I make political videos an


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.

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