Help burning DVD's

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by fifthmanstandin, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. fifthmanstandin macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2009
    Hi all,

    Couple of questions about dvd burning.

    I'm running a Mac Pro, early '08 model I think. The burner is a PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-112D. Running the most updated Snow Leopard and all that jazz. I use toast 9 to burn. I've recently burned .avi's to dvd's and noticed horrible quality. I'm burning to 16x dvd-R media by TDK at an 8x speed. I don't know a great deal about the software but from what I can see it's set to higher burning quality. I've tried the same settings on several different media types, tdk, sony ect; so I don't think it's the media.

    So, my question, why am I getting poor quality dvd's?
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    It could be the quality of the source video.

    Remember that the resolution of a TV isn't necessarily the same as that of an .avi, and the bitrate of an .avi might be significantly lower than what is played from a DVD or broadcast. The DVD you burn won't be any better quality than simply playing your .avi on the screen at full-screen settings.
  3. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Modern .avi files downloaded in today's age most often use the Divx or Xvid codec to compress the video, and both these codecs are MPEG-4 codec variant. Another popular MPEG-4 codec you might have heard of is H264, used on YouTube and many other videos.

    Video DVDs use the MPEG-2 codec, which is older than any MPEG-4 codec and much more inefficient.
    Therefore a 90 minutes video using an MPEG-4 codec can be downsized to 700 MB, which is a popular size among video sharing services. A video DVD has to use at least 4GB to compress the same 90 minutes video to visually compare with that, that is why many video DVDs use Double Layer (DL) DVDs which have a capacity of 8.5GB to store their content on.

    For example, if you have a 120 minute video and it takes up 1.4GB in an .avi file and want to burn it to a DVD and use a Single Layer (SL) DVD medium to burn onto, and SL DVDs are much more common with their 4.7GB capacity, you have to reduce the quality to actually fit the 120 minutes of video into an MPEG-2 encoded video with a maximum size of 4.65GB, therefore you see a visual quality loss.

    Take a look at Toast's settings and see if you can change some settings to better the quality, maybe change the bitrate to a higher value.
    Also compare the VIDEO_TS folder size to the capacity of the DVD (SL or DL?) medium you used.

    Or are you not burning a video DVD?

    Btw, have you taken a look at the numerous of similar threads about this issue yet? MRoogle should help you finding them.
  4. fifthmanstandin thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2009
    I've googled a good bit and gotten no direct answer, everything from 'update your burner's firmware' to 'the media is bad'

    basically I'm burning .avi to dvd videos. Toast converts them to an mpeg 4 and as far as the source file is concerned, they're rather high def and look fine on the comp when playing, but like crap on the dvd.

    I usually just burn .avi's to dvd as a file archive but I thought I'd try my hand at making a working DVD for viewing. Didn't go so well.
  5. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Jun 3, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    That's to be expected... For example, the longer the video, the crappier it'll look on a DVD-Video - obviously since it has to greatly compress the video to fit it on a disc.

    Coupled with DVD-Video being of being a smaller resolution than HD video - you'd expect blocky artefacts here and there (or even everywhere).
  6. goMac macrumors 604

    Apr 15, 2004
    This doesn't sound anything at all like a burner problem and more like a burning software/source problem.
  7. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Are you sure about the "mpeg 4" part?
    As mentioned above, video DVDs use MPEG-2 as codec, not MPEG-4, unless you don't create video DVDs.
    You can recognise proper video DVDs, when they have an AUDIO_TS an a VIDEO_TS folder and inside the VIDEO_TS folder will be several files, the big ones ending in .vob (video) and the smaller ones in .ifo and .bup.

    Unless you mean data DVDs, which are not video DVDs.

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