steven, I am really glad you shared this, as I will be making Bluray discs in the coming months, and I'm new at it. I know DVDA well, and it serves me well for SD dvds, but I absolutely will not play around with it trying to make a working Bluray disc. It was suggested to me to get a BR-RW for testing, which sounds sensible.

I've been considering switching anyway to, what's it called, DVD Pro? Or something like that, but I'm so busy right now I haven't had time (or budget) to consider this question.

I will follow this thread with great interest.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 03:20 PM   #3
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Re: DVD Architect Pro: Blu-ray Menu Freeze

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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
Steven, I am really glad you shared this, as I will be making Bluray discs in the coming months, and I'm new at it. I know DVDA well, and it serves me well for SD dvds, but I absolutely will not play around with it trying to make a working Bluray disc. It was suggested to me to get a BR-RW for testing, which sounds sensible.

I've been considering switching anyway to, what's it called, DVD Pro? Or something like that, but I'm so busy right now I haven't had time (or budget) to consider this question.

I will follow this thread with great interest.
I should have stated up front: this is not a problem with DVDs, only Blu-ray discs. And, YES, get a rewritable BR disc for your test burns!! Absolutely! I don't mind burning DVD coasters (although I use a RW DVD for tests, too), but I very much mind burning Blu-ray coasters.

Now back to the topic: one piece of info that seems to emerge from my experience and bits around the web is that this problem surfaced when the BR menu background is a static image. In my case, it is a layered PS file that I dumped directly into DVDa. However, the same menu freezing occurs when I use Sony's own canned backgrounds...right there in the backgrounds tab within DVDa.

Thus, one thing I am going to try is making a motion menu background. This is really dumb because I should be able to use whatever I fancy for a background without worrying about mangled menus. But I'm gearing up for filing a support ticket at Sony or....

...jumping ship. TMPGenc Authoring Works 4 has attracted my attention because (1) another forum mentioned it as a "solution" and (2) unlike DVDa you get to make Blu-ray pop-up menus. Sorry -- I just think those are so cool. So, right now, I kind of feel like a jilted lover wondering if things are going to work out with DVDa or if I'm headed toward splitsville.

I'll post back after more troubleshooting with the motion menu backgrounds. C'mon folks, there have to be more of you authoring BR's in DVDa 5.2! What say you?

Steve
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Old March 7th, 2011, 04:37 PM   #4
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Re: DVD Architect Pro: Blu-ray Menu Freeze

Steven,


I work almost solely in HD and burn blu ray discs!! I have noticed the exact same thing in a few menus that I have made!!!! what i do not get is that some do not have the problem when I have done everything exactly. the last disc I went back to 5.0 and made it in that and it was alright.

Have a few rw discs on hand for every project. I also now make the menu and test it with a small video file first.


Dale
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Old March 7th, 2011, 06:52 PM   #5
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Re: DVD Architect Pro: Blu-ray Menu Freeze

OK, I believe that I found the critical element here: DVDa will not properly construct BR menus where the background media are static images, but it does properly construct menus where the media are video files. For my dumb two menu test that illustrates this finding, I used some stock footage as motion backgrounds for the two menus. Project is 30mbps MPEG2, 48kHz/24bit PCM audio.

Works like a charm! On my Blu-ray player, menu 1 starts at the beginning, cues the music perfectly, and runs the full 30s, then loops to the beginning. Ditto for menu 2. Smooth as butter.

What is sad here is that I'm excited about getting DVDa to work like it is supposed to.

I would be very interested to hear from Dale and others, for instance, whether the BR menus that work as intended have some element of motion, i.e., the backgrounds are rendered videos, NOT static images like PSD or JPEG files.

Thinking about some past projects, I have actually used what appear (to the viewer) as static images, but are in fact MPEG-2 files without ANY motion elements that I rendered to be a certain length. So, they're just video files. What changed in my present project, and why I'm now seeing this freezing menu problem for the first time, is that this is the first time that I've used PSD files as the menu background media.

So, problem solved? Well, sort of. I can just forget about using PSD files themselves as background media. I also verified that PNG files as background media also will break a BR project. This stinks because I really like making edits to a PSD file on the fly, then having DVDa automatically incorporate the edits. Sony moreover explicitly states in the DVDa manual that one can use PSD files for making menus. In practice, I seldom like having a truly static background for a menu, so this really won't be too much of an issue.

I don't think this a gripe that is rooted in my system configuration, conflicting software, bad codecs, outdated drivers, etc. I'm persuaded by my testing that this specific combination-- BR menus with PSD or other static background media -- results in a broken menu structure reflecting a software bug.

So, I'll keep courting DVDa for now. Anyone else seeing this problem?

Steve
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Old March 8th, 2011, 05:16 PM   #6
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Re: DVD Architect Pro: Blu-ray Menu Freeze

Steven,

I have not gone back to check, but I think you might be correct about the motion background. The ones that worked probably had a static mp2 file like you mentioned!!!

As I type this I am rendering a motion back ground and a 3 minute video to run through DVDa 5.2 and see if it works properly.

I will burn it with a still pic bacground and a motion bacground and see.

Have you tried it with any of the given media backgrounds in ARC?

I will post my findings when I am finished tonight or tomarrow.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 06:09 PM   #7
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Re: DVD Architect Pro: Blu-ray Menu Freeze

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Guthormsen View Post

Have you tried it with any of the given media backgrounds in ARC?.
Yes, I verified that the backgrounds supplied by Sony in DVDa -- available on the "Backgrounds" tab -- will yield the same broken/frozen Blu-ray disc menus as did all other still image backgrounds that I tried.

For now, I will get my desired outcome but with a few extra steps, i.e., drop still image into Vegas, stretch to desired length, render, and drop rendered video into DVDa. I REALLY liked having DVDa and Photoshop open side by side and making edits to the PSD background on the fly, updating in DVDa as I went along. Obviously, doing the same through the convoluted procedure above is possible, but impractical.

Let me know what you find. This might warrant a support ticket with Sony.

-Steve
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Old March 8th, 2011, 06:30 PM   #8
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Re: DVD Architect Pro: Blu-ray Menu Freeze

Steve,

you have nailed it!!!

I ran tests and you are exactly correct. Motion backgrounds make the menus work perfectly!!!

The one I did recently that worked was in fact a stretched mp2 file.

I also like to use photoshop or after effects just like you do. Really, it just adds an extra step!!


I believe we should contact sony about this, even my wife feels " just aint fittin, just aint fittin"!!



And, thank you so much for taking the time to figure this out and share your results!
wonder how one goes about that???
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Old March 8th, 2011, 06:59 PM   #9
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Re: DVD Architect Pro: Blu-ray Menu Freeze

I believe we should contact sony about this, even my wife feels " just aint fittin, just aint fittin"!!

Yes please as this sounds so wrong.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 07:26 PM   #10
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Re: DVD Architect Pro: Blu-ray Menu Freeze

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Originally Posted by Mike Kujbida View Post
I believe we should contact sony about this, even my wife feels " just aint fittin, just aint fittin"!!

Yes please as this sounds so wrong.
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Thanks for the link. I have already submitted a request.

(Best of luck with the wife, Dale.)

-Steve
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Old March 9th, 2011, 09:29 AM   #11
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Re: DVD Architect Pro: Blu-ray Menu Freeze

Steve,

Yea, there are always issus, LOL.


I notified sony too!!!
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Old April 1st, 2011, 02:48 PM   #12
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Re: DVD Architect Pro: Blu-ray Menu Freeze

Just heard back from Sony, who suggested that my Blu-ray player is at fault. I will try on another player, but I'm pretty sure that my facts suggest a problem with authoring, not burning or device playback.

Dale, did you try your problem BR disc on other players? FWIW, mine is a Samsung BDP-3600 that plays anything and doesn't take "no" for answer.

-Steve
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 11:16 AM   #13
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Re: DVD Architect Pro: Blu-ray Menu Freeze

When we last left our hero, I verified that my 'problem' Blu-ray utterly fails on my Samsung BDP-3600, as I originally explained.

I have since discovered that it works flawlessly on a Sony PS3. Go figure. The fact that complaints identical to mine are sprinkled around forums suggests that some Blu-ray set top players are more sensitive than others to (slight) differences in authored menus.

-Steve

Last edited by Steven Reid; April 4th, 2011 at 07:28 AM.
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 01:23 PM   #14
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Re: DVD Architect Pro: Blu-ray Menu Freeze

FWIW, I author a standard def DVD in DVDA first, then simply switch the properties to Blu-ray and replace the mpeg2 media with the m2v versions in HD. My menus are simple jpeg files, not any motion. I've never seen a problem with this workflow.
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 06:09 PM   #15
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Re: DVD Architect Pro: Blu-ray Menu Freeze

Steve,

I have one of the first sony blu ray players. I have not checked them on another blu ray player as I have no one locally that actually has one (I live in the boondocks). However, I do know that they do not play off my burner either.
Maybe if I get a firmware upgrade if I can even figure out how to do that!!

My last project I just made sure I had motion backgrounds and no problem!! It really doesn't take any extra effort.

Sony nevere even responded to me about the problem!!!

It would be interesting to know what is not universally accepted from the Burnt discs from Vegas!!
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