How do I make a Hi Def DVD In Final Cut Pro X?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Mork, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. Mork macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2009
    I have some hi-def footage -- taken at just one level below the highest quality on a Canon camcorder, but using either the "DVD..." output or even using Compressor 4, it's not clear exactly how to get it to create a hi-def DVD.

    When you search on how to create a hi-def DVD, you get sites that show screenshots that don't even come close to the more rudimentary look (and apparent functionality) of Compressor 4.

    When you tell Final Cut Pro X to "send to Compressor", Compressor comes up with two options already enabled (Dolby and MPEG). Messing around with the various settings in these two options there doesn't show a hi-def DVD option as with some of the sites I've seen. (Compressor 4 is a confusing plug-in.)

    I'm currently testing with only 2 minutes of footage so I know that's not the issue.

    I'm also using DVD +R.

    Can anyone give me any hints on exactly how to create a hi-def DVD from Final Cut Pro X with "Compressor 4" (if needed)?

    I was hoping shelling out the $ for Final Cut Pro would finally fix this nagging hi-def DVD output problem that is apparent with iDVD, but not so far....

    Not sure why this is so difficult.

    Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.
  2. Dave012 macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2011
    The DVD format doesn't support high definition video, you need to either downscale it to standard definition or Blu-Ray supports High definition.

    This is of course different if your using the DVD as a data disc to hold a High Definition media file.

  3. MitchLewis macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2010
    Easiest/cheapest way to create high-def DVD is to create a Blu-Ray disc using Roxio Toast. You can even use a standard DVD-R disc and standard DVD-R burner to create it. You just won't be able to store as much data as you would if you were using an actual Blu-Ray disc and burner.

    Just take your finished file, drag it into Toast, choose Auto-Play (or choose one of their pre-made menus) and burn the disc. You can get 20-30 minutes of high-def video on a standard DVD-R disc. Video quality is exactly the same as if you were using a Blu-Ray disc. The data on the disc is identical. You're Blu-Ray player will think you've inserted a Blu-Ray disc.

    BTW, you'll need a home Blu-Ray player to view the disc. You can't play a Blu-Ray disc in your Mac.
  4. Mork thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2009

    Perhaps you can answer me a follow-on question which is the main source of my confusion...

    When I buy a DVD with a movie on it, it has excellent image quality, yet when I try to make a DVD on my own with my "hi-def" camcorder, the results are, well, not very good.

    How do the movie studios get two hours of high-quality video on a "DVD"?

    Are they also using Toast? I'm playing these high quality movies from a DVD in a standard DVD player, so there's still something here I'm missing.

    I thought they used Final Cut Pro (or at least some of them).

    (Still a bit confused.)

    Thanks for your follow up in advance.
  5. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    There are several things going on here. First off, the content of commercial DVDs is 480p, at best. One advantage that commercial DVD enjoys over the homemade stuff is that commercial DVD has a larger capacity than 4.7 GB. Most commercial content providers have high-quality source material. They use professional equipment. They don't try to compress the dickens out of their material.

    Having said that, just because the DVD is commercial does not mean that it does not suck. I purchased a DVD from NBC News. The footage was a DVD version of NBC's high-definition coverage of a major news event. The quality sucks. Having seen the live broadcast in HD, the DVD looks like a bad transcription of a standard definition broadcast.
  6. MitchLewis, Aug 14, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011

    MitchLewis macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2010
    You'll need something better than Toast to pull the very best quality out of a standard def DVD. Apple Compressor is the logical choice on the Mac.

    In my experience, the key is to make your DVD's in progressive format. Shoot progressive (1080p or 720p) then down convert using something like Apple Compressor. But in my opinion the key is shooting in progressive and keeping the files in the progressive format when burned to the DVD.

    Most consumer HD camera's shoot interlaced at their highest resolution (1080i or 1080 60i). You can "deinterlace" the footage to convert it to progressive using Apple Compressor, but in my experience it never looks as good as if it was shot in progressive to begin with.

    The studios normally shoot 24p. That's a progressive format.

    That said, I've noticed that the settings in Compressor can make a significant difference in the quality of the standard def video. Here's a great article that helped me get good results.

    EDIT: Nothing beats the look of a true high-def blu-ray disc. If I were you, and I had a high-def camera, I'd focus on that. Great results are much easier. (although the high-def file sizes are much larger so make sure you have plenty of hard drive space)

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