Does anyone know of a consumer based Blu-ray authoring software package that will allow me to burn full HD video titles that are either 25fps or 30fps but on the same disc? Adobe Encore CS6 and Sony DVD Architect Pro V6 both allow you to do this, but Adobe Encore CC is no longer available, and the Sony product is expensive.
By way of explanation, I create movie titles (clips) that are 1080/25i, but I also create slide shows that are 1080/30i (mainly because slide shows play smoother at the higher frame rate). I know the Blu-ray standard allows for both types of video to co-exist on the same disc, (I use Encore at work and it produces perfect discs) but every consumer Blu-ray authoring package Iíve seen insists on you choosing either PAL or NTSC as your starting point, then blindly transcoding any video that doesnít match the native frame rate of the TV standard chosen. So for PAL, any 30fps video is transcoded to 25fps, and for NTSC any 25fps video is transcoded to 30fps. This is really a throwback to the DVD standards which were very rigid, but for Blu-ray it isnít so important.
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Encore CC never existed, but Encore CS6 is still available if you have a Premiere CC license. Starting from scratch, I would go with Baldrick's suggestion.
The fact that Encore allows you to mix 30i and 25i on the same disc to me is hardly conclusive proof that the standards allow this. I have no idea what the standards allow, but given how some of the decisions that went into the BluRay standard seem, shall we say, quite a bit less than ideal, let's just say that it would be a bit atypical for this to be legal. If you were to tell me that Scenarist allowed this, then I would probably agree that the standards allowed it. Do Hollywood studios even use Encore? Isn't that really mostly aimed at Consumers like you?
I think quite a few professionals use Encore, they may not author a disc for mass public consumption, but certainly create discs for clients, movie rushes and a lot of people in the movie/video industry etc.
I did some research on video file formats with respect to Blu-ray. All I can ever find is the list that Blu-ray supports in terms of resolution, frames per second and whether itís progressive or interlaced scanning. Iíve found nowhere thatís says you canít, and nowhere that says you can mix frame rates. A number of the consumer programs Iíve trialled, if you let them automatically create a menu based on your content, some of them even create a first play intro when you insert your disc, and that is set to 24p, regardless whether you pick PAL or NTSC.
The safe betting is, if the disc is authored for PAL, then (and Iím only considering full HD here) then anything created at 1080/25i will work in a PAL environment. Likewise the 1080/30i for NTSC. I canít speak for the USA, but again from what Iíve read they have less of an easy time that Europe does, but for us, almost without exception, TVs and Blu-ray players manufactured within the last five years will support 1080/24p, 1080/25i and 1080/30i. The regional TV standard for HD is less important. Iím sure if I whisked myself to the USA, tried one of the many 25i/30i combination Blu-ray discs Iíve authored myself in a selection of their TV rigs, I may find some canít play the 25i content. Iíd expect them all to play the disc, because I always author the disc as NTSC, the just add 25i content to it.
As for the PAL/NTSC stipulation, Iíve no idea if this is more legacy to do with the existing TV standards. I think itís a case of making absolutely sure it will play for the TV standard you designate, which does not preclude it playing elsewhere, just there would be no guarantee.
The DVD spec says that you CAN have both NTSC and PAL on the same disc, but you CANNOT have them within the same TitleSet. I'm making an educated guess that Blu-ray is structured similarly.
It's easy to make an ALL-Region disc, and for us independent producers, that's the default and there is rarely a reason to do it otherwise. It also seems to be the default on every authoring app I've used (most of them out there).
If you are trying to go for cross-borders universality, I'd suggest starting with 23.976 for DVD, and set for 29.97i playback. The NTSC crowd will be fine with this, and the PAL crowd will only have few hardware troubles (though they may not like pulldown since they aren't used to it). Similarly, shooting/editing/authoring as 24p in Blu-ray is a good universal (with 30i being next most universal). Sorry, PAL folks, but the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and NTSC compatibility is the squeaky wheel.
I'd suggest PAL+NTSC be only used on discs where it is provided in BOTH formats, and the user gets to choose between - NOT just a simple mix & match checkerboard (not professional).
Yes, "Hollywood" uses whatever is at their disposal, but they DON'T use Encore or DVD Architect, DVD LabPro, etc for their distributed consumer titles, only for internal & temporary/test usage. For those, they use Scenarist, DoStudio, BluPrint, etc. (all $$$).