Shooting for DVD: Reviewing the Fundamentals

Digital Content Producer by Barry Braverman shoot dvdIn this first installment of a two-part series, DP Barry Braverman outlines the basics for shooting with DVD output in mind. DVD is big business. In 2004, retail sales of DVD product exceeded $25 billion, which begs the question as a pro-level shooter of film and video if you’re doing enough to wrest the best possible quality images out of the five-inch discs. Because DVD-Video entails significant compromises with respect to compression and related motion estimation issues, it makes eminent sense that we adjust our thinking at every stage of the imaging process to better accommodate the format’s requirements and idiosyncrasies. It's not just matter of addressing DVD’s high compression either. Many of us already understand that MPEG-2 is a perennial problem child whose complexity and shortcomings make artifact-free pictures a major challenge especially at low and moderate bit rates. There may be abundant reasons for less than stellar video on DVD, but one thing is for certain: Compressing your images to DVD-compliant MPEG-2 is a horrible thing to do. read more...

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