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DVD burning on DVD-R or DVD+R and various questions

Dan Salzmann

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I am new to the DVD burning thing. Just wondering if any of you are burning your own showreels and if so using which type of DVD and why.

Which offers the best results for both set top and computer playback?

Which offers best results for region free use?

What burning speed are you using to avoid problems?

Anyone using Lightscribe DVD's and what are your experiences?

As far as labelling on the disc I am hearing conflicting stories about whether labels can get gummed up in players or not.

Thanks for any insights!

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DVD-R, DVD+R has problems in older players.


Paper labels can get gummed up. Printed (on disk) labels are fine if you can do that.


I don't think theres much chance of errors if you burn 8x media at 8x as long as you have an 8x burner. Burning faster than the rated speed of DVDs or burner is usually where people get into trouble.


region free is a software issue and doesnt have much to do with the discs themselves.

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I use DVD-R discs and generally have no problems, as long as I use a 'quality' brand like Sony or TDK. Cheaper brands are fine for data storage, but for for showreel purposes, if I want to be confident the disc will play in most DVD players then more expensive discs are required.


I don't know if this is also true for DVD+R discs.

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Always use professional grade media. This may determine whether or not your disc plays on some of the more particular players.


I'd recommend HHB. For CD's and DVD's I've always got the best results, even on players that had been deemed 'unplayable' for recorded media.




The problem with Lightscribe is that you have a limited selection of media manufacturers who support it.

The HHB discs are ink jet printable (on printers that support the option), or thermal printable (if you buy a thermal printer).


Software is crucial too. If you use poor quality authoring software your .VOB files may contain errors, which may cause some players to 'choke' and stop playing your disc.

Same thing for the burning software. A few minute errors may play undetecable on some players, and on others may stop playing the disc entirely.


I've never had problems with Nero 7. It handles authoring & burning (and encoding) well.

It also supports burning on multiple players simultaneously, which I've done frequently without problems, but might advise against if you're trying to make a 'foolproof' disc.


Nero does also support Lightscribe if you wish to go that route.

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I use DVD Studio Pro on a Mac. It's pretty straightforward, and a lot more powerful than I need. You can burn your discs directly from within the program, or create a disc image to burn later. I usually do this, and use Toast Titanium to burn the discs.


There's probably simpler ways, but this one works for me.

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I use DVD-R and have burned them with several different programs on a PC. I've noticed several times recently when someone tried to view my reel on a Mac that it took forever for the disc to be recognized and then maybe it would launch the DVD player. You have to launch the DVD player then look for the disc. I wonder what causes that? I bet a lot of my reels go unplayed because it seems like most people play them on a Mac and never a DVD player.

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DVD Studio Pro is the most comprehensive DVD authoring tool on the Mac. If you've never done any DVD authoring before you will have a steep learning curve. I had to learn through consulting people and through trial and error.


iDVD is a simpler and decent option. I've seen good results from it. The biggest drawback of iDVD is the compression scheme is not as good as for the pro apps. If there is a lot of movement or fine detail you may end up with some aliasing or fine detail loss.


With DVD Studio Pro you get an entire compression application called Compressor. Compressor allows you to tweek many options and variables for how you want to compress and encode you video and audio. Compression is an art in itself and I've had to learn this through trial and error also.


Does Mac support Nero?


Nero is PC only. Toast Titanium is the Mac equivalent.


Toast Titanium is an excellent CD/DVD media burning application. Its primary function is to organize and burn data files, create exact copy's of disc's, create music CD's, video encoding and DVD burning. Toast can do some basic DVD authoring, but not really its primary function. It would be better to create the DVD files and menus in iDVD or Studio Pro then burn them in Toast Titanium.


my mac only burns -R no +R


This depends on the brand of drive in your Mac. To confirm what disc formats your burner can support, go to the blue apple in the task bar, click on About This Mac, click More Info button. In the column on the left under hardware click Disc Burning. That will tell you what brand burner you have and what formats it supports.


If you want to burn a different format you can buy and install a new drive.

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I bet a lot of my reels go unplayed because it seems like most people play them on a Mac and never a DVD player.


I don't know if this is your situation.


But one problem I've heard is that some PC DVD software don't use standard DVD files. They use proprietary files to help the encoding go faster.


When the disc is played on another PC the disc downloads a small program that helps the computer decode the proprietary file.


These files only work on Windows and not on Macs.


Since you've tried different software sounds like the last link in the chain may be your DVD burner. Have you tried a different one?


The DVD burner in my G5 tower is made by Pioneer. I also have an external Lacie DVD burner, the drive was made by NEC. Disc's burned from the Lacie (NEC) drive are able to play on more DVD players than DVD's burned from the Pioneer drive in my G5.

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Like many others I am using a mac too. I export mpeg 2 files from Final Cut and import them into DVD Studio Pro.


The process does have a bit of a learning curve like tenobell suggested. The hardest part I spent a lot of time with was experimenting with the data rates of the export files from FCP and data rate settings of DVD Studio Pro. This is a trial and error art form. While DVD Studio Pro is great in terms of giving individuals a chance at making their own DVDs, the software compression used is not nearly as good as making DVDs professional where they use hardware compression.


I can see artifacts all over my own DVDs and would like to try the new HD transfers to hard drive options to see if one starts with a better level of quality, would it help the home DVD making quality. Also I have noticed that images look best on a real TV and DVD player as opposed to a computer monitor/LCD screen..


Also, with all of my own DVDs, I have used the Avery stick on type and have not had any problems with anything getting gummed up. The only problem I have had with that is aligning the downloadable Avery .doc pattern with images and titles I made with Photoshop.





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Keep in mind that your computer monitor has far more pixels per inch than your standard def television. If you watch a DVD at full screen you are watching 640x480 pixels stretched across a much larger canvas. This will intensify artifacts and glitches. While the same image will appear fine on a television.


To view a DVD on your computer monitor at the same resolution as your television. When you open DVD Player on the task bar is a Video drop menu, in that drop menu it gives you the option of half size, normal size, full size. Normal size is the actual 640x480 resolution as televison. Which of course is much smaller than your monitor.

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Thanks for all the useful info. My biggest concerns are the person I send the DVD to not being able to read it and of course obtaining optimal quality at home.

I will look into getting an external DVD burner as well-they seem to be cheap enough these days.

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Download ffmpegX. you can customize a lot of settings in it, and convert pretty much anything to anything.


It can create your dvd.image for you, and you can use disk utility to burn it to your dvd.


Total cost? 0. It's open-source.

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