Do you own an HDTV and a Blu-ray player and wish you could create Blu-ray movies out of footage from your high-definition video camera? You know your wish would only come true if you had a Blu-ray burner and Blu-ray blank discs which are going to cost you a bomb.
You may be surprised to learn that you do not need a BD (Blu-ray) disc that costs around $5-$10 and a Blu-ray disc writer that would set you back by about $200 to $300 to create your own Blu-ray movie.
The good news is, while waiting for the prices of these Blu-ray items to drop, you can use your existing DVD recordable disc (DVD+/-R) and your DVD writer to burn a BD disc playable on your Blu-ray player provided your player supports BD-R playback.
But then, don’t expect to produce a Blu-ray movie disc like you can find in your neighborhood video store. A DVD can hold only about thirty minutes of Blu-ray video.
The limited duration may not be to your satisfaction, but if you’re creating a home movie, 30 minutes should be adequate to show some "real meat" with some slick editing. What’s more, your disc can even come with menus and chapters. In short, it would be no different than burning a DVD movie.
So, if you’re prepared for the creation of a short Blu-ray movie, let’s get down to business.
To appreciate what you’ll be doing, it’s important to have a working knowledge of of Blu-ray formats. The three important Blu-ray formats are BDAV, BDMV and AVCHD.
We shall rule out BDAV (Blu-ray Disc Audio Visual) as it will only work if burned into a Blu-ray disc. On the other hand, BDMV (Blu-ry Disc Movie) and AVCHD (Advanced Video Codec for High Definition) can be burned to either a Blu-ray disc or DVD.
Although you could use your dated DVD writer to author a Blu-ray disc, the same cannot be said for your video editing program. If your application only supports standard definition video, then you’re ruled out of the game.
To proceed, you would have to get an application that supports the capturing, editing, authoring and burning of high-definition video. A recommended program is CyberLink PowerDirector Ultra.
You probably already know this, but be reminded that to work with high-definition video you will need a powerful computer – at least a computer with duo core processor and 2GB of RAM. Anyway, check the system requirements of the HD video editing program you’ll be using.
You can capture footage from HDV or AVCHD camcorders. AVCHD promises more convenience because you could easily transfer your clips from your camcorder to the PC via your SDHC card.
Avoid shooting your video in 24p. While it may give you a film look, it doesn’t afford you stability especially when it comes to editing or playback.
You can start editing your video in CyberLink PowerDirector by dragging your captured clips to the timeline , adding transitions, titles and audio tracks.
After making your necessary cuts, you will want to set your chapter markers.
After you’re done with that, you’ll be creating your menus. Choose a template that goes with the mood of your video. If you’re importing an image to save as a background, resize it to 1280 x 780 pixels so that they’ll look good on 16:9 high-definition video.
Burning to Disc
Before you burn to disc, you have to ensure that you have your output settings right. If you have imported HDV footage (m2t), select MPEG-2 1440 x 1080. For AVCHD (.mts), select MP4/H264 with a resolution of 1440 x 1080 or 1920 x 1080, depending on the resolution of your source video.
If you need to combine HDV and AVCHD clips, then you can choose 1440 x 1080 as a safe output option. One advantage of making your output resolution the same as your source resolution is you get to maintain quality and also save on encoding time.
Choose BDMV as your disc format and choose DVD as your recording media. If you’re unsure whether the burning process would proceed without any errors, use a rewriteable disc to test the burning process to see if everything goes well.
You’ll now be ready to pop in your `Blu-ray’ DVD into your Blu-ray player and enjoy your own high-definition masterpiece.