Achieving HD quality DVD from HD camcorder

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by vjaaan, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. vjaaan macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2010
    Is it possible to capture my HD video (from Sony camcorder) to iMovie, edit, and burn to DVD and keep the high quality video?
    If iMovie is too low end to allow me to keep high quality home movies on DVD, then would Final Cut Pro accomplish this?
    There would be no point in having a HD camcorder if we can never save and view the movie in high quality.

    Thank you for any help.

  2. JasonA macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2009
    Burning it to DVD would reduce the quality to standard definition. If you want to keep the HD quality, then you need to edit in HD (possible in iMovie) and then author/burn to a Blu-ray disc, using something like Toast Titanium. DVDs, by definition, are not HD.
  3. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Not necessarily. DVD gives you the option of 480i (standard definition) or 480p (extended definition). Given the choice, most people choose 480p.
  4. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Semantics aside the 408i/p DVD isn't going to be near the same quality as the HD source.

    If you have a 3rd party Blu-ray burner and software that is able to burn to Blu-Ray (such as a recent version of Toast or Adobe Encore) you can make a basic 'play only' Blu-ray disc.

  5. vjaaan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2010
    Thanks for the replies.
    We are finding if we Export the movie as HD and then Import it into iDVD to burn, that it looks quite good.
    On my Digital 8 tape movies (from Sony camcorder), I don't have the option to export them above 720, so there is some noticeable loss of quality when burned.
    We will experiment with Final Cut Pro and see what we notice.
  6. boch82 macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2008
    if you want to get the best possible quality SD DVD from FCP export your finished sequence as a quicktime (DO NOT MAKE SELF CONTAINED). In compressor use the dvd best quality setting (choose the appropriate one for the duration of your clips) then pull the mpeg2 and audio dfiles into dvd studio pro
  7. Gymnut macrumors 68000


    Apr 18, 2003
    I'm finding the MPEG-2 encoding out of Compressor to be rather poor despite the "BEST SETTINGS" for 90min and under. Experimenting with the data rate and CBR vs. VBR leaves me wanting more. It seems the current Compressor(3.5) is a step backward from the previous generation:

    There are a number of third party MPEG-2 encoders, Mainconcept, CinemaCraft, Squeeze, Bitvice, but it's difficult to find a current comparison and review; I know Squeeze offers a free trial and Bitvice offers a demo.

    I did however try the workflow defined in the above link by exporting a native ProRes sequence out of FCP7 and taking it into my Windows 7 BootCamp partition, and I have to agree it does yield a better encode than Compressor. If you don't have the roughly $200-$800 to purchase a third party MPEG-2 encoder I suggest giving this a try.
  8. vjaaan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2010
    Thank you both! I'll try these suggestions as well.

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