Converting HDV to SD for DVD

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the September, 2009, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]

Steve Bowers writes:

I recently recorded a short wedding ceremony in 1080i on a Sony Z1U.


I imported it into FCP using the easy setup for HDV 1080i60, did some edits on it and then exported it using the compressor settings in the tutorial.


The problem I am having and I don’t know if it is compressor related or not but when I play it back on a HD television set from FCP timeline, it displays properly.


After I compress it and create a DVD using DVD Studio Pro, the resolution defaults to 720×480 in studio pro even though I exported it in compressor using 16:9 best settings. The settings in the inspector show it to be 1440X1080.


After creating the DVD I played it on a DVD player and the video was degraded and the video was actually pulsing to the point it would pixelize at every pulse. The pulse was about every second.


I am lost because this is the first time this has happened since I made changes to compressor recording in HD. I have recording in HD before and created a DVD but have never had this problem.

Larry replies: Steve, thanks for writing.

The problem is that you are reducing HDV footage to SD for your DVD. If you are compressing the video in DVD Studio Pro, it won’t work. DVD Studio Pro creates an older, out-of-date format called HD DVD.

If you are compressing the video in Compressor, you need to change the output settings in the Geometry tab of the inspector. It defaults to 320×240.

By the way, 4:3 and 16:9 DV are BOTH 720 x 480 (weird but true) when displayed as video. Be sure to check the 16:9 checkboxes for menus and tracks in DVD SP when building your title.


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