iMovie > iDVD quality vs iMovie > AppleTV quality

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by CMD is me, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. CMD is me macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
    I've noticed a DV edited in iMovie and burned to DVD looses some quality from the original miniDV source. How does that compare to a DV exported through iMovie to AppleTV?
  2. -DH macrumors 65816

    Nov 28, 2006
    Nashville Tennessee
    Well ... DUH! Of course it is lower quality. Anytime you compress video you're going to lose quality. Think about it; DV is only compressed 5:1 and still takes up about 13.3gb per hour. With DVD's MPEG-2 compression, you can get 2 hours on a 4.4gb disc. That mean a heck of a lot of compression. And when you compress, some information get thrown out.

    So yeah, the DV source will look much better than DVD. That's a no-brainer.

  3. CMD is me thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
    Thanks for the reply, but you may have read my post too quickly. My question was how does a DV burned to DVD compare to a DV exported through iMovie to AppleTV since AppleTV doesn't have the 4.4gb limit to deal with.
  4. telecomm macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    This post should earn some sort of award for civility. The previous post, however...
  5. warensn macrumors member

    Jun 30, 2007
    I agree. The DUH! guy sounds like a know-it-all 15 year old. This is a forum for asking questions.
    I'm not really sure what the answer to your question is, sir, but at least I didn't answer the wrong one.
  6. CMD is me thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
    Thanks guys. All duhs aside, anyone know the answer? I'm wanting to finish up my iMovie project to free up the space.
  7. wonders macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2007
    In case someone still cares..

    I tried to finish my first project in iMovie 08 today by getting it onto a DVD via iDVD .. and was HORRIFIED by the output "options" of iMovie (or rather the designated workflow the users are told to use by Apple!).
    You're seriously supposed to transcode your iMovie project to some unnamed laborious codec (presumably MPEG4-AVC) in one of several random resolutions (the largest of which 960 x 540) into some system wide media store before you can access it in iDVD, which then will have to re-transcode it to MPEG2 of course and also back to a native PAL resolution!!
    I admit, I didn't research what Apple means that iMovie is good for (= YouTube and mobiles) before I started editing a video with it, but I didn't expect this.

    The thing is: DV-cameras and TVs are optimized for certain image formats (PAL: 576 lines, interlaced), anything else, i.e. conversions from other formats, will always look bad somehow. And especially converting an interlaced image to a different number of lines (which kills the interlacing and thus ruins fluid motions) in the middle of the process when you could make use of the untainted interlaced stuff in the end (DVD) anyway is just crackbrained.

    Ergo: Don't think of using iMovie when the end result you want to have is a DVD; The only high quality output iMovie allows is to an AppleTV-box, which may be optimized for their idiotic 960 x 540 material - which isn't even HD either (Apple advertises iMovie with "..or watch it on your high definition TV!"), it's even less than the proper 16:9 PAL image (1024 x 576, if you expand it to square pixels)!!

    Do I see this right?

    P.S.: I'm now looking for a way to render directly to MPEG2 from iMovie via the Quicktime output feature. And if iDVD doesn't eat the predigested MPEG2 (which I somehow expect already) I can still use any serious DVD authoring tool to get that to a disc without further transcoding..
  8. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2006

    I know it's probably too late at this point, but you might want to go back and redo your movie in iMovie HD instead of 08. It's far superior and even automatically exports to iDVD with no unnamed codec ( iMovie HD is all DV )
    You could also use Final Cut Express.
  9. wonders macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2007
    Yeah, it seems iMovie (08) has to be ditched altogether. I played with a short 1 min clip to try different Quicktime output options .. and my worst expectation has come true: see the attached screenshots.

    Compared to the original (note the 'mouse teeth' from the interlacing on the right tricycle!) both the uncompressed and the maximum quality PAL DV output have become completely smudged and 'wobbly' (note the white flag pole). Apparently iMovie even applies some unnecessary scaling before output to the native format of the source material!

    Weirdly, when choosing any other than one of the PAL DV compressions for the output the default output size shown is "640 x 480" - as if it would be working in NTSC! I even tried to set the video standard in the preferences to NTSC on purpose, quit & restarted iMovie, reset it to PAL, quit and restarted again and created a new project but it still wanted to output in 640 x 480.

    So, either this is a big time bug (I noticed one other already in the German version of iMovie that I'm using) or (which I rather believe by now) Apple just doesn't care because they'd rather have people buy Windows PCs to make DVDs from their holiday videos. :mad:

    Attached Files:

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