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Old May 1, 2008, 2:28 PM   #1
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All,

I've seen lots of people posting questions about converting videos and trying to get the best end-result. There are a lot of all-in-one packages (like the software that came with your camcorder) that you can use to create a DVD or Blu-Ray Disc (BD) which will take in your raw footage, allow you to trim/edit, edit audio, and spit out the finished product.

I was thinking that a thread that contains the steps we use to create that end product might be helpful to new people and spur discussion about 'best practices' :-)

Here are my simplified workflows:

Target:
Simple DVD

Tools:
- MediaCoder (http://mediacoder.sourceforge.net/)
- BatchDemux (http://www.videohelp.com/tools/BatchDemux)
- DVD-Lab (http://www.mediachance.com/dvdlab/)

1) Use MediaCoder to convert the raw footage to MPEG-2, 720x480, 29.97fps (NTSC here). You can choose to trim the video in MediaCoder as well.

2) Demultiplex the resulting MPEG-2 files to their elementary streams (M2V and AC3 or MP2)

3) Import the elementary streams into DVD-Lab. If I didn't want to trim using MediaCoder, I create chapter points in DVD-Lab where I want video playback to begin/end and simply jump to those chapter points (psuedo-trimming) and chain the chapter points together using a playlist.

4) Use DVD-Lab to create the menu and burn the results

Target:
Simple Blu-Ray Disc

Tools:
- MediaCoder (http://mediacoder.sourceforge.net/)
- TsRemux (http://www.videohelp.com/tools/TsRemux)
- ImgBurn (http://www.imgburn.com/)

1) Use MediaCoder to convert the raw footage to MPEG-2 (or AVC), 1280x720 / 1920x1080, 24 fps with Dolby Digital (AC3) audio. There are preset size/framerates for BD so be careful. For 720p/1080p, 24fps is the safe option. You can also trim the vide in MediaCoder.

2) Use TsRemux to convert the resulting MPEG-2 file into an MPEG-2 Transport Stream (with the full BD structure) to a folder. Be sure to choose the "Blu-Ray Disc" option.

3) Use ImgBurn to burn the resulting folder to a DVD or BD. Make sure that "UDF 2.50" is selected in "Options". If you burn to a DVD, it will show up as an AVCHD disc and will still work (thanks to a previous poster who let me know about this option!).

Advanced options:
- Demultiplex the converted video files to their elementary streams and use Audacity (http://audacity.sf.net) to edit the soundtrack.
- Use CutterMaran (http://www.videohelp.com/tools/Cuttermaran) on the elementray streams for precise or multiple trims.

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Old May 1, 2008, 2:59 PM   #2
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Since my Sony player can handle AAC audio I don't convert anything but use Yamb to demux the streams and then tsMuxer to remux to a M2TS transport stream. I rename that to .MPG since for some reason the Sony player wants to see that instead. If your player can't handle AAC then you can covered the demuxed aac file to ac3 with some utility and remux with tsMuxer. This way you see the original video without introducing any artifacts in the process of re-encoding it.


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Old May 1, 2008, 4:42 PM   #3
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hdguy,

I was surprised that AAC was not part of the official BluRay specs! I can't believe they left that out... I guess Dolby did quite a bit of lobbying. :-(

My only concern is cross-player compatibility.

For 1280x720 videos, the only valid ('official') framerates are 23.976p, 24p, 50p, and 59.94p.

For 1920x1080, the framerates are 23.976p, 24p, 25i, and 29.97i.

With camcorders that shoot 720p at 30fps and 60fps, we'd have to do some framerate conversion to get back within specs which means re-encoding the video (unless you do VERY selective frame dropping). On players that are more flexible, this is a non-issue (they'll just play the streams in the M2TS files without issues).

I can understand the optimizations that can be made when limiting framerates, but... come on Sony... let's not make authoring for BD a MAJOR PITA :-)
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Old May 1, 2008, 6:34 PM   #4
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Sfritzinger,

Are you sure those are the only options?

Surely Blu-ray hasn't left out the other ATSC HD formats:

http://support.gateway.com/s/CsmrElt...984faq42.shtml

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Old May 1, 2008, 6:39 PM   #5
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Frankly, I don't think I need Blu-ray.

I have an Apple TV.

So I can stream my high definition video from any computer in the house using my Apple Airport Extreme wireless base station to the widescreen TV that I have connected to my Apple TV.

720/24p is supported.

But for my 30p (and 60p) clips, Apple does require me to down-convert to 960 x 540... not true HD... but smaller file sizes and better-than-DVD display quality.

Plus, the Apple TV does all sorts of other things like allow me to display all of my digital photos on my TV and rent/buy movies and TV shows and watch YouTube and browse Podcasts, etc.

I suspect Apple will eventually upgrade it to support 1080p.

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Old May 1, 2008, 7:37 PM   #6
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All my movies 1920x1080, 1440x1080and 1280x720 I burn native (m2ts - from Sony HC3) or converted to MPEG on cheap Verbatim DVD+R or DVD+R-DL (25 - 40 min per disk).

My standalone player Xoro 8500 plays them all on LCD FullHD TV.
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Old May 1, 2008, 7:42 PM   #7
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sfritzinger wrote:
Quote:
hdguy,

I was surprised that AAC was not part of the official BluRay specs! I can't believe they left that out... I guess Dolby did quite a bit of lobbying. :-(

My only concern is cross-player compatibility.

For 1280x720 videos, the only valid ('official') framerates are 23.976p, 24p, 50p, and 59.94p.

For 1920x1080, the framerates are 23.976p, 24p, 25i, and 29.97i.

With camcorders that shoot 720p at 30fps and 60fps, we'd have to do some framerate conversion to get back within specs which means re-encoding the video (unless you do VERY selective frame dropping). On players that are more flexible, this is a non-issue (they'll just play the streams in the M2TS files without issues).

I can understand the optimizations that can be made when limiting framerates, but... come on Sony... let's not make authoring for BD a MAJOR PITA :-)
Ah, did you check the actual framerates on your Aiptek files? They are 29.97 for 30fps and 59.94 for 60 fps. So there is no reason to convert the framerate. They put 30 fps and 60 fps on the box because to put 29.97 or 59.94 would be confusing to the consumer. :-)

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Old May 1, 2008, 9:59 PM   #8
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hdguy,

ack! sorry.. I should have been more clear. In order for them to be within specs, they'd have to be converted to 23.976, 24, 50, or 59.94 at 720p. For DVD, they would be perfect with a little resizing.

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Old May 1, 2008, 10:04 PM   #9
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Private Idaho wrote:
Quote:
Are you sure those are the only options?

Surely Blu-ray hasn't left out the other ATSC HD formats:

http://support.gateway.com/s/CsmrElt...984faq42.shtml
The specs I posted above are what are required as a bare minimum for each player to support (at least according to the HD cookbook). They may very well support more format/framerate combinations on their own, but I'm hesitant to encode content outside of those bare minimums. I'm still reeling from the early days of DVD authoring and the mess that it was up until just 4 years ago. :-P


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