DVD Authoring Question (long)

Thanx to the helpful advice of some of you dopers I’m well on my way to convert some old VHS taped TV shows into DVD volumes.

What I’m doing:

  1. Capturing with Pinnacle Studio 8 using a TV capture card.

  2. Editing with Pinnacle Studio 8 (editing out commercials, improving color, etc).

  3. Export into DV format.

  4. Encode into DVD compliant mpg2 format using TMPEGenc.

  5. Author DVD using Sonic DVDiT!

  6. Shrink the resulting DVD files (if too large) using DVDshrink.

  7. Burn using Nero.

This entire processes takes aprox: 6 to 8 hours of time per 2 hours of video (including all the encodign time which is about 90% of those 6 to 8 hours).

So I burn my first DVD this morning and to my horror I find that several of the episodes recorded do not play. Some do play however and this has me confused.

The DVD plays fine on my hardrive (using PowerDVD) but on my stand alone DVD player only some movies play, other refuse to play at all.

So my questions are:

  1. What do you think I could be doing wrong? What does your fist guess tell you to ask me that I could be missing?

  2. The one thing I’m thinking could be wrong is that many episodes are encoded at different video bit rate. Some are at 4000 kbps, others at 3500 bps and a couple (which only looked good at higher bit rates) I encoded at 4500 bps. But do ALL movies in a DVD HAVE to be encoded at the SAME bit rate?

If the answer to number 2 is yes, then there’s my problem :frowning:

Any helpful advice or suggesitons welcomed! :wink:

Firstly, DVDs are designed to take advantage of Variable Bitrate encoding (VBR) so that scenes that need it are allocated more data throughput (scenes with fast-motion, etc.). As a first recommendation, I suggest that you use VBR encoding to maximize the quality of your encodes. If you define a suitable minimum and maximum bitrate range you should be able to use the same encoding profile on all your files and get satisfactory results.

As for your specific problem, my first guess is that your files do not meet spec for DVD. See here for the technical specs of the DVD MPEG2 format. Note that video resolution and framerate, as well as bitrate, must be taken into account when encoding. Your hardware DVD player is probably much more rigid in its encoding requirements than software players such as PowerDVD.

Also, depending on the model and year, your DVD player may be sensitive to the types of media it is being fed. Some players handle DVD+R better, some prefer DVD-R.

Also, doesn’t Pinnacle Studio 8 have authoring/burning capabilities? If so, I’d suggest that you try using them in order to minimize the number of programs used to manipulate your media files. The more programs you use the more chance there is that encoding errors may be introduced somewhere along the line.

I’m sure I’m overlooking something obvious but I’ll leave that to the others while I tackle the hard stuff :wink:

Thanx for the advice Hodge.

I checked the video specs and they all match up. Everything checks out 100% :frowning:

Also, I thought about using the 2 pass VR encoding, but I got turned off to the idea since it takes twice as long as a single pass encode takes (which already takes a little over 2 times the length of the video, so a 2 hour video clip would take the better part of 8 hours!).

Any more ideas fellow dopers?

The bit rate shouldn’t be a problem as long as you stay within the spec. Are there any other differences between the episodes that work and the ones that don’t? Are you using the same audio compression for all the episodes?

I’ll second the suggestion to use VBR, though I don’t think it’ll solve the problem. VBR is slower to encode but the results are a lot better. It usually takes me about 12 hours to encode a whole DVD, using VBR and a couple TMPGEnc filters (noise reduction and cropping).

I’m also curious why you aren’t using Pinnacle for the burning? I’ve used Pinnacle 8 copious times without problem, plus it should cut down on invested time.

The only reason I haven’t been using Pinnacle’s burning utility is that I don’t like the menu authoring options. They are fixed themes and I can’t edit them in any way. With DVDit! I can create my own menus :wink:

" The DVD plays fine on my hardrive (using PowerDVD) but on my stand alone DVD player only some movies play, other refuse to play at all."

What player is this? Some of them won’t play certain media types. What media are you using? -r or +r? Who made the media? What message appears on the screen when you try to play them? The fact that Powerdvd plays them indicates to me that its your player.

The media is +r, the brand name of the disc is fujifilm.

I would think that if it ws the media though it would probably refuse to play ANY of the disk.

Thing is it plays the disk (the menu pops up) and some of the movies int he disk, but not others.

I also don’t get an error message, the screen just goes black when I choose the particular movie from the menu.

The stand alone player is a KLH DVD player (DVD-8350).

It likely won’t help your problem, but I’d recommend TMPGenc’s CQ VBR mode over its two-pass. CQ doesn’t take twice as long to encode. You’ll also get quality that equals or even exceeds two-pass. That’s not how things are supposed to work in theory; TMPGenc’s two-pass function is somewhat flawed.

To decide what CQ value to use, try CQMatic. This painfully sloppy page explains how to use it.

I thought Pinnacle allowed you to place videos in the DVD background, etc. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I swear I’ve done it.