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Fisheye

Toast Dvd Quality Vs. Idvd -- Hd Footage

Question

Hello all,

 

I am brand new to Toast (Just purchased 11Pro about 3 days ago, never owned a previous version) and fairly new to movie-making in general, so I have what will probably prove to be some simple questions. Here's my "problem:"

 

I edit in Final Cut Express. I have an 80 minute documentary. The settings for this sequence are:

 

Vid Rate - 29.97 fps

Frame Size - 1440 x 1080

Compressor - Apple Int. Codec

 

Pixel Aspect - HD (1440x1080)

 

The audio files in the sequence are 48 khz and 16 bit.

 

All footage is HDV 1080i from a Sony HVR-A1U

 

I exported the 80 minute movie as a quicktime movie (NO conversion), self-contained, and the resulting MOV file (58 GB) plays and looks great on several computers.

 

I then wanted to get the movie onto DVD and went with iDVD. I understand and am aware that DVDs are SD, so there will be some video quality drop-off, but I was quite disappointed in the resulting DVD. It looks like, played on a HD TV via a standard DVD player, almost like it was shot on a $99 camcorder. Because I am also interested in possibly putting this movie onto Blu-ray, I began looking into Toast and the sales rep. said the resulting DVD would be better than what I experienced with iDVD. Well, he was wrong, for now. I just finished making a DVD of this movie on Toast 11 Pro and the quality is about the same, perhaps slightly better, than the iDVD-made DVD -- but it still looks like a cheap camcorder. The Toast settings I used were "Best." I left everything else on default. What am I doing wrong? I am surprised I have had nearly the same results with both iDVD and Toast, and am wondering if the drop-off in quality from HD to SD is just what I should expect . . . but I have read online that with Toast one could make a very good quality DVD. I understand " video quality" can be subjective, so my descriptions don't help much. So, please allow me to conclude by asking: What Toast settings are best for turning a MOV file from the above FCE sequence into the best possible DVD?

 

Thank you so much for your time and helping this "newbie!"

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5 answers to this question

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It's probably what you should expect when HD video is converted to SD. There are a couple things to try to make it better. One is to go to Toast custom encoder settings window and adjust the bit rates and turn on Half Pel. The window is accessed by clicking the Customize... button, then clicking the Encoding tab in the window that appears and then clicking Custom. Don't set the average bit rate more than 7 or the maximum more than 8.5. When you are done with that choose Save as Disc Image (File menu) rather than clicking the burn button. This is in case the bit rate settings are too high for it to fit a single-layer DVD. When the disc image is done select the resulting .toast file using the Image File setting in the Copy window and click the burn button. Toast's Fit-to-DVD function will operate if the disc image is too big for a single-layer disc. That should get you the best-quality from the video you exported from FCE.

 

Another approach is to have FCE convert the video to standard definition so Toast isn't doing that. In the QuickTime Movie export go to the window where you can customize your QuickTime settings. In Video Settings choose DVCPRO50 (or 25 if hard drive space is limited), set the scan mode to Progressive and the aspect ratio to 16:9. In the Video Size window choose NTSC 720x480 16:9. Now export that video to add to Toast.

 

If you want to save some time and do this just to test the result, simply have Toast make a DVD of about 5 minutes of the video. You can use Toast's editor to select any portion of the video you want.

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Thank you for the response, tsantee.

 

I tried your first suggestion and the resulting DVD was of slightly better quality, but not much better. Thank you for helping with the Toast settings

 

Your second suggestion I tried -- partially. I went to export the 80 minute sequence with the customization you described, and it was going to be a 4 hour export. Not having that time right now, I exported about 5 minutes of the 80-minute movie with those customizations in FCE , and then put that in Toast. The 5 minute DVD was the best quality so far! My next question is, should it change if I export the entire 80 minute sequence with the customization/compression in FCE that you described . . . that is, will 80 minutes instead of 5 minutes mess things up? Could it push it over to a dual-layer DVD? I wouldn't think the change in time should matter, but this entire process has been full of surprises for me, the novice.

 

Thank you very much for your help!

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The quality will be the same for the 80-minute movie. If the DVD you created with the custom Toast settings already fit a single-layer DVD then just keep those settings. If it was a little too large then move the average bit rate down a little.

 

I was helping my brother with a project when I discovered that QuickTime export setting combination. By choosing progressive rather than interlaced it removed the shimmering around high-contrast areas such as chrome on cars or wire fences. I'm glad it is making your SD video look better.

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Just to add to this in case someone else stumbles upon this thread . . . . the brand of DVD-R makes a difference! I switched to Verbatim and it made a big difference. I use the suggestion of tsantee above with the custom Toast settings of avg. bit rate 7 and max bit rate 8.5 with half-PEL turned on, with Verbatim DVDs, and the movie looks pretty good -- I'd like it to be a little better quality, but keeping in mind the drop-off from shooting in HD and making DVDs, it's pretty good. But those customized settings didn't make the movie look near as good with other brands of DVDs. Just FYI . . . .

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...One is to go to Toast custom encoder settings window and adjust the bit rates and turn on Half Pel. The window is accessed by clicking the Customize... button, then clicking the Encoding tab in the window that appears and then clicking Custom. Don't set the average bit rate more than 7 or the maximum more than 8.5. ...

 

Another approach is to have FCE convert the video to standard definition so Toast isn't doing that. ...

I know this is old, but I have a question.

 

1. I set avrg. bitrate to 8 and max to 8 andd the file resulted in an avrg. bitrate of 3mbit/s. I guess Toast decided, that there is nothing gained form a higher bitrate, since the source was already not good quality. Does it matter, if I set the average to 7 or 8?

 

2. would FCE only rezise (lower the definition) or did you meant to let FCE also convert to mpeg2 and Toast wouldn't have to re-encode?

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