Picking a Disc
DVD formatting is a complicated part of the home disc authoring field. Even now there is no standard format that is universally accepted for video transfer. Depending on the player you use, the country you are in, and the quality you desire you can be choosing very different options. Even in powerful DVD authoring software like Final Cut Studio’s DVD Studio Pro requires you to make some choices about your formatting, which is a process that always ends up meaning you are forced to make concessions. When using DVD Studio Pro you have to enter the workflow process already knowing what kind of formats you are going to use and being willing to understand that you may not get some of the elements that you would desire.
The two main choices that you end up having are to use the Standard Definition DVD or the High Definition DVD formats. The HD DVD is considered a dying format by many people and there are not as many players available that will play HD DVD as there are for competing formats. Apple does make a DVD player that handles both high definition and standard definition DVDs, but this is simply a way for them to try to create a monopoly over their users. You are likely going to want to print DVDs that can be read by a larger segment of the technological population and viewing community. If you want to burn an HD DVD that can also be read by standard DVD players as well you can select to use the red laser, which will let it be read by standard DVD players but will skip over HD parts. Along with this is the fact that you need a relatively fast disc burner to actually do this, but you will likely have this already if you plan on producing a number of DVDs with DVD Studio Pro. The competing blue laser discs allow for around three times as much data as the red laser disc, so you may want to consider just going with standard definition for now and sticking with blue laser discs. When it comes to regional format the U.S. format should already be set as default and there is no point at this juncture to change it to any international format.
Unfortunately DVD Studio Pro is still behind the curve when it comes to Blu-ray disc authoring. If you plan on making the next step toward burning your own Blu-ray discs immediately it may be better to go with competing software that is more geared toward professional use, such as Adobe Encore.
This post is part of the series: Tips for DVD Studio Pro
Here are articles that deal with the Apple DVD authoring program, DVD Studio Pro.