Am I expecting too much out of iDVD 5?

MattG

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 27, 2003
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265
Asheville, NC
In all the times I've made DVDs using iDVD, I've never really been happy with the quality. I realize that it's a pretty basic piece of software, inexpensive, and that to get truly professional results I'd have to upgrade to something like DVD Studio...but I think the quality could be better.

For example, I just created a DVD that's just over one hour long. I play it...the menus are very pixelated, and the video quality leaves something to be desired. The thing that gets me is, it's only using 3.7gb of the disc. On a 4.7gb DVD, you actually end up with 4.4gb worth of usable space. Why isn't it using that 700mb? It could compress the video less that way, and the picture quality would be better. And I do have it set in Preferences to "Better Quality."

So...am I expecting too much?
 

Mr. Durden

macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2005
716
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Colorado
I'm not terribly familiar with iDVD, but I do know that if you are watching your finished DVD on your Mac, it usually looks like crap. I think it has something to do with interlaced video versus progressive...(?) Does it look really bad on TV too? And are you making your own menus, or using the built-in ones?

Like I said, I dont know iDVD really well, but that may be a place to start.
 

eRondeau

macrumors 65816
Mar 3, 2004
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115
Canada's South Coast
1-Hour +

I'm just a casual user too, but I know that Toast uses the magic "1-Hour" cut-off for "Best Quality" compression. Any video longer than 60-minutes automatically drops-down to the lower-quality compression setting, overriding your menu selection. That's probably just an arbitrary number, but I'd expect iDVD to have a similar limitation. That's probably why you see all that free space on the DVD.

I have made some short DVD's using Toast as well as iDVD that look absolutely stunning -- some of the sharpest, cleanest video I've ever seen.
 

gernb

macrumors regular
Jun 6, 2002
102
0
Just guessing here, but you are probably converting DV footage to make your DVD. That's part of the problem. No software, even DVDSP can overcome the built in limitations of the DV color space / sampling / compression.

It looks great in native DV and when played back from tape. But when you convert to MPEG to make the DVD, 4:1:1 just doesn't hold up. So you'll often see 'quilting' 'mosaics' and other noise.
 

ravenvii

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
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Melenkurion Skyweir
I've made two (short) movies using iDVD, and I love the results. Looks great.

Then again, I have a crappy (relatively) camcorder, so my expectations were low. Still damn impressed with the quality when I stick it in my DVD player and watch it on TV.
 

MattG

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 27, 2003
3,788
265
Asheville, NC
gernb said:
Just guessing here, but you are probably converting DV footage to make your DVD. That's part of the problem. No software, even DVDSP can overcome the built in limitations of the DV color space / sampling / compression.

It looks great in native DV and when played back from tape. But when you convert to MPEG to make the DVD, 4:1:1 just doesn't hold up. So you'll often see 'quilting' 'mosaics' and other noise.
Well I am converting from DV, but again, even the DVD menus look bad (to me).
 

rvance

macrumors newbie
Sep 26, 2003
7
0
Boston, MA
NinjaMonkey said:
Playing back my iDVDs on my Mac looks like crap. It looks fine on a TV though.
This is my experience as well -- can anyone explain why this is? It seems very odd. Most DVDs look better on my mac than on my TV.
 

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