The DVD Nightmare

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    • #41317

      can final cut pro send the completed project to idvd? had what you been doing worked fine before then started failing now?
      I think a slower burn speed may help but suspect your burner is going…try an external burner, see if it works.
      I use imovie to idvd with no problems.
      It seems to me that you may be converting/compressing your video twice…
      I usually use the "save as disc image" setting in idvd and then burn the disc in toast. none of the problems you’re having.

    • #175561

      I make political videos and sell them from my website–and also use my DVDs for talks on hot button political issues. But let me tell you, the state of DVD technology is a nightmare.

      First, let’s talk about burning DVDs on my MAC G4 and G5. Usually after editing in Final Cut Pro 5, I export the video to Quicktime, (at H.264 with 16 bit sound). However, on my last video, when burning QT file on a DVD using Toast 7, the picture was smeary and wavy. I also used DV NTSC 720x 486. This was better but not much. I ended up copying my FCP edit to a camcorder MiniDV, and then importing the video from the camcorder and burning the DVD on Toast 7–The Quicktime copies, for some reason, did not result in visually good DVD disks. Then, to add to my stress level, my new Toshiba DVD player crashed–the picture was first pixilated and stalling, and then the message was "bad disc." This did not happen on my RCA or Panasonic player. ANY GOOD ADVICE?

      I started all this by burning on DVD-R, but because I was getting pixilated and stalls on the DVDs, I changed to DVD+R, which was better. But then I found that many DVD players could not play +R, so I had to return to -R.

      The second nightmare was showing my DVDs for my talks. Almost every projection system had problems. I ended up bringing my own DVD player and plugging it in. What were the problems? In one case, the DVD was played in a MAC laptop computer connected to a projector. The DVD stalled in the middle (It did not stall on my player.) I think the computer battery was low or it ran out of Gigabytes. In another case, the projector speakers were not sufficient for the size of the room and many could not hear. Some rooms were too brightly lit for the projection to show up well–they had skylights, windows, etc. One TV in a public setting was set to 16:9, and my video was 4:3; it could not be changed because the remote was lost. Other DVD players were old and the picture stalled and pixilated. In two cases, the DVD played but skipped along so the picture was jerky. All these DVDs were tested on my own player ahead of time.

      When talking to Apple help and others, suggestions included problems with the brand of DVD disc, the DVD player needed cleaning, incompatible old players, +R, -R troubles, label problems, but in general, we have a long way to go before we can rely on the wonders of modern technology.

    • #175562

      I thought you mac users were used to incompatibility with the rest of the world. 😛


      To me it seems that dvd creation is like a good cup of coffee: The machine (analogy: pc or mac) is not as important as what you put into it (water + beans -> +/-R and quality disks).

      fwiw, setting the burn speed on 4x seems to help.

    • #175563

      Personally, I hate DVDs and CDs. They are too susceptible to damage, even when stored properly. I would use tape for anything mission critical.

    • #175564

      Typically Quicktime DV is final cut’s native format when capturing digitally via firewire…so I will assume that this is the original format of the video in your timeline, so always output to Quicktime DV. You will loose quality if you go from QT DV to H.264 and than to Mpeg2 for DVD.

      You mentioned that you exported in DV but noticed only a slight improvement. This suggests….perhaps…that you are using a low quality bit rate or transcode setting when encoding the DV file for DVD(mpeg2). This should be set at 7mb 1Pass CBR(prefered) or 7mb 2pass VBR…you can go to 8mb but 7mb is best because I’ve never had problems with that setting. This is also a good setting for compatibility with other DVD players.

      You should also update your DVD burner’s firmware, the software built into the drive’s flash memory which acts as the control center for a drive’s operation. It determines the best parameters for the speed of media you are using, and then continually monitors the burn process to ensure the quality of the burn. This will also help in compatibility.

      Finally, Never burn at 16x speed….8x is good.

      This may or may not help….there could be many reasons for your trouble and it is hard to diagnose editing problems when you don’t have every specific system and project detail, and even harder when you can’t physically look at the computer. Editing has ALWAYS demanded patience, troubleshooting, and reading things you don’t understand. One thing that I can almost guarantee is that you have a good system that works and you will figure it out.

      Best Regards,


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