: iDVD vs Studio Pro Encoding?

Apr 7th, 2005, 04:17 PM
Is there any difference between iDVD's quality and Studio Pro's when producing a DVD? Not the menus/options, but the actual quality of the video you see on a TV when it's all said and done? Assuming the "best" option is used in iDVD.

It seems like they both use MPEG2. I have to make a master DVD and then replicate a few hundred of them, the DVDs I've done in iDVD seem to look fine, but if there's a big quality difference with Studio Pro then I'll use that. Nothing fancy, iDVD works, I just want the best possible video quality.

Thanks, full-on tech question...

Apr 7th, 2005, 04:30 PM
http://dvd.kentidwell.com/?page_id=23 says, "iDVD 4 & 5 now use the same encoding technology used in Compressor 1.2 and DVD Studio Pro 2.0.5…the same codec as Apple’s professional video utility, ‘Compressor’." So it sounds like it's the same. Pretty cool if it is.

Apr 7th, 2005, 11:40 PM
It is the same engine - but with less control than the pro stuff.
Overall compressor is okay but for better results Sorenson Squeeze does a nice job.

Apr 8th, 2005, 01:41 PM
The big advantage for Apples 'Compressor' is that it will encode right off the Final Cut Pro timeline. This means that all effects, titles, transitions, stills (ie. Ken Burns) don't have to be rendered to the DV codec first. Copmpressor also recognises compression markers which makes a big difference on fades. This is what gives it the best possible picture. If you are encoding from iMovie or another editor that requires an export to dv first then there probably is not a huge difference.

Apr 8th, 2005, 02:31 PM
Thanks for the additional info--I have "full-res" .mov files, +/-4G for 16 minutes, I'm just creating a simple menus to navigate to three of these files along with some photos and such. Each file is a "stand alone" piece of video. Each was originally done in FCP or Media 2000(?), but there aren't chapter markers and such.

So, would encoding it in Sorenson or DVD studio pro make these files look better on the TV? I also a dvcam master of each piece of video so I could re-import it to FCP if that would make a difference to what people will see on their TV.

Thanks, I realize this is an area of serious technoschizzle...

Apr 8th, 2005, 03:25 PM
From my experience, we have shot using our pd170 dvcam mode and not, and also encoded using various formats and I think that it is really tough for the editor to notice a difference for many of the methods. With that being said, on a normal tv, I really don't think the audience will see anything different.

Apr 8th, 2005, 08:58 PM
I recently encoded some DV reimports in FCP / Compressor. In this case I manually set compression markers at each fade in / out point and noticed a huge difference. MPEG s hardest jod is encode fade in / outs. Try it the easy way first and if you don't notice any blockiness especially at fade and transitions then you are probably ok. If you wnat maximum uberquality then go the pro route. I think you can set compression markers in Compressor but it is easier within FCP.

Apr 8th, 2005, 11:04 PM
Another thing to consider is using a.pack to encode the audio to ac3 (this app is included with DVDSP).

iDVD still uses uncompressed audio (PCM) so by encoding the audio with a.pack this gives you more bitrate for your video.