Can Toast do a 2 hr DVD instead of a 90 min DVD?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Hoven, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. Hoven macrumors regular

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    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Columbus, OH (USA)
    #1
    Hi all,

    I was surprised to find that my eMac and Superdrive with iDVD can only create a 90 minute DVD. I'm downloading all of my 8mm camcorder tapes to DVD, but of course they're all 2 hour tapes. So, reworking them all in iMovie or Final Cut Express is very time consuming.

    I'm guessing this is a software restriction and not a hardware restriction. Is that true? Can something like "Toast" or some other software package help?

    Thanks!
     
  2. krimson macrumors 65816

    krimson

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    Oct 29, 2003
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    Democratic People's Republic of Kalifornia
    #2
    i hope iirc, but it's a resolution issue, not a software limitation, at full resolution, a typical DVD-R (4.7G) can only store 90 minutes, if you redux the resolution, it may fit more
     
  3. Blackcat macrumors regular

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    Jun 10, 2002
    Location:
    Cirencester, UK
    #3
    Re: Can Toast do a 2 hr DVD instead of a 90 min DVD?

    Toast just burns data, if you can compress your camcorder tapes a bit more they will fit.

    Sadly iDVD is coded to limit it to 90 minutes so you will need DVD Studio Pro to do it.

    I'm in the same boat :)
     
  4. Hoven thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 19, 2003
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    #4
    Hmmm...
    I guess I figured that the more you compress the data, the more you could fit, and that it was iDVD that would only compress so much (maybe to maintain quality). But it'd be nice to have the choice so you could decide to reduce resolution or quality in order to fit more on the DVD. (not that my home movies need to look any worse than they already do :p ).

    Maybe there's a save option in Final Cut Express that would change the compression level. Thoughts?

    Thanks!
     
  5. Blackcat macrumors regular

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    Jun 10, 2002
    Location:
    Cirencester, UK
    #5
    Alas FCE only produces Quicktime native stuff. The plugin to do MPEG2 comes with DVD SP (I'd guess iDVD has it built-in).

    Being X is Unix, there might well be a mov2mpeg2 app out there, but I haven't found it. MPEG2 needs a license which is why it isn't part of Quicktime Pro.

    Considering what my Powerbook cost I'm not so willing to buy DVD SP either!
     
  6. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    Location:
    The Bamboo Forest
    #6
    If you have your movies in Final Cut Express you can save (or export) them to MPEG 2. There is an option to reduce the bitrate or quality or something (I'm not at home so I can't check). This will make your movies of a smaller file size. However you will not be able to import them into iDVD. Thus you cannot make a DVD. You can only encode the files in the right format. You might search for some sort of freeware/shareware DVD authoring system as I'm certain I recall there being some out there. I just don't know what they are.

    In summary:

    Export them from Final Cut Express at a lower quality (higher compression).

    Get them into a DVD authoring tool.

    Burn the DVD with Toast.

    ---
    Edit: Ohhhh... yeah... I have FCE and DVD SP so that's why I can export to MPEG2... sooo... scratch the above I guess.
     
  7. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Los Angeles
    #7
    I've seen compression settings to give you 6hrs on a DVD but it look horrible, like a bad VHS tape.

    iDVD has two compression modes. Anything 60 min or less gets a lower compression, anything between 60 and 90 gets a higher compression. If you want to get more than 90 min on a DVD you'll have to use something besides iDVD.

    Nothing you do in FCE will effect iDVD.


    Lethal
     
  8. Hoven thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 19, 2003
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    Columbus, OH (USA)
    #8
    OK, so I can see I'm pretty much going to use 90 minutes, and that's OK, but then I've one last question....
    How is it that the movies from BlockBuster look good (DVD quality) and can be 2 hours or more?

    Thanks to all for the advice!
     
  9. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    The Bamboo Forest
    #9
    They use a "better" compression algorithm. You can purchase that compression algorithm for several tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars and have your own 2 hour long movies too... :)
     
  10. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Los Angeles
    #10
    Not just better compression tools (both hardware and software), but the guys who do the compression specialize in it. Also, almost all commerical DVDs are dual layered so they have 2x as much space to work with.


    Lethal
     
  11. Hoven thread starter macrumors regular

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    Columbus, OH (USA)
    #11
    Yeah, I guess if I want to work like the pros and look like the pros, I gotta pay like the pros! :rolleyes:
    I'm thinking that's not going to happen! 90 Minute home movie DVD's... here I come.

    Thanks again all! Muchly appriciated.
     
  12. Lanbrown macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 20, 2003
    #12
    The disks have more capacity. They can use double sided disks and/or dual layer. Since they have more room to play with, they can put more on them. When you burn a disc, you are limited (at least right now) to one side and only one layer.
     
  13. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

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    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #13
    Blue Laser is the answer

    I know they are still(?) standardizing this.

    But Blue Laser drives (and associated media) will be able to hold 23GB per layer...

    http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/ptech/03/04/blue.dvd.reut/

    Google for Blue Laser and you will get all the info you want...

    Just not available to the masses...YET
     
  14. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #14
    Actually you can buy dual sided DVD blanks, they just aren't very popular.


    Lethal
     
  15. ChrisH3677 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 6, 2003
    Location:
    Victoria, Australia
    #15
    Why does the 4.7G DVD blanks I buy say something like:

    Normal: 60min
    High: 120min
    Super: 240min

    That implies to me the disk itself is capable of compression (but probably dependent on the burning hardware).

    Also, in iDVD, this these disks say I only have 60 mins available. How are you guys getting 90mins?
     
  16. aldo macrumors regular

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    Oct 26, 2003
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    England, UK
    #16
    MPEG2 will provide good quality video (exluding audio) at bitrates of 2mbit/sec or more, depending on the content and how it compresses (fast motion will require more, and so will stuff with big flashing lights etc).

    Lets say you go for 2.5mbit/sec (leaving plenty of space for audio and also 200kbit/sec for VBR peaks).

    2.5mbit = 0.3215mbyte/sec.

    Standard, DVD5 (none dual layered/sided), can fit 4.7gb on it.

    4,700mbyte / 0.3215megabyte = approx 14600 seconds of audiovideo, which is just over 4hours of video.

    You may have to cut the video resolution down a bit, but considering you are using analog tape anyway, thats not a big deal.

    So, in essence, its a purely software problem.

    BTW. DVD9 recordable is coming out soon which will provide around 9gb of data (dual layered).

    Also, hollywoods DVDs do not use 'better' compression algorithms. They simply make good use of the space availible and also use DVD9 usually.
     
  17. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Los Angeles
    #17
    DVD-5's have about 4.3 gigs of usable space, not 4.7. And DVD-9 is about 7.95 gigs (advertised at 8.5).

    "Hollywood" DVDs make better use of the space availible by using superior compression tools (both hardware and software) and superior methods. And one thing that makes one compression tool better than another is the algorithms the tool uses to compress the video. If you don't think there is a significant different between an MPEG-2 made by iDVD, one made by Cleaner or Compressor, and one made by, lets say, the Sonic SD-2000 (a $25,000 hardware encodring card used a lot in the TV/Film industry) you need to put down the crack pipe.

    And video quality can be a subjective thing but 2-2.5mbits coming out of a consumer/prosumer quality program just scares me. But my mindset is I want to put the best quality video on a DVD that I can. If I wanted VHS quality I'd just output to VHS. Putting VHS, or slightly better than VHS, quality on a DVD just doesn't make sense to me.


    Lethal
     
  18. SumDumGuy macrumors regular

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    Jun 17, 2002
    Location:
    Loserville
    #18
    For a great, relatively low-cost MPEG2 encoder, look at Bitvice (link).

    It produces better looking video at lower bitrates (and therefore smaller file sizes) than any Apple MPEG encoder or even other encoders like Cleaner. Smaller file sizes means you can fit longer movies on the DVD.

    For mini-DV the 4.5Mbps default in Bitvice provides excellent results. With captured footage from VHS or 8mm you can go even lower on the bitrate without losing quality because the resolution wan't there in the first place.

    And, as noted before, most "Hollywood" DVDs are in the DVD-9 format giving them much more room for higher encoding rates (as well as DVD extras, widescreen/full screen versions, etc).
     
  19. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #19
    There's an issue that people seem to be overlooking here, which is VBR--variable bitrate. iDVD does NOT do VBR encoding, and unless I'm mistaken (which is entirely possible) MPEG2 supports it. This means that parts of the video with little motion compressed using iDVD's algorithm might look fine at a bitrate sufficient to fit 2 hrs on a 4.7GB DVD, but once you get to a part with a lot of motion, it'll look like crap.

    So, basically, iDVD limits you to a bitrate at which even a fair amount of motion will look ok, but that wastes all kinds of space on the slow parts.

    I know more about more consumer-accessable formats than MPEG2, but since my DVD player will actually show you the current bitrate of the video you're watching you can see it go all over the place (based on motion) with a well-done professionally encoded disc, but it's constant or near constant with iDVD or cheesy pro discs.

    You can do some VBR compression automatically, but really impressive pro jobs have real people adjusting the bitrate manually in parts that aren't coming out right, or seem to be wasting space. Hence, in addition to superior algorithms, they have other advantages.

    All that said, ffmpegX, a $15 piece of shareware, has two different MPEG2 encoders available, at least one of which looks like it'll do VBR (not sure how good the algorithm is, having never tried it). It'll also make a Toast-burnable DVD image in theory, though it's not easy to figure out the interface (there are other programs that'll make menus and burn discs if you can get the MPEG2 video into them, so the two might make a good combo).

    I recommend at least giving ffmpegX a shot, since you can use it free to try it, and see if you can get better quality video out of it.
     
  20. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Los Angeles
    #20

    Yes, you can use VBR for MPEG-2 and in more expensive encoders you can choose multiply pass VBR. Like you mentioned, commerical DVDs from Hollywood get compressed on almsot a shot-by-shot basis. Those compressionists go into extreme detail and squeeze out the best possible compression on every shot. Talk about a tedious job.

    Although I have used iDVDs "90 minute compression" (anything between 60 and 90 minutes will get more compressed than anything between 0 and 60 minutes) but the 60 minute compression has always pleasently surprised me. It's a very low compression, which wastes space on non-action shots, but holds up to action and fast cutting surprsingly well. Especially for something that's free. :)


    Lethal
     

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