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How to Export to DVD for Top Quality Video

Stuart's picture
Last seen: 4 years 1 month ago
Joined: 09/11/2010 - 9:33pm

G'day Guys,

I guess using current vernacular I would be considered a newbie. I'd like to give a brief description of my gear and then pose my question. Here goes; Canon XH A1s and shooting HD (PAL). Avid media composer 5 and that's about it.

I am fumbling my way through the AVID but so far have had what I consider reasonable results. Results from the camera viewed on TV (component out) the results are awesome. Viewing on my 24'' computer monitor in the AVID is also top quality. BUT... when I export/send to - it all falls apart. The results I get when I try to burn a DVD are poor I don't really know what format or whatever else to do/use to get good results. I would appreciate your comments and suggestions, mean time I'll continue happily fumbling.



Stuart's picture
Last seen: 4 years 1 month ago
Joined: 09/11/2010 - 9:33pm

Thanks for your reply Grinner, unfortunately it doesn't make much sense to me being a newbie to this game.

Cheers all the same...



XTR-91's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: 12/06/2008 - 8:57pm

Most systems will not take video bitrates of any higher than 8MB/s.


Ian Kirkpatrick's picture
Last seen: 2 months 4 days ago
Joined: 07/06/2008 - 1:38am

Hi Stuart

It is amazing how quickly we become dissatisfied with DVD quality having switched to a HD camera, especially one as good as a Canon XH A1s. I purchased it's little brother the Canon HV20 (PAL) a couple of years ago and struggled with exactly the issues you are facing now.

Firstly I would have to say that I know nothing about Avid, I have Adobe Premier Pro CS3.

I also have a couple of good quality 3 CCD SD (DV) cameras a Canon XM2 and a Panasonic NV-GS400, and as far as SD is concerned it is hard to get much betterquality unless you pay aboutseveral times the price for a SD camera. The results when burnt to DVD are reasonably close to Hollywood movi DVD quality. But the rub is that it is still SD quality and not HD quality and significently down on the HD (HDV) quality that your camera will produce.

Occasionally I have to mix material recorded on my HD in with the SD footage. I have found that if the end product is to be a DVD playable on a DVD player the best results are obtained by exporting from the camera inDV quality not HDV quality and let the camera do the down converting. I am sure the the XH A1s will allow you to do that. Your tapes will still be preserved in HD.

If you have a Blueray player you can put about 30 minutes of HD onto a DVD and play it on most Blueray players. I posted the following in this forum a couple of years ago.

.................Recording HD on DVDfor playing on a Blueray player.

But there are a fewlimitations you need to know about first.

Editing Software:
When exporting, the HD editing software must be able to enode the 1080i HD video inBlueray compliant H.264 format. If it can encode the audio to Dolby Digital format also, that is a bonus but PCM works fine. (I am using Adobe Premier Pro 3 but Elements 4 and other software can probably handle the encoding OK.)

Authoring Software:
The Authoring software must be able to accept H.264 format video,(some will only accept MPEG2 files) and be able to output to a disk image. ( I am using Encore CS3 but Elements may work here also.)

Data Rate:
The video data rate will determine the players that your "Blueray DVD" can play on and will also affect the length of the video you can get on a DVD. At the moment I have settled on about 15Mbps, CBR with linear audio. With Dolby audio, I am sure thatit will work fine.
I have consistant good results using 15Mbps (upper field first) for the video files and PCM for the audio. If you encode the audio in Dolby the video files could probably be 16Mbps or even a little higher.AVCHD from a hard drive or memory card camera is only about 16Mbps and uses H.264 The H.264 compression is very efficient and gives excellent results at this data speed. You will get about 30 - 35 minutes on a single layer 4.7GB DVD. (I have nottried double layer)

Disks:
I had limited success with a variey of disks, but 100% success with Sony DVD-R and Verbatim DVD-R disks. Don't even try DVD+R disks as the players I have tried will not recognise them.

Players:
Your disks will probably not play on the earliest generation of Blueray players. Most of the recent models will play AVCHD format on DVD and will accommodate the spindle speeds necessary to read DVD data at this rate. I have a Sony BDP-S300 and it plays them fine. I took a trip to the local TV store and tried some disksin a few different players, and it seems that any of the AVCHD capable players will play them. They will not play in a DVD player.

Work path:
1. Capture your HD video to your computer. (I am using MiniDV format tape)
2. Start a new project and import and edit with your HD editing software, ensuring the total length is less than 30 minutes.
3. Export your finished work to your hard drive as Blueray compliant H.264 and PCM (or Dolby) audio, setting the bitrate at 15Mbps CBR.
4. Start a new project in your Authoring software and import the two files.
5. Set first play and end action.
6. Test the project and build to a disk image.
7. With reliable disk burning software, (I use Nero 8, but earlier versions will do) burn the disk image to a DVD-R disk.
8. Load in your Blueray player and enjoy.

I have not tried chapter points, but if you set the end play to chapter 1 the player will loop and play the movie again. I also have not tried menues but with 30 minutes or so of storage at about $1 swapping disks is fine for me compared to about $50 for a Blueray disk which can hold a couple of hours or so. End....................

I found a few players that my "Hybrid Bluerays would not play on so I purchase a copy of Roxio Creator Pro 10 (there is an 11 version out now) only because it would allow me to export in AVCHD to burn on DVDs and it was heaps cheaper purchase Roxio than upgrading to Premier Pro 5. The quality is only very slightly better, but the disks will play on all Blueray players and the quality is almost as good as HDMI straight out of the camera.

But being a quality freek, I have since bought a Blueray burner and disks and will export creations as max bitrate Bluerays.

At the end of the day, If you want your material to play on a DVD player, it will never look as good as what you can play directly out of the camera to your HD TV. Recorded onto DVD or Blueray and played on a Blueray player will come a close second.

Hope this helps.

Cheers Ian


XTR-91's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: 12/06/2008 - 8:57pm

Actually, HD content converted to DVD seems to look good, but it's probably only the fact that as HD got cheaper, video cameras actually got better (minus the resolution part). HD does look better downconverted than SD does.

"it will never look as good as what you can play directly out of the camera to your HD TV."

Also, that is an ambiguous argument as the rate thacamerasrecord is highly variable, from the uncompressed video that Sony's RED cams produce, to the near Bluray quality that consumer AVCHD cams produce, to the more highly compressed formats. Most professional AVCHD camcorders will recordat higher bitrate than Bluray... some at35Mbps.


Ian Kirkpatrick's picture
Last seen: 2 months 4 days ago
Joined: 07/06/2008 - 1:38am

"it will never look as good as what you can play directly out of the camera to your HD TV."

was a statement made, when comparing to the results he will get from his Canon XH A1s camera plugged directly via HDMI to a HD TV, with the results he will get after burning the same material as Blueray or AVCHD, playable on a Blueray player.


wiskers's picture
Last seen: 1 year 6 months ago
Joined: 04/12/2013 - 11:43pm

Hi, I want to shoot a live sporting game and have only a HD video camera (no SD) and want to give players a DVD disk at the end of the game to be played on a home DVD player (PAL).  Is there a device connect to the camera live HD feed, convert the signal to SD and output to a field recorder which can then finalise the content to a blank DVD - RW disk.  Total time could be 100 minutes.?  matrox OS family?