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DV or MP4 for video export?


Homeinvader

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What's the better format for exporting video files for use in iDVD for DVD burning?

 

Will you be editing in iMovie?

 

If so, I would say DV. I know, I know, iMovie supports both MP4 and DV. MP4 is a smaller file size, but in my experience (and perhaps it's just some flakiness on my Mac), regardless of which project type I select when making a new project, anything imported into iMovie is converted to DV.

 

If you're converting out of Toast, then that's only one conversion start -> DV. If you use MP4, that's two conversions: Start -> MP4 -> DV.

 

The fewer the conversions, the better the retained quality.

 

But DV files run about 12 GB/hour, so you'll need hard drive space (twice the file size, at least, BTW. One for the initial conversion to DV, and then when it's imported into iMovie. The import to iMovie will just "copy" the DV file into the iMovie project, which pretty much is another DV copy.... So if you're planning a one hour DV file, that's 12 GB for the initial conversion, 12 GB for the iMovie import, meaning you'll need 24 GB free space to do this).

 

cnsayre

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Will you be editing in iMovie?

 

If so, I would say DV. I know, I know, iMovie supports both MP4 and DV. MP4 is a smaller file size, but in my experience (and perhaps it's just some flakiness on my Mac), regardless of which project type I select when making a new project, anything imported into iMovie is converted to DV.

 

If you're converting out of Toast, then that's only one conversion start -> DV. If you use MP4, that's two conversions: Start -> MP4 -> DV.

 

The fewer the conversions, the better the retained quality.

 

But DV files run about 12 GB/hour, so you'll need hard drive space (twice the file size, at least, BTW. One for the initial conversion to DV, and then when it's imported into iMovie. The import to iMovie will just "copy" the DV file into the iMovie project, which pretty much is another DV copy.... So if you're planning a one hour DV file, that's 12 GB for the initial conversion, 12 GB for the iMovie import, meaning you'll need 24 GB free space to do this).

 

cnsayre

 

Interesting, thanks.

 

What I'm doing is simply working around the Toast issue of stuttering video when burning Tivo to DVD. Burning a disc image in Toast, then extracting the video (either MP4 or DV) from that disc image so I can them drop it into iDVD and burn a clean playing DVD. So, DV is aa better format for this purpose? Disc space isn't a problem.

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If memory serves me correctly, DV is an uncompressed format, whereas MP4 is compressed. Therefore, if you go MP4, you'd be compressing your material one way to make it MP4 and then a different way to make it MPEG2 for a DVD. If you went just with DV, you'd have only one compression stage, so you should have better visual quality for your output. As CNsayre says, DV is the native format for iMovie; it will, therefore, convert anything you drop into it into DV. You can save a stage and time by going to DV directly. Subject, of course, to the correction of wiser heads than mine! :)

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If memory serves me correctly, DV is an uncompressed format, whereas MP4 is compressed.

DV is compressed, but not very much so. My sense is that DV should have better quality than MP4 but I've never compared the two. If you have the hard drive space available then go with DV. If not, go with MP4. Either is good quality.

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