Archive for the ‘DVD-R’ Category

Mini-DVDs are so adorable…until you try to play them!!

Monday, March 31st, 2008

I don’t know what it is about the universe, but somehow, we have been getting a lot of questions about Mini-DVDs these days. Perhaps the camcorders that made them have died and there is a desperation to save the material on these discs before their material is lost forever to the dreaded “incompatible format” message.

So what do you do with those little discs and how the hell do you get the material off of them safely?

Alright. It’s not as hard as it seems. There are two ways to do it…and one way to definitely NOT do it.

First of all, if you have a side-loading iMac, do not insert the mini-DVD into the CD slot or your computer (errr… and your life) will be seriously hosed. Instead, you’re going to need an external DVD drive that sits flat on the desk. Also, that drive must have the Mini-DVD imprint cut out in the tray to accommodate the small disc.

Then, stick the disc in the external drive. Once it loads, copy the entire disc to a folder on your computer. Eject the disc.

Next, open your burning software and burn all the contents of the folder to a new disc as a data dvd, not a playable DVD. This will include the VOB files. Burn the disc and you’re all done. Even the menus are copied and the disc will play perfectly on any DVD player if you use DVD-R media.

The second way to transfer the mini-disc to a standard DVD-R is to play the disc in a DVD player or camcorder that accommodates the format. Take the analog wires from the DVD player “Out” connectors and send it to a DVD-R recorder. Make sure to set your source DVD player as “play continuously through chapter stops,” or something that sounds like that. Then hit record on your DVD recorder and the video will copy. The only problem is, the menus won’t copy, but at least the video content will be preserved.

Finally, don’t buy into newfangled technology that is unproven in the marketplace for less than a year and a half. Seriously! People clamored for those adorable little mini DVDs the second they hit the shelves in stores without thinking of the fact that the format is inferior, holds insufficient amounts of video, overly compresses the footage, is next to impossible to playback on any other video or computer machine, and easily scratches and jams.

By the way, those discs are a freaking blast for teenagers to have “frisbee” fights with!

How does Hollywood fit 3 hours on a DVD when I can only fit 1 hour at the same quality?

Monday, September 24th, 2007

Here’s the deal…

The discs you rent from NetFlix or BlockBuster are recorded on a DVD that holds 9 gigs on two layers. A DVD-R that you record on your computer at home is about half the size and usually only records on one layer. Many computer burners can burn dual-layer these days, but the discs are much more sensitive to scratches and dirt than commercially produced DVDs. That’s because the commercial DVDs are pressed from a glass master and literally stamp the image into the DVD instead of trying to “burn” it. In addtion, “Hollywood” discs are burned from the absolute very best possible master and all the compression is done by really experienced professionals.

Dual Layer DVDs that you make at home are also not very compatible with the various consumer DVD players that are out there. Most times it costs about $1000 minimum to create a glass master of a DVD. Sorry, but you just gotta compress your video a lot more in order to fit it on one disc and expect broad compatibility.


DVD-R is better than DVD+R

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

Trust me, if you want to have no worries with your DVD burns playing back in machines, ONLY use DVD-R, not DVD+R.  No matter what anyone else says, don’t record to anything except DVD-R if you want to be able to play back on the most DVD players.