Of course you can put any


Of course you can put any kind of data you want on a DVD. I archive all my .avi source & master files on DVD. Of course, you can’t play that video back with a DVD player. To play in a DVD player, a disc has to be burned in a way that the player understands. That means the video has to be mpg2 format and in a certain folder with an exact file name. So assuming you want the DVD to be a DVD video disc, you can’t burn the video in any other way.

Next we come to the issue of “better quality” equating to “bigger files.” The quality of the video is not determined by the size of the file. The quality of the video is determined mostly by the bit rate used during compression. And the size of the video file is determined by the bit rate and the length of the clip. This is the real value of mpg2 encoding, by adjusting the bit rate it is possible to fit more video in the same space. But when bit rates decrease, making smaller files, skilled viewers can see image degradation and compression artifacts. However, the opposite isn’t true. Increasing the bit rate of a file won’t make it look any better, but it can make it a lot bigger.

So now we come putting the video onto a DVD video disc. Like all hardware devices, there is a maximum bit rate for reading the data on a DVD. I don’t want to get into a bunch of numbers (I’m too lazy to look up the exact values) but it works out that at the maximum bit rate, a standard DVD will hold 45 minutes of video. So your 45 minute video will perfectly fit on a standard DVD at the fastest bit rate for DVD’s.

Now since your 45 minute video is being compressed to 2.5 gigs, I can pretty much be certain you are compressing your video more than necessary. Now, I know how to adjust bit rates with the software I use. In fact, I can individually adjust the bit rates of every video file I’m burning to the DVD. So I can burn the primary program at the maximum bit rate, but burn the blooper reel at a much lower rate so I can put on other extras. (In case you’re curious, I edit with Vegas & burn DVD’s with DVD Architect.)

I hope this resolves your dilemma. Good luck on your projects.

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