Film competitions - Mini DV or DVD?

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tom hardwick
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Film competitions - Mini DV or DVD?

Post by tom hardwick » Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:03 am

Here's a question for the competition teams out there - would the organisers rather have the filmmakers enter their masterpieces as DVDs or tape?

I think we can discount VHS and Super-8 now, but I'm thinking that having the word 'tape' on the competition application form can bring you in all sorts of Mini DV and full size tapes recorded in any one of three speeds.

Surely DVDs burnt onto recognisable media have become reliable enough these days to enable judging sessions to take place without them suttering and stopping? The films, I mean.

I must say I like the idea of a printable DVD as the top surface has space galore for loads of info - makers name and address, film title, running time, whether the DVD is auto start or chaptered from a menu page, whether it's PAL, 16:9 or if there's any special instructions regarding the audio, etc.

tom.
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ned c
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Post by ned c » Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:37 pm

For the AMPS Fest we accept PAL entries only on DVD and have had no problem finding a player that plays them. However, we have seen some entries with minor glitches and others that play absolutely perfectly and assume that this is a product of the method of encoding to DVD. An interesting project here to see which encoding program gives the best results. We can tell you that Michael Slowe's and Filipio Lubiato's (Switzerland) play beautifully with excellent picture and sound. At the Annual Fest we used two Cyberhome 300a DVD players for all the entries as we put the NTSC entries on to DVD as well to asimplify the projection.

Ned C

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stingman
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Post by stingman » Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:27 am

I still don`t trust DVD`s as a medium to put my films on. At our club meetings, many of the films are put onto DVD for showing. Most play ok but many still stop and stutter. I know it`s to do with burning and bitrates etc. But no one has published a `PERFECT` combination of settings on this so people just burn. The worst is people burning a short film at a low quality setting! Squares and Blocks result! If it`s a 5 minute film then burn at a quality setting. It may stutter and stop now and again but a least it will do it in style and quality!!
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billyfromConsett
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Post by billyfromConsett » Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:03 pm

stingman wrote: no one has published a `PERFECT` combination of settings on this
Here's my settings, and up to now I get at least a 99% play rate on modern (ie not first generation) players.

1) Bit rate I use is 7000 Megabits per second to convert AVIs to MPEG2s. The higher the bitrate, the more picky some players will be. But a £25 player from Tesco will play disks that a £250 4 year-old Sony will not play. (only personal experience Mr Sony)

2) I tick the box to close GOPs. I don't know if this helps but it was a tip on a DVD Helper site.

3) When burning any DVD I do the whole thing in one go - so a single session burn and finalise.

4) I only use Rytek disks. I get the printable ones and print directly onto them. Use no stickers!

I wouldn't touch the DVD recorders that go under your telly. The menus put me off for a start.

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billyfromConsett
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Re: Film competitions - Mini DV or DVD?

Post by billyfromConsett » Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:20 pm

tom hardwick wrote:Here's a question for the competition teams out there - would the organisers rather have the filmmakers enter their masterpieces as DVDs or tape?
Sorry Tom, I missed your original question :oops:

If your movie is sent on a DVD, and for any reason copied onto another DVD before being shown- ie analogue to analogue - it will obviously suffer a degenerative quality hit.

As I'd like my movies to be shown in their best state, I'll always use miniDV tapes for competitions. If they're copied and projected from a DVD, they'll suffer less and look better.

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Dave Watterson
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Post by Dave Watterson » Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:48 pm

Every competition manager I have spoken to in the last year has a tale of DVD problems. Some point-blank refuse to play in some machines, others stutter, while many play perfectly.

For the next year or so at least I recommend sending Mini-DV tapes to any competition that can accept them. Very occasionally a tape will scrunch, but that's rare and most tapes these days have so few dropouts they are unnoticeable.

Billy's point about copying may seem strange, but most competitions have some form of pre-selection. That means the entries going to various people for a preliminary assessment. Those rated best go to the top judging panel. Some managers prefer to use copies for preselection - just in case of accidents. They reserve the originals for the final judges so that they see the films in the best form.

It is also common for festivals to copy the winning movies onto a single tape for the awards show screening - it avoids problems like a nervous projectionist grabbing the wrong tape.

The UNICA Festival has asked that all entries be on MiniDV this year.

Dave

Michael Slowe
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Post by Michael Slowe » Sun Mar 04, 2007 7:06 pm

I much prefer the quality of tape if that was the sole criteria, but it ain't. I can caragorically state that my DVD's never fail to play perfectly on any machine, cheap or expensive at any speed you want. Here's my formular ;

Encode with BitVice using variable bit rate with an average of 7.5, a low of 4.6 and a high of 8.25 using a double pass encode. This takes a long time. I then use Compressor to prepare a Dolby ac3 audio file and then DVD Studio Pro to format and build and finally Titanium Toast to burn the disk, good quality, Verbatim (as suggested by Tom Hardwick).

Quality still not as good as tape but that's the MPEG 2 compression for you.

Who suggested that copies of DVD's are degraded? Not so, they are identical and I use Titanium Toast for copies.

When we can make HD DVD's let's hope they are as good as DV tape, I am informed they will be.

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Dave Watterson
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Post by Dave Watterson » Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:18 pm

Michael - thanks for the detailed notes on making perfect DVDs on a Mac system. Can anyone give similarly detailed notes for PC systems with program names and settings? It would be very much welcomed.
Who suggested that copies of DVD's are degraded? Not so, they are identical and I use Titanium Toast for copies.
I suspect you are talking about copying a DVD to another DVD, Michael. Billy and I were referring to cases of copying to tape - e.g. to make up a tape with all the winners in a block for screening at the awards show. This is done by the Cotswold and Guernsey festivals, for example.

Dave

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Willy
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Post by Willy » Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:06 am

In Belgian festivals also mini-DV-tapes are used because of the many problems with DVD's. Last year a film made by one of the young members of my club was selected for the National Competition. He didn't want to attend the festival as he hates these competitions. He gave me his film on DVD ! He refused to give a mini-DV. "These regulations are "bullshit" (sorry for this word) he said. If they use a quality DVD-player then they have problems. So I went to the National Competition with his DVD-film and I hoped that they would accept it. I explained everything. The president accepted the DVD and he tried to show the film with a DVD-player. It worked ! A relief ! But I was given a good dressing-down by the technician who had to work with the machines.
Willy Van der Linden

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billyfromConsett
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Post by billyfromConsett » Mon Mar 05, 2007 5:07 pm

Michael Slowe wrote:
Who suggested that copies of DVD's are degraded? Not so, they are identical and I use Titanium Toast for copies.
I was also referring to hooking up a DVD player to a DVD recorder usually via s.video, but certainly copies made outside of computers.

If Toast will copy DVD's identically, then I wonder if will copy computer games... :roll:

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stingman
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Post by stingman » Mon Mar 05, 2007 6:31 pm

billyfromConsett wrote:
Michael Slowe wrote:
Who suggested that copies of DVD's are degraded? Not so, they are identical and I use Titanium Toast for copies.
I was also referring to hooking up a DVD player to a DVD recorder usually via s.video, but certainly copies made outside of computers.

If Toast will copy DVD's identically, then I wonder if will copy computer games... :roll:
Naughty, naughty! I cannot condone this statement about game copying. The discs have a special copy-protection on them. I think you need special softwere for this. My Amiga games had extra tracks on the floppy discs but the standard software would not copy them.
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billyfromConsett
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Post by billyfromConsett » Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:43 pm

stingman wrote: I cannot condone this statement about game copying. I think you need special softwere for this. My Amiga games had extra tracks on the floppy discs but the standard software would not copy them.
For the Amiga, and that computer was great for titleing with Scala, you needed an app called X-Copy, and it came on a floppy disk.
Then you could make copies of Amiga games.

Maybe Toast would copy PC games... :D

I'm not being exactly serious stingman. But I didn't make any statement about copying games. I merely asked a tongue-in-cheek retorical question.

tom hardwick
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Re: Film competitions - Mini DV or DVD?

Post by tom hardwick » Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:52 pm

[quote="billyfromConsett"][quote=If your movie is sent on a DVD, and for any reason copied onto another DVD before being shown- ie analogue to analogue - it will obviously suffer a degenerative quality hit..[/quote]

Quite untrue Billy. A DVD copy of a DVD is a perfect copy. They're both digital. The discs contain only ones and zeros, nothing else. Not a thing.

tom.

Paul Chater
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Post by Paul Chater » Wed Mar 07, 2007 5:56 pm

quote:Tom Hardwick "A DVD copy of a DVD is a perfect copy".


Do you believe that it is infinite for the number of generations that can be copied?

Paul Chater.

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billyfromConsett
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Re: Film competitions - Mini DV or DVD?

Post by billyfromConsett » Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:36 pm

[quote="tom hardwick
A DVD copy of a DVD is a perfect copy. They're both digital. The discs contain only ones and zeros, nothing else. Not a thing.

tom.[/quote]

If you can connect two dvd players via s.video and you'll get a digital copy with zero degradation, well that's news to me, as well being difficult to accept. But, hey, I'm no expert.

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