AVi to DVD bad quality? Need help

shinta

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 10, 2005
2
0
Hi there.

I'm fairly new to this so I hope someone can help me. I have some avi files that work perfectly on my computer (I installed the righ codecs) and I dragged it into toast and burnt a dvd (for home DVD player, nothing fancy) but I noticed when I went to even play it on my computer the quality is pretty average, not like it was as the avi file, the sounds seemed alright. Can anyone tell me the proper way to burn this? I have downloaded ffmpegX but wouldn't have a clue how to use it (if that's even what I should use?) I have read things about using IDVD or Imovie but I am such a novice I wouldn't know what to do. Also the movie is 45 mins long but seemed to take up 70% of the DVD, shouldn't I be able to get about 2hours worth on it? If anyone can take me step by step through this it would be great.

Many Thanks
 

gekko513

macrumors 603
Oct 16, 2003
6,302
1
I'm only able to give some thoughts on your last question. If you're burning regular single layer DVDs, I think they will have only half the capacity of commercial movie DVDs, which are double layer.
 
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numediaman

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2004
541
0
Chicago (by way of SF)
shinta said:
I have downloaded ffmpegX but wouldn't have a clue how to use it (if that's even what I should use?) I have read things about using IDVD or Imovie but I am such a novice I wouldn't know what to do. Also the movie is 45 mins long but seemed to take up 70% of the DVD, shouldn't I be able to get about 2hours worth on it? If anyone can take me step by step through this it would be great.

Many Thanks
1) ffmpegx is not to difficult if you read the install directions REALLY carefully. You need to download a couple of other files to go along with it -- there are links to those files on the ffmpegx page. Keep those downloaded files on your desktop, you will need them when the time comes to install ffmpegx.

2) iMovie and iDVD are really easy programs. Here are a couple of observations, though. First, importing files into iMovie can be a bit of a pain because it takes so long for the program to import them. The reason for this is that iMovie allows you to edit files without "rendering" them. If you don't know what that means, don't worry about it.

I decided a while ago to stop burning iDVD projects direct to DVD but instead I have the program create an image file. This allows you to preview the DVD before burning (I then use Toast to burn the final product.)

3) Misc: Download a copy of MPEG Streamclip -- it's free and it is very useful. Pay up for QuickTime Pro.

Finally, use these forums and the forums at the Apple site to ask lots of dumb questions about video work -- its the only way to really learn -- other than standing over somebody's shoulder while they are working with video.

Also, AVIs suck. They are a plague caused by PC users. But then again, that's just my opinion.
 
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LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,368
119
Los Angeles
shinta said:
Hi there.

I'm fairly new to this so I hope someone can help me. I have some avi files that work perfectly on my computer (I installed the righ codecs) and I dragged it into toast and burnt a dvd (for home DVD player, nothing fancy) but I noticed when I went to even play it on my computer the quality is pretty average, not like it was as the avi file, the sounds seemed alright. Can anyone tell me the proper way to burn this? I have downloaded ffmpegX but wouldn't have a clue how to use it (if that's even what I should use?) I have read things about using IDVD or Imovie but I am such a novice I wouldn't know what to do. Also the movie is 45 mins long but seemed to take up 70% of the DVD, shouldn't I be able to get about 2hours worth on it? If anyone can take me step by step through this it would be great.

Many Thanks
First off you are most likely taking a very compressed file (the avi) and running it thru another round of heavy compression (MPEG-2 for DVD). The process is destructive and lossy. You also have to keep in mind that TVs are very low res compared to computer monitors (HDTVs excluded). What looks good on a TV doesn't always look good on a computer monitor and vice versa.

The amount of video (in terms of minutes) you can get on a DVD completely depends on how much compression is going on. You can have a, relatively speaking, "ligtly" compressed DVD that only holds an hour of video and you can a very, very compressed DVD that holds 6 hours of video. The more you compress the more you can fit but the crappier the image quality.


Lethal
 
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mrgreen4242

macrumors 601
Feb 10, 2004
4,355
1
LethalWolfe said:
First off you are most likely taking a very compressed file (the avi) and running it thru another round of heavy compression (MPEG-2 for DVD). The process is destructive and lossy. You also have to keep in mind that TVs are very low res compared to computer monitors (HDTVs excluded). What looks good on a TV doesn't always look good on a computer monitor and vice versa.

The amount of video (in terms of minutes) you can get on a DVD completely depends on how much compression is going on. You can have a, relatively speaking, "ligtly" compressed DVD that only holds an hour of video and you can a very, very compressed DVD that holds 6 hours of video. The more you compress the more you can fit but the crappier the image quality.


Lethal
Not exactly on topic, but I converted some avi's of a TV show to burn onto disc once, and decided that since quality wasn't really important for this particular case (it was a Sitcom) I would see how small I could get them to go and still be watchable. I managed to squueze 23 episodes on the disc, and at an average of 21.5 minutes per episode that works out to be 8 hours and 15 minutes! Plus a menu with thumbnails! The quality isn't great, but is completely viewable on a TV (you can see all the detail and read all the words etc, it's just a little blocky). I also downed the audio to stereo and 96kpbs, which over a regular TV speaker(s) sounds exactly the same as the original.

Sorry i can't help with the OPs problem, just thought I would share my most ever video on a single layer DVD story!
 
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shinta

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 10, 2005
2
0
Thanks for the help but why is it stretching?

Thanks everyone for their replies, I did read the 'how to's' for ffmpeg and burnt a copy that was much better in quality (still not as good as the avi - which is crystal clear) but much better than just dropping it in Toast. And you're right when you view it on tv you can't even notice.

The problem I then had was that when I viewed it, it didn't put in the black bars (even though it said it would) and stretched the video to fit the screen - I hate that! Has anyone got any ideas on why this is happening?

Thanks again.
 
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eeeRIE

macrumors member
Jan 30, 2005
38
0
Personally I have the same sort of issues. I try to put my avi's onto dvd's, so that I can watch them on my television. I normally would just use toast's video function, but the video never comes out well. I can put 30 minutes on it, the quality would still come out horrible. If I want it to look perfect, could I do it?

I was thinking of maybe instead buying a cable so I can use my television as a display, then simply playing the video fullscreen in quicktime and watching it like that. Would that work better? And, what kind of cable can I use for that?
 
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