Like lots of people here, I've done a lot of trial and error trying to figure out the best way to make a Blu-Ray and burn to standard DVD media. And like many others have discovered, the results have often been less than satisfactory. Either the video encoding done by Toast has not been good enough quality, or problems arise when Toast muxes encoded video to produce blocky artifacts, which is unacceptable.
Using some ideas from Apple's Final Cut Pro forum (see this thread here: http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?t...&tstart=15), I think I have come up with a workflow to author a Blu-Ray such that the disc is formatted by Toast, but the audio and video assets are all handled by tools contained in Final Cut Studio.
Basically, you create a "dummy" HD DVD in DVD Studio Pro, and then use the resulting video file as your source material in a Blu-Ray authored in Toast, without Toast needing to re-encode or even mux the video:
1. Prepare the source material:
Either demux your original MPEG2 material to m2v & AC3 (by using MPEG Streamclip), OR use Compressor to encode. If you are encoding with Compressor, use HD DVD H.264 or MPEG-2 presets as a starting point. If you're creating a Blu-Ray on standard DVD media, the MPEG2 bitrate average should not go higher than 15 Mbps.
2. Build a bogus intermediate HD DVD:
- Start a new DVD Studio Pro project. Under General > DVD Standard, choose "HD DVD"
- Import encoded assets created in step 1.
- Add them to a track; add chapters, if necessary
- Don't bother with menus or anything else since it won't be used; ONLY the resulting audio/video contents will be used later.
- Build the DVD
3. Extract the muxed file from the dummy HD DVD created in step 2:
- In the HVDVD_TS folder created in step 2, find the largest file with .EVO extension; drag that out and save it for later.
- Rename this file "00001.m2ts"
4. Build a bogus intermediate Blu-Ray in Toast:
- Under the Video tab, select "Blu-ray Video"
- Under Options, select Encoding: Custom > More
- Name the disc, create menus (or not) as desired.
- Under the Encoding tab, below Video, set Reencoding to "Never". Click OK.
- Drag in the original m2v and AC3 files created in step 1.
- Save as Disc Image. Format: DVD
Toast will now build the disc, muxing but not re-encoding the source material. Note that Toast produces blocky artifacts in the muxing process, making the resulting video unusable.
Modify the BDMV folder:
5. Mount the disc image created in step 4. Open the disc and drag the "BDMV" folder to make a copy onto your hard drive.
6. Open the copied BDMV folder and find the STREAM folder inside. Now drag the 00001.m2ts file (created in step 3) into the STREAM folder to replace the existing m2ts file that was created by Toast. You will need to authenticate this by entering your computer's admin password (just like when you install software).
Make the final Blu-Ray disc image:
7. In Toast, select the Video tab > BDMV Folder. Drag the modified BDMV folder (with the replaced 00001.m2ts file inside) into Toast and save as a new disc image, or burn.
The final result is a Blu-Ray disc that was formatted by Toast, but uses assets encoded and prepared by tools included with Final Cut Studio. This also allows you to use 5.1 channel surround AC3 audio files that Toast otherwise wouldn't accommodate.
So far I've only tried this with MPEG2, but in theory you could use Compressor to encode to H.264 as well. I still need to test more.