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Dvd Encoding


Hi --


I created a 93-min 1280/720p24 film in Final Cut Pro. After exporting it to a 1280/720p24 Quicktime file (ProRes 422HQ, 16bit/48kHz), I get a file with 60 GB size. Next, I dragged and dropped it into Toast Titanium 11 to burn a master DVD that I wanted to send for replication.


However, the quality of the DVD is less than stellar when I use the automatic "best" settings (4.13 GB size). I get the same results when I create a "custom" DVD with 6 Mbps average / 6.5 Mbps maximum encoding. To my surprise, the simple iDVD software produces a much higher quality DVD!


- What can I do to maximize the quality of the DVD?

- Would the quality be better if I export the film to a SD format in FCP, or is it generally better to let Toast 11 Titanium to do the encoding from HD to SD?

- How can I preview the DVD quality? "Disc" -> "Preview Disc" is not highlighted or active, and I am waisting a lot of DVD blanks and time.


Thanks a lot!

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I'm surprised there is a problem with the picture quality. Maybe it has to do with Toast converting the 24 fps to 30 fps. I think it does all its encoding at 29.97 or 30 fps but you should check the final video to be sure. You can possibly enhance the quality a little more by clicking the Half-pel button in the custom encoder settings window and by setting the bit rates higher. When you set bit rates that make the size too large to fit a single-layer disc, the work flow is to choose Save as Disc Image and then burn the resulting .toast file to single-layer disc using the Fit-to-DVD feature in the Image File setting of the Disc Copy window. This "requantization" is not the same as re-encoding so the fit-to-DVD video can be better looking than an DVD encoded at a lower bit rate to begin with.


Save as Disc Image is also a way to test DVDs without burning discs. You can mount the .toast disc image by control-clicking on it in the Finder and choosing Mount It from the contextual menu, or by selecting it using the Image File setting in the Toast Copy window or choosing Mount Image File from the Toast Utilities menu. It can then be viewed using DVD Player. Be sure to view actual or normal size because your Mac's screen is much bigger than the resolution of a video DVD. I think you also can view the .m2v file in the Roxio Converted Items folder using Roxio Video Player or VLC but it won't have any audio.


As for export settings from FCP I would choose to export at standard definition rather than have Toast's MPEG encoder downscale the resolution. For best results I choose the following:


DVCPro50 NTSC (presuming you want a NTSC DVD)

Scan Mode - Progressive

Aspect Ratio - 16:9

Frame Rate - 29.97 fps

Compressor quality - High

Audio Rate - 48,000 kHz

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