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Old     (thespleen)      Join Date: Feb 2004       08-17-2004, 4:07 PM Reply   
Hey, I'm just learning about digital video, I've looked around for some answers on the web and I haven't quite found what I'm looking for, so here goes.
Is there I way I can burn short clips to a CD, in a format that can be played in a DVD player (ie not computer, just one hooked up to a TV), and still have DVD type quality? I'm using a mac with imovie (it's also got idvd on it). So let's say I make a five minute movie. I can burn that onto a DVD and that's great, except it takes a while to burn the DVD, and it seems like such a waste to use a DVD for five minutes of video when it would hold what, maybe 60? Also, if I could put it on a CD I could make copies of it on any computer system, not just ones with a DVD burner. I've tried using toast to burn VCDs and SVCDs and thought the quality was very poor. (I'm guessing the fact that there is such a thing as VCD means there isn't a better format, it just seems like there should be:-)
If I can't put these short films onto CDs, can I put them, one at a time, onto a single DVD? If so, can a DVD player read them. That is, can I burn a five minute film onto a DVD, then play it on my TV, then add another five minute film two weeks later?
Is quicktime a poor format, in terms of the size of the files? It seems the stuff I end up with is larger than comparable-quality files I've downloaded in, say, .wmv format. Is there an easy/cheap way to convert from quicktime to other formats, or can imovie export to other formats?
Thanks in advance for the help,
Old     (shutupandboard)      Join Date: Aug 2002       08-18-2004, 9:41 AM Reply   
I don't think you can burn high quality to a cd.

I think if you use a DVD-RW you can re-write on it later. I don't know how compatable they are with dvd players though.

Check out this site. It has EVERYTHING you need.
Old     (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       08-18-2004, 3:54 PM Reply   
Someone posted a way to burn DVD (video ts and audio ts files) to CD with Toast I believe. If I remember though they wouldn't play on set top DVD players just computer DVD players. The cost of blank DVD 5's will continue to drop radically so I wouldn't be too concerned about that.

Quicktime mpeg4 files are generally larger than a comparable quality .wmv file but Apple has just announced a major revision to the spec which should even up the game.
Old     (toolfan)      Join Date: Jul 2003       08-19-2004, 12:08 PM Reply   
"ACQUIRE" a version of quicktime pro and convert everything to mpeg2. for the most part, that is DVD quality. then use Toast.

remember: Garbage In, Garbage Out. If it was shot on Hi8, its probabaly gonna look very amateur, no matter what compression technique or burning software you use.
Old                08-20-2004, 1:00 PM Reply   
Many (especially cheaper) DVD set-top players can play compact DVDs (cDVD) which is basically a DVD authored to a CD (I think you get only a few minutes depending on the bitrate of your MPEG2 video).

The site Jeremy referenced is REALLY good for learning about this stuff. Check out the player section and you can see what players can play which formats, including DivX disks. DivX is a popular MPEG4 based format similar in compression to WMV9 and Quicktime (latest version) formats. If you're wondering which MPEG4 based codecs look best there was a codec shootout comparison done at a few months back.

When doing anything but industry standard DVD video on DVD5 disks (DVD+R has been the most player-compatible in my experience) the best thing to do is TEST the disks in the players you intend to go to.

I prefer to author using DV then encoding the finished product to a high bitrate MPEG4 format (WMV9 or DivX usually) for archiving. Then I re-encode down to whatever format I need based on target media/playback (and yes digivid purists will note that I'm re-encoding between lossy formats, but with high enough bitrates it's never been a problem).

And on the question of burning a short clip, then adding more clips later-- the short answer is no, since the authoring formats compatible with most players typically expect you to author the whole disk even if it's just a short video. Sure you can erase and re-author an RW disk, but that's not really "adding" more clips. The one exception would be one of the relatively newer Divx capable players, I'm guessing you can burn multi-session DVDs with DivX files being added in successive sessions. Not sure-- never tried it.
Old     (thespleen)      Join Date: Feb 2004       08-24-2004, 3:12 PM Reply   
Thanks for the responses.
The website was very helpful.


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