Every video DVD I burn has audio/video glitches.
December 29, 2006 1:08 AM   Subscribe

I cannot, for the life of me, burn a DVD on my MacPro of an 8.5 minute video without 2-4 video/audio glitches. Details of everything I've tried within.

I have an 8:40 QuickTime video exported from a slideshow application that I'm trying to burn to DVD for playback on regular DVD players. The content of the video is slow-placed, Ken Burns style portraits of people shot against a white background.

I've burned through (pardon the pun) upwards of 10 DVDs trying to make a perfect master (that can be duped later). No matter what I do, the resulting DVD has at *least* two (and often more) deal-breaking video/audio glitches, every time in different places on the disc.

At first I thought it was my source movie, so I tried exporting with many different codecs, frame rates, data rates, resolutions, etc. But the resulting native QuickTime movie plays perfectly on the Mac, whether the movie is 100MB (average compression) or 25GB (No Compression).

I attempted using iDVD several times to burn an auto-playing DVD (no Theme) and got glitches. I even blew $100 on Toast for the Mac thinking iDVD's burning was the culprit, but get the same type of glitches.

Then I thought it might be the media I'm burning to, but my IT department says my single-layer Imation DVD-Rs are of good quality.

Then I figured the most likely explanation was I was trying to burn too fast at my recorder's fastest speed (8x, SuperDrive on a 3.0Ghz quad MacPro with 5GB of RAM) and so I tried slower speeds like 4x, 2x, and then all the way down to 1x. Still get glitches.

I tried Roxio's Toast 7 Titanium and changing the encoding from Custom (which I had maxed out to 9.0 Mbps with Dolby Digital audio @ 192 kps) down to Automatic to let the computer decide the best encoding for the content on-the-fly. Still glitches.

I tried quitting all other applications (e-mail autochecking, web browsers) and JUST having the DVD burn, didn't help.

I'm attempting to play the burned DVD on a consumer-grade Panasonic player, and the glitches manifest as 1-2 frames of skipped audio with simultaneous stuttering video and/or very bad splotches of graphic anomolies. Particularly bad glitches cause the audio to waver/stutter for the remainder of the video.

To make sure it wasn't my Panasonic player, I put the burned DVD *back* in the MacPro, and the Mac's DVD drive fails even worse at the glitch points (which are different on every DVD), and slows playback down to about 3fps as it makes its way past the glitch points.

I've never had any problems burning data DVDs, and admittedly I haven't burned (any) video DVDs before, but this seems like a pretty pedestrian task, especially for a measly 8.5 minute video being burned on a beast of a Mac. I'm fairly computer/tech literate and have tried just about everything I can think of, so I'm interested in hearing about any other approaches I can try.

I also have a PC available with a DVD writer and Nero software, but the Mac is a lot friendlier to set up an auto-playing DVD (I got tired of trying to figure it out on the PC) and at this point I really don't want to purchase *another* non-refundable DVD burning package on the PC (like Toast or Easy DVD Creator) just to try to get a glitch-free disc, when my Mac should be more than capable of the task.
posted by robbie01 to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
First off, trusting the opinion of your "IT Department" as gospel is a bad idea, in general. And doubly so, in this case, since they have a vested interest in cheaping out with commodity items like CDRs and DVDRs.

Imation is pretty much considered the dregs of CDR/DVDR quality amongst those who tend to be really anal about such things. My real world experience over the past 10 years corroborates thier shoddy quality. I actually spent last weekend dumping all my CDR and DVDR archives since 1996 onto external Firewire drives, and to my dismay I found that 85% of the CDRs I burned on Imation media many years ago were absolutely unreadable, even in different drives I tried.

Before proceeding on to other troubleshooting avenues, try using a different, higher quality brand of media. Taiyo Yuden media is universally considered to be the best on the market right now. I buy mine from Rima.com, and have been absolutely satisfied with them.

In my experience (I work in commercial video production, using Mac G5s and Macbook Pros, so I burn DVDs every day and am very sensitive to media quality issues), other than burning discs at faster speeds than the media is rated for, the brand of media you use is almost always the culprit in any playback issues you might have.
posted by melorama at 2:02 AM on December 29, 2006

Also, are you burning straight to the disc out of iMovie, or are you expporting a disc image out first, before burning it to disc?

If you aren't burning discs from a disc image, it is highly recommended that you do so. I have occasionally experienced burn issues burning directly to disc from DVD Studio Pro, so it wouldn't surprise me if iMovie causes similar problems.
posted by melorama at 2:12 AM on December 29, 2006

Best answer: Me again...A few additional thoughts, after re-reading what you mentioned about using Toast to encode your video...

As you might have guessed, cranking your bitrate to 9.0 Mbps is absolutely asking for trouble, if your target playback platform is a standalone DVD player. You will almost certainly get playback glitches and stuttering if you crank it that high (and burning that to uber-crappy media like Imation will exacerbate the problem). For something like a short video slideshow, you don't need to encode at anything higher than 6 to 7 Mbps. You don't even need VBR/2-pass either.

Try forcing a lower, constant bitrate when you encode the video, and see if that helps it.
posted by melorama at 2:18 AM on December 29, 2006

Best answer: From your program...take it to Toast.

You want to make a Video. You want to make a DVD-Video

Your raw file ought to be in the DV codec (or the Animation Codec), as quicktime file. If it's anything else say so.

Now, from the Disc Settings window (for a Video DVD)

Formats window: DVD-Video
Custom Encoding
More Button
Encoding Tab, Av. bit rate 5.0, max 7.0

Save this as a disk image.

This will create a disk image you can mount, in the DVD format.

On the Root of the DVD will be a Video_TS folder. You can test it with DVD Player (from apple) and not waste any more DVDs.
posted by filmgeek at 6:50 PM on December 29, 2006

I've had good luck with exporting as a DV Stream to iDVD. What is the "slideshow application"? iMovie? Keynote?
posted by starman at 8:09 PM on December 29, 2006

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