Hollywood DVD vs. Custom DVD

reyve's picture
Last seen: 5 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: 04/06/2011 - 6:49pm


what does hollywood use to create dvd's? What burning software/hardware do they use?

are they using something in the $10K's range? or does quality of say Edius, Cyberlink, Final Cut pro, compare?

i had a client that compared a hollywood dvd to their wedding dvd.


ocsandy's picture
Last seen: 4 years 5 months ago
Joined: 07/04/2012 - 4:17pm

Hollywood uses video compressors and encoder machines for their videos. These are not consumer machines they very expensive and you would have to be RICH and also may have to charge your clients a fortune :) I recently shot a wedding on my canon xh a1 HD cam and the client wanted DVD which then I had to down convert from HD to SD. I get better results down converting from HD to SD than recording on SD. Using a Dual Layer DVD (DVD+R DL 8.5GB) with 1hr and 30min of video and a bitrate of 9Mbps I was able to get a very good quality DVD. No way can compare to the original footage because my HD has a bitrate of 25Mbps which is a hugedifferent. Any higher than 9Mbps you might run intocompatibilityissues with consumer DVD players. By the way I use sonyarchitectfor my DVD's. Also let your clients know what to expect before hand otherwise tell them to get BLU-RAY!

Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

I believe CinemaCraft Xtream is used for high end DVD Compression, but I'm pretty sure it's expensive. They have a software-only version, CinemaCraft SP3, which apparently uses the same encoding engine, but in reality software-only will never be as good as dedicated hardware.

In my opinion, if you take the time to understand MPEG-2 compression, encoders like Compressor, Media Encoder, etc. will deliver some nice results.

SafeHarbor's picture
Last seen: 5 days 20 hours ago
Joined: 01/22/2010 - 3:28pm

Something no one touched on is the video SOURCE. Hollywood movies originate on 35mm film, using the finest cameras and lenses (some are shot digital, but still very high-end pricey gear). Basically, they are starting with the best possible source, therefore are capable of getting a better end result. As others mentioned, Hollywood uses very expensive encoding software (think Scenarist) then they have a skilled "Compressionist" person that tweaks the compression settings on a scene by scene basis. Very labor-intensive.

How can you and I make better DVDs? Capture the best possible image you can with the cameras you have. Good lighting goes a long way! Maintain image quality through the post-production process - avoid any unnecessary transcodes, as quality is lost with every encoding pass. You want to go from camera to timeline to MPEG-2 for DVD.

We don't know if you are Mac or PC or what software you use, so it's hard to give any specific tips. Do you shoot SD or HD? Encode at the highest bitrate possible, within DVD spec (9 tops). Use AC-3 Dolby audio as this takes up less space so you can increase size (quality) of video file. Check out different MPEG-2 encoders, quality can vary widely from one to another.

Also, if watching DVD on an HD display, an older DVD player with analog outputs will of course send an SD analog signal to the HD TV which will then "blow up" the video and that never looks good. A newer DVD or Blu-ray player will offer DVD upconversion to HD via the HDMI output and that usually looks very nice if the DVD is any good to start with.


Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers