Advice from DVD Sellers / Death of Optical Media

MadMaverick wrote on 7/8/2015, 7:36 PM
From what I've read on here, it sounds like some of you guys sell DVD's to people. I was wondering if you guys happen to use Sony DVD Architect. I'm considering purchasing Sony Vegas Pro 13 along with DVD Architect 6. I've been meaning to look into making more professional DVD's/Blu-ray's to sell and for personal use. I was just wondering if DVD Architect holds up to Professional-quality store bought kinda DVD's/Blu-Ray... another words, I was wondering if it helped to produce sell-able media.

Then there's also the issue of good discs. What kind of DVD/Blu-ray discs do you guys use? I'm guessing duel-layered discs of some sort.

In 2006 I transferred all my family's old VHS home videos onto DVD's. I thought I was doing a good service, but I was using a generic DVD burning program and cheap low-quality discs from Wal-Mart. 9 years later, and the original VHS tapes play better than those stupid DVD's. Heck, they never worked all that well in the first place. On some DVD players they wouldn't play hardly at all. I had also put these cheap stick-on paper labels on the discs, which may very well have made play-back all the more difficult. They would peel off and were just annoying.

So good quality/compatible discs would be nice... it'd be great if they were multi-regional as well.

Back then I was working under the impression that VHS tapes would disintegrate eventually, and that DVD's would last practically forever... I even thought that about Memorex lol. I heard years later that the more cheap discs have a chemical in them that would corrode over time. Getting a little off topic here, but I've heard alot of bad things regarding optical media and back-up. I've heard optical media doesn't have much longevity. Does this also apply for store-bought DVD's/Blu-ray's?

I've heard that companies like Apple have deemed optical media dead. I'm kinda just now gravitating over to Blu-ray, so that's kinda disappointing to hear. I hate how "in the air" everything is getting. I want to actually physically have and hold my movies, games, music and books. Christmas wouldn't have been near as neat for me as a kid in the 90's if my present was my Mom downloading a game I wanted onto my I-Pad lol.

This dude at the video store in my town (one of the few left on the planet) told me that the technology of course exists to put movies on little flash-drives and sell them, but he said that the tech for discs is so much cheaper. He said they could make discs for practically pennies. I'm guessing that it's faster as well... not to mention a little more aesthetically pleasing.

Anyway, aside from good quality discs, I'd like some form or labeling the discs (aside from crappy paper labels or writing on them with a sharpie). I'd like to do some kind of pro-looking printing on the discs. I've noticed that a lot of store-bought DVD's/Blu-Rays don't have pictures on the discs anymore. It's usually pretty basic, with simply the title, run-time etc...

So yeah, any help/info would be greatly appreciated.


doublehamm wrote on 7/8/2015, 8:45 PM
I have been using Optical Quantum BD-R discs with inkjet printable hubs for over 5 years now, and not one client has complained about them failing. Stay away from the LTH type discs though, they are a real pain to play, if you can even get them to burn at all. I get about 50% success rate on playing them on players - it is a cheaper manufacturing process and if you are not careful, you may end up with them.

There are many printers available for disc printing, but I like Epson. I am on my second epson (XP-610) now and the software they use is called "PrintCD" Basically gives you a clean slate to do whatever you want on the disc for printing. I had an HP printer a few years back, but the software was so proprietary and limited, you had to stick within their pre-set templates and it was a royal pain. I never ever found any 3rd party software to work with it either.

I don't believe optical discs are dead quite yet. HOWEVER, especially with the newer 4k video formats and SMART TVs, USB drives are very good. Blu-Ray data rate is around 22MB/s. XAVC S HD which is that my a7s records to is 50MB/s straight out of the camera. Vegas can also render to this format, and my Samsung smart TV has no issues playing them. Then you get to the newer 4k formats. My ax100 records 4k UHD video at 100MB/s. Vegas can create those as well, and my smart TV plays them just fine. Don't think you are stuck with flash drives either, you can use any external USB 3.0 HDD for massive amounts of storage space. So, why watch a blu-ray when you can watch a video with over 4x the bitrate? Blu-Rays still look good, and to the average person they would never know until they experienced the higher bitrates.
riredale wrote on 7/8/2015, 8:46 PM
All your questions have been discussed in many threads on this board over the years. If you've never tried using the search function (top right) you will be impressed by its ability to pull up relevant threads.

I imagine most folks here use DVD Architect. I use a different program. The authoring program has nothing to do with the "quality" of the burn, since that is more a function of the DVD burner and the disk brand. But different authoring programs will offer different levels of menu sophistication and such.

I burn DVDs with Nero. I do the graphics with Nero Cover Designer, which can not only build a sophisticated layout of text and graphics but also can be used to simply import a finished graphic from some other program for printing.

I print disks with Canon IP3000 4-color inkjet printers. Dinosaurs now but they just keep running.

DVD blanks are definitely NOT equal. Taiyo Yuden and Verbatim are well-regarded here. I've switched over to Falcon in the past few years with good results. High-volume commercial disks are "pressed" while your output will be "burned." I surmise pressed will last longer, but burned should last for many decades.

Many years ago I used paper labels on CDs and DVDs. On CDs they worked fine but on DVDs the labels eventually made the outer tracks of the disks unplayable. But nowadays one can buy blanks with a glossy white surface that take inkjet ink well and won't smear afterwards, even when wet.

I know nothing about BluRay but burned DVDs are a mature product and a quality brand will probably last longer than we will. And yes, a premium DVD with smart color graphics on a glossy white disk looks great and plays on anything.
richard-amirault wrote on 7/8/2015, 8:50 PM
IMHO, NEVER put a label on a DVD or BluRay.

If you want to print on it .. get one with a printable surface. DVD's spin at a much higher rate than CDs and putting a label on it will most likely give problems down the line.
ushere wrote on 7/8/2015, 9:21 PM
what's a dvd? ;-)

fact is i haven't supplied a commercial dvd in ages. all either on net / intranet or logo'ed usb sticks.

can't say i miss them.
PeterDuke wrote on 7/9/2015, 1:29 AM
I like menus for scene selection, so I make DVD/BD discs or the ISO equivalent. It seems that I am in a minority and menus are heading for extinction. Siiiiigghhhh. Sometimes I hate progress.

(I was in a newsagent the other day, and most of the electronic hobby and computer magazines are no more. They have been replaced by magazines for small portable devices.)
ushere wrote on 7/9/2015, 4:28 AM
what peter, no free cd with the latest freeware on it inside pctoday!?

(never knew what to do with those aol disks though ;-))
craftech wrote on 7/9/2015, 6:12 AM
DVDA is a very good program for creating DVDs, but not Blu-rays. Until SCS fixes the Next Button Issue it will remain in the amateur class. The workaround I discovered (putting the chapter titles on the main page) is still the only real solution to the problem.

In terms of burning, I use the free ImgBurn for Blu-rays and RecordNow Max 4.5 for DVDs. Both work flawlessly. I never use DVDA for burning.

Chienworks wrote on 7/9/2015, 7:59 AM
I think a lot of it depends on the area where you are marketing. In my area just about the only way people would know to play video is on a DVD. Either the thought of finding it online is so foreign, or the connection speeds are too slow, that it's pretty much a non-starter. Hand them a USB stick and most will just stare at me like i'm trying to give them moldy bacon. For that matter i have one regular client who still needs VHS because she's too scared to try using the DVD player. Funny thing is i produce the tape for her by connecting my DVD player's white/red/yellow jacks to the VCR and record from DVD to VHS.

I do all my authoring in DVD-A, but i'm still using 5.2. 6 won't run on my main XP workstation so i haven't even looked at it. I don't do any fancy menus. My clients appreciate having a scene selection menu, but honestly anything more than that just aggravates most people. So, the initial screen will be a nice still from the video with a title, a "Play Movie" button, and a "Scene Select" button, nothing else. I know DVD-A is capable of more, but more than that tends to frustrate viewers rather than please them. One thing people absolutely detest is having to wait, AT ALL to start watching. If they can't press the "Play" button as soon as the screen lights up they get angry. In a few cases i've even produced auto-play discs, but these don't go over as well because folks like to make sure everyone is seated and comfy. With auto-play, at least one person is still walking back from the DVD player when the video starts. (Yes, i realize these last two points are contradictory, but i'm merely relating the feeling i get from my clients. They don't see having to press play as waiting, but they do hate waiting for the play button to appear!)

I generally use inkjet printable bulk unbranded Verbatim single-layer. Over the last 500 or so i've had maybe 3 bad burns, and one returned because it didn't play on the viewer's DVD player even though it worked on mine. I also don't burn in DVD-A. I'll produce the finished AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS folders there, then use Nero to burn the discs. Nero has two features i really appreciate. It can verify the disc after burning, and it can use multiple burners simultaneously. Even with the verify pass it's still faster than burning in DVD-A, which is very slow for some unidentifiable reason. DVD-A even seems to pause several times during the burn; Nero does not.

As far as disc printing software, i didn't even install whatever came with either my HP or my Canon printers. I looked at the manuals for them and realized they were tortuously obtuse and complex to the point of frustrating uselessness. Instead, just use whatever drawing/photo/layout/word processing software you're already comfortable with and make your own 4"x 4" template. The only thing to be wary of is making sure you don't spray ink anywhere but on the disc itself. I accomplish this by having an overlay that is solid white wherever the disk doesn't exist and putting that as a top layer on my document before printing. It did take one test print on each printer first to find out where it says the disc is on the page. With the HP it is in the upper left corner, while with the Canon it is in the middle of a standard 8.5x11 layout.
dxdy wrote on 7/9/2015, 9:18 AM
I have been using Epson printers for my disks for quite a few years. They come with a utility called Print CD. It is pretty easy to use, perhaps because it is so simple. If I want something more elaborate than it can make, I make a jpg in Photoshop, then I can pull it in to Print CD as a picture, and scale it properly.

And I probably don't need to say it, but it prints CD, DVD and BR. Double layer too! LOL.

I have been using Taio Yuden printable disks for five years now. I have never had a bad TY burn or a return of TY's. Sadly, they are exiting the business, so I have to stock up or test some Falcons or somesuch.
Former user wrote on 7/9/2015, 11:07 AM
For disk printing I recommend Acoustica CD Label Maker. Very easy to use, templates for most printers plus you can customize positioning.
Can import most graphics and has your normal Text and graphic tools.

Made setting up my printer (Canon IP700 and previous HP) much easier than trying to create my own templates.
OldSmoke wrote on 7/9/2015, 11:23 AM
Like dxdy I use an Epson Artisan 730 and the supplied Print CD software. Very easy and so much better then printing labels. I burn and print Verbatim DVD and BD with no issues for the past 4 years.

Proud owner of Sony Vegas Pro 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13 and now Magix VP15&16.

System Spec.:
Motherboard: ASUS X299 Prime-A

Ram: G.Skill 4x8GB DDR4 2666 XMP

CPU: i7-9800x @ 4.6GHz (custom water cooling system)
GPU: 1x AMD Vega Pro Frontier Edition (water cooled)
Hard drives: System Samsung 970Pro NVME, AV-Projects 1TB (4x Intel P7600 512GB VROC), 4x 2.5" Hotswap bays, 1x 3.5" Hotswap Bay, 1x LG BluRay Burner

PSU: Corsair 1200W
Monitor: 2x Dell Ultrasharp U2713HM (2560x1440)

dxdy wrote on 7/9/2015, 12:27 PM
One more thought...when I started producing videos for the local ballet company, I would get 10 or 20 percent BluRay orders. Now, 4 years later, BluRay is almost half of the orders! I purchased a BR player on sale at Costco and gave it to the studio. The difference in resolution and clarity is so great, many of the participants have purchased their own BR players. I use Verbatim DataLife Plus printable BR disks, and as with the TY DVDs, I have never had a return.
MadMaverick wrote on 7/10/2015, 7:30 PM
Thank you very much for all the info guys. One thing I forgot to ask about though, what do you guys use for DVD/Blu-ray case sleeve inserts? What kind of paper, machines, software, cases do you use, and where do you get them? Thanks again.
vtxrocketeer wrote on 7/10/2015, 7:39 PM
One thing I forgot to ask about though, what do you guys use for DVD/Blu-ray case sleeve inserts? What kind of paper, machines, software, cases do you use, and where do you get them?

I buy boxes of Kirkland glossy photo paper from Costco (8.5 x 11), design my inserts in Adobe Illustrator using my own custom DVD and Blu-ray templates, and print using borderless printing (Canon Pixma Pro-100). In that way, I need make only two cuts per sheet. With my high quality rotary cutter, I'm able to cut around 8-10 sheets at a time.

It took a little work to set up at first, but this method works perfectly every time. I buy inks in bulk (for re-filling cartridges) and even have a printer profile specifically for that Kirkland paper to ensure color accuracy.
Steve Mann wrote on 7/10/2015, 9:53 PM
"Sadly, they are exiting the business"

Thanks for the heads up - I will stock up now.
MSmart wrote on 7/10/2015, 10:01 PM
Case inserts:

HP Brochure Paper glossy Q1987A (150 sheets). It goes on BOGO sale quite often at Staples or Office Max. Custom template in Photoshop. Three cuts. I use the same paper for the booklets (cast/production team list) and print with PowerPoint, 5 cuts.

I'm strictly DVD so far with DVD Architect Studio to create and Imgburn to burn.

After years of using JVC/TY Watershields, I just switched to Falcon Media Smart Guard DVD-R discs. They have a whiter face with just slightly less of a mirror gloss to them. I've only printed 15 discs so far but they print with a little more contrast and the images appear to be somewhat sharper. I print with a custom Photoshop template. So far I'm very happy with them. Just now burning them.

I print with a Canon iP4500 and refill my carts with Image Specialists ink from Prcision Colors on eBay.

Here is the "leaving the business" discussion:
Steve Mann wrote on 7/10/2015, 10:05 PM
I have not been asked for a Blu Ray disc in years. If I deliver anything physical, it's a DVD. I only buy Tyo-Yuden Watershield blanks. I make my label image in Photoshop and use the Epson Print CD program to paint the disc faces. The quality is just outstanding.

I use Photoshop to make my DVD menus. here is how I do them:

Using this process, I can pretty much replicate most Hollywood-style DVD menus.

I use DVDA to make the DVD files and "burn" an iso file, then I use IsoBurn to make the first DVD. Then I have a 10-slot duplicator that I built.

Hope this helps.
MSmart wrote on 7/10/2015, 10:27 PM
@dxdy: Double layer too! LOL.

Is that with duplex printing turned on?

so I have to stock up or test some Falcons or somesuch.

I thought that too but no need to stock up. You'll be happy with the Falcons.
DGates wrote on 7/10/2015, 11:16 PM
"Using this process, I can pretty much replicate most Hollywood-style DVD menus."

Maybe DVD menus from 10-15 years ago. Your process is rather time-consuming for something that doesn't really look better than doing it quicker with a DVDA template.
videoITguy wrote on 7/10/2015, 11:41 PM
Steve's Tutorial is decent enough and goes much farther, DGates, than any tutorial built by SCS. What is really important here is that Steve only really scratches the surface, there are many controls within the DVDAPro code that can be tweaked along with scripting power to complete really good looking Menu structure in DVD and hey, definitely as well Blu-ray. Custom work takes time but can be worth it.
MadMaverick wrote on 7/11/2015, 2:24 AM
It's crazy to think that the bulk of people STILL seem to primarily use DVD. I figured that Blu-ray would've long sense taken over by now. I didn't really plan on messing with DVD, but it sounds like I'll probably have to if I ever wanna sell any content.

One thing that annoys me about DVD is that most people probably use composite cables, when they should be using RGB component cables. It's a bit sickening to watch something that you've made (and spent a lot of time color correcting) on a DVD player hooked up through a composite cable. The red/white plugs are audio, and the yellow plug is the sole plug for your picture... resulting in muddled up colors. Many times the color will be over-saturated, and even darker than what you see on your computer. I've had scenes play on my computer that were dark (intentionally), but you could still see them. Put that same scene on a DVD and watch it on a composite-linked TV, and you can't even see what the heck is going on. I had this frustration last year during a little living room premiere of one of my video projects. I explained to them that it wasn't that dark on the computer.

I guess people compensate for this by color correcting for composite-linked DVD, but what a pain that'd be! It'd be like twice the work. I've even seen people have little TV's next to their computers, which I assume are hooked up to their computers... and I guess it's for this purpose. I'd rather not mess with it though. I guess maybe there are some general tweaks that you can make to compensate for this... like maybe just raising your brightness a little for the whole video... but man idk...

If it was Blu-ray linked to a TV via HDMI then (I assume) it should look about the same as what it does playing on my computer. Although my computer (and most I believe) is hooked to my monitor using a VGA cable...

Another thing about composite-linked DVD that annoys me is it enables naive people to potentially watch your work in the wrong aspect ratio. I have a lot of content that is 4:3 square-shaped, and there's so many goofballs that would want these videos to fill their rectangular-shaped HD TV's. One thing I could do (and what some DVD's and TV stations do) is I could format my content in HD, which kinda forces people to watch in the correct ratio, otherwise the picture will be completely boxed in. This is of course how I'd do the Blu-rays anyway.

... but if I did this then people with old 4:3 square TV's would have no choice but to watch my content boxed in. Which brings me to my next question... do any of your clients actually STILL use old-fashioned standard-def square TV's? I was just wondering if this would actually still be a problem. My Uncle still uses a dinosaur of a TV. The old goof was even offered a free HD TV recently and turned it down cause he said he couldn't set his VCR/DVD player on top of it!
DGates wrote on 7/11/2015, 6:29 AM
I agree with you, Maverick. I include both DVD's and Blu-rays in all my projects, as I want to make sure everyone can watch the video. But I'm always hoping the DVD's that I send never see the light of day, and just collect dust in the box. That's because Blu-ray comes closest to looking like what I actually shot. The color, the clarity and the sound are simply not compromised with BD. The whole Blu-ray / HD-DVD war certainly kept BD from maturing, and that has kept it's market share lower than it otherwise would have been.

Either way, the current circumstances are similar to the days when DVD's were first arriving. There were naysayers that said that no one had expensive DVD players, so we might as well keep sending VHS copies.

Of course, there will be different ways for me to provide HD product in the years to come, whether it's Blu-ray or thumb drives. But I will not be delivering standard definition unless I absolutely have to.

riredale wrote on 7/11/2015, 6:46 AM
Going from composite cables to S-Video to RGB the color and black level should not be changing. Going from SD composite to SD S-Video you will lose the composite video dot crawl and color edges will be sharper and cleaner. And when you move to an HD display then RGB and other connection types can push image quality further.

There's nothing you can do about people with 16:9 sets who don't know enough to configure their displays correctly. Fortunately as widescreen programming becomes pretty much universal it's much less common to see 4:3 video stretched out with 300lb actors. If you author your DVD correctly it will work just fine on both 16:9 and 4:3 displays. At my workstation I have a 14" generic 4:3 CRT TV set with a generic DVD player that I can use to verify compatibility when I test-burn a DVD project. The image will look identical to the one on my 16:9 set except that it will be letterboxed and a whole lot fuzzier.

And the image should look identical to what you see on your PC aside from the difference in sharpness. If you are seeing a color or brightness difference then something is not set up right on your monitor or in Vegas.

As for BluRay, the improvement over DVD is in resolution, 1920x1080 versus 720x480. The sound quality of properly-encoded AC-3 should be virtually identical to WAV (easy to set up A/B and subtraction tests using Vegas).

Going from VHS to DVD was a giant leap (menus, durability, image quality, portability). Going from DVD to Blu is a much smaller step (increased resolution). One appreciates the improvement only as screens get bigger.
ushere wrote on 7/11/2015, 8:37 AM
at the end of the day:

If it was Blu-ray linked to a TV via HDMI then (I assume) it should look about the same as what it does playing on my computer....

one wished your assumption was correct. unfortunately it's not. i have visited many homes and seen very good, branded, flat screens (ie lcd / plasma) still screening with the showroom settings (vivid, saturated, whathaveyou), not to mention 'cinema' sepia wash.

in the perfect world we'd all be watching material on carefully calibrated sets. as it is, what you see isn't necessarily what they see.....