DVD SP vs. iDVD

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by idea_hamster, Jul 13, 2003.

  1. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    NYC, or thereabouts
    #1
    I've recently been chosen to do (read: roped into doing) the DV work on a project that I'm involved with.

    None of us has any substantive DV experience, but we all (read: they all) decided that a project we're working on is best served up on DVD.

    As the only Mac user, I was tapped to do the editing and authoring. So, I would be able to get DVD Studio Pro paid-for if I really need it.

    But, never having used DVD SP (or, really, iDVD for that matter), I'm not so sure what SP can do that iDVD can't. When does one really need to fork out for DVD SP?
     
  2. PB180 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    #2
    DVD SP Features...

    DVD SP is really the best program for making a product that really appears custom and has its own special look to it.

    Especially with buttons and titles, there is just a FAR greater degree of freedom in making your project. In fact, you can design any sort of interface tweak you want by using different layers in Photoshop. DVD SP can import the Photoshop file directly. Another plus with DVD SP is that you can use it with external/3rd party DVD burners, and it's easy to add additional languages and other features to your projects.

    However, I have both on my computer, and I use iDVD for most of my projects. It's extremely simple and easy to use, and if you are making a simple video in a single language, it could be the right program for you. A tip: to get around the rigidity of iDVD's title creators, make a custom background image with titles and other static features on top of your photo.

    So basically neither program is the best for every job, but for a simple project there's no reason not to stick with iDVD.
     
  3. idea_hamster thread starter macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    NYC, or thereabouts
    #3
    Does iDVD not accept layered images from Photoshop? Photoshop is a big part of my human capital when it comes to design.

    Also, does iDVD not allow for alternative language tracks? That alone could derail the whole iDVD option.

    What's the current deal with DVD SP? Buy version 1.5 now for $500 and get version 2.0 when it comes out for not-so-much?

    Also, does DVD SP have a significant learning curve? (Just to have an idea of what to expect.)
     
  4. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #4
    From what I've heard DVD SP 1.5 has a good sized learning curve where 2.0 is supposed to have a much, much better interface.

    It sounds like what you need is DVD SP (assuming you are only looking at Mac based solutions).

    iDVD is very good at what it is. A free, entry level DVD creation app for your average home consumer. If you need more than that, which it sounds like you do, SP is yer only Mac way to go.


    Lethal
     
  5. PB180 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    #5
    I haven't used the most recent version of iDVD, but as far as I know, it doesn't accept layered Photoshop images... but you can always make your backgrounds in Photoshop, and then just accept that you can only use them as flat images.

    As for languages, I'm pretty sure that iDVD won't let you add additional language tracks. As you said, this alone may make the decision for you!

    The "Up to Date" program for DVD SP 2 means that if you buy version 1.5 now you can get the upgrade for $29.95 when the new version comes out in August.

    It seems as if DVD SP 2 is going to be a lot easier to use than 1.5 (which itself isn't difficult if you are using Photoshop, FCP and other programs), so I wouldn't worry about the learning curve.
     
  6. LimeLite macrumors 6502a

    LimeLite

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #6
    If you can get it paid for, and you don't plan on using it after this project, I'd love to take it off of your hands after you finish using it. I actually have a need for it. :D
     
  7. bennetsaysargh macrumors 68020

    bennetsaysargh

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    Location:
    New York
  8. idea_hamster thread starter macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    NYC, or thereabouts
    #8
    Thanks all -- I think that it's pretty clear that my project is going to have to be a DVD SP affair.

    [light sarcasm]
    Glad to see we all had my best interests in mind:D
    [/light sarcasm]

    In all seriousness, LimeLite, I'm a big one for recycling software (trashed and gave away my Pagemaker when I moved to InDesign 2) but in this case the program will be the property of the non-profit org. if they buy it.
     
  9. hvfsl macrumors 68000

    hvfsl

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #9
    I would recomend iDVD as long as you are going to just do simple DVDs where you only want to select scenes in a DVD. If you want anymore features like interactivity then DVD SP will be needed.
     
  10. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #10
    Audio can be a problem, iDVD operates in stereo only, and won't allow you to switch audio streams, wheras DVDSP will allow AC3 files for surround mixes up to 5.1 (3/2 it's called it DVDSP).

    You will also need an MPEG2 encoder to use DVDSP, iDVD will accept a number of files and encodes to MPEG in the background as part of the process, plus iDVD uses muxed files, and DVDSP needs de-muxed files.

    Detail stuff, but important.

    I use iDVD for non critical presentation and work in progress submission, wheras anything that needs TLC goes through DVDSP.

    Incedentally, I use cleaner to encode DV stream files to MPEG2, it's slower than the QuickTime encoder but it looks much better.
     
  11. idea_hamster thread starter macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    NYC, or thereabouts
    #11
    I'm afraid this is where the "None of us has any real DV experience" comes in -- I assumed that FCE or FCP would be able to output the DV files in a format that DVD SP could use directly. If this is not the case, then the whole question may be moot, because the project is running into cost ceilings as it is.

    If so, (and pretty much for my own edification) is the MPEG2 encoding from cleaner significantly better than that from FCE or FCP?
     
  12. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #12
    Unless you have the Quicktime MPEG2 componant installed you won't be able to export MPEG2 from either, if you have, then the rendering is the same as it uses the same codec.

    You can import DVstream files directly into iDVD and it will encode for you, so idvd may be your best bet.

    If you have access to Cleaner 6, encode DV to MPEG2 with that, its a better renderer, but slower.
     
  13. 2manywords macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #13
    If you look at Apple's web site and the information they provide on the upcoming release of DVDSP 2.0 I think your choice is clear (that is if your project can wait until August). DVDSP is a far superior DVD authoring tool that incorporates everything iDVD has as well as all the advanced items you will need. It also encodes your movie files as mpeg2 in the background, after you drop them into DVDSP 2.0. To be honest, I've used DVDSP 1.5 and the GUI is anything but friendly for the newbee, thus the extended learning curve. From what I can see with the new upgrade, it looks more "MAC" based. If work is paying for the program, don't look back and order the best solution you have available to you right now. You won't regret that decision I don't think.
     
  14. idea_hamster thread starter macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    NYC, or thereabouts
    #14
    This all sounds very encouraging, since waiting until August is not a problem. (The folks in charge of shooting our footage are still trying to decide whether to rent or buy a camera.)

    When it comes to not-for-profits, nothing moves with ninja-like speed.

    The only question left is this:

    Do we think that DVD SP 2.0 will be priced higher than $499+$30? Or do we think that $500 is pretty much the price point that Apple has settled on for DVD SP for the foreseeable future?
     
  15. hvfsl macrumors 68000

    hvfsl

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #15
    FCP or FCE and iMovie can all output DVD compliant MPEG2 files ready to be used in iDVD or DVD SP. You don't need to use Cleaner to do it, unless you are using Premier to edit the DV footage. It don't know if Cleaner is any better, but it should not be since they all out put to the MPEG2 DVD standard. I expect the reason why someone else found the results to be different was because they set Cleaner to make higher quality DVD files. I have found no quality problems with iMovie or FCP, I have only used Cleaner with Premier on the PC and I don't think it produces noticably better DVD files.
     
  16. hvfsl macrumors 68000

    hvfsl

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #16
    It is easier to edit the movie first in FC or iMovie and then use those programs to export your project to iDVD or DVD SP. The latest version of iMovie has been integrated well with iDVD.
     
  17. SumDumGuy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2002
    Location:
    Loserville
    #17
    Look into BitVice (www.innobits.se) instead of Cleaner if you go for a non-Apple MPEG2 encoder. It provides better quality at lower bitrates than Cleaner or the Apple encoder. Cleaner produces a better looking MPEG stream than the Apple encoder, but is SUPER SLOW.

    I personally think the Apple encoder is not suitable for professional quality output. The BitVice encoder on the other hand is fast AND produces beautiful MPEG streams.
     
  18. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #18
    That's the one I was trying to think of, Cleaner is qualitativly better than the QT export, as you say. Is the output from BitVice much better looking than Cleaner?

    I'm not usually on a hard deadline, and Cleaner does the job, but speed is always a good thing if the quality is OK. Like you I find the QT output not up to pro standards.

    hvsfi

    Changing the quality settings in Cleaner will affect the data rate of the video stream, anything above 8mb/sec will exceed the design spec of the DVD standard and DVDSP will be unable to build the disc.

    Cleaners' render of MPEG2 is of a better visual quality than QT's at the same data rate.
     
  19. SumDumGuy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2002
    Location:
    Loserville
    #19
    In my opinion, the output of Bitvice is quite a bit better than the output of Cleaner at the same bitrate.

    Bitvice also has the advantage of lower cost since all it does is conversion to MPEG2.

    Both Discreet and Innobits have downloadable demos. Give each a shot and see what you think. But, for the money, I don't think Bitvice can be beat.

    Edit:
    Also, don't let DVDSP scare you. The learning curve is not that steep. It's an amazing program that can turn out really creative DVDs. Here's a good place to get an idea of how to do a DVD project from start to finish (LINK). Some of the articles are a little old, but they really get you pointed in the right direction.
     
  20. idea_hamster thread starter macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    NYC, or thereabouts
    #20
    Sweet link. I'm getting that ol' "I'm gonna be able to do this 'cuz I pretty smart and I've got a Mac" feeling.

    Now to make sure that the actual footage is decent....
     

Share This Page