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Inner circle
Arlington, Virginia
2429 Posts

Profile of rossmacrae
On 2006-12-04 00:26, Andy the cardician wrote:
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.

[*Sitting him down and speaking VERY slowly and clearly...*]

The properties of ANY burned CD or DVD differ from the properties of a pressed one, durability being one of those properties, and here's why.

Imagine a photograph ... the properties (including durability) of a camera image (or a photo print made from the negative) differ from the properties of the same picture printed on a printing press.

The camera image is a layer of impermanent dyes and binders, made into an image by a very complex process involving sophisticated organic chemistry. The image can fade or deteriorate severely over time or with exposure to the elements. And anybody can produce the content in their garage (or bedroom, but we won't get into that) even though it has to be sent out to be finished. And these types of images are considered "originals" by all, and are treasured by the public and even valued as works of art by museums.

The printed image, on the other hand, is ultimately a brute-force stamping of ink onto paper even though it may be the selfsame picture - never mind that some complex processes get the image to the paper, or that it may be the same portrait of a pretty girl as the true photo above depicted - it's still just ink and paper, though it's far more permanent.

Think of the difference between how we'd buy, care for and value an original Ansel Adams photo, and the same image on a poster.

Now let's look at CDs and DVDs.

A "burned" disc involves a layer of organic chemicals including varying mixtures of dyes (accounting for the several colors of blank discs) with the digital information literally burned into the dye layer by a laser, one at a time. The most severe hazards affecting the quality and permanence of the data include the adjustment of the computer doing the burning (which may be expected to be quite good in a commercial plant and may be good or far worse in someone's home computer), and time (these things are far too new for anyone to really determine how well they will last with use or varying qualities of storage).

A "pressed" disc, on the other hand, means that the same digital data has been brute-force stamped (by a process starting with chemical dyes but ending with a glass stamper squeezing the data onto fairly stable plastic).

Accepted industry practice at this time (and, of course, this field can shift overnight) is to produce small runs of discs by burning, and larger runs by pressing. Both processes, done well, produce discs that can be expected to stand lengthy and repeated use. The "burning" process is, however, susceptible to problems introduced by production on consumer-level equipment on someone's desktop - the result can be as good as the "pro" product, or substantially worse. And in both cases (home and factory) the burned disc with its layers of dye is still a more delicate thing than the pressed disc with its layer of fairly plain plastic.

------> NOW LET'S GET REAL <-----

Should you consider a "burned" disc to be an amateur product, and a "pressed" one a professional product?

First (and I think most important) none of this discussion has touched on the quality of the program encoded on the disc. Either one can carry great programming and crystal-clear video, or worthless drivel and an unclear image. In addition, we've all seen discs of both types treated so badly by their owners that it looks like they've spent a year on the floor being walked on with track-shoe cleats.

A burned disc may be a bit more delicate, but look back at the recent history of audio - people actually paid money for cassettes which could contain carefully-duplicated music from world-class artists, or could as easily be recorded in someone's garage by teenage Metallica wannabes - moreover, they often just suddenly decided to turn into useless spaghetti fouling your car's cassette player. People also paid money for 8-track tapes which ALWAYS turned into tangled messes in a few plays.

True, a burned disc might be the equivalent of a "garage band" homemade tape, but not NECESSARILY ... and all these things are impermanent to a greater or lesser degree (we haven't yet considered obsolescence - try to find anything to play an 8-track on today).


So please don't automatically scorn burned discs - there are far too many variables involved to be able to say "this is probably homemade crap and it won't last anyway." As a dealer in burned discs, I guarantee my product against defects, and UNLIKE ANYONE ELSE IN THE MAGIC FIELD THAT I AM AWARE OF, I also guarantee satisfaction: you don't like it, send it back for a refund. I've sold a few hundred of these things - exactly three people have requested refunds.
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Special user
874 Posts

Profile of ScottRSullivan
Ross, technically, the other half uses Final Cut Studio. Premiere is gaining some market share, but most of L.A. uses either Avid or FCP. But that's another discussion. Smile

On pretty much everything else, I agree with you, Ross. Very well said. I think everyone should re-read what you wrote. You pretty much hit the nail on the head.

It is the quality of the footage that is on the disc that matters. When I send out discs for clients who, the DVD artwork is printed directly on the disc itself (ie. no label - do a search - labels are BAD). Case is printed in four color. Pop the disc in the player and boom, full production quality.

Imagine watching a magic DVD. It is shot in a studio, with studio lights. It's a two camera shoot, one wide, one trained only on the hands and the editor cuts to the closeups at appropriate times. Sound quality is excellent, each performer has a lav mic pinned to their shirt, hidden, of course. Menu is well designed, making navigation easy.

Now imagine after all this you take the disc out, it's printed on the top of the disc (again full color ON the disc, not a label. You turn the disc over and ...'s purple.

Futureal, would you feel ripped off? Most people don't even notice. Now, if it was a "Memorex" DVD-R with printing done with a sharpie, then people would notice. But if all the production was there and the only difference was the color purple, would you REALLY care?

Go back and re-read what Ross wrote. He did an excellent job. He even mentions about the dyes. That is the only aspect that make me want to use a disc that is pressed instead of burned. Those dyes eventually begin to change colors since they are organic and some even begin to "leak" into the center clear section of the plastic disc, rendering the disc unplayable. Pressed discs don't do this. But this is rare and takes MANY years.

Warm regards,
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Inner circle
1726 Posts

Profile of gsidhe
Just went to the sales site Ross...
Those are Yours?!? Or just the Carnival Come and Gone?
I have drooled over the bally cd for a while now!
Very cool.
No useful advice for you. Just continuing to drool!
Cane and Able
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The Great White North
79 Posts

Profile of Cane and Able
Hi all,

I just burned about 100 copies of a promo dvd. All played right after burning. I use a program called Ulead Video Studio 10 Plus. The program isn't anything like Premiere (it's a lot cheaper and a lot less whistles)but I did find an excellent tutorial on the Ulead User Help forum on burning dvds. It basically comes down to creating a seperate video editing section of your computer. I only have the bare minimum of programs running on the video editing side. It frees up a lot of RAM and cuts back on programs trying to interfere with the burn.

This page is to the main page of that tutorial.

This page is the one dealing with creating the video editing profile. I did most of the stuff he recommends here EXCEPT changing anything with the registry.

It takes some time, but it saved me a lot of headaches.

Merry Christmas to all.

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