Old School Mac [4] : how to burn DVD-recordables that will play on any DVD-player

— THIS IS A REPOST FROM LONG WAY BACK ; JUST FOR ENTERTAINMENT — ORIGINALLY POSTED ON MACOSX.NL (a.k.a. ONE MORE THING) IN 2004

Question : If I upgrade to DVD Studio Pro, will that enable me to burn DVD-recordables that will play on any DVD-player ?

Answer : No. The difference between iDVD and DVD Studio Pro has (next to) nothing to do with compatibility with any DVD-player (neither hardware nor software)… too bad… If you like iDVD, use it to burn a DVD-R, and copy that onto a DVD+R on a Mac or PC that has a DVD+R-burner. That will hugely increase your chances on being able to play your DVD on stand-alone DVD-players (so upgrading from iDVD to Toast and a DVD+R-burner is a way better solution for this than upgrading to DVD Studio Pro)

Things that have most influence on compatibility of your DVD-recordables :

  • the difference between DVD-R and DVD+R (especially in case of older DVD-players)
  • how up-to-date is the hardware and/or software DVD-player ?
  • if you want optimal compatibility with stand-alone DVD-players (hardware) : choose DVD+R, that will be compatible in nearly 99% of the cases (DVD-R will only be compatible in about 60% of the cases)
  • do not use rewriteables like DVD+RW or DVD-RW, those will only be compatible with very recent hardware
  • burn your DVDs in UDF-format

If you want optimal compatibility with Windows PCs :

  • make sure your PC is up-to-date : install the latest firmware and /or drivers for the DVD-drive & use version 5 of the WinDVD software (version 4 is more problematic, but still way better than Windows Media Player)
  • use a regular movie-DVD you’ve bought in a store to test if your PC is capable of even  playing any DVDs (some business-PCs do have a DVD-drive and DVD-player software installed, but still can’t play movie-DVDs due to ‘odd’ pre-installed software permissions and bad drivers and/or firmware…)
  • choose DVD+R if you do not have any info on the Windows-PC that will be used, that will vastly increase your chances on good compatibility (if the PC is fully up-to-date, neither DVD+R or DVD-R will give any problems)
  • don’t burn onto DVD+RW or DVD-RW media
  • burn your DVDs in UDF-format
If you want optimal compatibility with Macs :
  • make sure your Mac is up-to-date : install the newest version of OSX (or OS9)
  • preferably choose DVD-R media (sometimes a Mac can read the data, but cannot play the video, just because OSX’s DVD Player software prefers DVD-R ; OSX is less compatible than OS9 in this regard)
  • you can use DVD+/-RW rewrite able media, but why would you ?
  • preferably burn you DVDs in UDF-format
Things that have little or no influence on compatibility [the experts do not agree with me on this, but my own extensive testing does not show any significant differences] :
  • the speed of burning (4x burning speed has just as strange burn-failures as 2.4x or 2x or 1x burning speed)
  • the retail price of the DVD+/-R media (renowned brands also have burn-failures)
In short : if the DVD-player (software and hardware) is not up-to-date, it still remains to be seen how compatible your burned DVDs are.
e.g. I had 4 DVD-Rs that I had tested to be good on my OSX-Mac, my old Philips DVD-player and my old WindowsMe-PC, so I expected them to work on a brand-new WindowsXP-laptop… boy was that a mistake : 3 of them were compatible, but 1 failed entirely, it was not recognised… but : of all DVDs that didn’t play in WindowsMe,  nearly half did play in WindowsXP without any problem… so there’s no logic to any of it…
So hoping to increasing compatibility by upgrading from iDVD to DVD Studio Pro is very, very doubtful…
Some interesting links :
there is a patch for iDVD4 that will enable you to (instead of buying to DVD-R) ‘burn’ to a disk image :
there is also a patch for iDVD3 somewhere on the internet, but I do not have a direct link – if you dare, you might try a search for something like “iDVD [no SuperDrive]” on the ‘doubtful download sites’…
Sizzle is an OSX-application that is said to do faster (and better) MPEG2-conversions than QuickTime (and therefore than iDVD) :
[I didn’t test this myself, because I have OSX 10.3…]
If you are looking for iDVD tutorials :
If you want to check the compatibility of any stand-alone DVD-player :
If you want to check the quality of DVD+/-R media :
If you would like to know about the nicest features of DVD Studio Pro :

the original post(s) can be found here :

http://forum.macosx.nl/community/topic/dvd-studio-pro-2-compatibiliteit

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