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 Post subject: Lazy mastering of DVD's
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 1:36 am 
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Here's an interesting article about DVD mastering. Basically, it charges major studios of churning out DVD's without trying to maximize the quality (often in very peculiar ways that seem half-assed, like pressing a movie on a dual-layered disc but using less than 5 GB of data with no extras or anything):

http://dvdscan.com/astaire.htm

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 8:37 am 
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I haven't read the article yet, so apologies if this is mentioned, but I've always assumed the 5GB-on-dual-layer thing is intended to hinder DVD-R copies. (See the bonus disc in the George Harrison box set, which is barely 100MB over what a single layer disc can hold.)

Ryan

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 8:40 am 
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MK wrote:
..often in very peculiar ways that seem half-assed, like pressing a movie on a dual-layered disc but using less than 5 GB of data..

I've not read the article yet, but your comment reminded me of this rental flick I kept a copy of .. I "only" had to strip away the menus (I don't think there were [m]any extras) to have it fit on a 4.7 gig disc with no re-processing whatsoever.

I was left with a disc that starts playing as soon as you pop it in, but I don't mind - that said, this's been an exception rather than a rule, thus far.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 9:23 am 
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Yeah, if they're trying to thwart illegal copying, it's not working. In DVD Shrink, I can either strip the special features and put them on a separate disc or just add a little bit of compression. I've found that copies look identical to me as long as the compression is less than 5%.

I agree that if something is being put on a dual-layer disc, the bit rate should always be maximized. There is no excuse for having 3-4 GB of dead space on a DVD when that space could be utilized for a higher-quality transfer.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 2:52 pm 
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Same here. I understand that the early days of DVD prioritized single layer discs over double layered ones--thus the super-low bitrates on things like Witches of Eastwick--but those days are long over. I'm surprised by what DVD Shrink in movie-only can do sometimes. For example, Kill Bill Part 1 easily fits into a single DVDR with room to spare, which can't mean good things about the film's bitrate.

(which, by the way, is why Superbit was such a stupid idea. Space permitting, give it as much as it needs to breathe and to keep the bitstream under 10MB/S. If you need to, put the extras on another disc...which would up the cost by, what, $.50, plus the miniscule extra authoring amount? Why does Sony need to have a special line of discs that do what DVDs should basically be doing anyway?)

That said, sometimes increasing the bitrate doesn't do much...there is a cap above which you don't see much difference, apparently.

[Edit: I'm glad they mentioned ER. Season 1 of that set is vastly inferior to the purportedly-slapdash Japanese sets that I've only seen brief pieces of.]

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:27 pm 
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In general, if you want to burn a movie with no menu or extras on a single-layer DVDR, I think the longest movie you can burn at the maximum bitrate is a hair under 90 minutes.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:50 pm 
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When DVDs first came out the number most quoted. was 133 minutes, I think. And plenty of early single-layer DVDs had that much. (In fact the very earliest Bond discs, in the days before RSDL and seamless layer switching, had the whole movie on one layer in widescreen and the full-frame version in the second layer.) But that was surely with some aggressive compression.

Ryan

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