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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » DVD solutions (learned a hard lesson) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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rossmacrae
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I've never been shy about giving advice here - including responding to questions about DVDs. See, I publish original DVDs, including 3 titles (well, 2 soon to be 3) for magicians. So I know it all, right? And my advice hereunto, responding to "How can I make DVDs?", was "get decent software, not this amateur stuff."

Well I've always had trouble with an unacceptable level of defective copies. I figured, "well, DVD-R is a touchy format, I dunno which of 1000 problems it might be - replace defective ones without question as customers complain and write it off as a cost of doing business." All very well, until this week I made over a dozen copies and not one of 'em worked. AAAAAARGH!

So I tried everything - slower burning speed, clean the DVD drive, debug the computer, refresh the software. And (here's the rub) I use VERY high-end software (Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Encore).

So I bought a new DVD drive at CompUSa - quite a bargain, Norwood external USB drive for $99 on sale $20 off and rebate of $30 on top of that. It does more than the drive that came installed in my Gateway computer 3 years ago (burns at 16x instead of just 2x). STILL problems (not as bad, but still unsaleable).

So I did two things: abandoned my 100-pack of cheap CompUSA-brand DVD-R blanks and found a stack of Fujifilm ones in the closet, and installed the NERO Express burning software that came free with the drive. Perfect copies, and I attribute it to 2 things: NAME BRAND disks, and ... well, the Gods of Software smiled on me. See, the NERO software also can be set to verify the data written to the disk - you'll catch any defects before you're done. I still have to limit the write speed to 8x, but I can compute while it's burning copies (couldn't do that with $2000 of Adobe software without lots of errors).

I'm not abandoning Adobe for editing and DVD mastering, but for burning ... now I'm using a toy piano instead of a Steinway, and I'm happy.
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Ross
Arn't you trying to perform a job that should be left to professionals?
Al Angello
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
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KenW
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Ross, The problem is in the DVD. I got a tip from a recording pro in hollywood. Thrst me on this one..this dude knows his stuff.
Try gettin DVD-R Media from a company known as TAIYO UDEN these have a great success rate and are used by the big guys.
Try it...you will see the difference and Adobe Premier will love them!

It's all in the "what are you laying it down on" world when it comes to production.
Hope that helps.
KW.
PS: You can get these at at good price from: http://www.QTCCDR.COM
rossmacrae
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Quote:
On 2006-10-20 19:00, Al Angello wrote:
Ross
Arn't you trying to perform a job that should be left to professionals?
Al Angello

DVD-R is the industry standard for releasing DVDs in quantities under 1000.

I'm thinking of having my better-selling titles pressed instead of burned, but it's a BIG nut, and besides I wouldn't lay down that kind of cash w/o being able to produce one guaranteed-perfect copy for them to master from.
rossmacrae
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Quote:
On 2006-10-20 19:06, KenW wrote:
Try gettin DVD-R Media from a company known as TAIYO UDEN these have a great success rate and are used by the big guys. You can get these at at good price from: http://www.QTCCDR.COM

I saw you recommend them before, and (apologies) I immediately thought "probably more expensive than I need." Then I looked at your link, and was very surprised - I'm placing an order tonight!

Thanks!
ScottRSullivan
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Several items contribute to the "success" of a burnt DVD. I'll try and cover what I know from years of doing it as my profession and main source of income. First the easy ones, then the more involved ones:

1) Brand is important - as you found out. I have tried many over the years, trying to improve my 'coaster' ratio and now stick with only three brands, Fuji, TDK and Memorex. I stay away from Sony even.

2) Burn speed - often, newer players can compensate for data errors on a disc but older ones cannot. This is why sometimes it will play in one but not the other. So I burn ALL my discs at 4x and below. Important ones, like masters being sent out, are burned at SINGLE speed!!! Also (and I'll touch on this in a point below, too) don't do anything else on your computer.... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

3) DATA rate - this is determined when you author the DVD. It's the equivilant of SP, LP and EP with VHS. The higher the data rate, the better your picture will look, but some DVD players will choke at higher rates. I tend to stick around the 4-5 Mbps. Max is 9, I've NEVER gone that high except as an experiement - which failed.

4) Memory - add more RAM to your computer. I've got 2 Gigs of RAM on all my machines. DVD burning and authoring is a MAJOR task, it's not like writing an email. We're talking about huge files and sometimes files that actually are larger than the amount of memory you have. If you run out of memory, your hard drive becomes a scratch disc and uses 'virtual memory' - your hard drive. BAD.

5) Make sure you have a FAST hard drive - most consumer computers have hard drives that spin at 5400 rpms. Not fast enough. You need ones that spin at 7200 rpm. This is the standard in the video industry as a MINIMUM. In fact, the best alternative, which I do, is TWO hard drives. One for your operating system and program files, one for your media files. If your computer has to have the same hard drive access the same drive in two locations for two reasons, you can expect errors. I have an external Firewire-800 (a higher end firewire, twice as fast as the consumer Firewire-400 on most computers) connected to an external 160 Gigabyte hard drive (yes, 7200 rmp) for all my video files, which are all D1 (720 x 480) or higher (720p High Definition files).

6) As I hinted above, only do one thing - burn. Even with my super fast equipment, when I burn a DVD, that's ALL my computer is doing. I shut down all other programs. One little hiccup and it's a wasted disc. I don't take chances.

7) I've said this on other threads, but it bears repeating: under NO circumstances should you EVER place labels on your DVD. It will take a properly burnt DVD and render it unplayable in some players. They tend to unbalance the DVD (which is spinning very fast inside the player). There are other problems as well, but just stay away from labels. If you want to print on the top of the DVD, invest in an ink jet printer than can print directly on the disc, then purchase pirintable DVDs. They are not that much more than normal ones and cost about the same, if not less than if you bought labels too.

Hope that sheds a little light on things. Encore is a good program. I used to use it years ago before switching over the Mac to use Final Cut Studio (DVD Studio Pro is bundled with FCS).

Good luck,
Scott

P.S.
When all else fails, you can always do what Al hinted at: get a professional to do it. They know what their doing. Hey, wait, I'm a professional. *grin*
rossmacrae
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Gosh-DARN, ScottRSullivan - that's awesome help, thanks a million!

I never woulda thought to get this kind of detail anywhere but over at CreativeCow (seen their forums/magazine/tutorials?)
ScottRSullivan
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I frequent there quite often. It's a good site. They have some great information buried there. I'm also a subscriber to their new magazine, and waiting for the next issue... should be a good one.

Good luck with your DVDs!
Scott
icentertainment
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The DVD media is very important

as in the drive- I use a $300 dvd burner (300 Aus) and it always works- I havn't had a problem as yet in 7 months)

You can buy DVD's over here called masters- they are the ones professional companies use when they have to duplicate- they are a 4% bad DVD
magic4u02
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When it comes to DVD production and informatuion there is no one I would rather turn to then Scott. He knowledge is amazing and his work speaks for itself. He is always willing to help anyone with questions and I think that it worth its weight in gold. Thank you Scott.

Kyle
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http://kpmagicproducts.com

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James Munton
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Ross,

I use http://www.customflix.com

Excellent quality and customer service with full color printing on the dvd and packaging. No need to spend hours doing this stuff yourself. And with customflix.com you can have them ship out the orders directly (even one unit at a time). It costs you an extra couple of bucks per disk, but well worth the time saving.

They'll even put your disk on Amazon.com for free!

Best,
James
jamesbond
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I agree with ross... honestly how much money do you save on these discs doing it yourself??? if you go to the right production house you will have everything done for under $2 incl. shrink wrap... think like the big guys... your profit is not in saving the measly $1-$2 per disc but YOUR EFFECTIVE ALLOCATION OF YOUR TIME - you are getting frustrated instead of putting together a new DVD that would be most probably far better investment of your time... think about it. SUBCONTRACT BABY LET THE PROS WORRY ABOUT THIS... just my 2 cents...

bond james bond
Aaron Isaacs
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Can someone explain the difference between DVD+R and DVD-R?
this info has ben most helpful.
rossmacrae
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Nobody can explain the difference. Once you get past layers of obfuscation due to Digital Rights Management and Homeland Security, you discover that these things are made in factories deep in the mountains of Tibet and the process involved chanting and the burning of special magical herbs.

I'm told that DVD-R is accepted/read by more players (that it wasn't burned on to start with) than DVD+R.

You might want to check out the Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvd-r
rossmacrae
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AAha! I think I found it!

"(The data track on a recordable DVD) has a slight sinusoidal deviation from a perfect spiral, used to encode addressing information. The period of this sine curve corresponds to the wobble frequency. DVD-R has a constant wobble frequency, and DVD+R uses frequency modulation similar to that used by CD-R/RW. DVD+RW has a constant wobble frequency, but encodes its addressing information using phase-modulated wobble addressing."

Is that perfectly clear to everyone?

(My brain hurts.)
Aaron Isaacs
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Thanks for the answer (boy that was technical) I also found this on the net

"The truth is that the two competing technologies use different formats. No single company "owns" DVD and both technologies have their "champions".

DVD-R/RW was developed by Pioneer. Based on CD-RW technology, it uses a similar pitch of the helix, mark length of the 'burn' for data, and rotation control. DVD-R/RW is supported by the DVD Forum, an industry-wide group of hardware and software developers, and computer peripheral manufacturers. The DVD-R format has been standardized in ECMA-279 by the Forum, but this is a private standard, not an 'industry' ISO standard like the CD-R/RW Red Book or Orange Book standard.

DVD+R/RW is also based on CD-RW technology. DVD+R/RW is supported by Sony, Philips, HP, Dell, Ricoh, Yamaha, and others, and has recently been endorsed by Microsoft. DVD+R/RW is not supported by the DVD Forum, but the Forum has no power to set industry standards, so it becomes a market-driven issue.

Technical Answer

DVD+R is a dvd disc that allows multiple layers for one disc where as dvd-r only allows one layer. They will not compete to become the de Facto standard, because they are both here to stay. Multi layer DVD+R can allow extra capacity per disc than DVD-R hence its high cost!"
Starrpower
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Just to break up this technobabble, I've seen Ross' dvd with the old sideshow and carnival footage and it's very cool. What's that one called, Ross?
Futureal
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All I can say is that I always feel ripped off when I buy a magic DVD and then see it's been burnt at home, ie it's not a professionally made silver disc but a green/blue home made one.
rossmacrae
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Quote:
I've seen Ross' dvd with the old sideshow and carnival footage and it's very cool. What's that one called, Ross?

That's THE CARNIVAL'S BEEN AND GONE and you can see a 4-minute preview (and get a great price) at http://www.goodmagic.com/websales

Quote:
On 2006-12-03 20:17, Futureal wrote:
All I can say is that I always feel ripped off when I buy a magic DVD and then see it's been burnt at home, ie it's not a professionally made silver disc but a green/blue home made one.

Sorry you feel that way, but just 'cause it's a burned disc doesn't mean it's homemade - even the companies mentioned above burn DVDs in runs under 500 or 1000, and make glass masters for pressing DVDs in runs of 1000+. In addition, I can't say what "CompUSA $39.99 specials" anybody else is using to edit and master their multimedia projects, but I use the (list price over $2000) state-of-the-art Adobe Premiere Pro / After Effects / Encore / Audition. Might as well go with what Hollywood uses (OK, half of Hollywood uses Avid Final Cut, but the other half uses Adobe Premiere Pro.)

In the interest uf full disclosure, I did find that my once-powerhouse-now-aging computer was burning discs with a high defect rate, but the advice above (and a stand-alone burner) helped me solve the problem.

So don't judge a book by its cover or a DVD by its dye layer - "look within, grasshopper..."
Andy the cardician
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I was told that the quality of a home-made DVD differs to that of a professional printed one - especially when it comes to durability.
Cards never lie
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