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DVDit Pro HD success stories


SS Scott

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I have heard some pretty interesting stories from the field:

 

- DVDit Pro HD being used by a large audio/visual company is using the software to create HD presentations to as many as 700 employees at a time

- a major TV network using the software for HD dailies.

 

So, inquiring minds want to know...

 

What are you using DVDit Pro HD for?

Where is the initial video coming from?

What is your workflow?

What are you using to watch your Blu-ray Discs?

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My success with DVDit Pro can be summarized in that my latest project burned without any drama....

 

I started shooting and editing video when a VHS tape could only hold a maximum of 4 hours...and I've seen some really crappy software along the way. I've been doing videos through both of my kids and I'm now waiting the arrival of my fourth grand child...my next project.

 

Here's what works for me now. I shoot with the Sony HDR-HC1 (1440x1080i) and edit with Avid Liquid. When I was ready to burn my first Blu-ray disc, Avid was not offering any hidef burn software, so I went in search of some, tried most of them: MovieFactory, Nero Ultra, Cyberlink PowerDirector. They were all pretty much a bust. DVDit Pro was so polished compared to the rest of them, but it was almost a bust because my initial projects with it were such a trauma. My theory regarding the problem is that there is some incompatibility between the MPEG-2 output from Liquid and what DVDit Pro is expecting from it. I changed my output technique in Liquid to create what they call "fused" output. (The extension is *.m2v and the audio is separate *.wav files.) I am so ignorant about all this codec mumbo jumbo. But this technique does work.

 

With the project complete in DVDit, I can then burn blu-rays for the technically ready relatives and burn SD DVDs for the technically challenged relatives. My equipment is the LiteOn LH-2B1S SATA burner and the Panasonic BD10 player. I just purchased a Samsung 1080P LCD panel and the pictures are excellent.

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Last month my employer, DC-based independent filmmaker Steve York, carried a Samsung P1200 and a BD-RE to Ukraine for a theatrical showing of his feature-length documentary "Orange Revolution" (www.orangerevolutionmovie.com). It was a great success.

 

The workflow to get to that point was:

 

-- edit on Avid Adrenaline system in HD (1920 x 1080 59.94)

-- export the video from the Avid as a Quicktime Movie (using an Avid dnxHD codec)

-- export the 5.1 surround tracks from the Avid as 6 AIFF files (the post for that was done at outside facilities)

-- transcode the AIFFs to a Dolby Digital 5.1 ac3 file using Apple Compressor

-- import the 5.1 ac3 audio file and the Quicktime video file into DVDitPro HD

-- prepare a simple menu, and make sure there was five seconds of black before first frame of picture, so that the projectionist could switch to the program without the audience seeing a menu screen

-- burn to disc using DVDitPro HD transcoding preset of "High Quality VBR"

 

Blu-ray was the obvious format choice for the showing in Ukraine, because rental of an HD tape deck in that country would have been prohibitively expensive. Any other tape format would have been a sorry compromise compared to the quality of blu-ray.

 

The picture was 1080i/59.94 component video output of the Samsung and into a video projector. Even though Ukraine is a PAL/Secam country, most video projectors these days will accept either PAL or NTSC frame rates, so the NTSC Samsung P1200 that Steve brought from the States worked fine in that application. The Samsung decoded the ac3 data internally, and so 5.1 sound came directlyl out of the multichannel outputs on the back of that machine and into the theater's sound playback system.

 

The only 'wishlist' item we had for DVDitPro HD was that we could have used 6 channels of PCM audio instead of a Dolby 5.1 ac3 file. I understand that a 6-channel PCM soundtrack is part of the blu-ray spec, but DVDitPro can't handle that at the moment. Still, the ac3 sounded very very good (much better than an Lt/Rt would have sounded after decoding).

 

Some more technical background on what we did is available in the blog:

http://blog.myspace.com/steveyorkorangerevolution

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I have had among the simplist of experiences. I also shoot with the Sony HDR-HC1 for my family history and travel projects. I edit in PremierePro2.0 with the Cineform Aspect HD 4.x plug-in on a dual core XP machine. Cineform makes an intermediate file thats 3X native HDV but vastly easier for real-time editing, including full res HDTV out monitor with a Matrox Parhelia APVe card [note: the full res monitor feature is completely broken by Vista!].

 

My Sony BWU-100a drive came last August with Cyberlink PowerProducer for Blu-Ray, but its simplified [no menu] BDAV projects would not and still do not play on my updated Sony BDP-S1 player. DVDit Pro HD worked great from the day I downloaded it (March 15th). I just let PPro/Cineform output a full res 1080x1440 avi file and let DVDit encode it. For the earlier projects that I had archived as .m2t files (constant 25mBits/sec) I had better results over scene changes by converting it back to an .avi with Cineform HD link, then proceeding as above. I have also put short projects on red laser DVDs. Just keep the bit rate down. I use VariableBitRate with average=20, min=8 and max=25 and see no loss of quality.

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What are you using DVDit Pro HD for?
To (try to) create Blu-ray discs

 

Where is the initial video coming from?
depends on the project, some projects are home videos coming from a Sony HC5 (used to have HC3 until it died). My big project I'm trying to do is a mix of HD and SD with SD coming from VHS, Internet, and Digital TV and HD coming from BBCHD terrestrial trial, US HD DVR's

 

All my projects are personal use, not commercial

What is your workflow?

I edit HDV in premiere pro 2 and export BD legal files from there

for my main project I have tried letting DVDit encode the files, I have tried Premiere as well as pro coder, all these files were originally edited in Premiere Pro

 

What are you using to watch your Blu-ray Discs?
I have a BWU-100A and PowerDVD Ultra with my PC hooked up to my TV with HDCP gfx card and DVI to HDMI cable, I also test them in my brothers PS3, I don;t know anyone else who has anything to do with HD
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This isn't a success story yet- because it's in the works, almost done.

 

Anyhow. I was approached by a local opal miner from Cooper Pedy. Has anyone heard of Cooper Pedy? It's a mining town in outback South Australia. Anyhow,

 

This guy is a broker of opals and he is getting me to do a DVD and Blu Ray of him filming/promoting this opal for sale, with in depth description (voiceovers) of how the opal was found and it's history. There is some great HD video of the opal (and all it's glorious colours) spinnning on a glass mirror.

 

This disc will be sent to some interested parties in Japan. The price tag is about three times the value of my house!!!!

 

So if it sells, it could be one of the most successfull BluRay's ever produced. I wouldn't mind a 10% cut, what'dya reakon?

 

Maybe I'll be able to put the vid up on YouTube soon.

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What are you using DVDit Pro HD for?

 

Eventually archiving HDV videos of family events (carefully edited) for past 2 1/2 years - vacations, major holidays, birthdays, school events - average of 6 hours of edited video/year. I am still waiting until the end of this year after the second generation of Blu-ray players is released from Sony, Panasonic and Pioneer to see if DVDit Pro HD discs will play on these machines or if futher updates to the software (like the PS3 patch) will be necessary

 

 

Where is the initial video coming from?

Sony FX1 and Sony V1 - eventually Sony XDCAM-EX - due in November

 

What is your workflow?

 

Edited in Grass Valley/Canopus Edius Pro 4.24 using Canopus HQ Codec - reencoded to .m2t using Canopus Speed Encoder for HDV (almost realtime on my machine) then reencoding with Sorenson Squeeze 4.5 to .m2v (elementary stream) - (Canopus Procoder 3 takes about twice as long to reencode from HQ avi to .m2v)

 

What are you using to watch your Blu-ray Discs?

 

Sony PS 3 (firmware update 1.8), Sony BDPS-1(firmware update 1.55), Sony BWU-100A and Cyberlink Power DVD Ultra on the computer

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I have heard some pretty interesting stories from the field:

 

- DVDit Pro HD being used by a large audio/visual company is using the software to create HD presentations to as many as 700 employees at a time

- a major TV network using the software for HD dailies.

 

So, inquiring minds want to know...

 

What are you using DVDit Pro HD for?

Where is the initial video coming from?

What is your workflow?

What are you using to watch your Blu-ray Discs?

 

I have 3 years of MiniDV family videos that I want to capture to DVD in quality that approaches the original DV AVI. After VHS, I used a Sony TRV25 camcoder, and now use a Panasonic GS500 with native widescreen. Although I have HD TV's, playback compatibility and cost of discs were the main factors in staying with an SD camera format over HD.

 

Began using Sony RDR HX 900 for video transfers in 2004, but lack of easy chaptering and a way to display dates on the video made me look for a software alternative. I used the lesser grade Sonic products, but found the best transfer quality available average at best, so I tried DVDit Pro.

 

After initial compatability problems with DVDit Pro, I switched to DVDit Pro HD. I have experimented with many conversion bit rates, and found 9000 cbr with 384 sound compression to work exceptionally well with 1 hour source material to 1 hour DVD, using the MPEG2 decoder in DVDitProHD. Rendering takes about an hour, which is certainly a plus. Verbatim discs at 2.4 copy speed are used. I've had no playback problems with stand-alone DVD players, and my Sony RDR HX 900 produces near AVI quality playback. I would think future HD players would have no problem with the higher bitrates as well, since HD uses as much as 5 times the rate I'm using.

 

I enter the video dates using the subtitle fuction, and chaptering is easy. When I get the backlog of 30 DVD's done, I will begin to experiment with the other cool functions of the program.

 

Although this community is 99% semi-pro, I think there are a lot of people looking for a way to improve the quality of their home video DV copies to DVD, and this product offers an affordable solution, while offering the opportunity to migrate to HD in the future.

 

And Scott, thanks again for the help in getting over the initial hurdles. Mike C.

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you do know you can "down res" HDTV on your PC to DVD don't you?

that way you still have HD for yourself and the future but for the time being you can export as SD too for people without it?

 

All my HD stuff is HD on my PC (would be on Blu-ray if DVDit Pro HD worked on my last 2 PC's!) and on SD DVD for my family who don't even know what HD is (it's not as big or well known in the UK yet as it is in the US as you've had it for years)

 

No, I wasn't aware of it. Is there a loss of quality on the SD side? I was blown away by the picture quality of the Panasonic, and the HD camera's were just coming out, about $600 more.

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Although I have HD TV's, playback compatibility and cost of discs were the main factors in staying with an SD camera format over HD.
you do know you can "down res" HDTV on your PC to DVD don't you?

that way you still have HD for yourself and the future but for the time being you can export as SD too for people without it?

 

All my HD stuff is HD on my PC (would be on Blu-ray if DVDit Pro HD worked on my last 2 PC's!) and on SD DVD for my family who don't even know what HD is (it's not as big or well known in the UK yet as it is in the US as you've had it for years)

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