9 Replies Latest reply on Oct 31, 2008 10:32 AM by (tom_nickel)

    Recommended DVD format for distribution?

      Hello all!

      I am just finishing my training/lessons video, created
      in Elements 3.

      Now, I am deciding how to make copies of my project
      for the sake of distribution.

      I anticipate a "small" quantity (less than 100) so Id like
      to burn the DVD's with my home computer.

      My project actually came in at 1 hour 25 minutes, so if I
      write to a "standard" DVD, Premiere will do some compression
      which may be good enough for a training video.

      At any rate, does anyone have an idea of what format DVD will
      be the most compatible with the most peoples DVD players?

      Im considering DVD-R, DVD+R, and DL (Dual Layer).

      (PS: Ive checked with DiskMakers and their "short-runs" are
      made with a replicator, so my query would still stand if I
      farmed-out the project to them.)

      Thanks so much!

      --Tom Nickel
        • 1. Re: Recommended DVD format for distribution?
          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional
          It's not the format you need to worry about.

          It's two things: one within your control and one outside your control

          The thing outside your control is how well the DVD players read home-burned DVDs. Virtually all new DVD players will do it. Some older ones -- especially Pioneers and Sony -- may not.

          The thing within your control is the quality of the media itself. Verbatim disks offer great quality at a great price. Other brands -- and Memorex in particular -- can offer inconsistent quality which can mean less likelihood of readibility on a borderline compatible DVD player.

          And, though using Verbatims still won't guarantee 100% of the players will play your home-burneds, it can certainly put the odds on your favor.
          • 2. Re: Recommended DVD format for distribution?
            Level 1
            Thank you for the prompt reply, Steve.

            I did not know that!

            I was considering purchasing DVD's in bulk from the WEB.

            There must be dozens of suppliers that sell DVD's by the spindle
            for relatively low prices.

            Such as: "600 Taiyo Yuden 4.7GB 8x DVD-R Silver Thermal in cake box
            for $156.00" (that's $0.26 each)

            Sounds like a deal, but not if they don't work :-)

            Would you suggest that I stick to a name-brand such as Verbatim
            regardless of cost?

            Thanks again!

            --Tom Nickel
            • 3. Re: Recommended DVD format for distribution?
              the_wine_snob Level 9
              Tom,

              The Taiyo Yuden is a very good brand, as is the Verbatim. These are the two most often recommend ones. I use 100% TY's for DVD-5s and Verbatin for DVD-9s.

              As Steve points out, no DVD-player is certified to play
              b ANY
              burned disc. Most do, some just will not. That said, the -R is the more "universal" model, though some set-tops seem to prefer +R. Go figure!

              Two things that can also contribute to smooth play are a slower burn rate and the bit-rate. Though there is debate on the bit-rate, a somewhat general consensus is 7 as the best number. This is often just below the "Max" bit-rate that a lot of programs set. As I have not used my PE4 for actually Burning, I'm not sure if the bit-rate can be set numerically, or if only by "Quality" slider. I also do not know how PE reports the real bit-rate. Replicated DVD's are set to a max combined (Video & Audio) to 10. Most apps. use 8 as their highest quality setting. However many do not accurately factor both the Video & Audio and depending on the source files, you may get spikes up to and maybe above 10. Remember that 10 ceiling is for "replicated" DVD's, not burned ones. The quality difference between 7 and 10 is not something that 99.9% of the viewer could even pick out.

              Burn-rate is something that you may have to address outside PE3. It will (IIRC) choose the fastest burn-rate of the burner AND the media. I try for a burn rate of ~4x. What this means is that if you use PE3 for the burning, you will want to buy slower media. Then, there is still your burner. You might try one of the 8x in your burner, and see what PE3 chooses. Remember, it will go for the highest that it can.

              Another way to address this burn-rate issues is to use a 3rd party app, like the free ImgBurn, where you can set the burn-rate down near 4x.

              There is also another benefit from doing the burning outside your NLE. It's usually faster to Burn to Folder from the NLE and then use that file to actually Burn the DVD's via ImgBurn, Nero, Gear, etc.. Also, most of these 3rd party apps can burn to multiple burners at the same time. Each is a tad different in how you do this, but each that I mentioned will do it. With 100+/- discs, it might pay to purchase an additional burner, so you can do two at once. ImgBurn is free, the others are not.

              I know that these are a lot of considerations for something that seems so simple - burning DVD's. However, considering them will keep your return rate as low as is possible and that's what you want. Do not be tempted to save a moment in the Burn phase, by kicking the burn-rate to the max. The time you possibly save will be offset if you have to replace just one disc.

              Remember, no set-top player
              b HAS
              to play burned DVD's. Most do, but some just will not, regardless of your media, your bit-rate or your burn-rate.

              Hunt
              • 4. Re: Recommended DVD format for distribution?
                Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional
                I agree with Hunt. Taiyo Yudens are also excellent.
                • 5. Re: Recommended DVD format for distribution?
                  Ed.Macke Level 3
                  Taiyo Yuden are considered by many to be the best recordable DVDs you can buy. If you're interested, research via Google...

                  The only thing you really need to watch out for is whether you're getting genuine Taiyo Yuden media (watch out for fakes).

                  Well, another thing is that TY seemingly makes about a gazillion different variations, so for the first-time buyer it can be a bit hard to figure out exactly what you need.

                  For instance, your post said you were looking at "silver thermal"... I believe that's shorthand for DVDs that can be printed on via high-end thermal printers. You probably don't need that, although it doesn't hurt, either.

                  Here's what I always remember to look for with Taiyo Yuden:

                  * Value line vs. Premium line. They have two product lines, "value" and "premium". I have no idea what the difference is, although I always get the premium because it's usually only a few cents per DVD more, and I *assume* that "Value Line" would mean it's something less than the premium??? Although, I've never seen/heard complains about the Value line, so it could just be cosmetic. In any event, I mention this just so you're aware that if you're comparison shopping, you could be comparing prices of one site's Value media with another site's Premium media... in some cases "Value Line" is specifically mentioned in the description, but in other cases it's like pulling teeth to figure it out.

                  * DVD-R. For some reason, seems to be easier to find this format than DVD+R, so that's what I get. Avoid DVD+RW, DVD-RW, or dual layer since you'll run into compatibility problems with off-the-shelf DVD players.

                  * Cake box is desirable (this is the spindle and cover you normally see in the stores). TY also sells "wrapped in tape"... same media, but you get 100 DVDs wrapped only in cellophane - after you open it, you've a stack of 100 loose DVDs waiting to be knocked over! I've taken to just keeping my old cake boxes :)

                  * A DVDs can be non-printable, printable via inkjet, or printable on a thermal printer. If printable, you can either print only up to the hub (usually labeled just "Printable"), or up to the hole in the middle ("Hub Printable"). Printable DVDs are hard to find in the store. Online, it's hard to find ones that aren't. Go figure. In any event, my printer (a cheapy HP 5160) will print directly on CD/DVD (which is VERY COOL!), so I get the "hub printable" inkjet DVDs. As far as I know, they're all equivalent except for what type of printing is possible.

                  Putting that all together, here's what I ordered last time:
                  "Taiyo Yuden Premium White Inkjet Hub Printable 8X DVD-R Media (Premium Line) in Tape Wrap (Free Ground Shipping)", mfgr. part. no. DVD-R47WPP600SK.

                  BTW, I go one step lower than Hunt and actually use a 2.4x burn rate, even though my drive and media support 8x. Slower is better, from what I've heard, and I'm in no hurry, so...

                  Within Premiere, I "burn" my DVD to a folder (manually selecting the max quality that will fit on a DVD). I then use Nero and Taiyo Yuden 8x media to burn the DVD at 2.4x.

                  Using this approach, I've had 0 defects, 0 problems.
                  • 6. Re: Recommended DVD format for distribution?
                    the_wine_snob Level 9
                    i "BTW, I go one step lower than Hunt and actually use a 2.4x burn rate, even though my drive and media support 8x. Slower is better, from what I've heard, and I'm in no hurry, so... "

                    On my LG, I use 2.4, but my Plextor only goes down to 4 with the same media. I, like you, always choose whichever is the slowest burn speed. I also purchase lower speed media, rather than the highest speeds, just so I can go slow.

                    Thanks for the TY info. I was going to go into detail (not as much as you provided), but held off.

                    I've also found that in the US, SuperMedia Store offers good prices and great service, especially on TY discs.

                    I have several empty "cake boxes" so I just buy "wrapped" and put them on the spindles. I guess it pays to do a lot of DVD's! [Grin]

                    Thanks,

                    Hunt

                    [Edit] One thing that I do recommend is to pick up a couple RW discs, and use these for initial tests. This helps keep the number of "coasters" down. Now, all of my set-tops play RW's, so I always sit down with my notepad and give the RW a good watch.
                    • 7. Re: Recommended DVD format for distribution?
                      Level 1
                      There is also a Ty-Yuden "watershield" which is supposed to be waterproof. The regular inkjet printables will smear if they get wet.
                      • 8. Re: Recommended DVD format for distribution?
                        the_wine_snob Level 9
                        These would be good if one creates "coasters!"

                        Just kidding.

                        When I use up my last batch of the "regular" inkjet TY's, I'll be going to these. That is the problem with purchasing 1K at a time.

                        Nice call,

                        Hunt
                        • 9. Re: Recommended DVD format for distribution?
                          Level 1
                          All,

                          I know it's been a while since this thread has been appended to, but I
                          just want to say "thanks" to everyone.

                          This is great information and I appreciate the thoughtful responses!

                          --Tom Nickel